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Non religious curriculum suggestions?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

I'm looking for a non-religious curriculum that preferably meets these criteria:

 

1. Mostly textbook or workbook based (computer is hard with 5 kids and 1 computer)

2. Not too Waldorf based

3. Has things laid out for me. I don't have the time to make my own daily schedules, or to do many "hands on" activities.

4. Preferably a whole curriculum, but if you have a favorite math, history, science etc. and piece things together let me know. I'm not familiar with doing that, so need advice! :)

 

Any suggestions? LOL!! 

 

Thanks! joy.gif

post #2 of 16

Calvert is non-religious and mostly text/workbook based.  It's very complete- they even send the art supplies they need for projects.

 

HTH  :)

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thank you. I had looked at Calvert before, and any school that has to be "enrolled" in will not work for us. Financially it's just not possible. :-/ But thanks!

post #4 of 16
I thought the basic Calvert curriculum was about $700? I think you'd be hard-pressed to find a comprehensive curriculum (or even a pieced together curriculum covering all traditional subject areas) giving that lesson plan structure you want in a textbook/workbook format for much less than that.

ETA... Just looked and maybe they only offer enrollment now. I wonder if you can buy the curriculum used anywhere...

Miranda
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Well, $700 per child is more than we could ever afford. That's $2,100! We did Christian Light Education for 3 kids last year, and spent less than $600 for all 3 kids. I was hoping to find something comparable to that but in a non religious form. I'm finding it difficult though, as you say. :(
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 

I am seeing some used on ebay! I didn't they would sell used since it was an online academy now, but I was wrong. 

post #7 of 16
They do sell the curriculum for homeschool use, without teacher oversight, but the higher grades go up to $1400! Ebay & Vegsource always have some for sale, usually for MUCH cheaper, esp if you don't mind an older version. Just pay attention to the listing, some don't come with the lesson plans.
post #8 of 16
Do you have a specific homeschooling ideology? (I.e., Classical Ed, Montessori, Charlotte Mason, etc.) Are you looking for a boxed curriculum (all in one like Calvert), or are you willing to try different curricula provided they have schedules for you to follow?
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimmiepie View Post

I'm looking for a non-religious curriculum that preferably meets these criteria:

 

3. Has things laid out for me. I don't have the time to make my own daily schedules, or to do many "hands on" activities.

4. Preferably a whole curriculum, but if you have a favorite math, history, science etc. and piece things together let me know. I'm not familiar with doing that, so need advice! :)

 

I have never used a "box" curriculum, so my suggestions are pieced together.  A primary suggestion is regarding the scheduling.  When I started out, I wanted a schedule. . . For things like grammar and math, I just took the total number of exercises in the book and divided it out by number of days in the school year.  I put lines in the table of contents to indicate end of month goals.  I padded the math schedule in case we needed extra time with a concept.  Using this approach, both Easy Grammar and Singapore Math are easy to schedule/implement and are otherwise all laid out.  I only use the student book for Easy Grammar--each kid would be about $10.  Singapore Math workbooks are also inexpensive (also around $10--2/year).  

 

Science Odyssey is all laid out, with a suggested schedule too.  It is secular.  The same company (Pandia Press) also writes History Odyssey.  The History is even more structured/laid out than the science.  This company allows you to "try before you buy" by allowing you to download a good chunk of the book with no charge.  If you decide to purchase it, you can get a print copy or an e-copy.  http://www.pandiapress.com/  The science does have a lot of books listed in their suggested reading.  I grab a few for each topic from the library.  I don't buy any.  The history odyssey is different in that there are a couple resources that they repeatedly use and you would want to have them on hand.  I love the science odyssey, but the history odyssey was a bit too much for us.  If your children are close together in age, you don't need to buy multiple copies of the books.  You can buy extra student pages if you want.

 

This option is much less $$$$ than a boxed curriculum.  

 

Amy

post #10 of 16
I haven't posted to Mothering in so long I forgot my password. So here I am starting over. smile.gif

Anyway ...

Perhaps, since you are homeschooling several children, some lessons/subjects/curriculum that can work for all of them, regardless of age, would be useful and cost-effective? For example, I find Story of the World to be engaging for children from ages four to forty-four. smile.gif Especially if your local library has the audio CDs -- my kids have loved to listen to them for years, and often ask for them still. There are activities for many different age/experience/ability levels for each chapter of the book, so everyone is doing the same lesson, but still working at their own level.

I, too, really like Science Odyssey, and again, I think it's appropriate to use with kids of many ages. It builds on itself, from lesson to lesson, so no one is left feeling like they needed some background knowledge (like something taught in a previous "year" of science) to "get" each lesson.

I also like Easy Grammar, and since the concept is the same from year to year, you would 't necessarily need to buy more than one Teacher Manual -- get one, get the concept, everyone works in their own (inexpensive, easily divided over the school year) book.
post #11 of 16

I have yet to find a secular box set that doesn't cost a fortune either. It's like everything else in life, you either need to invest lots of time or lots of money. So even though I thought I never would I picked time and have put together my own things. A lot of workbooks that are very cheap and can be taken apart and reproduced/copied for multiple students. Core Skills and Scholastic have all been decent quality for very little money. I use the library for almost everything! I'll admit I do very little as far as hands on projects. I print out A LOT of free worksheets from the internet.

 

I do invest some money in things that can be reused for major subjects like math. I use the computer program but Teaching Textbooks has a book form of their program that I think is only $40 or so. The lesson and work are all in the same book and you can undo the spiral and copy it for the other kids when they'll use that grade. 

 

Good luck and let us know what you find!

post #12 of 16

We are using Calvert and I love it! They make it so simple!

post #13 of 16

Can you enroll in a school district that has a homeschool option? We are enrolled in the local district and there is an allotment for curriculum of your choice, providing it is non-religious.  We have to turn in a learning plan for each child and the school orders the requested curriculum.  Progress reports are sent in quarterly and there is an office that you can drop by if necessary.  Any allotment above the cost of the curriculum can be applied to lessons included in the learning plan, such as music, swimming and (for us!) skiing.  Last year the allotment was $1600, it is more for high school and middle school students.

 

We have used Calvert with my oldest for three years now.  It is great to have everything laid out and planned!

post #14 of 16
In my state homeschoolers are able to get all the books and workbooks the public schoolers use. I've never personally done that, but I know of 2 families that have. Would that be an option?
post #15 of 16
Kimmiepie, what about K12? It's comprehensive, accredited, follows the state guidelines, and it's free!
post #16 of 16

I use Saxon for Math $100 and McRuffy for Language Arts and that runs about $100 also.  Saxon has 2 worksheets per lesson (which is waaay overkill), so I'm hoping to reuse the workbook with my dd when she is ready.  It's very important to me that our curriculum be secular and I believe that McRuffy has Christian roots, but I haven't seen any religious stuff so far.  For Science I love "building Foundations for Scientific Understanding"  It's like $25 and it's for grades k-2.  No worksheets or workbooks, but it's a really great teachers manual with homeschoolers in mind so the experiments are with everyday household things.

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