Is Calvert Math Right for Your Homeschool Students?
written by: Donna Clarke
• edited by: SForsyth
• updated: 8/2/2012
When choosing a math curriculum, the structure of the curriculum, teaching methodology, testing style and format, availability of an answer key and explanations, and use of manipulatives are all important considerations. How does Calvert math measure up for your family?
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Structure of Calvert Math
Calvert math utilizes an incremental approach to learning, focusing on a particular concept over several lessons before advancing to a new concept. This method allows for mastery of material as well as fostering student confidence as he or she progresses in the subject. Consisting of a textbook, Practice and Enrichment Workbook, manipulatives and a lesson manual, each Calvert math course offers colorful pages and hands on learning through materials included. A potential drawback to the course is the requirement to return the lesson manual to Calvert upon completion. Also of note is the lack of accompanying test answers. This information is available through the Advisory Teaching Service (ATS) or may be purchased for an additional fee. Each course includes chapter reviews as well as tests.
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Advisory Teaching Service
Each Calvert math course offers the option of utilizing the ATS, or Advisory Teaching Service. This service provides teacher assistance to the student enrolled in the course, should questions or confusion arise. ATS advisers grade tests and provide guidance as well as tips for improvement. This additional hands-on help is available through electronic as well as traditional medium.
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The cost for Calvert Math ranges from one hundred and ten dollars, to one hundred twenty-eight dollars, depending upon course and grade level purchased. This charge does not include the Advisory Teaching Service which costs approximately one hundred and ten dollars per course. Individual tests and answers are available by grade level for an additional fee. The materials can also be purchased through a variety of alternative venues for a greatly reduced price. If you are interested in using the Advisory Teaching Service it is best to consult with Calvert as to availability of this service, should materials be purchased outside of Calvert. Calvert does offer Textbook Exchange, where parents can swap, sell or buy used materials.
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Each math course is preplanned, eliminating the need for specific curriculum design. Minimum preparation of individual lessons with respect to manipulatives needed and teacher preparedness is necessary. Subsequent to initial lesson instruction, much of the course is independent.
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A definite plus is the trial offer Calvert promotes. This trial time allows you and your child to use the materials for sixty days to determine if it is a proper fit, reducing stress and anxiety over materials purchased without actual hands-on testing.
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Though only available for grades K-8, Calvert Math offers a detailed approach to the subject. The ability to test into the appropriate level, advisory teaching assistance as well as a complete course are definite pluses. Cost can be a negative. With the trial offer, choosing to test Calvert Math to determine fit may be the perfect next step when deciding on the right math course for your child.