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Top Christian Homeschool Curriculum

What Is the Best Christian Homeschooling Curriculum?

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A Christian homeschooling curriculum teaches children the same subjects they would learn at any school, but incorporates Christian values into the learning materials. For example, ancient history courses typically include individuals from the Bible on the historical timeline while more recent history includes information about the lives of people who influenced the Christian movement.

This list will introduce you to five of the best Christian homeschool curricula available, including an explanation of the teaching method, pricing, and where to purchase each program.

1. Tapestry of Grace Christian Homeschool Curriculum

Tapestry-Of-Grace.jpg
Screen Capture: © Lampstand Press
This classic Christian homeschool curriculum for kindergarten through high school provides detailed lesson plans. Tapestry of Grace is a very extensive guided unit study, and parents may need to put in some time choosing which assignments should be completed, since it may not be practical to include all that comes with this program.

Once every four years, students cover the history of the world, complete with biblical events, each time studying at a deeper level. However, students can start the program at any age. The curriculum is literature based, so you'll need to visit the library or buy books, which will add expense to the cost of the curriculum. Tapestry of Grace does not include a math course, but covers all others: history, literature, church history, geography, fine arts, government, writing and composition, and philosophy.

In addition to the homeschool curriculum, Tapestry of Grace sells supplements like writing aids, lap book activities, geography maps, and evaluations with various tests and quizzes.

Pricing and Information
  • $295 for print edition.
  • $170 for digital edition. (You will need to do your own printing, but the program is searchable and receives updates.)
  • Purchasing is on a four year rotation.
  • Visit their website for a free 3-week sample curriculum, free trial of digital version, and a buying guide.
  • Go to Tapestry of Grace.

2. Sonlight Christian Homeschool Curriculum

Sonlight Christian Homeschool Curriculum
Image: © Sonlight Curriculum
Sonlight offers a curriculum for pre-kindergarten through high school. This curriculum is based much more on literature than on text books, with a foundation of historical fiction, novels and biographies. Instructor guides with discussion questions and schedules eliminate lesson planning for the parent, and both four-day and five-day week schedules can be purchased.

To use Sonlight, a core program is chosen based on your children's ages and interests. The program includes history, geography, Bible, read-alouds, readers, and language arts studies, as well as an instructor's guide with the lessons planned out. To complete the curriculum, add a multi-subject package with science, math and handwriting options. Sonlight offers electives as well, such as music, foreign language, computer skills, critical thinking, and more. Because Sonlight's goal is to provide a Christian education while not sheltering students from the realities of the world, the curriculum includes literature for higher grades that contains some violence and discusses various religions, and morality topics.

Sonlight has a money-back guarantee that is good for a full year after purchase. While it is a quality curriculum, it's not a "one size fits all" solution, as discussed in 27 Reasons Not to Buy Sonlight, written by the curriculum co-founder.

Pricing and Information
  • The cost for Sonlight curriculum varies by age group, chosen courses, and other resources added to the core. For example, Core D for ages 8-11 runs $409-$529, plus approximately $90 in additional required resource materials. Add science for $239, math for $120, and handwriting for $21.
  • Core curriculum and multi-subject packages for younger children cost less, while the cost for older children can reach $879.
  • The Sonlight website provides free three-week sample downloads, full curriculum catalog, and guidance for choosing a curriculum.
  • Go to Sonlight.

3. Ambleside Online Free Christian Homeschool Curriculum

Ambleside Online
Image: © Ambleside Online
Ambleside Online is a high quality, free Christian homeschool curriculum that is aligned with the methods Charlotte Mason used, with an emphasis on quality work (versus quantity), narration, copy work and using nature as a basis for many science studies.

The curriculum is organized online by years K-11. At the time this was written, a link was provided for a twelfth year curriculum on another website, but there was no plan formulated for that year listed on Ambleside Online. The website provides a book list and weekly schedule based on a 36-week school year, with daily and weekly lessons. All subjects are covered, like geography, science, Bible studies, history, math, foreign language, literature and poetry, health, life skills, current events, government and more. Some years include tests and quizzes.

Ambleside Online requires parents to do more work acquiring books and materials than other Christian curriculum providers, but it provides a very thorough and well-rounded guide for educating a child at home at a very low cost.

Pricing and Information
  • All Ambleside Online curriculum plans are free.
  • The website includes a special "high school" section as a resource to help families transition to the upper years of education. It is geared for students in seventh grade and older.
  • Be sure to read the site's FAQ before getting started.
  • Go to Ambleside Online.

4. A Beka Book Christian Education Materials

A Beka Book
Image: © A Beka Book
If you prefer a curriculum with colorful workbooks and activities, A Beka is worth investigating, either for a complete curriculum for your homeschooler, or to fill in courses on your lesson plan. A Beka has books and other learning resources to provide a complete Christian homeschool curriculum from nursery school through grade 12, including phonics, hands-on science labs and video learning DVDs.

This curriculum includes tests and quizzes. Individual courses can be purchased, and because A Beka offers a very large selection, their courses work well for filling in a subject or two if you already have a homeschool plan in place.

A Beka can easily cost over $1,000 per academic year if you purchase each item recommended for the year along with the parent kits, which include tests, quizzes, lesson plans, answer keys and other materials depending on the subject. A Beka also sells a curriculum for individual subjects. The Bible study runs nearly $320 for a sixth grader. While it contains learning aids like flash cards, you should be able to find a good Bible study for much less elsewhere.

Pricing and Information
  • As an example of cost, a complete curriculum for sixth grade is $1,253.
  • Lesson plans can be purchased for $15, and are included in parent kits.
  • Go to A Beka Book.

5. Apologia Educational Ministries

Apologia Educational Ministries
Image: © Apologia Educational Ministries
Apologia Science teaches science in the context of God's creation, and is designed for the student to work independently with step-by-step instructions that are written in a conversational tone. This Christian homeschool curriculum is available for students in seventh through twelfth grade. Apologia Science courses include astronomy, botany, biology, chemistry, physics, marine biology and more.

Courses come with a student text and a solutions and test manual. There is helpful information for parents at the beginning of each course and an answer key is provided for tests. A multimedia DVD is available as an option to complement some of the curriculum. Each course has 16 modules, so if students work through one module every two weeks, courses can be completed in 32 weeks. There are no lesson plans published for Apologia Science classes that allow students to learn at their own pace, but parents can easily come up with their own plans by using the "one module every two weeks" setup.

Lab experiments are not necessary to complete the curriculum, but make studies more interesting. Students who learn best by doing will benefit from labs, and college bound students will likely need lab credits on their high school transcript. Labs can be done with household items, or you can buy lab kits.

The Apologia Science website includes course sequencing information. As a prerequisite, students must grasp a certain level of math for each science course. Some courses could be spread over four years for the non-science oriented student.

Pricing and Information
  • General science for middle school is $85, plus $19 for a multimedia DVD. The entire course is available on DVD for $65. An elementary grade curriculum is priced lower.
  • Lab equipment costs vary depending on what you buy. The advanced chemistry in creation lab set costs $68. A biology dissection kit is $55 and three specimens (frog, crawfish and fish) is $24. A complete slide set for use with microscope is $88.
  • A free question and answer service helps parents if students are having trouble with course content.
  • Go to Apologia.

Shelley Elmblad, a freelance writer and About.com Guide to Financial Software, has also worked in various capacities of Christian ministry. As a parent, her goal is to teach her daughter how to stay connected to her faith in today's world of conflicting values. Knowing the challenges of Christian parenting, Shelley hopes to share some of her experience with other parents who want to raise their children according to biblical principles. For more information, visit Shelley's bio page.

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