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Switched-On Schoolhouse Reviews

Switched-On Schoolhouse is a comprehensive, Bible-based curriculum that offers computer-based learning for grades 3-12. With 3-D animation, video clips, and other fascinating multimedia, Switched-On Schoolhouse is the perfect homeschool curriculum for today’s generation. With this flexible, best-selling curriculum, you can customize student learning to fit individual educational needs.

(13 Reviews)


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  1. Switched-On Schoolhouse Review by Rachel Strauss
    Pros: Easy to Use All Planned for You
    Cons: Not Challenging for Student, Lots of Mistakes and Incorrect Answers, Improper Grammar, Links that Don't Work, Boring and Rote, Not Challenging Enough

    Grades Used: 3rd & 4th

    SOS was a simple program to use. I thought it would be well suited to my daughter because she struggles with certain visual type perception issues and copying work or transferring work from one place to another is just setting her up for failure. I really liked that it was computer based and easy to use. I also liked that it was pre-planned for the most part. I didn’t like not being able to change or edit one subject’s due dates or school in session dates in the custom calendar without the entire thing changing. I also didn’t like the need to go in and edit each lesson in each subject to tweak due dates if there was an issue or a concept that needed extra focus. I didn’t like that it does not work on OSX. There were a number of wrong answers in the program as well as incorrect spelling, grammar, tense, etc. errors. The program continued to use the same videos, games and practice themes, so she became easily bored. It’s also set up to easily commit to short term memory but not really learn the information. I love that it is faith based, but really believe, especially for the price, there is a TON of room for improvement. Having said all of that, this was a VERY easy and gentle way to start homeschooling and learn what my daughter is really capable of.

  2. Switched-On Schoolhouse Review by Sandra Byus
    Grades Used: 3rd grade

    My daughter used SOS for her first year of homeschooling in third grade. I think this curriculum may work for some, but it was just not meant for my daughter. She needs to have more one on one with an actual person than to get it from a computer screen. She does do some of her work on the computer without me at times, but it is not as much as she was doing with SOS.
    Also, the one we used had website links in lessons for you to click on. At the time we did not have high-speed internet. I did not care for the extra information being implemented this way.
    I am sure that this curriculum may work for others but not for us.

  3. Switched-On Schoolhouse Review by wendy records
    Pros: lessons preplanned and graded by program
    Cons: doesn't work on OSX (see comments below)

    Grades Used: 3rd and 8th

    We exclusively use apple products so in order to use this program I had to partition three laptops and install a windows operating system on each (not cheap). I had to install on the 3 different macbooks since my husband, oldest son (19), and I need our laptops for work as well. I considered their web based product, Monarch, but we travel quite a bit and don’t have wi-fi access consistently. I bought 2009 curriculum off of craigslist so that cut costs a bit. We’ve almost completed this years lessons. I believe, after discussing w/my husband, we’re going to try something different this next go around.

  4. Switched-On Schoolhouse Review by Brose
    Pros: pretty self-sufficient; minimal prep for teacher
    Cons: redundant, errors, expensive

    Grades Used: part of 3rd, 4th

    I used it with my child when they were in 3rd and 4th grade. They hated it, the repetition of going from one subject to the next bored them. We also ran into errors here and there with the software. My child likes the workbook approach better.

  5. Switched-On Schoolhouse Review by Regina Krieg
    Pros: Great for multiple children!
    Cons: Some problems with correct answers!

    Grades Used: 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 9th, 10th

    I have four children and used this since we started homeschooling. I enjoy the computer grading. I still have to teach a little when they don’t understand the material and on the younger kids go through the lessons to help them retain. There are sometimes issues with the answers the kids put verse the “correct” answer but with overrides and teacher control it’s easy to fix. I didn’t have any trouble with the program on any of our laptops. The price is good if you can buy a year older or pre-used curriculum on eBay. It works for our family! The older ones can go as fast as they want to have more time off later in the week. The computer distributes the work according to start and end dates which is awesome and I just plot my vacation time as needed.

  6. Switched-On Schoolhouse Review by Derina
    Pros: So easy to set up, kids loved it
    Cons: Somewhat expensive

    Grades Used: 9-12

    We used this for our older kids when they hit high school. I loved the different classes we could choose from, and so many great choices. I like that more than one kid can use it(I believe 5 uses). Will be using it for my youngest when she hits high school as well.

  7. Switched-On Schoolhouse Review by MELINDA STOGSDILL
    Pros: EASE OF USE, GRADE TRACKING
    Grades Used: 8TH

    MY 8TH GRADE DAUGHTER WHO DID NOT LIKE MATH HAS REALLY LIKED USING THE SOS ALGEBRA COURSE. EASY TO UNDERSTAND FOR HER AND SHE LIKES USING THE COMPUTER TO DO HER WORK.

  8. Switched-On Schoolhouse Review by Sally
    Pros: minimal parent guidance, self-grading
    Cons: cd's get scratched,

    Grades Used: 4-9

    I have liked using SOS with my older children, so that I am free to help the younger ones. However, there are a couple of glitches that lead to frustration: occasional answers marked wrong that are truly right, questions that not even I can find the answer to. The math is too difficult to do on the computer, so we use something else for math. The kids do enjoy the games that reinforce the lessons and also the comics. However, I feel that the kids learn and retain more when I am teaching them using my own selection of curriculum.

  9. Switched-On Schoolhouse Review by JulieCC
    Pros: low parent-teacher time needed; minimal prep
    Cons: many technical problems

    Grades Used: various 4th-high school

    We used Switched-on-Schoolhouse for State History and tried it for Spanish. With both we did not complete the courses.

    First of all, both courses were from different years/versions. With both we had many technical troubles. My husband is an IT guy and even he couldn’t figure out some of the issues. He also helped our church with their computers, and thus their SOS courses. He had the same troubles on the computer network. It seems every year there is a “new and improved” version since they have to fix the problems from the previous versions.

    SOS does work well for audio-visual learners and has minimal parent-teacher prep. While my son is that type of learner (as am I), and he typically works the best with computer learning, SOS just did not work for him. We opted to use the Lifepac versions of courses (same content). That way we could pick and choose various topics from each course and skip the ones we didn’t need.

    SOS is also very hard to navigate. It frequently locks up the computer. Also, the audio, videos, and overall visuals need a lot of work. They are not very professional and not up to the standard of the companion Lifepac courses. After using several other online/computer-based curricula, SOS is lacking.

    Alpha Omega’s Monarch courses are just SOS courses run from their computers rather than a home computer. I tried a sample course and the technical issues were similar to SOS’s. Stick with AOP’s printed curricula.

  10. Switched-On Schoolhouse Review by Carol N
    Grades Used: 3rd

    Honestly this was the ONE thing we have tried that we just HATED! WE did not even finish using it. My son found it boring and he never felt a sense of accomplishment the way that he does with the Life Pacs.

  11. Switched-On Schoolhouse Review by Susan Washabaugh
    Pros: easy to use and thorough explanations
    Cons: uses computer soley

    Grades Used: 4th-9th

    This is the 2nd year I’ve used SOS. I bought it used and last year used a 2001 version and 2004. This year we are using 2008 and 2009. They have made many improvements. I only use 2 subjects for my 9th grader and 1 for my 5th grader. Because it’s all on computer I wouldn’t want to do more than that. It’s very thorough so I use it for subjects that my children need to learn more in. It is easy to set up and easy to adjust if they get behind or need a break. It even has review games which my 5th grader enjoys.

  12. Switched-On Schoolhouse Review by Cynthia Schultz
    Pros: Most all the work is done for you.
    Cons: Sometimes difficuilt to understand

    Grades Used: 7th

    This is my first year home schooling and I was looking for an easy way to learn how. This program does the lesson plans and almost of the grading for you, great for a beginner like me. I like how user friendly it is. Changing lesson plans when our plans change is very easy. It does give you a basic set-up, but I found it easy to talior to what I wanted. I do wish it had more examples with the Lit. program though, sometimes I need to go to the internet for further examples and clarification.

  13. Switched-On Schoolhouse Review by Bridget Yurecka
    Pros: immediate response to incorrect answers
    Cons: explanation to incorrect answers found in teacher's editiona

    Grades Used: 7th - Pre-Algebra

    Three chances on most problems to get the correct answer. If the child answers incorrectly the solution with breakdown on how to solve the problem correctly is shown in the teacher addition which is uploaded with the program itself. I love the opportunity to re-assign missed questions. I also love that it is broken down into bite sized pieces with not a lot of spiral review. If you are looking for 50 problems including review work to do daily – this is probably not the program for you. I have Saxon Algebra 1/2 as well and when I looked for similar problems in the Switched-On program – it appears that the Switched -On program is farther along in material at this point in the year ( we found similar problems at Chapter 87 in Algebra 1/2) We may be able to move through Switched-On Schoolhouse Pre-Algebra in less than a year and move ahead into Algebra 1 before the end of the year wothout pushing too hard!!

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