Discussion Forums - Homeschoolers' Corner Homeschoolers' Corner

Topic: Switched-on Schoolhouse?

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Switched-on Schoolhouse?
Date Posted: 3/17/2010 8:24 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2008
Posts: 351
Back To Top

Does anyone use or have you used this product?  I'm am thinking about giving the science a try but would love to hear some feedback (good or bad) before we dive in.


Last Edited on: 3/17/10 8:25 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: Reply
Date Posted: 3/18/2010 6:19 PM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2007
Posts: 931
Back To Top

I had state history long ago.  DH dealt with SOS at our church's school.  He's the IT guy.  In both cases, the programs were very "buggy".  They tended to crash a lot.  I think that's why they come out with "new editions" (not just updates) each year.  I did not like the user interface at all.  It's clunky and sort of "cheap".

The content is good, but I've decided to use LifePacs for the AOP courses we need.  It's hard to mess up with worktexts.  :-)

What age/grade is your student?  I can perhaps list some alternatives to check into (if you haven't already).

Subject: SOS
Date Posted: 3/21/2010 11:31 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2007
Posts: 173
Back To Top


We have used SOS for 2 years and really like it. You will want to buy the science kit to go with it because some of the things they ask for are hard to find if you live in a small town. We have found a few quirks in the program but I bought mine used. Even so we got technical support.

Blessings on your decision,

We've used Apologia too and liked it. It just requires more parental supervision.

Subject: SOS
Date Posted: 4/20/2010 8:54 PM ET
Member Since: 1/13/2008
Posts: 3
Back To Top

We're using SOS 3rd, 4th, 7th, and 9th grade this year for the first time and really like it.  I like that the work is graded right away.  One "problem" I've run across is that words have to be spelled just right or the wording needs to be just so.  When one of my children comes to me and says they really think they got the problem right when the computer is saying it's wrong, I'm able to go in and see the answer and if I think their answers are correct I can change the grade.  Personally, I think this is a minor problem, compared to previously me not being able to get to grading their work in a timely manner. 

We're using the 2009 version and haven't had any problems with the system crashing.  I also have had some questions and received timely online support from AOP.

Apologia is great too.  One of my children is doing Apologia's Gen. Science this year with a co-op and is really enjoying it.

Subject: Love SOS here
Date Posted: 5/3/2010 9:33 PM ET
Member Since: 10/15/2007
Posts: 6
Back To Top

We've been using it for a couple of years - of course, I actually print out the lessons & worksheets instead of having the kids do the work on the computer. They still have access to the videos, etc, when necessary, but we find it just as easy to simply print out everything.

Subject: SOS
Date Posted: 5/4/2010 9:37 AM ET
Member Since: 12/12/2005
Posts: 8
Back To Top

My kids are not yet old enough to homeschool, but I have homeschooled the children of others. I also edit homeschool curriculum. Most recently, I have been tutoring a student who homeschools with Switched on Schoolhouse. I like the concept?it makes assigning lessons and grading so, so simple for the teacher. From that aspect, it can be a life saver if you are especially busy. That being said, I have been really unhappy with the curriculum as a whole. The student is fifth grade and uses every subject but Bible. I think the work is overly complex and confusing, particularly in science and history. I don't mean it is advanced, I mean it is hard in a confusing way. Does that make sense?  I think a self-starting, advanced student could probably do it... but I think a student who is already struggling probably shouldn't use this curriculum. And the spelling issue is quite frustrating, particularly if you have a child who isn't a great speller, because you then have to doublecheck a lot of the items the computer has graded. I would highly recommend that you find someone with the curriculum who might let you have some hands-on time with it. (I don't know if the people who make SOS offer this option or not.) That way you can decide if it is right for you and your particular student. 

Date Posted: 5/6/2010 3:22 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2008
Posts: 351
Back To Top

Thanks so much everyone.  I really appreciate all the input. 

I love to hear both sides.