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opinions on Calvert kindergarten?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I am thinking of buying some type of curriculum and taking what we want from it. I would rather have a structured one and then go from there. My son is four and a half and would not start public school until the fall of 2003, but i am contemplating starting home schooling (loosely) this fall sometime. Not sure yet what we are really doing for "school" yet. i want to homeschool - husband wants me to eventually work - still trying to figure it all out - ANYWAY (ramble - ramble) Any opinions on the Calvert curriculum? Anything else better? Thanks!!
post #2 of 11
I'm sorry that I can't tell you anything about Calvert, but Five in a Row or Before Five in a Row might also be a nice place to start with your son. My experience has been that it can take a couple of false starts before you figure out how your child likes to do homeschooling. Five in a Row is nice because it is structured, but very loosely so - you can spend anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours/day on it. It is also very inexpensive (about $25 for each volume of about 20 weeks of lessons), so if it turns out that your child doesn't like it, you haven't spent $100's on a curriculum that you now feel you need to use.

my dh, by the way, who is a university prof, has been VERY impressed with the sorts of things dd has been learning with Five in a Row.
post #3 of 11
We started with Five in a Row as well. I have to agree that spending big bucks on a packaged curriculum right at first may not be the best way to go, especially for a 4 year old. We use many of the recomendations in The Well Trained Mind for our kids, but it has taken us a while to figure things out. There is a nice reading primer called Phonics Pathways that is available in many libraries, at his age I would just say read to him and let him explore.
post #4 of 11
We're starting Calvert kindergarten this fall. I've heard really good things about it. Everyone I know that's tried it seems to like it, though I know that's no guarantee that you (or even I) will like it.

Heartmama posted a thread on this subject a month or so ago. She just bought it for her son and they're both having lots of fun with it.

Hope that helps. Deciding whether or not to use a curriculum, and then choosing the right curriculum can be tough! Good luck.

faeriemom
post #5 of 11

we have just started it

We started about a month ago with K for my 4.5 year old and pre-K for my almost 3 year old(july 23) and we are having a grand time!! We are still in the "deciding to homeschool" stage and it has given DH a good experience so far. I am saving up to buy 3rd grade for my 7.5 year old as from what I can tell this would be very much his style if DH agrees to nix public school. I love how everything is planned and they both ask to "do school" even on the weekends and days off. We went away for a week and didn't bring it with us and Adam (4.5) was very upset we left his school stuff behind, so next time I will bring it along! I am very impressed so far and I am really enjoying it
post #6 of 11
As faeriemom said, we started Calvert kindergarten in May, as a way to make sure ds is ready for first grade Calvert by early winter.

Overall I am happy with this course. It is not religious, and the material is easy to understand. Some of you are saying you have 4.5 year olds, and I do not think that is too young for Calvert Kindergarten. Ds turned 6 in April, and the kindergarten level is almost too easy. I still think it is a great review even for a 6 year old, and I think it will make first grade much easier.

So far we are on lesson 24 out of 160 lessons. The lessons are what you make of them. I have tried to do EVERYTHING they suggest, but be warned, they have LOTS of extra curricular suggestions, and we are starting to skip the one's that are just too time consuming or boring. Also, because ds is older, I am just now starting to combine 2 lessons into one, to keep this more challenging. I will stop if it seems like too much. But really, this is not difficult material, it just a matter of how much time you spend on each topic.

Good luck, and have fun!

Heartmama
post #7 of 11
I bought Calvert Kindergarten for my older son and we never used it. It was a waste of money.

We've found that going with the flow of what he was interested in has worked much better for us... and we spend a lot less money now.

BTW, he's 9 now.

Malama
post #8 of 11
My friend is using Calvert Pre-K and I've been very impressed at how much her son enjoys it and how much he is learning! I've looked over the materials and have chosen that as our learning tool when dd's a little older. I'm just very impressed with the lessons being organized so well for people like me who like a little structure and guidance. Of course one nice thing about homeschooling is you don't have to follow it exactly if you dont' want to. I'm unschooling my toddler right now but enjoy a more structured day (up to a point) when she's a bit older.
I know that like parenting, there is no one method that will work for every single family. You have to find your path by trying out several.

Darshani
post #9 of 11
One of my hs friends has 8 kids and swears by calvert as a lifesaver.
post #10 of 11
We first used Calvert in 1st grade, my daughter is going into 6th now. I used it because I felt insecure and liked the fact that it told you excactly what to do. However, like other people had told me but I never believed I would do, eventually I drifted away from the pre-packaged curriculum into just text using materials from here, there and everywhere that fit where she was. I think a natural progression a lot of times is to get more *unschooling* as you get on in years. :>

By the way, if you ever want to check out a site of an EXCELLENT educational philosopher, check out John Taylor Gatto's site (do a search of John Taylor Gatto, I can't remember the name of his site). He used to be teacher of the year in NY state, and in NY City, and after 30 years left teaching, now speaking publicly about how the current structure of teaching was set up by big business for big business, etc. VERY interesting.

Jessica
post #11 of 11
My DD will be starting Calvert Kindergarten next week. We received the materials last week and I've looked over the parents info a great deal. So far I really like.
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