Frequently Asked Questions
Why are you starting with grades 9-12? What do you recommend for the lower grades?
Why start with high school?
It’s a future goal for us to add grades K – 8. But, we are initially targeting grades 9 – 12, because in our opinion, homeschooling parents and students usually need the most help at the high school level. This is when struggling parents need the most help (and let’s face it: this generally comes down to struggling mothers, who often, but not always, bear the brunt of the daily grind of homeschooling). Several factors work together to make life more challenging as the student approaches the high school grades:
- The material becomes more detailed and demanding. Mothers begin to lose confidence that they themselves understand all the concepts: e.g. Algebra, Latin, Chemistry, Physics, or even higher Religion topics such as Church History, Sacred Scripture – things Mother herself may never have read or studied.
- Because of this, both the quantity and the difficulty of the student’s written coursework increases. This means more, and harder, corrections – which in turn means Mother becomes even more stressed. The student (whether he admits it or not) begins to lose that inner sense of security.
- On a moral and formative level, it is around the age of 13 that strengths and weakness in the character really begin to show. For example, children may not have been taught enough discipline from the beginning (they start getting confident and “doing their own thing”, especially as they see Mother losing control.)
Then what do you recommend for the lower grades?
- Spelling: “The Writing Road to Reading” (very phonics-based)
- Reading: Catholic National Readers (Be careful with this series because there is a lot of liberalism and Americanism – we had to skip many stories across the volumes, but otherwise the books are written at a good, high level of reading comprehension) https://www.
Dictation: Emma Serl’s Language Lesson series (“Primary Language Lessons”, “Intermediate Language Lessons”)
- Grammar: Warriners Grammar series (these are secular book, but well done). Instead of the upper grade levels of this series (past level 9, use our Traditional Catholic grammar instead).
- Arithmetic: Saad Math level 1 – 12 https://www.rainbowresource.
com/category/2208/ Developmental-Math.html Skip his books beyond that and use our Traditional Catholic math series instead.
- Baltimore Catechism Levels 1 – 2
- Bible History: Schuster
- “Living My Religion” series (good; based on Baltimore Catechism): https://omnichristianbookclub.
- History: We urge you to avoid American history like the plague at the lower grades; we doubt you will find any books out there without serious Americanism and many other liberal problems. What you might consider is purchasing our U.S. history book (for high school) and going through it with your younger ones, leaving out some mature topics (e.g., the sexual revolution in the 1960s, etc.) Otherwise, with our children, we used:
- Accounts of the Greeks and Romans.
- For world history, we used “Old World’s Gifts to the New” (Sister Mary Celeste) ( definitely has Americanism; it is hard to escape)
- “Old World and America” (Fr. Philip Furlong) (definitely has Americanism; it is hard to escape)
We hope this gives you something to go on. Please pray for us as we develop an entire K-8 Traditional Catholic curriculum! May God guide you to find the very best materials for your children!
What is your view on Catholic education, in general?
Are you accredited?
Please see our separate article on this subject.
How much does your service cost, including books, etc.?
What is your refund policy?
Do you give referral bonuses?
Yes! We are most grateful when happy customers tell others about our services. Learn more about our referral program.
Submitting the coursework
I do not have a scanner. What should I do?
Currently there is only one way for the student to complete the coursework, and that is via the traditional method of paper and pencil. The parent or student can then either scan and submit those pages, or mail the papers to us in the U.S. mail.
If you do not have a scanner, they are inexpensive these days and also serve as printers and copiers! You can purchase one starting around $100 U.S. If money may be tight, please consider the huge amount of time and frustration you will save by using our grading system. Our course costs are also very reasonable compared to other homeschooling services. Please consider using some of that savings to offset a purchase of an all-in-one unit.
Please see our buying recommendations Q&A entry which contains quick search links for major electronics websites.
What kind of scanner / all-in-one machine should I get?
First, let us make a recommendation to NOT purchase a standalone scanner (a machine which can only do scanning). We strongly recommend a multi-function unit (which can print / copy / scan / fax). These are usually called “all-in-one printers”. Not only are these, for some reason, often cheaper than standalone scanners, but they offer so much more.
As far as particular model recommendations, it is difficult because the models change so quickly. But simply using our quick search links below, which cover most major retail outlets on the internet, should yield the latest models, with many affordable options. You may be able to get one for $100 or even less. But please keep these points in mind when purchasing:
- We highly recommend purchasing a unit which has an input tray (also called a “sheet-feeder” or “automatic document feeder”) which can pull in and scan a whole stack of papers, not just one at a time. Some models lack this critical feature and just offer a plate of glass. Without a feeder, FOR EACH PAGE one would have to lift the cover, place one side of the page down on the glass plate, run the scan, flip the page over, scan that side. This would become very tiring, very quickly.
- Make sure the scanner has “full duplex” capabilities. This means it can scan both sides of the paper as it pulls the sheet in (our exercise manuals are printed on both sides). Some scanners can only scan one side at a time, which, after pulling in and scanning a whole stack of pages, but then require you to flip the whole stack over afterwards and do the other side. Not a big deal, but please consider a full-duplex scanner.
- Remember, if you already have a printer you are happy with, then you need not worry so much about the printing capabilities of whatever multi-function machine you are buying. After all, you could just consider it as a scanner (which happens to also be a backup printer should you ever need it).
- Almost every modern scanner out there has the following features, but just in case you find a good deal on Ebay or Craigslist or something: make sure it can scan at least 300 dpi resolution and in COLOR. Black and white scans will not work for some of our courses (especially math and science).
Quick search purchase links for all-in-one printers (printer / copier / scanner)
The following links should do a search of common electronics websites. Give us a call if you still cannot find an affordable all-in-one unit after checking these links.
- Ebay.com quick search link
- Amazon.com quick search link
- BestBuy.com quick search link
- Walmart.com quick search link (sift these results carefully because Walmart’s search does not let us specify full duplex, etc.)
- Frys.com quick search link