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Calvert Homeschool

This review of the Calvert Homeschool curriculum addresses the strengths and weaknesses and discusses which students would most benefit from this program.

Program Overview

Calvert has been providing homeschool support for over one hundred years, and in that aspect is certainly a leader in the homeschool industry. Their program originally started as a schooling option providing instruction in the English language for families in non-English speaking countries.

As the modern homeschool movement began, Calvert was there. Sometimes referred to as "private education in a box" it delivers to your home the textbooks and materials needed to conduct a high quality education.

The Calvert Homeschool program is non-religious. It uses secular texts from major publishers that are also used in public or private schools.

Their accredited program is for kindergarten through 8th grade. Like other homeschool programs, packages are purchased for one year ( a kindergarten program, a first grade program, etc.) Subjects and components are not available separately.

Three levels of support are available:
  • Calvert Classic is their traditional program which provides all materials for both the instructor and student.
  • The Calvert ATS provides an "Advisory Teaching Service." With this option, an instructor will review parts of the students' work and make recommendations.
  • The Calvert Virtual Academy is their latest support program, which is only available for 6th - 8th grade. This includes the ATS as well as on-line classrooms and support.
The cost of Calvert depends on which program a family chooses. Prices range from a little less than $1000 to over $2000. A payment plan is available. While it does have a fairly high price tag, ALL materials as well as many additional supplements are included in the price. There are no other educational expenses the family will have to pay.

Summary

Calvert Homeschool is:
  • A complete, traditional, textbook curriculum delivered to your home
  • Non-religious
  • K - 8th grade
  • Consumable - While many of the textbooks are non-consumable, a family would need to order the complete program again if used by a younger sibling, providing no financial savings for re-use.

Review

Program Strengths
  • Calvert has selected top quality secular textbooks. They do the searching for you.
  • It is a comprehensive program which leaves nothing out. They have provided every resource needed.
  • Parental resources for teaching and testing are included.
  • It has a solid academic program.

Program Weaknesses

  • Many homeschoolers do not want a repeat of the classroom in their home.
  • The textbook approach does not have the hands-on, motivational dimension, and individualized approach of unit studies.
  • It is more expensive than some other options.
Personal Experience
The Calvert homeschool program was one of the first that I used. That was several decades ago, so obviously the materials would have changed. Also, at that time they did not have internet access to the wealth of materials now available. The overall philosophy and approach of the school has not changed, however.

I found Calvert to be very comprehensive. They were also a very friendly company and a pleasure to deal with.

After the first year I realized that our family would benefit with a more dynamic approach and changed to unit studies. We might have stayed with some of Calvert's program for certain subjects, except that it was all or nothing.

However, for a family looking for a traditional education, Calvert Homeschool is an option they should definitely check out.

Have you used Calvert? Share your experience with other homeschoolers.


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