Catholic Schoolhouse Blog Tour 3
Catholic Schoolhouse (CSH) is a supplemental classical curriculum for homeschooling families. Families join either an organized chapter with paid tutors or work on their own at home.
The program consists of a Tour Guide which presents weekly memorization verses in the subjects of religion, history, geography, classical languages, math and music. It also includes history cards which are taught in relation to the historical timeline.
1. Read Green Eggs and Ham
Catholic Schoolhouse is a homeschool curriculum that is similar to Classical Conversations but in a Catholic context. It aims to unify your family by teaching all the children at the same time. Classical elements are presented to grammar stage students resulting in a cohesive academic program that complements other materials such as Art and Science.
The Catholic Schoolhouse curriculum incorporates memory work using History Cards. These flashcards have an image on one side and a name, date and additional information on the other. The Year 1 set of 105 cards covers United States history – five new cards are taught each week.
The hands-on Science Program offers a discovery based experience with step-by-step instructions for experiments, projects and demonstrations. It can be used as a supplemental curriculum for all ages or in co-ops with your CSH Chapter.
2. Listen to Handel’s Watermusic
Catholic Schoolhouse provides guides, audio, video and printables to assist families and chapters with classical memory work. This program focuses on a three-year curriculum cycle that allows children to study the same topics at all ages creating family unity. The program includes subject areas like religion, history, science, geography, literature and math as well as classical languages, art and music.
Each year a CD is produced with the memory information set to music. These are available in the store and follow the presentation in the Tour Guide exactly including a song for each saint and history card.
The songs are catchy and the history cards help students recall important events. You can also listen to the entire oratorio on youtube and have your students make lists of all the things they notice about the piece like tempo, instruments etc. This is a great way to practice comparing and contrasting. You could even try doing it with Messiah and Watermusic to compare how they are similar and different.
3. Talk About the Council of Trent
Few ecumenical councils have left as much of an impact on the Catholic Church as did the Council of Trent. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that the bishops at the council did not make any sweeping changes to the faith as it had been traditionally understood and taught. Instead, their top priority was to defend clearly Catholic beliefs that had been attacked by Protestants, including the belief that Christ instituted seven sacraments; that justification is achieved by grace and good works; that the Catechism is the authoritative teaching on transubstantiation; and that purgatory exists.
Perhaps the most infamous myth associated with the council is that it acknowledged that women have souls. This was a question posed at the Synod of Macon, and it has been widely misinterpreted over the years as an official discussion by the bishops at Trent. The fact is that the council affirmed that “men” includes women, but that was not the topic of debate at the Trent council.
4. Read the Catechism
Catholic Schoolhouse is an umbrella program that incorporates a classical curriculum with faith and family-centered activities. Families can join a local chapter (with paid tutors) or use the materials independently at home.
A Catholic perspective is evident throughout the program, especially in the history and geography courses. For example, students learn about Saints in the United States History course and events connected to Catholicism are included that might not be found in Protestant resources. Art courses present projects, art history and skills from a Catholic perspective.
To reinforce the memory work, a free app allows parents to play songs for each week’s group of cards. The app also helps track a child’s progress and provides a list of additional resources for each subject area. For example, the year one course on American Art includes a link to a video that gives a brief bio and shows many works by artists like Leonardo DaVinci and Rembrandt.