Switched on Schoolhouse by Alpha Omega is a computer based interactive complete homeschool curriculum. Designed for the busy parent that needs their child to work independently it is a well made curriculum that covers all basic standards for each grade level. Switched on Schoolhouse is a Christian based curriculum that integrates a Biblical perspective throughout.

Strengths:
Switch on Schoolhouse 4th grade curriculum set is a complete homeschool curriculum incorporating Bible, math, language arts, science, and history.  This set allows students to work at their own pace – rapidly completing a course or taking it slowly to aid maximum retention. The software is designed to be an easy to use program for the students, and easy to assign and track student progress for the parents.  I like the ease of which I could print out my child’s grades/progress reports with a click.  The content is somewhat interactive, there are review games that can be played within each lesson, and web links that can be used if your computer has internet access. These add an element of “interest” to keep the students on task.  Students answer questions within each lesson and can receive immediate feedback about their progress. Switched on Schoolhouse has again been updated for 2010. With each update the designers have improved the function and capabilities of the program. Though I haven’t used this version yet, I am sure that it will prove to be even better.

Weaknesses:
Switched on Schoolhouse is a well-designed and affordable option for the homeschooling family. However, there are a few glitches in the process. We discovered that even in subjects such as science, history, or math, where spelling is not the highest priority,  answers would be considered wrong if they were not capitalized when they should be, misspelled in a minor way such as plural or singular,  or have  a missing letter.  This was very frustrating especially in the lower grades when students are still working on spelling skills. There were a few other minor technological issues that we had while we worked through the fourth grade set.  Sometimes answers would be considered wrong when they were actually right; to a “perfectionist” child,this was very frustrating.  However, this may have been resolved in the new 2010 edition.

Recommendations:
Though there were a few frustrating moments with the software itself, Switched on Schoolhouse is indeed a very viable option for homeschooling your child. I have used this program both in a combined class Christian school setting, and as a homeschool curriculum.  In both settings, the children performed and achieved well.  Standardized test scores remained well above the national norm after using this 4th grade curriculum.  If you are looking for a homeschool option that does not require the parent to direct learning, this is for you. Switched on Schoolhouse for 4th grade will have your child independently learning and achieving at their own pace and having fun while they are at it!

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