Hassle-free Alpha Omega Homeschool Learning
by Chrystal Pingleton
(Newalla, OK USA)
Switched on Schoolhouse = Hassle-free Homeschooling
Even with the most hands-free homeschool curriculum, like Switched on Schoolhouse, parents must remain active and involved. Discover some helpful tips from an SOS mom...
We used SOS this year and both of my girls love it. In the age of computers I wanted something that focused on God, but allowed them to work with a computer. So far we've enjoyed it.
For Bible it is KJV or NASB. The history, science, LA, and Math all incorporate Biblical values which as a youth pastor I find very important.
The computer program keeps track of grades, your students can post notes or questions etc, for you to review later.
The teacher mode requires a password so your kids can't get in and change grades. The catch is it's not a teacher... you are still the teacher... which means you must go in and review their work and make sure that the computer didn't cheat them out of points for misspelling the correct answer or for putting in a different form of the word that you would have counted right if it was book work.
It is a program, so the human element is still up to you. I don't mind it, and it keeps me from getting lazy as they're learning to self-teach.
It's great for a busy family like ours because I can go in once a week, check their work for the week and review it with them. If they bombed
a test I can delete it, then they can retake it. We can even print off work to take with us on trips or for a day out. Then they just go in and enter their answers off the paper when they get back home and move on to the next thing.
There are also essays to type up, which I require them to write too, so they can have handwriting practice. There are also projects as well as experiments that you can choose to do for credit, or skip if time doesn't allow.
My children are in 5th and 6th grades, but are able to work on 6th and 7th grade curriculum because they are at a higher level. They have already said over and over they want this curriculum next year.
My money-saving suggestion is to do what we did... searched craigslist, freecycle, e-bay for versions that are older but you can buy cheaper. That way if SOS is not for you, then you didn't have the expense of the new version. Great review and helpful tips, Chrystal.
Chrystal's Hassle-free Homeschooling Help:
1. Try an older, cheaper version first, to know if you like something and to reduce wasted money.
2. Self-teaching curriculum eliminates spoon-fed learning and fosters independence.
3. You can't put your homeschool on auto-pilot; as parents we need to remain active and involved no matter what curriculum we choose, but there are definitely ways to save time!