Children’s Catholic history on the cheap

Protestants are so lucky! There is so much traditional protestant homeschooling material available. Much of it free to download. Browse Project Gutenberg and you will find a wealth of children’s bible stories and moral tales from a nineteenth century Church of England perspective. There is Ambleside Online providing a whole Charlotte Mason inspired curriculum for both English and US history all based on books available for free. Mater Amabilis is the Catholic equivalent, but they rely on bought books. You just can’t get the same range of books for every occasion for the Catholic view of history for free.

This morning I was delighted to find that things are changing. RC History has a chronological list of saints taken from a popular book of saints by the Daughters of Saint Paul. Using this list you can turn the devotional book into a Catholic supplement to world history. You can read the chapters online at the J Club. Amazingly they also have chapters out of their longer lives of the saints. Maybe not as convenient as a Project Gutenberg book which you can download and read offline, but its good stuff – favourable reviews on Love 2 Learn – and it’s Free!

For more on teaching Catholic history for homeschoolers you can join
The History Place at Yahoo Groups.

Now on a patriotic note. What about Catholic history from an Australian perspective? The Mater Amabilis mailing list has an article on Australian books in its Files section.

Also, a lady from Victoria has been making copies of A Pictorial History of the Catholic Church in Australia, something like a 3 part comic book for use in schools around the 1950s. It is out of print and she makes copies at cost, but she is not on the internet. She uses the old-fashioned Telephone. Here are some excerpts from her catalogue from September 2009.

  • Great Australians – $4
  • Explorers Australian – $5
  • Stories of Early Days – $6
  • A Saddle for Bontharambo. Australian Pioneers. A family leaves Sydney to live in North Victoria – $12
  • Happy Grammar (old) story form – $2
  • Pioneer Priests – $4
  • Catholic History Readers, 6 books – $30
  • Pictorial History, 3 books – $30
  • Then and there. Aust. – $3
  • God loves me, for small children, by Mons. Batchelor. – $2
  • Colouring books: Hail Mary – $3; Sacred Heart -$2; Stations of the Cross – $3.50; Child goes to Mass – $1
  • Short History of the Catholic Church, 30 chapters, crossword with each and answer keys, By Fr. Batchelor. Old books. Fr. Batchelor’s work is about 30 years old – $7
  • Holy Sacrifice of the Mass (Latin Mass) a study course with answer keys. – $10
  • We live for God, 3 year program, 30 booklets, by Fr. Batchelor – $30
  • Blessed Eucharist Crossword with answer keys – $3
  • The Texas Bishop of Krishnagar: the story of Fr. Morrow, author of My Jesus and I – $2

Phone number available on request. Prices do not include postage. I have only seen the Pictorial History. I may have seen the Great Australians booklet. The one I saw featured Charles Kingsford Smith, Henry Lawson and Blessed (soon to be Saint) Mary Mackillop.

For an online copy of A Pictorial History of the Catholic Church in Australia see Under Her Starry Mantle. There a homeschooling mother has scanned in each page.

For older readers and parents the works of G K Chesterton and Hillaire Belloc are out of copyright and available through Project Gutenberg and the Internet Archive. More recent works such as Eamon Duffy’s Stripping of the Altars may be available through your local library. There is an amazing wealth of research supporting the Catholic view of history, but unfortunately it is taking its time filtering down to the popular myths that surface in children’s histories.

So the plan is to keep finding good biographies of saints match these with a little digging in our local library. Homeschooling on the cheap!


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