Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Schoolhouse Review Crew Blue Ribbon Awards!


The 2013 Crew Year has just come to an end.  Wow, this year FLEW by.

For the past few years, the Crew has ended the year by voting on their favorites in a whole lot of categories. 

This year, we ended up with 38 total categories, and awarded ribbons to 28 different amazing wonderful vendors.  These companies were fabulous to work with during the year.

It is really interesting to be the one tallying up those votes, I tell you.  Some of these votes were incredibly close.  Some really great companies -- like TouchMath and Flip Flop Spanish, to name two off the top of my head -- lost by a single vote.

I have to say that personally, we loved almost all of the products listed here.  There are a couple that I wouldn't have voted for, but mostly because my kids are <gasp> too old.  That's a weird thing too.

This year, I really didn't write up reviews for all that many programs, so I'll stick to just linking the Crew Blog post.   But I'm making some comments as I go!

Language Arts programs:  What amazing options.  Logic of English changed our lives, we adore Institute for Exellence in Writing, I've always been a fan of Handwriting Without Tears,  Moving Beyond the Page is just a FUN program, and well, Fundanoodle looks great for kids younger than mine!

Favorite Reading Instruction Curriculum: Logic of English
Favorite Handwriting Curriculum: Handwriting Without Tears
Favorite Writing Curriculum: Institute for Excellence in Writing
Favorite Language Arts Curriculum: Moving Beyond the Page 
Favorite Language Arts Resource: Fundanoodle

Social Studies:  We decided to use the Notgrass materials next year, when most everyone will be studying American history in my house.  What colorful, wonderful stuff though.  YWAM is always good, and I love the changes in God's World News!

Favorite Social Studies Curriculum: Notgrass Company
Favorite History Resource: YWAM Publishing
Favorite Social Studies Resource: God's World News

Science, oh, yeah, science.  Always my favorite subject.  The Apologia Elementary Science books are a lot of fun with the notebooking! We're using the Land Animals set. BrainFood Learning makes incredibly neat videos.  I cannot count how many times we've watched the insects one.  And I love, love, love Homeschool Programming.  GREAT curriculum!

Favorite Science Curriculum: Apologia Elementary Science
Favorite Science Resource: BrainFood Learning
Favorite Technology Curriculum: Homeschool Programming

Math was fun this year, so many fantastic programs.  My kids love Math U See, and everyone has used at least one level now.  And some of my kids enjoy Math Rider too!

Favorite Math Curriculum: Math U See
Favorite Math Resource: Math Rider

Electives: Connor thinks Homeschool Spanish Academy is the best thing to ever happen to high school foreign language!  Thomas voted for See the Light as the Kids' Choice winner, and was thrilled to meet some of the See the Light folks at Teach Them Diligently in Omaha!  We love the Bible Summary cards from Bible Study Guide for All Ages.  

Favorite Foreign Language Curriculum: Homeschool Spanish Academy
Favorite Fine Arts Curriculum: See the Light
Favorite Fine Arts Resource: Gryphon House
Favorite Christian Education Curriculum: Bible Study Guide for All Ages
Favorite Christian Education Resource: God's World News

By age, well, I don't have preschoolers, but Flowering Baby made me wish I did! What a neat program!  I've already mentioned most of the others here.  The new High School Prep Genius from the College Prep Genius folks is brilliant.

Favorite Preschool Resource: Flowering Baby
Favorite Elementary Resource: Apologia Elementary Science
Favorite Middle School Resource: Institute for Excellence in Writing
Favorite High School Resource: Institute for Excellence in Writing
Favorite College or College-Prep Resource: College Prep Genius
Favorite Parent Resource: Picaboo

Oh, this next section? Yes to all of these! Supercharged Science is amazing, Homeschool in the Woods makes some incredible products, IXL was a huge hit here AGAIN, and Circle Time?  Who knew how much I needed that encouragement?

Best Online Resource: Supercharged Science
Best E-Product: Homeschool in the Woods
Best App: VocabularySpellingCity
Best Resource I Didn't Know I Needed: IXL
Best General Homeschool Resource: Circle Time

More cool stuff, like a funny book about a "Real Payne" and Chess instruction.  Oh, yeah.

Best Book, Novel, or Magazine: God's World News
Best Children's Book:  Barbour Publishing
Best Game or Toy: Chess House
Best Hands-On Resource: Apologia Elementary Science
Most Adaptable Resource: Apologia Elementary Science
Most Family-Oriented Resource: Apologia Elementary Science

The Presidential Game?  Oh, probably the family vote for best product of the year.  What an awesome game!

Kids' Choice: Chess House
Teens' Choice: The Presidential Game
All Around Crew Favorite: Apologia Elementary Science

Congratulations to each of the Blue Ribbon Award winners, and thank you for the amazing opportunity we had to serve you this year!

Head on over to the Crew Blog Post to see what other Crew members have to say about this year's winners!!


annette @ A Net In Time said...

neat to see what the favourites were of other folks, and how they organized their post as well. :) said...

I wish I loved teaching science the way you do, but I love the resources we reviewed this year! Great wrap up!