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Is anyone using it or has anyone used it and stopped? Checking out a couple of different options for next year, although I'm not keen on "computer" schooling. I understand Calvert allows more flexibility than an online public school like k-12 in regards to scheduling assignments, assigning assignments etc.

 

Thoughts? Opinions?

 

TIA :001_smile:

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I used Calvert for K and 2 this year - but not the PS online version. I used their traditional Homeschool w/ ATS (which is a teacher who looks over the work and you get grades/ transcript etc.) - we did however complete some of the lessons online and use brain pop and some of the other online extras.

 

Is it offered for free where you are?

 

The Pros: Everything is there for you, good support overall, the curriculum is comprehensive.

 

The Cons: Very, very, very "school." Because it is modeled after the schoolday, it is very time consuming. Also, I found the assignments (esp. writing) to be contrived, excessive and not particularly well modeled so that teaching writing became a chore. Your kids are a bit older than mine, so they may be able to handle it more independently. The Social Studies and Science are sort of random and most of the "work" is short answer, fill in the blank etc... also, many of the activities would be better in a group. Everything is "textbooky." My son was bored to tears with reading selections and the subsequent comprehension activities.

 

Overall, it was a good learning experience for me (better probably than for the kids lol.) I thought it would be great to have the whole thing planned out and it was nice to get a big 'ol box full of materials, but in the end, I wish I had just stuck with CLE, FLL and SOTW and WWE. I think my DS suffered because the (esp. math and writing) style did not suit him and I was "stuck" using them because he was accountable to the Calvert teacher.

 

I don't think Calvert is a bad program but I do (now) feel that it defeats the purpose of Hsing because it is sooo rigid it is hard to accelerate or remediate in any one subject. The schedule is inflexible and crammed full of unavoidable busy work. That said, for a kid who likes the PS type curriculum, workbooks, computer games etc... it could be a good match.

 

The K program was better though (not that it helps you) but still excessive and repetative w/ the busywork.

 

One thing I've learned... the only thing so far.... is that the curricula that are popular on this forum really are effective and rigorous. Next year I'm following the recommendations of everybody here. I used to think it was snobbery that they all pooh-poohed box curricula like Calvert, but now I understand why ;)

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Is it offered for free where you are?

 

 

To clarify, it is only "offered free" if you enroll your dc in a public, home-based charter school that provides/requires Calvert. Some charter schools provide K12, some are Connections Academies, some give you a stipend and allow you to buy whatever you want (more or less), some provide/require Calvert. In all cases, it is public school at home; parents don't comply with the homeschool laws (if any) in their states but come under public school requirements.

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I have a friend who uses Calvert through the traditional homeschool ATS option. She plans to continue using it and for the most part she is happy with it. As I understand it, ATS grades tests after every 20 lessons and a sampling of other work. This does allow her some wiggle room for modification and she doesn't feel the need to do everything exactly as scheduled.

 

My little ds thinks he would like a no nonsense textbook approach to school next year. I looked at her Calvert guides and seriously considered purchasing grade 6. In the end I purchased to same or similar textbooks and workbooks and only spent about $300 not including math. So, with all the money I would have spent on Calvert, ds will be doing a writeguide online writing course and an online math course that will provide more support than Calvert ATS. Even with the online classes, I still spent less than I would have on Calvert. :)

 

HTH-

Mandy

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Just to add - there are different calvet "versions" and they tend to have different reviews. So if you are after a particular one, it would be better to elaborate (I found this problem when I was searching for reviews for calvert a while ago).

 

Apparently theres a core standards/your particular state version, which would be similar to the S&S of your local school, this one might be the one available "free" through your particular state. Another is the actual school itself, another is getting calvert yourself/paying yourself by purchasing from their online shop, which splits into two separate streams one with ATS and one classic.

 

It confused me too :huh:

 

I am thinking from what I have heard, if you like what they say, and their samples, the online pay-it-yourself version is good, people seem to like it (it is a lot of dollars though). The school itself & its curriculum is apparently quite rigorous (on the side of over-rigorous) and the "free" through your state ones not many people seem to like.

 

I hope that helps :confused1: :leaving:

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I think this is thread sums up Calvert pretty well. Some people like the textbook approach, some don't. I would agree with the pp who said it is rigorous but I would add that it is a particular type of rigor that is based more on quantity than on quality. Still, like I said before, it's a solid program but it just doesn't allow the kind of customization that (for me ) is the greatest benefit of homeschooling.

 

I asked if it was free where you are because I would be wary of the PS approach - for the reasons that Ellie mentioned - it was rigid enough being accountable to Calvert (though I admit my kids liked corresponding with their teacher,) but to be accountable to the district (with attendance, assignments, testing etc...) I think would suck the joy right out of it and turn it into a real clock in/ clock out job. (but that's just me)

 

Anyway, I was actually posting to say that you should contact Calvert because I'm pretty sure they offer the first 60 lessons @ no risk. At least when I signed up they did - you can complete those lessons and see if it works for you (of course I did the paper ATS version so it may be different for the virtual school - but it's worth asking.) If you don't like it, they'll refund your $.

 

Also, they were offering a 10% discount if you attended a webnair. I never attended but I just asked the customer service rep and she gave it to me anyway (+the second child discount.) If you do decide to go with Calvert, keep your eyes open from now to mid-summer for their special discounts.

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We've been using Calvert and *love* it. We really like the textbook approach. It works for us. We don't use ATS, just the classic Calvert. Rory's done PK and K, Adric has done PK-2, Wil has done 2-5, and Melody did 7th and 8th. We don't use Calvert Math after 2nd grade anymore, but instead switch to Teaching Textbooks. Wil did Calvert Math through 3rd and Melody did Calvert Math 7th and 8th.

 

The cost is the biggest con for us. I'm also not thrilled with the DIscovery Streaming videos. My kids love BrainPop, though. The technology lessons can be really persnickety and we don't love them either. The education, though, is excellent and it's easy to use.

 

We're moving to Texas in a month and they (unlike MD) offer virtual schools (provided the kid is 3rd grade + and has spent a year in Texas public schools). We've decided to go ahead and take advantage of that (I know, it's not true homeschooling, but that's okay with us). Of course we decided to do that after I bought next year's curriculum on a super sale for current enrollees and there's another con. Their return policy sucks. You only have 30 days to return it. And that's includes buying it for fall in *January*. So now I have to sell 1st, 3rd, and 6th. That's a little annoying, but whatever.

 

BTW, the guy who does our reviews here in Maryland loves Calvert and says that by the end of 8th grade it is 1 1/2 years ahead of the local public schools. It's pretty much on target to slightly behind the school system we'll be moving to in Texas. I thought that was interesting.

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For oldest DS we used Calvert 5th through 8th. Youngest DS has used 2nd through 8th (currently finishing up). We use the traditional classic academic version. We buy it on our own and don't use ATS. I've never felt the need to have a teacher looking over my shoulder, nor do I want to be accountable to anyone else. We love the textbook approach, and I've found the curriculum to be very flexible. If my kids don't need to do an assignment we skip it. If an assignment doesn't interest them but I think they need to do something to cover the content, there are often alternatives suggested, or I find something on my own. We do prefer Teaching Textbooks over Calvert's math, although IIRC they've switched to something else. Singapore, maybe? I haven't kept up with it since we prefer TT. Math is a separate purchase with Calvert, so there's no money lost if you choose to use another curriculum. On the whole I love how Calvert has everything laid out, and that the subjects mesh together.

 

After doing 5th through 8 using Calvert, oldest DS decided to return to public school for high school. The first year was pretty boring for him academically. He'd already covered with Calvert almost everything in his 9th grade classes. Now as a junior he's in the top 3 percent of his class.

 

IMO Calvert's earlier grades are quite easy and gentle. My youngest started with Calvert 2nd after finishing 1st in PS. He could've easily skipped Calvert 2nd and gone right into 3rd, which I knew from their placement test. I chose not to do it, however, so that we could have an easy start in homeschooling. We were also in the process of moving, so with all that upheaval I decided it was best to keep things easy our first year. Things ramp up considerably in middle school, but we don't find it time-consuming by any means. Quite the opposite. My current 8th grader goes through his daily lesson so fast I often wonder if I should be supplementing with something else (besides Rosetta Stone Spanish and IEW). But then I remember how well-prepared oldest DS was for public school, and I don't worry about it.

 

(I supplement with IEW because youngest isn't an intuitive writer. He needed a program that broke writing down step-by-step for him. Oldest DS did just fine with Calvert's writing.)

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We've used it in the past when we first started homeshooling, we did NOT use it through a public school option; we used ATS. The grades we used, 4-7, seemed rigorous and what you might expect in an excellent public school or a secular private school. It is very textbook based, but coming directly from public school it worked for my daughter quite well. It does demand a lot of writing starting in 4th grade, at least back when we used it.

 

I do agree that there are cheaper options out there, but if you have a kid on grade level it's very convenient and time-saving, to have it all laid out for you ready to just open and go.

 

If you are buying it, I would look for sales and discounts because they seem to offer those frequently these days.

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