Alpha Omega Publications has been producing Christian curriculum for homeschooling families for over 30 years. They offer several different types of curriculum to fit a variety of teaching styles and needs, including both online and traditional textbook options.
About the Company
Alpha Omega Publications is headquartered in Rock Rapids, Iowa. They were part of the very beginnings of the homeschool movement in 1977 and have been developing and producing curriculum since that time. The company's goal was to offer affordable curriculum to homeschooling families. They offer not only curriculum but books, games, and online support to Christian homeschooling families interested in an education based on the Bible.
Alpha Omega Curriculum Choices
Alpha Omega has several programs available to allow parents flexibility in teaching their children.
LIFEPAC is geared toward students in kindergarten through grade 12. Each subject for each grade is divided up into several workbooks, usually ten, which can be purchased as a set or individually. Parents on a tight budget will appreciate the ability to buy books on an as needed basis.
The student masters the content in each workbook before he is allowed to progress to the next. Tests are taken upon completion of each workbook to make sure that the student has mastery over the material. Each book takes about three to four weeks to complete.
The benefit of LIFEPAC is that you can mix grade levels to customize the curriculum for your child. If your fourth grader is ready for sixth grade English, but is having difficulty with math, you can choose a higher grade in the subjects he excels in and lower grades in those he needs more help with.
The biggest complaint among families that have used this system is that the lessons are boring and full of rote memorization. The fundamentalist Christian viewpoint, present in all Alpha Omega curriculums, may be bothersome to those who are of different faiths or denominations. If your family enjoys a textbook curriculum and worksheets, then this is a good fit for you.
Monarch is an online curriculum. It is geared for grades 3 to 12 and is compatible with most web browsers on Windows or Macintosh operating systems. Monarch contains the five core subjects, and electives are also available. It is purchased on a subscription basis, each subscription lasting for 18 months.
This curriculum is multi-dimensional, using media rich lessons including movie clips, animations, learning games, audio clips and Internet links to present the material. It is available anywhere in the world with an Internet connection. Grading and other recordkeeping is done automatically, and records are stored for seven years after the end of your subscription for convenient online data storage.
This is an excellent resource for parents who are working or busy with ministry, but want their children to have the benefits of the homeschooling experience. It is paperless which makes it a great choice for those who are concerned with the environment. This may not work well for you if you have problems getting strong Internet access, or if you have several children and only one or two computers.
Switched-On Schoolhouse (SOS) is a computer based, multimedia enriched curriculum that has many of the benefits of both the LIFEPAC and the Monarch programs. It is designed for grades 3 to 12.
- Grading is automatic
- Daily report tracks progress
- Advanced lesson planning
- Customizable curriculum
This curriculum works well for parents who need an independent learning environment for their children but don't have the resources for the Monarch program, since SOS does not require use of the Internet. If your child is easily distracted or needs a significant amount of parental input to understand the lessons, this may not be a good choice for you.
Horizon is a workbook based program that includes teacher's guides, daily planners and schedules. This program is geared for preschool through grade 12 and is created with the hands-on learner in mind. It uses a spiral approach to learning; a system in which the basics of a subject are learned without a lot of detail and then the subjects are revisited and detail added several times. This helps the information become part of the child's long term memory.
This is a good choice for your family if you have a kinesthetic learner. It is a little more creative than the LIFEPAC system. It is not a good choice for those parents that are busy and need their children to be mostly self-directed.
The Weaver Curriculum
The Weaver Curriculum uses the unit study method to teach children in grades pre-kindergarten through 12. It allows you to teach all age groups at the same time. Each lesson is based on a daily Bible theme, and the lessons are created for each grade from that one theme. The activities include:
- Field trip suggestions
It is a flexible curriculum and allows the parent to tailor the lessons to a child's learning style. All subjects are covered except for math. This is a great curriculum for homeschooling families that want a creative, hands-on experience for the whole family. It is beneficial for large families because the parent's time can be efficiently managed by teaching everyone at once.
This may not be a good fit for your family if you don't like to spend a lot of time on a subject, or if you don't have large amounts of teaching time. It depends on a lot of parental involvement and hands-on activities. It is quite different from a traditional school model, so it can be intimidating for new homeschooling families.
Finding the Best Fit
No matter what your best friend or neighbor thinks about a certain curriculum, it is important to find the best fit for your family. Each situation is different and what works for one child may not work well for another. As a parent, you have the best understanding of your children's needs as well as the needs of your family. With the variety of types of Alpha Omega curriculum you can easily find one that works for you.