If you are looking for a classical homeschool curriculum, you have almost certainly found a good one in Memoria Press. Not only used by homeschoolers but also hundreds of schools, this Christian curriculum provider ticks many boxes. It is well-developed, carefully planned, and comprehensive. But will it work for you and your family? This review of the Memoria Press curriculum will help you make that decision.
I hope you enjoy reading this blog post. If you want to do my course on how to homeschool, click here.
In this review, we’ll cover:
- What is Memoria Press?
- What is it like to homeschool with Memoria Press?
- Can Memoria Press be used in homeschools AND schools?
- What does the curriculum include?
- What religious perspective is Memoria Press?
- How does Memoria Press vs Sonlight/Veritas/Abeka/Classical Conversations?
Let’s dive in and get started!
Affiliate links in this article.
What is Memoria Press?
First things first. Memoria Press is a publisher of a classical Christian curriculum. Let me break that down.
Memoria Press is Christian.
As they share on their website, their “products are developed from a Christian worldview perspective. [They focus] on Bible literacy, knowledge of church history, and developing a strong faith and Christian consciousness.”
So Memoria Press will help you give your children a great Christian education.
Their curriculum includes studying the Bible and the history of the Christian church. They will also help you teach your child to think critically. That’s an essential skill for every Christian!
Memoria Press is Classical.
The phrase ‘Classical Education‘ can mean different things to different people. Memoria Press clarifies that they mean two things.
First, Memoria Press roots its curriculum in the liberal arts. The liberal arts include grammar, logic, and rhetoric (these three parts are called the Trivium). The liberal arts include arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music (the Quadrivium). If you are interested in a review of what Memoria Press means by the Trivium, you can read Bec’s introduction.
Although Memoria Press emphasizes the liberal arts, it also covers other subjects you would expect to find in any modern curriculum. For example, they include geography, physics, and history.
Second, Memoria Press focuses its curriculum on the Western Tradition. The Western Tradition is based on the ancient cultures of Rome, Greece, and Jerusalem. You can read more about it in this article from Memoria Press.
Memoria Press chooses great books from Western culture for its program. Your child will read and learn from these books as a central part of their education.
Memoria Press is a Curriculum Publisher
As I mentioned, Memoria Press wants to help parents give their children a Christian, classical education.
With that in mind, they have put together a range of resources – lesson plans, literature guides, instructional videos, and more – that will take you from preschool through twelfth grade. I’ll share more about this below.
But, at the moment, if you’re starting to explore homeschooling and you feel overwhelmed by all the options, Bec has a course that will help you enormously. The Homeschool Parenting Program will take you through the many ways to homeschool and help you troubleshoot all those early homeschool issues most parents experience. So check it out here.
What is it like to homeschool with Memoria Press?
Homeschooling with Memoria Press is as simple as opening up the curriculum guide and getting started with their lesson plans.
This set includes:
- A curriculum manual that gives a suggested weekly schedule and 34 weeks of lesson plans
- Hard copies of the books your child will read
- A Latin curriculum that Memoria Press writes
- A math curriculum. (Memoria Press does not write its own math curriculum. In the elementary years, they provide Rod and Staff. In the upper years, they make use of VideoText resources.)
- Several ‘disposable’ resources, such as spelling workbooks
- Many other resources, like nature study or science lessons
Depending on grade level, you will receive other resources. For example, the curriculum set for Kindergarten includes a phonics program.
If you already own many of the books or have a math curriculum, you will find smaller packages and individually priced products so that you only buy what you need. This can be helpful if you have more than one child and only need to replenish workbooks.
Using the Memoria Press Curriculum Manual
For any grade level, you can find a sample of the relevant curriculum manual. This is the best way to get a feel for the curriculum.
They divide each week into five days of lessons. Each day includes a variety of subjects and details of what you will need to cover. They remind you when to access a particular resource (such as a literature guide or a spelling workbook).
The curriculum manual makes homeschool planning a breeze – they have literally done it for you!
Is Memoria Press Only Paper-Based or Offline?
Memoria Press is not just for offline, paper-based homeschoolers.
They also run an online academy and offer a curriculum for charter schools. In the USA, a charter school is an independent school put together by parents or a community group. It is usually publically funded.
Memoria Press Curriculum for Charter Schools
Many homeschool parents have the option of educating their children under the umbrella of a charter school. Sometimes this means they can get funding to put toward their school materials.
While this can be a great help, this money often cannot be used to purchase religious educational materials.
If you are in this position, you should review Memoria Press’ paired-down version of their curriculum. By removing Christian content like prayers and Bible reading, it is eligible for this special funding. You can then purchase the Christian Studies curriculum with your own money. This can make Memoria Press more affordable.
Memoria Press Online Academy
If your child is in third grade or higher, Memoria Press also runs an online academy in partnership with their in-person school. Through the online academy, your child can register for classes that teach classes from the Memoria Press curriculum.
You can see a full list of their offerings here. You’ll find a range of subjects, including math, literature, Latin, and more. If you are looking to take something off your plate as a homeschool teacher, this is a great way to do it.
Is Memoria Press accredited?
While the Memoria Press curriculum does not have accreditation, their Online Academy has accreditation through the Classical Latin School Association. This means that they meet a high standard of academic, philosophical, and educational requirements.
What do I need to buy before I start using Memoria Press?
As I mentioned above, Memoria Press offers a range of curriculum packages.
You can purchase everything you need in a few mouse clicks. Or, if you already own some materials, you can purchase the components individually.
If you look at the full curriculum package for each grade, you’ll see an option to ‘customize’. Then you can add what you need to your cart. It couldn’t be simpler!
You’ll also want a copy of the curriculum guide for each grade you buy. This is your plan for putting your books and other resources into action.
If you are new to Memoria Press, you will also need a new user pack to get started. (Here is an example for second grade.)
Is Memoria Press a Catholic curriculum?
I’ve already mentioned in this review that Memoria Press is a Christian curriculum. But you might wonder whether they are Protestant or Catholic.
The short answer is that Memoria Press is neither Protestant nor Catholic. As one administrator for Memoria Press put it, their curriculum does not teach doctrine.
Instead, they teach the Bible through teaching Bible stories and reading the Bible. The administrator states, “Our goal is that every Christian can use our materials without worrying that they will contradict their beliefs.”
So if you are Roman Catholic, you will find Memoria Press a flexible, supportive resource.
And the same goes if you are a Protestant!
While you may wish to add a relevant catechism or other resources specific to your church, Memoria Press will support you in giving your children a Christian education.
How does Memoria Press compare to other curricula?
Let’s review how Memoria Press stacks up against other homeschool curricula.
Memoria Press vs Sonlight
Sonlight is a Christian, literature-based program. Perhaps the most significant difference between Sonlight and Memoria Press is that Sonlight is not a classical homeschool curriculum.
While they may share many of the same books, Sonlight does not offer Latin.
It also does not emphasize teaching the liberal arts.
You will also notice that Memoria Press and Sonlight offer different enrichment options. In the high school years, Sonlight offers choices like Driver’s Ed and Career Planning.
If you want to learn a bit more about Sonlight, you can find a review here.
Memoria Press vs Classical Conversations
Classical Conversations and Memoria Press are both classical Christian homeschool curricula. But while they share common ground, there are some differences.
First, Classical Conversations provides an in-person community.
At this community meeting, trained instructors will teach your children. At home, you will use the curriculum you purchase to reinforce and build on the learning you do in the weekly meeting.
By contrast, in-person community is not a focus of Memoria Press unless you are involved in a school that uses the curriculum.
Second, these curricula approach the Trivium differently. Classical Conversations sees Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric as three separate stages that depend a lot on a child’s age. For that reason, Classical Conversations is heavy on memorization in early elementary years and lighter on books.
Memoria Press, however, places a high value on teaching the Western tradition through great books. To support this, they schedule a range of excellent books in the elementary years. This lays a foundation for future learning.
You can read more about Classical Conversations in this review of the curriculum.
Memoria Press vs Veritas Press
Veritas Press is another classical homeschooling curriculum. (You can read more in Bec’s review.) It is like Memoria Press. It offers complete curriculum packages for each grade. They include a variety of subjects, and you can purchase individual components if you already have some of the books.
Veritas Press offers more options for modern languages, which may be attractive for some.
However, a big difference is the price point. To compare, a complete fourth-grade curriculum set from Memoria Press costs $649 at the time of writing. A similar package from Veritas Press costs $999 for a basic level program (no lesson plans) and goes up to $1649 for a complete program.
Because that is a big price difference, you will need to compare the programs carefully. You will have to decide what makes sense for your family.
Memoria Press vs Abeka
You might wonder how Memoria Press stacks up against the popular Christian homeschool curriculum Abeka.
Like Bec mentions in her review, Abeka takes a traditional approach to homeschooling. This means that it makes use of workbooks along with testing to make sure that children make progress.
But while Abeka wants to help parents give their kids a Christian education, it is not a classical program. If classical education is important to you, a program like Memoria Press will probably be a better fit.
Using Memoria Press for Preschool and Kindergarten
Many families come to Memoria Press after using other curricula or after their children have spent time in a traditional, brick-and-mortar school. If that’s the case, Memoria Press makes it easy to jump into the middle of its curriculum with its “new user packs.” (Here’s an example.)
But what if you are at the very beginning of your child’s education? You might wonder how to lay a good foundation for classical education in your child’s early years.
You’ll find prayer, singing, and books to read. You will also find lessons for introducing phonics and some simple math lessons.
If you’re interested in how to teach preschool at home, you can check out my review (including Memoria Press) in this post.
What subjects can I teach with Memoria Press?
I mentioned above that Memoria Press provides a broad curriculum.
Memoria’s website lists at least fourteen subject areas to give you an idea!
But what does that include?
Let’s review some of Memoria Press’ featured curricula.
Latin is central to Memoria Press. As they say on their website, “A thorough study of Latin forms the foundation of a classical education.”
Prima Latina is the foundation for the next level, Latina Christiana. This course includes Latin prayers and songs, Latin and English grammar concepts, and videos. The Well-Trained Mind recommends Latina Christiana program, so you can trust that it is a great option.
Latin with Memoria Press doesn’t stop there.
After Latina Christiana, you can purchase up to four forms of Latin instruction. After these four forms, your child will have a solid grasp of Latin grammar and will translate classic texts from Latin into English. Pretty impressive!
Throughout all the programs, Memoria Press offers an add-on to access all instructional videos online (so you can easily turn offline into online lessons).
Plus, they have designed their Latin programs for parents who don’t have a background in Latin. That makes it easy to use.
Spelling and Reading Instruction
How does Memoria Press teach reading and spelling?
Memoria Press has a complete curriculum to teach phonics and spelling. You can browse that curriculum here.
In phonics, Memoria Press first introduces three-letter words with short vowels. This is part of the kindergarten curriculum.
This program also includes phonetic stories and easy-to-read picture books to help your child get a lot of reading practice. You can read more about their approach to reading instruction in their article, “Why First Reading?”
Additionally, Memoria Press provides the Traditional Spelling program as a follow-on to their phonics program. This is in three parts; you can learn about the first part here.
Traditional Spelling continues to teach phonics as children also learn to spell. By introducing definitions and words in context, it also helps children build their vocabulary.
In the end, this is a robust way to teach reading and spelling together.
Memoria Press focuses on teaching children about the Western tradition. The primary way they do this is through history and literature.
Because of this, their literature program assigns excellent books throughout the curriculum.
They don’t throw kids into the deep end, though. They carefully plan their curriculum to give children the best literature for their age. This means that in first grade, children read classics like Make Way for Ducklings and Caps for Sale.
By fourth grade, children read novels like Homer Price alongside fairy tales and The Dangerous Journey, a retelling of Pilgrim’s Progress.
Literature choices become more mature as students get older. In seventh grade, students will enjoy The Hobbit and Anne of Green Gables. By twelfth grade, students will read Shakespeare plays and complex classics like Anna Karenina.
To learn more about their specific curriculum, you can review the Memoria Press page for literature and poetry.
A Word about Literature Guides
You might wonder how to teach literature to your child.
After all, literature is a big part of the Memoria Press curriculum!
To help you out, Memoria Press has written literature guides. You use these guides with the literature selections.
In younger grades, the guides introduce vocabulary and provide comprehension questions. In the older years, these guides help you teach your child to think and read actively by reflecting on and analyzing the reading.
For grades four and up, Memoria Press offers a complete geography curriculum. This is part of their Modern Studies curriculum.
The first level covers the part of the world inhabited by the Ancient Roman Empire. The next level moves to other parts of the world. Both focus on physical geography and the area’s history and culture.
In the third level of Geography, students study each continent. There is a focus on climate, modern history, and culture. The entire curriculum is a great pickup-and-go option.
Many people have concerns about homeschooling science, especially as their kids get older. Because many colleges want kids to have a certain amount of lab science, it is important to get this right.
Memoria Press has an excellent science curriculum. In the elementary years, they begin science instruction by studying nature (mammals, astronomy, birds, insects, and trees). They also teach the history of science.
In the high school years, Memoria Press uses a range of materials, but the key resource is Novare Science from Classical Academic Press.
Your student will work through a variety of science disciplines through a textbook and lab work.
If you are unsure about teaching this subject, Memoria Press offers the chance for your child to take these courses online.
Logic and Rhetoric
Staples of a classical education, Memoria Press provides specific curricula for teaching logic and rhetoric to your child. Their course in logic is for children in seventh grade and up. In high school, you can introduce rhetoric.
These courses include lifetime access to streaming the instructional videos, so they are great value.
Both courses are rigorous. They will challenge your children as they learn these classic disciplines.
Are there any drawbacks to Memoria Press?
As you can see from this review, Memoria Press has a lot going for it. Open-and-go lesson plans. A thoughtful, complete curriculum. A reasonable price-point with lots of ways to customize your curriculum package, so that you only buy what you need.
But that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. Memoria Press does a great job with Latin and Greek, but the only modern foreign language available is French. If learning modern languages is important to you, you may need to supplement with an additional curriculum.
On the plus side, though, a solid background in Latin will make learning many modern languages straightforward.
You will also want to look closely at the curriculum manual, lesson plans, and the layout of their materials. Some parents really like to customize their homeschool. If this is you, you may not find as much value in the curriculum manuals. If that’s the case, you can pick from what Memoria Press offers in order to create your own curriculum.
What support can I find for using this curriculum?
Even if you are the only family in your area using Memoria Press, you don’t have to do it alone.
Memoria Press hosts an active forum for people using their curriculum. You can post questions and get advice from seasoned home educators.
It’s easy and free to join – you just need to register.
Will Memoria Press work for you?
Are you looking for a complete, classical, Christian homeschool curriculum? As I’ve shown in this review, Memoria Press could be a great fit. It is rigorous and carefully structured. They also designed it to be used by parents who didn’t have a classical education themselves. This is great if you want to learn with your children.
And if you want flexibility, you can easily choose parts of their curriculum. (Many people use their excellent Latin program alongside other curricula).
Make your way over to Memoria Press and explore their many options.