Do you have a dear friend that always seems to know what to do at any given moment or has just the right words to say to cheer you up? How about a friend who has gone ahead of you and knows a little of the terrain you will be encountering and can pass on pointers? How about a creative one who has tons of cool ideas and makes everything fun?
SchoolhouseTeachers.com is the membership site for homeschooling families from the creators of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. Each month, expert homeschool parents and leaders in the homeschool movement share their wisdom, expertise and creative ideas to enrich and teach all our children. There are lesson plans, e-books, and best of all, complete copies of the current year's homeschool planners! From preschoolers to high schoolers, there is something for everyone...even mom and dad! New content is posted each month, each week and sometimes even daily! Not only that, subscribers have access to back issues of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, which has even more helps, encouragement and ideas. If you'd like to see some samples, click here!
Product Reviewed: For this review, I was given a one-year subscription to SchoolhouseTeachers.com.
Price: Try the first month for $1, then $5.95 per month or $64.26 for a one-year membership. See this page for details.
Age Range: pre-K through parents
Very little or none required. Some sections may require going to the library to find books or gathering art materials, but many of the sections do not require any preparation at all. You literally can "Point, Click, Teach"!
What I usually do, however, is carve out some time to explore the site. For this review, I literally spent over two hours looking at everything that was available. I would suggest creating a new folder each month or creating folders for different sections (e.g. Lapbooks, Chemistry, High School Math, Grammar, etc.). There is no possible way to use everything each month, but I didn' t want to have to hunt for it later. I also had a piece of paper out to jot down unit study ideas or supplemental activities that I wanted to do with my kids the following month so I didn't forget. I also got new ideas for other areas of study, like homemaking, that I penciled into my calendar for the future.
With so many options and resources, it is easy to feel like you ought to do everything. Don't! If you save the pdf files onto your hard drive, you don't need to worry about losing access to it.
The first thing I did was to read the article by Trevor Mizrahi about college preparation for my high schooler. He provided honest and helpful advice as we navigate into our daughter's junior year. I took notes on the things that I would need to consider, as well as financial questions to keep in mind.
After that, I discovered that Adam Andrews was discussing The Hobbit in literature class, which was on our reading plan before the movie comes out in December. I downloaded the pdf onto my iPad to use as discussion questions throughout our reading of the book. As I have gone through Mr. Andrews' Teaching the Classics material, this was perfect. I printed out a blank story chart for Matthew to fill out as we go.
For my preschooler, I found activities to create a book study using Eric Carle's Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See? This is perfect for our little one as we prepare to go to China! I looked through the activities, picked out the ones that we could do, made a list of things I needed to do and/or collect and added those things to my to-do list. Even though we probably will not have time to actually do the unit study until August, I was able to plan it well in advance for the month ahead.
What We Liked:
- The incredible value. You get way more than what you pay for. The back issues, the expo recordings (hope they're ready soon!), and the complete set of planners alone is already a great deal. Just imagine more resources on top of that.
- There was something for everyone in my family, including me!
- If I didn't need something right now, I could save a lot of the material as pdf files for future reference later.
- The high quality of the teachers! I am looking forward to learning from Diana Waring, Kim Kautzer, Malia Russell, Adam Andrews, and more every month. These men and women know what they are talking about and are experts in their fields. They clearly have a heart for homeschoolers and for the subjects they teach.
- There is something new just about every weekday I log on to the site.
What We Didn't Like: Not much! Just a couple things I was frustrated with.
- I wished that I could see the entire series of monthly lessons at one time instead of having to come back one week at a time. To remedy that, I just wait until the end of the month before I do my monthly download marathon!
- Not all articles were available as PDF downloads. I like being able to put them on my iPad, but sometimes without internet connection, I could not read them. Bummer.
These are minor inconveniences, and for me, did not detract from the overall value of the site.
I have been a fan of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine for a long time now. (By the way, check to see if your smart phone or e-reader has an app for the magazine. It's free. I love having a whole library of back issues on my iPad to flip through whenever I need some inspiration or a pick-me-up!) This site is a very practical extension of a wonderful magazine. Everything is top-notch. Each month, there seems to be more new additions signing on to enrich and cover every area of your home education experience. Two thumbs up!
Disclaimer: I was given a free one-year subscription to SchoolhouseTeachers.com in exchange for my honest review. If you'd like to read more reviews on this product, click the banner below!