This past week I had the pleasure of reviewing SchoolhouseTeachers.com. This is a very comprehensive educational Christian homeschooling site offering a Yearly Membership to homeschoolers and teachers looking to find online resources, classes, and supplementary material for their children and/or students.
As a homeschooler who likes to be a little more ‘unplugged’, I’ve struggled to embrace many online resources over the years. I’m a book lover and there’s just something about getting that curriculum in the mail in book form. Having said that, I’ve started to really appreciate the ease, convenience, and money savings that come along with online curriculum, ebooks, and web resources. In fact, I’ve started ordering more ebooks to save on shipping and avoid wait times. What’s funny is I immediately print them out and make my own little book. What can I say? I *really* love books.
The SchoolhouseTeachers.com site offers online classes as well as downloadable, printable courses and resources, which I’ve been using. Lots of downloading and printing going on over here! There is something for every age and interest from preschool to highschool. Some subjects offer an entire year’s worth of study, such as, French, Geography, Nature Study, Music Theory and Writing. Some offer a semester’s worth, like, American and Classical History, Hebrew and Science.
What I am really enjoying is the “Dailies” section which is extensive, offering daily activities and lessons on a huge number of subjects, such as Spelling (which I review below), Math, Copywork, History, and Art and Picture Study – Everyday Easels (which I also review below!) to only name a few.
Here’s a look at just a couple of the resources/courses we’ve been enjoying from Schoolhouse Teachers.
Spelling is an area I have been changing in our daily routine and weekly activities. We were looking for something simpler and more geared to the Charlotte Mason method.
Here’s how I used Schoolhouse Spelling at SchoolHouseTeachers.com in our home.
I looked over the spelling lists for Lower Elementary – Level 1 and printed each week’s words and the Charlotte Mason Monday activity for that week. There are activities for every day of the week in the program, but given our philosophy of learning, all I needed was the first day. This included the word list and copywork which had all the words rolled into it. For example, week one the children did the first stanza of All Things Bright and Beautiful for copywork with their spelling words being: my, want, not, down, in, still, and beside. (These are rather simple words for our children, but I love the hymn and wanted to start with week one of the program.)
This also inspired me to use the same hymn for our week’s hymn study and I was able to find a lovely song video with lyrics which we used to help us learn the tune and rhythm.
I also worked with the Preschool Spelling program. Our son isn’t really preschool aged, but he is just learning to read well and I found the words in this level were a good starting place. For him, I printed the word lists and daily suggested activities and we easily walked through it together.
Playing with words from Week 2 on our white board.
Because I liked the Charlotte Mason Monday, I simply cut and pasted the weeks into a simple word file for easy use.
For the Pre-school spelling, I chose to follow the lists in the Schoolhouse Spelling program but added my own manipulatives for word play and spelling fun.
The end of the week ‘spelling test’, simple words with pictures added on the right to illustrate each word. This was fairly easy for Alex, but still a good level for him to gain confidence in his ability to spell words well.
For example, we learned an interesting tid-bit about the artist and used it to fuel our observational skills. Did you know Rembrandt loved to hide his self-portrait in his paintings? Our children loved searching for him on the boat in the scene he had painted and found it funny he would place himself right in a historical painting, but there he was at the bough (the one holding the rope wearing blue!).
Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee by Rembrandt
For Day 2, we were encouraged to read from Mark 4 where the account of Christ in the storm is found in the Bible. We enjoyed re-reading this part of the gospels with Rembrandt’s vivid painting as a reference point.
Other interesting activities included thinking up and creating sound affects to go along with the feel of the painting (“what do you hear?”), as well as researching a little more about the Sea of Galilee in biblical and present day.
For the last day of the study, we were encouraged to have fun creating our own storm in a bin using water, soap, and whatever materials we felt like adding to the mix. What a great study! This is taking picture study to the next level, in my opinion!
My review is for the yearly membership, which is $139 per year which gives full access to all the resources for as many children and/or teens as you wish.
Although I’m not always inclined to use online learning sites, this one in particular is far more detailed, organized, professional, and easy to reference and access than most online resources I’ve tried. I really do love so many of the offered classes and resources. Also, with the membership, you can continue to download new lessons and follow along as an online ‘homeschool’ so to speak.
I have met many Moms who are seeking a sort of online ‘school’ for their middle and high school aged children, so for those who are seeking something along those lines, this could be a great addition to the homeschool!
To read more reviews of SchoolhouseTeachers.com, visit the link-up at The Schoolhouse Review Crew!