Switched-on Schoolhouse from Alpha Omega {review}

When I first began homeschooling officially in 2006, I quickly learned that there were a few legendary names when it comes to homeschool curriculum.  Tried and true, trusted, longstanding pioneers in the homeschool community.  Alpha Omega is one of those names.

Several years ago (when I was still in the mindset of more formal lessons as compared to our relaxed approach now), we used some Horizons and Lifepac curriculum from Alpha Omega.  I was happy with the material, but it just didn’t fit our eclectic style at the time.  Now that my oldest is in 7th grade and we’re headed toward high school sooner than I’d like, I’m looking at some more structure in our days.  Enter the opportunity to review Switched-on Schoolhouse computer-based curriculum and I was glad to give it a try.

Alpha Omega Switched-on Schoolhouse 7th Grade Bible #hsreview

What We Received:

Alpha Omega Switched-on Schoolhouse (SOS) Bible, grade 7.

What It Covers
  • The life of Christ and God’s plan of salvation.
  • Available in King James or New American Standard versions.
  • Memory verses
  • Vocabulary words
  • Historical context
Installation and Set Up

The initial installation is involved and takes about 30 minutes.  You’ll want to check the system requirements to be sure it’s compatible with your computer.

We installed SOS on a laptop running Windows XP.  {There is a note that 2014 is the last edition to have updates and support for XP.}  The 2 cd-rom installation set comes with a step-by-step booklet, though the steps didn’t always match up with the screen we were seeing.  It is pretty self-explanatory as you move through the setup wizard.

 

Switched on Schoolhouse installation and set up #hsreview @hsbapost

Once the main SOS interface is installed, it prompts you for the subject cd-rom installation.  In our case, this was the Bible cd-rom.  SOS offers 5 main subjects that can be purchased as a set or individually: math, science, language arts, history & geography, and Bible.

Installation includes both student and teacher log in information.  These can be accessed separately through icons on the desktop.  This keeps the student log in separate from the answer key and assignments.

After the complete installation process, it’s time for customizing and setting up the course assignments.  Navigation is simple and I had no trouble quickly figuring out how to make assignments and due dates if I chose.  There are built in tutorials in the form of slideshows to demonstrate each feature and how to use them.

What I Thought

I like the ease of use once everything is installed.  It is really a time saver for busy homeschool moms.  I don’t have to plan or read ahead.  I can just follow the lesson plans and make assignments.  They are even graded for me.  When I need my daughter to do some independent work while I do lessons with her younger sisters, this is a good option.

However, for our personal homeschooling style, we enjoy more hands-on interaction and discussion.  I think SOS would be a good choice for us for some of the elective courses rather than our main subjects.  Some of the electives they offer include web design and information technology subjects, which I think would be excellent ways to get more specified training in future career choices.  Those are things that we wouldn’t necessarily have the time or the means to teach without a resource like SOS.

This course is what I might call a digital text and workbook style.  There aren’t really any fancy bells and whistles as far as graphics or animations.  The information is presented as black and white text followed by quizzes at the end of each section.  There is nothing to distract or detract from the lessons.

As far as the Bible course material itself, I think it is thorough and accurate.  My daughter definitely learned from the course and it was good experience for her to try a more traditional school approach just to see what it’s like.  She will continue this course past our review time because she wants to complete it and has been doing well with it.

My Daughter’s Thoughts

I like it overall.  I like that I can work on it at my own pace.  I can go back into the lessons and keep reading if I don’t finish it all at once.  I like the place where I can take notes or make a journal, too.  I write down memory verses there.  One of my favorite parts is customizing the colors and design.  Learning new vocabulary words was my favorite part of the lessons.

The Fine Print

The 7th Grade Bible course for Switched-on Schoolhouse is available for $99.95.

 

 

Disclaimer: I received Switched-on Schoolhouse 7th Grade Bible course free of charge in exchange for my review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions expressed here are my own.  I received no other compensation for this review.

 

Sara (38 Posts)

I'm a reader, writer, dreamer, wife, and homeschooling mom of 3 girls. We take a relaxed, eclectic, Charlotte Mason-leaning, Montessori-ish, literature-rich, delight-directed, almost unschooling-at-times approach to learning. Lots of unit studies, field trips, and lapbooks, too. I like to blog about our learning adventures (plus faith and encouragement) at Embracing Destiny.


A Word From Our Sponsors

Homeschool Products from Nest Learning
***Early Christmas special for HOMESCHOOL POST readers: 25% off BIBLE STORIES 5 DVD Boxed set + FREE SHIPPING. Over 17 hours of content including 15 stories and 15 complete step-by-step art lessons. Code to use: HSP http://www.seethelightshine.com/store/bible-stories.html***
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3 of My Favorite Homeschool Things

I’m having so much fun reading about other homeschooling mom’s favorite things this month! I love our curricula so I feel no need to change anything (except maybe the reading – the program Lisa is using for her emerging reader looks really neat!), but it is fun to get a little virtual peek into a few homeschool classrooms.

This mom shares her favorite planner, history, and reading programs, including a completely FREE curriculum!

Here are a few of my own favorite homeschool things:

The Well-Planned Day Student Planner

StudentPLanner

The Well Planned Day Student Planner is very thorough, compact, and so easy to use. Plus it’s really pretty, which is a huge bonus for my artsy fourth grader! My daughter absolutely loves writing in this planner and she has it double as a regular calendar as well. I will occasionally write her lessons in this planner for her and I have no need for a teacher planner because this one is enough for us.

(On a side note, even though I’m not using a teacher planner this year, I do use The Well Planned Day’s new blog planner and I absolutely love it! Planners are 15% off through Sept. 30.)

The Mystery of History

MOHVol1-2ndEd

I cannot recommend The Mystery of History highly enough. My kids LOVE this history program and they LOVE the audio lessons that are read by the author, Linda Hobar. This is a four-year chronological history program that starts at creation and goes to present day.

I love how Mrs. Hobar connects Biblical History with World History, especially in Volume I – (something that I didn’t even know was possible until I began homeschooling)! For example, did you know the first Olympic games happened just 16 years before Jonah was swallowed by the big fish? I learned that just from reading the table of contents from Volume I!

Depending on our schedules, some years we do several of the suggested activities and other years we just listen to the audio lessons and move on.

All in One Homeschool

ALLinOne

The All in One website is such a blessing to my family! We don’t use it for every subject (although we could!) but I do use it with my kindergartener to help her work on her reading skills, and we’ve recently started using it for music class as well (I plan to start All in One gym soon too!).

The site doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles but once we got the hang of it, we found that it’s really easy to use. It’s also very well thought-out and thorough, and the price (FREE) can’t be beat!

Well, those are three of my favorite homeschool things – what are some of your favorite homeschool things?

Davonne (11 Posts)

Davonne Parks is a married Christian homeschool mom who began teaching her children at home in 2009. She blogs about cultivating a heart for motherhood, as well as organization and simplicity, at DavonneParks.com. Davonne believes that some of life’s richest moments happen when we embrace the beauty of imperfection as we extend grace to ourselves and others. She’s written two eBooks, “101 Time-Saving Tips for Busy Moms” (free to her blog subscribers) and “28 Days to Timeliness: Tips and Confessions from a Semi-Reformed Late Person.”


A Word From Our Sponsors

Homeschool Products from Nest Learning
***Early Christmas special for HOMESCHOOL POST readers: 25% off BIBLE STORIES 5 DVD Boxed set + FREE SHIPPING. Over 17 hours of content including 15 stories and 15 complete step-by-step art lessons. Code to use: HSP http://www.seethelightshine.com/store/bible-stories.html***
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These are a Few of My Favorite Homeschool Things

 

A Few Favorite Homeschool Things

So school has started and shopping is done. Well mostly done. A homeschool mom will reassess as they go and add in needed items and get rid of things that don’t work. {Tweet That} I wanted to take a minute and share with you a few of my favorite homeschool things for this year. These are items that have helped me feel confident or made my life easier as a homeschool mama.

Four Favorite Homeschool Things

Favorite Homeschool Planner

Simply Pretty HFavorite Homeschool Teacher Planneromeschool Teacher Planner. So, yes. I did create this teacher planner, but it is my favorite. I am using it this year and honestly it’s working great for me. It’s simple and pretty with bright pops of colored flowers throughout and has just the pages you need without a lot of extra printing of pages that you don’t need. It’s available through pdf download and printable. I designed it to be used with up to 6 children but if you need it for more, you can print extra pages to meet your need. The planner costs just $4.99 and is still available for the 2014/2015 school year. It has certainly become a favorite homeschool thing.

 

 

 Favorite Homeschool Grammar Help

Favorite Homeschool Grammar Help A Sentence a Day is a book that helps reinforce knowledge of grammar. Through daily proofreading exercises these sentences are designed to help kids to catch common mistakes that are made in writing. Using these proofreading sentences is a great way to test what your children really know about how grammar is used in the writing process. These sentences are for older middle school students to early junior high students. Or, for kids who are advanced learners. These sentence proofreading practices are one of my son’s favorite homeschool things.

 

 

 Favorite Homeschool Art Curriculum

A Simple Start in Chalk PasHomeschool Favorite Things, Chalk Pastel Art Lessonstels, instructional art series for homeschoolers. Tricia Hodges, homeschool mom and blogger, along with Nana (grandma) have put together a wonderful series of art lessons through ebooks, video tutorials and even a few how-to guides on their blog. Art Pastel Chalks are easy to use, forgiving of mistakes and with just a few strokes of the chalks, rubs with the fists and a little guidance from Nana, students of all ages and skill levels can make beautiful pieces of art. It won’t be long before you will be chalking along with the kids and discover that you have a hidden skill for art. It will quickly become one of your favorite homeschool things. With eBooks for every season and some fun guides as well, (like At the Beach and Sharks), your kids will be asking, “Mom, can we chalk today?” It’s a favorite of mine and a favorite of my son’s as well!

Favorite Homeschool Music Curriculum

Favorite Homeschool Music Curriculum SQUILT

SQUILT Music Appreciation Curriculum for homeschoolers. Mary Prather, homeschool mom, blogger and music enthusiast has put together a dynamic music appreciation course for elementary to middle school students. SQUILT stands for Super Quiet Uninterrupted Listening Time and guides your students to understand the dynamics, instrumentation and rhythm of music coupled with a study of the composers who wrote the pieces. Mary has thoughtfully made use of notebooking as a way to help students to become familiar with beautiful pieces of music. My son loves the “Draw What You Hear” notebooking page because it allows 2 of his passions to collide, art and music. He loves both so for him that page is the best! Three eBook volumes are available for $9.99 each or you can bundle all three for $26.99.

 

What are your favorite homeschool  things? Share some of yours in comments.

 

Renée (19 Posts)

Renée Brown is author at her personal blog, Great Peace Academy. She is a homeschooling mom to her one amazing son, Jonathan and has been the wife of her Beloved Michael for 21 years. On her blog you will find discussions about her work as a homeschooling mom, her family and her faith.


A Word From Our Sponsors

Homeschool Products from Nest Learning
***Early Christmas special for HOMESCHOOL POST readers: 25% off BIBLE STORIES 5 DVD Boxed set + FREE SHIPPING. Over 17 hours of content including 15 stories and 15 complete step-by-step art lessons. Code to use: HSP http://www.seethelightshine.com/store/bible-stories.html***
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