This review is a little different for me. I was a member of SchoolhouseTeachers.com from its beginning, even supplying content in its earlier format of Teachers Toolbox. So although I'm familiar with it and have had SchoolhouseTeachers.com Yearly Memberships, I haven't fully utilized the website and I let my membership lapse earlier this year. I hadn't even noticed all the changes SchoolhouseTeachers.com had undergone. It has really grown and developed! One of the biggest changes is the addition of courses taught by specialized teachers.
SchoolhouseTeachers.com was created by The Old Schoolhouse magazine. It is an online curriculum resource for homeschool families with online classes, daily content, weekly lessons, and monthly units. There are printable lesson plans and some worksheets, as well. Although they occasionally offer free items for the entire homeschool community, the majority of its resources are only available to its members.
But, SchoolhouseTeachers.com can introduce itself better than I can.
When I began reviewing the SchoolhouseTeachers.com Yearly Membership, I was looking for simple things I could add into our lighter December school schedule. I went looking for This Day In History, which I remembered enjoying in the past. Unfortunately, it was taking a December break, so I couldn't use it. When I looked around the site, though, I found so many other elements to use with my kids this month, and in the future.
My 10 year old son enjoys creating things and wants to be an engineer or inventor. The Tinkers Club lessons are perfect for him! The Tinkers Club is a hands-on course taught by Ed Sobey, designed to increase learning by engaging children's curiosity and allowing them to experiment and explore. I love that many lessons begin with inspiring quotes and this fun definition: Tinker (vb.): to play, fiddle, or meddle (with machinery, etc.), esp. while undertaking repairs. I printed out several different lessons for him to explore. He's anxiously waiting for his Dad to finish off his lactose-free milk so he can make a boat from the cardboard half-gallon container. If you have a kinetic, curious, easily bored son like mine, he'd probably enjoy the Tinkers Club, too.
I also loved the Simply Shakespeare lessons, but I couldn't just jump into that right now. I am looking forward to using it next year, when my daughter studies Shakespeare for her 11th Grade English class. These are actually adaptable for younger children, as well, so I've decided to use these lessons to introduce all the kids to Shakespeare while she's studying it next year.
When I stumbled on Everyday Easels, I knew my 8 year old daughter would really enjoy these art appreciation lessons. The week-long or 2-week-long units are perfect for exploring during a light-school week or throughout the year. I chose a lesson on one of my favorite artists, Mary Cassatt. My 8 year old daughter loved working one-on-one with me, studying the Young Mother Sewing painting, and working through the lessons. As a third-grader, I had to help her find answers to the research questions, but she enjoyed the chance to write about the art. It was a change of pace that we both enjoyed!
The more that I explore the website, the more things I find. Ditch the Desk had some fun ideas for the Christmas season and the Daily Puzzlers offer a variety of logic-based word problems that can bring a bit of fun education into the slow days when kids are sick or everyone needs a break from regular schoolbooks. Or you could put aside the textbooks and challenge your kids with the Test Your Knowledge quizzes instead. I joined the SchoolhouseTeachers.Com Facebook Group and found links to Christmas printables I hadn't noticed, too. There is just so much available here!
I have to admit that one of my favorite things about SchoolhouseTeachers.com Yearly Memberships have been the ability to download the new Schoolhouse Planners each year, access The Old Schoolhouse magazine digital issues archive, and access free ebooks. The digital Schoolhouse Planners are my favorite! My teen daughters print out portions of the high school planner and I do the same with the mom version. We each customize our planner to suit our personalities and preferences.
The main reason I had quit using my Yearly Membership was that we have satellite internet, in the country, and struggle to stay within our allotted data limits. I just felt I couldn't really use the downloaded materials on a regular basis. But if I'd seen all the new courses sooner, I would have figured out a way to download materials in advance (or once a month) from a different location. You can view the entire list of online courses here. There are full-year and semester-long courses for students, including high school level courses! I wish I'd known about the full-course options available here sooner, like Spanish. I really wish I'd known Spanish was an option. We'd have figured out a way to work around our limited satellite internet to be able to use this video course!
If you purchase a SchoolhouseTeachers.com Yearly Membership before Christmas, you can get it for less than half price!
Monthly memberships are normally $12.95, but they are currently 40% off for a price of $7.77/month. Yearly Memberships cost $139, but you can get one now for over 50% off , just $64.26/year. This sale price is available through December 25, 2014 at 11:59pm ET.
I'm so glad that I spent some time exploring SchoolhouseTeachers.com again this month. I will be using it more next year, and including it in my 2015 lesson plans. It is definitely worth buying the Yearly Membership!