Since I am a member of the Homeschool Review Crew, my family has the privilege of voting for our favorite review products of the year. This week, my daughters and I sat down to select this year’s most fun and helpful Crew review resources. It was fascinating to discover that our favorites were all unique. Read on to find out what we voted for.
We enjoyed many of this year’s review products. For me, the standout was Drive Thru History®. Because we had reviewed Drive Thru Adventures last year, the girls and I had already watched several episodes of the Drive Thru History® “Acts to Revelation” series. Were they worth a second viewing? Absolutely!
I love Dave Stotts’ grand tour of New Testament historical sites. Occasional, light-hearted humor and car references keep everyone engaged. Because our family loved the videos so much, I shared them with my parents on our most recent visit. So far, they have enjoyed the series too.
The younger twin had a hard time remembering which products we reviewed this year. After I listed the 10 products she helped to evaluate for the Crew, her choice was clear. She loved Britfield & the Lost Crown—an adventure novel we reviewed this fall.
Reflecting on the book, she remembers how exciting it was to read. She can’t wait to get her hands on the second book when it’s released.
My high school daughter was next in line to select her favorite product. She enjoyed completing a Study.com CLEP prep course. After working through the online History of the United States I material, she went to a local testing center and passed the corresponding CLEP exam.
She recalls, “The online course had a lot of material to use, like a bunch of practice tests. The videos were pretty nice and entertaining. They had visuals, and it wasn’t boring.”
Although she used additional resources while preparing for the exam, the course at Study.com was the most thorough, engaging, and helpful.
The older twin cast our final vote, and her choice surprised me. She selected the week-long Victus Study Skills curriculum that we used way back in February.
Before working through the program, she had never realized that people have different learning styles. She had fun improving her study skills alongside her sisters.
The twins and I all enjoyed reading the Hamelin Stoop Series Books 1 and 2. While the fascinating fantasy story drew them in, I was intrigued by the biblical parallels to Hamelin’s life.
“It was exciting, and I liked the story of Hamelin and how he grew up so quickly. The book was built so well!”
The girls are always excited when I pull out a book from YWAM Publishing’s Christian Heroes: Then & Now series. Last year, we reviewed Jacob DeShazer: Forgive Your Enemies. We enjoyed reading about William Carey and David Livingstone this year.
These outstanding books drew us into cultures much different from our own. They also helped us understand how missionaries have overcome tremendous obstacles to fulfill God’s purpose in their lives.
Although my husband has not read any of these books himself, he appreciates their impact on the rest of the family. He remarked, “After you [Mom and the twins] engaged with the biographies, you knew so much more about the historical person.”
From the beginning, Fix It! Grammar was a hit with the twins. The three-in-one program helps students learn grammar, flex their writing muscles, and build their vocabulary. They enjoy applying their skills by correcting and copying a classic tale over the course of the school year.
They will finish up the Robin Hood (Level 2) book next week. The Level 3 book (Frog Prince, or Just Deserts) is already waiting in the wings for them to start in January.
CTCMath was a surprising find that has made a significant difference for my high schooler. She appreciates working on a single skill each day rather than facing page after page of mixed review as in other programs.
In addition to answering online questions for each skill, she often completes printable worksheets. These provide enough practice for her to master the material. She finally received the Algebra I credit that had eluded her for two years. Now, she has moved on to CTCMath’s Algebra II material.
I have already written my final review of 2019. In January, I’ll begin my third year on the Homeschool Review Crew. I’m looking forward to discovering more new resources to enrich our homeschool. Who knows? Maybe one of our favorites will help your family too!
The Old Schoolhouse Magazine has tallied the all of the Review Crew votes for the 2019 Blue Ribbon Awards. Head on over to their website to find out which products were winners.
It’s not too late to sign up to be on the 2020 Homeschool Review Crew. If you have a blog, vlog, or social media following and would like to review homeschool resources for free, apply online.