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As long as I've been homeschooling, I've always considered myself rather "textbook" when it comes to my teaching style. But because my kids are growing up in an era where technology reigns, I jumped at the opportunity to review a yearly membership to SchoolhouseTeachers.com. Oh! A glorious opportunity to step outside of my proverbial textbook box...or was it?
I wasn't really sure what to expect of an online homeschooling curriculum. My experience with online resources (which is admittedly limited) has been disorganized and flat-out overwhelming. My first order of business...what is schoolhousetheachers.com offering and is it worth it to me?
Let's scope out the specs shall we? Here's what your getting with a yearly subscription...
Sounds pretty good, right? But I've come across claims like this before only to be disappointed. So what makes this one any different?
Our First Course
I decided to check out their 2nd grade subjects first. I will say I'm impressed by the subject options. They have pretty much any subject you can think of covered.
From the basics like math and science to technology and other electives. I was feeling adventurous and chose the electives sections. Fun With Cooking is the first class listed..."Hmm that's pretty cool" I'm thinking "Ok, they probably talk about cooking safety and maybe throw in a simple recipe to close it out." To my credit, I was partially right...
There was so much more to this class than I could have ever anticipated. With 5 units (each containing 5-6 lessons) the content is far from "basic." Just take at peek at the offered units and lessons in this course...
Like what?! Ok quick confession...I was totally not thinking about the kids after seeing this. I was ready to take the class for myself (particularly the Edible Garden Unit!) Ok...whew...now that I got that out.
I knew my 2nd grader (who loves to cook) would be all over this. We started with Unit One (Dip and Dippers) Lesson One (Evaluating Dips.) This lesson focused on 5 different dips: hummus, guacamole, salsa, raita, and thousand island. We couldn't find raita so we threw together a fun little dip of our own!
The lesson starts out by learning where each dip originates from. It even has the student try to locate the origins on a map. My daughter loves learning about different cultures so she was excited about this part. I'll use this safe space to confess that I had no idea where the Thousand Islands were...and it's my favorite dressing! You learn something new everyday...
Next was where the hands-on part comes into play. Taste Test! This lesson came with a corresponding chart to record our observations. I really like that it encouraged her to come up with descriptive words for the appearance, smell, texture, and taste. Of course thousand island was a hit! Hummus...not so much...
Overall, lesson one was a success. I totally didn't expect it to jump into the fun hands-on stuff until later on in the unit. That was something I think we were both grateful for. Next up is lesson two...Exploring Dips and Dippers! Even though we've only gotten through the first lesson, we are both looking forward to continuing this unit. I'm actually looking forward to learning how to make our own thousand island dressing!
The Video Library
One of the things that I really appreciate about SchoolhouseTeachers.com is that it has something for ALL of my kiddos. From the youngest to the oldest. The video library has been a go-to. I love that the cartoons are clean, faith-based, and are teaching the kids godly characteristics and values. Donkey Ollie is quickly becoming a favorite and reenacts many popular stories from the Bible.
I'm really excited about the video library because it doesn't just have videos for kids. Through the video library you get access to RightNow Media. This video streaming site has a TON of useful faith-based videos available. You can find videos on topics like faith, ministry, marriage, parenting, and more. What I love so much about it is that it's wholesome content. It's essentially like YouTube but without the concern of coming across something questionable or inappropriate.
Even with all the cool courses that are offered, my 2nd graders favorite resource so far has actually been World Book. This resource offers so much information and is perfect for your geography lover. My 7-year-old loves learning about different cultures and how they live differently from us here in America. She's currently fascinated with African culture.
Not Just for Kids
While the resources for kids are pretty extensive, the benefits don't stop there. I was browsing the parents section when I came across a course for starting a home-based business. I'm currently in the process of launching my own so I was excited when I came across this course. Did I take it? You bet! I learned things like setting the ground work for my home-based business as well as useful marketing (ugh...marketing...) techniques, and building relationships with clients that keeps them coming back. I got a lot of useful info from this course and have already referred back to it several times.
Where does the list of resources end? Honestly...I'm not sure. We've dipped our toe in and already gained so much from what SchoolhouseTeachers.com has to offer. I wasn't sure if I was going to like it because, as I mentioned, I have a "textbook" teaching style. But this online curriculum far exceeded my expectations. Where I envisioned starring endlessly at text plastered screen actually turned out to be way more hands-on and engaging than I had anticipated.
There are a plethora of resources that are available to homeschool families. SchoolhouseTeachers.com has managed to compile a massive amount of useful resources in one place (and somehow make it easy to navigate!) Not only has it made me reconsider the use of online curriculum but I actually plan on using as a consistent resource in our homeschool. The kids are enjoying it and, to be honest, so am I! Thinking about checking it out? Check more reviews by clicking below!
What do you look for in an online curriculum? Share in the comments below!
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Hi there! My name is Brittany..help meet to T.J. and mom to 5 little blessings. My passion lies in helping other women to see their value through the eyes of their creator. Be Encouraged...YOU are a Good Thing!