I followed the instructions to a tee for the first semester and found, like many others, that it is difficult to do EVERYTHING in the curriculum. After that we picked and chose what to do and mixed in a generous amount of time for goofing off.
Eventually, with exceptions, we got to where we could do a day’s work, including 30 minutes of educational video, in 3.5 hours. However, that required planning, diligence and hard work – not much time wasted AT ALL.
This year (2012) my son went back to public school for his freshman year and his biggest complaint was the wasted time. He did enjoy the girls, sports and camaraderie that went along with the high school experience.
He was put in an AP class his freshman year and he got a “5” on that exam and he had a 97.8% in his core classes + Spanish. 99% in his two electives – basically he owned it.
I used to wonder if he could keep up with his friends that attended “magnet schools”, private schools, etc. – now I realize they can’t hold his jock. The Calvert curriculum, when taught effectively, will put your child light years ahead of publicly educated children. Is one “that good” or is the other “that bad”? I don’t know, but the discrepancy is glaring.
Homeschooling let us spend SO much time together and take wonderful vacations during the school year when things weren’t so crowded. I do have a relative that attempted to homeschool with Calvert and it was an unmitigated disaster.
It can be fun but you must be EXCITED about giving your child a chance to be a step ahead in life and giving them the impetus to learn. When you find yourself slowing down, running out of energy or just bewildered (Algebra!) – the Calvert support staff is exemplary and I f they went to whatever means necessary to keep us on track. I probably called upon them no more than five times over six years but each time they solved the problem.
Lastly, Calvert maintains a forum for students. My son didn’t start using it until he was in 6th grade but the friendships he cultivated through 8th grade live on and I have a hunch that group of friends will always be in touch with one another.