Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Join the Review Crew!

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Join the Review Crew! The Homeschool Review Crew is now accepting applications to join us for 2018! Find out more by visiting Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

It's hard to believe that another Homeschool Review Crew year will soon be wrapping up, and it's a little sad for me to think that those of us on the Crew will soon be taking a bit of a break before embarking on the 2018 Crew year. But there is good news - the Crew is now accepting applications, and we'd love to have you join us!

What do Homeschool Review Crew members do?
Obviously, the main thing we do is use and review homeschool products, but what makes the Crew special is we are real homeschooling families and we actually use the curriculum and resources we review in our homeschools for several weeks before we share our reviews on our blogs. Our honest and thoughtful reviews are sought out by many publishers of homeschool resources, and it's because we are committed to trying out the products for more than just a quick glance at a sample. We are able to use and really get to know the products, which are ours to keep even after our reviews are posted.

Wait - did you say free curriculum?
I did! Free curriculum! And it's tried and true veterans from the homeschool publishing world and brand new hot off the presses things. Over the years we've been reviewing, we've been introduced to products that were completely new to me; we've used some things that I hadn't even heard of; and we've been able to try things that I would have otherwise considered out of my budget.

So do you love everything you review?
We don't love everything. Before reviews are assigned, we have the chance to give feedback on which products we most want to try and which ones we can't use or don't think are a good fit. Crew leaders do their best to select the Crew members that can best use and review each product. So yes, most of the time, we find lots of good things about the resources we review, even those that we ultimately don't continue to use. Not everything is a good fit, but since our reviews are to be honest, I try to explain what didn't suit us or why it didn't work out great in our homeschool, and often it turns out that the aspect that we didn't love is the same thing that makes it a perfect fit for someone else. And the curriculum we DO love - we definitely keep using it, keep talking about how much we like it, and become loyal return customers too.


Some examples of things we loved:

No-Nonsense Algebra from Math Essentials (A Homeschool Coffee Break Review) on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

No-Nonsense Algebra from Math Essentials - this became my daughter's main algebra curriculum when we reviewed it. (Read our review: No-Nonsense Algebra from Math Essentials)

High School Essay Intensive - A Homeschool Coffee Break Review for the Homeschool Review Crew @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

High School Essay Intensive is just the most recent review product from Institute for Excellence in Writing that we've loved. We've also reviewed and loved the Student Writing Intensives, Fix-It Grammar, and Poetry Memorization from IEW. (Read our reviews: High School Essay Intensive; Student Writing Intensive Level C and Fix-It! Grammar and Student Writing Intensive Level Band Poetry Memorization with Institute for Excellence in Writing)

Draw the World with ArtAchieve (A Homeschool Coffee Break Review) @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - our full review of ArtAchieve art lessons for kids for the Homeschool Review Crew  Creating A Masterpiece - A Homeschool Coffee Break Review @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - Our review of the #onlineartprogram from Creating A Masterpiece  #hsreviews  #artinstruction  #art  #homeschool

Kennady loves art and this past year we reviewed two wonderful art programs - ArtAchieve and Creating a Masterpiece. Both were big hits here! (Read our reviews: Draw the World with ArtAchieve and Creating A Masterpiece)

The Power in Your Hands (Writing Non-Fiction in High School) from Writing with Sharon Watson - A Homeschool Coffee Break review for the Schoolhouse Review Crew on kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

The Power In Your Hands: Writing Nonfiction in High School from Writing with Sharon Watson was something we reviewed awhile ago, were very impressed with, and then held onto to use this school year. In fact, this is the text we're using in the high school writing class I'm teaching in our co-op. (Read our review: The Power In Your Hands)


How do you manage to use all kinds of different curriculum and still have some continuity in your homeschool?
Crew members have different ways of handling this, depending on the ages and personalities of our students. Personally, I was much more flexible with what things we'd try when I had younger students. Now that I have only one high schooler, I admit that we need to be more careful about how many extras we try to fit in. Some products we review are able to be used as supplements, so we can add them to our regular line-up with just a few adjustments. When we review something that requires more time, we might put something else on hold for a bit, or even cobble the review product into our current study. For more information about how Crew members fit review products into their real lives, visit my Crewmate Annette - she collected ideas from crew members and wrote an article all about it: How Reviewing Curriculum Works In Real Life.

What else does the Crew offer?
There's so much! There's lots more to the Crew than just reviewing curriculum! We have a private forum where all the news and information about the reviews is shared, but that forum also provides a home base for this wonderful group of homeschool bloggers to enjoy a special camaraderie. We do talk about the reviews we're working on and 'business' things, of course. But we also share funny stories and our prayer requests; and we ask questions and share advice about everything homeschool-related. And things that are not homeschool-related! It's been a delight to develop friendships as we support each other and pray for each other. We have a mentoring program for new Crew members, to help them learn the ropes; and we do our best to make it fun and rewarding to be a member!

It's become a game to anticipate what will be on the upcoming vendors list next, and we eagerly look forward to our favorites. The Crew blog hosts blog hops and round-ups, and there are guest post opportunities as well. Being on the Crew means there's plenty of encouragement to improve and grow as bloggers. We support each other in the link-ups that we host too. Many of the link-ups I participate in, including the one I co-host, Virtual Refrigerator, are things I found out about from fellow Crew members. My crew mates are gracious enough to participate in the link-up I host as well - Homeschool Highlights.

What are the qualifications for being on the Crew?

You need to have a blog, and you need to post to it regularly. You need to be homeschooling at least one student currently. You need to be active on a social media platform (Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram). And you need to love books and curriculum! If you're a homeschooler, you probably already do, so that's easy. As a Crew member, you'll be expected to maintain your blog by posting at least one non-sponsored article per week. You'll be committing to using the review products as expected and posting your reviews on time, and to sharing your reviews on social media. You don't have to be a big name blogger. We have "little" blogs and we have some with huge readership. We have blogging newbies and blogging experts. We have brand new homeschoolers and we have veteran homeschoolers. All have their own unique perspective to bring to the Crew and to the reviews.

Join the Review Crew! The Homeschool Review Crew is now accepting applications to join us for 2018! Find out more by visiting Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

Want to find out more?

You can check out the products I've reviewed for the Crew by using the TOS Homeschool Crew Review tag. There a lot of them! You can also use the list in the sidebar which has links to the products that I've reviewed in 2017, and on the page My Reviews I've listed all the reviews from previous years and linked them. TOS is shorthand for The Old Schoolhouse, by the way, and that's because the Crew is the review arm of the magazine publisher and online store. SchoolhouseTeachers.com is also part of the The Old Schoolhouse family, and Crew members get some generous benefits from this amazing online curriculum source as well.

Join the Review Crew! The Homeschool Review Crew is now accepting applications to join us for 2018! Find out more by visiting Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

 If you'd be interested in being part of the Homeschool Review Crew in 2018, now is the time to check out the Homeschool Review Crew blog to find out more. See the post 2018 Homeschool Review Crew Applications Now Open to see the requirements and the link to the application.

Join the Review Crew! The Homeschool Review Crew is now accepting applications to join us for 2018! Find out more by visiting Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

This post is part of a #breakthrulinkup at Breakthrough Homeschooling - Join us! This post is also linked at the Homeschool Linky Party on the Homeschool Review Crew blog.

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Linda at Apron Strings & other things said...

It really is amazing how much your family is blessed by your involvement with the Crew Review team. It's exciting to see - thanks for telling us about it!

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