Monday, November 16, 2015

Schoolhouse Review Crew Favorites 2015

Last week I posted my last review for the 2015 Crew year. It was a busy week. For some strange reason I chose to sign up for 3 Crew reviews that were due one right after the other. And then to top it off, I had another non-Crew review that needed posted. Yes, I was exhausted.  However, we were so blessed to have received these products, along with all the other products we reviewed this past year. All in all, that comes to 31 wonderful products reviewed for the Schoolhouse Review Crew in 2015.

Besides posting my final review last week, I also had some wonderful news. I have been accepted back for the 2016 Crew Year! From what has been hinted at, it looks like 2016 will be another amazing year.

Before we move on, we had one last Crew responsibility to fulfill before our end-of-year break. It was time to vote for our favorite Crew items, this is known as The Blue Ribbon Awards.  I have to tell you, this was quite the difficult task. We loved SO MANY of the products we received this year. Below you will find the winners in all of the many categories. If we reviewed the product that won, the link will lead to my review. If we didn't review that product, the link will direct you to the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog post.

Favorite Reading Curriculum: Reading Kingdom
Favorite Writing Curriculum: Institute for Excellence in Writing
Favorite Vocabulary Program: Dynamic Literacy
Favorite Spelling Program: Institute for Excellence in Writing: Phonetic Zoo
Favorite Grammar Program: Institute for Excellence in Writing: Fix-It! Grammar
Favorite Penmanship Program: CursiveLogic
Favorite Literature Curriculum: Progeny Press

Out of these Language Arts products, we used 4 of them. Though Reading Kingdom wasn't my favorite, Hannah had voted for it as she loved that it was teaching her to read. Personally, I voted for First Start Reading from Memoria Press. I had voted for Dynamic Literacy (which was used by Tabitha) and CursiveLogic (which was used by Amelia). Tabitha is using Phonetic Zoo; however, I had actually voted for the other spelling program we used this year. Amelia is using Alpha Omega's Horizons Spelling and Vocabulary which I do really did like just a bit more.

Favorite History Curriculum: Home School in the Woods
Favorite History Supplement: Heirloom Audio Productions: In Freedom's Cause
Favorite Science Curriculum: Visual Learning Systems
Favorite Science Supplement: Ann McCallum Books: Eat Your Science Homework
Favorite Math Curriculum: CTC Math
Favorite Math Supplement: SimplyFun

History, Science, and Math wrap up the rest of the "core" curriculum categories. Out of the 6 winners above, we used 2 of them, though I only voted for 1. We have enjoyed all of the Heirloom Audio Productions we have reviewed. This year we reviewed both In Freedom's Cause and With Lee In Virginia. However, my favorite History supplement was not either of these audio dramas. We have really enjoyed the book I just posted my review for: Ann McCallum Books: Eat Your U.S. History Homework. I did vote for SimplyFun though, as we really did enjoy playing Expanders.

Favorite Christian Education Curriculum: Grapevine Studies
Favorite Christian Education Supplement: Brinkman Adventures
Favorite Foreign Language Curriculum: Middlebury Interactive Language
Favorite Fine Arts Product: Maestro Classics
Favorite Elective Curriculum: Apologia Educational Ministries: Field Trip Journal
Favorite Audio Drama: Brinkman Adventures
Favorite  Video:

Out of all the elective resources above, we reviewed all 6 of them. Most of the above did receive our vote. I did vote for Brinkman Adventures; however, I only did so in the "Favorite Audio Drama" category. And we really enjoyed Do You Believe? from FishFlix. However, it was such a toss up for me for favorite video. I also enjoyed Indoctrination, which we reviewed earlier in the year. I ended up voting for Indoctrination as it was a very powerful documentary that I feel is very important in this day and age. 

Favorite Preschool Product: La La Logic
Favorite Elementary Product: Star Toaster
Favorite Middle School Product: The Critical Thinking Co
Favorite High School Product: Writing with Sharon Watson
Favorite College or College-Prep Product: Freedom Project Education
Favorite Parent Product: Koru Naturals
Favorite Planning Product: Apologia Educational Ministries: The Ultimate Homeschool Planner

Of the above resources, we only reviewed 2 of them. In fact, I was only eligible to vote in 4 of the categories as I only have young children. La La Logic did receive our vote as we feel it is a wonderful resource for young children. Unfortunately, I have such sensitive skin, that I was unable to vote for Koru Naturals, though it received raving reviews from most of my fellow reviewers. 

Best Resource I Didn't Know I Needed: Homeschool Planet
Best Online Resource: Super Teacher Worksheets
Best e-Product: Home School in the Woods
Just for Fun: USAopoly
Kids' Choice: La La Logic
Teens' Choice: YWAM Publishing
All Around Crew Favorite: Institute for Excellence in Writing

In this final grouping of winners, we reviewed 5 of the resources.  Homeschool Planet is a wonderful online planner, and I voted for it in the earlier category of "Favorite Planning Product." I love Super Teacher Worksheets. There are so many amazing worksheets that I have been using with the children. However, remember I said it was hard make choices? Well, it was a bit of a toss up between Super Teacher Worksheets and La La Logic, and La La Logic won out. We all absolutely loved playing Tapple and Wonky from USAopoly, and I was glad to see it had won. I actually had voted for YWAM in the History/Social Studies Curriculum, we just didn't have a vote in the "Teen's Choice" category.

I would like to take a moment to highlight our families all around favorites. 

Harold loves getting on the computer to use La La Logic

Hannah surprised me by picking Reading Kingdom as her favorite product. I didn't realize she was enjoying it so much. She loves that it is teaching her to read.

Amelia chose USAopoly. We all did enjoying playing both Tapple and Wonky though. 

Tabitha also surprised me in voting for Middlebury Interactive Languages. I knew she was enjoying learning French, I just didn't realize she enjoyed it that much. I was thrilled to learn that this had blessed her this year. 

My all around favorite from the 2015 Crew year has got to be Indoctrination. I actually voted for it in a few other categories. It is a wonderful resource and I was quite surprised that it didn't win in any category. 

Don't forget to check out the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog to see what my fellow Crew Mates have to share about their favorites. 

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