Review: Homeschool Complete

One of the most pressing questions that I am asked as a homeschooling parent is, “What curriculum do you use?”  This is the number one concern on any of the support groups that I am in.  I, myself, as a former public-school teacher am overwhelmed by the variety of curriculums available to homeschooling families, so it doesn’t surprise me that people who do not have an educational background are overwhelmed. Some people prefer an eclectic curriculum approach.  They can pull resources from a variety of places.  Others need a more structured approach.  They prefer an all-in-one curriculum. 

I was recently given the opportunity to review “Homeschool Complete” with my youngest son, who is in third grade.  We were chosen to review the Third Grade Complete, for semester 1.

What Does It Contain?

Homeschool Complete is an all-inclusive program, unit-based curriculum.  The complete unit studies are of a wide variety of interests, including animals such as ants, people such as John Adams, and continents such as Asia.

The complete homeschool curriculum contains activities in calendar time, math, language arts, special areas, and the bible.  Calendar time begins with the pledges and prayer. Students are then led through a series of activities to either teach, reinforce, or review counting skills, depending on your child’s level.  In our case, these served as review items.  It is also during this time that children are given the opportunity to journal about a topic of their choice. It concludes with the read-aloud selection for the day.

The math lessons for the day are short.  They begin with the use of manipulatives to help reinforce the concept for the child in a hands-on, tactile manner.  Once the child has been given the opportunity to work with the manipulatives, they are then given practice problems to work through.  There are not an overwhelming number of problems, which helps prevent the child from becoming overwhelmed.

The language arts portion of the curriculum consists of handwriting, reading and English.  It is through these lessons that the child is able to work through various reading components, such as phonics, comprehension, and vocabulary. 

Art, music, and physical education are addressed through the special areas. Each component is not addressed every day, however, and are used sporadically throughout the program to provide a well-balanced blend of these areas.

Biblical concepts are used across all content areas, with memory verses being a focus. Within this, important social skills and character traits are used. 

How Easy Is It To Use?

The lesson plans are setup in a repetitive and predictive way.  They are scripted, meaning that they directly tell you what needs to be said, and what questions are needed to be asked.  It is important to note that this is a guide.  While these are important skills and questions for the lesson, the child will also direct the lesson as well.  Perhaps they found something interest in their daily reading, and they want to go a little more in depth with those details.  This is perfectly fine.

While everything is scripted for you, there is planning, and organization is required.  Every lesson plan shows a list of materials needed to successfully teach the lesson.

In some cases, this list is very extensive, and it is important to have these materials within reach as to not delay the lesson and learning of the child.  It is also important to know what literature books are needed so that you can have them in your personal library.  In some cases, we could not find the books needed, so it is important to look through these materials in advance.  The great thing is that they include a master list of books and materials.  This allows you the opportunity to have a checklist, so you can be prepared well in advance. 

How Comprehensive Is It?

I can say that I was honestly surprised when I looked through the “Subject Area Content and Skills List”.  There were skills included that I hadn’t ever taught it public school.  For example, writing an outline.   Having this skills list available is crucial in any curriculum, so that you know where your child is heading in their learning.  This also helps me see if there are any skills missing that I would want to my child to learn.

What’s The Verdict?

Homeschool Complete is all inclusive, meaning you could potentially use only this curriculum, and teach your child everything they needed to know.  The lesson plans are easy to use and are very detailed.  The creator did a great job of laying it out, so that the teacher can be organized.  I was overly impressed with the amount of content and lessons. 

There were a wide variety in lesson types.  We made recipes, and art projects.  We had so much fun doing those lessons.  During one of the recipes, my son even declared himself “chef of the world”.

With that being said, I do have to admit that this was a struggle for my son.  For him, the math skills were too easy.  He is already working in pre-algebra and advanced fraction skills, so the skills that we were working on were more review for him.  He found it to be boring.  He is a kid that likes a challenge, and he wasn’t given this.  I wish we could have used this curriculum when he was in a lower grade.  However, for your average or struggling learner, this would be an ideal program. 

From a personal standpoint, there was a lot of planning and prep work.  At times, I couldn’t find the required books.  It was a lot more work on me than I would prefer.  However, if you are a person who needs a lot of structure in your lesson plans, or are new to homeschooling, then Homeschool Complete would be perfect for you.  If the idea of using a complete homeschool curriculum has you on the fence, Homeschool Complete also offers complete unit studies for purchase.  Click the image below to explore these units.

If you are undecided if this is right for you, I encourage you to check out the samples included in the Homeschool Complete website and explore the lessons for yourself.  You can go here to view those. You should also check out other reviews from the Homeschool Review Crew by clicking the banner below.

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