Thursday, August 2, 2012 (Schoolhouse Crew Review)


It's no secret that I'm a big fan of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. I've read the print magazine for years, I've put their digital magazine on my iPod, I've used many of their teaching products, and I've been part of their Schoolhouse Review Crew for more than two years. is their latest project to support homeschoolers. I've been using various parts of the website for quite some time, and I keep finding new things that I love about it.

1. Planners: I've been using these planners for the past three years. I love the way that I can print out the pages I need and create the perfect planning notebooks for me and my children to use. I first gushed about the planners in my Confessions of an Unorganized Homeschool Mom post nearly two years ago and my Summer Planning post last summer. I don't know how I'd keep up with everything we do without having all of the great forms in these planners. A few weeks ago, all five of the new planners were released on the SchoolhouseTeachers website, and I've happily been printing forms ever since.

2. Lessons: There are lessons available for more subjects than I think I'll ever be able to teach my children. I'm overwhelmed just typing some of the highlights: economics, geography, high school math, home economics, filmmaking, music (voice), lapbooking. Some of these lessons will fill a need in my homeschool days, and some of them will fill our need for having a little fun. My kids will love the ideas I've gathered from the hands on lessons in the "Ditch the Desk" section. Another great figure is the daily grammar and daily math practice sections. I don't know yet if I'll make time to use them every day, but I know that we will have days when a short practice assignment will fit our schedule better than a lesson from our regular curriculum.

3. Literature curriculum by Adam Andrews: I'm a big fan of Adam Andrews and The Center for Literary Education. Last year, I watched the Teaching the Classics videos with Addison, and I use many of the concepts when I discuss literature with all three of my children. The literature lessons on SchoolhouseTeachers bring literary analysis to a level that all of us can participate in. In addition to studying the current lesson, I have access to all the previous lessons. Before we start our regular read-alouds for next school year, we are definitely going to read The Velveteen Rabbit and work through the discussion questions Adam Andrews developed for SchoolhouseTeachers. Some of the lessons deal with full-length novels, but I know that all three of us can learn literary analysis even if I chose a shorter story.

4. Home Economics: I will learn almost as much as Addison will when we work through the assignments from Malia Russell at  The home economics lessons cover cooking skills and much more -- Money Saving Mondays, Tidy Tuesdays, Wisdom Wednesdays, Think About It Thursdays, and Feed Me Fridays.

5. Free for military members: If you are a military family, you can receive a complimentary membership to SchoolhouseTeachers by filling out this form.

6. Ebooks: The longer that you remain a SchoolhouseTeachers member, the more free ebooks are available for you to download -- a dozen new books each month. I'm especially happy to see many of the Curiosity Files unit studies included in this section. I've done several of these units with Brennan, and we both enjoy the fun break from our regular school routine. I see a study on Slime Eels in my future.

7. Encouragement for homeschool parents: I've always found encouraging articles in The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, and some of the best articles are collected at They're perfect for those overwhelmed or harder than usual days.

8. Back issues: I can access all of the issues of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine back to 2007 with a SchoolhouseTeachers subscription. I used to have a full basket of issues stored in my living room, just in case I wanted to read an encouraging article or two. I recycled the whole stack before we moved because it's just easier to look up an old issue online. I've even loaded some of the newer digital magazines on my nook so that it's available when I'm away from home.

9. Schoolhouse Expo Recordings (coming soon): I've listened to many of the recordings from the past Expo events. In fact, earlier today, I was lamenting the fact that I didn't prepare some of the talks so that I could listen to them in the van during the move. (I don't have a way to play them directly from my iPod when I'm in the van.) I appreciate getting a chance to hear so many of the "big name" speakers in home education circles, especially because I have yet to make it to a homeschool convention in person.

10.  More to come: It seems like every time I log onto SchoolhouseTeachers, I find new treasures. Right now, I'm looking forward to the new apologetics lessons for middle and high school students (coming September 1st).

You can find lots of samples pages for many of the lessons on the SchoolhouseTeachers website. A membership for costs just $1 for the first month and then $5.95 for each month afterwards.

Really, there are too many awesome things on SchoolhouseTeachers to tell you about in a single blog post. Please click on the banner below and read some of the other reviews so that you can see more of the great things you can find.

Disclaimer: I received a free subscription to as a member of the 2012 TOS Homeschool Review Crew, and I received no other compensation. In return, I agreed to give an honest review of the materials and how they worked for my homeschool family.


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