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  • 1 Post By youngwoman
  • 1 Post By Butter

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  #1  
July 31st, 2012, 05:57 AM
youngwoman's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Location: Georgia
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I'm a longtime lurker and I know there's someone here who uses Calvert... I believe it's Heather? I'd love to know your likes/dislikes on this curriculum. I attended the Southeast Homeschool Expo over the weekend, spoke with a couple Calvert ladies, and flipped through the Pre-K and K books. I love that everything is laid out for you and really got a good overall impression. With it being our first year homeschooling, I want something that has a good bit of structure to it as we get our feet wet and figure out what works for us. The price tag scares me a little but it's still way less than private school!

If anyone has any experience with Calvert, please feel free to share your thoughts! Thanks!
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  #2  
July 31st, 2012, 06:20 AM
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Heather uses Calvert...I'm sure she'll chime in. Honestly Amanda I wish I had gotten it. I know you were considering Oak Meadow as well, and you can go to the next post and read about my issues with them. Although it could be a perfect fit for your family...it just hasn't been for us. If you look at all you get with Calvert it is not a bad deal at all. My only concern is that you really can't sell the bulk of the materials.
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  #3  
July 31st, 2012, 06:42 AM
Butter's Avatar Heather the Mama Duk
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Location: San Antonio TX
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Yup, it's me who uses Calvert. We're currently using pre-k (Adrian) and 4th (Cameron). Fritz has finished pre-k, kindergarten, and 1st grade (and 2nd grade math). Cameron has finished 2nd and 3rd. Ani has finished 7th and 8th. We have kindergarten (Adrian) and 2nd grade (Fritz) waiting. Wow... that means the only grades we haven't bought yet are 5th and 6th (and I'll be buying 5th in December most likely)! Needless to say, we love Calvert. We've used other stuff and Calvert has definitely been the best for our family (and by far the easiest for me to use since it is completely open and go).

Pros: Very solid curriculum with no gaps, completely planned and ready to go, challenging but not too hard, phonics is slow and steady and so incredibly thorough, reading assignments have for the most part been interesting, 1 1/2 years ahead of our local public schools (according to the guy who does our annual reviews)

Cons: Very much school at home using textbooks (may not be a con - depends on what you want), price, I'm not personally a huge fan of the math (though they are changing it to a Singapore math - we no longer use Calvert Math though - we use Teaching Textbooks instead), math is the only thing in the early grades that level can be adjusted (or dispensed with completely)

Calvert's not for everyone, but we definitely love it! It's amazing how much my kids have learned. My daughter completed 8th grade recently and we did the CAT-E Survey standardized test (we don't have to test, but we choose to) and she score 99th percentile. She only got one language and one math question wrong on the whole test (120 questions). I definitely credit Calvert with those scores. We do not use the ATS.
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Ani - 14 (February 15, 2000), Cameron - 12 (October 3, 2001),
Fritz - 7 (July 11, 2006), and Adrian - 5 (June 19, 2008)
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  #4  
July 31st, 2012, 07:03 AM
youngwoman's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Thanks so much for your responses. Calvert is really appealing to me and I'm definitely leaning this way. I don't mind textbooks, not sure what Leah will end up liking/disliking, but I am willing to give it a go. I'll probably discuss this a little more with DH and we'll make our decision by next week.

This is rather exciting!
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  #5  
July 31st, 2012, 11:04 PM
Erin.minus.thyroid's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I was at the same expo
i got a chance to look through a lot of the 1st grade that they had displayed. I too had been looking at Oak Meadow and I wanted to compare Calvert. Honestly, they seem to be so different. As far as I can tell OM is much less structured and you have to do more planning and work on your own. Calvert is so structured. The lady at the expo showed me some of the books and they actually have sentences in the book for you to read to your child, like a script. That really put me off. Obviously, you dont have to use the script but the whole thing seems like there isnt much room for doing your own thing.
For me, I think Id rather have less structure. It seems like the choices are REALLY limited if you want something secular. I'm actually leaning towards not using a curriculum at all.
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  #6  
August 1st, 2012, 06:31 AM
youngwoman's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erin.minus.thyroid View Post
It seems like the choices are REALLY limited if you want something secular.
I hear ya. It certainly requires more digging and exploring.

I was googling reviews of Oak Meadow yesterday. Several folks who didn't care for it in the early grades because of it being less structured tended to like it more as their kids got to 5th, 6th grade and up because at that point, their kids were good at working on their own and the freedom/less structure was beneficial. So, it may be something for us to consider down the line.
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  #7  
August 1st, 2012, 06:49 AM
Butter's Avatar Heather the Mama Duk
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Oh, yeah... that was going to be one of the cons. I find Calvert's lesson manual to NOT be scripted enough. Sometimes I have to read a bit to figure out just what I'm supposed to teach. It's actually pretty unusual to have a read this to your child thing. Mostly that's example sentences in language arts that have to be exactly right because they are learned a certain skill. So for me not being scripted is a con (because I definitely wouldn't consider Calvert scripted) lol
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~Heather, wife to Jamie (15 years; June 5, 1998) and mom to
Ani - 14 (February 15, 2000), Cameron - 12 (October 3, 2001),
Fritz - 7 (July 11, 2006), and Adrian - 5 (June 19, 2008)
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  #8  
August 1st, 2012, 11:32 AM
Erin.minus.thyroid's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Butter View Post
Oh, yeah... that was going to be one of the cons. I find Calvert's lesson manual to NOT be scripted enough. Sometimes I have to read a bit to figure out just what I'm supposed to teach. It's actually pretty unusual to have a read this to your child thing. Mostly that's example sentences in language arts that have to be exactly right because they are learned a certain skill. So for me not being scripted is a con (because I definitely wouldn't consider Calvert scripted) lol
thanks that is good to know. i only got to look at a few books for a short time at the expo and the lady there pointed this part out to me. i guess she thought it was a selling point but its not what i am looking for. im glad to know its not all like that. i'll have to look into it more now.
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  #9  
August 2nd, 2012, 07:33 AM
youngwoman's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I just placed my curriculum order!!! One of the ladies I met at the Expo contacted me yesterday to see if I had any further questions and after a couple email exchanges, told me to wait until today to order because the Pre-K was going on a special sale... so I just saved $200! I cannot wait to begin!
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  #10  
August 2nd, 2012, 08:54 AM
Butter's Avatar Heather the Mama Duk
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Awesome We've really enjoyed pre-k. I'm almost done with it for the last time. We just do it three days a week so Adrian will finish it around the end of October. I have pictures and stuff on my blog both of Adrian doing pre-k and Fritz doing it two years ago.
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~Heather, wife to Jamie (15 years; June 5, 1998) and mom to
Ani - 14 (February 15, 2000), Cameron - 12 (October 3, 2001),
Fritz - 7 (July 11, 2006), and Adrian - 5 (June 19, 2008)
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  #11  
August 2nd, 2012, 07:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erin.minus.thyroid View Post
. It seems like the choices are REALLY limited if you want something secular. I'm actually leaning towards not using a curriculum at all.
You're right about that. Although we are Christians, we decided we'd be more comfortable using a secular curriculum, at least for now. The only two I really looked at were Calvert and Oak Meadow. There's K12 in some states. That's basically public school at home, but I would try it if they had it here. Maybe "Time 4 Learning?" Then of course it is easier to find options if you are willing to buy each subject separately. I might do that in the future. I also like the looks of Tapestry of Grace, which of course is Christian based, but is very flexible since you can choose a lot of the books yourself. I'm sure it's a lot of work, just like Oak Meadow though. I might look at it again if we are still homeschooling in a few years. I do like the idea of a four year history cycle.
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  #12  
August 3rd, 2012, 08:36 PM
in_mommy's Avatar I am just me
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Let us know what you think of it after using it for a while! I considered it as well, but the sticker price was out of range at that time.
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  #13  
August 6th, 2012, 02:46 PM
brandimomof2's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Calvert seems really really expensive to me. I am interested in hearing how it works out though. We are using MFW for most and then adding our math and Lang Arts.

Heather, I remember talking to you along time ago about Sonlight. What made you stop doing Sonlight? I still like the looks of it but decided on MFW several yrs ago. Just curious as to why you went to Calvert. Thanks
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  #14  
August 7th, 2012, 05:53 AM
Butter's Avatar Heather the Mama Duk
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Sonlight didn't work out. My kids did not learn anything except perhaps to not pay attention or learn. It is too easy. There is no real depth to it. And it is VERY anti-Catholic and anti-Mormon. Many of the books felt like they were chosen for the simple fact that God was mentioned in them. There was an emphasis on praying for "lost" people and that just didn't feel right to me (because the "lost" people were based on a very American Protestant and close-minded point of view, ex. no one of x faith - say Buddhists - could possibly be good people... that's not something I agree with). The biggest thing is it made my daughter HATE history because it was all history, history, history (she loves it now). My son, who is dyslexic, just got further and further behind. I could see in the future that my kids would not be well-educated with Sonlight. The whole idea of learning pretty much everything you need to know through historical fiction just didn't actually happen in real life. We went back to Calvert (we started with it, actually) because we wanted an academic program so our kids would be solidly prepared for college.
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~Heather, wife to Jamie (15 years; June 5, 1998) and mom to
Ani - 14 (February 15, 2000), Cameron - 12 (October 3, 2001),
Fritz - 7 (July 11, 2006), and Adrian - 5 (June 19, 2008)
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