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Switched-On Schoolhouse Reviews

Switched-On Schoolhouse ReviewsSwitched-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.



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(25 Reviews)

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  1. Switched-On Schoolhouse Review by Dylan Sale
    Pros: Short lessons, flexible schedule
    Cons: Everything else basically

    Grades Used: 6-11

    As a current student of SOS I have liked and disliked it at times.I’ve been using it since middle school and I got 1 more year left and I personally do believe parents should not get this for their kids.It does not give an explanation for a wrong answer which is kinda disappointing.

  2. Switched-On Schoolhouse Review by Kevin
    Pros: For placement test maybe computer based
    Cons: Placement test questions not greatest doesnt seem accurate. Many questions not taught in Public school system.

    Grades Used: Placement test

    Just received the SOS placement test so I can place my daughter in the computer based curriculum and I have to say I am unimpressed (very) so far with this. Poor instruction (no specific instruction) on how to complete the placement test. Have to set up entire SOS and assign it as school work just to do a simple test. Left so frustrated im not sure if I will be ordering this software, left me with big time headache and entire day wasted. Used this curriculum 10 years ago and its worse now then was then (user friendly) and do not see any upgrades it looks the same but less user friendly. Havnt tried curriculum yet just based on school setup and assigning work. Better instruction would be definite plus. Someone who never used this before would have no hair left! SOS should start be appealing to the simple mind which should be the basis for education!

  3. Switched-On Schoolhouse Review by Jessica
    Pros: None that I found
    Cons: Everything

    Grades Used: 7th

    7th grade switched on schoolhouse

  4. Switched-On Schoolhouse Review by Heidi
    Pros: Easy Set up, Great Tracking tool, good customer service
    Cons: how assignments are assigned on a daily basis

    Grades Used: 10th and now 11th

    Overall, my daughter likes the program. Math was a little difficult when she was having trouble comprehending a problem there wasn’t a secondary explanation on how to do things. For all the other subjects it flowed pretty easily. We ended up being able to take a lot of the re-tests out because she did well on the 1st test and quizzes. She liked the way it was presented because she could highlight and return to areas that she needed to re-read. Grading was easy except sometimes for the problems that the parent had to grade it was an all or nothing grade so we figured out how to manipulate the points to be more fair on essays and such. She has chosen to use this again for her 11th grade year and will be adding more classes. The daily assignments kind of bunch up at the top of the student list, but she has figured out how to navigate that and spend more or less time on a subject as she likes – since we started later in the year, this allowed her to focus on one subject at a time to get caught up. No program is perfect and each child learns differently so this may not be the program for everyone, but it is working well with my daughter so we are happy with it. When our computer crashed the company we purchased it through was extremely helpful to us when we were trying to recover everything. This was a good tool for a difficult situation.

  5. Switched-On Schoolhouse Review by Leanna
    Pros: Short Lessons
    Cons: Not user friendly, bad at explaining, small print,.

    Grades Used: 10,11

    As a student who has used and is currently using SOS Math Essentials for high school I have to say that this is one of the worst program I have ever used in my 12 years of being homeschool.
    Here’s why:
    -The program is not user friendly! For student or Teacher

    -It sucks at explaining what you are suppose to do and on top of that they throw in problems that you haven’t even learnt yet.

    -Also the print to show how to do the problem is tiny and hard to understand.

    -One of the biggest issue is that when you get a problem wrong they don’t show you how to do it correctly step by step they just give you the right answer. How is anyone suppose to learn like that.

    So those are some of the issues that are very present in this program. I hope that helps in choosing a Math program for your children.

    I personally love Teaching Texts Books. They explain we’ll give you clear visuals and shows you not only the answer but how they did it. However for high school they only have pre calculus, Algebra 1 and geometry. I would encourage you to look into Teaching Texts Books or other options that will offer Math essentials.

  6. Switched-On Schoolhouse Review by Josh
    Pros: Self grading

    Grades Used: 7th-10th

    Hey I have seen many parent reviews… as myself being a student we see the harder side of it.
    The problem with sos is if u get a problem wrong it won’t tell why? And it is so easy to get further and further behind in school on this program. Even tho it sets dates for you.
    It does not teach you.
    It just gets you to get to the problem. And if you don’t well u get a F some of the problems in it do not need to be there they do not even relate to what your doing.
    I do NOT recommend getting this if you are a parent.

  7. Switched-On Schoolhouse Review by Carol Brubaker
    Pros: Math details explications
    Cons: Fast reports are ready all set up

    Grades Used: 3-12

    I love it! We have been using s.o.s almost 17 years!You can read it, hear it , highlighter it and printed.I use it along my Math Monmouth as reinforcement for math bleesed. I enjoy the teacher page for agenda etc.Love that is self grates and everything is ready has quizzes and test along each lesson.

  8. Switched-On Schoolhouse Review by Darryl
    Pros: Education-not memorization, Biblical foundation teaching, Helps a child learn of a amazing God and his desire for them. A good laptop and we can go where ever we need to go.
    Cons: Some limitations with technology.

    Grades Used: 7, 8, 9, 10

    I have found the product to be great. It does “teach” the lessons well, and I have seen the evidence in my daughter. She tests off the charts in her end of grade testing and enjoys many of the subjects. The curriculum teaches in more the methods that we learned as we came up, repeating and adding upon concepts and ideas, instead of just memorizing for a test than move to another section of memorizing. The tests challenge the student to use their whole minds not just the part of memorization. The biggest plus for me has been that, the 4 years we have used this system so far, my daughter’s favorite subject every year has been BIBLE. She has also surrendered to the mission field and I see great evidence in her life of a close walk with our Lord.

  9. Switched-On Schoolhouse Review by Gary
    Pros: It's on the computer, Automated grading
    Cons: Lessons do not "teach" you / No consistent review to remember knowledge that you have already learned / Problems do not show you WHY an answer is wrong, they only show the right answer / Too many quizzes and not enough practice material before the quizzes / Lessons do not provide information in an interesting or new way

    Grades Used: 7th and 12th

    I have used SOS for a couple years of school when there were no other systems available. It is definitely not perfect, from questions that have absolutely no relevance to the lessons that miss information that is on the tests (In fact I have done tests where the lessons for the test is AFTER the actual test). If you need a school subject that no one else seems to offer this would be okay to use, however, this program can be a headache to use at times. I do not recomend this for any student.

  10. Switched-On Schoolhouse Review by a student
    Pros: Automated grading.
    Cons: Pretty much everything else

    Grades Used: 6-12

    Hi I’m not a mom but I a student of SOS. I think other parents should hear this from a student instead of another mom.
    Switched on Schoolhouse is a good school program for parents who don’t want to teach there kids. But if you want your kids to really learn something and be successful at it don’t use SOS because the kids have to teach their selves. There is an option to have the computer read the lectures to the student but the person listening will have a very hard time paying attention and probably wont be able to understand what they are saying. The program is not put together very well for the student it is all for the parent . Really the only good thing I see about SOS is the automated grading but that is still for the parent. I as a student do not recommend SOS.

  11. Switched-On Schoolhouse Review by tom

    SOS was not the best solution for my daughter. On S.C history they ask questions on one of the sections she had to memorize interstates, I guess it was that she can learn how to get around South Carolina

  12. Switched-On Schoolhouse Review by Jessica
    Pros: Gives a general outline making it easy for parents to add supplemental information
    Cons: Can be repetitive

    Grades Used: 6th

    I love switched on school house as it was my very first year home schooling and I had no idea what curriculum I wanted to use or what to teach. This program gives you lesson plans to use as a guide or you can follow each lesson verbatim if that’s what you want to do. I take each lesson and try to find something online to supplement it with that will hold my child’s attention or make him more interested in learning about the topic.

    I wouldn’t recommend that anyone use SOS or all computer based lessons for their children. Any school age child is going to eventually get bored with being on the computer all day. Everything in moderation is key. We do the main subjects online for the most part, but we supplement with face to face activities or individual activities to break up the monotony.

    It was nice to have teacher access for grading and assigning work, and I could definitely see how in household with different grade levels or multiple children it would be an asset, but for me with one child there really is no need to keep a grade book. I know exactly what my son needs to work on and what he has a firm grasp on as well.

    The games are a little repetitive as well. It would be nice if they could offer more of a variety with the games for the vocabulary. I do love how they use videos in some of their lessons as well as taking some of the material that is being taught and turning it into a game within the actual lesson.

    For the most part, I have nothing but positive feedback and I am almost certain I will be choosing SOS again next year!

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Switched-On Schoolhouse Review by MELINDA STOGSDILL
    Grades Used: 8TH


  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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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