The Schoolhouse Crew Review – Blue Ribbon Awards Post went live on Monday. You might picture all of the crew members enthusiastically gathered around, in our fanciest blogging clothes, most stylish pony tales, screens are shined with no finger prints, kids are distracted in another room, mugs steamy, hearts pounding waiting to see the list. Sort of a work at home mom approach to the Oscars. Ha.
This is one post for the crew that is not required. I haven’t shared the Awards on my blog before I usually just share the link on social media. However, I’ve never received as many requests as I have this year as to what kinds of curriculum we use. The packaged bundle is becoming the sought out quick answer. I want to share more and more the joy of being eclectic, picking and choosing, researching the best home school resources.
This is the main reason why I chose to stay another year on the Schoolhouse Review Crew – so that I could be a voice shouting – Here is an excellent choice for writing in High School! Here is an amazing choice for online science!! Here is a different idea on how to create unit studies!
The following is the list of Blue Ribbon Award Winners. This doesn’t mean that they are a new product this year. Or the shiniest. Or the most expensive. Or the most popular. To win the approval of the crew quite a bit went into the voting, that essentially started January of 2015.
We receive a list of vendors, and sometimes direct links to the products being offered. We start researching which product and company will fit our family needs and curiosities.
Throughout the year, Jan – Oct, we receive interest forms. We have a week to dig even deeper into the exact product and make a request to review.
In a week or two the product arrives, hard copy, or digital. We’ve agreed to use the product in our home, the way the company intended, tweaked a bit to our personalities when desired, for 3-4 times a week for 4-6 weeks. This means that our regular history program will be put to the side. Or it may mean for some families that they are at the will of the Vendors, and switch history curriculum 3-4 times a year. We’ve fully trained ourselves as teachers as to how to best administer the products. Many times contacting the vendor to ask detailed questions. Some of these questions lead to changes in the product. Our kids are brutally honest with their experience.
A review? Yes, and no – we write up our experience in using it. This is not your standard Amazon quick review. I wanted a pen. I looked for a Pen. It writes well. Shipping was slow. I’d buy a pen from them in the future. That was way easier than driving 40 miles to Staples. No – We pour our hearts out on the nitty gritty of the product.
The joy? We are a crew of around 200 people. Different ages and styles. Different size families. Busy moms working outside of the home, to domestic craft goddesses. One child to over 10 children. My experience staying at home with one son, will vary greatly over the mom with 7 kids, 5 under the age of 6, with a night job at a local retail store.
All this to say – to really hit home – that if 200 teachers and students voted, and they used the product intimately – and with a large list of choices – clicked on the radio button and said – This Was Our Favorite – It Means Something.
So with no more introduction – Here are the results!
The first link is the Schoolhouse Review Post. This will give you a snapshot of what products were available and a bit of a technical description. As you scroll down, you’ll see links to the Crew Reviews –
I’ve added a link to Pebblekeeper’s Review for my personal notes!
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
History Supplement: Heirloom Audio Productions: In Freedom’s Cause