Tuesday, September 2, 2008

4th and 7th Grade Calvert School

Tomorrow is the first day of school; today, the boys enjoy the end of summer.

Over the weekend, I unpacked our Calvert books. Ryan is very excited, because there are five Science books for 7th grade. The Calvert math program has recently been revised, and the book is, as I have come to expect, very well done. Reading is a ni
ce selection of classic novels and poetry, and the geography and history courses are quite comprehensive. To go with the grammar and composition textbook, I ordered a companion workbook from the book's publisher. I don't see the reason to have the boy copying sentences in order to complete fill in the blank work, but that's my opinion only. Overall, I am quite pleased. As you can see from this photo, the Calvert School Seventh Grade course covers a lot of material.
Mark will be starting Calvert School Fourth Grade. Being a very bright child, he's using their fifth grade math curriculum. One of the things that I like about Calvert math is that they have a standard hard covered book, which explains everything well, but they also have a math workbook. While it is supposed to be for extra practice, my boys prefer to do the workb
ook pages wherever possible, so they don't have to write out all the problems. As long as they learn the material, I really don't care if they wish to economize their efforts.

One of the things I'm looking forward to with Calvert School 4th grade is the Child's History of the World. It is a very nice book, written in story form for children around 9 to 10 years of age. (And, yes, Paula, I'm certain your kids would like it if you bought it for them.) It is amazing how much of the information they're presented in that book which they retain. Fourth grade is the first year during which they use novels exclusively for the reading course; they have nice phonics, vocabulary and critical thinking workbooks. Also, the kids are introduced to grammar in 4th grade, and the composition requirements become more stringent. These are the books for Calvert Fourth Grade, with the fifth grade math book.

Last year, Ryan was disappointed that Calvert stopped sending their marvelous pencil/supply boxes for children above third grade. Many other children must have been disappointed also, given the uproar on the Calvert Parent Forum. Calvert School listened to us, and replaced the supply boxes with the zippered pencil kit in these pictures. While it's not as nice as the boxes, it is nice to know that they listened, and it's nice that they gave the children something new in which to put their pencils, protractors, compass, colored pencils, eraser and paints (all supplied by Calvert). My single disappointment was that they cut down the number of pads of paper and little notebooks they included with the curriculum. I really love the fact that they give me essentially scripted lesson manuals, so I know what to say in order to properly present the information, and they give me a list of questions to ask to check each child's comprehension. They also give me the answers to all of the discussion questions, as well as all of the questions in the book, in a separate answer key, in case I have forgotten something in the decades since I learned it (Thankfully, I've rarely used them, although in teaching the poetry lessons, I sometimes don't know the correct answers to questions about symbolism and such; I always thought symbolism was bunk).

I've never regretted a day of teaching my boys with Calvert School's homeschool curriculum. I know they've learned much more than their peers, and my only regret is that Calvert doesn't go through high school. Today, we set up the shelves; tomorrow, school begins! Onward to knowledge!


Paula said...

Best wishes to the boys on their first day tomorrow! I'm interested in learning more about the workbook you ordered; I agree with your opinion about copying the sentences. We tend to do many of those exercises orally. We are enjoying Calvert math; thanks again for your help there. I'm glad to hear that you think the Child's History of the World is worthwhile; I think I'll get it for my kidlin's. Here's to another great homeschooling year!
PS: How are the kids settling in at college?

noble pig said...

Good luck as you start tomorrow!

Greg C said...

I had to help with the math homework last night. The truth is I had to read the lesson myself because I forgot some of the rules. I tried to talk my wife into homeschooling our youngest but on second thought that may be difficult. He actualy does better for other adults.

The Blonde Duck said...

Oh my gosh, you homeschool too? When do you sleep?? Just reading about your life makes me tired.

Annette said...

I remember 4th grade Calvert; it was a wonderful year for both of us, our first homeschooling.
Poor Thor won't have as much playtime with his buddies! BTW, did you make them a nice dessert to ease into the transition of school?
Hve a wonderful year!

Cathi Weasley said...

Can you tell my how calvert lays out the Science explorer books? We are planning on using these in our upcoming new year (jan 08) and we are looking for lesson plans. Thanks!

Marjie said...

Calvert uses the plant book, followed by animals, and then human biology. I don't know what order they use the other 2 books.