I was so excited to learn that the first thing I’d be reviewing upon my return to the Homeschool Review Crew was the Yearly Membership from SchoolhouseTeachers.com. With 300+ classes for Preschool through High School, I spent days just exploring the site and getting a feel for it. Once I knew my way around, the girls and I chose a couple of classes to try out and dove right in.
SchoolhouseTeachers.com offers so much, I don’t even know where to start! In addition to the 300+ classes (with online, video, and printable formats), there is a treasure trove of resources available. There are tools to help make homeschooling easier, such as:
- Schedule Builder
- Special Needs support
- Learning Centers
- High School Help
- Scope and Sequence
- Record Keeping
There’s a great Just for Parents section that has classes and unit studies covering everything from homeschooling to marriage, parenting to menu planning. Bible studies, cleaning, and organization; there is something for everyone.
In the Resources section you’ll find encouragement in The Old Schoolhouse Magazine Resources, and practical help in a monthly menu with a recipe for every day of the year. In the Planning Section you’ll find tools like The Schoolhouse Planners (I love these!), printable calendars, and course information. I could go on indefinitely sharing with you all that’s offered, but let me tell you how we used it.
The courses vary in length from a few weeks to a year or more. You can browse by grade and by subject. For a website with so much content, I found that it was intuitive and easy to navigate. Since we are in the middle of the year and our curriculum in most subjects, I decided to look for classes to supplement our studies. The girls have been wanting to learn sign language for quite some time now, so we chose ASL Adventures. We also chose Drawing with Realism, as Art is one of those subjects that seems to fall through the cracks for us no matter how many times I decide it will be a priority.
For both classes the first thing I did was read through the Lessons Plans. These contained the class length, detailed lesson plans (both of these classes have a 3 days/week plan), and instructions. Next, I visited the Class Lesson page for each class and printed the materials we’d need.
ASL Adventures is taught by Sandra Heflin who has taught Deaf Education and Interpreting for more than 40 years and has also worked as an interpreter. Everything needed to complete this course is included on the website, with a video to watch and printables each week.
On the first day of the lesson we watched the video together, pausing as we went along to practice the signs as she taught them to us. When the video lesson was over, we used the Vocabulary sheet to quiz each other to help further reinforce the new words. Throughout the week we took turns practicing the new vocabulary as well as the previous week’s vocabulary. In the lesson printables there were games, quizzes and other various worksheets for each week as well. Part of the reason my two girls chose this class was because our oldest daughter has taken a couple of ASL classes at college. It was really fun for us to show her the signs we learned, and to have her to make sure we were doing them right. We didn’t finish the course during the review period, but plan to continue on until we do.
Drawing with Realism is taught by Jan Bower who has painted hundreds of commissioned portraits and illustrated sixteen children’s books. For each lesson there is a video and printables, but I did need to purchase some art supplies that we didn’t already have on hand. You draw one item per lesson, and each lesson is broken up into four weeks. The first lesson taught us how to draw a realistic apple.
This class was really open and go. For each lesson we just collected our supplies and got to work. We would pause the video often as we followed each step. This course is suggested for middle to high school, but my fifth grader had no problem keeping up. My seventh grader, who has some artistic talent, found this class to be interesting and challenging. I have no artistic ability at all, and was able to draw an apple that mostly looked how it was supposed to. We really liked her soft-spoken, easy to follow lessons and greatly enjoyed our time spent drawing together.
I look forward to using SchoolhouseTeachers a lot in the coming year. There are some great history videos I want to incorporate into our current studies, and more art classes that look fun. I think for the remainder of this school year I will take advantage of all of the Electives, and then try to incorporate more as I plan for the upcoming school year.
Overall, I think SchoolhouseTeachers membership is a phenomenal deal. Right now, with the coupon code CHRISTMAS it is $9.95 per month, or $90 a year with the code CHRISTMASYEAR. These codes are only good until January 15. In mid-January, SchoolhouseTeachers is having a price increase. The promotion is to lock in now at the $9.95/month rate so that you save 50% on the new prices. In a few days this same monthly service will be $19.95/month.
To see what my fellow Homeschool Review Crew members thought, click below.