Mom of Four Loves Calvert Homeschool Curriculum for PreK - 7th
by Deb Sarhan
(Jerzy Shore, NJ USA)
The Many Benefits of Calvert Homeschool Curriculum
I never thought I'd be doing "school in a box", but of course, I never thought I'd be homeschooling at all! But, when my 3yo wanted to learn to read (100 EZ lessons all the way!) and then couldn't get into public school because she wasn't old enough, (her birthday was 4 weeks too late) we just kept on doing what we had been doing.
First we used The Well Trained Mind - it worked well, as long as I used all my free time gathering the needed books, making a schedule, re-arranging the schedule because certain books didn't come in on time, and then buying and selling on ebay, all the books that didn't work for us!
Along came three more children, and Calvert. We started with our oldest in Calvert 3rd. Wow - a lesson manual already laid out for me. How cool!
Math started with review of 2nd grade, and finished up with multiplication of three digit numbers. Other subjects covered in 3rd included Phonics, Science, Reading, Critical Thinking, Composition, Geography, Famous Americans and Spelling.
I loved it so much, I ordered Kindergarten, which really anybody could put together Kindergarten, but to have everything in one box was a blessing. Of course, I went on to order PreK and "Come, Read with Me" both wonderful products.
Now, if money is tight, I wouldn't buy Prek or K, just a few workbooks from Sam's, but if you have the money, both are a great way to start your homeschool journey gently.
Currently, I have one doing 3rd, one in 4th and one in 7th grade. We homeschool year round, so they are all in different spots in the curriculum, but with the lesson manuals - it really doesn't matter.
The lesson manuals are worth their weight in gold. They break down your schedule and by 6th grade, the lesson manual is actually written to the child, with the mom only giving
spelling tests and checking work. They also include technology lessons - even in the early grades.
There are some lessons online, but if you don't have computer access it's not a problem; they are in addition to the required work, not a necessity. Calvert does constantly update the curriculum, but if you have some children close together in age, you can usually save money by re-using the textbooks and just buy the consumables.
Calvert’s customer service is outstanding. They offer ATS (advisory teaching services) which we use starting in 3rd grade. I find that most beneficial, because that's when the composition work starts, and I really appreciate someone else's review of my child's writing ability.
Online diagnostic tests are available if you’re not sure where to start your child, and there are education counselors which are also free. They can recommend different ideas for the not-so-willing reader, or when you get stuck on a math concept. Overall I love the program.
I had my oldest tested using the CAT's after she finished 6th grade. Her results had her between 10th and 12th grade levels. I know part of that is because she's an avid reader, but the other part is because Calvert lays down such a great foundation.
Because we've stuck with just one curriculum choice, there are no holes in her education, which probably would not have happened if I continued piecing together her lessons on my own. I highly recommend Calvert; it is well worth the money!Deb, thanks for such a thorough review of Calvert homeschool curriculum and services. Others will find it very helpful, I'm sure!
I had to laugh when I read your sentence, "I never thought I'd be doing "school in a box" - but of course, I never thought I'd be homeschooling at all." I never thought I would ever homeschool my kids either, and here I am! Never say "never", right? :)