Thursday, August 14, 2008

New Products from the Old Schoolhouse

I was recently asked to review the Old Schoolhouse planner and digital format of their magazine. Because we will be talking about schedules soon, I thought this would be a great place to give you a "peek" inside the Old Schoolhouse planner.

When my nine year old saw the cover, the first thing she said was, “school and home!” That's right. She gets it. And the ladies over at the Old Schoolhouse get it as well. They really do understand the unique organizational needs of a homeschool mom. In this 247 page printable planner you find all the stuff you do need and not much you don't. This printable planner was made for me. I love it!

How often I have purchased planners that were created for a classroom teacher, only to be discouraged by the bulk that I will not be using (seating charts, grade spaces for 30+ students and so on) and lacking so many spots for the things I do need- recipes, seasonal prompts, the forms I use- like the record of books we've read, lists for field trips taken and so on. It's all in there and more. And just when you wonder if you've missed something- like covering the 7 wonders of the ancient world. Let's be honest, do I know the 7 wonders of the ancient world? Or when the toaster was invented? I do now! It's all in the planner and organized in the table of contents so that I can find it when I need it.

As you put your planner together in a binder you will become more impressed with all they have thought to include- in a way that is anything but overwhelming. Chore charts, prayer lists, a garden planning checklist all ready for that quick jot while you are patiently waiting for your little one to finish writing their paragraph. No getting up to add something to the grocery list. You can transfer it later, but you won't forget it now.

There are all types of home charts, school charts and so on. What a fun way to corral it all and think like a homeschooler! I found my creativity sparked as I read through their essays and recipes.

There was a lot to like. What didn't I like? The price. At $39. it might be a little on the expensive side for a resource that still needs to be printed out and organized in a binder, but that's just me.

Our overall impression? Wow, it really takes homeschool moms to create resources for homeschool moms. Great job Old Schoolhouse!

Ease of Use...♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Features...♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Price...♥ ♥ 1/2
Quality...♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Presentation...♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Overall: 4.3 "little hearts"

If you are one of those folks who loves to research all of what is out there in the homeschool world, the Old Schoolhouse Magazine is for you. The magazine is quarterly which will be a relief for those of us that can get in information overload.

The benefits of the digital version?

♥ It's less expensive. The on-line version is $16.95 for one year, instead of the $39. paper price.

♥ It is clutter free. You can print out the articles you don't have time to read in front of the computer and you won't be looking for a place to store the magazines later. The less we have, the less we have to clean up, right?

♥ They cover a wide range of subject matter. Here are some of the topics they covered this quarter:

* Homeschooling the gifted child
* Charlotte Mason Homeschooling including an article about using this method with autistic children
* Natural Schoolhouse - We can learn both spiritual and practical lessons by observing sheep.
* Adoption – several articles about open adoption, domestic adoption and international adoption
* Science – read and learn about Intelligent Design, theistic evolution, Creationist documentary about the life of Darwin, and changing history theories
* Get an update about the homeschool situation in California
* Homeschooling is a means of discipleship as we train our children for God’s glory. God equips those whom he calls to homeschool—including single moms.
* Intelligent Design: What’s the Fuss and What’s It All About?
* Nature Walking - One of the consequences of removing God from the public school classroom is that wonder about His creation has been lost.
* Study the topic of flight and the men behind the creation of airplanes. Also learn what it’s like to be a pilot!
* Meet other homeschooling families and see how homeschooling works in their homes!

... and more!

Next up: Creating a homeschool schedule.

Blessings to you as you lead little hearts home!


  1. Thank you for your review of this! I've seen it floating around, and been tempted, but like you said, the price is daunting. I did wonder ... is this something that you would use every year or do you feel you would have to purchase it again in 2009? That's one of the few questions I haven't been able to find an answer to, but I may not be looking in the right spot. :)

  2. Great question Stephanie. I think they could have us re-use them if next year they came out with a free update to change our Table of Contents, Calendar pages and recipes or something to that effect, but I am not sure that is the plan. : )

    Next week I am hoping to cover scheduling and the resources we use will be free. : )

    Blessing to you!

  3. Thanks for answering ... I'll look forward to next week. :) (Oh, and your post on kindergarten was very timely for me this week - thank you). :)

  4. Aaah, I see you've adopted the SvenOnTech rating system. :) I like the "little hearts" substitution for the stars. Clever. :)

  5. You're welcome Stephanie! Sometimes it's just confirming to get a peek at what other people are doing.

    That's right Sven! It's because you're my BIL (in this case it stands for Brilliant In Law). I learn a lot from you... and sometimes I really just have no idea what you are saying. : )

    Do you think I should use "little hearts" for my SvenOnTech reviews too? It might be cute!

    Love you!

  6. My aunt wrote and offers a sweet grammar level curriculum called "Pictures from Proverbs." It would be so wonderful if take a look at her site and see what you think....

  7. Thank you so much for suggestion and link. My husband and I just looked at the website and this indeed looks like a real find. I hope to contact your aunt soon!