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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Curriculum For Roadschooling: Calvert School

Yesterday, it was the 1 month anniversary of my quitting smoking! :) Just when I thought that was something enough to celebrate, FedEx texted me that our packages had been delivered. They couldn’t have arrived on a better day! It was cold and rainy outside and we had no desire to venture out. We were however, starting to get cabin fever. After we received the news, we headed up there quickly to see what had come. I was expecting a few packages from a couple different places. Three rather large boxes were awaiting us and one of the wonderful guys that works there loaded my truck up with them. We got home, took everything in, were soaking wet and cold to the bones, so we had some hot chocolate and afterwards, got started tearing into things.

Our curriculum had arrived! We are going with Calvert curriculum this year. It is reputed to be “the best” and the most challenging of all secular boxed curriculums on the market currently. My daughter is pretty advanced in certain subjects…Reading and Math being the most prominent and she needs to be challenged. We used Oak Meadow last year for first grade and although it resonated with me down to my soul and I loved it dearly, it unfortunately just wasn’t difficult enough for her.

Here is a link to The Calvert School’s site: https://my.calvertschool.org/.

Here is a link to their History: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calvert_School.

I would love to go into great details more about them and our decision to choose them, but for now, I am a super busy Mom and now that this curriculum has arrived, I am too busy grading homework, teaching 2 kids, sometimes chasing around a 2-yr-old, maintaining this home and waiting on everyone hand and foot (it seems sometimes), to really have the time these days to keep up with my blog. I will say though, that we got a LOT of stuff! We got the 2nd grade core curriculum and I added: Math Manipulatives, Discoveries to Music (we are a musical household), the Answer Keys (they are available online for free, but I’m not sure I will always have internet access), Calvert Math (instead of Math In Focus which is Singapore Math and pretty much what all schools are using now with the “Common Core Standards”), the Grade 2 Test Series, and 4 patches (to make stuff that’ll represent, lol)!

I’m pretty sure more books arrived than what I carried around in High School…and I had A.P. classes! That’s ok though. As long as this curriculum can keep up with my daughter and she can keep up with it, learn something, and all the while have fun, it’ll be worth every single dime of the $2,000 we paid for it. Speaking of $2,000, now would be a good time for me to thank the man that made all of this even possible! Thank you Nic! Because of your working your butt off to provide us all the funds, we were able to give our children top notch education! You’re the best and we love you very much!

I had purged what I thought to be plenty of stuff to make room for it all…I was wrong. I had to do a bit more downsizing and re-arranging, but in the end, we made room. Anyways, box day is always a little bit like a birthday. The anticipation and joy that ensues is epic. We get to open the boxes and see all the goodies. We were thrilled and got started on catching up Math the very next day!

So, without further adieu, here are the pics of what arrived!

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The boxes, once stacked, were taller than my bed! Where will I put all that stuff?!!

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First up, the Math box. I’ve never seen a kid so excited about Math stuff in my life! What the heck is that blue thing? A book explaining how to use the manipulatives. I haven’t seen Cuisenaire Rods since I was in elementary school…and I’m pretty sure the cone shape isn’t a hat…

…I could be wrong, tho.

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Yay! Music stuff! Now it’s MY turn to get excited, lol! She also got a triangle which I’m already using as a dinner bell, haha, and another flute-o-phone, which Cindy has now commandeered.

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Yes. We let our child use a knife. She exercises extreme caution. They gotta learn sooner or later.

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Answer keys, where has my kitchen gone and “Read Me First”…“Do I have to???”

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Calvert Writing is a book designated to teaching children their style of Cursive. I don’t like it. It doesn’t look at all like the cursive I was taught growing up. They basically teach kids to use standard print for capital letters, and an odd form of “cursive” writing for lower-case letters. Not cool. Later that night, I printed off and laminated the old school cursive alphabet. This way, she can practice her cursive using a dry-erase marker and we don’t have to kill more trees. On another note, the lesson manuals are broken down into 4 books. A1, A2, B1 and B2. They are 4 times the manual that Oak Meadow used. Good golly there must be a lot of thorough info in them!

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The 4 patches and her 3 hardcover books. Science and 2 different Reading Books.

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Pay no attention to the child with her finger up her nose. Pretty sure her finger is always up her nose *rolls eyes*. MHG is checking out her new books. She’s a bit shocked that she is going to have homework…although technically, since we homeschool, any work would be homework…

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Here’s a couple of shots of my home being invaded by intelligence…no, not the C.I.A….Calvert.

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Starting to stuff the bins with manipulatives. On another note, can somebody please tell me what this red thingy is? It came with rubber bands that I assume stretch over (or between?) the pegs inside the red thingy. We also got some jumbo dominoes! Yay! MHG can learn and practice with me so the next time she sees Auntie Tiger and Uncle Jedi she can whoop their butts in a game!  ;)

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So after messing around with it, I realized that the blue thingy is a balance to presumably learn about volume. :) Another shot of the Math Manipulatives bin and the foam geometric shapes.

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At first, I thought this was a ruler. THEN, I realized it’s a meter/yard stick. A FOLDING METER/YARD STICK! How freaking cool is that?!

It doesn’t take much to impress me.

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The boys even got in on the curriculum day action. Everyone loves boxes…including, but not limited to, them.

Later that evening, as I prepared dinner, Nic decided that, with it finally cooling off outside, it was time to move the furnace vent in the hallway to the girls’ room. Since this RV used to be a toyhauler, their room was technically the garage and never, at any point, had heating ducts piped to it. That’s not going to fly with us for winter time. This required drilling a rather large hole in their bedroom wall and a few other things. You can read about that here.

Arrows

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At the end of the day…which it nearly took all day to sort through, organize, downsize their room some more, re-arrange and put away all the new stuff…we finally got to sit back and drool over everything. I took a couple shots of their newly arranged shelves in their room. The curriculum finally found its place on them and we couldn’t be happier!

***After I took these pics, the girls didn’t give the stuff a second thought. Instead, they spent the next couple of hours happily taking turns, and pushing each other around in the boxes that everything came in. Well, Cindy TRIED (without success) to push MHG around. Their interest in everything sure didn’t last long… *sigh*

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…to be a kid again…

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