Sponsor Thank You: Davonne Parks, Organizer

The Homeschool Blog Awards wouldn’t be possible without our great sponsors, so we want to take some time to thank them!  Please remember to visit their website and social media links to show your appreciation.

Davonne Parks, Organizer

davonnebooks

Every homeschool parent needs to learn how to manage their time wisely if they want to make the most of their homeschool days. As a fellow homeschool mom, Davonne Parks really gets that.

And, in order to become more efficient in her own life, Davonne learned how to manage her time so she could start being on time. She also spent months learning how to make her home go from chaos to clutter-free, and she’s spent years refining those techniques.

Then she took the tools and lessons she learned and she turned them into incredibly helpful, well written, and easy-to-read eBooks.

Davonne’s books include hilarious embarrassing stories, practical tips, inspirational quotes, gentle encouragement, and fabulous suggestions that any mom who’d like to be a little more organized or timely can benefit from.

For the Blog Awards, Davonne is generously giving away 20 copies of Chaos to Clutter-Free and 20 copies of 28 Days to Timeliness: Tips and Confessions from a Semi-Reformed Late Person!

Plus, anyone who subscribes to Davonne’s blog will receive a complimentary copy of her eBook 101 Time-Saving Tips for Busy Moms!

You can connect with Davonne Parks and get helpful encouragement and tips about organization, simplicity, and heart-filled motherhood on her blog, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

***See the Light 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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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 (41 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.


***See the Light 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.”


***See the Light 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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