A quick recap of my answers from the previous post about homeschool styles
What homeschool style(s) do you want to use? A combo of Classical, Project Based, and Unit Study
Do you care if your curriculum is religious? Not super important, except I probably want secular science
Do you want to do the grading or have someone else do it? Want to do my own grading
Do you want to spend the time to mix and match or do you prefer to be able to order a kit style package? Kits won't work for my student
Does your student plan to return to public or private school at some point? No. Curriculum must go to highschool graduation
Now that I have some guidelines in place, I can start searching for curriculums. A quick Google for "Classical Homeschool Curriculums" brings up a huge list of results and I can't begin to walk through all of them with you. Because I got such a huge list after using only question 1, I went ahead and added question 2. Are there Catholic Classical Homeschool Programs out there? Yes! These are the ones that hit my first page of results, in the same order Google provided them. Might there be other options? Probably, but I need a good curriculum, not a perfect one. My own experience as a homeschool student tells me that I'll be spending my teacher time adapting to what does and doesn't work, no matter what I choose!
Aquinas Learning: K-12 (good) but only available as a kit (rules this out)
St. Thomas Aquinas Academy: K-12 (good), allows for limited course substitutions (too kit like for me), science seems to have a lot of religious content (not good). Taken together, this one is ruled out.
Angelicum Academy: K-12 (good), mix and match grade levels (good), uses a religious science curriculum (not good)
Mother of Divine Grace (MODG): K-12 (good), oh hey! This is really a private school by correspondence so it's straight out.
Kolbe Academy: K-12 (good), mix and match grade levels or substitute courses (good), lots of enrollment options but I can't tell if I have to enroll or if I can simply purchase their materials. I emailed Kolbe academy and they confirmed I can simply purchase course guides and books through them without paying any enrollment fees. (good), secular science curriculum (good)
In looking at the courses offered in several of these programs, I noticed materials from Memoria Press popping up over and over again, especially in Composition and Latin. Because I don't *need* a specifically Catholic program, I'm going to pop over there and look.
Memoria Press: K-12 (good), can enroll online, purchase grade level kits or buy courses a la cart (good), religious science curriculum (not good)
I'm left with three options still on the table - Angelicum Academy, Kolbe Academy, and Memoria Press. To continue narrowing down, I started comparing the courses I felt least willing to build from scratch - Latin, Composition, and Math - and then reading descriptions for the other material to see if I would adopt other courses.
Latin: Angelicum does not begin Latin until 9th grade (not great); Kolbe uses Memoria Press curriculum for Latin at the same pace as Memoria Press so those are equivalent. Winner: tie between Kolbe and Memoria
Composition: Angelicum utilizes a heavily interactive all in one language arts program to teach grammar, sentence diagramming, and paragraph writing (not what I want); Kolbe uses Memoria press curriculum for Composition at the same pace as Memoria Press so those are equivalent. Winner: tie beween Kolbe and Memoria
Math: Angelicum uses Saxon Math, which doesn't work well for Emma (not good); Kolbe offers two choices Saxon and a more conventional curriculum; Memoria Press offers a hodge podge of math programs depending on grade level which seems disjointed (not good) Winner: Kolbe, as the option I dislike the least
At the end of the day, it's a gut call for me between Kolbe and Memoria Press and I went with Memoria Press as my main curriculum provider because I found their site easier to navigate and their tone of writing more appealing. Their scope and sequence for every subject is easy to follow in their catalog and that made it easy to start to plan how to get from here (the start of 6th grade) to there (end of high school). Your choice will be personal to your family and your student. I hope that this insight into my decision making process gives you some ideas on how to narrow down the field in your curriculum choice.
Next week, I'll post as I grade Week 1 schoolwork, talk about how I built our individual scope and sequence, and dig into the materials that actually made it onto the assignment sheet in a couple more subjects. My goal is to post Monday through Saturday as long as I keep thinking up topics to write on.