When I knew I wanted to go in a new direction for my homeschool this year, and set off on my search for classical homeschool curriculum that would fit my needs, my family, and our academic goals – I had no idea how challenging a task that really would become. I knew I wanted something simple, easy for us to use, but still with some academic depth and richness. I decided to look at Memoria Press’ new line of products for Charter and Public Schools – and I instantly knew this was going to be precisely what I need. I also knew that I just had to share these new products with you all. If you’re looking for a classical homeschool curriculum to fit any family’s needs – this is it!
(Disclaimer: Some of the products in this post have been offered to me in exchange for an honest review of my experiences. All opinions in this post are my own.)
Why My Family Chose Memoria Press Charter and Public School
My goal for this particular school year was to use resources that would keep our homeschool running smoothly, continue moving forward, and focusing on getting into some good habits both academically and otherwise. When I realized my original plans were not going to work, I made the decision to change our trajectory a little. I knew I wanted to move towards a homeschool style that was inspired by the Latin Centered Curriculum, and went looking for ways to do this in a secular-friendly way. That search proved to be much more difficult than I anticipated. I saw a real gap in the curriculum/resource market for classical homeschool curriculum for secular/non-religious homeschoolers.
When I saw the new line of Memoria Press Charter and Public School Edition resources, I knew this was going to be just what I needed. I was, also, a little skeptical. I tend to side-eye religious publishers who start selling to the secular homeschool community. I questioned whether I wanted to support Memoria Press, or do the work of DIY’ing all of these subjects myself. For a few months, I hummed and hawed and I was conflicted.
Ultimately, I came to see that there is really nothing comparable to Memoria Press’ classical homeschool curriculum. Some publishers are starting to release non-religious resources but there is nothing that is as complete, as cohesive, as Memoria Press’ resources.
The Memoria Press Approach to Classical Education
In creating both their original line of products and the new Charter & Public School Edition materials, Memoria Press strives to craft classical homeschool curriculum that encompasses three core values:
In my experience with this new line of resources, as well as some of their main Memoria Press products I’ve used in the past, Memoria Press has absolutely hit all three of those values. I have been stunned by not only how easy to use their products are, for both student and teacher, but also the depth and richness of their resources. At first glance, their classical homeschool curriculum resources can look intimidating, dry, hard to use. I wrote their curriculum off, in the past, as drudgery and busy-work.
I was very wrong. Every set of memorization activities, every short answer question, and every page of their student books all work to allow our students to dig deep and really internalize the truth, beauty, and goodness in these subjects.
In terms of affordability, I know that at first glance their products might give a person sticker shock. However, a few things worth noting: first, you can contact Memoria Press’ customer service via phone or email and request a package put together that is basically a custom fit for your family’s needs and levels. Package deals are a little less costly than buying each individual piece at a time. Second thing to note is that every product Memoria Press has created is done with care and with high quality in mind. You can’t find anything quite like this anywhere else on the market.
As a Canadian myself, I know that the costs can add up quickly when you factor in shipping etc. I placed a couple of orders from the Charter and Public School Edition line, and the minute these books arrived in my hands I knew they were worth every nickel I paid for them.
How I Chose Our Curriculum
Since we’re very new to this approach to learning, the decision making process was a little challenging for me. I wanted to make sure that they were being challenged at their individual levels, but also that they got in some necessary background studies that would help them continue on from there. I fell in love with the “all in one box”ness of their full grade-level core curriculum packages, but they were not (yet!) available for the new Charter School line of products.
I emailed Memoria Press to inquire whether I could order a full grade level package and substitute with Charter editions wherever possible. Their answer was a definite yes – in fact, one of the coolest aspects of purchasing from Memoria Press is their willingness to substitute any of the items in the core level packages to best suit your students and family. While we’re on the subject of customer service, in my experience so far – the customer service at Memoria Press is second to NONE. They will go above and beyond, answer any question, and even help you customize your curriculum packages piece by piece. Seriously, they’re the BEST.
I printed off a list of everything included in their regular core packages, and went through the list item by item to see if they would fit our needs, or if we would not use them. This was a bit of a tedious task, and I’m sure the amazing customer service reps at Memoria Press could have done this for me much more quickly.
Our Memoria Press Curriculum Choices
Ultimately, we decided that since we’re starting this approach a little late into the school year, we would hand-pick individual items and implement those slowly this year. I wanted to give both kids a chance to adjust to this type of classical homeschool curriculum, and I wanted to really solidify my own comfort with teaching from these products.
I started with an initial order of things we needed to get started on right away, then another small order. Then when I realized I was falling head over heels for their products, and feeling “all in” with Memoria Press, I connected with them and received a third order in exchange for a dedicated review of their products. I now have mostly everything I’d need for each of them to have a pretty well rounded year – stacked full of Memoria Press’ classical homeschool curriculum.
5th Grade Classical Homeschool Curriculum Choices From Memoria Press:
- Grammar School Latin + Games & Puzzle Book
- Grammar School Latin Wall Charts
- First Men of Rome Set
- Ancient Civilizations Map Set
- Book of Trees Set
- Heidi Literature Study Set
- The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe Literature Set
- Poetry For The Grammar Stage
- First Start French
7th Grade Classical Homeschool Curriculum Choices From Memoria Press:
- First Form Latin Set
- First Form Latin Wall Charts
- Online streaming access to video instruction for First Form Latin (on the main Memoria Press site, these video lessons are not yet available to perfectly match the Charter School line)
- Book of Ancient Greeks + The Iliad +The Odyssey sets
- Ancient Civilizations Wall Map Set
- Book of Insects Set
- Poetry for the Grammar Stage
- First Start French
- Traditional Logic 1
- Streaming Online Access to video Instruction for Traditional Logic 1 (this is via the main Memoria Press site, not the Charter site)
- Classical Composition: Fable & Narrative (using accelerated lesson plan)
- Streaming Online Access to video Instruction for Classical Composition Fable & Narrative (this is via the main Memoria Press site, not the Charter site)
In addition to the curriculum resources I’ve chosen, I was also able to purchase downloadable lesson plans for most subjects. I’ve printed those, placed them in a binder, and instead of agonizing about writing out lesson plans each week, we just know what subjects are when – and we open the lesson plans and pick up where we left off. It’s so simple, so easy to implement, and leaves me feeling the most relaxed I’ve been all year!
Classical Homeschool Curriculum for All
Memoria Press saw a gap in the classical homeschool curriculum market, and they stepped in and filled it. There are families who rely on Charter school funds who were not able to purchase Memoria Press products before. There are publicly funded schools who could not use these products before now. And, there are those of us who homeschool who are not Christian who also were searching for classical homeschool curriculum and were having to edit, ‘secularize’, or DIY our resources.
Now, we truly have the ability to give our children a traditional, thorough, classical homeschool curriculum that anyone can use. Any child, regardless of their family’s unique situations, can access an education that offers them truth, goodness, and beauty, in a well-created complete curriculum.
My children and I have been so happy with what we’ve used so far, and we can’t wait to finish rolling in our other subjects after the winter holidays. We’re coming to this late, but I’ve been able to hand-select products that will round out my children’s school years and prepare us for a full Memoria Press core curriculum next year. I am deeply grateful to have found this new Charter and Public School line of products when I did, and my homeschool is so much the better for it.
Are you looking for a great place to hang out and chat with other classical homeschoolers? One of my home away from home groups on Facebook is Secular Inclusive Classical Teachers – a welcoming group born from a desire to have an inclusive place to gather and chat about curriculum, homeschooling, and everything in between.
Stay tuned to the blog for more progress posts as we dig in to our full lineup of Memoria Press products! Next up, planning when you’re new to classical education.