- Reviewed on Friday, November 7, 2014
- Grades Used: 5th
- Dates used: 2014
I just paid over $1200 for the fifth grade curriculum and was surprised to see that there was no answers to any of the test. When I called the school they informed me that I had to pay extra to get test with answer sheets. I find it outrageous the a curriculum that cost over $1200 doesn't come complete. It's funny you don't find this out till you start to test and there is no answers anywhere.. I will be shopping elsewhere next year. Frankly I feel like I've been taken advantage of.
- Reviewed on Tuesday, October 28, 2014
- Grades Used: 6
- Dates used: 2014
Overall, the material was overwhelming. The written books with the online books-hard copy lesson plans and electronic reference plans-not user friendly at all in terms of sending you in circles trying to find the right book-purchased the ATS with a different understanding of what it was actually for. It was very difficult to develop organization around it with the blended books and curriculum. Educational support not available but was at one point was advised to focus on content that was least familiar to her. Lesson Plans CONFUSING!!!!!
This was my first year homeschooling so the process was overwhelming in general but found their process to be confusing and we decided to change programs within the 30 day period. After reading the policy on returns, I confirmed that we were going to change programs and discontinue enrollment. I was given an RMA and was told to return by 11/7/14 for a refund less the restock fee. In addition, I was told that there would be time to "process" the return.
the entire packaged of which I took complete inventory of in one hour upon receipt, was returned and signed for on 10/27. I was then billed for the monthly payment plan. I contacted an enrollment advisor via online chat and was told I would continue to be billed until the merchandise was confirmed to have been returned which would take up to 45 days?!?!? 45 days to verify what was in the box and in the mean time they will continue to bill me monthly. So; if it takes 45 days to confirm receipt of merchandise it took me an hour to inventory, they are milking the consumers; without doubt as I never heard of anything taking 45 days to process returns. So I am in for $400 initial payment plus the month they charged me for and the months they may charge me for as they continue to take time to "confirm" the return.
DO NOT order this curriculum either you have $700 of disposable income or you are SURE you are prepared for a confusing curriculum that grades content and knowledge mastery through "checkpoints" and 4 tests annually. This system is set up so one could simply study the tests that are sent in advance, use the ATS for grading and finish the year through 4 question checkpoints and 4 tests.....there is NO monitoring of the output that my child did throughout the time on this programs. No grading of the math work; only I as her instructor so how are they authorized to suggest knowledge mastery on a tests that can be taken and studied for directly......The ATS is a waste and the program confusing and was NOT worth the stress it ended up causing my daughter.
We are now using OddyseWare through IVLA and much happier.
Not happy and do not recommend without extensive research on their delivery of content and the return if necessary!
- Reviewed on Saturday, April 26, 2014
- Grades Used: 7
- Dates used: 2014
Be very careful about buying this curriculum in advance. They often run sales in the spring to get people to buy for the following school year. However, if something happens and you can't start the curriculum as expected, they absolutely will not allow any returns, even if boxes are unopened, after 30 days. In addition, if you delay in starting the curriculum for any reason, you will have to pay extra $ to have extra time to use the online resources--even if you have an excellent, and documented medical reason why your child could not start the curriculum as expected. So, I would NOT recommend buying this curriculum in advance, unless you are 100% sure that nothing in your life will go wrong or you are made of money and can afford to pay extra fees to finish something you already paid for once.
As for the curriculum itself, it is very school-y and there is a lot of busy work, work book pages, repetition. It is complete and thorough, but a child who has a special interest in one subject or another and wants to spend some time immersing himself deeply in a topic would not be a good fit for this curriculum. It is tough to adjust this curriculum for a child's pace and interests.
I have a science background myself and I felt the science was particularly dull and lifeless.
In the past, I had put together my own plan for our academic year, and was able to do it for much, much less than the cost of this curriculum. VERY overpriced for what you get.
- Reviewed on Monday, January 27, 2014
- Grades Used: K, 7th
- Dates used: 2013-2014
This is a mixed review. My children and I like a lot of things about Calvert and they have a few disappointments, but they are minor. Overall I think it is a great program and so helpful when you are burnt out on lesson planning. It is quite strong and solid, but I think it could be stronger and step it up a notch. We skipped some things that we just didn't feel like doing and didn't think it they were missing much by doing so. It is basically school at home, which can be great for some people, and this year that is what we wanted. I like the enrichments offered for Grade 7, but my son didn't want to do them much because he was burned out on the busier work. I would say sometimes just do the enrichment instead.
First I will discuss the math section of the curriculum. The math is great for both of them. My youngest son likes the math so much that he only took about 3 months to complete the program. It was a little easy for him, but that is his favorite subject. My eldest son liked the math, but it was too much busy work for him. He had trouble writing the answers from the textbook to a notebook, he made a lot of mistakes when he did that, so he ended up doing the lessons in the lesson manual and textbook and then doing the practice workbook for his assignments. It was very difficult to get him to read the lesson manual, he just wanted to take the books and skip the lesson manuals. The videos were helpful additions, I think he would have liked more of them.
The language arts. My youngest son enjoys the learning to read section. It was also a bit too easy at first as he already knew his letters and the sounds they made, so he worked quickly through that. Once they moved into sight words, he found the practice book a bit difficult and tedious. But he enjoyed the phonic readers with the addition of the sight words and the flash cards. That is all we use and he has learned quite easily, so we skipped the practice book by the time we got to the second book. The reading books moved excruciatingly slowly for him, and frankly I found the books more on a three-four year-old level. I expected more from the read-aloud books. They were also too politically correct for us, they just tried too hard. I would like there to be more classic books read at a higher level at this age. My son didn't enjoy them.
My eldest son found the language arts too easy as well, but that is his favorite subject and he excels at it. He already knew most of the grammar, I had him use the sentence diagraming to place him. He only needed about 3 weeks of grammar lessons total. The writing lessons were great, but they dragged on a bit slowly for him. So we had to split up the lesson manuals and move around them not in order for all of the subjects, but this was remedied with sticky notes to mark our place. We should have placed him in the grade 8 program. He also found the reading selection to easy and was not interested or engaged.
History and Science was minimal in the kindergarten program. We ended up supplementing these subjects as they were pretty dumbed down. He didn’t want to participate in too much of the movement or art projects either. We found the jump rope fun though.
History for the 7th grade was dull as far as the textbook went and favored telling the story of Islam over Christianity or Judaism. I found this strange as we have our roots in Judeo-Christian culture. We have always heard never to use textbooks and now I see why. It is as if they are washed of any magic that a story has, and that is what we want in history, to tell a story of man. We ended up going back to our history story books. The Geology book was very politically correct propaganda as well. The art history however was excellent. This is the best part of the course. My son loved it to pieces and uses the knowledge he gained to point out architecture all the time in moves we watch and the world around him. Not a lot of recent science to back it up. The Science books were lacking in any real scientific inquiry, dumbed down as well. But they were good informational books. He hated them. We went back to the Apologia Discovering Creation with Physical Science for more science. It is funny that the Christian homeschooling books have more science in them than the secular ones. I find it ironic as everyone makes a big deal that Christians shun science, but yet they are training their children to have excellent scientific training, while the secular books are lacking in any real scientific thinking, but are rather dry fact books.
Both of my sons enjoyed the computer lessons and the computer extras such as Discovery Streaming and BrainPop. Since we finished the curriculum so quickly that I wouldn’t buy it again due to the cost being too high for what you are getting. I think it would be great if this was the curriculum you were going to go with for the majority of homeschooling. Since we did other things, a lot of the lessons were already covered elsewhere. I have heard that this curriculum is a grade ahead, and that might be true if you are coming out of public school or starting with Calvert, but I find that it is a grade behind from homeschooling the whole time. I sound a bit harsh, but I do think this is a great program. I like how they mix some lessons together such as computer data processing with the History lessons. I think we would use the Calvert Math and the art history books on their own however. I also have to say their customer service is excellent, above any other company. I hope that was helpful.