Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.
This year, to begin my review season, I get to revisit a website that I have previously reviewed before. However, unlike other times when I have revisited a product or a website, this is a website that I use extensively with my family on a regular basis prior to my review, both with homeschooling a well as for day to day household management - SchoolhouseTeachers.com. Members of the Homeschool Review Crew were given a Ultimate PreK-12 Annual Membership for the purpose of this review.
SchoolhouseTeachers.com is the curriculum/education aspect of The Old Schoolhouse family. For a low yearly price, homeschool families have a wide range of curriculum options for grades K-12, with more than 400 self-paced online courses, and numerous teaching resources all included in the yearly membership. Classes are all inclusive so you aren't going to have to buy textbooks to teach the courses, just download the lessons and you're all set.
Membership price allows access to all available courses and offers a core subject for every subject for every grade, making it a full curriculum website that allows families to teach all students in their home, regardless of age and grade. Membership also allows unlimited access to the World Book Resources Library, RightNow Media, a Silver plan level account with Applecore for homeschool record keeping and much much more, all at one low yearly price.
With more than 400 classes to choose from, your first experience with the website can be much like being a kid in the candy store, with so much curriculum options, it can be a bit overwheming. To help eliminate this problem and to make things much easier in selecting courses and piece together a full curriculum for your student, SchoolhouseTeachers.com offers a downloadable Scope and Sequence for each grade level. These Scope and Sequence files are a great place to start with SchoolhouseTeachers.com and can be found under the planning tab on the website.
By selecting either the grade level or the subject you wish to teach, the Scope and Sequence feature will suggest courses that are found on the SchoolhouseTeachers.com website that will fulfill the academic goals for that level. It also makes suggestions for class future planning.
Please note: SchoolhouseTeachers.com does not align with any particular set of regulations or guidelines. Each family must research their state's guideline and requirements to ensure they meet those guidelines.
Another section that I personally enjoy using is the quick links section. This shows all the classes available on SchoolhouseTeachers.com, listed by subject. This portion will also note new classes that have been added to the website recently to make it easy to find those and read more about the class. From the quick links, you can go directly to the class information.
After finding a course that looks interesting, simply click the link and you will be brought to the course information page. This page will tell you the length of the course, if it's text based or video based, and what grade the course is suitable for. From here you can also learn who wrote the course and what expertise they have in teaching that course.
Banners for Getting started, Course Outline, Course Sample and More about the Course provide a quick popup the provide more information about the course. This information is available without having a membership to help you learn more about what is included in the course module.
Members have access to the actual class materials. All classes include the text material needed for the course as well as a printable lesson plan.
The lesson plans are extremely helpful. These PDF files can easily be printed out and kept in a planning notebook, making planning for and teaching each day's coursework as simple as following the list. The first page of the Lesson Plan gives a quick summary of the course and what material is needed while the rest of the planner breaks the course down day by day. A section is also provided for jotting down notes as needed.
Also included with your membership, SchoolhouseTeachers.com also offers their members access to hundreds of streaming videos from providers including Creation.com, Drive Thru History, Vision Video, Discovery House, Boat Angel, City on a Hill, RightNow Media, and more. Some of these videos are included with their coursework however, some videos that are included are not necessarily educational based. For example, through their partnership with RightNow Media, members have access to a vast library of Bible based marriage studies, parenting studies and more.
|A very few of the video selections available on SchoolhouseTeachers.com|
So, now that you have at least an idea for what SchoolhouseTeachers.com is, let me tell you how my family uses it. We have been a member of SchoolhouseTeachers.com since 2014, so I've had over 5 years now to really enjoy what the site has to offer.
Over the course of those five years, I've used a large variety of course work from the site. From multiplication workshops, music lessons, the video library and more, SchoolhouseTeachers.com has really become my Go-to for looking for curriculum before I actually purchase anything. For example, my son really did not seem to enjoy any foreign language that we tried with him - Spanish, French, Chinese and even Latin, he didn't really care for it. However, there was a course that unfortunately isn't offered on the website anymore that introduced kids to Greek. Through their partnership with "Hey Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek!", I was able to download Level 1 of the Greek language program to use with Garrett. He enjoyed it so much, that we continued with his Greek lessons (although we did have to purchase lessons beyond that first course).
Another case where SchoolhouseTeachers.com came to our budget rescue was this year for American History. I tried a curriculum that I purchased and I ended up being very disappointed in it after a few weeks. It just didn't seem like it had enough history in it. Once again, I took a look to see what was available and found a video and text based course that has worked perfectly for my needs.
|A Page from the Textbook from the American History course we are using|
The Drive Thru History videos are part of their own American History curriculum available on the website, however, I simply use them alongside with the curriculum we are currently using by simply watching the one that coincides with what we are learning about in our history course.
Another class we have really taken advantage of using is the Beginner Violin course. This is a 32 week video based course taught by violin instructor Nancy Blue and we are 12 weeks into the course.
After we reviewed another violin program but were unable to continue with it past our review period due to budget restrains, so I was absolutely ecstatic to find this course as an offering on the SchoolhouseTeachers.com website.
The violin course starts with helping the student and parent learn how to buy a violin and take care of it, such as how to store it and the bow, how to use rosin, ect. Throughout the 32 lessons, students learn how to hold the violin and the scales, eventually learning to actually play simple songs (Garrett's currently working on Twinkle Twinkle). After completing all 32 lessons, the student earns 0.5 credit for music elective.
As both Garrett and Ashleigh are working with instruments, another course we have been using is Music Theory, as learning to read music is an important part to learning any instrument. Music Theory is offered as a 2 part course (as well as an Advanced Music Theory offered at the high school level) and we are currently studying with Music Theory 1, which is designed and written by music teacher Michelle Martin, who has over 20 years of experience.
Music Theory is a great starting platform for the kids to build a foundation in music understanding by using both written instruction a well as activities geared for both elementary and secondary level students to learn notes, tempo, rests, dynamics and more. Music Theory I and II together is a 32 week course, taught twice a week.
Other course we are currently using is the Introduction to Architecture for Garrett and Introduction to Photography with Ashleigh. These were electives they both selected for themselves and both have so far really enjoyed the class they selected.
|Garrett looking over his Introduction to Architecture textbook at the beginning of the school year|
|Working on an Architecture assignment|
|One of Ashleigh's Photographs from her Photography course|
|Don't let Ashleigh's doodles fool you, she did perfectly fine|
The World Book Online is another service that is included with your SchoolhouseTeachers membership. World Book Online contains thousands of informational articles with stunning illustrations, videos, interactive maps, research help, and activities. Many courses on SchoolhouseTeachers utilize articles and timelines found on the World Book Online website. There is also an extensive collection of Ebooks on loads of subjects that can be read online.
We have used so many different offerings from SchoolhouseTeachers.com, so these are only a few examples. There are daily activities such as writing prompts, 5 and 10 day unit studies based on famous works of art, short read aloud plays for students to read and act out together, and so much more that we have used.. It really is a full curriculum option that you can easily customize your own education for grades K-12th.
But the website offers so much more than just curriculum and education. I mentioned that I tend to use SchoolhouseTeachers for my everyday household management. One of the most useful things I have discovered is using a second copy of the planners offered on the website (another perk to membership) and use it for menu planning. (I already use a copy for homeschool as well.) I save it to a different area under a different name (I simply save the file as MealPlanner so as to not overwrite my lesson planning file) and it makes it super easy for me to sit down, plan out my meals and be able to actually see them over the course of the 2 weeks I plan for.
Okay, so I have a tool to schedule my dinners, but what if I have absolutely no idea what to make? The website has you covered there as well. The website provides monthly recipe ideas to help make meal planning super easy, submitted by members of SchoolhouseTeachers.com. Each month provides a list of either a breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack and dessert idea for each day, meaning there's bound to be a few ideas that your family will enjoy. There's also a gluten free and vegan section.
And it would be a disservice if I failed to mention the various other resources for parents. From ideas for family nights spent together, organizing your home, or even providing daily encouragement for the homeschool mom, there is an entire section dedicated to courses and resources just for you. The Parent EBook Library offers a large collection of Ebooks published by The Old Schoolhouse, many of which are typically sold on their website but is free for your reading with your membership to SchoolhouseTeachers.com.
SchoolhouseTeachers.com has been a blessing to our family and I know you'll find it to be a blessing to your family as well.
For more information about SchoolhouseTeachers.com, please visit their website. You can also find them on them on the following social media sites:
Members of the Crew were each given the opportunity to review SchoolhouseTeachers.com with their families. Be sure to click the banner below to read more reviews and see what classes and resources they used with their families.