Picking a homeschool curriculum can be confusing, so today you are getting an honest Oak Meadow homeschool review to see if this curriculum is correct for your family. Understand that your curriculum should absolutely match your homeschool method of choice.
While we are guided unschoolers, we realized that a Waldorf style method for a curriculum would actually be a pretty close match to our lifestyle. Oak Meadow takes inspiration from this method and lines up perfectly with our crafty, outdoorsy, and learn through experience method of homeschooling.
Before we dive into the review I want to give you an overview of what we were looking for in a curriculum for my child’s 1st grade education.
Just so you know, as far as I know there are no affiliate programs for any homeschool programs out there. I am not an affiliate for Oak Meadows, I’m just sharing my honest opinion to help you better choose your own homeschool curriculum.
What We Looked For In A Curriculum
My son has ADHD with communication delays so while he is definitely at a 1st grade level in knowledge his speech is not where it should be. While the majority of his delays were impacted by experiences and lack of help between years 3-5 some of these delays were made worse by the impact of the pandemic.
Still as I continued to research help with communication delays and as we started working more heavily in communication we’ve seen drastic improvements in the last year.
However, because of the communication delays and his ADHD I wanted a very specific type of curriculum for my son.
He’s an independent and hands-on type of learner. He likes to choose his own path and explore through many different avenues. Be it building models with legos, drawing, practicing his writing, or watching videos he is an active learner.
This meant our homeschool method would have to be more along the lines of unschooling.
Unschooling Is Not What It Sounds Like
Unschooling is putting your child’s education in their hands. They learn topics they are interested in instead of forcing topics or subjects on the student.
For instance, if your child takes an interest in computer coding they are going to need to learn the math and sciences that are involved in that in order to do the actual coding. If they are interested in cooking they will need to learn things in math, science, and even history.
Unschooling is interest based learning for real life application. The topics can be as small as a specific animal or as large as all of Math. It’s all really about what interests the child.
Now, the downside to unschooling for me is my child has ADHD which means he will hyperfocus on one subject for weeks. He will keep practicing that one thing while ignoring everything else. So I have to keep him interested in multiple subjects and topics in order to make sure he’s learning everything the state wants him to learn in his 1st grade education.
Blending My Insecurities With His Natural Learning Style
In finding a curriculum I needed to have something to go on for peace in my own mind that my child is in line with others in his age group. This is why I needed a curriculum. It gives me the ability to guide his interests so he can stay on track with his age group.
I also wanted a secular based curriculum that focused on getting out of the house, exploring, and learning through art, language, and activities that would keep my son’s interest.
I found Oak Meadows Curriculum ticked every single one of the boxes. It gave me the starting points I needed while allowing me to adapt to what my son’s interests currently are. It also allows for loads of imaginative play and creative time.
Oak Meadow Homeschool Review
In this review I plan to cover Oak Meadow as a school, their homeschool curriculum, the price, and how we use the curriculum in our daily life.
Let’s face it no matter how great any homeschool curriculum is, the first thing any homeschooling parent is going to wonder about is the affordability of said curriculum. So let’s get this part out of the way first.
We spent a little over $600 on just the first grade curriculum of Oak Meadow. We are using the Independent Use of their curriculum which allows me to be flexible with his daily activities instead of being stressed about turning in materials on a daily or weekly basis with the distance learning.
We purchased the Grade 1 Coursebooks and $385. The First Grade Craft Kit without Recorders for $167. After shipping and taxes the price came to just over $600.
The Course Book and Resource Book
One of the major selling points for me on Oak Meadows Curriculum was that you could see samples of the curriculum directly on their website. I knew what I was getting before I even made a purchase.
What I liked was that the course work was more of an outline of what your child should be learning each week with helpful tips into activities you can do. The resource book is filled with stories that you can read to your child every day that are intertwined with the lessons you are teaching your kid each week.
Within the Coursebook are learning assessments so you can tell what your child is learning and where they need extra attention on particular subjects. This is helpful for tracking when it comes to reporting what you are doing with a state.
Pennsylvania has strict homeschooling laws so I wanted to make sure I had a curriculum that met their guidelines while also meeting the needs of both myself and my son.
Future Schooling Options
As a homeschooler when I hit highschool levels my mom realized that she was no longer capable of providing the best teaching instruction on her own. She acknowledged her weaknesses and wanted me to be better and not have those same weaknesses. It was at this age that I went on to do online homeschooling.
I learned at home, on our computer, from actual teachers. At some point my son might want the same experience. I wanted the option of moving into online schooling with a curriculum he was already familiar with if and when my child is ready for it.
Oak Meadows has an accredited distance learning school.
Through K-4th grade the parent does the primary teaching with a teacher who helps the parent, grades work, and keeps track of everything they do. In middle school the teachers and parents work simultaneously with the student gaining more one on one time with their teachers. In High School the parents take a step back and the student works solely with a teacher.
In the high school process your child can earn an accredited diploma as well as take additional courses to earn extra credits. They also get college counseling if that’s the choice a student wants to make.
Being able to transition my son from early childhood education to learning from a teacher is an option I want available for all of us.
Why I Love Oak Meadows Curriculum
Oak Meadow was the correct choice for us and fits our lifestyle, or the lifestyle we want after the pandemic. We wanted to be out as a family more often, we wanted to teach our son through hands-on experience, and we wanted to make sure that our son receives a quality education.
Oak Meadow provides all of that and more. The curriculum nurtures his creativity, encourages problem solving skill growth, and teaches observation of all things. Furthermore, it works well with the way his brain works.
Oak Meadows curriculum doesn’t try to form him into anything other than who he is while giving him the skills necessary to navigate the world. That is the most important part for me. We are a family of neurodivergence and it’s important to me to break societal bonds that force us to behave normally.
I want my son to learn how to advocate for himself, communicate his needs, and grow into an empathetic adult who can help others advocate for themselves as well. I want him to be whoever he wants to be while standing up for himself and others who need it. Oak Meadows curriculum allows him to be himself and grow into who he wants to be.
Will We Stick With Oak Meadows
The plan right now is to stick with Oak Meadows at least through early childhood education. As my son grows, as we dive deeper into the curriculum, needs may change. I am extremely happy with the curriculum so far and intend on sticking with it for a while at least.
The key to figuring out which curriculum is the best for your child and family is to figure out your own goals and find a curriculum that matches that. For us we wanted a guided unschooling experience through elementary school. Oak Meadow is fantastic for this.
If you are seeking a more step by step curriculum with in depth guides you may not want to use Oak Meadow as I find it more to be an outline of what a child can learn.
If you are like me and you just want the reassurance that a curriculum brings in homeschooling, I’m sure you’ll find the best one for you and your family. I highly recommend checking out Secular Homeschooler as they have a complete list of the different homeschooling programs that are out there.
If you want to learn about the different methods of homeschooling check out my post here.
What homeschool curriculum are you using this year? Let me know your thoughts on it in the comments below. Follow me on Pinterest for more like this and pin this to your favorite homeschooling boards.