Tuesday, January 10, 2017

This past month I had the opportunity to review a yearly membership with When the cold settles in I love to hunker down and enjoy a few fun extras while we are cozy in our warm house. This is my favorite time of the school year because it’s when we have the chance to slow down and enjoy enrichment activities that we might not have as much time to do when we are running around during the warmer months.

Our school days are already pretty full, so I'm not normally looking to add too much to our days. However, sometimes interest strikes, and it's fun to take a rabbit trail every now and again. I love enrichment activities that add fun and spice to our normal everyday lessons. I am often searching Pinterest or blogs for inspiration. I was pleased to see that the website was far more than I expected it to be. It was great to find an all-in-one place to search for inspiration rather than hopping from place to place. I was pleasantly surprised at how many useful and fun courses I found.

What you will find on the

 The first thing I noticed was the wide range of courses that are organized by subject and also by grade level. I found the quick links page especially useful to get a picture of what kinds of things the site offered. It was easy to see right away that the website was a treasure trove not only of enrichment courses but also of core subjects. I was impressed with the planning resources and parental support offered on the site as well. 

How we used resources:

Both of my boys are super creative, so I was immediately drawn to the art courses. There were plenty of drawing lessons, painting lessons and art appreciation courses for all ages. The first thing that caught my eye were the Photography courses. Silas got a camera for his birthday this fall, and I often find him snapping shots of this or that. Aedan loves to grab one of the phones to take pictures as well. They love to make stop-motion or funny memes, so I knew the photography course would be right up their alley.

Right away I got download and print happy. I had to limit myself because there were so many fantastic courses to choose from. I decided to focus on photography for the month. There were a handful of photography lessons, so I printed them off right away and filed them in a binder.

One of the lessons I found was a great little History of the Photograph lapbook to start our study. I thought this would be a nice and quick intro to where photography began. Silas designed the cover, and drew a picture of his camera on the front.

Each week there was a short lesson to read. These were really easy to read and understand. We all learned way more about the photograph than we knew before.

Silas filled out information in each little booklet.

I tend to bind lapbooks like this rather than use a file folder. Each way works just fine. In the end we had a nice little record of what we learned.

In the meantime my boys wanted to take pictures! They were already learning to enjoy photography, but this gave them a little inspiration. This was a great thing to add to our snowy days. It was far too cold to spend much time in the outdoors. This gave them something to do on those long and blustery afternoons.

I loved this simple Photography Challenge! Each day they had a quick challenge for a picture to take. There are 48 challenges. These lessons were like freewriting but for photography. So fun! I wanted to include some of their pictures here, but we recently got a new laptop without an SD slot. Technology is getting ahead of me! I need to get one of those fancy SD cards that have Bluetooth. Maybe I can share those as soon as I get them transferred. Nevertheless, the boys really enjoyed these activities.

I was also super excited to find a high school level photography course! We didn't get a chance to use this yet, but I did read through some of the lessons. They are very thorough, and will be a great elective come next year when we reach the high school years.

A Comprehensive Media Library: also has a wide range of streaming videos. This year in history we have read about Eric Liddell, Gladys Aylward, and Corrie ten Boom. I was thrilled that there are many Torchlighters Series videos based on the lives of these men and women. I had purchased a few when we did world geography and cultures. It was a delight to see them offered here without having to purchase each separately. I was happy to also see Drive Thru Ancient History and American History as those are the periods we are studying this year.

What I liked about

I didn't even scratch the surface of all that offers. You could essentially build much of your homeschool year based around the courses offered on the site. I enjoyed perusing the different course offerings. These many choices would especially would be fun to use over the summer when the lack of routine hits. It gave me ideas that I hadn't even considered yet. I appreciated all the support the site offered not only for us as teachers but also as parents.

The membership for is $139 a year, or you can choose to pay in monthly installments of $12.95. They generously offer a $1 one-month trial. If you are unsure if you would use the site, this is a great way to see all it has to offer. If you know this would be a great fit for your family they are having a sale! If you sign up before January 15, 2017 you will pay $90 for the annual subscription, or $9.99 per month on the monthly plan. To find out more about Schoolhouse Teachers, follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and Pinterest.

Some final thoughts:
I loved how many courses were offered on the site, but I wish the courses were more easily downloaded. Any of you who follow my blog know that I am no stranger to printing and that I have no problem wasting ink. Even so, I want to have ease of use when tackling printing projects whenever possible. Some of the courses were divided up by into many different pieces. You have to download them separately, and then print each individually. It would be far easier to print if the courses were in one single PDF. This actually might be a positive if you are the type that likes to plan throughout the year. I have already planned most of my next year's choices (Yes, in January. Blush.)

With all I have appreciated about the site, I'm not sure I personally would have taken the plunge for this coming school year. I wish I had this resource back when we had more wiggle room because it would be a lovely addition for us otherwise. While it is tempting to have even more to choose from I know adding more (for us) only causes other things to fall through the cracks. However, if you are the type that likes to plan week to week or likes to change things up, then this would be a fabulous resource for you.
If you would like to read more about other families who have tried out, click here to read more reviews!


  1. I love your focus for this review! I think I'd like to check out the photography courses for ME! I'm off to check out the challenges! Great job on your review!

    1. That's how I felt when I saw the photography course as well! Thank you for your encouragement :) It means a lot coming from you!

  2. It looks like y'all had a fantastic time using the photography course. There really are so many wonderful classes on their website.

    1. I agree! I need to make a list of things. There is a cooking class that looks fun :)


Thank you so much for visiting :) I adore hearing from you!

CopyRight 2016 © | Monarch Room