Alpha Omega The Weaver

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mystika1

  • Reviewed on Friday, March 30, 2012
  • Grades Used: k and 3rd
  • Dates used: 2012-current
I wanted to write this review for the Weaver curriculum because it has been such a great choice for us. I was choosing between Weaver and TOG. I love how the objectives for each grade level are color coded. There are lots of objectives to choose from at each level. Yes, the binder is huge but considering that it has objectives for k-6 in each volume..it is going to be a large binder. I do use the Day by Day and find the creative writing assignments to be very helpful. So far, in science we have covered rock formations, electricity, magnetism, energy, and volcanoes. We have enjoyed everything. I have read that some believe the book choices to be outdated but our library has most of the exact titles and these books are available for purchase at CBD for a very reasonable price if you prefer to own the books. To be 100% honest, you do not have to use the exact books listed. (That is one of the reasons I chose Weaver over TOG...I don't have to purchase exact books and spend $$$) It is not difficult to find books about volcanoes or Ben Franklin and so on. I would like to encourage people to look beyond the large binder and at least try a few weeks to see just how easy it is to use. Also, the unofficial weaver pages are a real help to new users.

vsdunkin

  • Reviewed on Sunday, September 11, 2011
  • Grades Used: K, 2nd, 3rd, 4th
  • Dates used: 2009-present
We are in our 3rd year of homeschooling and using the Weaver Curriculum..and we really love it. Every year I look at other curriculum to see what's out there and every year I stick with the Weaver.
My children are really learning, and they are not overwhelmed by it at all. My 4th grader this year is starting to do her own research for the topics studied.

And my younger children have always just followed along with the lessons. This is my middle son's first year "formally" homeschooling and we are using the K objectives.

I did use the Day by Day with Volume 1 but have not purchased it with Volume 2 (it is taking us about 1 1/2 years to finish a Volume.) I find it is sometimes easier to just plan myself so that the objectives for both students match up as closely as possible. Although the DBD offers great ideas for creative writing and schedules in Wisdom Words if you are using that (which we do not).

While it can be alot of prep work to begin with, once you get comfortable with the curriculum things begin to flow alot smoother. Sometimes I just grab an Encyclopedia and open up the Volume with no prep work at all.

I do think it's important to remember why you chose to homeschool in the first place, and find a curriculum that supports that goal. My own reasons were to nurture a love for God's Word in my children and to give them a love for learning and discovering new things. I definitely believe this curriculum does that. Yes at times it can be overwhelming to MOM when your focus gets off alittle ( or alot) but when you go back to those main priorities you'll often find you are right on track.

3 Godly Seeds

  • Reviewed on Wednesday, June 16, 2010
  • Grades Used: 1st-2nd
  • Dates used: 2008-2010
I love the Weaver Curriculum. I have used it for two years and plan to continue using it. I like the unit based studies because I teach multiple age levels.

The curriculum requires work on my part which I don't mind. I use the Day by Day planner to help me plan my course of action. The Weaver listed supplemental texts and books that I could spend a ton of money on but I don't. I get all my books from the library.

For instance, this past year we covered the 12 plagues in the Bible. So for science and social studies we covered things like the life cycle of frogs, hail and weather conditions, etc... even personal hygiene (lice). So I look in the book and find out what we will be studying and then I go to the library and find books and sometimes videos on whatever the topic is.

I like we weaver because it tells me what subject or topic to teach and then I can take it and do whatever I want with it. For instance, in studying the lifecycle of frogs we went frog hunting and played "leap frog" made a frog craft.... The weaver leaves room for your imagination and ideas.

This curriculum does require lots of planning and book hunting at the library and overall parental involvement but I like being so personally involved in my children's education. I do more than just pick a curriculum and tear out page after page, I get to hand pick every book and media tool and craft or game idea for myself. Although, I will say weaver does give ideas for observation projects (art), field trips, and activities which I like and use as much as possible.

I think overall it is a very good, bible based curriculum. Every study is derived from what is being covered in the Bible which I think is awesome. Every year I go to convention and look at all the curriculum afresh and I still decide to stick with this one.

Just as an FYI, I use R&S for reading and english and Horizons for Math.

Nojo317

  • Reviewed on Monday, November 2, 2009
  • Grades Used: Kindergarten & 3rd Grade
  • Dates used: 2009
I started using Weaver Volume 1 this September. The idea of Weaver sounded great, but I’ve found that it’s got a steep learning curve for using it. As a new homeschooler, I thought I could handle it because I like to plan, I’m very organized, and have a couple great libraries nearby. After two months of trying to use this curriculum, I have finally come to the point where I need to throw in the towel. It’s just TOO much work! Here’s my overall assessment:

1. For your littles or lower elementary grades, the Bible portion is often over their heads. I found myself having to use other, more age-appropriate materials for them so we weren’t skipping this part of our schooling, which to me is the most important part! Also, the Bible verses chosen (for memorization or penmanship) were ridiculously long for younger students. I usually found my own Bible verses that also tied to the topic we were studying.

2. The materials recommended in Volume 1 are mostly Milliken transparencies and worksheets. These are rated at 5th grade and above in the Rainbow Resource catalog, although Weaver suggests using it for grades 3 and up. The thing is that they aren’t cheap, and no libraries have them available for checking out. For *each topic* they’re roughly $15. I had K’r and 3rd gr students, plus I didn’t have the money to spend on Milliken resources. Instead I spent hours going over what the libraries had available on the topic and what would be appropriate for each of my children and what they were studying. Other non-Milliken materials that were suggested in Weaver were not available at my well-stocked libraries (about 90% wasn’t available.) I know I can do ILL, but sometimes I didn’t have time to wait for a library loan to arrive and had to make my own decisions about books. For me this was stressful – is the book too much or too little? Is it going to cover what Weaver suggests or will we be off-track? Also, in one chapter a National Geographic from the 1980’s is a recommended resource for a particular objective in chapter 3. Are they kidding? Unless you live near a college library or large city library, where are you going to find it?

3. I also ordered the Weaver “Pulling It Together” Review Questions as a reference to see if we were on target for what we were supposed to be learning. Most times the questions didn’t have anything to do with what I had taught my kids OR with the outlined objectives, so I’m left wondering how important are the recommended resources – my kids weren’t learning half of what the review questions seemed to imply they should be learning with the library books I had chosen.

4. Often times I found myself tweaking the objectives, which is OK and what most homeschoolers do! However, if I’m tweaking the objectives, tweaking the Bible lessons, etc, I needed to stop and think why am I using this curriculum anyway?

5. One thing that bothered me about this curriculum was that it is spiral-based. I didn’t know this going into it. Each chapter you’re flying through topics. This isn't what I envisioned when I pictured us homeschooling! I wanted to take our time and savor a topic, really dig in and learn it! However, Weaver doesn't work quite like that. Example: In chapter 4 it’s recommended that you spend one day doing a “brief overview” with a 3rd grader of the following US History: discovery of America, Mayflower, early colonies, Revolutionary War, Presidents Washington, Lincoln and current president, and introduction to Civil War. ONE DAY?! And yet this same chapter Weaver spends no less than 8 days on a memory album of the child’s family! I had serious issues with this.

6. I also didn’t like all the flipping back and forth between the Day by Day and the Volume. I realize some people don’t need the Day By Day so they’re kept separate, but most people will need it. If that’s the case, why doesn’t Alpha Omega (the seller of Weaver) arrange the Weaver in two ways: One with just the Volume and one with the Volume and Day By Day meshed together to prevent all this going back and forth. I only had two kids; I can’t even imagine if I had more!

7. In my opinion, I think Weaver would be fine for a seasoned homeschooler with older elementary and junior high kids. I don’t know anything about the 7-12th grade extensions they offer. However, you will be spending some serious time at the library gathering needed resources, so you should have a really great library nearby or loads of money at your disposal to buy all the books and resources you’re going to need. In conclusion, I really think Weaver needs a major reediting by Alpha Omega. It needs some updated resources, not ones that are from over 20 years ago as well as making it more organized and easier to follow along.

As an alternative, I’m looking into Heart of Dakota. Its curriculum is grounded in the Bible and builds the subjects from there, much like Weaver does, but there’s less of a “one size fits all” approach.
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