Friday, July 27, 2012

TOS Review:

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I was thrilled when The Schoolhouse Review Crew was given the opportunity to review a subscription to It's a site (from The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine) that offers on-line lessons and activities in a variety of subjects for children in preschool through highschool. Content is updated monthly and sometimes even weekly and is available around the clock. I had heard so many good things about this site but had never actually checked it out for myself.

On my first visit, I took the Site Tour and watched 2 brief videos that helped me understand what's offered and and how to best use the site. Even though there is a lot of information on the site, it is organized and super easy to navigate! I definitely recommend familiarizing yourself via the Site Tour before diving in.

When you visit the site, you will notice a menu bar at the top of the page with 7 tabs: Home, SchoolhouseTeachers, SchoolhouseDailies, SchoolhouseExtras, SchoolhouseLibrary, Schoolhouse Site Tour, and Schoolhouse Samples. Stay tuned as I elaborate on each heading (except for Site Tour and Home), or feel free to click on the links at any time to see all the goodies for yourself!

Schoolhouse Teachers

Here is where you can meet all of the Schoolhouse teachers. As of right now 17 different subjects are offered and taught by qualified men and women. The 17 subjects are as follows:

  • Career Exploration
  • Chemistry
  • College Choice Guidance
  • Economics
  • Figures in History
  • Filmmaking
  • Geography
  • Highschool Math
  • History
  • Home Economics
  • Lapbooking
  • Literature
  • Music - Voice
  • Reading Lessons
  • Special Needs
  • Technology
  • Writing

The little arrow on my screen was naturally drawn to Literature since reading and reading aloud to my kids are a couple of my absolute favorite things to do! Adam Andrews, Director of the Center for Literary Education, is your online Schoolhouse Literature teacher. Currently, you can access lessons from March 2012 - July 2012.

I was pleasantly surprised when I clicked on June's lesson as it was all about The Hobbit! My oldest and I have already read it, but I'd been talking about reading it aloud before the movie comes out in December. Perfect timing! So, I've been spending the summer reading The Hobbit to my three kids and discussing it with the help of the downloadable, 22-page lesson plan.

I really like that the Literature lessons are focused on discussing books instead of just answering a set of comprehension questions or filling in a bunch of blanks. Discussion centers around:

  • Setting
  • Characters
  • Conflict
  • Plot
  • Theme
  • Literary devices

  • Essay questions and story charts can also be downloaded.

    The Technology course piqued my oldest son's interest. I was really glad because this definitely isn't something that he could learn from me! He is about to turn 13, and after receiving a little help downloading Hackety Hack, he was able to complete all of the lessons on his own. (He is hoping there will be more lessons soon!) Here's what he learned in the 5 lessons that are currently provided:

    A red oval, just like the one pictured above, is featured on each subject's main page. It's very helpful to be able to see a quick summary of what your child will be learning for that particular course.

    Schoolhouse Dailies

    Here is where you will find daily lessons for many different subjects. Current unit studies are as follows:

    • Summer Olympics
    • Daily Grammar
    • Daily Math
    • Daily Writing
    • Ditch the Desk: Hands-on K-5
    • Everyday Easels
    • Everyday Explorers: Canada
    • Everyday Explorers: USA
    • Pre-K Activities: Read and Play
    • Summer Shakespeare
    • This Day in History
    • This Month's Menu

    Some of these subjects group assignments according to grade level: K-2, 3-6, and 7-12, which comes in handy when homeschooling more than one child.

    We've been using This Day in History to get our intellectual juices flowing in the morning. It's neat to learn about significant events that happened in the past on each day of the month. We've just been doing the research together as a family in the morning, but there are many different printables available to further your child's study as well.

    Schoolhouse Extras

    With your subscription, you have access to The Old Schoolhouse® Magazines delivered to your e-mail inbox. You can get issues dating all the way back to 2007! It was nice receiving a short ice cream unit study via email from The Old Schoolhouse®. My kids and I had fun learning all about it and then going out and getting some!

    Also, you can download a free TOS E-book every month. This month's book is called, Turning Points in Homeschooling. In this book, you will meet homeschooling families who have reached their own turning points, and you will also be inspired to seek and trust God to influence all of your decisions. I like reading about what other homeschool families are doing - it's encouraging to know you are not alone!

    As a member, you have access to all of the Schoolhouse Planners. There are 5 in all ($125 value!): the Schoolhouse Planner, Schoolhouse Special Learners Planner, Schoolhouse Primary Planner, Schoolhouse Intermediate Planner, and Schoolhouse High School Planner.

    Schoolhouse Library

    Here you will find additional resources for you and your homeschool. These virtual shelves contain:

    • Copybooks
    • Reading lists
    • Teacher Lesson Archives
    • Art Shelf
    • Craft Shelf
    • Homemaking and Housekeeping Shelf
    • Nature Shelf
    • Spelling Shelf

    Schoolhouse Samples

    If you are still trying to decide if a Schoolhouse Teacher's membership will meet your needs, you can view sample lessons here. You might be wondering if this site will cover most or all of your curriculum needs or you may just want something for extra curricular subjects. Take a moment to peruse sample lessons for writing, history, math, music, and more to see if it's a good fit for your family.


    You can become a Schoolhouse Teacher's member for just $5.95 per month. Join now and pay only $1 for your first month. You also have the option of purchasing a year's membership all at once for $64.26 -- a 10% savings. Such a fantastic deal for all that's offered!

    For me, this is proving to be a great site which fills in some of the gaps in my homeschool. Art, music, and technology -- to name a few -- are not exactly my strengths. Also, I have never followed a strict literature program (I love freedom in this area), so I know I will continue to incorporate some of these lessons into our schedule. I like that learning with Schoolhouse Teachers continues in the summer, too. Already this site has kept me pretty busy, and I look forward to discovering so much more in the coming months.

     Check out what other Crew Members had to say about here.


    Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew, I received this product, at no cost to me, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are mine.

    1 comment:

    Eddie said...

    We were thrilled with the site too! I'm really looking forward to see the new subjects that are coming out, because the ones already there (Especially Literature and Ditch The Desk) are excellent.


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