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seemesew

If you had to use a box curriculum

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Hypothetically speaking, what if you had to use a box curriculum for 1-3 years what would you use? 

The box curriculum needs to include all subjects you would need teach math, LA etc. (I guess math could be different since that isn't always included)  Lets pick 2 different ones following these guidelines:

1. Money is not an issue you could get whatever you would like 

2. Money is tight so it needs to be affordable

For both situations it needs to be something you think you would really use in your actual life, not in your dream "this is how I would like to homeschool" life ;0)

Edited by seemesew

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1. I believe I would use abeka for the first option, I probably would not use all the extra games and stuff, but the basic books and helps I would. I would also add in some writing and books that the kids read. 

2. I would use saxon math (or abeka if too young for saxon) and use easy peasy online to fill in the rest.

 

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I am trying, but I can't think of a single box that would be less than $100 (or ever $400). Boxes are just pricey. But even piecing separately, I don't think there's any way I could get all subjects for each kid for $100. I'm curious to see what options others come up with. 

For 1, I guess I'd go with Sonlight if you let me get a different math. But I detest their LA, so I'm not sure if I could do it even though I mostly like the rest of their stuff. For younger years, I could more easily overlook the LA though (if I was allowed to consult my existing stash ? ) 

It's also going to depend on which grades though.......that will impact my answer. 

 

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5 minutes ago, texasmom33 said:

I am trying, but I can't think of a single box that would be less than $100 (or ever $400). Boxes are just pricey. But even piecing separately, I don't think there's any way I could get all subjects for each kid for $100. I'm curious to see what options others come up with. 

For 1, I guess I'd go with Sonlight if you let me get a different math. But I detest their LA, so I'm not sure if I could do it even though I mostly like the rest of their stuff. For younger years, I could more easily overlook the LA though (if I was allowed to consult my existing stash ? ) 

It's also going to depend on which grades though.......that will impact my answer. 

 

I'll change the price on 2 cause your'e right ;0)

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I think I would do Oak Meadow, or maybe BJU, for something where money is no object. 

 

If money did matter, not sure. I have not really seen Boxed curriculums that were affordable. Maybe CLE?

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I'm going to revise my answer a bit. 

For #1

For levels K-2-ish, I'd probably go with A Beka (because their phonics and LA are awesome) and then RightStart for Math. I could probably make due with their math if required, but there would be gnashing of teeth on my part. Throw in some picture books and call it good. 

For 3-8, I'd go with MFW or Sonlight most likely, and I have no idea for math because it's so kid dependent. RS, CLE, MUS, something. I've never used MFW, but I like the look of it and it is cheaper than SL from glancing at their website. 

For 9-12, I might be tempted to go with BJU if I could only pick one, simply because I know it'd cover all of the basis and it's rigorous. But it might be too rigorous. High school is one that I have the hardest time seeing in a box. 

#2- For affordable, I'm still a little stuck, because affordable has such a wide range........ But if I had kids spread across a wide span I'd probably go back to TOG (if that counts as a box) and utilize the library as much as possible. And then add whichever maths. TOG isn't cheap, but it's cheaper than a full box for each child. I'd use recitation, copywork and dictation for LA and call it good. (I'd actually do that with any of the programs, but I know some people want an LA.) 

I believe this is my final answer. ?:d

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High School in a box would put me with BJUP (for the sciences) though I wouldn’t be happy about it. I’d swap out the math for Chalkdust or MUS depending on the aptitude of the kid. I have kids in very different math camps, iykwim.

For everything else, I’d go Oak Meadow for upper elementary and jr high and Sonlight for early elementary.

I’d use CLE for a budget choice for jr high and below, though I’d rely on a science and history encyclopedia to round out those areas.

If we extended beyond 3 years, I’d force the point beyond a single provider. There are a lot of good options that don’t take up much space or require much scheduling or outside resources that are better than a single provider choice.

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58 minutes ago, seemesew said:

Hypothetically speaking, what if you had to use a box curriculum for 1-3 years what would you use? 

The box curriculum needs to include all subjects you would need teach math, LA etc. (I guess math could be different since that isn't always included)  Lets pick 2 different ones following these guidelines:

1. Money is not an issue you could get whatever you would like 

2. Money is tight so it needs to be affordable

For both situations it needs to be something you think you would really use in your actual life, not in your dream "this is how I would like to homeschool" life ;0)

If by "box curriculum" you mean "all subjects from the same publisher," I would choose Rod and Staff Publishers, through eighth grade, whether money was tight or not. It's just that good.

If by "box curriculum" you mean "a box of books from a single company, with materials from a variety of publishers:"

1. Sonlight

2. This is trickier; faith-based: Christian; not faith-based: Timberdoodle

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I have eyed Memoria Press and would probably pick that and all the supplements if money was no object. They use Rod & Staff math which isn’t my favorite, but would be ok. It is the box that is the most similar to what I piece together myself. 

I have no idea what I would use for a budget box. 

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5 minutes ago, Rachel said:

I have eyed Memoria Press and would probably pick that and all the supplements if money was no object. They use Rod & Staff math which isn’t my favorite, but would be ok. It is the box that is the most similar to what I piece together myself. 

I have no idea what I would use for a budget box. 

I am wrong, they actually use a different math I believe it is CLE which I’ve never used so I have no idea whether I would like it or not. 

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1. Timberdoodle secular kit.  It wouldn't exactly match up to my ideals, but it's good enough and would meet my requirements.

2. Budget box would be Easy Peasy.  Again, not my ideal, but it would work.  If I was truly on a tight budget I'd build my own because a budget means more work on my end to have it full and rich.  I could do K-8th for an average of $100/year that way, if I absolutely had to.

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2 minutes ago, Rachel said:

I am wrong, they actually use a different math I believe it is CLE which I’ve never used so I have no idea whether I would like it or not. 

Did they switch to CLE?!? I know they were using R&S last year- at least the MP Cottage Schools were. That's interesting. 

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3 minutes ago, texasmom33 said:

Did they switch to CLE?!? I know they were using R&S last year- at least the MP Cottage Schools were. That's interesting. 

Now I’m totally confused. In the picture it looks like Rod and Staff. I checked a couple different grades randomly I didn’t see Rod and Staff in the description, then checked a couple more and did. The Latin School here uses Memoria Press and definitely used R&S for math. 

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Money is no object?  Hmm.... there used to be a curriculum called Enki that looked lovely, but was hard to implement. I wonder if they improved. :)   With stuff that exists right now? Probably Oak Meadow or the older Calvert.  The new Calvert has lost all of the unique Calvert resources.  

 

Money is tight? CLE?  Could buy light units on an add needed basis to keep costs very down.

Edited by umsami
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Money is no object: Sonlight or Timberdoodle--a lot depends on the kid! If it's really no object, lots of both so I'd have choices at hand, but then that's two boxes...

Money is tight: If it's "money" versus "preference" and money wins, then I'd use the box set that I could barter for locally, whatever it was, as long as there was any way for it to work and it wasn't moldy, smokey, or perfumey (seriously, what I've seen pulled out of attics at some sales...!). I'd add on quality read-alouds that I could find through local used sales and the library.

If I also want some choice and can ease up a bit on money being the decider, then "Sonlight used." That's what I did many years--I found a lot of the materials used locally, made up what I had to through online used, new if needed for things like math--and was usually able to get into the $200-$300 range for each child. Once you're past grade 8, it can be much harder to find it all used online and you might need to mix in some new.

I'm also a fan of "my own box" by being eclectic through local used sales, paperback swap, borrowing and bartering, the library etc... But that's too "outside the box" for your question I think!

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1 hour ago, Rachel said:

Now I’m totally confused. In the picture it looks like Rod and Staff. I checked a couple different grades randomly I didn’t see Rod and Staff in the description, then checked a couple more and did. The Latin School here uses Memoria Press and definitely used R&S for math. 

 

Memoria Press uses Rod and Staff. I know because I ordered 3 full "boxes" from them and they're sitting in my office because R&S really didn't work here.

However, since I'm here-I will recommend Memoria Press. But you really have to be on board with the classical method of homeschooling. You might not notice it in K-2 but once you hit 3rd grade, you encounter Greek Myths and then it's classical all the way. But it really is rigorous, streamlined and quite beautiful.

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1. Oak Meadow

2. Not sure what constitutes a "box." If online is OK and money was really tight I would probably use the free state virtual school (FLVS for us) otherwise maybe a free Charlotte Mason program, as we have a really good library system. Ursa Minor looks pretty good. I know there are others as well. I'd probably use Saxon math though.

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I'm going  to revise my #1choice because I totally forgot about sonlight! I have blocked it since it is way out of my price range but money isn't an issue ? 

I love your ideas and even though its probably something I wouldn't ever do I am completely liking the thoughts this "situation" is giving me!

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If money grew on trees:   I'd probably go with Sonlight (and modify to fit as I needed to). 

Since money doesn't grow on treespiece together Sonlight used and/or use Ambleside Online or Linda Fay's schedule and booklists (it would all come in boxes from Amazon or Ebay).   Once again, I would modify to fit our family as needed.

(Wait a minute!--This *is* what I do right now!...some kids are more SL, some are more Ambleside-ish...it's all good.)

I would use R&S math (taught using c-rods) in 1-7 with whatever box I chose, and use Warriners Grammar and Comp in Jr. High and up.

And of course, I would raid libraries as needed and find no shame in using something like Easy Peasy if it was what fit the situation at that time.  I have used bits and pieces of EP when there was no room in the budget and no room in my brain to plan something else. Truly, no one suffered and learning did take place.  ?

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12 minutes ago, texasmom33 said:

If we're allowed to use Ambleside, I'd pick that hands down as my affordable option, but I don't consider it a box. It's more a list. 

There is no set rule on what a box is, I suppose, so use it!

I guess I'm feeling worn and a box sounds magical (even though I would most likely never actually use one as I like too many pieces of various curriculum) and was curious what you all would use in those 2 situations just to break my mood :wink:

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Just now, seemesew said:

There is no set rule on what a box is, I suppose, so use it!

I guess I'm feeling worn and a box sounds magical (even though I would most likely never actually use one as I like too many pieces of various curriculum) and was curious what you all would use in those 2 situations just to break my mood :wink:

I felt exactly that way last spring and so I bought two boxes for the three kids. And then a large part of an A Beka box last month and I've been a happy camper. ? Sometimes you get tired and just want someone to tell you what to do. At least I do. I'm all about the scripted curricula right now. 

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I made the move to the box for my 4th child after ten years of pieceing together my dream curriculum for my three oldest kids. Best decision ever. Have not regretted it for a minute. 

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I went with Memoria Press this year because I was tired of decision fatigue x 3 kids. It’s not perfect but it’s been nice to have everything planned out. 

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I'm looking at the options being named and going nope, this is why I haven't bought a box yet. I'd need a Frankenbox. ?

ETA...
My child today, out of the blue: There should be a way to make a formula to figure out how long it would take me to fill up a container with water if the water always flows at the same rate.

Also my child today, for approximately the sixth day in a row: How do you spell hotel?

Edited by whitehawk
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1 hour ago, teachermom2834 said:

I use Memoria Press almost exactly as written for my 5th grader. Rod and Staff is the math through 6th grade. 

I bet I looked at an older grade, I was looking quickly and while half distracted. ?

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14 minutes ago, Rachel said:

I bet I looked at an older grade, I was looking quickly and while half distracted. ?

Yes- they do switch to something else for prealgebra and up. So you were not wrong.

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12 hours ago, seemesew said:

There is no set rule on what a box is, I suppose, so use it!

I guess I'm feeling worn and a box sounds magical (even though I would most likely never actually use one as I like too many pieces of various curriculum) and was curious what you all would use in those 2 situations just to break my mood :wink:

 

12 hours ago, texasmom33 said:

I felt exactly that way last spring and so I bought two boxes for the three kids. And then a large part of an A Beka box last month and I've been a happy camper. ? Sometimes you get tired and just want someone to tell you what to do. At least I do. I'm all about the scripted curricula right now. 

 

11 hours ago, teachermom2834 said:

I made the move to the box for my 4th child after ten years of pieceing together my dream curriculum for my three oldest kids. Best decision ever. Have not regretted it for a minute. 

 I find myself a lot less idealistic and a lot more "good enough" this time around (kids 10 years apart). I will say I think the answer for seemesew could be a cruise. Like seriously, sometimes that's the real problem, that we need some "take care of Mom" focus for a while. I had to do that recently. I went to the doctor and did what he said (thyroid meds), went to the optometrist and did what he said (two pairs of progressives, hey I'm 42!), scrounged some money and went to Florida and tromped Disney and sat on the beach a while... I got my spunk back and we're getting things done again. But if the cruise doesn't do it for you, then yeah go pick some get 'er done stuff and be at peace. Maybe just don't over-buy, especially in anything you know won't be a good fit.

I dearly love the joyful components of the Timberdoodle cores, and I don't think I could live life without their inspiration. Well not really, but still. I would need those components, and then I'dd probably have to sub out anything that REALLY wasn't gonna work for LA and math. But for everything else, yeah Timberdoodle straight would be fine. For the math and LA, I'm skewed because I'm now dealing with a kid with 3 SLDs and have lost touch of reality, lol. But even then, I think I could probably get MUS to work if I HAD to. I like Texas's path with a box plus a part box. It will be more expensive, but it will solve that LA/math problem probably for you. Like me, I'd probably get a BJU half box (math, reading, science) and tag that on most of a Timberdoodle box and live a happy life.

Edited by PeterPan
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You know what would be cool?
If someone would come out with an a la carte monthly homeschool box.  I would love it if I could subscribe to a box that would send me 20 days' worth of history or science lesson plans/supplies.  Or a 20 day math box that has intensive practice on a skill or extension activities.  There are times I'm just tired of pulling together resources or just need something for a month.  Moving Beyond The Page comes close to that, but not quite.

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If money were no object I would want the following:

Preschool- I would get Both of Sonlights Cores for preschool...MFW Educational toy packages....and Timberdoodle because each has a totally different focus.  Sonlight is reading to them...MFW is play with them....Timberdoodle is do skills and think with them.

K- MFW Kindergarten with Sonlight core A.

1st-8th

I would love Timberdoodles Elite packages as I like all of the extra STEM and creative additions, but I would want to exchange Spelling, English, and Math to Rod and Staff (I also believe c-rods and base ten materials help here).

High school- I would go with BJU with DVDs or MFW whichever I felt was better for that student.

If I were limited on funds I would go with the following and this is mostly what I do now?:

Preschool-

Rod and Staff preschool workbooks, Explode the Code workbooks, library for readalouds (I got Sonlight preschool cores years ago and have used them over and over), and a lot of time at the park. I like Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons for a preschooler whom is ready to read.

Kindergarten-

CLE Kindergarten II, a phonics primer of your choosing, and Cuisennaire rods and pattern blocks for math exploration.  I would try to find MFW Kindergarten manual used and old...and use it for the weekly activities without the student sheets as they are expensive. 

1st-8th

Hands down Rod and Staff, but I would switch out their Reading for Pathway which you are able to do.  I would also switch their penmanship for Pentime which one can also do.  I would add the library or Kindles with tons of free books as soon as possible.  I would make a momma list of basic books that I don't want my children to miss and require 1 hour daily reading from them.  

HE

High School

I would get LOF math and find the cheapest Mastery based program on Amazon-BJU or Dolciani textbooks for a back ground. I would do LOF together as it is hilarious and have them work mostly independently in the textbooks.

I would do Ambleside Online for books on my Kindles and would do Apologia (an older used version) for sciences.  I would do Writing With Skill followed by Jensens Format writing and finish out Rod and Staff English. 

For history Notgrass is amazing and would be my go to....it will also cover different writing types beyond WWS.

Brenda

 

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Money no object - BJU  No, I changed my mind - Sonlight, since there are options you can choose for math

Affordable - CLE

My first choice is definitely to mix and match, though.  There is no single publisher where I love everything and every subject. And I really prefer living books to textbooks and readers.

Edited by kristin0713
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5 hours ago, texasmom33 said:

I just might have to check out Timberdoodle next year. I always forget about them and their STEM-y type stuff might be perfect for my science loving ds. 

Have you seen the amazon STEM club? Another way to suck your money. :biggrin:

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Oak Meadow new if money was no object.

Oak Meadow used if I was tight for cash.

I like so much of Memoria Press, but I don't think I'd want to use all of it all at once. 

 

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We are using Memoria Press, and that would be my pick for #1. 

My affordable pick would be R&S, since it could be re-used for younger children. 

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On 10/18/2018 at 8:25 PM, teachermom2834 said:

I made the move to the box for my 4th child after ten years of pieceing together my dream curriculum for my three oldest kids. Best decision ever. Have not regretted it for a minute. 

 

What did you end up doing this year that you are so happy with?

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1 minute ago, Mom28kds said:

 

What did you end up doing this year that you are so happy with?

Memoria Press. But not just this year. Started when she was in K and she is in 5th now so we are obviously happy. She has made huge strides this year so I have extra love for MP. (Though I know most of it is just natural development). 

It was the right choice for us, for sure.

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1. BJU or MP...it is a toss up. I love them both for different reasons.

2. Used Sonlight schedule from Ebay and the library. 

This is all just in fun for me to think about though. I just cannot commit to using a full box. I love to mix and match. I guess with that in mind, Timberdoodle would probably be the one I actually stuck with for the whole year ?

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We had to do this for real this past school year.  I was experiencing massive burnout (brought on by the 3 year old).  My 3 oldest teens have used Sonlight all year.  We just bought the IG's and got most of the books from the library.  It was very affordable this way and our library system has most of the books.  My youngest two used My Father's World.  More expensive, because we actually bought the package.  

Everyone enjoyed their boxed curricula this year.  *shrug*. It's been a very simple year.  Not sure if we are continuing with them, though.  I feel like I've charged my batteries and am ready to be the 'homeschool magician' again.  

       

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If I had to choose a boxed curriculum for one to three years I would pick: 

Money no issue: Memoria Press or oak meadow (for about fourth grade) 

A complete used bundle of five in a row for the lower levels 

Tight on money: queens Homeschool boxes 

 

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This is tough . . . a complete box, no tweaking except math...probably Memoria Press...though I have considered BJU for my older ones. 

When money is tight I can't really think of a box that would meet our needs, but if I needed all laid out, I would probably choose CLE Math and LA for K-8/BJU for high school and MP science, history, lit . . . not quite a box but close! 

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I did use a box one year, from a service called Tree of Life in New Brunswick.  It was ok, I might use it again.  There were a few choices I didn't like, but it was actually possible to substitute without buying those, so that would be nice.

It wasn't that expensive.  

I am actually not all that familiar with a lot of the boxed programs though.

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21 hours ago, macmacmoo said:

If I had to choose a boxed curriculum for one to three years I would pick: 

Money no issue: Memoria Press or oak meadow (for about fourth grade) 

A complete used bundle of five in a row for the lower levels 

Tight on money: queens Homeschool boxes 

 

Ohhh those are good choices! I didn't know queens had boxes! I'll have to look those over and five in a row would be perfect for my little kids ages I forgot about them too.

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If I had to, either Timberdoodle or Memoria Press.

I don't know what either of them cost (times four), so I don't know if either would fall under "money is tight." I see many listed those for their "money is no object," though, so perhaps those would both fall under #1. 

Okay, if I had to do a box for "money is tight" and I get to define what a "box" is, I'd do Hunter's one-page thing. (I can't find it to link her description of it, but she used to have it linked in her sig.)

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Is Bookshark considered a box curriculum? If so, I could use that. BUT only if time was not an issue and I could spend most of my time teaching, rather than having kids be self led. And ONLY if all kids involved were strong in their language arts skills. 

I can't think of any box curriculum that would work if money were an issue. They all seem so expensive. 

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5 hours ago, Fawnmoscato said:

Is Bookshark considered a box curriculum?

People have different definitions of "box curriculum." Some consider KONOS and Easy Grammar "box curriculum." o_0  It isn't a term *I* would use, because there's no consensus on what it means.

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I thought Timberdoodle just pulled together other resources?

I don't spend much time looking at boxes since my kids tend to be all over the place on grade level and what works for them but I used to wish I had the money for MBTP, and Oak Meadow looks interesting.

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