For the past 3 years, we've used Calvert School with our 2 youngest sons. They sell a first rate curriculum, along with a splendid set of Lesson Manuals. Thus, I, the "teacher mom" don't have to worry that I'm not teaching my boys enough, or not teaching them the right things for beyond eighth grade. I started my youngest with Calvert Kindergarten, because he was too young by 2 months to be allowed into "real" school. Yet, I had already taught this child basic phonics, and he had figured out for himself how to add sums up to 20. He had also figured out that if 2+2 is 4, then 20+20 is 40. Hell, that's a first or second grade concept. How could this child possibly not be ready for Kindergarten? Fortunately, I remembered that way back in 1987, give or take a bit, a private school I had my 2 oldest boys in had given me a couple of issues of a skinny little magazine called "Gifted Children Monthly". I hunted up those issues in a file cabinet, found the Calvert School ad which I remembered seeing, called them up and ordered their Kindergarten curriculum. It was splendid! My little guy was finished with the course in February, then I got the local elementary school to agree to let him go to school with his then 3rd grade brother for the rest of the year by telling them that I wanted him to "transfer" from Calvert School in Baltimore. I never walked into that school again without secretaries, parents and teachers asking me how I taught him so much; by their standards, he was a year or more ahead of everyone.
During that year, his 3rd grade brother was in the local school, but I bought the 3rd grade curriculum and taught him after school for a couple of hours a day. This was a desparation move, because the kid refused to learn to add well, and his handwriting was hideous. He was a fabulous reader, because I had taught him before he went to Kindergarten. They were done with school, however, at the end of that year.
So, yesterday I spent a few hours rearranging encyclopedias and other books in our "homework" room to accomodate the Calvert books. These are the sixth grade books:
These are the 3rd grade books:
These are the lesson manuals for both courses (lots of documentation for teacher mom: I love it!):
And, of course, they live on a shelf between sets of encyclopedias. I know lots of people like the online encyclopedias, but I feel that there's nothing like books to enable you to read and get a feel for something. If you need current statistics, look it up online. Otherwise, read.
Welcome back to school next week!