Is a Boxed Homeschool Curriclum Right for You?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Is a Boxed Homeschool Curriclum Right for You?

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Picking a homeschool curriculum is tough! There are so many wonderful choices out there. With this article I am hoping to spell out some homeschool curriculum choices for to help you decide what homeschool curriculum is right for you?
is a boxed (all in one) homeschool curriculum right for you?

Advantages of a All-in-One Homeschool Curriculum

Boxed curriculum is a convenient option for homeschoolers. All you do is pick the grade level you need and they will include most everything you need to begin schooling at home. These boxed curriculums include things like -- teacher guides, books, study sheets, tests, activities, and some include report cards.

Besides being convenient you will have all the books and plans for a complete academic year planned for you.  Plus by using the same company for many years you will be able to take advantage of their scope to ensure you are covering everything.  Many boxed curriculum also makes record keeping much easier by having you mail your child’s completed work to an assigned teacher who will correct, comment, and grade your child. Some even provide an official transcripts and a diploma upon completion of the program.

Companies Providing Boxed Homeschool Curriculum

A Beka Correspondence Program

  • Grades K-12
  • Biblical perspective curriculum
  • Very structured, weekly tests, lots of drills & repetition
  • Costs  1st-6th Grade – $795 and 7th-12th grade - $856

BJU Press Total Homeschool Solutions

  • Grades K-12
  • Traditional textbook curriculum with Biblical teaching woven throughout all the disciplines
  • Choose from traditional textbooks, complete online solution, etextbooks, or a mixture of the three
  • Costs about $850 (including teacher textbooks)

BookShark
  • Grades PreK - 9 (eventually through grade 12)
  • Secular and literature-based
  • 4-Day homeschool week schedule
  • Costs for full grade packages: around $700

Calvert School

  • Grades K-8th (but expanding through High School one grade at a time beginning in 2014)
  • Nondenominational program with a Christian undertone
  • Provide everything including needed school supplies
    Hands-on for parents in lower grades and then progressively self-instructional in the upper grades
    Cost: approximately $1300-$1500

Class Homeschool from Christian Liberty

  • Grades K-12
  • Traditional textbook curriculum from a Biblical perspective
  • Cost: approximately $500-$700

Clonlara School Home Based Education Program

  • Nonsectarian program for grades K – 12
    Geared for new homeschoolers, veterans, unschoolers, and more
    Includes everything including transcripts and diploma from an accredited school
  • Relaxed program with choices on courses to study; program guidelines without pressure
    Cost: Elementary - $780 AND High School $1000

Heart of Dakota

  • Toddler – 8th Grade
  • Hands on history based unit for families to do together
  • You will need to add Math & Langauge Arts – they have recommendations that can be purchased easily at the same time
  • Costs about $500

My Father’s World

  • Grades Preschool – 12th Grrade
  • Easy to use, hands on, literature based, Charlotte Mason inspired curriculum
  • Focus on missions with Christian worldview woven throughout the entire curriculum
  • Many subjects can be taught to a range of ages simultaneously
  • Cost: about $550 (with core Social Studies & Science package which can be used by various siblings)

Oak Meadow School

  • Nonsectarian program for grades K – 12
    As well as curriculum materials, a class teacher is available for phone or email consultation
    Hands-on learning for a wide variety of learning styles
    Cost: Elementary $200+ AND High School $975+

Seton Home Study School

  • Catholic program for grades K – 12
    Includes workbooks, lesson guides, record-keeping services, and extensive phone and mail consultation services
    Textbook-oriented learning focusing on traditional Catholic values
    Cost:  $495

Sonlight Curriculum, Ltd.

  • Literature-based and Christian centered education for grades K – 12
    Provides textbooks, curriculum, and supplies
    18-week trial with full refund if not satisfied
    Cost: Basic package from  $800
 

Sycamore Academy

  • Grades K-12
  • Online or text book based Christian education
  • Quarterly critiquing of child’s work, annual report card, and high school transcript
  • Costs up to $1600 for high school online program
 

So Why Wouldn’t You Purchase a Boxed Homeschool Curriculum

As you’ve probably learned already, most everything has advantages and disadvantages. Although there are many advantages, there are some disadvantages too.
  • Packaged homeschool curriculum can be very expensive
  • They are generally more structured programs with less options for tailoring your child’s education to their interests.
  • Some new homeschoolers go the route of a boxed curriculum thinking it will be easier. But the amount of books and structure involved can be overwhelming.
  • Many choose to homeschool to leave the more “traditional” sit at the desk with a book approach
 

Getting the Best of Both Worlds

You may decide to pick and choose to get the best of both worlds. Take advantage of some rich curriculum without buying everything. Or enjoy customizing your own curriculum while kids are in elementary school and switch over to a more traditional approach that offers high school diplomas before your child enters high school.

As for our family, we are enjoying customizing our own curriculum during the elementary years. That allows me to customize our homeschool curriculum to my children’s interests. We’ve enjoyed Bob Jones Kindergarten Math, but don’t feel the need to purchase the super expensive teacher’s guide. We love the included lesson plans with My Father’s World reasonably priced Singapore Math, but we don’t use their complete package.

If you used a Boxed Homeschool Curriculum,

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!


free homeschool forms

FREE Homeschooling Forms to help you get organized





8 comments:

  1. When we started out 4 years ago, we used the BJU K materials. However, within a month we had changed handwriting programs, but used everything else. We chose BJU because I was familiar with it and it came highly recommended from a friend who I have a great deal of respect for. We continued using BJU exclusively for everything except handwriting for 1st grade, but that was the last year. The amount of worksheets was overwhelming for me and my son, who has some special needs. We've been slowly tailoring everything as we learn more about what we like/don't like and what fits our children. I'm glad that we started out with a boxed curriculum as it gave me a lot of confidence that first year and it was a good fit for my son at that time.

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  2. We use My Father's World for k-1. I was really pleased with it but I still supplemented because as a former teacher I felt it needed a little more language and math reinforcement. I love the spiritual lessons and the hands on activities. Great curriculum for the subject matter and price.

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  3. We have used Sonlight, Cantering the Country, a year on my own, Living Books Curriculum, and next year we are going to try Trail Guide To Learning. I have found with some of the curriculums that the Language arts did not meet up with were my kids were. So for the last several years we have supplemented with a different language arts program. Most require you to get your own math. I had another child this last year so that was why I went back to using an all in one curriculum. I liked it but I found I still went back to some other things I like to do, like adding in lapbooks and such, so I tend to get behind in the curriculums. There is so much good stuff that I want to go back and do it all so I get further behind. I found I have to hold them loosely in completing it in a year just because I love to add to it and also life happens...

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  4. I think I'm one of the strange ones... we started with Abeka 1 for my first son, but he was such an accelerated learner that he ate through the whole thing in 4 months. At that rate I couldn't figure out how I could AFFORD to school with boxed curriculum.

    So I wrote my own the next year, and have been ecclectic-ly piecing things together since. Until now, he is a completely independent learner in multiple grades at once... but I have three girls coming up in school all at once. They were all born in less than 3 years span. The youngest is extremely clever and the oldest, while clever, is a struggling reader. They are all three in various levels of a first grade. I desperately want to go back to a boxed curriculum, but I can't choke down the cost! I am working on teaching myself how to teach with just the teacher manual, and having the kids copy from the board and such like in a one room schoolhouse.

    I wish I could get Abeka 1 consumables to go with my teacher's editions... but even that is cost prohibitive, and then what next year??

    So I'm piecing it together again, and writing alot of it myself. I'm tired. But I still love homeschooling.

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  5. I would love some help finding homeschool materials. I have a Sonlight catalog and really want to start my daughter with Singapore Math and their Science program. I am NOT going to homeschool my daughter full time as of yet. She was selected to be in a Spanish Immersion program so I don't plan to pull her from public school until 3rd grade. She is currently in K. My daughter catches on easily, and I do feel that she is very smart but not a genius so I don't want anything that is going to overwhelm her and destroy her confidence. I hope to complete the K and 1st grade Math and Science from Sonlight this summer, but I already have Hooked on Phonics and have been using Pinterest materials for handwriting and story building. I do feel that we are missing scriptures, history, and geography. As of right now I do not want to buy into the full Sonlight program, but I do plan on doing so when she reaches the 3rd grade. Any suggestions?

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    Replies
    1. If I am understanding you right, at this point you are supplementing a public school education. If that's the case just do the subjects you feel are lacking or that you have a passion for. You don't want to burn her out from learning by having her do double duty so to speak =) Best of luck to you!

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  6. I wish I lived in the USA to get some boxed curriculum. I have never ordered any considering the shipping fee which must be extremely expensive to Indonesia. I love surfing around the web and think they are really nice. Thanks for sharing.

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  7. I use and love My Father's World! It is just enough pre-planned for me if I'm running low on planning time. I definitely tweak things for my son's needs. I add things as needed (or as excitement hits).

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