Anyone using Calvert Math?

I’m looking quite seriously at using Calvert Math. I’ve looked at MUS, Miquon, Saxon, Rod and Staff… they don’t fit or think like I do. (Yes, I know, it seems most everyone adores either MUS or Saxon.  I’m just odd–and Saxon appeals to me for upper levels, just not elementary.)  I’ve been using Professor B and Singapore for the past several years and LOVE that combo, but the Professor B is getting to be too planning/mommy intensive as our family grows and my brain shrinks.  Singapore is excellent as supplemental, but it is a little too “jumpy” to be our spine.

Can anyone tell me about Calvert’s math:  The good, the bad and the ugly?

What grade levels have you used?

What do you like about it and why?

What don’t you like? (Why?)

I want a simple “open books and go” implementation and an easy to understand, straightforward approach without too many gimmicks.  It needs to be academically solid, and give multiple ways of looking at a problem–both concrete and abstract.

At present I’m waiting to get both girls through their present levels in Singapore.  Calvert is expensive, and I don’t want to buy a level that we are already mostly through!  (It will also give me time to make room in the budget.)  But I’d appreciate input from others who have used it.  (Either to help build my confidence or prevent my making a mistake!) This is really my first gear-shift in curriculum, and I’m feeling discombobulated.

Please help recombobulate me!


6 thoughts on “Anyone using Calvert Math?

  1. I doubt I’ll be much help since I know nothing about Calvert Math 🙂 However I would like to recommend that you also check out Making Math Meaningful by David Quine. I didn’t care for their kindergarten book but I do love the rest. Just food for thought!

  2. Sorry no message posting, been soooo sick, can only stand to read and get off!!
    OKAY. My sister used Calvert Math the last two years and LOVED it. Her boys really like math!! She can’t use it now for the expense. She also LOVES Saxon Math for the older grades. I know her 8th grader is in Saxon Algebra I. I’m going to tell her to come leave you a comment after she gets home from church tonight. I all ready called her!! She’ll call me on her way home.
    She reads your blog regularly, but isn’t a commenter. Nor a blogger.
    Hope you’re feeling a bit better!! Are you taking anything?? I ended up taking Ginger and Vit B6 and feel SOOO much better. Still slow going, but not feeling like I was!!
    Oh. By the way. My sister’s name is Wendy.

  3. Thanks for the comments! I’ll look at Making Math Meaningful, 6 lambs. I *think* I’d looked at it at one point, and it didn’t seem quite right for us, but I could be mixed up. Doesn’t hurt to look again. Especially since researching curriculum fascinates me!

    Dawn, I’m eager to hear your sister Wendy’s thoughts! THANK YOU so much for calling in an experienced Calvert user! WOW! I feel honored! I’ll look forward to hearing from her. I enjoy compiling the rest of our curriculum myself too much to go with Calvert for everything, but the more I look at it the more I think their math might be just the thing to make that one subject a lot easier on my brain.


  4. We have used Abeka, Saxon, Rod & Staff, and Singapore. Abeka and R & S were just TOO much repetition, and my children would be soooo bored once they mastered a concept, which was about two lessons ahead of the book. Saxon is way too expensive when there are good programs for less money, and Singapore was getting too mommy intensive and jumpy as well, and I didn’t feel it had that ‘concrete’ middle ground, although it’s great for theory. We have now purchased Ray’s Arithmetic, which was originally written in the late 18 and early 1900s, and I really like it. It seems very concrete and somewhat repetitious, but not too much. There are lots of word problems which really make you and the student think about how to figure out the problems, and it introduces multiplication in the 2nd grade book, which is great for my advanced math student. Another plus is cost: I got the entire set, that’s grades 1-college level, for about $65 on CD-ROM. Just another math program to consider.

  5. This is why…

    “I want a simple “open books and go” implementation and an easy to understand, straightforward approach without too many gimicks. It needs to be academically solid, and give multiple ways of looking at a problem–both concrete and abstract.”

    – Definitely simple.
    – The teacher’s guide is direct and friendly – definitely “open books and go.”
    – No gimmicks (are you kidding?)!
    – Academically solid – Three of my girls are thriving and we’ve used Calvert Pre-K – 5th grade and my girls are not natural math whizzes. The clear presentation has allowed my 5th grader to work independently and my 3rd grader to succeed when focus is lacking. I think I mentioned before that both of their CAT scores were at or near perfect in math last year. I had them tested only because I was curious how Calvert was working. The CAT tests basic math facts and mathematical reasoning.
    – Every concept is taught step by step and is presented in several concrete ways before the student is guided into abstraction.
    – Mathematical concepts and critical thinking exercises are included in every chapter.
    – The lessons are paced beautifully (mine manage 2 a day most of the time).
    – The books are inviting without being distracting.
    – I looked at everything. I wasn’t sure about Calvert, but after using it for 3-4 weeks I started calling it “Happy Math.” It’s a program that I can manage with my family and I’m happy with the results.

    You will find that your years with Prof. B will pay off. You will always use what you learned there and apply it to your math teaching.

    Calvert has been great for us. I sold all of the supplemental books (Singapore, Key To, Calculadder) that I felt I needed before we switched.

    Should I have put this on my own blog??? (LOL!)

  6. Thank you fourjewels for your thoughtful and well articulated response!

    That helps immensely. Your reasons for liking Calvert’s math match so perfectly with what we are wanting at this stage.

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