I had no idea that SchoolhouseTeachers.com even existed until this month. I’m not sure how I missed such an awesome website during my past few years of homeschooling but I sure am glad I found it!! The have a great introduction video you can check out. SchoolhouseTeachers.com has several courses that your child can take online and the course include downloads and printable worksheets. They have a great Facebook group and Pinterest page. The pricing on their Yearly Membership (which is what I'm reviewing) along with other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew is very affordable at $139 there is also a monthly option of $12.95 and right now they have a great sale going on.
Most of the courses are divided into two main categories; PreK/Elementary and Middle/High School. I have both ages so we started one course from each. The majority of the courses are scheduled to go on during the school year but you have access to the lesson archives so you can start each course from the beginning at any time.
My 2nd grader loves music…..all types of music; I think it just helps his busy brain focus. He has been interested in learning to play the guitar for about a year now so we both got really excited when we saw that class. Guitar is an eight unit class taught by Jerry Jennings, located in the PreK/Elementary section. The eight units divide into lessons that cover a time frame of twenty-eight weeks. The class includes downloadable worksheets, videos and pictures supplied by the teacher to really show you how to do things. The first couple of weeks cover the basics so this class is perfect for a beginner plus all the illustrations and instructional videos make it possible for a musically challenged parent (like me) to help their child learn successfully. Week one goes over the correct way to hold a guitar, how to tune the guitar, familiarizes you with rhythmic notation, and introduces to a couple of chords. Week two teaches you two more chords, and gives you a really neat song. The song is called “Don’t Be Knocking My Guitar” and it follows the beat of Bob Dylan’s “Knocking on Heaven’s Door”. Now sure my seven year old wasn’t very excited about that but Mom definitely was ;-) I mean who doesn’t love Bob Dylan?!?! We will be continuing this class and can’t wait to finish it.
The class we chose from the Middle/High School section was for my 8th grader. He is an extremely bright student that excels in all subjects BUT he despises writing and it is really becoming an issue as he gets into advanced English classes. I loved the description of the Creative Writing course, the teacher, Carrie Daws, is very upfront about not focusing on the tedious skills such as; grammar, neatness, spelling, etc. She just wants this course to encourage students to start writing and learn to love it. I definitely need that for my reluctant writer. This course lasts five months and is broke down into sixteen weekly lessons. Week one is titled “Why Write Fiction?” Think about it…. It gives students some food for thought on reading and writing. How it benefits, what it teaches, etc. Then to wrap the lesson asks several questions that help the student determine their favorite genre of reading and helps pinpoint their reading habits. Week two is titled “Why Write Fiction?” Evaluate it…..This lesson expands on lesson one. It encourages students to read the first couple of pages of a few books. It even gives you a list of suggested books. Then the students answer some questions about each genre and how the all differ. Week three is “Why Write Fiction?” Write it…..Here’s the fun part, the kids to write their own story. The teacher gives them very few limitations; she is great at encouraging them. They can pick any genre they wish to write about and the few rules she gives consist of how to correctly set your margins and line spacing. She wants them to write and enjoy it....not stress out about the little things. Neatness does not count; as long as the student can read it then it’s a success. They don’t need to be worried about being graded on grammar or spelling either, this assignment is all about expression. The Creative Writing course was a huge hit with me and more importantly with my VERY reluctant writer….we can’t wait to continue.