Sunday, November 15, 2015

Blue Ribbon Awards for 2015

I just finished my last curriculum review for 2015 and was able to look back over the year, enjoying what a wonderful year it was! We were able to review 34 different home school items this year, incorporating them into our daily routine. Reviewing has become a fun way to enhance our home school, learn about new products to share with others, and give feedback directly the companies that are producing these products.

The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew recently voted on our favorite items for the year, and I wanted to share a round up of our family's personal favorites here on my blog. We are eagerly anticipating the announcement of the winners of the Crew's 2015 favorites, also called the Blue Ribbon Awards. Our whole family was able to participate in the voting, casting ballots for "kid's choice", "teen's choice", "family favorite", and "parent's favorite".

Here are our top favorites for this year:

Kelly's Favorite:  A math program....GPA Learn

The rewards that are built into this program were the biggest draw for Kelly, making this program her favorite. She still will log in during her free time to practice math and earn reward certificates.

Melissa's favorite:  She actually had two, (although we had to narrow it down to just one vote). I will mention both her favorites here though....

The wide variety of videos covering so many different topics inspired SmartKidz Media to be her top choice. She has especially loved watching the history movies and cooking videos.

Melissa loves to read, and her other choice is a book that we received to review, called Thick As Thieves. This is a story found in the Old West, with a girl and a horse. It's a great, wholesome book, and Melissa has read it several times.

Laura's favorite: Even though Laura graduated this past June and is a college student now, she still wanted her vote to count, so I'll include it here. Laura wholeheartedly endorsed the high school level AP prep courses in Standard Deviants Accelerate. Laura used this program to study for AP and CLEP exams and felt they gave a good overall preparation.

Mom's favorite: This was a tough I choose the one that I personally liked the best, or the one that I think was best for my family?? Hmmm..... I ended up choosing one that our whole family has enjoyed together over and over since it arrived in our home, and that is The Brinkman Adventures. These audio adventures about a large family helping missionaries around the world really touched our hearts in a special way, and we have spent countless hours listening to them together in the kitchen and the car. 

Dad's Favorite: Our very first review of the year was definitely a winner for Dad. He watched and fully embraced the movie Indoctrination, and has referred back to it often in preaching or conversations. He has also shared it with many people, including several teachers that we know. 

Our Grand Prize Winner: Hands down, all the children mentioned this one for our overall favorite.

This audio drama from Heirloom Audio Productions was a real treat. The music and story line are great, and not only did we really enjoy it, but we also learned a lot about the history of Scotland from it. The girls have enjoyed listening to the soundtrack, as well as quoting their favorite lines from it. Everything we have listened to from Heirloom has been fantastic, but there was just something really special about this CD.

Best Additions to our Home School: Being able to review foreign language courses has been one of our favorite aspects of being on the Crew. This year, Kelly and Melissa both got to review a foreign language course that they both fell in love with, so I have to list both of them as the winner to our best addition to our curriculum. 

Melissa was able to review Middlebury Interactive Languages French 1. It is a high school level course that is the next best thing to having an in-person teacher. We absolutely love this program and Melissa is doing very well with it. 

Kelly is having so much fun working through The Fun Spanish from Brookdale House. For middle school, she is learning so much about Spanish grammar and translation. I am glad she has been able to experience this program.

Thanks for sticking with us this year and I hope some of these reviews have been a help to you on this home school journey. Stay tuned as I will be announcing the Crew's Blue Ribbon Awards this week!

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Would you like to know the Crew's favorites, and winners of this year's Blue Ribbon Awards? Click the banner below to read about all the special home school products that won the prestigious honor of being named the best by a panel of home school families!

2015 Schoolhouse Review Crew Blue Ribbon Awards


  1. We too loved Brinkman Adventures, Heirloom Audio Productions and Middlebury--we're using Spanish!


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