Sunday, April 16

Traveling Song (Moonpools & Caterpillars)

Trying to travel with a full load of curricula can be tricky at best....
fitting all of the different books around clothes, shoes, food, toys, etc is sometimes impossible.  In the past, we've simplified by using one curriculum for everyone - with the exception of math - which drastically cut down on books required to pack.  (If you want to know more about that, check into Learning Adventures, here.)

However, as the kids have grown, their needs have changed.  Also, their learning levels are growing further apart, which makes doing the same thing tough at times.  So we split them up -- which left us right back where we started with toting around all these books.

I'd heard about before, and played around on the site a little bit, but never gave it much consideration for being used as a 'real' curriculum.  It didn't seem in-depth enough.  It didn't seem to offer everything that we needed.  And still, supplemental books are always needed for whatever we there's a lot of things left to remember to pack!

But while going back in, looking specifically for some information I'd seen before, I found out that they had totally upgraded!  (And I don't mean a basic facelift - I mean they've changed the bones and everything!)

Here are some of the highlights of these changes (and why we will be packing even less on future trips!) :

  • World Book Encyclopedia Set
    • Three full sets of encyclopedias are included :  Kids', Student, and Advanced (what you'll traditionally find at the library)
    • Includes 'extras' with the encyclopedia set that families usually cannot access - only schools and institutions
    • World Book costs $250 / year to access, if purchased alone - but it's a lot cheaper this way!
  • Over 300 Academic Courses
    • Offers a wide range of teaching styles, including Traditional, Classical, Charlotte Mason, Unit Studies, and more.
    • From preschool to adult-level courses, everything you'll need for your course of study is here.  There is a wide range of elective courses.  DVD-based courses, such as Drive Through History, are also included.  (And just purchasing all of the DTH sets costs over $200...)
  • Primary Source Documents & Recordings
    • You can listen to the actual Gettysburg Address or FDR's Day of Infamy speech....among many others.
    • There are tons of microfiched primary source documents available to peruse - so you can see and use the actual words from history.
  • E-book Library
    • There are about a bajillion different e-books available to read online - about pretty much every topic you can imagine.  Use the search engine to find supplemental books for the topic of the day.  Or for those random questions they come to you with at 9pm.
  • Games & Timelines
    • Games for all ages of kids are included on the site - they are educational.
    • The timeline option can be used classically, but you can also use it to make whatever sort of timeline you want.  Want to make a timeline of your family's history?  Your own personal history?  The history of space travel?  The history of rock 'n roll?  Whatever your pleasure - you can create a timeline for it.  And if they don't have the photo you need, you can upload it into your personal timeline.
      • Right now, the boys are working on the "History of Ninjago."  Because they're learning how to make timelines, and it's it's not school; it's fun!
There are also several additions for parents to use :
  • Lesson Plans & Record-Keeping
    • There are printable lesson plans, a search engine for finding what you need quickly and easily, and a record-keeping system (printable option) for keeping track of grades, completed coursework, etc.  This is especially helpful if you live in a state that requires these types of things.
  • Print Magazine Subscription
    • The Old Schoolhouse magazine print subscription comes with your membership.  If you haven't seen it, it's a fabulous enrichment magazine for homeschool families.
  • Scope & Sequence
    • You know those "What Your Fifth Grader Needs to Know" books?  Everything covered in those books, from preschool to twelfth grade, is included for free with the site.  
  • Parenting Resources

    • There are focus centers for high school, special needs, and new homeschoolers (amid others).  
  • Samples & Trial
    • They have samples you can access, but even better, you can access the full site for one month for only $5.  You can check out everything available that way.
    • One more note - this site is available to both US and international users.

To kick off their improved site, SchoolhouseTeachers is offering a one-year family membership (that's everyone..all two or all twenty-one of you!) for only $99.  I realize that seems like a lot - especially when money is tight.  But to put it into perspective...last year, it cost us $450 for our children's curriculum...and since most of that went to consumable workbooks, we can't get that money back from selling used textbooks.  That's nearly five times the cost of this site - and it covers everything.  You can download courses for future reference.  You can stream videos live. 

Actually - yeah, we didn't even factor in the cost of videos and supplemental books and materials used to accompany said curriculum.  So go ahead and add another $250+ to that total.  Teaching can be expensive!!  But it's worth it to give the kids a good education.  You can bet that we won't be making the same mistake this year.  For only $99, all the kids' needs are covered....from core coursework to electives to supplemental materials.  And we can access materials from wherever we happen to be.  (Less to pack - YES!)  Should there be a chance we won't have internet, we also have the option to download materials to everything's covered.  It's really win-win for the family.

To sum....Reasons we will be switching :

  • No more being this guy.... (pic)
  • Accessible anywhere
  • Downloadable / printable option
  • Stream videos for supplementals
  • E-book library for supplementals
  • One price for the entire family
  • Coursework for every grade level (including mom!)
  • Trusted sites (everything housed within ST site, so no jumping around web...or questionable pop-ups)
  • Because of the above - less to pack (or house, if you're staying home)

Now, I ask you - doesn't this sound like a much easier option?  It does to me.  True - there will be no textbooks to sell back for a little bit of money.  But then, I won't have to deal with selling and shipping them, so that's a plus.

You have the option of trying out the site for only $5 - you'll have one month to access the entire site and try out all the different features (and if you want to try, it's going to take you a month!) to see if it's a good fit for your family.

What are you waiting for?
Start your $5 Trial Today!

Ready to commit?  Use code SPRINGSAVINGS to get a year for $99 instead of $179. (exp May 31st)

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