A Review of Catholic Heritage Curricula
(by Paula Rutherford )
Catholic Heritage Curricula (CHC) offers complete lesson plans for
Preschool/Kindergarten through fourth grade, a detailed lesson plan
guide for middle school (fifth through eighth grades), and the
flexible "High School of Your Dreams" program designed to fit the
needs of your high school student, regardless of whether they plan on
going to college or enter a trade upon graduation.
For the last two years I have used a secular program which provided
easy-to-use lesson plans online, an award-winning phonics program,
and a curriculum developed by the top minds in the education field
. All I had to do was connect to the Internet, see what lessons were
next, read the directions to the children and give them the
appropriate worksheets. All the materials I needed, including the
loan of a computer and printer, books & art supplies were provided to
me free of charge and sent directly to my home.
This fall I plan on using CHC for my preschool, first grade & second
grade children. Why would I switch, especially when the materials
were provided to me free of charge by the secular program?
First and foremost, I am switching because CHC integrates our Faith
into the whole day, so I can pass the Faith on to my children instead
of adding it on as an afterthought if there's time, or trying to
explain why certain historical events involving the Church show the
Church in a bad light in the recommended text books. With CHC, I do
not have to worry that a book on the suggested reading list is going
to be harmful to my children's developing moral sense.
CHCs lesson plans are laid out in a one week per two-page
spread. All lessons are already written out for me, plus there is
room to add my own notes.Each week's lessons are designed to be
completed in four days, so there's an "extra" day in your week for
such things as going to the library, running errands, attending Mass,
extra-curricular activities, and to break up the week and keep burnout at bay.
I especially like the First Communion preparation program in the
second grade lesson plans, designed to be used in addition to the
second grade book in the Faith & Life Series from Ignatius Press or
another program of your choice. The topics include "Holy Manners,"
"The Saints," "Prayer," "Reconciliation," "Holy Mass," and "Preparing
Our Hearts to Receive Jesus" and can be taught in any order to
coincide with your child's reception of the Sacraments.
I also like that resources for my own spiritual refreshment are
included in CHC, not just academics. I think that CHC's emphasis on
developing specific virtues will help me at least as much as it will
the children. I also believe that using CHC will make it easier for
me to teach several children at different levels at the same time - a
MUST for this family with 6 children under the age of 8!