As a busy mom and one that is fairly new to homeschooling, there is an overwhelming feeling when it comes time to think about curriculum needs for the school year. For the first part of the year, I gathered materials that I had leftover from last year, purchased a few books from the Dollar Tree and would scour the internet for supplemental pages. Then a wonderful opportunity came to me, I was accepted as a part of the Homeschool Review Crew, a group where I will get the opportunity to try and review homeschool products for my readers. My first review is SchoolhouseTeachers.com and the Yearly Membership benefits. When I say benefits, oh my there are so many benefits to this membership and not just in one area but many areas that homeschooling parents and families encounter during their homeschooling journey. I have had a couple of weeks to look through the site and immediately found areas that I grabbed onto and incorporated immediately into my homeschooling day. As the year progresses, I am sure that I will incorporate and use the site as a primary source of our homeschool curriculum. Yes, I am that confident and impressed with it already! While my focus was on the elementary grade level, there are preschool level actives all the way through high school courses!
When I got started with the site, I already knew what I was specifically look for and that was math materials. My daughter’s math experience is like a roller coaster ride; you know the days when it all clicks and everybody is happy because we understand and get the answers right. Then there are the days when it is like going to the dentist and getting your teeth pulled; crying, frustration and the feeling like all progressed was lost. As I mentioned above I had some books that I bought in the beginning of the year, but as we are using them I am seeing that they do not contain enough information or practice for my daughter to feel confident in the skill she is learning. So my first experience with the site was navigating the math section. There are two ways to navigate the site; you can choose specific courses or choose grade. I chose to use the grade level method, I figured it would be easier for me to navigate through work and materials. Now, in my short two years of homeschooling I have been nervous about joining online curriculums, mainly because I am a bit old fashioned and I don’t want my daughter glued to the computer all day. That being said, this site has a mix of elements that can be viewed on the computer and worksheets that can be downloaded and printed out. Another thing I liked about this site versus a book curriculum was that I was able to look through the lessons and find the exact place I felt my daughter needed to begin. I skipped over the work I knew she had a firm understanding of and began the lessons where I knew she needed some more instruction and practice. So far we both have enjoyed the math worksheets, they are clear and concise for her so we have no frustration. I also like that the lessons are in a order of proper progression, this way I know when to move to the next level or if I need to I can go back and review.
Now, I mentioned that I have used the math area specifically but I have been looking over other areas and begun incorporating lessons in other subjects daily; such as social studies and science. I find these two areas can be tricky to find lessons that can flow together and I can become frustrated in searching for lessons and materials on the web or in books. So these two areas will be my next big addition to our homeschool day. I can honestly see our homeschool day being mainly comprised of lessons provided by SchoolhouseTeachers.com –YAY this will help me keep my sanity and hopefully provide me with more time to spend with my children, since I won’t spend hours looking for lessons and lesson supplements.
Another really exciting feature of the SchoolhouseTeachers.com site is the World Book. I have yet to use this with my daughter, as I took the time to look through the different options featured in the World Book section. There are five sections in the World Book application, they are as follows; read, know it, play, watch, and print &do. I really found the know it section interesting and intriguing, I can most definitely see us using this as a science supplement. Within the feature you choose a topic, your child can press the play button on the still picture and the information will be read to them. There are question marks on the picture, as your child clicks on the question mark, extra information is provided in a fun manner. As, I said earlier I am pretty old fashioned so lucky for me there is a print&do section, this allows me to print pages and provide a hard copy of learning progress and activities complete in my daughters’ school portfolio. My daughter is a fidgety girl, she is very active and needs me to change up her learning environment throughout the day. I think the World Book will provide a good break away from the pencil and paper aspect of our day but still provides great learning opportunities.
The site also has a video library, this is where you can search for videos that pertain to specific subjects or material. The videos are not just for kids but for parents too!! WINNER, it’s not just the kiddos that get all the perks of the site. As I mentioned earlier math can be a struggle with the dear daughter and at times I am not sure how to teach it in a way that is loving and understanding. Well, it just so happens there is a video in the video library titled ‘How To Teach Elementary Math (for Parents)’. It’s like they saw me coming — LOL!! There are many other videos for Bible lessons, art lessons, music lessons, science lessons and more!It absolutely blows my mind all the great number of resources available all in one place for one great price!!
Well, I mentioned so many wonderful things to check out on the site for students, but what about us parents? Oh don’t you worry they got you covered too! I was so excited to find a parents section of the site filled with so many resources and goodies that make it feel like Christmas when you open the link. Yes, seriously it is that good! The just for parents section is full of courses designed for homeschooling parents, so you know anything you are facing or will face, you’re going to find it here. There are devotionals, planners (YAY for planners!), organizational tools, videos, and articles to help you and your family on your journey. There are a lot of printable materials here too, so if you are like me and love hardcopies; then you are sure to be pleased.
Now if you want to plan out your course in advance and wish there was an easy way to see all they offer, well you’re in luck! They have a wonderful document that list every subject area, its courses, the number of lessons available and the corresponding grade level. This is a win in my book because I need that type of visual to aid in my planning.
If you love what you’ve read don’t miss out!! Join SchoolhouseTeachers.com in January and receive a very nice discount, almost 50% off the regular price!!**FOR NEW MEMBERS ONLY** Sign up here!
Still not sure, you can sign up for a free five day trial as well, to see if the site is a good fit for you and your family.
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