Calvert Program

by Melissa

I was very disappointed with the Calvert program. I used the complete program for 7th grade for 2 months. However, I was so frustrated with program I returned it. The only books I did like were the science books. I liked that each topic used one separate book which provided more detail. Otherwise, I found that the program provided a lot of busy work.

For the online resources, the computer class was a complete joke. My daughter has learned how to use MS Office programs in the fourth game. The Spelling online froze and she couldn’t get past the one chapter so we couldn’t use it anymore.

The curriculum didn’t go together. My daughter was learning about the Eastern Hemisphere and then Geography about North & South America. It would have made more sense to me if the geography went with the history topics. The Literature they had me read didn’t go with the time period either. We were reading about the Middle Ages. The Grammar book was confusing and didn’t have enough exercises for practice so I had to spend time trying to find additional material for Grammar.

I am very happy that I am no longer using this program.

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Full Curriculum

by Sharon

I used Calvert's full curriculum (and some extras) for grades 4,5 and 8. I was impressed with the way in which the program was organized. No other program offers the teacher just one main lesson plan book plus one extra plan book for math.

Everything is put together by the day: materials needed, subjects required for that day, explanations of the objective to teach as well as page numbers and even web sites or other ideas for further explorations of the objectives. This method certainly stream lines the work for the teacher.

My objection is to the extreme variation of quality in the various materials picked for the parent. The history book for 4th grade is dry, almost void of pictures, and good only for making most children deplore history studies. The 8th grade science materials are so full of erroneous information as to make me wonder if the program wishes to teach or merely to indoctrinate children.

In years past, Calvert offered acceptable materials for even a Christian creationist. Now that many of the chosen books are by Hartcourt, the gloves are off and the agenda has become more apparent. Calvert school does still offer some excellent programs like their graded spelling CDs and their simple grammar/usage workbook.

I am sad to say that, in the attempt to update materials, the company has failed its long-standing good name. They could have removed from their offerings some of the horridly dry materials written by the school founder in the late 1800s and attempted to consistently provide well written materials across the board. They could have also offered varied perspectives of leading scientists today instead of teaching presumption as fact. They seem content to rely on their good name of yesteryear; I am not going to experiment with them any more.


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Needs Improvement

by Sammy Davis
(El Paso)

The lessons are inconsistent. One day there is way too much covering 8 different topic areas: geography, math, computer, etc. - taking way too long. Another day there is way too little; 4 lessons vs 8.

Math has been rated as deficient by cooperating public schools and it has been necessary to compliment the math with additional assignments from the public school. This creates a significant burden for the student as the school is attempting to pass state requirements which Calvert is remiss at the same time as conducting the Calvert math program.

The support is surprising completely political at the Admin level and of little help. The teachers and response to questions are very good.

Science is rather poor and the experiments are nonsensical. The stress is a religious orientation with words like accommodation, adaption and NEVER evolution, because Calvert, according to their main spokeswoman, has many 'devout' parents--(that has nothing to do with education but with mythology). Animals do not accommodate-they do not put a coat on when it is cold. Insects do not adapt, but die when it gets too cold. Spelling is good along with compositional aspects. Grammar and phonics are good.

A rather very poorly balanced curriculum and program. Many lessons in math are poorly constructed. Use of stupid items likes stem and leaves add nothing, but force the student to learn a technique vs. the content. Reading questions need to be redone to stress comprehension rather than memory of items. Comprehension is the focus of state testing. Look around before signing up for this program.

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