Catholic Heritage Curricula (CHC) has created complete grade-level programs for grades PreK through eight. (They also have a unique approach to high school based upon their guidebook High School of Your Dreams.)
CHC’s programs use many resources that they publish themselves along with other Catholic and secular resources. The large majority of their resources are Catholic. While many of the resources are traditional texts and workbooks, the overall educational approach of the program is a mixture of traditional, classical, Charlotte Mason, and Montessori, although Montessori methods are most evident at the preschool level.
Each grade level program has a set of core materials and a CHC Daily Lesson Plans book. The Daily Lesson Plans books each come as pre-punched pages for you to insert into your own binder. Lesson plans explain the curriculum and provide easy-to-read charts with detailed, daily lesson plans. In the lesson plans for PreK through fourth grade, CHC has chosen to schedule only four days per week, allowing the fifth day to serve as a flexible day for field trips, time-consuming projects, or other activities of your choosing. Lesson plan pages have extra space for your notes, read-aloud titles, Wednesday Flex-day activities, etc.
Core materials include resources for religion, math, phonics/reading/literature, grammar and composition, history, geography, science, and health. Handwriting instruction is included in core resources for kindergarten and first grade. CHC recommends elective resources for handwriting beyond first grade. They also recommend other elective resources for art, music, character building, and other subject areas up through fourth grade. Assignments in these electives are shown in the lesson plans. For fifth grade and above, they recommend a number of electives, but these are not scheduled into the lesson plans.
CHC encourages families to teach children together whenever possible, but this isn’t a unit study approach. You might be able to have children close in age working in some subjects together, but children will generally be each doing their own coursework. This is the biggest drawback with using grade-level courses if you have very many children.
CHC courses are authentically Catholic. Through the different resources, children learn about all aspects of the Catholic faith.
Resources included in CHC courses are almost all current and up-to-date rather than reprints of old books. Many of these require no separate teacher’s guide. You can read my reviews of some of the individual resources by clicking on links within this review. Most families will appreciate that the cost is surprisingly low for complete programs.
Among CHC resources used are Little Stories for Little Folks for phonics and reading, Language of God, Behold and See Science, and My Catholic Speller. Resources from other publishers used at a number of grade levels include the Who Am I? series for teaching religion to young children, the Faith and Life series, MCP Mathematics, Saxon Math, and history and geography books from Catholic Textbook Project.
Reading skills are taught with dedicated resources at each level up through eighth grade.
Note: The MCP Math Mathematics series used in the primary grades lags behind most others, reflecting a scope and sequence from many years ago. The scope and sequences of most math programs are now more advanced than MCP’s. On the other hand, MCP does a good job and is very easy to use. If you have a child who is ready to work at higher levels of math, you can shift to a higher level in the MCP Mathematics series. If you have a child who is especially good at math, you might consider using something like Primary Mathematics (Singapore Math) instead.