Hi ladies, so this is my 2nd year homeschooling (he'll be in 1st grade) and I've come to the conclusion I need a planned curriculum. So my question is: Have any of you ladies tried any of the following and how did you feel about them.
One I found that looked great was Timberdoodle, I saw the science was based on religious lore, and I'm curious how much god is the science book, if its avoidable, and if there is an alternative that won't cost too much since it's just the one subject.
Another I'd like your opinion on is Global Student Network. We have 3 children, and the price is fairly hefty, I'm worried about the eventual cost, but curious nonetheless what your opinions are.
And the last I'd like your opinion on is the Christopherus First Grade package. This looks very child-friendly, but I haven't found many reviews of it.
I want to be careful and avoid the religious elements as much as possible, so I don't mind Timberdoodle if I can substitue the science, unless its found throughtout the lesson plans. I'd love any and all opinions. We're trying to get a package rather than order subjects seperately, unless he needs a specific program due to his learning style. It just seems easier that way. I'm just not organized enough to do this without a pre-planned curriculum yet. :o/
It is a nice curriculum that's for sure but there is a lot of it. I think that if it was just one kid it would be easier but I have a 6 year old too. If I used Calvert this year I'd never have any time to be with my 6 year old all my time would be focused on my 10 year old because there is so much work!
I used Calvert for my daughter when she was in 4th. It was very overwhelming. There was so much to do so many different books. It was a lot to pack into one day. It was nice that it was all together but it was difficult to use, and the answers were in 2 separate books, it was just hard to use. I didn't buy it again for this year because of that. The price was steep but I was willing to pay it because the planning was all done for me but like I said it was to confusing. You do get a month to look it over and return it but for me it took that long to try to get use to it and realize it wasn't going to work but then I was stuck with it. The books are nice, very colorful and explains everything well that was a plus.
I haven't used Calvert myself, but I heard one mom say a lot of what you just said. That there was ample work and that she felt overwhelmed. Then, there was this other mom that said she had used it for years. Definitely works different for different poeple, that's for sure.
That is more or less what this hs mom said. She felt she didn't have enough time and that she was jumping back and forth all day long. I agree with Aimee that you would just have to decide what you were going to skip over to shorten the daily length of lessons, if you really want to use Calvert.
Timberdoodle is great! They will allow you to substitute any item for another that they sell. I made 3 or 4 substitutions this year without a hitch. Their customer service is wonderful. BUT, there amterial is NOT planned out. And since you said that is what you are looking for i would look elsewhere.
Places to look? Sonlight. Yes, there is some religious material, but I know many non-christian homeschoolers make it work. Winter's Promise is another. It is on the expensive side, but has everything planned out, like Sonlight. Other secular options would be Keystone and Time4Learning (this would need to be supplimented IMO).
That's what I had to do with Calvert. There was so much to do that we only did what we could. I had to take pieces and parts of it. It is a nice curriculum but $1100 was just to much for what we got out of it, I won't buy it again.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I had heard that Timberdoodle doesn't come with lesson plans - only the books?
On that note, Oak Meadow is secular and rigorous - for the upper grades; it is woefully lacking (in my opinion) in the lower grades.
You can find Calvert packages (including lesson plans) used on Ebay right now, for great prices. Yes, Calvert can be overwhelming but just remember, as in anything homeschooling, take from it what you want and discard the rest (in other words, you don't have to do everything listed).
Don't worry. I do the same thing (as do a lot of other HSing Moms) every year. Until I find something that works, I'll keep doing it! Drives me crazy but I want something that will work and something that my kids will like. Nothing is worse than paying a lot of money only to find out it doesn't work. Sooner or later I'll find something!
Thank all of you for all the great ideas! Now I can't stop comparing and trying to find the right one for us. I will be mulling this over for days.
I used Calvert for 7th and 8th grade for one of my sons, now in his early twenties and he liked it and found it easy to do. I also used it for second grade for my now third grader and it was pretty tedious. We do Classical Conversations now and absolutely love it. However it is Christian so it would not work for you. I did use Sassafrass Science for more science (my daughter LOVES science), used Horizon Math, Mystery of History (again Christian) and First Languague Lessons for her Grammar. She enjoys all her subjects. After using a boxed curriculum and one of my own choosing, I found we were more satisfied with picking out our own individual textbooks than going with boxed. Best of luck!