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.

 

[Sara1]

 

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 (254 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.


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Comments

  1. says

    We are using SOS this year for the first time. I have the entire curriculum set. We have dropped down to just doing LA and Math for now. I have mixed feelings about some of the courses, as the projects overwhelm my girls, and they did complain that it was less hands-on with Mom than last year.

    For math, however, it is spot on awesome. I only wish they had an option to print practice worksheets. I just use a free site to supplement.

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