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Question: I am looking into CHC curricula but am not using it currently. My kids will be in first and third next year. I like the emphasis on geography but it seems a bit light on history. Do you find that people supplement for history? Also, I notice the curriculum is not accredited. What did you base your math and reading/language programs on to make sure that all bases are covered? And how much phonics is included in the speller or Language of God program? I really like the emphasis on the faith in the curriculum and on the gentle approach, but I worry about my kids keeping up. Thanks so much.
Answer:

Dear Parent,

Thank you for your question!

In most public and private schools history is not generally taught as an actual subject until 4th and sometimes 5th grade. It is incorporated into social studies, which is a general list of topics such as, community, citizenship and state history.

As an example, the Ohio state standards require 1st grade students to know the months of the year, distinguish among past, present and future [history], know terms such as left and right [geography], recognize the important of rules [government] and understand terms such as trustworthiness, self control and fairness [citizenship rights and responsibilities]. As you can see, in first grade, students are taught the basics of many different topics.

In the Ohio state standards for third grade, students learn the parts that make up a community, how to use a map and directions, businesses, and how to use references to look up information. Again, even in third grade, students are learning basic aspects of many different topics under the subject of social studies. It isn't until 4th grade that the student begins to learn Ohio history and in the 5th grade, the student concentrates on U.S. history.

Even though Ohio state standards can differ somewhat from other state's standards, there is a natural progression that you see when teaching social studies. Children, when young, are very egocentric. As they grow older, they begin to understand the world around them. Therefore, when teaching social studies, you begin with their surrounding area, and gradually move outward to encompass their family, community, city, states, country and world. CHC's history program follows this natural progression.

The same may be applied to all of CHC's materials. All the programs are modern programs based on an accepted sequence used commonly in schools across the United States. The My Catholic Speller series is phonics-based; the Language of God program doesn't teach phonics because it is a grammar program.

If you want to double check your state's standards with the CHC materials, you can always obtain the state's academic content standards through your local school district, although you should be aware that there can be some range of presentation from district to district and state to state. I think you will find that CHC's materials are thorough and will properly prepare your child for any future secondary education. Students who continuously use CHC's full program, on average, generally score at or above grade level in national tests. [We have received considerable commentary from parents whose five and six year old children, after completing CHC's Little Stories for Little Folks Catholic Phonics Readers, were reading two years ahead of their public schooled peers.]

God bless you and your family!

Laura Nicholson

   
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