I am very excited to be doing my first review for The Schoolhouse Review Crew! As the first review, I would like to tell you all about an amazing website, SchoolhouseTeachers.com, a division of The Old Schoolhouse. The site offers a Yearly Membership Option, which allows access to everything the site has to offer, for any number of students, for an entire year.
What is SchoolhouseTeachers.com?
Basically, it is a huge collection of courses offered by a variety of teachers with expertise in a given subject. Each teacher brings his or her own unique teaching style, and may use such things as demonstration videos, worksheets, handouts, instructions for additional activities, and supplemental resources to aid in learning. Basically, it is the benefit of an outside teacher in the comfort of your own home. It’s an in-home, on-demand co-op, of sorts.
Honestly, there is so much excellent content on this website, that I can’t possibly get as in-depth as I would like. However, I can say that there is a VERY large variety of courses available. These courses are grouped by level, and organized into weekly lessons. Because specific grade level is particularly subjective for many homeschoolers, the classes are broadly organized into Pre-K/Elementary and Middle/High School categories. Additionally, there is a Family section for courses that might be beneficial to the family as a whole. Some of these subjects do overlap categories, since they can be used at a variety of grade levels. Altogether, there are over 60 courses to choose from, with more coming! Here is just a sampling of some of the courses offered:
- Math – elementary level math, pre-algebra, and trigonometry.
- History & Geography – Classical history, geography, archeology, figures in history
- Language Arts – classics-based writing, reading, literature
- Science – chemistry, physics, scientific method, nature study
- Art – art techniques, studio art, photography
- Music – vocal, recorder, violin, guitar
- Foreign Language – Spanish, French, Hebrew
- Electives – mock trial, computer science, economics, college choice guidance, home economics, logic
And SO much more!
Some students might prefer subjects to be presented as daily lessons, versus weekly. Courses in this format are found in the Dailies section. Here you can find such subjects as copywork, spelling, math, writing, art, Shakespeare, and more.
If you, like me, start your membership after the school year has already started, it is absolutely not a problem. You can always go to the course Lesson Archives, which contains all the past lessons from both the regular course listings as well as the dailies, so you can always start fresh from the beginning of a course.
I should also mention that in each of these categories is also a link to downloadable Course Checklists, which are very helpful in organizing and keeping track of subjects and daily lessons completed.
As if that wasn’t enough, there is also section for member extras. Here you will find The Old Schoolhouse Planners, back issues of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, ebooks, supplements, and member discounts to other companies.
So what did my family try out?
We wanted to try everything! But really, we have only been members for a short time, so we did have to narrow our choices for the time being.
My youngest, Little M, is a musician, so I had a good idea of the direction in which he would go. He chose the Recorder course. He had learned a small amount from a class he took at co-op long ago, so he was eager for a refresher. The course is presented with one or 2 videos of teacher demonstration, plus a sheet to print out for further practice between lessons. Little M really enjoyed being able to play along with his teacher. He played the videos a few times each, until he felt like he had mastered each song and matched the teacher perfectly. Then, he proceeded to play the song for anyone who would listen. 🙂
My older son, Big G, is an excellent artist, even though he has never actually taken a formal art course. He chose to take Studio Art For Teens. The course is very simply laid out. This one does not have video instruction, but does have various drawings and very clear instruction, written in a conversational way, that he simply read and followed the given examples. He has learned about line, shading, texture, and color thus far. He is enjoying the course, and often remarks that he had no idea it was so easy to learn the techniques.
The boys did 2 subjects together, the first being Spanish. This was my kids’ first experience in a foreign language class. However, the teacher breaks the class down into very easy pieces. The class is presented with a video, and each student has a handout to print and follow along with during the lecture. The teacher often pauses to give the students a chance to repeat back the sound or phrase that she has just presented. Little M, the performer, loved repeating the phrases, but it was tough getting Big G, the shy one, to break out of his shell to respond. Nevertheless, they both enjoyed it, and did very well with the homework printouts following the lessons.
The last subject we tried, which the boys studied together, was Classical History, which was actually presented by a teacher of Classical Conversations. We have been searching for a new history curriculum lately, so this was a fantastic find. A short introduction of each unit is presented, and can be read online or printed. Each unit then has hands-on activities and documentary videos correlating to the lesson. Further reading can be done with suggested resources, or with any history book you might have. (We did not actually have the exact books suggested, but found that those we did have worked just fine.) The boys liked that the class was organized such that they knew what subject areas to cover when, yet it was flexible enough that they could use whatever resources they preferred or had on hand.
Our overall opinion:
As you can guess, there is no doubt that we LOVE this website! We are very impressed with the variety of courses offered. Some of the courses, such as computer programming, photography, and filmmaking, are either difficult for homeschoolers to find, or cost a small fortune. We are so excited to find courses like these being offered. The courses are convenient. The boys can “go to class” any time during the day, and can choose whether they want to read information on the computer or print it out to find a quiet spot to read. Best of all, the courses are Christ-focused. I don’t have to worry about any of the content, knowing that no matter what they choose, it will be Christ-honoring and safe.
How much does it cost to join?
The best part is that this site doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to join. The Yearly Membership Option is $139 for full access to the entire site. There is a December promo right now as well, where you can get 2 memberships for the price of one! Monthly payments are also available, at only $12.95 per month! For all the pricing options, click HERE!
I hope you all take advantage of this amazing resource!
To read other Crew members are saying about SchoolhouseTeachers.com, please click HERE.