Thursday, February 25, 2016

A TOS Review:

HelpTeaching Review

Do you ever have trouble creating comprehensive questions for your students? If you don't purchase boxed curriculum and text books, this can sometimes be a difficult place to be. I know that we have used a lot of literature based curriculum in the past, and I have sometimes struggled to be certain what exactly the kids have learned from our material. While I believe in the Charlotte Mason approach wholeheartedly and know that a worksheet is not the only way to show proof of learning, I do think that quizzes and worksheets definitely have a place in the homeschool curriculum. That's why I was glad to have a chance to review the material found at I received use of the website through the Pro Plan. is a virtual teacher's closet full of worksheets, lessons, tests, quizzes, and so much more. You have the opportunity to use what has already been assembled, and you also have the ability to create your own worksheets and tests to fit the personal needs of your students. While the website has materials for every grade level, I focused on the 7th, 8th and 9th grade material.

I had Connor and Chloe sit with me and sift through the subjects and categories to see what they may be interested in. They both did some lessons and completed many worksheets. We looked primarily at science, language arts and literature. We also delved into some history, government, geography and social studies.

Some of the lessons were straightforward reading with some practice questions attached. Some had video links attached, and the kids really liked those lessons. At the end of the lesson, there would be a link to related worksheets, if any. We liked the lessons where there was continued practice.

They both agreed that having the worksheets that coincided with the lessons helped them retain information from the lesson longer. When choosing worksheets without premade lessons, I looked for things that I believed they had already covered, using this as a review time. They both came across some things that they didn't have any experience with, which left them both a little frustrated. There was nowhere for them to go to get the information. While I see this as a supplementary part to their education, I don't want to give them grades on things they have not yet been exposed to, so I wouldn't use this as primary curriculum. However, when the lessons had coinciding worksheets, I found the information thorough and helpful.

Chloe especially enjoyed the literature sheets. She reviewed some of her favorite novels, and then got to compare them to the movie. It was thought provoking for her, and a great jumping off point for a literary analysis paper on Mockingjay.

Connor just finished a semester of Constitution and Government, so I was glad to utilize the tests on here to evaluate his knowledge of the topic. He did very well - which didn't surprise me, since politics is his new favorite thing! It pleased him, too, to see how much he actually knew. Neither of the kids are used to receiving grades on a regular basis. We do lots of oral summaries, family discussion, and group question and answer times. So it was nice for them to see what they considered "proof" that they were learning these things!

I believe that can be a great help to any homeschool family. The Pro Plan gives you access to the entire website and can be a great help in finding gaps and strengths in your child's education. Check it out - it's worth it!

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