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re: Switched on Schoolhouse High School

Switched on Schoolhouse High School


I’m sure this has been covered, but I can’t seem to find past threads with reviews (I’ve read all of the reviews here in the review section, but most are years old & I know the curriculum is ever evolving).

I’m specifically interested in high school levels (my son will be in 9th grade) and only looking at the subjects for Language Arts & History.

My son wants to work independently, he has no special needs, and wants a curriculum that just gets it done.

I really appreciate your thoughts and feedback!

Happy New Year!

re: Switched on Schoolhouse High School

My youngest used Monarch grade 9 English this year. Monarch is the same content as SOS. Monarch is just accessed online instead of SOS accessed with cd installed.

I modified assignments based on some of her special ed needs. And I liked it a lot for her and plan to use the grade 10 English as her grade 11 course work). In her case, she is not able to work independently so I was working alongside her.

Is this something specific you want to know to help you know if it's a good fit for you get er done independently goals?

I'm sure you've seen the scope and sequence but for others who may be reading the thread

Things that I liked: mix of grammar with reading/literature. plenty of composition assignments. I was able to find an audio version of 20,000 leagues to use with the novel unit. (the curriculum has an abridged version, but we could scroll and catch up and all of that easily.) I was able to find a youtube vid of a high school production of The Miracle Worker to use with the drama unit. I thought it did a good job in grade 9 with basics of building a 5 paragraph essay and giving assignments.

weird thing that bothered me but may not apply to SOS: we had some bizarre issue with connection to their server on several pages only on question 1 in lessons. it was odd and we had a work around for it.

some students may or may not like the games for reviewing some vocab. My daughter still likes that kind of stuff.

I'm not sure what info would be helpful. You might consider using the 30 day free trial of Monarch to see if you like it before buying the SOS version. I was surprised but we had access to all grades and all 5 base subjects during that trial. But the vast majority of content in the base subjects is identical between SOS and Monarch. It's just different delivery format. online vs cd.

I don't want to leave with the impression that it is remedial just because my youngest used it in modified ways.

re: Switched on Schoolhouse High School

My son tried it for Bible. I would not use SOS but Monarch because you won't have so many systems issues...

but that said, it was VERY competent, and definitely surprised us. The fonts, screen colors, presentation, graphics, sounds and videoes (there are more in Monarch btw) were all well done, pleasing to the eye, but not cartoony, not edutainment at all. Just good additions to the learning material.

The ai for the learning system was fine. We never had any major issues and felt it was very easy to override grades.

IT IS VERY IMPORTANT That you assign and DO THE PROJECTS. Because of the projects this is NOT a self teaching and self grading program, but maybe 80% self teaching and grading. For the projects you will need to purchase and gather materials, follow up that your student completes them, and grade them. They are meant to be creative, hands on and exploratory and they're super important.

The only downfall we had with the Bible was that the Bible theology was weird and had some random answers that were totally strange such as in the Biblical worldview, one of the correct answers was "women must wear skirts in order to be modest" and of course I had to override the system when it marked my son wrong.

Strangely, the actual BIble teaching wasn't tooooo bad and didn't actually teach that. It was added into the question/answers rather randomly or so it seemed.

You'll find that some of the Science is overly creationist with a YE only view and you'll find that some of the history is ....overly optimistic...about the motives of anyone who was european, white, protestant or even republican...(we've had lots of these LIfepacs so that's why I know)

But overall the program is VERY VERY competent, considering the cost, and how user friendly and accessible it is! To me, it's better than not doing school (which many of my friends with crazy lives, aging parents and multiple children did), and if you supplement wiht good literature and documentaries and library trips and field trips and just a culture of learning, using some SOS or Monarch is fine.

Hope this helps.

re: Switched on Schoolhouse High School

I don’t know about all subjects and all levels. There were some projects that were assigned and part of the materials (unless teacher unassigned it).
There were also optional special projects that the teacher created. We have also done Monarch health and it was very good to do the assigned projects. I didn’t really come up with ideas for me to have special projects for what we used, but that was extra and optional so I wasn’t worried. But we did most projects that the curriculum made up for us.

Projects for grade 9 English: in the speech section, there was a project about observing people for non verbal communication and what were they trying to communicate with it. Other projects involve writing outlines in prep for essays and reports and the essays and reports themselves. As well as speeches, and business and informal letters. Good stuff to not leave out.

Some of the essays and other projects are responses to readings of short stories, novel, drama, etc. The monarch assignments do give you (as teacher) guidance on grading points for essays and what to look for. Others include taking short prose piece (such as a parable in the Bible) and reorganizing it into a drama piece/stage play with dialogue and stage directions. And yes, teacher needs to be involved with grading and available to answer questions. I don’t know on SOS, but on Monarch it’s easy to login and see what needs to be graded. Of course in my situation, youngest and I were working together. She’s not at self study level.

oh yeah, I remember when calming tea ran across that Bible assignment. I always wondered which level and unit it was so I could go see it now that I have a subscription. It sounds like such an odd thing that it didn’t match up with lesson. I haven’t done much with the Bible lessons to have an opinion on it. just curious which level and unit that was. :)

re: Switched on Schoolhouse High School

I believe it was worldview which I think is usually grade 10 and early on, like unit 1, 2 or 3

re: Switched on Schoolhouse High School

By the way, I don't know how long this is good for, but this morning's email blasts from alpha omega told me that one can spend about 65% less on one-semester Monarch health electives, including Health Quest, High School Health, Physical Fitness, and Physical Education. Use promo code MONHEALTH. That could bring the cost of each one of those to around 20 USD. I know you asked about SOS instead, but thought I'd share on this.

I have used and liked the physical fitness elective. The info was solid and good for teen to learn about cardio, strength and stretch and the exercise principles of those for everyday life. We didn't always so the assigned projects because I had to adjust for my dd's abilities and likes. With my previous life as a group fitness instructors it was fun to do our own projects for that. But the ones they assigned weren't bad. I used this course Physical Fitness from Monarch as the book learning side of my dd's PE credit (combined with sports and fitness activities like swimming).

Also, I liked the semester credit High School Health. Very straightforward. liked the projects. Good stuff to learn and easy to present the info.

The electives are of course separate purchase from core subjects in monarch (which can be all 50 for monthly or yearly subscription, or just single subject)

I received no compensation for any of this in any form. I'm just sharing info if it would help someone. I can't even remember how I got on their mailing list initially but it's nice to get the info for special sales and all of that. I think homeschool buyers co op and sometimes other places get one day offers in January??? (but that may or may not be true this year and beyond, right? I dont' work there)

re: Switched on Schoolhouse High School


If and when we come across it, we'll have our bonding time over it :) thanks for tip where to look. It's always possible that they've changed it by the time I get there. :)

re: Switched on Schoolhouse High School

Thank you all for such wonderful information. I am open to Monarch; SOS just makes more sense financially because I’m looking at just two classes and only homeschool my son now.

We are going to try the free 30 day trial with Monarch when we start school back next week, so that should give him a good trial run to see how he likes it.

My son loves me and loves homeschooling, but he just wants to be independent now and doesn’t want me teaching him. It really just makes us butt heads, and he does much better when he can oversee his own lessons and just come to me if he needs help with anything. I still make sure his work is being completed, I just don’t teach it. He will be 14 soon and starting high school next year... so I’m trying to figure things out now so we aren’t hopping around next year. So any advice at all is very welcome! I thought SOS (or Monarch) might work well because it’s self directed and just gets it done (which he prefers). Thank you!

This post was edited on Jan 02, 2018 07:41 AM


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