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Seton Home Study vs other full Catholic curriculums

Seton Home Study vs other full Catholic curriculums

I thought I wanted to go with Seton Home Study for DS (will be 6th grade next year). I received the packet in the mail, showed it to DH and discussed it, and we were both impressed. Now, I'm not sure about it, after reading some of the old threads here. I'm mostly concerned with a couple of issues:

1. How strictly Catholic it is...meaning, I read two reviews (not by individuals, but rather from sites) that said that the amount of Catholic material is so heavy (particularly in the science and English textbooks) that it sort of "overpowered" the academic lessons themselves. Is there a Catholic curriculum that isn't so much like this? I would definitely welcome studies in the Catholic faith, but would appreciate a little less Catholicism, if that makes sense!

2. How rigorous it is. DS would FOR SURE benefit from the structure of a program like Seton, just as I would be ecstatic about having all the recordkeeping and grading done by them! However, DS has always been behind in school, it naturally takes him a bit longer to catch on to things, and I just don't want to him to be forced to spend an entire day doing school. We are currently in a routine that has him doing school for approximately 4 hours per day. I'm looking for a way to make homeschooling easier next year, not take longer.

Are there any other Catholic programs like Seton that aren't so rigorous, but afford the same good-quality education? Something that is a little less Catholic but still provides a good study of the Catholic faith?

This post was edited on Jan 15, 2009 01:49 AM

re: Seton Home Study

Bumping for the night owls!

re: Seton Home Study vs other full Catholic curriculums

Sorry, I can't help you because I have these EXACT questions! Thanks for posting this....maybe someone out there can help us?

-L

re: Seton Home Study vs other full Catholic curriculums

Well, I have used Seton in the past, as ya'll know. I loved the Catholicity of it. Totally loved that aspect of it and never had any problem with it. Neither did the kids. It was more a conflict of learning/teaching styles that I struggled with. (Oh, and we did full enrollment but we did not do tests. I simply didn't need the transcript for elementary/middle school years.)

It's the rigorous, march-through-this-pile-of-textbooks nature of it that didn't work for us. We're back to the unit study method, which is always my favorite. (Why the back and forth? Based on what season of life I'm in -- as a single mom, there have been times with work & college that I simply couldn't do a unit study. Right now, I can.)

I will say that all the Catholic programs are, in my opinion, quite rigorous. Seton and Our Lady of Victory School are rigorous in the scholastic tradition; others, such as Mother of Divine Grace, St. Thomas Aquinas, Kolbe Academy, Regina Coeli, and Angelicum, are rigorous in a classical tradition. I eliminated them straight away, because that just isn't us. That left Seton and OLVS as serious contenders. I much preferred Seton after reviewing a friend's OLVS books and plans. Seton is current, the lesson plans are new each year, you have online elements, and so on.

My other favorite is not a full service provider at your son's level. That would be Catholic Heritage Curricula. We have used much of their materials over the years. But I believe their daily lesson plans only go through 4th? After that, you have an outline of plans and it is up to you to schedule your days. I do love most of the materials they suggest for middle school and high school. My kids are using some of their language arts suggestions and their religion program right now along with their unit studies. While they don't do grading/transcripts they do recommend you look at NARHS or Clonlara for this if you need.

Another option for you might be to enroll him in a couple Seton courses now, such as next year's English and Religion. This would give you a few months of really using the materials to get a feel for it, and then you could make a decision in the fall in time to get your new materials.

Oh, and there is a Yahoo group for Seton users called HeartofSeton. If you aren't signed up for it yet, I highly recommend it. Years and years worth of archives for you to pour through.
Jen

re: Seton Home Study vs other full Catholic curriculums

JennyMaine gave great insight. I currently use Seton (grade 5) and have since grade two. Here are my thoughts in repsonse to your questions...

How strictly Catholic it is...VERY is the answer to this. I have no problem with it. My thought is that, especially in middle school, the more their minds turn back to their faith the better! lol My son likes it. I like it. It is MORE catholic than the curr. my two enrolled in our local Catholic school use. But, I do not think it is overwhelming.

2. How rigorous it is? Well...it is STRUCTURED and totally laid out for you. It is indeed a full school day, if you build in breaks for school and chores. The rigour is in the amount of work expected for some courses. However, for the core classes the rigour is the content (English, Reading, Religion are tough courses and your child WILL learn). Remember, and Seton will tell you this, you do not need to do everything they assign. If it is too much, cut back a subject or two or cut out some work here and there.

My son who uses it is not a top notch student. We go at a slower pace: We take two weeks (rather than one) to take end of quarter exams and I let him use his text for the Religion exam, as it is too hard for him otherwise. I do send in all work for grading and the feedback helps him greatly. I let him take exams again if he needs to. We barely do their art, music and pe and that cuts time. For this son, the consistency, CLEAR direction, feedback and Catholic, textbook based content are perfect for him.

This is NOT a hands on, artsy type of curr. at all. It is an Old Fashioned Catholic School education...and it is tough stuff. I would consider enrolling at least for English, Reading and Religion and see how you feel. Even just the reading class would give you a sense of what it is like. It works perfectly for us, for this son...but my other two would not enjoy it as much.

HTH--
Anne

re: Seton Home Study vs other full Catholic curriculums

Okay thank you so much for your great reviews! DS is already using the Religion course this year, and he has been doing well with it, though it requires much one-on-one with me to make sure he's grasping what he's reading. I discussed these issues with DH, and he is not as concerned as I am. In fact, I'm quite surprised (and really excited) that he is so on board with this program. He thinks it's just what DS needs. So, it's #1 on our list right now. DS told me he'd like me to research it more, looking for more current reviews, if I can find any. Your reviews here in this thread are great for him to hear! Thanks, again!

re: Seton Home Study vs other full Catholic curriculums

Wanted to add that my dh would probably not be nearly as pro-hs for ds but for Seton. He is all for accountability, rigour, work ethic and a strong foundation. I think he would worry that I would be to slack with him...especially with day in and day out work. Seton give a PLAN and ds knows what must be done and does it. This make school, in dh's eyes, important.

Also, DH really wants ds to have transcripts and later a high school diploma by an accredited school, not just by me. Maybe it is a guy thing...external evaluation and working to meet deadlines and goals. DH is not overly involved with our hs, but does like to know that I am not just grabbing and reading stuff to ds and trying to figure it all out, but that I have the huge help of Seton (and frankly, I whine less about hs because Seton does so much of the work for me!).

Anne

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