Tuesday, January 5, 2016

SchoolhouseTeachers.com (Yearly Membership) - A Schoolhouse Crew Review

This month I have been lucky enough to review SchoolhouseTeachers.com, a website that I would say is a must have for any homeschooler. It is full of downloadable, printable elements, and also online classes and video components. If you're a homeschooler, it's likely that you've heard of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.  They started out as a quarterly print magazine for homeschool families back in 2001 and have grown to a huge annual print magazine that you can find in big name stores such as Target or Barnes and Noble. SchoolhouseTeachers.com is the curriculum site for The Old Schoolhouse magazine.

When I was asked to review the Yearly Membership, I honestly didn't realize it was going to be such a comprehensive site that included classes for all age kids. There are over 160 classes and courses for kids ranging from Pre-K to High School. They also range in time to last from a few weeks to a full year. One of the things that I love about this site is that the classes are not live. You can start and finish when it's convenient for you. Also, you do not have to buy any additional text books for these courses. That is a huge plus for a family on a budget. The best thing about SchoolhouseTeachers.com is that it's available all for one membership. You don't have to pay per child, so you get everything available for one price. I have to say, it's worth every penny for the amount of resources that you get with your membership.

It felt like Christmas morning when I was able to log in the first time.  My only issue with it, is I couldn't decide what to start on first with my kids! It was so exciting to see all of the great classes that were broken down by subject or grade level. The site is easy to navigate and a wealth of educational tools to keep your children busy.

When you become a member, the easiest place to start is the New Members Hub. They are actually working on making this site even easier to navigate through and save you time.
New Members Hub is in the drop down menu of "Start Here"

The New Members Hub is where you can check out all of the wonderful courses by grade or subject. It basically is the place that tells you exactly how to utilize all that they offer. This makes for easy planning.  After you decide on the courses you want to take, and read the introduction page on what they are about, you can access them easily through the Quick Links page under the Courses tab. This saves time and you can get right to the heart of the course.

Let's talk about some of the things they offer. One of the most valuable things that you get with your membership is the access to all 6 digital Schoolhouse Planners. They have everything you need to keep you organized in your home and school. I will be using the customizable Schoolhouse Planner. It has over 800 different pages so that you can personalize your planner to be exactly what you need. There are calendars so that you can keep all that you have to do in one place. Some of the homeschool forms to help stay organized include curriculum library, field trips, notebooking, and unit studies. For the home section, you have options including bible, home keeping, and kitchen. I can't wait to get all of mine printed and put in my big 3 ring binder. It will be nice to start the new year out organized!
**What we tried**
Having only a short time to review everything that's available on the site, I had to really pick and choose a few of things to show you. Some of the subjects that are covered are:

I decided on letting the kids pick a topic each, and I would pick one.  It was a hard choice! I haven't been happy with our grammar curriculum lately, so I decided to give the Daily Grammar a try for both kids.

We will be working on the 5th grade and 7th/8th grade levels. I really like them both so far. They are set up a little differently. 5th grade grammar is taught by Julie Coney, Schoolhouse Dailies Editor. She has home educated 4 children and graduated 2 of them. The 5th grade is worksheet based which Gavin doesn't mind. As of right now, there are 131 daily lessons with answer keys included.
Screenshot of some of the lessons on 5th grade Daily Grammar

Each lesson is laid out so that you can go to that day, and print it off quick and easy.  I feel that this will be a good Grammar for Gavin, because it won't take long to do the daily lesson. We are going to start our day off with this everyday.

The 7th/8th grade Daily Grammar is a bit different, but still great. It is a 16 week course including worksheets and answer keys.  In this level you are given a worksheet with instructions for one sentence to work with all week long.
Sample of 7th/8th grade daily grammar
You do a little something different to the same sentence each day. There are also printable notes to consult for that day's lessons. The sentences are Christian based including Bible facts and verses. I love this because they get something to think about all week long in addition to the grammar lesson.

My daughter has a dream of becoming a Photographer.  When we saw that there was a Photography class we of course jumped on it.  It is a text based course taught by Michele Peterson, a mom who has a passion for photography and wants to bless others with her knowledge. She has won several awards for her photography, and continues to learn by taking classes herself.
Edyn started the lessons with her old camera (point and shoot), but since she got a new DSLR camera for Christmas, she will be continuing with it. Photography is a 30 week course, but Edyn is having so much fun with it, I think she will be finishing it much sooner. You do not need to know anything about your camera to take this course. Like many people, Edyn has played around with hers but she didn't know what all of those settings were for. Since we just started, Edyn has only done 3 weeks so far. I find that Michele does a great job explaining and goes into great detail with the subject she's talking about. Edyn has already learned a lot and is looking forward to continuing.

Gavin chose to do My Family's Cafe in the Ditch the Desk series. Ditch the Desk is a series of unit studies geared for ages K-5th that promotes hands on activities. It is taught by 3 fellow homeschooling moms Jennifer Holden, Heather Hayes, and Charlene Johnson. Since Gavin wants to be a chef, he knew he wanted to do the My Family's Cafe lesson. He has had so much fun with it too. It is a 4 week lesson that teaches kids about menu making in the first 2 weeks, and then menu pricing in the second 2. Gavin is currently working on the first 2 weeks lessons and has already learned so much. He has chosen recipes from cookbooks and designed a menu for his cafe by looking at real menus from different restaurants. He can't wait to finish this lesson and have his very own menu for his future cafe, Gav's Diner.

The cost of the Yearly Membership at SchoolhouseTeachers.com might surprise you. I was expecting it to be fairly expensive, but I was wrong. It is normally $139/year or $12.95/month. I really honestly think that it's worth every penny. On top of the classes and courses they offer, you also have access to rightnow media which has 10,000+ videos for streaming! Gavin has watched several videos and has really enjoyed it. Right now through January 31, 2016 they are offering the Yearly Membership for half off! Sign up today and get started on finding some great courses that will fit your family's needs.

Let me know what classes you find and how you use them in your homeschool!

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  1. Great post! It seems so many love the photography class offered! There are so many classes, it's hard to choose favorites!

  2. Thanks Missica!! This site is really such treasure of goodness!!

  3. It looks like you all had a lot of fun discovering all the offerings!

    1. We did and are still finding new things to love!