We’ve homeschooled since the beginning and have tried our fair share of products. Some won us over and some were flops.
While I knew there were fantastic products online, being a traditionalist, I’ve preferred hard copy materials. Most online programs have glitches, don’t run correctly, or not up to the quality standards to which I’ve become accustomed.
Whether you have a small or large family, a family with all “typical” children or a family blessed with multi-abled, special needs children, there’s something for everyone on the site–from toddlers through high school, and even a few offerings for the college aged crew and moms!
Because of the vast amount of options, we haven’t been able to experience all of them, but here are a few highlights that caught my eye:
- Dailies: If you’re looking for bite-size educational choices for spelling, English, writing, even Astronomy and more, this section will quickly become a favorite.
- Library: As an avid reader, I already know this section will be used on a regular basis. Printable monthly reading lists that are based on age, lesson plans, downloadable e-books, copy books, plus more, are readily available.
- Teacher’s Lessons: My favorite place on the site. Lesson plans for a variety of subjects, including art, math, nutrition, geography, keyboarding, logic, and virtually any other topic you can think of, are covered. Many are broken down by monthly lessons, making it easy to stay organized and see how your family is progressing through a subject.
Other offerings are broken down by age groups:
- Middle/High School
Since I spend so much of my school day working with my older children and have a variety of ages and abilities, I began my journey by perusing the Pre-K/Elementary and Family sections.
From the Pre-K/Elementary Section:
As for my toddler and preschooler, I absolutely adored the program, “The Homegrown Preschooler,” which covers:
- preschool spelling
- hands-on activities
- literature selections, etc.
Unfortunately I haven’t been able to print out the pictures. I don’t know if this was a glitch on my computer’s part or if it’s within the program. Because of the specific issue I had, I’m fairly sure it has something to do with my computer compatibility.
So instead, we downloaded an activity for The Nutcracker and watched the accompanying video. How perfect for this time of year. The embedded video didn’t play, but after being redirected to youtube, it worked fine. Soon, all of my children were surrounded in front of the screen.
Here are a few pictures of my 4 year old son working on his Nutcracker craft.
Me: You’re going to color his face blue?
Four-year-old: YES! Isn’t it cool!?!
Working on his fine motor skills!
“I did it! He’s the cool Nutcracker, Mama!”
Special Needs (and what impressed me most):
Since many of you are homeschooling special needs children, I’m pleased to let you know that there’s a section to meet your unique situation. I discovered articles for building confidence, how to help those with language-based delays to learn by explaining how they acquire and organize information, and other useful advice.
My son on the autism spectrum is also diagnosed with dyslexia and working on his reading. To give SchoolhouseTeachers.com a real run for its money, I visited their reading section and printed out one of the lessons to see how he would fare. Included in the activity was a downloadable book, writing exercises, comprehension questions, and vocabulary builders.
Out of everything I viewed, the reading section is what most impressed me. The vocabulary activities and worksheets that accompany each downloadable book are remarkable and thorough. While my son struggled, and I can’t imagine him fully enjoying future lessons without becoming frustrated, my bookworm daughter will benefit from them on days when she wants a new activity or to keep her thinking skills fresh. As for other children who don’t have severe reading difficulties, the reading section will be an asset.
Here are a few pictures of my son reading the first “article” and working through a couple of the worksheets:
He struggled through the article, but was able to comprehend most of what he read.
Review words we covered before reading the article.
Excellent worksheets to boost vocabulary.
The Old Schoolhouse Magazine:
In case you didn’t know, The Old Schoolhouse is the parent company for SchoolhouseTeachers.com. I’ve read TOS since I started homeschooling my children when they were preschoolers. As part of membership, you’ll receive the digital copy of this fantastic resource, as well as back issues, delivered to your inbox.
The Bottom Line:
Even with the minor technical issues, I think this program is worth the annual subscription rate, especially considering the variety included and the age ranges it covers. On the SchoolhouseTeachers.com site, it states that the program could be used as a core curriculum, but for our family, I feel it’ll be best utilized as a supplement or when we need an extra activity on a rainy day.
Because of the ongoing addition of new curriculum, as well as access to the archives, and the variety of options, such as the print outs, recommended book lists, and other recommended physical items, I believe SchoolhouseTeachers.com will be a great enhancement to our homeschool journey.
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