7 Best Classical Homeschool Curriculum: Classical Education Programs

If you’re looking for a conservative homeschool curriculum that encourages critical thinking, logic skills, and excellent language abilities, you’ll probably love a classical curriculum. Classical homeschool curriculum programs are top-rated among Christian parents, who choose classical programs for their rigorous literature, theology, Latin, and critical thinking training. But, if you’re new to this area, what curriculum should you choose? What are the best curriculum packages around?

Rebbecca Devitt

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post. If you want to do my course on how to homeschool, click here.

That’s the question we’ll be looking at in this article! In particular, we’ll look at:
  • What is a classical homeschooling curriculum
  • Reasons you might choose this method
  • Classical curricula for homeschools:
    • Memoria Press – great if you prefer a mailable program
    • Compass Classroom – an extremely affordable classical program
    • Classical Conversations – includes a homeschooling co-op focus
  • One program you can use to customize your individualized homeschool education (A Well-Trained Mind Academy)
  • A free classical homeschooling program where you can buy resources at will

Let’s get started!

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you.

What is a Classical Homeschooling Curriculum?

There are many different types of homeschooling curriculum programs available today. A classical homeschool curriculum is a program you can use to teach your children classical education at home.

A program like this will teach students in three stages:

  1. The grammar stage – where children acquire the tools they need to learn the intricacies in the Classics later on. Children aged around 5-9 do the grammar stage. They do plenty of memorization of basic facts they will benefit from recalling later.
  2. The logic or dialectic stage is where children sort through facts they learned and analyze them logically. Then, they start to form arguments with these facts. Children aged around 9 to 12 do the logic stage. Students do plenty of reading and ‘compare & contrast’ exercises. They also talk with other classical students to solidify arguments.
  3. The rhetoric stage is where teenagers synthesize the facts they learned and analyzed in the previous two stages and learn how to apply them to their lives. Students debate and learn how to deliver a speech convincingly and persuasively.

To find out more about classical homeschooling, see this article.

Or, if you’d prefer a book, The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home (Fourth Edition) is a popular choice. (This book is so popular that it also has its own academy (which we review below) where students can participate in unit-study.) 

If you’re interested in learning more about other homeschool methods, do my free quiz and homeschool methods course here.

There some things that define a classical homeschool curriculum. Some of these are an emphasis on the liberal arts of math and literature. Also expressing our cultural heritage (Christian) through literature and history. You will find these in most classical curriculum today.

Why You Should Use a Classical Homeschooling Curriculum

Some benefits of a classical education curriculum are that students:

  • will know their facts well and relate them to principles in their lives
  • can express themselves eloquently with sound arguments
  • can write with structure and understanding
  • find learning the intricacies of English easier with Latin as a background language (learn the benefits of Latin and Greek here)
  • will be able to learn new languages with more ease as they will have learned Latin
  • are encouraged to think independently and critically and
  • acquire principles for life (instead of just acquiring facts and skills).

Classical curriculum programs are once again being implemented in many schools, especially in many homeschools today. This educational method is now widespread in America among Christian educators.

Several Classical Homeschooling Curricula

There are a few popular classical education curricula for homeschooling families; we’ll discuss them more below.

You’ll find many of these are Christian curricula. Some use the trivium more rigorously and faithfully, while others give the trivium a nod and have more of an eclectic/classical feel to them.
Classical Conversations and Veritas Press seem to be more reformed and conservative. In contrast, it seems Memoria Press is written by Christians from different denominational backgrounds (see the section below on Memoria Press for more on this).
Let’s go through each curriculum in more detail below.

Memoria Press

Memoria Press is one of the best classical homeschooling curricula on the market today. The term ‘Memoria Press reviews’ is googled about 6,600 times a month in America alone.

This classical program offers physical books for purchase, so you’ll receive a box with the books/work paces you’ve chosen for your child.

I think it’s probably one of the best conservative homeschool curriculum programs on the market today, and is an ideal fit for a  homeschool.

The Homeschool Review Crew gave the Memoria Press Latin program the best foreign language curriculum award in 2017.

Grades It Offers

Memoria Press offers an extensive range of curricula for use before children even reach Grade 1. They offer Preschool, Junior Kindergarten, and Kindergarten and Grades 1-12.

In comparison to Veritas, Memoria offers subjects for separate purchases. That is, Veritas will send you a whole grade’s worth of material, whereas Memoria will let you pick and choose more.

Features of this Classical Homeschooling Curriculum

Memoria Press is a hardcopy curriculum. That is, you purchase books, and they send them to you in a box. Many parents will like the offline platform compared to the other curricula, which offer more online work.

This curriculum is also from a Christian perspective, with some writers being Southern Baptist Seminary graduates and others being from different places. You can read more about their religious background here.

Compass Classroom

Compass Classrooms is a new online classical program written from a Christian worldview. The curriculum covers all grades and is quite affordable on a subscription.

A subscription means you get access to everything on the platform. This means you get access to:

  • Latin,
  • Art & Music,
  • Economics,
  • Filmmaking,
  • History,
  • Homeschooling subjects,
  • Languages and Vocabulary,
  • Literature and Poetry,
  • Logic,
  • Philosophy,
  • Science & Creation,
  • Writing & Grammar,
  • and more!

So, you’ll get everything on a subscription with the exception of mathematics.

This program is mostly true to the classical method, but also includes some Charlotte Mason elements.

You can try Compass Classroom on a 2-week FREE trial.

Classical Conversations

Classical Conversations is a classical curriculum that is usually done as part of a [business/for-profit] homeschool co-op. The term ‘Classical Conversations reviews’ is googled about 22,200 times a month in America alone.
While CC is a mailable curriculum, the program is usually done with other homeschooling families. Children can talk about things they learn and debate, which is particularly important in classical education’s dialectic (logic) and rhetoric stages.
In the initial stage – the grammar stage – dialoguing with groups isn’t as necessary, and parents can easily use the CC curriculum at home without being involved with a co-op. They may find this more tricky when children reach older grades, however.
The other option is that you find a Classical Conversations community near you. Many communities live internationally, including in Asia, Australia, Canada, Chile, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.

Traditional vs Classical Curriculum Comparison. A classical homeschool curriculum has a defined purpose to education and incorporates God into everything.What CC Say About Themselves

This is what Classical Conversations said about their program:
One of the many benefits of homeschooling with a Christian homeschool curriculum is that educators have a standard purpose for education: to glorify God through the pursuit of truth so that our children grow to reflect this excellence of Christ to this lost and broken world. This Christ-centered educational style which combines grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric phases, has proven immensely successful and has cultivated great Christian leaders throughout history. No matter which stance secular education takes, the Christian foundation will always be the focus of Classical Conversations. 

Like Memoria Press, Classical Conversations is a conservative homeschool curriculum.

How Much is Classical Conversations (2021 Prices) and What Grades Does It Offer?

Classical Conversations teaches K to Grade 12.

Children who are around age:

If you plan to do the course internationally or are a missionary family, check out their International homeschooling page here as CC tries to accommodate missionary families who want to study their educational programs.

5 Best Classical Homeschooling Curriculum Packages in 2019. Love Classical education but don't know which curriculum is the best? We review five classical education curriculum programs available to homeschooling families. #howdoihomeschool #homeschoolcurriculum #classicalcurriculum #classicalhomeschoolingcurriculum

Features of this Homeschooling Curriculum

Classical Conversations is usually done in a co-op, so homeschooled students can learn in groups for a few hours each week.

A big part of classical education is talking, and this curriculum lets children speak with their teachers and other students face-to-face, something (I think) the other programs don’t do as well.

For example, to have a decent debate with one another, it’s easiest to be in the same room as your teammates and opponents. I can’t see how this would be easily facilitated in a virtual classroom.

The price is also a big drawcard as CC seems to be very reasonably priced, especially when compared with other classical curricula.

Veritas Press

Veritas Press is also one of the best classical homeschool curriculum programs on the market today. The term ‘Veritas Press reviews’ is googled about 5,400 times a month in the United States alone. It’s also a great online program as a lot of the work is done in virtual classrooms or on computers with internet access.

How Much Is Veritas and What Grades Does It Offer?

Veritas offers three different plans each year from Grade K-12th. Prices between grades differ substantially, with younger grades being significantly cheaper, while older grades are considerably more expensive.

The three plans are:

  • Good – for kindergarten, the cost is $249 for a basic plan which gives you the basic curriculum and every subject you need. Grade 12 costs $1,349 for the year.
  • Better – intermediate plan between the ‘Good’ and the ‘Best.’
  • Best – kindergarten is $749 for the best plan, which gives you all the bells and whistles Veritas has to offer. Grade 12 costs $1,699 for the year.

As the Grades advance, the prices also do.

Features of this Classical Homeschooling Curriculum

With Veritas, your children can:

  • access online lessons and interact with teachers online
  • choose to do self-paced courses and
  • do live courses online.

Veritas says things are so easy that you only need to:

  1. choose the grade your child is in,
  2. choose what you (and your children) want to study (customize the curriculum) and,
  3. place your order, and you’ll get a boxed classical education curriculum in the mail!

Veritas Press also offers many free resources at this link as they’re motivated to share their resources because of their Christian faith. See Veritas Press reviewed in more detail here.5 Best Classical Homeschooling Curriculum Packages in 2019. Love Classical education but don't know which curriculum is the best? We review five classical education curriculum programs available to homeschooling families. #howdoihomeschool #homeschoolcurriculum #classicalcurriculum #classicalhomeschoolingcurriculum

Classical Academic Press

Classical Academic Press aims to teach a rigorous form of classical education as they hope to revive the liberal arts tradition in education establishments and homeschool today. They offer Latin, Greek, Writing and Rhetoric, Poetry, Literature Guides, and more.

The term ‘Classical Academic Press’ is googled about 2,400 times a month in the United States alone.

Cost of Classical Academic Press and Grades Offered

This classical education curriculum offers all grades in three sections:

  • Lower Grammer – Pre K -Grade 3
  • Upper Grammar – Grade 4-6
  • Logic and Rhetoric – Grades 7-12

It isn’t easy to figure out the cost of Classical Academic Press as they don’t seem to offer a curriculum set for each grade. To get the total price of this classical curriculum, educators have to choose the book or book sets they wish children to study. Perhaps this is an intentional move to give parents the freedom to choose the subjects they like and skip the subjects they’re not keen on.

A Tapestry of Grace

I was excited to recently discover this Unit-Studies plus classical homeschool curriculum which follows the classical method. You can check it out here.

Classical Education Curriculum for Free?

Love classical education but don’t want to pay the expensive fees? You can get a classical education curriculum for free at this link. This is what the makers of this program said about it:

The following is a high-brow, high-IQ curriculum, which has been adopted by homeschoolers and schools. The creators of this free online curriculum have sought to address the lack of any sound online classical curriculum. Based upon the 19th-century German-Latin method and following the great-books model, this curriculum often attempts to be highbrow, emphasizing the best of occidental traditions while avoiding the anti-Western political correctness one finds in public schools. The following materials list can be used as a stand-alone curriculum or as a supplement to another curriculum. Many parents have said that this book list served as an outstanding supplement to other curricula. Our outline for classical languages, literature, and history is one of the best on the internet…The following curriculum can serve as a [secular] curriculum or a Christian [program]. While the following curriculum is non-religious per se and devoid of an explicit fundamentalist Christian worldview, it includes an implicit Christian perspective in that much of post-classical literature consists of a Christian worldview (e.g., Dante, Shakespeare, etc.)… 

But, this ‘classical curriculum’ seems to be more like a book list than a full classical homeschool curriculum. It also has links to CDs, video games, and flashcards.
Because you have to buy all these resources, the cost would seem to be just as high as if you were buying one of the other classical curricula above. If you could gather all these resources online or in libraries for free, your costs would be lessened. However, you would probably have difficulty getting your hands on some recommended texts.

An Eclectic Curriculum – My Father’s World

My Father's World An Eclectic Classical Homeschool Curriculum.

If you don’t want a full-blown classical curriculum but want some of what a classical education offers plus a conservative Christian homeschool curriculum, you might consider something like My Father’s World.

This program combines different homeschooling methods with a classical education. Specifically, it combines classical schooling with the Charlotte Mason elements, Unit Study, and Bible (see picture below from MFW website).

Combining classical education with Charlotte Mason methods is a popular choice among Christian homeschooling families in America.

Some people consider Classical homeschooling methods a little too rigorous and seek to soften them somewhat with Charlotte Mason methods.

Charlotte Mason was a classical educator who developed her education theory around the 1800-1900s. Her method used a lot of classical education theory but somewhat softened it to reduce the memorization components and rote learning.

Instead, Mason said we should use more exciting books to teach children (called living books) and get children out into nature more. She also said we should use more gentle ways of testing students, called narration.

If you buy the My Father’s World curriculum, you’ll get different elements from both these theories.

If you’re interested in knowing more about Charlotte Mason curriculum options, you can check some out here.

A Program that can Supplement Your Custom Classical Education

When parents homeschool, they often don’t want to commit to a boxed curriculum. However, they may like a little bit of help or access to custom classes.
This is where the Well-Trained Mind Academy comes in.
They offer certain classical education classes online for students. Here is a video sample of their lessons.
It looks like most of the lessons with the Well-Trained Mind Academy are online, and students can interact with the teacher in real-time. They can write things on the virtual blackboard and talk to other students also.
Because lessons are done in real-time in America, if you were a homeschooler in Australia or other countries that didn’t share similar time zones, you might struggle to tune in to live lessons.
However, the Academy offers delayed lectures. Students can also talk to the instructors by email or virtual classrooms.
The Well-Trained Mind Academy is also fairly popular, with the term ‘well-trained mind academy reviews’ being googled about 40 times a month.
This curriculum sprung up as a result of the success of the book (below), which is an excellent guide if you’re seeking to understand Classical education from a homeschooling parent’s perspective.

List of 6 or the most popular classical curriculum. These are all conservative homeschool curriculum choices.

What About Other Curriculum Options?

There are so many curriculum packages on offer today. But, if you’re not quite decided on the classical method, you can look at some different options below, including:
I hope that’s helpful 🙂

Conclusion

Some of the best classical homeschooling curricula in 2019 include Classical Conversations, Veritas Press, Memoria Press, and Classical Academic Press. To recap, Classical Conversations is a program that’s usually done in a co-op near you. Veritas Press is a curriculum you can do online and by material mailed to you. Memoria Press dispatches your chosen classical homeschool curriculum to your door (you can mix and match subjects yourself). And Classical Academic Press allows you to customize your curriculum also. There is also the option of doing classical Unit Studies with The Well-Trained Mind Academy or getting a free classical homeschool curriculum (although purchasing the books is not free). These curricula are slightly different, so you can look through them closely to see which works best for your family. But, I love that all the programs are fairly conservative homeschool curriculum options for doing battle in an unconservative world!
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Rebecca Devitt

Most adults don't particularly want to relive their schooling experience on a daily basis. They would gladly move on to a new life devoid of homework and teachers. Very, very few adults will passionately blog about their schooling some 15 years after graduating. This makes Rebecca Devitt somewhat unique. As it happens, she was homeschooled. And she loved it. Still does. And she wishes every kid could get a taste of homeschooling at its very best. Her website How Do I Homeschool, is a springboard for parents to see what a life of homeschooling could be for both them & their children. When she's not blogging Rebecca is still homeschooling her-adult-self by learning Latin, growing weird vegetables and most importantly looking after her two children Luke & Penny. She has a husband Tristan and is a participant at Wollongong Baptist Church. She's also written a book about why parents should homeschool called 'Why on Earth Homeschool'.

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  1. Great recommendations here. I also would like to point you to Classical Academic Press & their online Schole Academy. They offer a playful and restful approach to classical education. In 2020-21 Schole is also opening special instruction for students with specific learning needs or disabilities.

  2. I was a CC-licensed business owner for five years. I would like to point out some things:

    1. CC isn’t so much a co-op (which usually refers to a nonprofit organization where parents volunteer to teach different classes). CC is a strictly managed network of privately-owned for-profit businesses that pay a licensing fee to CC Corporate to use their name, advertising, and resources.

    2. The price of CC has increased to include a $103 “enrollment fee” paid directly to CC. For Foundations and Essentials, the cost is: $125 application fee ($15 subsequent children per level), $103 enrollment fee per family per level, $375 tuition, $60 supplies (Foundations – $30 Essentials), and a facility fee that varies by location.

    I have a complete review of CC’s tutoring program here: https://www.thissideofheavenblog.com/blog/classical-conversations-a-review

    You can also find out more about CC from the perspective of former CC families, many of whom have ethical concerns with the corporate office, in the Let Us Reason For Real Facebook group.