Thursday, February 17, 2011

Want to be a Homeschool Crew reviewer?

If you're interested in being a member of the next Homeschool Crew voyage, there are a few steps you can take to help prepare before the application process starts.  Sometime next month we'll probably hear from TOS about the new application process.  I do know (because I have some inside sources) that there are going to be some new qualifications for the Crew selection process.

A potential Crew member will need to have:

  1. an active blog, with at least FOUR posts per month

  2. Google Friend Connect, Networked Blogs, or some visible way of showing your blog following in your sidebar

  3. at least 25 public followers

These are things you can work on fixing before the application process begins next month.   They will not consider anyone who does not meet these basic requirements.  So dust off your blog if you need to, and get busy!  If you're an active blogger, but need to add GFC or Networked blogs then do it and ask your readers to become public followers.

Of course, they'll be looking for people who write well, and can express themselves clearly.  They're looking for balanced reviews -- honest, but with a healthy mix of both the positive and the negative.  The Crew leaders need people who will follow through with their commitment to use the products and turn in a well-written review ON the due date, even if they don't like the product.

Checking in with the Crew daily, and checking your email daily, are important!  If you prefer to only check email once or twice a week, and are slow to respond to email ... then do not apply for the Crew!  If you don't want to mix up your curriculum, allow your children to use on-line materials, or adapt curriculum that might not fit your family as well as you'd like ... don't apply for the Crew!

Being on the Crew is fun, and it's an incredible blessing, but it's also hard work.  Sometimes you will feel totally overwhelmed, and other times you might feel a little bored.  You WILL become addicted to getting curriculum in the mail, and you WILL find yourself checking in with the Crew regularly to see if you've been assigned anything new.  You will also find yourself developing wonderful friendships with the other Crew members, who are all loving and dedicated homeschool parents.

Steve and I have decided not to try out for next year's Crew.  The last 3 Crew voyages have been wonderful, and I know I will miss it.  But it's time to settle down and focus on our curriculum better.  I'm sure I'll still review curriculum, but not at the rate of 30+  reviews per year.  We're all hoping I will keep up with the laundry better once my Crew voyage is over, but I will really miss the Crew ... sigh.

April E.


  1. I am sorry to hear that you won't be on the crew again next year, April. I do understand your reasoning though. We hope to be chosen to continue the voyage next year. It has been such a blessing for our family this year. I've especially enjoyed getting to know the other crew members.

  2. It has been an amazing opportunity, but my high schooler needs to be able to settle down and just move forward. And there have been times when I was so stressed by review deadlines that I was not the mom or homeschool teacher I should be. Every year is an improvement over the year before, because I am more able to handle it, and the Crew leaders continue to change the program to make it work better for everyone. But it's just time to move on, for us.


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