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#48465 - 05/28/09 11:26 AM Calvert vs. OdysseyWare vs. K-12?
trout Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/13/06
Posts: 6
So, we are taking the homeschool plunge next year! WooHoo! It is a big shock (we never thought we'd be homeschoolers, lol smile )but it is very exciting too.

Now that we've decided, I'm trying to work out the details... Locally we have a few Charter School options that provide a homeschool curriculum. The 3 choices are: (1) Calvert; (2) OdysseyWare and (3) K-12. Does anyone have any experience with any of these or any thoughts on the quality, strengths and weaknesses, how they work for gifted learners, etc?

Thanks for any comments and wisdom you can share!

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#48483 - 05/28/09 07:24 PM Re: Calvert vs. OdysseyWare vs. K-12? [Re: trout]
melmichigan Offline
Member

Registered: 09/05/08
Posts: 679
My biggest concern with this type of curriculum would be if by charter you mean that you are then obligated to follow their guidelines and complete all the material they require. This was our problem with K12 in the sense that there was a lot of redundant "busy" work IMO. Because we did it independently I just edited out anything my DD already knew or what I thought was tedious drilling to fill time. The ELA that we used was a very comprehensive course. The only other thing for me was the constant back and forth between computer, book, computer, workbook that makes up the lessons. Take all this with a grain of salt in the sense that it has been almost four years since we used it and hopefully some who have used it more recently will chime in.

I requested materials from OdysseyWare about a week ago, still waiting but curious since they were mentioned on another site.
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#48500 - 05/29/09 06:35 AM Re: Calvert vs. OdysseyWare vs. K-12? [Re: melmichigan]
trout Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/13/06
Posts: 6
Thanks for the response melmichigan! At least locally, the one advantage of the Charter School using OdysseeWare is that they allow substitutions to the curriculum if you find something you like better for a subject; the K-12 Charter school doesn't. It is good to hear about the "busy work" problem of K-12. That is *exactly* what we want to avoid!

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#48507 - 05/29/09 08:57 AM Re: Calvert vs. OdysseyWare vs. K-12? [Re: trout]
questions Offline
Member

Registered: 11/24/07
Posts: 861
We started using K12 a month ago and we love it. But, we're independents, which means we can do as much or as little as we want. That said, I tend to have my DS do all of the exercises in the literature, history and science exercises b/c he needs help with writing and help overcoming his aversion to schoolwork. He meets the lesson objectives (they list them) from his first reading of the materials, but I view the exercises as good practice for him with school skills - something he definitely needs.

We like the curriculum b/c he is well-placed in four different grades, the subject matter is interesting, and it's very helpful for me to have a daily lesson plan with everything set out, as I work and I was having a hard time getting everything done.

The art course ties into the history and is great. He loves the science, history, art, and literature. I don't have him at the right level yet in grammar, vocabulary or math - too easy, and I just skim through the math looking for areas that weren't addressed with Aleks or Life of Fred so far. Not quite sure about the math yet, but I'll reserve judgment until we start the appropriate level (it's very hard to change curriculum as nothing lines up). Still, I am very, very pleased. But then again, I have the freedom of using the curriculum as an independent.

Re: the "busy work" thing and K12 - when we tried 3rd and 4th grade history, I thought there were hands-on projects that were busy work, but that some kids would find fun, like making a wreath and acting out Roman history, making mobiles, coloring, etc. We ended up taking History 5, which is much better for the work they ask for. Where 3rd grade history said write a sentence about what you learned in this lesson, and 4th grade history said write a paragraph about what you learned in this lesson in your history journal (DS would not like that), 5th grade history had better thought-provoking projects - like filling out sheets on document or photo anaylsis, write a newspaper article (not that he did that one), etc.

I also found the advanced life science to be more engaging than the basic life science. The basic asked to do online research and write a paragraph, but the advanced course is more hands-on and thought-provoking and clearly has the aim to create a science fair type project at the end.

Music is good, too - but the toughest for us. So far, I have to say that I like all the courses. The only drawback for us is that DS is really at vastly different levels within language arts, but their online computer tracking system can't break language arts into different levels.

And, fyi, most of the work is not on the computer. Advanced life science is 100% on the computer, language arts is 100% separate books and materials. Math is also primarily a text (Sadlier-Oxford 2000 - but being updated) and separate K12 written materials. Music sends a dvd, cd's and the lessons are on the computer but available in hard copies, too. Art is a mix.

If you're interested in K12 at all - find the appropriate yahoo groups. there is a K12 parent2parent group and a K12users group and a K12 gifted group. I'm sure you can get a response from parents in the same virtual school you're considering.

Good luck with your decision.

Here are the groups:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/K12Gifted/?yguid=393213987 (gifted - and some of you are probably on this list)

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/K12Parent2Parent/?yguid=393213987 (this one is for independent users)

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/K12Users/?yguid=393213987 (virtual school and independents)


Edited by questions (05/29/09 05:04 PM)
Edit Reason: forgot to list history as a course he loves

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#49407 - 06/15/09 11:25 AM Re: Calvert vs. OdysseyWare vs. K-12? [Re: Gifted Mom]
AZMOM Offline
New Member

Registered: 06/15/09
Posts: 1
I used Odysseyware for 2 years and believe me, it was not worth the price. I heard about a company called edoptions from another forum about a year ago, and I will never use anything else for my kids. It is much easier to use and I have never had any tech issues with it. Plus it was half the price. They work with a school called blueridge, so my son who studies from home will still get a regular diploma. And if you are wondering I did check CITA and they are good and legal. What ever you decide to do I hope it works out, but I know that I cannot say enough good things about the program I use.

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#49478 - 06/16/09 01:22 PM Re: Calvert vs. OdysseyWare vs. K-12? [Re: trout]
Aurelia Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/16/09
Posts: 3
We used Calvert Pre-K when DD was 3. It was okay. I have heard from several reviewers that it's boring in K and up, though, and you can't get different levels for subjects, except for math. All the language arts, history, science, etc are lumped together for their grade, so if you have child gifted in science, he wouldn't be able to work ahead unless you supplement with something else. I have heard that Calvert students become pretty solid writers, but these reviews were from parents of ND kids, so YMMV.

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#50983 - 07/17/09 08:37 PM Re: Calvert vs. OdysseyWare vs. K-12? [Re: Aurelia]
RightBrainedBoys Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/24/08
Posts: 3
Sorry, late to the game here.

I'm seriously considering K12. What does it mean to be an independent?

Thanks!

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#52172 - 08/09/09 08:55 AM Re: Calvert vs. OdysseyWare vs. K-12? [Re: RightBrainedBoys]
Chatterbox Offline
New Member

Registered: 08/09/09
Posts: 1
I, myself, used Calvert being the child of foreign missionaries and it being the only thing that was available overseas. I especially like the history from grades 4 and up. But it is still "school-in-a-box" and you may have to supliment for your child's more advanced subjects. Also it only goes through 8th grade which is a problem for my 9-year-old who finished algebra 1 last year. I simply used an appropriate math text and on-line material for math. The rest of the grade level material was great. And like I said, that Child's History of the World for the older grades is really great. See if you can find it used on-line (cheaper) and try it.

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