Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Expand Your Homeschooling Horizons

Once upon a time...  There was a SchoolhouseTeachers.com reviewer (that'd be me and yes this is a review), and I remember rulers, textbooks, and paper, and pencils. And yes, even a chalkboard with old fashioned erasers. If you want to guess my age you can, but I will say this... I am not that old. I may have three kids but I have been out of college for less than 10 years. I still get the comments and looks, "How cute! You are watching your brothers and sister..." So, um, yea... I am still young enough to pass for much younger than I really am.

 So I get the awesome pleasure to review the SchoolhouseTeachers.com  site for the Yearly  Membership to their entire site-- which gets you access to many cool resources and classes, to give my readers an overview on what it is, what it is for, pros, cons, etc. You are welcome!

Now that I have my own kids, it is not like when we were kids... I mean, I remember before there was internet! Yes, before internet! My sister does not (she is about to graduate high school). She and my kids won't remember that long pause when you started the internet and the dial up from AOL that seemed to take ages. Now that we are in a world of fast internet, it opens a world of possibility for my kids to school!

This was an awesome find!  I love that I can use this site to supplement for my kids.

As if the diversity was not enough, though, it is only $13 a month or $139 a year for each family, yes each family, to access this so they can supplement their schooling at home. Think about private school and what a steal that is.

Very easy to navigate through. You can do it by subject or by grade level. As seen here below:
You just click on the level you need, which can even fall in Elementary and Middle for one student, based on their level, and you can scroll through classes! How awesome, right?

                          ** GET 50% UNTIL 30 JANUARY 16! (Read/Scroll for the code) **

So in browsing through and using some of these already, there are huge advantages and shows one thing I love about homeschooling. The beauty we have as home schoolers is the ability that we can adapt them to what the needs of our child(ren) is/are. One thing in choosing a place or resource to use, is the ability to not have it be solely religious. For some, this is key. For others, it is not. I am one of the later. I will explain.

What I like is that most of them are not (solely) bible based (though some of the courses can be used that way). I feel that no matter what you believe in religiously, my personal goal for my kids (and my scouts) is to teach open mindedness in religious thought, pattern, prayer and practice. If my kids so choose to practice another faith or want to learn more about it, I want them to explore it. Their personal faith is just that... personal. Not for me to choose for them.

In saying that... don't be fooled at all! There are languages from around the world, art appreciation, history, Art, Drama, Speech, Geography, Computer, Technology, Social Studies, Language Arts, Music, Math, Nutrition, Health, Fitness, Science, plus many more being added every day.

If your kids are like mine, looking by grade level can be deceiving. My kids excel, like any one, more in one subject than others because their strengths and weaknesses are different. I LOVE that I can cater to them based on where they are at.

My daughter is loving, and I mean, LOVING the drama courses.
My older son is crazy about doing the astronomy piece of it. He can't wait to be a scientist one day!
My youngest son is loving to learn to read and getting started with school!


If your kids are also like mine, they were somehow born with the DNA of video and technology in them... Ok, that is joke, but still. My youngest when he was 1 year, no joke, changed my settings on my computer to Mandarin, which led to a full day of figuring out how to get it back. Needless to say, I checked out a book from the DC Public Library last week on coding for kids. I think he will like it even though he is P-K level.

RightNow Media is used as well, which catalogs 10, 000+ videos to incorporate into your lessons. How cool is that?! I am going to have some very happy kids! It is also worldwide so if you live in Europe, you should be able to use it! It is for everyone, including, PK all the way through high school. So there is something for everyone.

For you, there are lots of homeschool resources and planners. It is very well put together. So you can print out or download the planners to help aid you. These are going to be very important if you are doing homeschooling in states that require you to have everything well documented. So check with your state regulations, but let's be honest with ourselves. Having these homeschool planners are more for us to keep things together and in one place so we can grow the kids more than it is about having the homeschool planners for the state. Although, it serves many purposes, so it is a double, maybe even triple win.

My kids love doing the online classes. They love doing the video from Right Now Media, as well as K12 (which is a separate program all together).

Here are just a tad bit of some of my favourites that we are utilising for sure!
Reader's Theatre
Art Appreciation: South African Art
Ditch the Desk
Simply Shakespeare
French or Spanish
Figures in History
This Day in History
Creative StoryTelling
Daily Puzzlers
Algebra for Kids
Fraction Workshop
Music Theory
Bug Science
EveryDay Astronomy
Creation Nature and You

Additional Pros (+) and Cons (-) :

(-) I wish though, that some of the classes were less print outs... both for environment but also because I don't have a working printer.
(+) I actually like they have print outs as well because hands on are great
(+) I love they can do video classes.
(+/-) Diversity of Courses
(+) Customer Service
(+) Bang for the Buck
(+) Skills Form WorkSheet (Where you fill in what classes they have done + skills learned)
(+) Video/Media Library with RightNow Media that you can see videos
(+) Homeschool Parent Support
(+) Discounts for Homeschool Insurance etc
(+) Lots of Homeschool Planners
(+) Something For Everyone
(+) No Need for Extra Books to use this

Okay, can I be totally honest?
I think I am going to enjoy this as much as my kids... But, shhhhh, don't tell them, ok? Love of learning starts with us!

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