So along with everything else I have had going on this last year, I realized I need a bit of help when it comes to educating my boys. Max can be a challenge in the areas where he needs help, not to mention I always feel like we are falling behind!
Nathaniel on the other hand is the other way. He takes honestly about 15 minutes to do school. This year he whizzed through a primer math. He is already spelling, yet has NO interest in learning to read. On his worst of days, school for him takes maybe 30 minutes, with it normally taking about 15 minutes. Meanwhile Max takes about 6 hours or more (which if he actually sits and does it, it would take him about 3 hours total… he just likes to stall.
So in an effort to make things easier for me, we have decided to look at “box curriculum” for Nathaniel. I wanted something that was laid all out for me that I didn’t have to think about. I have to think enough with Max’s education, I need an easy button for Nathaniel.
Everything had pluses and minuses. Calvert, which we used for Max’s Pre-K, we didn’t really like before and we left for a reason. It gets AWFUL reviews right now too. They recently changed things up and put most things online and I guess there a steep learning curve. I honestly couldn’t find one recent positive review for it. Yikes!
I looked at Oak Meadow, a Waldorf inspired school. However I wasn’t really thrilled with the academics of it. To give you an idea, in Kindergarten they actually want you to teach your child to knit. Now I know how to knit, and at some point I may teach my boys how to do so (though using a sewing machine is more likely) but I fail to see how this should be done NOW and perhaps at the expense of other academic areas. The reviews also suggested that they are not for those who want their child to have a rigorous education. That is the main reason we homeschool!
I also looked at some other programs but they were hitting close to the $2000 a year mark and I just don’t see how we can afford that.
So then I looked a christian programs. I never thought I would do that. When I first started homeschooling I didn’t want that. For me I would prefer our child to get that in church, not in an everyday schooling situation. However, I knew we needed to do something so I looked.
I looked at Alpha Omega publishing. However reviews said it was literature focused and if you are a person that has to complete a list, then it wouldn’t be a good choice for you. I love lists, and checking everything off of a list brings me joy. Not doing that or not being able to do that everyday sounds like a nightmare! Not to mention, I am wanting a boxed curriculum to make my life easier, and reading all day, may not be the best choice for that.
Then I looked at Abeka publishing. They offer a program where they videoed all the lessons with students in them. A child watches the videos and it is like they are in school without leaving home! They include reading, math, art, science, social studies, life skills, bible, and cursive handwriting in Kindergarten! The program gives you nearly everything you need (not including art supplies or basic school supplies). From the reviews I have read they are rigorous in education. All you need to do is look at a sample lesson from 5th grade spelling to see that! I am not sure I could do that with spelling!
Abeka Academy will keep track of grades and everything so then I can just sit back and help Nathaniel with what he needs help with but let him learn from someone that isn’t me, freeing me up to help Max or any foster placements we have. I need to come up with a start date though and I will be given due dates that I need to send in his work by. That doesn’t sound that hard. This is what we are looking at for Nathaniel.
Abeka is not all milk and honey. They do have criticisms. It is said that their history is a little too United States centric. That it is a bit white washed. Science talks more about creationism and not about evolution. Both of these are big issues, but we feel like Nathaniel will be able to get the other side of these arguments because we are his parents. We have many books on the other side of both of these problems and so I don’t see them as problems, as long as the rest of the curriculum is strong.
Tomorrow I am going to contact them and ask them some questions about getting started. Hopefully all will go and Nathaniel will start with his new school before the end of the month!