Homeschooling Report

We are completing our first week of the school year so I thought it would be a good time to give a quick report.  The early indication is that we are going to have a good year.  The kids are excited and enjoying the curriculum we chose.  We are using Switched-On Schoolhouse by Alpha Omega Publications.  This is a computer based curriculum.  Both girls have laptops (used laptops) with headphones so they can change where they do their lessons if they choose.  The curriculum seems to be easy to use.  So far the material covered in each of the modules (Bible, Math, Language Arts, History & Geography, Science) seems to be pretty good.  There is a teacher module which allows us to log in and review all their lessons (completed as well as future).  It allows us to see how they did on the lessons so we can see where they may need some additional work.  It also prepared for us a lesson plan and allows us to modify it if we need to.  It also helps to track our days of attendance.  So far I am impressed with Switched-On Schoolhouse.

We still have a long way to go so it remains to be seen whether or not the school year will continue to go smoothly but I am hopeful.  If you have started yet, how is your year going so far?

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4 Responses to Homeschooling Report

  1. lrecker says:

    Our year has been going good so far. The kids are really digging into their studies quickly and with minimal summer break transition resistance. 🙂

    Lance
    http://www.homeeducateinthesunshinestate.com/blog

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  2. Hi! My name is Michelle, and I found your blog by searching for info on Switched on Schoolhouse. I am considering using this program for my kids this year. Could you tell me a little about it? I have two 3rd graders — can I use the same disk for both kids, or would I have to buy two? Also, can I keep it and re-use for my 6 year old who will be in 3rd grade the year after next? One more question: how many hours a day do your girls work at the computer? I have 3 computers, but at some point I will have 7 kids in school, so I need to know if it will be feasible for them to take turns.

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  3. Tom says:

    Michelle,

    Thanks for visiting my blog. This is our first year using Switched-On Schoolhouse (SOS) and so far we really like the program. The ease of use has been a real plus for us.

    We have two children using the program at the moment. Third and Sixth grades. Third grade is the first grade available for SOS. It is computer based, as you know, and it does all the lesson setup for you. You simply choose the dates of your school year then it creates the full lesson plan. This saves a ton of time. It also grades everything for you, also a huge time saver. The kids simple have to go to the computer and complete the lessons, quizes, experiments, or tests for that day.

    The kids read through the lessons, play games or complete other activities designed to reinforce what is taught in the lesson, then answer some questions based on what they just learned. They are given immediate feedback so they know immediately if they have the wrong answer and can try again if you have set the program up to allow them to try again.

    There is a “teacher” mode which allows my wife or me to review how the kids have done on each lesson, quiz, or test. If they have done poorly, then we go over it with them to determine if they did poorly because they did not understand the material or did not understand the question. Then we can help them in the appropriate manner. The teacher mode then allows us to re-assign the lesson, quiz, individual question, so the child can do it again and get it right (once they understand the material). You don’t have to do this but this is the method that seems to work for us. We want to make sure that our kids are grasping the concepts not just getting the right answer on the test and this method seems to work for us.

    As far as using the same disk for two kids, I think that is possible. I think you can set up multiple children during the installation. You might want to check with one of there sales reps to confirms that though because I am not certain about the licensing requirements.

    I would expect that you would be able to use the third grade program next year as well. I think they do annual updates but I don’t know that you would be required to purchase the new version each year.

    The number of hours required will vary by the lessons assigned each day and by user. My oldest is very quick with her lessons while my youngest takes longer.

    We have been very satisfied with the SOS program so far. It works very well for us and the kids really seem to like the computer based lessons. At this point and unless something drastic changes, I would expect that we will use this program again next year.

    I hope I have been able to be of some help. If you have any more questions, please feel free to email me any time. I will do my best to answer you as quickly as possible.

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  4. Michelle says:

    Thanks, Tom, you were very helpful! I also spoke to a representative from AOP, and they said it was ok for multiple children to use the same program, and even to install it on multiple computers (we may buy each of the kids their own laptop.) I’ll be ordering Switched on Schoolhouse soon!

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