Thursday, August 2, 2012

Schoolhouse Review:

In my last review, I indicated that there was a second product I'd reviewed this summer that will save me lots of money when it comes to curriculum.  Today I'd like to introduce you to

For me, it all started with the planners.  I love organization.  (Note that I didn't say that I AM organized, just that I LOVE organization!)  During the month of August, when we are preparing to start our new school year, I can spend hours assembling charts and calendars and to-do lists.  Each of the kids has their own binder that is just jam-packed full of useful stuff - you know, in case they ever decide they want to use it!

I started using The Old Schoolhouse Planners in my binders several years ago.  They have book report forms, lists and calendars for keeping organized, historical timelines, lists of basic things like the state capitals and US Presidents, and not-so-basic information on things like composers and inventors.  We kept track of our books read, field trips taken, and community service hours worked.  The planners by themselves were just a gem for me.  After that, I started using other TOS resources, like the Teacher's Toolbox e-books and unit studies.

Now, it has all been put together in one amazing site, and so much material has been added that I can quickly go into overload just browsing through.  Plus, new content is continually being added! is now your one-stop shop for finding supplemental activities like lapbooks or activities for current events like the Summer Olympics, filling in gaps in your curriculum, or putting together a full-service curriculum.  Teachers who are experts in their field - like Geography teacher Terri Johnson, who has homeschooled her own six children and runs the business KnowledgeQuest; and Joey Hajda, who holds a degree in veterinary medicine and one in education and taught science in public school and community college in addition to homeschooling his own ten children - provide lessons and activities that are planned and ready for you to teach to your children.  New lessons are provided by the month in each subject, plus there are "Schoolhouse Dailies" that are new every day.  These are not just a collection of worksheets that you can download.  The lessons include discussion, hands-on activities, and integration between subjects.

I love the fact that provides a complete package, and recognizes that many of us are on a budget.  I have realized, as my son is getting ready to start high school, that high school math by itself could need it's own separate budget, by the time I buy graph paper, tools, and a scientific calculator.  So I loved that included with August's high school math lessons, teacher David Chandler included links to free internet tools - such as Libre Office and Geogebra - that could be used to complete the lessons.

The Schoolhouse Dailies are one of my favorite features.  I already had curriculum in many subjects and didn't really need full curriculums in Science, History, or Language Art, but things like "This Day In History" and having a daily writing prompt keep things fresh and current.  I like to slack off a bit from the schedule during the summer and have activities that are still educational but that are fun and a bit more hands-on, so the Summer Shakespeare program was perfect for that.  There was even an option to send in photos or videos of your own Shakespeare productions that you put on during the summer.  We did not actually have time to complete the Summer Shakespeare program or to put on a production, but that would be a fabulous summer activity to plan ahead for next time!

Under the "Schoolhouse Extras" and "Schoolhouse Library," you have an entire library of resources available in addition to the general subject lessons and schoolhouse dailies.  There are the teacher and student Planners (still my favorite resource), the TOS Magazine, back issues of the TOS Magazine, e-books to download, copybooks to download, lapbook studies, archived teacher lessons, reading lists, arts and crafts, spelling help, and even recipes and housekeeping helps.  Like I said, this is a complete package that you can use every day.  If you've ever thought, "You know what would be really helpful to have for my homeschool. . . ?", you can probably find it here!

You can download sample lessons from  Give them a try and see what you think!

Overloaded with information yet?  Here's what you need to know to get started:

The Product: website
From:  The Old Schoolhouse Magazine
Ages:  All ages.  There's something for everyone, pre-K thru high school.
Price:  $1 for the first month and $5.95/mo after that.  See what all is included here.

HSLDA Members receive one year FREE!

To see what my crewmates thought of this fabulous resource, click the banner below.


Happy Home-schooling!
Disclaimer:  As part of The Schoolhouse Review Crew, I received a free subscription to  No other compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.

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