This year was such an incredibly blessed one. As part of the 2014 Schoolhouse Review Crew, our family was able to use and review nearly forty home and homeschooling products. Some of these, I had never heard of. A few I had checked into previously and thought about "for another time." And there were several I was convinced we could never afford and I could not justify the money on an unknown product.
A week or two ago, as the Crew year was winding down, reviewers and our children were invited to vote on our favorite products for 2014. I was a rube! I didn't keep track of each category nor how I voted. Let me say, some of the choices were clear cut, but many I struggled with just choosing *one* product. I also didn't vote in each category. We never used any college prep products, for instance.
In no particular order, here are Redhanded Homeschool's top Crew picks for 2014. Click the name to read our reviews.
Malachi's pick for 2014
Go Science! DVDs
Xavier's 2014 favorite
Brinkman Adventures Season Two
These audio dramas based on real life missionary stories are well loved and often repeated on long car trips.
Egglo Eggs (Remember his fun glow bath?)
My favorite Mom Resources
Preschoolers and Peace
I enjoyed this ebook resource for homeschooling biggers with littles nearby.
A Life in Balance
A great resource for special needs educators and the fascinating story of Frank Belgau's life.
These curriculum favorites are products we are still using, have completed this year, or will use in 2015.
Some of our Language Arts favorites.
The Logic of English - I'm using this with Malachi and will use it with Xavier eventually.
Lightning Literature - We reviewed and are using Lightning Lit 1 with Xavier. I liked it so much that I signed up to be a guinea pig for LL3 with Malachi.
Spelling You See - Xavier is using Jack and Jill. We kind of slacked off on this one, but need to pick it back up. It uses an excellent handwriting "font" that I want the boys to keep practicing.
IEW's The Nose Tree - This is Malachi's grammar program. It's ONE. Sentence. Each. Day. Very do-able and we get to read and rewrite an entire story we probably would never have heard of.
CTC Math - We used several math programs throughout the year and this one is my favorite. The boys are not fans of math. at. all. so they had no favorite here.
Science4Us was a HUGE hit with Malachi and Xavier. I may resubscribe and use this one with Merrick in a few years.
Go Science DVDs - We loved the short presentations, so we could discuss a demonstration with more depth, or I could throw in a disk and let it go for 20 minutes or so and just watch the DVD. Even if we weren't discussing what they saw as an official part of school, they were certainly chatting about it all day long!
Social Studies favorites
Under Drake's Flag audio drama - Just incredible to listen to, amazingly talented actors.
Middlebury Interactive Languages, K-2 Spanish - Xav loves this course and finished it quickly. Next, we will be getting him Grade 3-5 Spanish 1. There is some overlap and I regret not starting with that in the first place.
Maestro Classics - These classical music CDs are so much more than music. We learned about instruments and the history of each piece as well.
Just For Fun
Snake Oil Party Potion - There are very few games that make us laugh *this* hard!
Clued In Kids Treasure Hunts - We found our boys worked best independently, but they loved every one that we did. We'll definitely have more of these and share the love with friends and family.
Apologia's What on Earth Can I Do? - The only reason this is an honorable mention is that we didn't complete it. I'd really like to start the series at the beginning with Who is God?.
There have been other products that we liked, but not necessarily *loved*. Some will serve as supplements whenever it applies.
I am so grateful to the Schoolhouse Review Crew for allowing me the opportunity to be a part of such an incredible group of mom bloggers. I really enjoyed working with Marcy again, from my Download N Go days, and meeting Debra and Kate this year and getting to know them. They are truly first-class individuals and make up a great leadership team. I didn't apply for the 2015 Crew for various reasons, but "my plan" (Oh, how God laughs!) is to join up again for 2016.
Go see who won the 2014 Blue Ribbon Awards from the Crew.