Switching curriculum midyear? Calvert or Oak Meadow... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 01-25-2013, 08:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello all. I had posted a while back about homeschool during a crisis.  My family life has gotten more chaotic as my mom's illness has progressed.  I have come to the point that I need to switch to a complete curriculum that is simply laid out, with plans my husband can follow easliy (or someone else), and possibly with a teacher guidance option.  I am not thrilled about laying out lots of $ for a half year, but I do not want him to fall behind.  He is in 5th now.  He has ADHD so sometimes it is hard to keep him focused or interested. There is a good chance that I will be moving and he will be in a public middle school there next year. I need to make sure he is ready if it does happen. If not, I would be looking to continue through middle school or even through high school (I know OM does, Calvert doesn't). 

 

How are the parent/teacher guides? Any experience with the teacher grading component?  Any experience with either is appreciated, especially at this level with either of these?   Other thoughts...

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#2 of 9 Old 01-29-2013, 04:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well we have decided against Calvert for a number of reasons.  I am still researching some other options also but am strongly leaning towards Oak Meadow if anyone has input about higher elementary grades or middle school.
 

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#3 of 9 Old 01-29-2013, 06:17 PM
 
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I like Oak Meadow, we are using 4th and 7th grade, but we bought Singapore's math instead and we skip all of the spelling lessons  :)  Other than that we just pick up and roll and will probably continue using it in future years.


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#4 of 9 Old 01-30-2013, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by littlest birds View Post

I like Oak Meadow, we are using 4th and 7th grade, but we bought Singapore's math instead and we skip all of the spelling lessons  :)  Other than that we just pick up and roll and will probably continue using it in future years.


Thank you! It is good to see someone using it with older kids (not just early ed). I am hoping that whatever I go with will work if we continue homeschooling but will also prepare [academically] him if we don't. Some questions if you would indulge me. :)

 

Is it something that we can move through at a good pace or do we have to stick to their pacing?

What made you go with Singapore math instead?

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#5 of 9 Old 01-30-2013, 02:17 PM
 
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I dislike Saxon Math having used it with my oldest one year, and Oak Meadow utilizes that for older grades.  Saxon is practice and review-oriented while Singapore is concept-oriented and I think it is good for connecting the ideas behind numbers.  It's nice for kids who have a knack for numbers but I think in general it help kids develop more of a mathematical way of thinking.  It might be hard for a child who struggles in math, but is ideal for those who pick it up fairly quickly.

 

We don't feel the need to skip whole chapters/lessons, but I pick and choose some among the assignments. Some of the language arts gets a wee bit boring, and we don't do spelling, we did the parts of speech for instance but reviewed it MUCH less than they did.  We do a lot of the planned assignments, we don't always do the projects and reports and such, but whatever we choose to delve into or not, we can always figure out where to start by picking up where we left off and that is why I am so happy.  I find it simple and easy to jump into.  Our 4th grader works in her math workbook, writes in a journal, and has three Waldorf type lesson books for Science, Social Studies, and English.  Separately there are art projects.  Some things do refer back to previous assignments so if you skip a lot of things you may miss some connections.  If you are not perfectionist though it's fine.  I think you could move through lessons one per week, or two per week, or one every three weeks and it really won't hurt anything except you will probably find that you will have finished the reading assignments quite early. 

 

For the older grades the subjects are separated so these can move at any pace.  The vocabulary words are connected with History. One of ours is actually still working through sixth grade science--not because he is "behind" but because he is a science nut in the physical sciences and we wanted him to go through the life science course of study to fill in his knowledge.  His twin sister completed the seventh grade science early in a half year and then he gets it for Spring (We only ordered one copy :)

 

We mostly work slowly because we attend a co-op half of the week and I am fine with a slow pace.  But clearly dd worked through a full year's science in half a year.  Her brother is very slow with writing/research so he is a few lessons behind in history and still going fine.

 

I LOVE the literature choices.  And I love not having to think and think to fit all the things together myself.  We have some complicated and demanding commitments and I desperately needed the curriculum--haven't used one before this year.

 

ETA: Ds has Asperger's and it is still a good fit, he has a LOT of trouble focusing.  We've never done/considered the teacher option.  I don't know how flexible that would be.


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#6 of 9 Old 02-02-2013, 07:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for the additional info. I was looking at the sample lessons on their site and trying to figure out if they are meant for a day or a week? I talked to them and asked a ton of questions the other day, now I need to try to see if they have any seconds available at a discount.
 

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#7 of 9 Old 02-15-2013, 07:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quick update...

Thanks for the input. It actually was very helpful, along with reading on here and a few review sites, speaking to other homeschool parents, and speaking to the companies themselves!

 

We ended up not going with either.  Husband did some research and likes the idea of having him read and do a certain number of projects/reports on the assigned reading.  We are going to work through a number of historic books (got a list from a Charlotte Mason site) as well as some recommended by others.  We also ordered the Life of Fred Intermediate series to cover a variety of topics, while still having him utilize the practice book we already have.  So far I love the silly reading aspect with some decent social skills concepts covered along with math.   Husband is trying to pick up a bit of slack also which should help.  Trying to at least make it to the end of the year. If we do this next year, I am planning on Oak Meadow for LA/SS/Science. Not sure what I will choose for Math to go with Life of Fred.

 

Time will tell...

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#8 of 9 Old 03-05-2014, 06:34 PM
 
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Hi i my son is in third grade and we recently got the Saxon math curriculum;  I am not sure if we should use it in connection or instead of the OM  method? I just got that curriculum too and i was wondering if anyone likes the OM  home school curriculum for math?  My child is a little behind on knowing all his subtraction and addition math facts--What would help catch him up more?

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#9 of 9 Old 03-06-2014, 02:34 PM
 
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My first year homeschooling, I chose Calvert for my Kindergarden, 2nd and 4th graders.  The curriculum is VERY thorough, and the parent guide is detailed down to what you should say when. That being said, I was drowning in details and could barely get through school for one child during the day.  Granted, it was my first year and I needed a roadmap for where to go with school.  But I would not use Calvert again.  In your situation, I would not use Calvert while trying to help take care of a sick family member. It is not "simply laid out", rather it is rather complicated. Pretty sure your husband or other substitute would loathe the learning curve it takes to get the system down before teaching!

 My hope for you would be a curriculum with which the child can be somewhat self directed. 

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