The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews

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Paradigm Accelerated Curriculum Texts and Workbooks Review by Cindy West

for the following subjects:
- Intermediate Math Skills, Chapter 1
- Principle- Theories & Precepts of Biology, Chapter 1
- Integrated Physics & Chemistry, Chapter 1
- Composition Skills, Chapter 1
Various Authors
Paradigm Accelerated Curriculum (PAC)
PO Box 3159
Early, TX 76802

Paradigm Accelerated Curriculum is a company that offers a change of pace from the normal textbook curriculum. It packages courses in what they call "bite-sized lessons" and encourages students to complete lessons at their own pace. Each course consists of four to twelve chapter booklets. Each chapter also comes with an accompanying book of activities, quizzes, and tests. So, for Chapter 1 of Biology, you receive a soft-cover text booklet and a companion activity, quiz, and test booklet. Since the Biology course contains six chapters, there would be six text booklets and six activity guides. Teacher Resources Kits can be purchased as well.

Recommended for seventh grade through high school, courses are offered in math, science, English, American history, reading enhancement, and industrial skills and careers. Each chapter, activity guide, and teacher resource book can be purchased separately or as a whole course grouping.

Designed to be self-teaching, the lessons begin with vocabulary and definitions. There are black-and-white illustrations throughout, as well as quotes that are called "life principles." Charts and diagrams are included when necessary. I did notice some potentially evolutionary content in the Biology Chapter 1 text. Since that was the only chapter of the Biology course I reviewed, I can't comment further on the actual stance taken. My advice would be to contact the company before buying in order to be sure their views agree with yours.

After reading a lesson from the text, the student answers questions in the Activity Guide. Most questions are fill-in-the-blank, matching, or multiple-choice type questions. Typically, there are two or three pages of questions to answer. The hands-on or auditory learner may be frustrated with this approach, but the linguistic learner will most likely sail through the work.

The program is designed to allow students to work through the chapters as quickly or as slowly as they need to. But the drawback is in storing all the texts and activity guides that aren't being used. The texts can be saved for other students, but activity guides are meant to be written in. Luckily, each chapter is relatively inexpensive, especially if you only have to replace the activity guides.

If your schooling style is reading information and then testing to see if the material was retained, you will probably be very pleased with this program. If your children need to tackle things in smaller chunks so as not to get overwhelmed, you will probably appreciate this approach. However, if your schooling style is more hands-on or project-based, you may find this curriculum approach doesn't offer the creativity you desire.

Product review by Cindy West, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, August 2007