I am super excited to be doing my first real review of the year for The Schoolhouse Review Crew and what a doozy it is! I was given the opportunity to try out the yearly membership option to www.SchoolhouseTeachers.com.
www.SchoolhouseTeachers.com is a website chock full of extraordinary resources put out by expert teachers of innumerable subjects and interests that will support and encourage parent-led and self-directed family education. The website offers innovative educational options for everyone within a family, from the littlest ones of the bunch to the biggest. Since our family consists mostly of preschool and elementary aged learners, as I perused the website I stuck close to those categories mostly. But (me being the nosy girl I am) I did pop on over to the middleschool/highschool age groups for a looksee at what SchoolhouseTeachers.com had to offer them and what I found was no less than 43 different topics of study! Wowza. Things like guitar lessons and filmmaking, French and chemistry, Classics-based writing and Sewing...really a whole gamut of goodness. (I fully intend to make use of some of those online learning opportunities myself this year!)
The younger children were certainly not excluded though! Twenty-eight different categories for the younger grades, many the same or similar to the older age-groups, just tweaked to accommodate a different maturity level. There again I found guitar lessons and classical history, home economics, and art techniques but there were other unique electives such as a Tinker's club (where a motorized car is built! How cool is that?!), literature kits and lapbooking, violin and even "Homegrown Preschool" activities.
With older children doing "real school" consuming much of my day, at times I forget to include the younger children in a rich educational environment. I'll be honest~ sometimes I just pray that they would find something quiet and productive to do (for once!) so the biggles and I can concentrate already! Homegrown Preschool gave me a gentle nudge to be more intentional with Adele' and Judah by providing learning opportunities through play. There was the suggestion to add glitter and peppermint oil to playdoh and then provide colored light pegs and Christmas tree cookie cutters to make decorated clay trees. This would provide little bodies with sensory fun, fine motor skills practice along with color sorting and counting. There was the magical milk experiment for some fun science. There was the idea of taping a square on the floor to help children learn to sweep. There were plenty of books suggested for reading this month and even some crafty ideas to go with them. These are just some of the brilliant ideas for preschoolers.
The older children and I took a look at the Art techniques for the month of December, specifically, Holiday Textures in Watercolor. We first set up a still life of ornaments and drew a pencil drawing (lesson #1 offered great tips and strategies), we then painted them in watercolors using the different approaches in lesson #2, and this week's lesson is painting textures on top of hard and soft lines we painted last week. We all very much enjoyed this activity and the hints we learned about using watercolors.
One more thing I have to mention~ I loved the huge selection of DAILIES available. These are special things that (wait for it....) are small, DAILY opportunities for education. There is the daily grammar and sentence diagramming, the daily copywork, the daily math challenges and daily spelling words...and my personal favorite: THIS DAY IN HISTORY.
This is, of course, the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this chock-full of goodness site. The yearly membership option is $139.00 and during the month of December they are running a buy one, get one sale...meaning you will have access to the site for a whole year and you can give a membership to a friend as well. Or you and your pal could split the cost. Just sayin'.. ;-)
Psssst! Each membership comes with some extra perks too!
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