Thursday, January 9, 2020

Supplementing Our Homeschool with Lessons from {A Homeschool Review Crew Review}

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

We have had access to the site since we started on the Homeschool Review Crew in December of 2012. Wow, can you believe this is our eighth year on the Crew?!? Anyway, the site has gone through quite a lot of changes since we first started using it. I admit, though we have had access, we haven't used it very much over the years. Mainly because we are always switching from one product to another with the Crew, so it is hard to find time to go back to while reviewing other products and staying on schedule with our core curriculum. However, as I have had taken the time to peruse the site this past month, I think we may continue using the Ultimate PreK-12 Annual Membership that we have been provided. 

This Ultimate PreK-12 Annual Membership provides a full curriculum for all the children in a family, ranging from your preschoolers to your high school seniors. There are actually over 460 courses and over 14,000 individual lessons from all academic subjects. Of course, you will find the core subjects that your children will need, such as math, language arts, science, and history. But there is so much more. There are courses in Bible, Computer & Technology, Health & Fitness, and Music to name several of them. There are also unit studies in the different subjects, including holidays. 

There are multiple ways to go about putting together a course of study for your children. You may want to just pick and choose different subjects to supplement your child(ren)'s schooling. Or, you could choose to use for your complete curriculum. 

I like being able to search for courses using the drop-down menu in the blue bar on the home screen. You can search by grade level or by subject. Just hover over the title, move your cursor down to the grade level or subject you want, and click on it. 

As I was browsing the site, I decided I wanted to focus on some Language Arts for the younger two children. So, I used the "Browse by Subject" menu to discover some courses I wanted them to focus on. When you click on the course you want, it brings up that course's page, which includes thumbnails of the courses you can scroll through horizontally. 

I decided to focus on Daily Grammar with Harold and Hannah. Hannah has been working on capitalization and Harold has been focusing on nouns and pronouns.

With their lessons, I have had to download what I need and print it out for them to use. After I go over the lesson with the children, they sit at the table to work through their exercises. They are free to come to me for help and clarification when they need to. has a variety of different formats for children to learn through. In addition to having having courses where we have to download and print out lessons, there are courses that have video or audio components, plus some may have interactive content or self-correcting assignments. 

Here is a look at part of the Geography menu:

I used the following key to help me find some Geography courses for the older girls to use.

Tabitha has been getting into some Geography and Bible with the course titled "Trek to the Holy Land and Beyond." These videos are from Vision Video and are called Stevie's Trek. They are currently available to be streamed through the site, and will be available at least though July 13, 2022. 

Tabitha has been getting some review of Bible stories, such as Abraham and Moses, while learning some new geography information. After watching the videos, which are all around half an hour in length, Tabitha takes a short quiz. These can be taken in two different formats: a worksheet that is downloaded and printed out, or the interactive, on-screen version. As we like to save ink when we can, I opted to have her do her work on the computer.

The child is able to redo a quiz if they need to, and I like that I can get a detailed report. 

As I wanted to get a good grasp on the different kinds of components available, I asked Amelia if she could work through a course that had not just downloadable text, but interactive content. 

She has been working through the Wonders of the World course. With this course we could download the information for her to work through, or she could use the onscreen lessons, both of which have the same information. I like that there are pictures included with the interactive lessons though, plus an interactive activity at the end of the lesson.  

This is the interactive lesson which she has been working through on the site.

And this is the section of the downloadable version which shares the same information.

Here's Amelia working on her lesson.

And this is interactive activity at the end of this particular lesson.

Whether a child chooses to do the lessons through the interactive lessons or the downloadable lessons, there are also other downloadable files that can be used. There are Activities, Coloring Pages, and Copywork. As of yet we haven't used any of those extras. The activities appear to be more for review after the full course has been completed. Amelia isn't really interested in coloring sheets, and the copywork seems to be designed for younger students. I do wish they had copywork for older children with smaller lines and cursive writing. does provide lesson plans to help you keep yourself organized.

The first page lets you know the length of the class plus a schedule on how to get the lessons completed. It also lists the resources needed and instructions. There is then a checklist where you can check off the box after the lesson is complete.

The following pages list out the activities that should be completed each day of each week, with a box for taking notes.

I like that though provides lesson plans it is not required to use them. We have always been on the relaxed homeschooling side, and I love being able to pick and choose what we are going to work on (or allowing the children to do so, now that they are older) and go at our own pace. Though I do admit, these would be great to keep in a notebook just so I can keep track of what was done, even if we don't follow the suggested schedule.

Remember I stated I like to use the drop down menu to choose the courses we are going to use? Well, if you are someone who needs a bit more guidance, you could choose to utilize the Scope and Sequence charts. You can check out the Scope and Sequence by grade or by subject. Personally, there was just too much information in those files for me to go through, so I prefer to use the strategy I have been using. Scroll though the courses to see what we want to do. 

Now I wanted to talk a bit more about the additional resources that I discovered while perusing the site. 

There is a Video Library. 

I have to tell you, this is an awesome section of the site! There are hundreds of videos to choose from (over 450 actually). Remember the Vision Video "Trek to the Holy Land and Beyond" videos that I mentioned Tabitha was watching? Well, you can access them from the video library. The thing is, there are so many other great video providers, such as Drive Thru History and, and RightNow Media which have videos available for streaming. Yes, these videos are accessible from lessons, but I love the way they have made them available all in one place. Here take a look at all the different topics you will find videos in: Kids, Art, Apologetics, Bible, Electives, Foreign Languages, Geography, History, Language Arts, Math, Marriage, Mission & Persecution, Music, Parents, Science, Video Courses on, Christmas, and Easter.

And there is a Literacy Center for children learning to read. This is actually one of thirteen Focused Learning Centers. If you have a child who needs help in a particular subject, you can find some guidance through these centers.

And, if you are one who needs to use a planner, there is the normal downloadable Schoolhouse Planner which has over 750 pages to help you organize, plus they also have a downloadable High School Schoolhouse Planner. I have used their Hey Mama! print planner in the past, and I can just imaging how much greatness is packed into 750 pages. 

We are also given access to World Book. 

As you can see, there is a LOT to You really can pull together a complete curriculum with all of the core subjects plus different electives. And you can keep yourself organized by using the different checklists, lesson plans, and planners. Everything you need for homeschooling is right at your fingertips. When you purchase the annual membership you qualify for the Gold AppleCore Plan which includes such things as a Course Tracker, Grade Reporting, Report Cards, Portfolio Assistance, and more. And if you join by the end of the month there is quite the discount available. 

I'm going to keep encouraging the children to find topics they want to learn about as well as continue with the grammar with the younger two, and adding in spelling as well. I am really looking forward to being able to watch some of the Drive Thru History videos that are available, along with the science really is a wonderful, valuable resource for homeschooling families.Think about it, the price listed above in the graphic, that covers your entire family for the year. 

Though it may feel overwhelming at first, they definitely have improved the organization from when we first reviewed it back in December of 2012. I love how I can find the courses I want by looking at the subject list or by going to each of the children's grade levels. I think my favorite part might just have to be all those videos we can watch.

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Online Homeschooling For the Whole Family { Reviews}

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