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Least "preachy" boxed curriculum


Pretty in Pink
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I'm going to purchase workbook or worktext curricula for the boys in the near future. Secular suggestions are welcome, but I'm not coming up with much in my search of these forums.

 

Of the following major Christian publishers, which would you say is the least preachy?

 

CLE

ACE

Alpha Omega (Lifepacs or Horizons)

BJU

 

Are there others that I'm not thinking of?

 

ETA: I wish I could edit the title of this post. I think the term "most inclusive" might have been more appropriate.

Edited by Pretty in Pink
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I've never seen or tried CLE, but ACE (as far as I recall) is very preachy. BJU is not too extensive, although it is apparent that it's a Christian publisher. Lifepacs ...I'm not sure, but I thought their social studies stuff was extremely light and, well, kind of silly.

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CLE is the only one of these I have experience with, and that's only with LA and Reading. In my experience with LA so far, I haven't found it "preachy", but there have been assignments such as: identify three prepositional phrases in 1 Corinthians 15:58.

 

I think the reading program is great. I actually used it first and liked it so much that we decided to try the LA too. I think the stories are very sweet. But they most definitely promote Christian values and morality. Each one begins with a scripture, and then has a story expressing how that principle or idea could be lived out in every day life. In what I have encountered so far, I think it is generally things that people of all faiths would agree on (honesty, helping your fellow man, etc.) but it is expressed from a Christian point of view. I'm guessing you would find that "preachy", but you can read some samples from each level online to help you decide.

 

Hope that helps somewhat. My experience is with the 400 level of Reading and the 500 level of LA.

Edited by GretaLynne
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If anyone has a suggestion for a secular, workbook-based core curriculum I am all ears! I'm just not aware of one personally. I searched these forums for a few hours this afternoon but didn't find much.

 

We are Christians, but not evangelical. I don't mind some scriptural references (it's honestly not my preference that Biblical references pervade every subject, however). I'd like to avoid criticism of other faiths.

 

I think we are set for math and vocabulary. I'm mainly looking for science, history, language arts, literature (for my 7th grader), and some electives. My younger boys already enjoy Explode the Code and HWOT.

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Horizons math (at least at the K level) is not at all preachy. CLE math isn't very religious at all - a Bible verse on the tests, a rare "just for fun" activity.

 

Yes, but some of their other subjects are preachy & she's looking for a "boxed" curriculum. I assume that means she wants something for all subjects, no?

 

I just can't imagine using CLE or any of the above mentioned curricula (especially for all subjects) if I was searching for a non-"preachy" curriculum. Don't get me wrong. I like all of the publishers listed. I'm a Christian & we do use R&S, CLE, and BJU - but if I wanted something that didn't focus on God, I would choose something different....something secular.

 

Susan

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If anyone has a suggestion for a secular, workbook-based core curriculum I am all ears!

 

Isn't Calvert workbook based? We used them in grade 1 & our experience was a lot of seatwork for my daughter, mostly workbooks. Also K12 is less computer based and mostly workbook based by 7th grade. Maybe that would be worth checking out. Lastly, what about Core Knowledge - you could purchase Pearson products across the board. Or Homeschool Super Center has packages ...here's their 7th grade package: http://www.accountwizard.com/clients/shop.asp?Web=cca-store&AW_SessionID=AWEngine2011000001987954649496499k49k649QId9k49S649ASite2e82k782E&page=item&itemid=180

 

Susan

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Abeka. I knew I was forgetting one of the big ones. Does anyone have experience with this program?

 

I did look at K12, but it's really expensive! I don't think I could afford it for multiple children. I think Calvert is also fairly expensive. I will check out Pearson and the link you shared. Thanks for those suggestions.

 

We do use BJU English for writing instruction, and I like it. The grammar chapters are fine as well; we have just been using Winston Grammar for a while.

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Isn't the expensive thing about Calvert that you can pay a huge amount more for "support"? Is the unsupported materials set that much more than other options? If you don't want a "preachy" curriculum, then I wouldn't opt for any of the things you listed. But that's just me. I don't know much about box curricula, but you could try asking on the Secular Homeschool Yahoo group or the Secular Homeschool Forum and you might get people who know what they're talking about.

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I have used Abeka, A&O Lifepacs, Rod & Staff and BJU (among lots of other things, but sticking with your requirements) and find that BJU is just the best quality materials in content of these 4. I've never used CLE. They are all openly evenagelical and I think about equal in that department.

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We are using Abeka math, letters & sounds, language and spelling. I don't have any 1st grade readers but some of the 2nd grade readers are Christian based. We didn't use them this year though but will next yr. I think in all of the stuff we do use, I have only seen a few Bible things. I have the science too but we aren't using it.

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Moving Beyond The Page is secular but easy to add Christian studies or Bible to it. We used it as Christians and it does tie in character traits in a non-invasive way. It is pricey but can be purchased used on ebay or there is a yahoo group for it.

 

It is literature based but does have a "student book" in which the worksheets are more like forms that are filled out for many of the activities. The student keeps a notebook to journal in for the LA but we were not good about this.

 

I liked a lot of things about it but it wasn't a good fit for my dd.

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My only suggestion would be Calvert. I don't think Abeka's curriculum is overly religious - is it? We bought a couple of things from them and it didn't have anything relgious in it.

 

Also, we use BJU Spelling and it's really mellow. It has one small religious-themed section in each lesson. Other than that, it just looks like the spelling workbook from when I was in ps.

 

It's hard to find secular curricula!! I'm looking for astronomy right now. :confused:

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If anyone has a suggestion for a secular, workbook-based core curriculum I am all ears! I'm just not aware of one personally. I searched these forums for a few hours this afternoon but didn't find much.

 

We are Christians, but not evangelical. I don't mind some scriptural references (it's honestly not my preference that Biblical references pervade every subject, however). I'd like to avoid criticism of other faiths.

 

I think we are set for math and vocabulary. I'm mainly looking for science, history, language arts, literature (for my 7th grader), and some electives. My younger boys already enjoy Explode the Code and HWOT.

 

Sycamore Tree has packages with lesson plans - you can get secular or Christian.

 

Sycamore Tree Curriculum packages

 

Calvert *is* a good one and they do offer financial aid if you would qualify.

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I understand your dilemma completely. For me, it's not that I don't 'believe,' it's just that I don't want scripture quoted in my kids' math books. That isn't why I'm homeschooing. I understand why some do homeschool for religious purposes; it just isn't our focus.

 

That being said, we use Sonlight. It is definitely Christian-based, but we omit all of the Bible work. Some of the literature has a definite religious overtone, but we either substitute a secular work or skip it altogether. Incidentally, there is a secular Sonlight yahoogroup which provides excellent suggestions for alternate books to use.

 

FWIW, I did see someone on the yahoogroup (who called herself an atheist) say that she still taught all the Bible works because she thought it was important for her children to at least have a basic knowledge of Bible stories since many great works of literature referred to them. In my mind, she was saying that she taught the Bible stories like you would Greek mythology. I thought it was an interesting and valid point. Maybe, next year, I'll have more time, and I'll do that. :D

 

We then use Singapore for our math program and RS4K and R.E.A.L. Science for science.

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CLE Reading 300s is MEGA PREACHY. The reader for that level is all about heathens seeing the light and recognizing their ignorance.

 

Have you looked at stuff marketed for public schools? The public school stuff isn't all bad, and it's often very cheap on Amazon Marketplace. There are often workbooks available.

 

Holt Literature is good, and their middle-high school program is Elements of Literature. It comes in a worktext where you answer questions in the margins. They also have a ton of free resources on the web (author bios, graphic organizers for the literary elements, and lit guides). http://eolit.hrw.com/hlla/newmainlinks/lit.jsp

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Someone else mentioned Starline Press. There's also Pacworks for 7th and up. I know you wanted "boxed" suggestions, but Evan-Moore's Daily Science would be a nice alternative IMO. Also, EPS has the Story of the USA books that would make a nice year of work. They also have Western Civilization. Saddleback has a U.S. History Binder that looks nice also. If you go with a Glencoe text, there's tons of resources online to coordinate with the books.

 

Jennifer

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I used Covenant Home for a year with one of my boys when we were first starting out. I loved that it comes with a schedule all planned out day by day and I like that you can buy the whole curriculum or just the modules you want (science, math, language arts etc.). I found that except for the Bible module it wasn't at all preachy.

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I understand your dilemma completely. For me, it's not that I don't 'believe,' it's just that I don't want scripture quoted in my kids' math books. That isn't why I'm homeschooing. I understand why some do homeschool for religious purposes; it just isn't our focus.

 

That being said, we use Sonlight. It is definitely Christian-based, but we omit all of the Bible work. Some of the literature has a definite religious overtone, but we either substitute a secular work or skip it altogether. Incidentally, there is a secular Sonlight yahoogroup which provides excellent suggestions for alternate books to use.

 

 

:iagree: We use the history, readers and read alouds and do our own language arts, math and Bible. I haven't found it to be evangelical in Cores 1-4 with the exception of Missionary Stories with the Millers in Core 1+2.

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Galore Park has good text books, but doesn't have many workbooks. Does it have to be workbooks?

 

It doesn't have to be workbooks necessarily, though my kids do enjoy workbooks. I just need more open-and-go, low-prep than I have now. I need stuff the kids can grab and take with them to activities without my having to plan it out the night before. Textbooks might also fit this bill.

 

You have all given me lots of great suggestions. I am going to keep looking over these.

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No one has mentioned Timberdoodle. They offer boxed curriculum, but it is easy to pick and choose just what you want. Many of their subjects are simply workbooks.

 

Their science and history are the more religious subjects they offer. You could just look elsewhere for those if you prefer.

 

That said, we piece together our curriculum.

 

Spalding (The Writing Road to Reading) is our Language arts program.

We use Real Science 4 Kids for science.

Sonlight is history and literature (since Spalding has you choose your own lit. selections, this is a good combination for us).

Singapore math is not religious at all and works well for our family.

We've used Easy Grammar and Growing With Grammar for extra grammar practice when needed.

Writing With Ease is a favorite for kids that really struggle with the Spalding writing assignments. It takes the pressure off a bit.

 

With so many kids to school, our day is fairly open and go without a completely boxed curriculum.

 

Good luck!

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It doesn't have to be workbooks necessarily, though my kids do enjoy workbooks. I just need more open-and-go, low-prep than I have now. I need stuff the kids can grab and take with them to activities without my having to plan it out the night before. Textbooks might also fit this bill.

 

You have all given me lots of great suggestions. I am going to keep looking over these.

 

 

It isn't boxed, but Evan moor has good materials. I use their "Read and understand Science" which is indpendent on reading level, and doesn't require many experiments yet give a good overview of science. Not in depth, but a decent overview. They also have Geography, Math and Grammar. They are also less expensive than many others. If you pulled from each subject you could cover just about everything.

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