Review: A Schoolhouse Review Crew Review

High-quality, Self-paced, Online Homeschool Resources {} If you are like me, you are always on the lookout for excellent resources for your family as you homeschool. The yearly membership to one of the first resources I recommend to my friends who are considering homeschooling. The site has grown incredibly over the last few years since it launched in 2012. This can be a complete curriculum for your entire crew all the way from preschool through high school graduation! I have been impressed over and over as I search through the site and see what is available.   High-quality, Self-paced, Online Homeschool Resources {}  The core subjects are solid, so if you are searching for a curriculum this is a great landing spot. Expert teachers and veteran homeschool parents have crafted excellent courses that are worth far and above the subscription cost. The value here is just off the charts! My background is in English and History and I’ve been very pleased with not only the quality of these subjects but the wide variety of study material. I had my husband peruse the math portion as this is not my strongest field. He was especially impressed with the high school leveled courses which are available. You can easily plan a course of study you wish your children to complete or even allow them to choose an area of interest and know it is completely safe. The science courses have a biblical worldview which fits well with our families beliefs. I am also excited to implement many of the Bible teaching options. Many of these courses include video teaching which is always a bonus! Sometimes because I feel more confident allowing someone else to convey the teaching, but also because my girls love it when we use any kind of video learning.   The core subjects are only the beginning! The electives offered range from foreign languages to homesteading to photography to architecture to film making… I was actually overwhelmed with all that is offered. There were a number of courses I was interested in working through, and because a subscription is for the entire household, I can! This week my girls will be allowed to look at what is offered and choose an elective which interests them to complete. I know they are going to be very excited about this because most of our courses are planned by me alone.  

  The final aspect of this site are the amazing resources available for planning, grading, and record keeping. Not only is there a wonderful planner available and multiple printables for planning, there are step-by-step instructions to walk you through the process. High school transcripts and help in knowing how to plan is also available. This is amazing! There are innumerable courses of study for homeschooled high school students, but I have yet to see as complete a resource anywhere else. Everything you will need to complete a full course of study for high school is available at your fingertips. I’m not quite to this place yet, but I am so pleased to know this is available when the time comes whether I will be looking at a full course of study or a few courses to fill in the gaps.  Currently I’m excited to once again use as a supplement to our regular curriculum. In addition to allowing the girls to each choose an elective to study this year I’m also already using many of the wonderful games to add to our learning. A few we have already enjoyed are some language arts and math games which gave the girls a chance to think about both subjects a little differently. Application of prior knowledge for practice is much more fun when placed in the format of a game!   

Daily Puzzlers was a fun language arts game that incorporates spelling, vocabulary, and logic. A jumble of letters is given and then clues to produce several words from the mix. On the website there are printable letter tiles or older students may be happy to simply write the letters down. We own several letter tile games already so we just picked the letters from those. Rose (11) and Beth (9) were quick to know the answers. Grace (7) struggled a little more. She is great with spelling, but was not as quick to catch onto the vocabulary clues. By the time we got to the end she was getting the hang of it, so as we play this more I believe she will greatly benefit. 


Under the Everyday Games section we played both the multiplication and addition versions of Happy New Year 2017 Odds and Evens. We are very much a game family and this was a fun one for the girls. I modified the game slightly by using some 9-sided dice we already had. They rolled and either added or multiplied the numbers. Once the correct fact was deciphered they would place their piece (zoo animals in our case) on the next even or odd dated square. This is a great way to practice math facts because it is fun. Rather than the drudgery of copying down facts on paper, randomly having facts to calculate feels less structured. Because the girls love playing games anyway they jumped at the chance to do this! I snatched a little video of them while they thought I was just taking pictures. So you can hear them correcting their sister some and there is of course some friendly competition.


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Christian Reading Companion for 50 Classics: A Moms of Master Books Review

I love literature. I loved it so much it is what I studied as my main discipline in my education courses in college. I’m so very blessed to be homeschooling and at the same time utilizing my degree in Middle School English. Every Monday I teach 10, 12 to 14-year-olds at a learning center for homeschoolers. I’m always on the lookout for new resources I can use with these students as well for my own girls at home.

Sometimes I come upon a resource I expect to use strictly for my children, but end up enjoying for myself. This is one of those gems! In Christian Reading Companion for 50 Classics by James P. Stobaugh (from Master Books, an imprint of New Leaf Publishing) a variety works of classic literature are highlighted in a very easy to use format. Each novel has a brief introduction including some historical context and author information. Following this is a brief objective test and a few suggested vocabulary words along with their corresponding chapter for location. 
My favorite part of each chapter is the discussion questions. The thoughtful questions steer students to think for themselves. They also guide them to consider more than just comprehension and delve deeper into the finer nuances and context within the pages, encouraging students to consider the work in light of God’s Word. I love this part for myself personally as I have been reading through many great works of literature I never got around to reading. 
Another good use of this book would be for a book club. While many of the books are more appropriate for high school because of content some works for younger students are represented as well. This would also be excellent for an adult book club if you are looking to read classic works together. 
One of the nice things about the works represented here is that they are readily available at your local library or free as e-books. This is a great way to save money and study classic literature at the same time while still having quality, thought provoking study guides.

So right now I’m using this book for my own personal pursuit of knowledge. I do plan to incorporate some of the study guides for books such as Uncle Remus and Brer Rabbit and also as my daughter begin to read these great works of literature throughout their schooling but for now it is just for me and I am loving it!

Disclaimer: I was provided this book to review as part of the Moms of Master Books review program. I was not required to write a positive review. My opinions are my own.