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Favorite Catechism Resources in Our Catholic Home

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In this post, I am sharing our favorite catechism resources and religion books that we are using as part of our Catholic homeschool.

catechism and related religion books stacked for the homeschool

It is therefore as important to make no mistake in education, as it is to make no mistake in the pursuit of the last end, with which the whole work of education is intimately and necessarily connected.

In fact, since education consists essentially in preparing man for what he must be and for what he must do here below, in order to attain the sublime end for which he was created, it is clear that there can be no true education which is not wholly directed to man’s last end, and that in the present order of Providence, since God has revealed Himself to us in the Person of His Only Begotten Son, who alone is “the way, the truth and the life,” there can be no ideally perfect education which is not Christian education.

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Catholic Catechism Books

In a post at the beginning of this school year, I shared which school books we were using to build up our curriculum. And I’ve been asked from readers about our favorite catechism resources more in depth.

You can find the post about our 2022/2023 curriculum sources here.

We are using The CMEC for the majority of our curriculum plans. FYI -This is not an open and go curriculum. And it takes a lot of prep and pre-reading on the part of the mother-teacher.

That being said, it has been such an incredible and invaluable resource. We absolutely love using the CMEC!

I’ve learned so much about Charlotte Mason’s methods & principles of education. But, I also don’t follow every single book recommendation.

For starters, Charlotte Mason was not a Catholic. So, I will not be using some of the recommendations for religion such as the Paterson Smyth bible commentaries.

We also don’t use all of the recommended history books either. These are generally written by Protestants and lean heavily towards favorability of the Reformation (aka Revolution). Another conversation for another day.

Anyway, I’ll share what we are using for the new school year in a future post. For now, I’ll share our favorite Catechism books.

For the main catechism lessons this year, we are using the Our Holy Faith Series from St Augustine Academy Press.

We are really enjoying the format of this catechism series and we’ve had a lot of great discussions as a family.

catechism books stacked on a table.

Knowledge of God is the foundation of all knowledge. As Miss Mason put it: ‘Fundamental knowledge is the knowledge of God, and while we are ignorant of that principal knowledge, science, nature, literature and history, all remain dumb.’

Of course they do, for everything that we learn adds to our knowledge of God Himself. For this reason, if for no other, we dare not circumscribe the child’s curriculum or limit it to what we consider likely to be useful to him when school days are over.


Bible Study Lessons

We are reading selections from our Douay-Rheims Bible for the majority of these lessons. But I also have a vintage print New Testament from 1941 that is excellent (pictured below). This one is from the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine.

We also use these bible commentaries for helping with structuring lessons and discussions:

stack of bible and bible commentary books on a table.

I wrote about how we do a bible study lesson according to Charlotte Mason’s method of lesson in this Holy Week Bible Study blog post.

In addition to these readings, we are using these bible atlas books for additional background information.

bible study student atlas books on a table.

We have also used this Child’s Bible History by F.J. Knecht periodically. It’s filled with short lessons which makes it great for little ones.

And we are loving this Read Aloud Book of Bible Stories for an additional read aloud time block in our week.

two bible story books on a table top.

Sunday Readings

Charlotte Mason recommended special Sunday readings to help encourage building a family culture around Truth, Beauty, and Goodness.

And I believe this is a great help in not only family culture, but also in aiding our children in Sanctifying Sundays.

Other Sunday reading books as recommended by Charlotte Mason includes:

  • liturgical living books, focused on the church year, spiritual reading, truths of our faith/catechism, bible readings
  • stories of saints, martyrs, and missionaries
  • folk tales
  • poetry
  • cultural stories
  • inspirational books & tales

Sometimes we even make time for fun family read aloud like the Narnia Series or The Hobbit.

Let the day be full of its own special interests and amusements. An hour’s reading aloud, from Sunday to Sunday, of a work of real power and interest, might add to the interest of Sunday afternoon; and this family reading should supply a pleasant intellectual stimulus.

A little poetry may well be got in: there is time to digest it on Sunday; not only George Herbert, Vaughan, Keble, and the like, but any poet who feeds the heart with wise thoughts, and does not too much disturb the peace of the day with the stir of life and passion.

The point in the Sunday readings and occupations, is, to keep the heart at peace and the mind alive and receptive, open to any holy impression which may come from above, it may be in the fields or by the fireside . Any pure, thoughtful study of character, earnest picture of life, will do to carry our thoughts upward, though the Divine Name be not mentioned; but tales full of affairs and society, or tales of passion, are hardly to be chosen.

Charlotte Mason, Formation of Character (vol 5)

We have this excellent catechism for family discussion on Sundays, The Catechism in Pictures.

The pictures are absolutely beautiful and makes for a great picture/art study as a family alongside our catechism lesson.

I highly recommend this book!

Catholic Inspired Poetry

We love regular, daily poetry reading. For the most part, we’ve been reading through The Harp and Laurel Wreath and The Child on His Knees.

My older students recite from a section and my beginner reader will recite small sections from Sing-Song and Mother Goose.

We’ve also recently discovered these Catholic poetry books from Tan.

catholic poetry books stacked on the table.

Saint Biographies

A great supplemental addition to regular readings of the Lives of the Saints are including their biographies to the children.

We love the Mary Fabyan Windeatt books for young children. I have vivid memories of reading these as a child!

saint books stacked on a table.

Additional Resources

For supplementation that pairs really well with our catechism lessons, we are enjoying Angel Food for Boys and Girls. These have fun stories and great morals.

And also for a supplement, we like these Catholic Tales for Boys and Girls and More Catholic Tales for Boys and Girls.

In addition, we are using this St Jerome School Songbook for learning new Catholic hymns.

catechism and related religion books stacked for the homeschool

We are not currently using these Mother Mary Loyola books (pictured below) this year, but have in previous years. And we will use them again in the future!

They’re great for instruction in Holy Communion preparation. We found these books at St Augustine Academy Press.

Mother Mary Loyola books stacked on a table.

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  1. Thank you Mary for all this wonderful information on books to add to my Catholic library. As a convert I had to discard some of my former homeschooling books (anti Catholic ones) and it is harder to find Catholic resources sometimes (especially with the shipping costs to Australia) but Amazon does stock most of those you mentioned at a reasonable cost.
    On another note, I wanted to thank you for the encouragement, and though I have not commented before, I wanted to let you know what a help your blog has been through the past year to me since I discovered it. I also very much enjoyed your articles on modest dress. Most I find are not quite where I am at, but yours was.
    May God bless you Mary!

    1. Thank you so much for the lovely comment, Tania! I’m so glad that these resources are helpful. I have more coming soon as we are preparing for the new school year. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you need help with finding good resources. May God bless you and Mary keep you!