One way I accomplish the task, is to have some online memberships to varying sites which provide ideas, worksheets, flash cards, clip art, coloring sheets and so forth. There are several nice companies out there-including ABCteach. I had actually come across their site before, and have accessed a lot of the free worksheets prior to this review opportunity-but decided on a different one because of the cost. It all came down to the almighty dollar. Sad, but true-as of late, our belts have had to be pulled pretty darn tight, and so I had to make a fiscally responsible choice for our family. The problem is, I missed out on so much because that the other site simply doesn't offer what ABCteach does. I found the section for creating personalized worksheets, crossword puzzles and other search and find activities, to be such an awesome way to customize and really highlight what we were covering in our studies. I love that feature. I also quickly noticed that their graphics, clip art and overall look to their material is very high quality. That means a lot to a person who really prefers her "works" [that is any activity I put together like a lapbook or game] and projects to be classy and professional.
To get an idea of what you can do with this site-check out the post I have showing the projects I put together using some of the downloads from ABCteach. I am not a big fan of using an over abundance of worksheets, so I tend to avoid getting drawn into that way of teaching. But what I did find, was that I could take a particular download, and change the way to use it or pull parts to create an activity that is reusable, fun and does not resemble your typical idea of a the "just keep 'em busy" through worksheets, way of teaching.
I also have been receiving newsletters from ABCteach which notify us of all the new updates and goodies they have added to their site-which is quite often! So they certainly stay on top of things, and provide the members with a sleu of materials to keep you from hitting that proverbial wall of "nothing new here". Plus, they have a blog, have won the Teacher's Choice Award in 2007, and have a pretty easy to navigate website. I actually like the layout a lot-it is linear and organized fairly well, in my opinion. I have heard others say it confused them, so maybe it is just that I have been scrolling through similar layouts for some time and find it rather easy to work through. I am not sure, but again-for me, it was easy to use. It is quite obvious the folks at ABCteach really care about the quality and care they put into their company, and I really appreciate that!
You can access their site to try out several different downloads, since they offer thousands of free worksheets to everyone. It is a great way to see if the material suits your needs and teaching style. For me, it is a must have for our family due to the very nature of the way I teach, and the way the kids learn. By visiting the site, you should be able to glean enough examples to see if it fits your family. I am thinking most of the material is geared for pre-K through late elementary; with a few things (like the foreign language stuff) that can easily be used with older students. Depending on where your child is in their studies, and how they learn-this could be a great tool to add to your homeschool resources.
if creating projects and activities for the workboxes or lapbooks or works
if simply copying off a worksheet and including in your student's work load
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$40 per year/individual, other price reductions for group membership.
I have seen the subscription price discounted at times, through the Homeschool Buyers Co-op for example-so search for specials to see if you can save on the cost. Another option is to see if you can get folks from your homeschool group or co-op together and purchase a group discounted membership.
For more details regarding their prices, visit their Membership information page.
Be sure to check out what my team mates had to say about this and many other fine homeschooling products, on our TOS Review Crew Homepage.
**ABCteach provided me with a free one-month subscription membership to their site, in order to test and use this with my family, so that I could write this review.