Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Mixing It Up with SchoolhouseTeachers.com

When a homeschooling family's life gets complicated, there is likely to be some improvising.  This past month or so I had the opportunity to review the Yearly Membership from SchoolhouseTeachers.com and it came at the perfect time!  With a surprise move followed by holidays galore, routine and regular schooling was difficult at best.  Getting to explore brand new (to us) videos and classes provided a fun way to continue some schooling when we were really out of sorts!

SchoolhouseTeachers.com is the curriculum site for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine and provides some extensive resources for anything homeschooling related.  Seriously, ANYTHING.  One of the first places I explored was the Planners & Resources section.  I always enjoy another planner option!  There are 6 different planners, including a special needs option and various school age options.  While that was the initial draw for me, the planners were only a small portion of that section.  Encouragement articles, Recordkeeping, Meal Planning help and the list continues.  With the choice to homeschool permeating every aspect of your life (whether you like it or not!), I appreciate how much this website is a resource  for more than just curriculum.  It can be pretty frustrating to me how interdependent all the aspects of managing a household and homeschooling become on each other - like choosing between laundry and lesson planning because the exhaustion won't allow for both - and so often the biggest hurdle isn't finding just the right curriculum, but perhaps just managing life is.  I'm newer to this lifestyle, but it is clear that the authors of this website know the complexity of a homeschooler's life and are trying to fill needs as they can.  I like that.

In the List of Lists section!
In my life and now in my children's lives, nature and the outdoors is a really significant aspect of our lives.  As an extension of that and my awareness of kids' needs to run and play, screen time is kept at a minimum around our house.  When it has come to making choices about curriculum, I've been very proactive in not contracting my kids learning time out to the computer or ipad on a regular basis.  An internet based homeschooling resource is by nature going to have screen-heavy options and depending on how I used the resource as a whole, that certainly isn't something I love about it.  Still, the video series, From Aardvark to Zucchini, from the Letters, Shapes, Numbers and Animals class was a really neat change of pace for my preschooler and kindergartner.  The videos combined learning about the alphabet with talking about prayer.  I appreciated the positive messages that are often hard to come by these days.

Coloring Abraham Lincoln

There are, of course, many non-video resources available. ABC with Me highlights a different person in history for every letter of the alphabet and provides some activities, along with good information on their life.  We had a fun while totally random conversation about Abraham Lincoln after trying out the first lesson.  Everyday Easels and Elementary Art are two classes that I ended up not having time to really invest in, but am going to make a part of our ongoing work.  Since I'm a music person, focusing on art is probably one of my weak areas.  These lessons are very straightforward, but rich in research and history at the same time!  It makes them a fantastic supplemental resource.

SchoolhouseTeachers Review 2016
All in all, SchoolhouseTeachers.com is a great companion for the homeschooling family.  Whether you are in need of a whole subject curriculum, just a little extra help in an area or ready to mix it up entirely, all the various options are a valuable asset. There's just no way to plan or prepare for everything in each child's educational journey, but having a group of resources like SchoolhouseTeachers.com all in one spot can really fill in those gaps.  

As a part of this review, from now until January 31st you can purchase a 1 Year Subscription for 50% off with the coupon code: CREWFOLLOWER.

SchoolhouseTeachers.com Review 2016

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