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Dec 15, 2013 Review

I have been a huge fan of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine for years.  When they stopped making print issues and switched to a bi-monthly digital magazine with an annual print issue, I still had some time on my subscription. was their newest offering at the time and subscribers were able to access the website until the print subscription term ran out.  Well, I didn't join after that period was up, but I did spend a few months accessing the e-books and other resources offered there.

Fast forward to 2013, I still kind of had my eye on, but hadn't subscribed.  Then in August, I won the Yearly Membership Option.  My stars!  The website has grown tremendously!  This is my review of that content.  They offer so many new courses, with more on the horizon.  There are other benefits of membership, too.  Let me tell you what we appreciate about and what we've done with it lately.

Merrick is taking toddler classes and explores a new letter with each lesson.  This week, M is for Music and we've explored sounds with a few instruments we have around the house, as well as those we've made.  Each lesson is in a PDF format for printing (or print nothing and view it online).  Each day of the lesson has a different focus.  There are listening, doing, and reading suggestions.  Sensory Learning for Toddlers is hands-on FUN!

Xavier and Malachi were inspired by the art techniques course suggestion to make a holiday watercolor.  Now, I have zero artistic ability and couldn't draw or paint to save my life, however, I have hope that the boys will inherit some ability from Daddy or a grandparent.  They really couldn't be bothered to draw their picture with a pencil and then paint, but they were happy to get the art set out and paint on Mama's good paper.

We used Jason Lindsey's science experiments, which I've never used before.  There is a video of about one minute to watch which explains the science.  Being more hands-on, we of course, had to try some of the experiments out.  We even headed back into the extensive class archives and tried the November experiments.  Some things we had on hand and ready to go, so we read the lesson or watched the video and did it.  Ta-Da!  Easy.

We don't always do exactly what the lessons suggest.  I get great ideas that I may not have thought of myself and we figure out ways to make them work for us. can work for every family.  There are classes for every student.  From Sensory Learning for Toddlers, the new Schoolhouse Preschool, and elementary subjects to Middle and High School courses, you'll find something for everyone in your home.   The typical maths, science, and literature for all ages are there as well as languages (Spanish, French, and Hebrew), mock trial, sewing, film making, and more.

Feeling overwhelmed and wondering how you will keep track of all that is offered?  Print the monthly course checklist.  You can see at a glance, all the course offerings and if any are on break or have been archived.  Archives are kept for many classes, sometimes for a few months, sometimes indefinitely.  This form is a great way to track attendance if your state requires it.

But wait!  There's more!  (I always wanted to say that!)  I seriously cannot tell you everything to be found at  I am going to tell you about some of my favorite extras though! If you go over to the Schoolhouse Review Crew SchoolhouseTeachers Review, you'll find a lot of other wonderful reviews from other families.  Many of those overviews will likely highlight different aspects of the product than I have.

  • The Dailies - Include basic courses (spelling, math, grammar), as well as astronomy, Shakespeare, and The Epistles.
  • Certificate Gallery - Certificates of Achievement for memorization, helping around the house, learning new skills.  Many blank certificates are there for parents to fill in as needed.
  • Unit studies and Lapbooking - These are some of our favorite ways to learn and record what the boys know.
  • Monthly reading lists.  This month's list had several books in our Christmas collection.  We love reading together.  I was also inspired to look for The Nutchracker movie.  Xavier cracked me up when he mistakenly referred to the Sugar *Plumber* Fairy!
  • Special Needs - This is where you can find ideas to assist your struggling learner.  Over a year of this section is archived, with more due in January.
  • Animated Books - the boys LOVED the Woodpecker Knocking story/song full of knock-knock jokes.  I will likely have to listen to this one again and again!
In a related note, a Children's Story Book Writing Contest for 5-10 year olds is currently running.  The contest ends at midnight, December 31, 2013, so have your little author enter soon!  The winning author will get to see their story animated, too.

The Extras section includes some of my all-time favorite The Old Schoolhouse resources.  Included with membership, is access to digital back issues of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, five MEGA Schoolhouse Planners, Schoolhouse EXPO recordings, and monthly bonus e-books, including the WannaBe series (as in, "When I grow up, I wannabe..."), We-ebooks, and thematic units.   The longer you are with, the more free ebooks you receive, 150 in all!  You'll also get the silver plan of AppleCore, a homeschool record keeping system.

One section was confusing to me.  The monthly menu under the Dailies tab wasn't presented as well as most of the website.  There  was a note about and a link to the August menu at the top of the page.  Below that was the option to "Print this month’s recipe list."  That was actually November's list.  The December list was indexed directly below that, but I didn't see a way to print it.  I think recipe list was a much more fitting description than menu.

We'll be using the website for school even more often.  It's funny how having access to something doesn't mean I will utilize it to it's fullest, but give me a review to write and I will thoroughly dig through it.  I'm so glad for this opportunity to learn more thoroughly about the website contents.

For the month of December, 2013, there is a BOGO special on  Purchase a one-year subscription for yourself for an affordable $139 for your entire family (ages two-ish through adult) and get a one-year subscription for a friend.  Not quite sure yet?  Join for $3 for the first month, explore and ejoy, decide you love it, and join for $139!

 Check out the other reviews to see how other families are using this website.  Schoolhouse Review Crew SchoolhouseTeacher link up.

1 comment:

Niki S said...

Excellent Review! Keep up the good work.