I’ve bought curriculum from a few places over the years, but I think my favourite resources have come from Classical Academic Press. The children love the stuff and they are genuinely learning from it. I think the prices are pretty reasonable. They have become shockingly expensive for us recently thanks to the obvious drive of our lovely Govt who want to rake in money so have started slapping huge VAT and handling fees on parcels from abroad. I wasn’t very impressed as it has doubled the price of the resources for us. I’ve recently learned that educational items are supposed to be exempt, but tax collectors are the same now as they have always been.
In light of this I emailed CAP asking if there was any hope that in future there could be downloadable pdf or some other way of circumventing the tax man. They emailed me back straight away and were really helpful showing great willingness to do something along these lines.
They have started Thinker’s Cap Academy which is embryonic at the moment but if they are planning to add lots more courses then this is definitely going to be of great use to us.
They offer a lot of good free resources as well which means you are getting even better value for money. I’ve listened to some of the audio seminars which have been useful to get an insight into the philosophical underpinning of their approach to Classical Education. There are a couple of things Dr Perrin says that make me trust I am getting a good product; first of all he quotes dear ol’ G.K. Chesterton so that puts him in my good books and secondly he stocks a CD of Dorothy Sayers The Lost Tools of Learning
There’s also HEADVENTURE LAND which the children love. This is a great free resource with videos and games to help revise or are simply a break from the usual course books.
They have also launched Plum Tree Books with a plan to make them bilingual English-Spanish and English-Latin. Hopefully they plan some English-Greek as well.
So far I have bought Latin, Spanish and Greek resources. They were well written with DVD lessons aimed at the children so we can watch them together and learn together. There are games and just a generally fun approach that doesn’t talk down at the children, but isn’t all stiff and dry or “beige”. I have to say that having children who are enjoying what they are learning makes a home ed mother’s life much, much easier.
In Latin there is the choice of Classical or Ecclesiastical pronunciation. We’ve chosen to go with the Ecclesiastical because it fits with Church stuff.
This Classical Educator site has more resources to help remind us why we are doing this.
I haven’t bought the God Great Covenant books (yet). We have enough resources for Scripture, Catechism, Sacraments and Saints study. Avila is having a go with the free pdf first chapters and then I might consider it again.
One other note, while I’m considering God’s Great Cov. The illustrations are pretty good. There’s not a whole lot of them, which I personally prefer and they aren’t all sugary-sloppy. I just can’t stand cutsie-wootsie pictures in religious ed. When I worked with autistic children they always went for the realistic illustrations or the Eastern Rite iconographical approach over the cutsie-cartoon and I think those kind of pictures are much better especially for visual learners. (Seton homeschool materials are very good for this sticking to fine art and well done stained glass windows). If you have children on the spectrum or who are visual learners this might be worth knowing about the CAP resources.
I’d really like a good child friendly early Church Fathers resource…but I digress.
One other thing to note for anyone out there who is a chronically ill parent home educating. As all these resources come with DVD and CD support you can sit there in crash, voiceless, breathless and blue and it won’t matter a bit because Dr. Perrin and his team will teach them. Just get yourself a cuppa and wheeze quietly in the corner. All will be well.
I have written this review simply because I think Classical Academic Press are very good at what they do and because my children (aged 10, 8 and 6) enjoy learning with their stuff.