Monday, September 28

My Teaching Library {Review}

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.
So many people are scrambling this year to find homeschooling resources!  This is an excellent place to get started...

My Teaching Library offers materials for every subject, plus electives.  When accessing resources at My Teaching Club, you have the option of downloading them individually or joining their membership club.  My Teaching Library offers a Download Club of resources for parents homeschoolers in pre-k through 12th grade.  

The site began as CHSH-Teach, and has since expanded into this site.  It's mission is to provide quality, low-cost educational materials for homeschooling families.  I would argue that many of these materials are equally helpful to classroom teachers, especially those teaching younger grades and / or who are first-year teachers.

Probably the best bang for your buck is the download club, which is a membership that provides unlimited downloads and resources.  There are two club membership options, lifetime and annual.  Once you have purchased a product in the club, you can download it as many times as needed while your membership is active.

The Download Club lets you download any and all resources your family needs!  If you needed to, you could download every single resource available, and there are new resources being added continuously.  Let's walk through how it works....
There are multiple ways to find the resources you need.  When doing a subject search, each subject is broken down into smaller sub-topics.  In Language Arts, there are Classroom Helps, Curriculum, and Literature.  Each of those groups is broken down even further.  Wherever you see a purple plus sign, there are even more sub-topics.

If you don't want to search by subject, you can search by your need.  This might be holiday-themed work, something for special needs, management and record-keeping, or skills review.  And if you don't like perusing, there is a search function that you can type straight into.
As we have older kids, I spent a great deal of time poking around the high school center and under the teacher category.  The teacher category is chock full of things like organizational tools, record-keeping tools, and what I would term 'classroom' supplies....such as desk name plates.  
The high school section contains several semester-long curricula, including World History, American Government, and Economics.  We downloaded the World History to check out further....but then we were distracted by the literature resources.  The kids found a unit on The Hobbit, and it was all she wrote.  That's what they wanted to download and start working on right away!
I found that it was easiest to just go through all of the files and choose the ones our family needed.  Click 'download' on each of them.  You're going to get an email for every.single.file that you download, but don't worry about keeping those.  You can easily access all of your downloads within your membership account.  Go to your account information, and choose 'Downloads.'  It will pull up your list and allow you to download them from there.  You can come back here to redownload as often as needed while your membership is active.
To streamline the process - because we're all busy moms, right? - after going through all the resources and choosing which ones we would use this year, I went into my downloads folder and downloaded everything at once to a new folder on the desktop.  After this, I was able to put them into subfolders -- ones we would use fairly soon, ones for holidays, and ones for next semester -- and then begin printing out the resources we needed soon.  It's nothing more than setting up an assembly line, but as you're getting started is probably the quickest way to go.  We will be revisiting the site in the future, as time crops up and we settle into the year, to check out new resources and anything that may have been missed.

A few things to note about this site.  First, there is a calendar of daily events and observances, which is really helpful when looking for a fun way to spice up the school week!  It tells about events in history that happened on that day.  Secondly, we found that many of the resources (particularly in the elective field) turned out to be old books that are in the public domain.  That was somewhat disappointing, but it's neat to have them gathered in one place for easy access.

See what others are saying about My Teaching Library at the Homeschool Review Crew!

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