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Packaged Classical curriculum?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

I am going to begin homeschooling next year (kindergarten and 4th) and I would like to use a packaged curriculum because I am overwhelmed with everything that's out there.  Add to that it's my first year of HS, and I just think I need a package to get me started.


So, are there any besides the one I see at Memoria Press?  I looked at Calvert and really liked it but it's not classical (no Latin).  Any ideas for me mamas?

post #2 of 20

Have you considered Classical Conversations?  Visit their website at: www.classicalconversations.com and locate a community near you.  There is also much information on the website about the program.


We've been using it and absolutely love it! :)


If you have any questions, PM me and I'd be happy to talk to you on the phone sometime.



post #3 of 20

Sonlight is supposed to be a really good curriculum.

post #4 of 20

I was thinking the same as you MamaE because this will also be our first year homeschooling, but it seems hard to find the right all-inclusive curriculum.  The ones like Calvert and even the K12 materials seem awfully expensive, even if you're not officially "enrolled."  I don't want to spend 900 to 1000 just for the teaching materials.


Oak Meadow looks interesting and is affordable, but I've heard mixed reviews for it for the grades past 6th grade.  


I don't think Sonlight covers every topic.  Am I wrong?


I talked to some Classical Conversations people at a homeschool convention today.  They seemed really happy with the system, but I don't think it's what we're looking for as a family.  


I'm starting to think it might be better to put together a curriculum with subject packages, like a specific math, writing package, history, etc...  

post #5 of 20

It's honestly taken me 4 years to figure out what to use.  It's a process.  You're not likely to nail it right off the bat--even moreso if your kids are fresh out of school.  What they respond to initially is more likely to be what looks like the classroom whether that's their nature or not because that's familiar to them.  Are either of you going to take some "deschooling" time? (this is not the same as "unschooling"--which is a method of learning.  "Deschooling" is a period of time after leaving a brick & mortar school to get it out of their system--I'm positive someone on here has a good link to describe it).


Sonlight has the option of providing all of the subjects and adding on electives or just buying their core (in Sonlight, "core" is history, geography and Bible).  The good thing about Sonlight is that if you buy the full set of whatever you're buying (so, the core with all of the books needed or a multi-subject package with all of the books needed--as opposed to borrowing many of the readers from the library if your library has them) then if you go through the year (or part of the year) and find it's not for you--they'll refund you your money.  You have to really read the details so that you know how to do this (for instance, they send little labels for the books and you wouldn't use those) but it seems like a good deal.


We use Sonlight's core for history/geography.  I do like that it's laid out but we didn't follow it very much last year (which was our first year with Sonlight) because my son just wasn't really driven for it and we didn't feel like this was the year to push.  Plus, with my 3yo having some serious needs this year, I couldn't sit and read TO/WITH him to try to encourage it more.  But I did buy a different year/time era for us to try next year hoping he will enjoy that range more. 


Sonlight's core is very Charlotte Mason-y--which is all based on books to get the content.  My son is a voracious reader, so this works for us.  We chose a math program that is the same (Life of Fred--all through stories).  We still haven't settled on a science program, but partially because he's a really science-y kid.  And we're just now going to start on language arts because I finally found a program that made sense for me in terms of what is taught when and how things are integrated--like public speaking (Institute for Excellence in Writing/IEW).  He's 8yo but has been reading since he was 3yo so really, I never had to deal with phonics, etc.   We'll start slow and see how it goes.


But I think the last 4 years have been a lot of learning about what he does best, what he enjoys most and what I really want for him.  I have to laugh because you can search this forum for my user ID and see how far my pendulum has swung!  LOL!

post #6 of 20

There's also Five In A Row, that curriculum suits a multitude of hs'ing styles. You would need to add in something for Math, and Phonics though.

post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thank you ladies.  


I will check out Classical Conversations.  Thanks, happeesupermom.  I might be PMg you as well.  We'll see how much I get done over spring break here.


LeafyLady, what grade(s) are you HSg?  I live in IL too - the one thing I am learning about this state is how much freedom we have in homeschooling.  At least there's something good about IL!


And thanks to you other mamas for the Sonlight recommendation.  Actually, just tonight I met with a HS mom who was raving about Sonlight. She gave me a catalog and I have to say, it looks really great.


I was thinking I needed a packaged curriculum, but I am now thinking that I will piece something together, at least for my son (K).  This mom I met showed me the Veritas Phonics Museum - what a beautifully put together program.  It weaves fine art, history, and phonics together - loved it.  I am thinking of using that for reading, A Beka for math and then Sonlight for his science and history.  That's it for him.


For my 4th grader, I am torn.  Memoria Press looks good and I love how they weave art and classical music into the curriculum.  I also love all the rote work and recitation, but I don't think I would care for the Rod and Staff math that is thrown in there.  Maybe I just substitute A Beka for that?  Hmm, much to think about.  


I'm really excited now about this journey.  Once I turned the corner and decided for certain to homeschool, it just felt so right.  I feel like it's the best decision I could ever make for my kids.  (Ok, talk to me this time next year!)  wink1.gif


As a new homeschooler (almost), I can't tell you how valuable it was for me to meet with this mom and see her classroom and see how she does things.  It's really given me a better vision for how our school will look.  


Sorry, too many random thoughts  - time to go to bed!  

post #8 of 20

I love the idea of classical conversations- absolutely love it- but we can't really do that since there is no group here and there aren't very many homeschool families around.  I do feel that it is a great program though :)  We are starting singapore math this year and so far I love it- so I just have to throw that one out there.  Rod and Staff seems overly busy work to me.  And A Beka?  Just didn't click with me.  No help on the rest though- we are doing My Fathers World- which is Charlotte Mason- and not so much classical at this point.  But I do love it!

post #9 of 20

My Father's World is based on Classical/Charlotte Mason/Unit Study methods.  They teach latin either beginning in 4th or 5th grade.  The good thing about that curriculum is that when your younger child reaches 2nd grade, they can join the older child in the same curriculum, modified for age of course.  It is a christian curriculum.  mfwbooks.com


post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thanks, I'll check that one out too.  Off to read reviews on A Beka too... 

post #11 of 20

My kids are finishing out public school this year and we'll start homeschooling for the next school year, late summer.  They'll be in 5th and 7th grades.  


After a little more research, I'm leaning again toward Oak Meadow as a base curriculum.    


I saw materials from a program called excellenceinwriting.com at a homeschool convention.  It's primarily concerned with effective written communication and looked very good.  


The public school uses Saxon math.  My kids hate it because of the repetition but they'd be willing to continue with it at home if they didn't have to do as many of the practice problems.

post #12 of 20

It's been difficult to find a comprehensive secular science program.  I'm a Christian and don't mind Christian elements in a curriculum but I would like our science curriculum to include evolution rather than creationism.  I've found a lot of resources but I don't feel confident about getting the info together for a comprehensive plan.  

post #13 of 20
Originally Posted by leafylady View Post

It's been difficult to find a comprehensive secular science program.  I'm a Christian and don't mind Christian elements in a curriculum but I would like our science curriculum to include evolution rather than creationism.  I've found a lot of resources but I don't feel confident about getting the info together for a comprehensive plan.  

Have you looked at NOEO?  The company is definitely Christian, there's statements of what they believe in the prologues, etc.  But the materials they use are all secular, and the Biology course does touch on evolution (if only briefly) and doesn't mention creationism at all. It leaves it up to parents to interpolate their own religious views into the materials.


And to be fair, the main reason the evolution is only 'brief' is because it's just one topic out of dozens to cover in a year, and we're just talking elementary level here, so it doesn't need to be very in depth.  They have Biology for level I (ages 5-9ish), and level II (ages 9-12ish), but not level III (middle school) just yet.  They do have physics and chemistry in level III though.  

post #14 of 20

Thanks for the lead!  I googled it and am looking it over now. 

post #15 of 20

 The NOEO science curriculum It looks like a very feasible solution to the science issue for now.  It has a very reasonably priced lesson plan that would at the very least get us on a track, but then could be modified as needed.   I'm so glad you mentioned it tankgirl73.

post #16 of 20

We've had the same problem with science.  We're currently looking at Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding.  I'm awaiting our first book because from what I've read, it sounds like the end result and the process is awesome but I wonder how much of it will fall on my shoulders and how much of that I can commit to with a 3yo and a small business (and going to school).

post #17 of 20
There is also Science Odyssey and Real science 4 KIDS, both of which are very origin-neutral.

Sent from my Kindle Fire using Tapatalk
post #18 of 20

we are using NOEO this year and my kids hate it!  Not sure why, because *I* love it lol



post #19 of 20

We use Memoria Press, and LOVE it. Bonus that it is very reasonably priced.

post #20 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thanks ladies.  I am looking at Memoria Press again and I have to say, it does look good and it IS reasonably priced.  At that price, I don't mind subbing out some of the items.


I really want to use some of the Sonlight things because I have a bookworm who will eat them up, I think.  I also want to teach some subjects together and with Sonlight's multi-age material, I can do that with.  I am looking at their Science B for 5-8 year olds.  My dd is 9 but I think I can supplement to bring it up to her level.


Truthfully, all the choices overwhelm me a bit, so whoever it was that said I won't nail it the first time - thank you.  That's helpful to remember.  I think I am hoping (as always) for perfection on the first try and yet I know that's a totally ridiculous expectation.  I have to shift my attitude and remember that I am on a learning curve and that I'm going to make mistakes.


Off to google spelling curriculum!

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