I started looking at Oak Meadow for homeschool curriculum way back when we first started homeschooling. I liked that it was a secular, child-led program but it didn’t feel like a good fit for us at the time. A few months ago I came back to it, and for a number of reasons it felt like the right time to give it a try.
If you saw my Instagram stories last week, you saw that we received our books. I still have not looked through them but it’s on my to-do list so it should get done sometime in the next month. But in the meantime I thought I would share the thought process of why we chose Oak Meadow for our homeschool this year. I’ll be sure to update about whether they’ve been a good fit or not once we start back with our school year.
Finding secular homeschool materials is not for the faint of heart. If you thought Oak Meadow was Waldorf, you’re not alone. So did I. While it is influenced by Waldorf education they’ve eliminated a lot of the things that I personally found problematic, like not allowing young children to read. (Seriously, I once read a Waldorf book that suggested taking print away from young children like it’s hot coals.) But it still appeals to the part of me that wants to like Waldorf, so I’m pretty excited about utilizing the strengths while loosing some of the dead weight.
It’s good for “sensitive” kiddos
One thing that I kept reading over and over was that kids sometimes find the curriculum boring and babyish. Well, that just sounds like an absolute treat for someone who needs curriculum for a radically accelerated kiddo. My kiddo is sensitive, and I mean, he’s 6, so we have a difficult time finding books that are challenging and interesting but are also appropriate. We’ve enjoyed a lot of the books that are a part of their curriculum, so hopefully it will be a good match.
It’s written to the child
Because it follows child development, once you get into the middle school curriculums the guides begin addressing the child. Now, my child may be chronologically a bit young for that, but he is definitely at the point where he wants autonomy and I thought this would be a great way for him to get it. One thing he loved about his CTY course last year was that he was able to do it independently, so I think this will give him a good sense of independence and a feeling of control over his own education. Plus, I think it’s good for kids to learn responsibility while they are young so that it doesn’t feel so daunting when they’re older. (And while they still have mom and dad to help them out.)
It has a lot of hands-on activities
Just eyeing the craft kits gave me heart eyes. I know not everyone is an arts and crafts person, but I totally am. And again, because I’m coming at this from the perspective of someone with a young kid who is working ahead, the more hands-on the better!
It doesn’t take up a lot of time (supposedly)
I’m one of those people who go straight for the 1 star reviews. Gimme the worst and if I can deal with that, I’ll probably check something out. I read a lot of complaints that people felt they needed to do a lot of supplementing to make Oak Meadow fill their days. Maybe these reviews were from parents of high-achieving gifted kids working at their grade level. But even so, I feel good about that. Again, see the whole “my kid is 6.” We need time for LEGO and hikes and Taylor Swift dance parties. I personally don’t want a curriculum that’s going to take all day! I want to cover the basics, and then allow my kid to run wild with the things that sparked his interest (and from what I’ve read, Oak Meadow gives a lot of ideas of ways to run with interests).
A few other notes:
I’ve heard that shipping to Canada can be pretty pricey from Oak Meadow as it’s based in the States, which is usually the case with curriculum. They had a wonderful Canada Day deal with $1 shipping so if you have the luxury of time, I would definitely suggest signing up for their emails and jumping on a good deal. We were currently between houses at the time, and they very kindly delayed sending out our package a week for me, which I appreciated so much! Shipping was relatively quick considering it was at the border for about four days. I do however, wish I had asked for no plastic air packs. I appreciate the care they put into our package though!
So will Oak Meadow work for us? Only time will tell. I only know what I’ve read, but from looking at the samples on their website it looks very promising for where we are right now.
Have you tried Oak Meadow homeschool before? What did you like/dislike about it?