Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. This post contains affiliate links.
Over the past 5 weeks or so my children have been working on projects from My Teaching Library‘s Download Club, which has downloadable resources from Pre-K to Grade 12.
We received a one year membership to the Download Club. All of the products are available to be purchased as individually, but you’ll see more value by using the yearly or lifetime memberships.
The resources are broken down by grade, by subject, and as well by miscellaneous themes such as seasons, puzzles, etc. The first thing I did was to click through these various groupings, looking to see what would catch my eye. I was specifically looking for topics that I wanted my children to learn this year that were practical and applicable to where they are right now as far as life skills are concerned.
Once you have your subscription in place, you can click on the resources you’d like, then they are put in a ‘downloads’ section of your account and held there until you are ready to download the PDFs from there.
Resources We Used From My Teaching Library
Because these resources aren’t for full terms; most are short units and for things like this we tend to jump right in and do them more intensively rather than drawing them out. So for the purposes of this review my children spent about 45-60 minutes a day, 4-5 days a week on them.
I downloaded the Economics course, which comes as a student book and teacher’s book. Tristan is 12 and we read through the 6 units on a laptop screen together. I printed off the practice questions and unit assessments as booklets for him to do separately. Tristan did better than I was expecting, as economic terms and understanding in context can be complicated, even for many adults. There were pages of enrichment activities for each unit that can be used to go deeper into the topics.
The class was set up well with unit focus, text, graphics, and case studies. The class is based upon USA economic systems, and although we live in the UK, the basics are the same and older students could go further and compare and contrast. Unfortunately, the class is somewhat outdated with the stats referred to from 2000, and talk about using debit cards and moving to a cashless society was presented as being a new concept.
Overall, we both learned something from this class, and I’ve been sure to bring up the terms in conversation when talking about Brexit or other news events. This does lead to some eye-rolling, but it’s a good way to reinforce his new knowledge.
While Tristan was learning about economics, Kallista worked on the Owl Lapbook. The timing was good as someone that first week had just shared a video on social media of a long-eared owl in a small woods within walking distance of us. I assigned particular parts of the reading each day for her, as well as the corresponding lapbook elements, and an interesting owl fact to be recorded.
Some of the topics covered in the owl lapbook are classification, migration, anatomy, behaviour, hunting and digestion, vision, hearing, reproduction, vocabulary, and other topics. One activity is to dissect an owl pellet. I wasn’t able to purchase one of these for the class, but I do hope to be able to find one in the near future. We have a neighbour who I know would love to be a part of that, once it’s safe to do so.
Learning to use a Compound Microscope
The science lab for Learning to use a Compound Microscope came in handy while the children were learning about forensic science. We took out their microscope and went over what all of the parts were (microscopes can have slight differences) and how to correctly use it, as well as how to calculate the magnification.
The lab had them look at the letter ‘e’ and maneuver it around and answer questions about how it worked and what the results were. This was the same intro lab that came with the microscope, but in further detail. Following the lab they looked at the sample slides that came with their kit and now should be able to make their own wet-mount slides and look at other items under the lens.
The Basic Knitting PDF is indeed basic, but it had my daughter interested enough to try to learn how to knit (again). She tried last year and the year before, but it really didn’t go well at all. This time, it is going very slowly, and I think more has had to be undone and redone that you could imagine, but Kallista is persisting and staying calm. Four weeks of learning hasn’t resulted in much to show…but as we know, once you learn to knit, the skill will stay with you like riding a bike.
We also printed off and took the Rock Identification Booklet and Rock Charts with us when we went rockhounding last week.
Positive Mindset Posters
I printed off a few of the 36 Positive Mindset Posters with cute little forest creatures on them. Kallista tacked them up around the house; on the bookcase, walls, doors, and where she tends to do some of her work to give her some motivation and encouragement.
Other My Teaching Library Products
The products we used were mainly for older-elementary to high school level classes as these are the ones that suit my children currently. Having a look around the younger areas of the site there are lots of very colourful posters and learning aids for pre-k to grade to help with sight words, phonics, writing frames, math posters and practice worksheets, and state bird notebooking pages. A new set of products is currently being unrolled; A day in History, where a specific event in history is highlighted and students read a fact, research more information and write a summary of what they have discovered.
For those who wonder what students should be learning in each grade, there are Skills and Concepts sheets that give the information about math, science, reading, and social studies, as well as some sample activities that would cover these skills to get you off on the right foot.
Our Final Thoughts On My Teaching Library
We used more products than I thought we did over the past 6 weeks and they melded in nicely with what my children were learning during that time, which enhanced their studies. I will be using some of the biology and literature studies in the future, too.
I was disappointed to see public domain resources for books but not a study guide to go along with them. Shakespeare and I didn’t see eye to eye, but I would like to be able to use some of these classics with my children.
I think My Teaching Library should continue to expand, particularly with the middle and high school years as this is an area that is lacking resources for homeschoolers, yet this level of home education is expanding.
We’ll continue to use My Teaching Library over the coming year to fill in the gaps of other courses, as well as for touching on elective courses my children may be interested in.
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