Monday, November 16, 2015

2015 Blue Ribbon Awards

Another Crew year is closing out this week, which I find really hard to believe.  Especially because effective this month, I'm leading this group.  I don't believe I've actually announced that on my blog before now.

This year has been crazy for me.  I usually end up using -- and reviewing -- quite a few products over the course of the year.  Mom died right as the reviews were truly kicking off, and it seems like I've spent all year long trying to get back on track and up to speed.  And suddenly, the year is ending.

So, while I reviewed pretty much nothing this year for the Crew, we have used a bunch of these.  So I'll be commenting on things here.

At the end of each Crew year, we get a chance to vote for our favorite products in a whole lot of categories.  Here are the results:

2015 Schoolhouse Review Crew Blue Ribbon Awards

Favorite Reading Curriculum: Reading Kingdom
Favorite Writing Curriculum: Institute for Excellence in Writing
Favorite Vocabulary Program: Dynamic Literacy
Favorite Spelling Program: Institute for Excellence in Writing: Phonetic Zoo
Favorite Grammar Program: Institute for Excellence in Writing: Fix-It! Grammar
Favorite Penmanship Program: CursiveLogic
Favorite Literature Curriculum: Progeny Press

Among the language arts related products, we used all of the winners, and we really did love them.

Favorite History Curriculum: Home School in the Woods
Favorite History Supplement: Heirloom Audio Productions: In Freedom's Cause
Favorite Science Curriculum: Visual Learning Systems
Favorite Science Supplement: Ann McCallum Books: Eat Your Science Homework
Favorite Math Curriculum: CTC Math
Favorite Math Supplement: SimplyFun

Other core curricula are all fantastic too -- everyone was using CTC Math, Heirloom makes so many great audio dramas, Home School in the Woods is a bit overwhelming for me, but oh so worthwhile!

Favorite Christian Education Curriculum: Grapevine Studies
Favorite Christian Education Supplement: Brinkman Adventures
Favorite Foreign Language Curriculum: Middlebury Interactive Language
Favorite Fine Arts Product: Maestro Classics
Favorite Elective Curriculum: Apologia Educational Ministries: Field Trip Journal
Favorite Audio Drama: Brinkman Adventures
Favorite Video:

My one and only review is above -- Maestro Classics was simply wonderful.  The Nutcracker.  Loved that.  But we are making use of most of the other products too.

Favorite Elementary Product: Star Toaster
Favorite Middle School Product: The Critical Thinking Co
Favorite High School Product: Writing with Sharon Watson
Favorite College or College-Prep Product: Freedom Project Education
Favorite Parent Product: Koru Naturals
Favorite Planning Product: Apologia Educational Ministries: The Ultimate Homeschool Planner

Three of my absolute favorite products this year are in the above section.  The Critical Thinking Co. has a critical thinking title for middle school that we are absolutely loving.  Writing with Sharon Watson's Illuminating Literature is a wonderful (and boy-friendly) high school literature course.  And Koru Naturals introduced me to emu oil, something I'm not sure I could live without anymore.

Best Resource I Didn't Know I Needed: Homeschool Planet
Best Online Resource: Super Teacher Worksheets
Best e-Product: Home School in the Woods
Just for Fun: USAopoly
Kids' Choice: La La Logic
Teens' Choice: YWAM Publishing
All Around Crew Favorite: Institute for Excellence in Writing

I was not surprised that IEW is on the list for All Around Crew Favorite!

Members of the 2015 Schoolhouse Review Crew are sharing their thoughts about the Blue Ribbon Award winners and the companies they voted for who may not have won.  Go check that out.


Michele said...

All our my favorites! Including YOU! So blessed to work with you, my friend!

Unknown said...

Had several of my favorites on there too!!

Sharon Watson said...

I loved working with the Review Crew! What an amazing group of women! Thank you for your Blue Ribbon vote for Illuminating Literature: When Worlds Collide!