You might wonder why with everything we have going on right now, did I want to commit myself to reviewing Homeschool Rescue by Only Passionate Curiosity? Certainly you might think I’m crazy to take on another task amidst the current chaos? You could be right…but so was I in requesting this review; read on to find out why.
If you’ve been following my posts recently, you’ll know that we have some special overseas guests staying with us at the moment. You’ll also know that since the start of the year our appliances have been falling apart and I’ve been spring cleaning and fixing up what I can around the house and yard as well. For various reasons some things have not been kept up as well as I’d have liked (I’ll not even mention the state my household and business accounts were in just a couple of weeks ago). So why would I even consider adding an 8-week online class to the mix? How would I find time to complete it when you add in homeschooling, working from home, and other commitments as well? It hasn’t been easy, but I have been making it work, and you can, too.
What’s included in Homeschool Rescue?
Homeschool Rescue is a 60 day course that uses a combination of short videos, printable assignments, and short, achievable assignments for both you and your family to complete along the way, in addition to providing plenty of links to additional resources that are useful (I even found our Home Education Northern Ireland Facebook page in one of the resources).
The course is broken down into 5 modules of 3-5 lessons (and a couple of bonus content areas). The total time needed to watch all of the videos is 5 hours and 28 minutes, so it isn’t overwhelming. And being broken down into 20 lessons means you don’t need a large chunk of time to watch. Get the kids working and you will have enough time to sit with a cup of tea and you can relax while watching each video (and if you are interrupted, there’s always that pause and rewind option).
To get you started on the right foot, you can print off the handy 60-day calendar that has everything laid for you. What to watch on which day and which assignment to do. There is something to do 5 days a week, as well as a little weekend homework. This breaks things down nicely for me and I can check them off as I complete each assignment.
I’ll let you in on a little secret…this class is just launching and I was privy to taking the class before it was released to the public. I can tell you that everything was already looking great and perfectly in place; I can see that Heather is very organised herself, which gives me more confidence. Yes, I was once very organised as well…that was before having children who run on their own time.
How it works
Before I registered for this class, I knew it was for 8 weeks but I didn’t know how it worked. I thought I could put a little time aside on Sunday evenings to do it. And then when I saw that it was daily, I did panic briefly as I knew that with my current life that just wasn’t possible. But I was going to try it; after all, once the pieces are broken down, it really doesn’t take too much time each day. Heather does say that you can work through at your own pace; so really there isn’t any pressure; and you’ll have lifetime access if you want to go back for a recharge in the future.
So I jumped right in and started going through the materials. We were between printers at the time I started this class so I had to wait a week or two before I could print the worksheets. But I did. I printed all the text and worksheets for the first half of the class as soon as I could. The I re-read them again. I get more from physical paper than reading on-screen, so I appreciate this aspect of the class. Now I also have the papers (I’ve since printed the rest of the course worksheets) all in one place on my shelf so I can look at them easily anytime I need to. I find that if it’s only on the PC I tend to forget about it.
I should also mention that if you are so inclined, there are also audio downloads and transcripts available if you want to listen again on the go, or if you want the transcripts so that you can make your own notes in the margins. This also makes the class accessible for those who are hearing impaired. There is also a Facebook group that you can join for additional support and to ask any questions you may have while taking this class.
Weeks 3 and 4 have weekend assignments to declutter and go through your curriculum and get rid of what you don’t use. Since I started this class during our spring cleaning, I found that I was already working on that-yeah! So this gave me a little more incentive to do a good job with that task. And it’s always great to feel that you are a little ‘ahead’ in a class. So I continued on condensing down what we will keep of the kids’ work from the past year, and removing curriculum we are done with and putting it aside to pass on.
So because I was already on a roll with decluttering, I actually started there. While I was in the midst of spring cleaning, I did that during the day, and returned to HR in the evenings to watch the videos. We had a lovely patch of warm weather so I took the worksheets outdoors to work on and called the kids over now and then when I needed some of their input. This worked well for me.
So although the course is nicely set up in a logical progression, it is totally doable to work out of order if there’s a particular area that you want to give immediate attention to. Classes like this work really well for me. I love my logic, but as everyone’s life circumstances are different, each family may be looking for help in a different area at different times.
From time to time Heather has sent out encouraging emails at just the right time. They aren’t daily or weekly, even, so that means they aren’t cluttering up your inbox. When they arrive, you’ll be surprised, and read it right away. You may even want to print them out and add them to your worksheets to give you a lift when you need it.
Now for the big question…..
Has Homeschool Rescue worked for me?
I’m still working my way through this course. We currently have some special guests visiting us for a month, so I could say that I’m a little ‘behind’….but (I could insert all sorts of puns here, couldn’t I?) Heather has recently sent me an email saying DO NOT use that word. I have lifetime access to this course, and I’m working on it while living my life, too. So I’m working through it at my own pace as life allows at the moment. But then lives change and homeschooling changes as the kids grow; so I will add a note into my calendar to revisit this course every 9-12 months to see if there’s anything that needs a tune-up.
If I’m honest with you, I did a bit of video binging late at night when the rest of the house was quiet, then worked on the worksheets while on the train, or while at the kids’ Ju-jitsu class. I’m getting the most that I can to fix up our homeschool right now. Then I will go back through the class again and review the points that I need to improve upon still, and I will further concentrate on those areas and take more time getting things working for us.
I have made a few adjustments already (adding to the kids’ chores, starting a list of curriculum I have available to use, writing down ideas for things I want to implement when we start up our next term). And the kids have been giving me their input on what they enjoy most, and what they would like to learn, and what they do and do not like about homeschooling. And they’re working on coming up with new brain break ideas that will surely add some fun into their day. And fun is what I’d like to have more of…for all of us.
The final module is aimed more at teens; but don’t discount the value of this module. To do my research for you, I have watched all but about 2 or 3 videos in the course, and I’m finding that this last module has many good points that we with younger students can think about, and even begin working on to set us up for success before our children hit those teen years.
Would I recommend this course?
I’ve always homeschooled my children, so this is now the end of our 6th year (yikes!) and there are times I still feel like a newbie and there will always be more that I can learn from others on how to make our systems work better for us. I think that if you’re a Type-A personality with very structured lessons and organised days, or if you are more eclectic like we are, there will be something for everyone in this course.
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