For my first assignment with The Schoolhouse Review Crew, I received a membership to the Schoolhouse Teachers website, which is a division of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. This was my first time ever on a homeschool curriculum site that had a paid subscription, and I had no idea what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised at the wide variety of subjects and items that were available! There was a very good balance of viewpoints and skill levels, ranging from pre-k through high school and college, as well as plenty of extra goodies for the adults!
There are two options available for purchasing a membership. A full year membership typically costs $64.26 but is currently on special for $49. Or there is an option to purchase a month-by-month membership to try out the site, for $5.95 a month, with the first month’s fee for only $1. I was surprised at the amount of extras and freebies that are included in a purchased membership. (If you are thinking of purchasing a membership, please use my affiliate button to the left of my blog!)
|Just a few of the freebies that come with a membership!|
Since we already have a full curriculum, I don’t need to use the site in that way. Personally, I don’t think the lessons on there are intense enough for a complete curriculum, but I think they would make excellent fillers, supplemental work for troubling areas, or used as elective courses. I also think the site would be excellent for a parent whose child is in school, but struggling in one or more areas. They could use the lessons and worksheets on this site to target those areas for a little extra help at home.
There were so many areas to choose from, that I had a hard time narrowing it down to a few choices that I could look at more in depth for this review. I picked a few that would be of interest to my family:
· Microbusiness for teens – The information taught on this lesson is geared towards high school students. It is laid out in a very well organized manner, and completely takes the student through a master plan of starting their own microbusiness. I thought the philosophies and training offered were excellent! There are links to the author’s website where other materials are available for purchase that are not included in the Schoolhouse Teachers paid subscription, but there definitely is enough material included on Schoolhouse Teachers that the students can be well on their way to starting and running a successful microbusiness. In fact…stay tuned because my high schoolers are in the process of starting one! Look for an announcement soon on the blog here!
· Home Economics. Generally, whenever I see a Home Ec course, I look at it for a few minutes to see if there is anything there that will spark my attention. Having four daughters definitely brings up the need for good Home Ec training! Besides, I enjoy all the various aspects of homemaking and am always open to better and more creative ways to run my own household. This Home Ec course was very different than any I have seen before. Typically, you can expect the basic cooking class, along with the customary ‘sew your first apron or pillow’ project. Sometimes there will be some cleaning, budgeting, and organizing tips thrown in. Not with this course! It was not a cooking and sewing class, but an ECONOMICS class for the home! It dealt with the philosophy behind homemaking, and hit on areas such as de-cluttering and attitudes! WOW! That definitely got my attention, and I saw several lessons that I will use with my girls as we discuss various aspects of womanhood and keeping a home.
· Voice Lessons – Since our family enjoys singing together for fun, and the girls are all involved in music, I decided to zero in on the voice lessons. I was a little disappointed that there was not more detailed training. It was very basic, and not a lot of information they could use. They found it very repetitive and simple, and definitely not challenging enough for high school level. Perhaps if an elementary student wanted to do some of the exercises and learn some of the foundational aspects, this would be a good course for them to look into.
· Elementary math lessons – My 2nd grader is a great student and loves her work. She gets done much earlier than the others, and enjoys computer games, so I thought I would look into some of the math lessons and let her try them out. When I saw that there were short videos, I was excited. I thought she would get a kick out of watching a short (6 minute) video and then doing a worksheet about it. We watched it together, and she quickly lost interest. The video seemed more geared toward the teacher, showing them how to teach the student a particular math concept. I guess I was expecting videos geared towards the student. The worksheets were either below or above her level, so even though I printed them out, we were not able to use them. (Although my 6th grader thought they looked fun and asked if she could do them!) I do have to say though, that the worksheets were very clear, easy to read, and had great sets of repeating problems that would really work the concept in and get it grounded in the student’s mind. There was also a very nice teacher key included with the worksheets. It was easy on the eyes too!
· Chemistry experiments – We enjoyed watching some of the science projects on short videos. It really motivated the kids to want to try it out for themselves, after seeing what happened. We have several different experiments lined up for this week! I love that many of the experiments had a short video. It’s very helpful to see it being done first before attempting it yourself. It pretty much ensures that we’ll be able to do it the right way the first time!
Overall, I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by what I found on Schoolhouse Teachers. It is very affordable and would be a good investment for a family that has multiple age groups. It is also inexpensive enough that you could use it alongside your main curriculum to enhance your schooling experience. There is enough variety on there, that you can really ‘spice up’ extra curricular activities. If you have older students who want to study something unique, there seems to be a lot of extras that could really meet that need, such as filmmaking, foreign language, art, and music. There is also a lot of college prep material.
Lastly, the site is loaded with enough freebies, e-books to download, and extras, that a membership would more than pay for itself in no time at all. The site is well organized and it is easy to find what you are looking for. I am very glad to know about Schoolhouse Teachers and hope to continue to bless my family with this one-stop shop of helps.
Disclaimer: I received a free membership at SchoolhouseTeachers.com through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions expressed are that of my own and my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.