A Homeschool Change

a Big Homeschool Change

This upcoming homeschool year for us will be a big one.  We have decided to make a big change and move away from box curriculum and our cyber school and onto a pick and choose method without the cyber school!

We had a great cyber school experience and have homeschooled in every sense of the word {other than the legal one meaning we were connected to the public school system via our charter school}. Our cyber school experience was vastly different than most and I did all of the teaching, using Calvert.  We didn’t do any virtual classes and had lots of freedom.  So why are we switching?  Calvert isn’t a great fit for Krash but I wanted to give it through 2nd grade to decide.  Towards the middle of this past year I had already decided, it just wasn’t working for Krash and knowing Calvert gets tougher in 3rd grade, I knew we needed a change.  It was just easier to switch PacMan {going into 7th grade} too.  We never even started Ladybug with Calvert or the cyber school, and had no plans to. So, here we are anticipating a wildly different school year for all of us! I am excited and nervous all at the same time!

I know many will want to know WHY Calvert wasn’t a good fit for Krash and why we decided to move Pac away from it to. Here are my basic reasons…

  • Calvert is a highly academic curriculum and although Krash could keep up, it wasn’t the best fit for him.
  • I strongly dislike the ATS service {not familiar, you can search on Calvert’s site to learn more}, which we were required to do due to our cyber school {this was the only part I disliked and was stuck to}.  I desperately wanted to rid our lives of “the green tests” as we call them.  Those of you familiar with ATS and Calvert will know my pain.  They assess every 20 lessons on every single subject. I do NOT want to spend so much time prepping for these and administering them.  With Pac it wasn’t as big of a deal but it got to be more of one these last few years. For K it is a big deal and we needed to be done with this. I must admit, the teacher in me loved ATS in the beginning, but now that I am more homeschool teacher minded than classroom teacher minded I dislike ATS! It took me awhile to realize I didn’t need these types of tests to know my kids were learning!
  • Calvert is not a Christian program and Pac specifically asked for a Christian based science, history and geography. We want our kids to have input and his request was something we took very seriously and wanted to do for him.
  • I really wanted to teach my kids a few subjects all together and Calvert isn’t set up like this at all.  It is child/grade level specific.
  • Calvert’s writing program is fine, but I didn’t love it.  I had a hard time maneuvering throughout their manual and wanted something that was a better fit for me and my kids.  Similar thoughts on their grammar program, the layout is what I didn’t like.  One year I liked it {can’t even remember the year} but the others, no thank you.
    I do think Calvert can be a good fit for some students and families, I am not saying it is bad.  It worked beautifully for PacMan and for me for many years.  Once I added in a second student things went down hill.  It was too hard to manage both and just didn’t work this past year.  The need to switch was very obvious and I am so thankful we made the change. So please know, I am NOT saying Calvert is bad, I am saying it no longer worked for us.  There are many fabulous aspects about it, but in the end I needed to make a choice and moving away was the choice we needed to make.
    HOWEVER, I am in the mess of struggling with weaving together our new choices as I plan this upcoming year.  Calvert and other box curriculums do a fantastic job of doing this FOR YOU.  Moving away from the simplicity of the lesson plans a box curriculum provides is a tad bit overwhelming. But, we are pushing through and I think I finally see the light!
    I do plan to share details on our blog soon about our specific curriculum choices.  In the meantime, here’s two iPhone pictures I have showing pieces of what we will be using {this isn’t everything}! I shared these on Instagram {we are 1plus1plus1}.
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Do you use anything shown above?  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!