Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Our 2013 Schoolhouse Crew Review Favorites

Wow, what a year!  I tallied that we did just about 50 Schoolhouse Crew Reviews.  We had math products, writing courses, some preschool ideas, and several great books.  I never imagined we would have so much to keep us busy!  The best part of being part of the Crew was trying out so many things that we never knew about -- all things that we were either skittish about trying or never even heard of!

The Crew as a whole votes on their favorite vendors and reviews.  I've also polled everyone here at Adventure Academy, and these are our "Blue Ribbon" Favorites.  Well, almost everyone - Damien's Top 3 are based on how much fun he seemed to have with them.

Note: If you click on the vendor names, you will be able to read our full product review.


Homeschool Spanish Academy   This is Luke's favorite class, and the universe revolves around when Nora is available for a lesson.  He started with the program in July with once/weekly classes, and then we continued with two lessons/week once the review finished.  His already midway through Spanish 1B and it's not even Christmas!  He is registered and scheduled for lessons through Easter - he wanted to schedule his next block early so he didn't miss out!

Writing with Sharon Watson   This is where Luke finally started to "get" writing.  The lessons, hints, and ideas in this program made sense to him.  Luke really struggled late in the Crew year when he took a course with Bridgeway Academy, and often he wound up doing things the "Sharon Watson Way" and then revising to fit the new instructor's requests, because they still didn't work for him and the Greek Temple Prewriting exercise he learned from Writing with Sharon Watson suited the way his brain thought.

YWAM Publishing - George Washington: True Patriot  I have to admit, this was one of my favorites as well.  We learned so much about George Washington!  Not just the basics of the historical figure, but really about the personality of the man and what made him such a great leader.  Luke is currently working on YWAM's book on William Penn, and we will definitely be using this series throughout his US History program.



Mayan Mysteries

Math Rider

If you take a moment to look at these reviews, you'll see a common thread -- they're all web-based programs that have iPad apps.  Yep, Matthew is a self-admitted "gamer."  VocabularySpellingCity is a program that is a fantastic supplement to his weekly spelling/vocab assignments; Mayan Mysteries and Math Rider are both interactive video game style programs that don't "feel like" learning. 


MacPhail Center for Music Online Program  Celia loves her teacher as much today as she did six months ago.  Whatever Jeremy says goes.  I suggested she bring her violin on vacation, just to practice a little bit.  I got shot down.  Jeremy said he wants her to be a proficient Twinkler by the time she comes home, so can we please fit her violin in the car somewhere?   Oy.  She is excited to learn and always looks forward to her weekly lessons.

Tie: Time 4 Learning
Tie: Bible Study for All Ages

Celia couldn't decide between these two programs.  She loved the music in the Bible Study program, but also the variety of activities in Time 4 Learning. 

Baker Publishing Group: The Adventures of Lily Lapp  Celia devoured both books 1 and 2 that we read for the review, and then anxiously awaited books 3 and 4.  She had a greater appreciation for the Amish families that we saw when we recently went to Lancaster County, PA.  Her eagle eye spotted this sign at a woodworking shop, and wonders if the woodburner had read the Lily books too -- Whispering Pines is the name of Lily's family farmette.


Apologia Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day  This was Jude's favorite.  He still talks about the fish and the whales and all the other sea creatures.   It was one of the first times he realized that learning was supposed to be fun and interesting.

Tie:  Reading Kingdom
Tie:  ABeCeDarian 

Jude's expressive language skills are on par with a 3 year old.  Both of these visual programs really work for him.  He is slowly learning to spell and read simple words with these programs.

IXL K-12 Math and Language Arts Practice  Jude has long liked the IXL program, and now moving up to "First Grade" he is finding it still a fun way to practice math!




Apologia Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day  This was really Damien's first foray into homeschooling.  He loved learning about the fish and the animals, and likes this book read to him "for fun."

Moving Beyond the Page   While Luke was actually the review student for this program, Damien is the beneficiary as we invested in their 4/5 year old program after falling in love with the 11-13 program.  Our family's new favorite read-aloud -- well, giggle-along, really -- is the book A is for Musk Ox that is part of the PreK/K program.

Touch Math (Level PK)  This was Damien's first formal math program.  He loved the shapes and manipulating them.  Counting them, reshaping them, and just generally using this tactile program has really grasp concepts quickly.



MacPhail Online Music Program - I have always wanted to learn how to play the violin.  In order to get Celia to practice more, she is now showing me what she learned and becoming my "teacher."  I'm not ever going to reach the heights of Itzhak Perlman, but I have a passable "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and taught myself to play "Adoro Te Devote."  She likes having a partner to play with, and I can cross "learn to play violin" off my bucket list. 

Papa's Pearls: A Father's Gift of Love and Wisdom to His Children and Grandchildren - This is one of my favorite books. The author writes from her heart, in a friendly tone, and makes me feel part of her family.  My first Crew Review, and I still love this program.  For us, it is a perfect fill-in for activities that need a little rounding but not an entire curriculum.

I'm so excited that our family has been accepted onto the 2014 Crew!  I can't wait to see what exciting programs the new year will bring!

Click on the ribbon to see what programs were Crew and family favorites!

©2012- 2013 Adventures with Jude. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you're going to be part of the crew this year. Sounds like your family picked some real winners too. :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Pin It button on image hover