I am finishing up my second year as a member of The Old Schoolhouse® Homeschool Review Crew. While researching homeschooling, I found my way to SchoolhouseTeachers.com and contacted them about writing a course for them. Eventually, I filled out an application to join the Crew and the rest has been history.
Our family has been blessed with many opportunities through my time reviewing for the Homeschool Review Crew as well as my time working in other capacities for SchoolhouseTeachers.com. I am truly thankful for the friendships I have built, the products we have received to review which have been integral in our homeschool, and the new work avenues that have opened for me. Last year, I looked back upon our favorite products from 2018 and in this post, I would like to share what we enjoyed the most in 2019.
Online Resources and Products
One of my favorite online resources that we reviewed from 2019 has been IXL from IXL Learning. All three of our kids were able to have access to the program which has been very helpful during our homeschool days. I was able to assign review questions for geometry for our teen. For our two younger children, I often just let them work on areas of their own choosing. As we also had access to the program via their app on our tablet, our younger kids often thought of IXL as more of a game than an educational tool.
Our kids love the awards and prizes that are given out as they answer questions correctly, practice for a certain number of days, master skills, or complete categories. Our first grader loves working through the different subject areas for kindergarten, first grade, and second grade as he picks out new topics to test his knowledge.
As a mom, one of the resources I was very thankful to review and receive a family membership for was CTCMath, as all three of our kids can use it for their mathematics. Our homeschooling teen is using it for his Algebra II and our younger children are working through kindergarten and first grade. CTCMath makes it so much easier for me knowing that math is taken care of and I don't have to worry about what resources we will be using or need.
One of my favorite companies that I have been privileged to review several products from is Memoria Press. Through learning more about their company, I have discovered that I really like Classical Education. I love the idea of ensuring that our children are familiar with great books and the great thinkers of Western tradition.
We were able to review three different products from Memoria Press:
- Classical Phonics with the First Start Reading Program
- Simply Classical Writing Books One and Two
- StoryTime Treasures
We used each with our six-year-old as he moved from kindergarten to first grade. The First Start Reading Program with the Classical Phonics book really was a great start to his working on reading and writing. As to the lessons he did not finish, we will be able to use those with his sister as she has been working steadily on reading and writing.
I have enjoyed using both the Simply Classical Writing books and the StoryTime Treasures student and teacher book in our homeschool language arts lessons. We also get to incorporate Bible Study with our edition of Simply Classical Writing as we are using the Bible Story Edition. StoryTime Treasures allows both our younger children to enjoy classic books together as we read the story and then our first grader works on key language arts skills as he completes exercises in his student workbook.
I can easily see our homeschooling family using products from Memoria Press for years to come!
One of the fun homeschooling resources we reviewed as the Pattern Block Activity Bundle from Crafty Classroom. With such a huge selection of patterns to use with pattern/geometric blocks, I have had a great time picking and choosing different ones as we move through the seasons. With over 700 pages, there are always new ones to print and share with our kids.
Books And Media
We had the chance to review so many great books this homeschool year! From Heroes of History – Ronald Reagan from YWAM Publishing to the first two books in the Goldtown Beginnings Series from Kregel Publications, everyone in our family has been able to enjoy new books. With these additions to our homeschool library, I have been able to add more titles to our children's wishlists and incorporate new authors into our library.
We also started our collection of DVDs from Drive Thru History® with a review of Acts to Revelation. Our family enjoyed sitting down together after dinner to watch each new episode as Dave Stotts took us on a journey through the New Testament after the Gospels. We have since made several purchases to add to the collection with Discovering America's Founders and others.
These, of course, are only a few of the excellent products we have reviewed this year. Other members of the Crew have also shared many reviews through 2019 and shared their favorite products on their own blogs. On November 15, 2019, please take a moment and check out what the rest of the Crew has to say about 2019. I look forward to what 2020 will bring for all of us. Happy Homeschooling!