Being part of the Homeschool Review Crew
The one thing I noticed when I began homeschooling our grandson was the amount of time I spent communicating with an 8-year-old. Of course, this is to be expected because we were learning together but I think I was also missing the camaraderie and communication with other women.
For many years I worked in an office where most of my co-workers were hundreds (or thousands) of miles away. I was used to communicating online and on the phone but I was still in touch with them on a daily basis. Once I retired from my office job and began to homeschool I found myself talking about school subjects and learning to the absence of everything else. Even when I spoke with my girls we would talk about EJ’s lessons where in the past we would have talked about our respective workdays.
On the other hand, when I would catch up with former coworkers and friends I would be super excited about a threshold that EJ had just passed or an amazing new curriculum we were using but this wasn’t something they really understood. They just weren’t at the same place I was.
Online Homeschool Mom Groups
This is not to say I was totally devoid of folks to talk with. Over time I developed a support group of a kind. Some were relatives who also homeschool or some who have toddlers and were thinking of homeschooling. They would have questions for me about how I chose our curriculum. How I decided the best way of teaching EJ. One thing I would come back to in these conversations was a magazine I had found at our local community health food store, The Old Schoolhouse. I remember picking up my first issue and reading it cover to cover in the months prior to beginning our homeschooling journey, adding sticky tabs to the articles I knew I would go back to.
Joining the Crew
So when one of the ladies I had gotten to know through an online homeschool group posted that the magazine’s Homeschool Review Crew was taking applications for the new year I thought about it and realized this might be something I would like to do. I spoke with my family since this would be a time commitment for me plus it would create some change in our homeschool day. They were all supportive so I sent in my application.
It wasn’t too long before I received a nice note from one of the crew leaders offering me a spot. I was pretty excited about this since these folks had read my writing and looked at my blog before deciding I could be a good fit for the group.
Joining the Review Crew was better than I had imagined. There were other new members like me along with others who had been around for a few to several years. I never felt I was left on my own with a question. No, whenever I wondered about something all I needed to do was reach out and ask for help.
Part of the Community
And so it began with my first review of SchoolHouseTeachers.com. I was amazed at the number of courses available for us. It really opened my eyes to the different things we could include in our homeschool day. Up until then, I had looked at various options but then ended up going to our local homeschool store and purchasing a year’s worth of curriculum that had been recommended to me or that seemed to fit with what EJ’s grade should be learning.
Benefits of Being Part of the Crew
It was amazing to me that we could receive a quality curriculum in exchange for our review of the product. Prior to this, I had been spending a lot of money on lessons that didn’t always turn out as we’d hoped. With the Review Crew, I’ve had the opportunity to learn about the different curriculum that is available before applying to do a review. Often times other members had used the product or one from the same company and would share their experience with the rest of us as well.
More Than We Ever Imagined
As we moved into the year we had the opportunity to review some amazing products that were a terrific fit for our family. Since EJ has ADHD and dyslexia, we often received items that fit with his needs (and would have been outside of our budget). We received core subjects like math and language arts plus options including live online violin lessons and an amazing drawing program we just recently reviewed.
At this time of year when crew applications are opened for new members and those who will be returning, I look over the benefits of being a part of this team. Here are just a few of them:
- Being a part of a community of homeschooling moms
- Receiving a variety of quality curriculum products
- An annual membership at SchoolhouseTeachers.com
- Support for the growth of your blog
- Opportunities to learn more about blogging and social media
- A chance to participate with various teams and improve your skillsets
On top of all of this, I feel as though I have made some good friends over my time with the crew. When things are rough you can find a sympathetic ear. When you are struggling with a homeschool issue, look no farther than the discussion board where you are sure to find a friendly ear and suggestions from moms who have been there themselves. I do enjoy being a part of the team. A community of sorts.
Is This Something You Might Enjoy
Does this sound like something you would be interested in. You can find more information about the requirements for being a part of the crew by reading Join the Crew!
You will find more information at this article as well, Join The Old Schoolhouse® Homeschool Review Crew!