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Monday, November 2, 2009

abcteach Review


Given our family dynamics, I've always been more of a relaxed homeschooler. And for us, "relaxed" didn't really include many worksheets. But then came my third child who thrives on worksheets, (and his little sister seems content to do them, just don't ask for perfection) and suddenly worksheets gained a little ground in my opinion.
And then there was the recent incident where my 10 year old daughter asked me (in public) how to spell OUR LAST NAME! Yeah, maybe we need to do a few more worksheets, especially taking the time to fill out the "Name" blank at the top!

Enter abcteach. abcteach is a website for teachers, parents, homeschoolers, and anyone else who works with students in elementary and middle school. To list everything the site offers would take months, and WAY more space than I have in this post, but you should know that they offer about 5000 FREE worksheets. The member site though is where the site really shines with over 35,000 pages of printable worksheets and activities. If you aren't into worksheets, abcteach may seem at first to be a product to dismiss, but let me assure you it offers way more than your typical worksheet site. abcteach has TONS of education clip art, unit studies, shape books, sudoku, learning center signs and activities, flash cards, power point presentations, and much, MUCH more.
But the best part of abcteach is abctools. abctools allows you to make customizable worksheets for, well, almost anything. Math, spelling, vocabulary, and educational games all have customizable worksheet options. But to me the most impressive is the handwriting options. They have fonts for A Beka, Handwriting Without Tears, D'Nealian, Getty-Dubay Italic, Zaner-Bloser, Loops and Other Groups, and Queensland, as well as many common standard computer fonts. They are all available in cursive or print, but also have options like dotted letters or dots and directional arrows. I have used it extensively to generate worksheets for my children to finally learn cursive. Because they are customizable, I have incorporated our other studies into what they are practicing in their handwriting. For example, we can use it to reinforce our root word studies by having them write, "A means 'not' or 'on'." Or chose a Bible memory verse for them to write. It has been great for us.

The pros for abcteach are endless. If you have students in the K-8th grade, I challenge you to NOT find a way to use abcteach. With printables covering Math, Science, Social Studies, and Language Arts, and clip art for anything educational under the sun, it wouldn't take much for abcteach to pay for itself.

I didn't encounter any cons except the standard science concerns for Christians with a young earth view. But it is very easy to avoid by just previewing the sheet before you print it. If it doesn't line up with your beliefs, don't use it. With 35,000 things to chose form, there is sure to be plenty more to use.

The bottom line is that I think abcteach is probably an indispensable resource for most homeschoolers. The yearly membership is $40 for one year/$70 for two years. You should definitely check the site out since that's the best way to see if it would work for your homeschool, but we have used it every day and that makes it totally worth it to me!

To check out abcteach or sign up for membership, go HERE. To read what other members of the TOS Crew had to say, go HERE.

Legal disclaimer:
As a member of the TOS crew,I received a one month membership to abcteach free of charge in exchange for my honest review. That free product is the only "payment" I received for my opinion.
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