Seton Home Study School offers both curriculum resources for Catholic families and online courses. Seton's Home Study School is an accredited school offering diplomas to high school students. Seton Home Study School is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. They are also internationally accredited by AdvancED (of which SACS is a member), and they are on the list of approved home study schools in Virginia. They are an approved Proprietary School with the Virginia Department of Education and have been accepted as a member of the Virginia Council of Private Education (for Private Schools).
Website: Seton Home Study School (may contain affiliate links)
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Reviews are solely the opinions of the contributor.
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Seton Home Study School Review by TeresaJuly 2, 2022Pros: Great education
Cons: Maybe better special services
Grades Used: K-12
We've used Seton for many years, long enough now to see the fruit. My oldest two passed college entry exams and started dual credit classes at only 13 years old. My oldest found the college classes easier and less enriching than her Seton courses. Seton is a great Catholic education. Compared to some that use a classical program Seton students can work pretty independently after about 2nd grade. The couple times I've tried another curriculum like Catholic Heritage or an online program I've instantly regretted it and gone back to Seton. The only con for me is that I wish they had better special services for one of my students, but a homeschool program offering anything for special services is pretty rare.
Seton Home Study School Review by LWJune 7, 2022Pros: Self-paced. Good math program (which is through a vendor).
Cons: Classes are not really online. Too much (and poorly written) religious content in every single lesson.
Grades Used: 9th
As a Catholic, I was originally very impressed by Seton's sales website and promises for an online, modern tech, self-paced, Catholic focused education. However, our actual experience with the program was very disappointing. There is almost nothing online. Except for math (which uses another vendor for the lessons...its not even in the Seton website), none of the classes are really actually online. The online content is basically a daily checklist and copies of the papers that they send to you in the box of materials, and copies of some of the book contents. There are a few videos, but nothing daily (except for math). Also, while I am a convert to the church and love the faith 100%, the Seton program is very outdated and, yes, I'm going to say it..... its "too Catholic". Nearly every single paragraph in every class either uses a Saint, a bible lesson or a teaching of the church to explain things. I am not opposed to these lessons ...they are all true, but for some teens it is too much.
Seton Home Study School Review by Sarah DeLongAugust 24, 2021Pros: Easy to stop and go, pick and choose what days to do school work, helps build faith, teaches math to where I can understand it
Grades Used: 1-8
I love Seton as someone who has actually used the books it's easy to understand and gets harder as it goes on I have been in Seton all my life and I'm starting 9th grade, I love the UNBIASED version of history and how each grade builds on what we learned the year before it allows me to take my time which is good bcuz I live on a farm and we don't always have time for school the website is easy to work and I have never had any trouble with any of the work, If I decide to homeschool my future kids i would definitely do Seton, I am a Catholic, I love my faith and Seton has helped me become more informed about my faith,
Seton Home Study School Review by PrepareMay 31, 2021Pros: Quality classical education
Grades Used: 3,7
If you do not like logic or critical thinking, RUN.
If you think that reading, grammar, and spelling are beneath you or your children, RUN.
If you think that passing grades should be arbitrarily handed to your child, RUN.
If you want to raise a trendy social justice warrior, RUN.
Otherwise, fantastic education. Look at the alternative: When did government control become cool, anyway?
Want a serious curriculum that teaches your child to think for himself without being afraid of whiney social justice warriors? Seton: Because someone has to preserve the true spirit of education.
Seton Home Study School Review by JanniceApril 6, 2021Pros: none
Cons: sexist, homophobic, unclear, has mistakes, i could go on but ill stop here
Grades Used: 7
it is a sexist, homophobic biased curriculum. Mistakes in the answer keys and is unclear at times. would not recommend. the math textbook they recommend is to easy because seventh graders should already start pre algebra. there are easy parts- at least to easy for a seventh grader.
Seton Home Study School Review by VeronicaJanuary 25, 2021Pros: Low Cost, Faith Based, Easy Open-And-Go for the students, Flexibility
Cons: Time consuming to grade, Confusing teacher guides, Some of the books are poorly written, Really dated information
Grades Used: 3, 4, 5, 7
Like most programs, there are some really great things and some not so great things about Seton.
The program is very flexible which is great for any one just starting out or for large families. You can use some of their books and mix in other curriculum choices. You can use all of their books and keep records yourself. You can also sign up for some or all of their courses so that the record keeping is done for you and it keeps you on track.
We signed our children up for the Reading course, purchased most of the other text books, and put in a mix of our own. I am really enjoying the reading course because you are given book choices and a guide for your children to write their book reports. You can mail or upload their reports when they are done and someone else grades them. I have found this incredibly helpful because I am teaching several grades (3,4,5,7) and I didn't know what level each child should be writing at. This guides me through all of it!
I personally enjoy the stories of the saints mixed into the lessons. Instead of them learning to dissect a sentence on something that is fictional (like: "Tina and Gary quickly jogged down the street.") they are learning the history of saints that they other wise wouldn't ever get the chance to read about. For families wanting to teach their children more of the history of our faith without a separate lesson this curriculum is fantastic at that!
As for things I don't like, I don't use Seton's History or Science curriculum. I have in the past but wouldn't use them again. The books haven't been updated much in the last 30-40 years. The writing style is dull and the science material doesn't go over everything it expects you to know for the review pages. I enjoy the Catholic perspective in the other books but these two are quite unnecessarily biased in the information they relay.
Other down sides are that it takes a very long time to grade them all when you have as many students as I do(4 students x 13 books = 52 books). It's incredibly time consuming in a very unnecessary way. Vocabulary and Spelling could easily be combined into one curriculum. Possibly even Phonics. None of those 3 books is enough on it's own but they could have been written in a way that combined them all.
To anyone who isn't Catholic, you most likely won't enjoy this curriculum. It is a Catholic curriculum. It is going to have Catholic content. I have found the content of the books to be great but that is because I want them to read about the saints, the church and the bible. Any one who doesn't want that should avoid this curriculum.
Seton Home Study School Review by jumber flumbersnatchJanuary 22, 2021Pros: NONE
Grades Used: 8th 9th
(from personal experiance) this school shoved Catholocisim so far down my throat that I hate it. every single class had its very Catholic untrue twist to it. it has propoganda to such as global warming isnt real or evolution isnt real. I genuinley hate catholosism now becaues of this school. it also hasnt taught me much and there entire system is not great. their website sucks. their planner has loads of filler papers very hard to navigate, it also isnt clear what your supposed to do on certain days. constantley it tells you to look up online or in an encyclopedia making me wonder what's the point. it is very much to catholic and puts a bad name to christians.
Seton Home Study School Review by Julia StaubleNovember 20, 2020
I find Seton's curriculum is truly a Catholic curriculum. It does not waiver from Christ"s teaching on Faith and the family. It is authentically Catholic in emphasizing a pro- life and morally sound formation a child needs to live in right relationship with Christ's teaching. Sin is a terrible trap and children need to understand what is sinful in a very worldly and liberal post Christian world that is confused and can't tell them what is right or wrong because it doesn't believe in Truth. Without the truth , there is no charity or mercy, God is Truth and we have to accept His laws and teaching as a path to loving friendship with Him. God Bless!
Seton Home Study School Review by LoraSeptember 21, 2020Grades Used: K & Grade 1
I am very disappointed in the Seton Text books. The first grade science book is not "Science " at all. If children washed their hand as much as Seton Science says they should, they would never build an immune system and they would be sick far more often. The emphasis it puts on hand washing is just over the top. I see traces of liberal views all through the books. Won't use them again.
Seton Home Study School Review by D. CueJuly 23, 2020Pros: Great support even for special needs and gifted kids. Excellent application of faith for families that want full immersion approach to catechesis. Placement tests are readily available. If you discover your child is advanced you can send back unmarked books and exchange for higher levels. One child returned to public school and tested 3 levels ABOVE his home school grade. Accredited with access to Federal testing. Has graders that will grade work and comment for essays, projects, and tests Most can be submitted online
Cons: Sometimes the phonics book has a typo or has a sound that was not yet taught. (They send out corrections. )
Grades Used: Pre K- 4
We've used Seton for multiple grades and children with multiple needs from special needs to gifted. This curriculum allows us to do it all. It isn't labor intensive and allows kids to move ahead if needed, but also provides extra resources when the child needs more practice. We love that they show the kids how God is a part of all aspects of life. Seton has filled our home with well educated kids that are excited about learning.
Seton Home Study School Review by KristaApril 24, 2020Pros: structured; useful academic skills; pick & choose options; good for people who learn by repetition; grammar and phonics
Cons: extremely narrow-minded/Eurocentric content; way too religious in a weird, heavy-handed way; dogmatic; not fun
Grades Used: 5
When COVID-19 hit, we needed an immediate plan. Our child is in her public school's Gifted Program, loves to learn, and had been curious about going to Catholic school. So we took this as an opportunity and asked several friends who had homeschooled for recommendations. Seton came recommended with reservations (by devout Catholics), but seemed the best choice that we found. We're not Catholic, but my experiences both teaching in and working with West Coast Catholic schools had given me a positive impression, so we signed up.
Well, were we in for a shock! This curriculum skews towards male-dominated, white nationalist and pro-military in ways that I did not know existed in 2020 education. Examples: History--World War 2 does not mention the Holocaust. The textbook emphasizes war and battles without going into why conflict happened. 1960s chapter does not mention Martin Luther King Jr, the Civil Rights Movement or the American Indian Movement. Not much about women outside of the home. Instead, women are always portrayed in supportive roles, not as leaders. This goes against the teachings I experienced in Catholic schools. Like other reviewers have said, there is way too much emphasis on certain religious aspects (why are there paintings of suffering in the Math book?) and not in the way that makes kids want to join the church.
Also, the parent's guide calls non-homeschooling "an anti-family social agenda which is pushed at the children through the teachers and textbooks. Homosexuality and 'same sex marriages' are being discussed in many schools as an optional alternative" (1). We do not support this kind of homophobic thinking. Ironically, we found that the Seton curriculum does exactly what it claims not to--it certainly has an agenda that it pushes onto the children. As my child said, "What if this was all that kids were exposed to? That would be terrible."
So we cherry picked. We liked the grammar and phonics (though the sentences were heavy handed about war, sin, and religion). Important academic skills are taught--diagramming, how to sit and work at a problem, how to memorize, reading, some different Mathematical thinking. We followed the Composition lessons and the Handwriting. We supplemented Maps with more modern on-line resources. We thought the Math was spot on. Interestingly, the Science curriculum was also good but basic.
We tried the Art and Religion, but the heavy-handedness of the content drove us away. We chose not to do the Reading Skills book after noticing that the stories included shaming a child's emotional outbursts and Dad locking the child in the cellar.
All the pictures in the books are of White people. Interesting choice, considering that Catholicism is practiced in Central and South America, the Philippines, and other places where People of Color live.
Lessons can be skipped if child quickly grasps concepts. Lessons are designed for repetition, which is good for mainstream learners, but not the Gifted mind. This meant that we could progress quickly. Worksheets provide structure and are ways to practice concepts--sort of like "bootcamp" fitness. It does work. But it gets boring.
Can I recommend this curriculum. Not really. Am I thankful that we had it to tide us over? Yes, but not for reasons that the Seton team probably intended. If we need to homeschool again, we'll look for a different curriculum.
Seton Home Study School Review by Lemonn McArthurJanuary 16, 2019Pros: Math books were excellent, and the overall concept of the courses were amazing, it was definitly indicitive of true catholic values
Cons: More bias towards catholoscism than neccessary, historical innacuracies, painting any kind of secular historian, scientist, author etc. in a bad light.
Grades Used: 1-7
I was brought up using the Seton Homeschooling program and while it was fun to use, looking back I have some harsher critiscisms. When I was going through middle school I was not taught any form of reproductive health or Sex Ed at all. I knew THAT something would happen to my body, i had no idea why and was completely unaware of how the menstrual cycle worked or why it happened. I also found the amount of religeous tie-ins to be almost suffocating as a child. When learning english nearly every sentence example was about "John goes to church" or "St Ignatius blessed the sinners" etc. All literary examples, books, or passages were heavily religeously affiliated, and honestly more than is neccessary. A child using this program already is taking the religeous courses and learning the religeous history, adding this extra level of almost smothering examples of good catholics seems redundant and almost programming. Children with this program get almost no break from constant saints, God or children praising God, and as much as i love the baltimore chatechism and the religeous segment of the curriculum, sitting through 14 courses a day all with religeon constantly pushed at them is agony as it slowly kills creative thought and individualism. The art program is also highly flawed and growing up, the worst part of my work was "art history" in which only catholic art was taught and no actual art was completed. as a sixts grader, trying to sit through symbolism was downright torture and each year was a game of Russian Roulette of whether I would get an actual art book or a book I dreaded and resented each week.
Seton Home Study School Review by JanMay 2, 2018Pros: Self-paced, good books/adapted tests (when possible), amazing counselor.
Grades Used: 9-12 (some earlier grades to catch up)
Used Seton's special education for high school. The suggestions regarding the curriculum were dead on! We went back and plugged the holes in reading and that immediately reduced his frustration.
The algebra books were so systematic that he couldn't believe he'd made it through the course. It was wonderful that he could go at his own pace, AND I worked full time while home schooling him.
Seton Home Study School Review by JulieJanuary 19, 2018Pros: flexible, progresses well, makes sense, great website for parents to upload work, mostly nice counselors
Cons: math books need illustrations to go with what they are learning, one counselor was flipping out on me
Grades Used: K, 1, 2, 3, 5
We have used Seton for 3.5 years for 2 children.
K (half the year)
5th (half the year)
Through the years all of the counselors at Seton have been wonderful, except the one I spoke with today. (We'll get into that later.)
The curriculum for math is very good, although I wish the books were more colorful. Each book only has one color, along with the black ink, such as orange, green or blue. However, the progress and steps involved in learning at each grade is very good for math. My K daughter loves her math book.
All of the books are wonderful when it comes to the proper steps and progression of learning the actual subject matter. However, the artwork and images are more adult, than something most children would enjoy. I do wish there weren't stained glass images on so many pages and adult looking artwork. That's great for history or religion, but it doesn't really fit with the math books. It's nice, but children really would enjoy cartoon type characters or photographs and maybe images that didn't look so... depressing or sad... Maybe images that have something to do with math, you know, what they are actually learning about. Even if they are amazing works of art, it doesn't fit to put it into some of the books, such as math.
So, this brings me to why we stopped using Seton. I do highly recommend it. I also highly recommend speaking to anyone from the Clark family. They have all been amazing.
However, today I had a different experience with one of the counselors. (Not going to say her name.) I called because we needed to withdrawal in the middle of the year, after the 2nd quarter. My kids are not growing as much as I'd like with lack of activities that we can pay for right now, such as art, music lessons, physical education and other activities they would love to do. So, I decided we would continue to use the Seton books we bought, and sign up with a charter school and get the money we pay into the government for our own children. So far, I realized if they get $2,700 per year, our family has lost $16,200 ever since my oldest daughter was in the 1st grade! That is incredible! Why in the world should I continue to waste the tax dollars we are entitled to? So, I decided to switch to a charter school. Well, the counselor freaked out on me today and told me, "Do you realize that it's socialism?" Oh, she also pointed out in a sarcastic tone that I lived in "California", which was actually really mean. It's not like the more conservative people here aren't already drowning in disrespect. She was angry that I wanted to continue to use the Seton books, but turn in non-religious samples of my children's every 20 days to the
charter school, so we could get our tax dollars. This was unacceptable to her. She wasn't listening to me. (I actually couldn't even talk for a while because I started crying in response to her negativity.) On the other hand, another very nice counselor spoke to me last week and she was kind and offered to pray for our situation, since she thought it was also smart to use this money, while using the Seton books. It was like night and day. God bless the kind heart of the first lady I spoke with.
Over all, I like Seton. Just be careful about who you are talking with over the phone, since that's part of what you pay for. If they situation gets strange, just get off the phone.
The only reason why we aren't going to get the Seton report card anymore is because we need to register for a charter to get the funds, otherwise my kids will be bored in the house all day, at the park or at church... They kind of need music lessons, art and other things besides just what I can give them. I've tried for years, but I just can't do it anymore.
I do recommend Seton, just be careful about who you talk with.
Seton Home Study School Review by JMEA HarrisJuly 17, 2011Pros: truly Catholic, through & through:) accredited!!
Grades Used: K, 3-6
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Seton! It allows the majority of the pressure and planning to be taken off the parents. With assistance during working hours from certified counselors, and administration and staff that works for YOUR family. We'll be enrolling for the 4th consecutive year 2011-12.
Focus seems to be mainly on the 3 R's. We supplement history & science during the year, and spelling and vocab during the summers.
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