Catholic Homeschool Review

Copyright 2000. All Rights Reserved. Keeping It Catholic


Keeping It Catholic's Review Rating Scale

The Keeping It Catholic (KIC) Kiss Award is our highest rating. A limited amount of Catholic companies receive this award. Please give them your support whenever you can so they can continue providing you with high quality Catholic materials.


KIC KISS Rating Criteria For Catholic Companies and Homeschool Catalogs

Catholic companies are reviewed with the following criteria:

-The company carries a predominantly Catholic inventory and is very selective when choosing secular or nondenominational materials (that is, the materials themselves may not oppose Church teaching).

- Nothing in their inventory includes any educational texts considered objectionable. Those areas considered objectional include, but are not limited to, chastity programs that have been found to be cloaked sex education programs, apparitions not approved by the Church, history texts that support schism or apostasy, etc.

-Level of service review includes courtesy, response time in receiving an order, taking care of problems, etc.


KIC KISS Rating Criteria for Catholic Home Study Programs

The KISS is given to those Catholic programs that earned an over-all high composite score. These scores were tallied by homeschoolers who actually used the program. We could not judge solely on the use of Catholic texts. For various reasons, there is not one Catholic program that carries an inventory of completely Catholic materials. In this area, however, some Catholic homeschool programs are better than others.

One reason is that Catholic books are simply not available for certain subjects at every grade level (science and math are just two examples).

Another reason is directly connected to the philosophy, method and approach of the actual program. For example, Kolbe promotes what they call the "Ignatian" classical method, which includes a reading list spanning from pagan philosophers to Greek mythology to encyclicals of the Church, etc.; Mother of Divine Grass promotes a classical approach according to Laura Berquist's interpretation of Dorothy Sayers' essay The Lost Tools of Learning; Seton, Our Lady of the Rosary and Our Lady of Victory offer what one might call a classic, traditional Catholic education but they also vary in subtle ways.

Taking the differences cited above (as well as others) into account, KIC developed the following criteria when reviewing any of the Catholic home study programs:


-The program makes every effort to include a majority of Catholic educational materials at each grade level.

- In those instances where a "Christian" or secular text is included in the curriculum because no Catholic resource is available, accompanying lesson plans must be clear and concise in pointing out and refuting any errors (i.e., doctrinal, historical, etc.), present the Catholic teaching, etc.

-Service is rated by courtesy, turn-around time (from ordering books, to returns of tests and quarter forms, etc.), and more. Since the approach or services of the various Catholic homeschooling programs differ (like grading and testing), rating scales were adjusted accordingly.


Rating Criteria for Individual Materials (books, games, etc)

The KIC KISS is only given to Catholic materials that were found to be both outstanding and do not denigrate or dilute Catholic truths.


Rating Symbol for Catholic Owned Companies

+ The "plus" symbol indicates Catholic-owned companies or magazines. Their inventory is usually (but not always) predominantly Catholic, or they offer other resources that, while not specifically Catholic, do not offend Catholic sensibilities.

However, please note there are cases where Catholic companies carry materials that are problematic in some way. Every effort has been made to include specific information, either pro or con, about the inventory of the Catholic companies. However, it not possible to review each and every title, record, video, etc. carried by every company; in most cases, a quick referral to the "Pit List - Check Points, Pot Holes and Warning Flags" when perusing catalogs or websites will help Catholic parents in their discernment.



Nondenominational or Secular Resources

~ The "tilde" symbol signifies either non-denominational or secular companies. Since growing number of Catholic families utilize them, it became clear they also should be reviewed within the light of Church teaching. We have not included all such companies, only those that are more popular. It remains our intention to encourage families to "Keep It Catholic" and purchase educational materials solely or largely from Catholic companies, especially in areas of religion, Bible, history and literature. When all else fails, prudence (and the "Pit List") should help.



- Those companies known to be anti - Catholic in their ideology and/or materials are noted with the minus ( - ) sign. (At this time, we have none listed on this page. Please see the Keeping It Catholic Pit List and Warning Flags Page.)


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