The next product up for review here at Emily Reviews is Alpha Omega’s Switched-on-Schoolhouse, which is a Christian, KJV or NAS (New American Standard) Bible-based homeschooling software curriculum, also known as SOS in the homeschooling community.
(Note: This is a sample review for Emily Reviews. I am presently not associated with them, but I am applying to become a product reviewer. For the application, I had to pick a product that I use and review it, so I chose SOS.)
Here at the Martin house, we are in our third year of using SOS. Being a techie family, this curriculum fits our lifestyle perfectly. Keep reading for a complete breakdown on Alpha Omega’s Switched-on-Schoolhouse homeschooling curriculum, and why it may or may not work for your family.
1. The first big plus in this software is that you can create your own weekly/monthly/yearly schedule. When you have a husband who can sometimes have an erratic schedule, homeschooling gives you the opportunity to maximize parent/child time. SOS easily allows you to change school days around, reassign classwork, delete projects or whole lessons.
2. Each child is different, and each homeschool has its own set of priorities and learning styles. SOS gives you the option to allow open-book lesson questions, quizzes, and/or tests. You can also select whether to deduct points for spelling errors and how many times you allow a question to be attempted, along with several other similar customizing options.
3. SOS is a self-grading curriculum. However, there will be times when you may want to allow an answer that the software kicks out, and SOS makes it easy for you to do that. There are also points where SOS requires you to do the grading on essay questions or other long-form questions.
4. Games! What kid doesn’t love games? Beginning with the 2009 version, four games are available for your kid to enhance their learning and to help jazz up the school day. All games run parallel to the lesson(s). As parent, you do have the option to turn off the games.
5. Another important pro is that you have the ability to buy the software by subject. You can get the full meal deal or just order the subject you are interested in. There are also several electives for you to choose from.
6. Switched-on-Schoolhouse also provides teaching video clips throughout the lessons. It combines reading, videos, games, and photographs for a well-rounded learning experience.
7. You do not have to have internet. Internet does enhance the experience, but it is not necessary for install and daily use.
8. Alpha Omega has been around for 35 years, and I have had only positive experiences when I called for sales or support.
1. This software is not for everyone. You as the parent need to have a good bit of technical know-how to ease your navigation of this very customizable software. Also, while it isn’t necessary for the child to have a lot of computer experience, not every child is adapted to self-learning via pc. Some kids are just book-based learners. They like to have a physical book that they can sit down with and flip through. I am blessed that my children can read and learn with very little interaction from me.
2. This software isn’t available until third grade. However, this isn’t much of a con, because your child won’t really have the reading/comprehension skills until third grade.
3. You will need to supplement with a handwriting curriculum, unless you don’t care if their handwriting falls by the wayside.
To peruse Alpha Omega’s website and learn more about what they have to offer, click here. If the software isn’t a good fit for you, then you may like the bookwork that they also have available.
They also have their own Facebook page.
If you have used this product or have questions, please comment below, and I will respond. I love to talk about Alpha Omega’s Switched-on-Schoolhouse!