A couple years ago, I signed my son up for the Calvert Charter School in our state. It’s an online “school at home” program using the Cavlert curriculum. After attempting the eclectic approach to homeschooling and getting completely overwhelmed, I thought it would be a good idea to attempt the other end of the spectrum and do a school at home program. For our family, I was wrong.
Calvert itself is a very straight forward program. It’s curriculum is thorough and well done though dry. I’m familiar with Calvert both from my own experience using it as a child, and from reviews of fellow homeschool moms. In short, the curriculum itself is pretty well written. However, going through the charter program was extremely frustrating for me. As it is a state funded charter school formatted for school at home, you are required to have school at home. There is very little leniency to skip a section, omit or alter an assignment or even take a day off for a field trip. I was expected to be a “stand in public school educator” for my child. We worked with a teacher online and over the phone. She taught me how to use the curriculum and she made sure we were staying on track.
The main component that did not work for me was the intense paper trail. I was required to test my child with online quizzes every single night after a full day of educating and I had to get online and record all the progress for each day. For each test and for the majority of assignments I was required to photograph and email or fax every page to the teacher to prove work completion. The time spent on the program outside of school time was bordering on a full time job. We were to input attendance every day online and if you missed you were labeled as truant with the state. I also found their website to be difficult to navigate. I like to stay off the internet when teaching my children as much as possible so I should have realized this would be difficult for me before even starting the program but it has it’s appeals. Having a program completely laid out for you is pretty attractive. And if you are a very organized person and wish to have your daily routine worked out for you in advance without much say, this program may be a good fit for you.
I personally have enough human development education, teaching experience, and unique educational philosophies to make this type of hand holding a frustration. It works for some, not for us… that’s my two cents.