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?
- What is a classical homeschooling curriculum
- Reasons you might choose this method
- Five classical curricula for homeschools:
- Memoria Press – great if you prefer a mailable 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!
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What is a Classical Homeschooling Curriculum?
A program like this will teach students in three stages:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
Grades It Offers
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.
What CC Say About Themselves
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:
- 4 to 8 start in the Foundations course, the Grammar stage of classical education. Foundations cost approximately $14 per week for 24 weeks, plus $145 plus an application fee (not including a faculty and supply fee). See the link for extra information on cost. You also have the option of purchasing the workbook link on Amazon for Foundations.
- 9 to 12 do the Essentials course, the Dialectic stage. Essentials cost approximately $14 per week for 24 weeks, plus $145 plus an application fee (not including a faculty and supply fee). See the link for extra information on cost.
- 12+ do the Challenge course, which is the Rhetoric stage. Challenge costs approximately $1,375 each year for 30 weeks, plus $125 plus an application fee (not including faulty and lab fees). See the link for extra information on cost.
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.
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 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:
- choose the grade your child is in,
- choose what you (and your children) want to study (customize the curriculum) and,
- place your order, and you’ll get a boxed classical education curriculum in the mail!
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.
Classical Education Curriculum for Free?
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.)…
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
What About Other Curriculum Options?
- Charlotte Mason curriculum
- Free Homeschool Programs
- Kindergarten homeschool curriculum
- High School Curriculum
- Christian curriculum
- Other popular curricula
- Cheap/inexpensive homeschool curriculum
- Unit Studies programs
- Traditional/School at home curriculum
- Family-style home education programs