This is another product that made me think, "Where have you been all my life?"!
But I have to be honest and say that at first glance, Homeschooling ABCs seems mild mannered. A bit underwhelming. Maybe even a tad...unnecessary. After all, I've been homeschooling for years now, and we are in as close to a grove as we will probably ever be in. And I feel comfortable as a homeschooler. I don't generally worry that my children will grow up thinking that being a Fry maker at McD's is the highest ambition for their life (not that there's anything wrong with being a fry maker...). So what did I need with a series of e-mail Homeschooling classes like Homeschooling ABCs?
But I looked at it because, well, it's my job to ;-). And this is a great example of how God works in mysterious ways. First, I want to say that Homeschooling ABCs blew me away. Each week, as a local homeschool group leader, I get 3-4 phone calls about homeschooling. I average 45 minutes per call. What do I spend most of that time doing? Explaining the very things Homeschooling ABCs addresses. Except they address it in more depth, with greater scope, and in a written form that the inquirer has handy for a lifetime, instead of all the knowledge being forgotten with the click of the phone. Beyond that though, I REAPED information from the e-mails. Reminders about why I do what I do. Resources I'd never heard of. Freebies to tryout. Honestly, I couldn't wait to read each one and check out all the links and ideas. Here are some of the things they cover in the course:
- Determining your philosophy of education
- Understanding your children's learning styles
- Learning the in's and out's of buying and selling curriculum
- Finding out how to get and stay organized
- Learning how to teach multiple ages at the same time
- Making the most of field trips
- Learning how to handle the "S" question - socialization
- Seeing how to start each day WELL and keep it going that way
- Getting hundreds of dollars of free curriculum
Pros: The price is very reasonable. For $10 a month (a little over $2 a week) you get 6 months of weekly instruction delivered to your e-mail box to review whenever the time is right for you. Plus over $250 in freebies. They address EVERY topic you could ever want to know about homeschooling and then some. You can take what works for you and leave the rest. The goal with this course is to keep you from making some of the common mistakes new homeschoolers make AND thereby save you time and money. And I think they have solidly provided.
Cons: I imagine it could be hard to accept that the information is doled out over 6 months. Although they say they can help you get your homeschool up and running in 48 hours, you know when you are new to something, you try to learn as much as you can as quick as you can so you can jump in. And 6 months for the full course probably feels like a snails pace. But the rationalization makes sense. They give you a topic and then a week to really digest it. Figure out how you feel about it. Figure out how important it is to you. And then move on. Really, looking back, it makes sense, but I would encourage anyone thinking about homeschooling to sign up for Homeschooling ABCs NOW so they would be ready for the fall.
The bottom line to me is that this is a great tool. I wish I could ensure each new homeschooler would look at it. I also wish I could reasonably purchase a license for my group to enroll all my new homeschooling families. That's how valuable I think it is. But don't discount it if you aren't new to homeschooling. There are plenty of gems to be gleamed for old-timers too.
This is one I'm really excited about. You can check it out HERE for free to sample the first few lessons. And you can go HERE to see what other members of the TOS Crew had to say.