Tuesday, August 24

The Vegetarian Homeschooler {Review}

Teaching tech is SO not my thing!  Just because I have a blog and teach online doesn't mean I'm techy...it just means that I've managed to figure things out.  😉  But tech is something our kids need to learn, and when you find someone who is able to teach them these skills in a real-world application kind of way....you follow it!

Vegetarian Homeschooler is a two-fold curriculum. First, it teaches Microsoft Office. Second, it helps students develop skills that are necessary to become successful students.

This is a project-based learning curriculum that helps middle-school, high- school, and college students practice critical thinking, problem-solving, research, and out-of-the-box thinking skills. It celebrates students’ creativity and innovativeness and allows students to learn by creating solutions. Most importantly, the Vegetarian Homeschooler curriculum helps develop confident, independent learners by giving students responsibility and control of their work.

Currently, there are three full project sets available, including:  Art Heist, the TV / Movie Edition, and a set of Student Development Projects.  The boys decided that Art Heist looked like a lot of fun, so that's the one we used!

About the Curriculum

The Art Heist Edition curriculum is made up of 18 projects and is a great introduction to Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Access.  The curriculum also introduces students to priceless art while planning a tongue-in-cheek art heist.  While completing the projects, students practice critical thinking, problem-solving, research, and out-of-the-box thinking.  

To assist students with the curriculum projects, students will have access to:

  • videos explaining each project.
  • solutions and examples for each project.


Curriculum Projects

Projects 1-4: The Art Selection

  • The student selects the priceless art for an art heist.  
  • Project 1 uses Word
  • Project 2 uses PowerPoint
  • Project 3 uses Excel
  • Project 4 uses Access

Projects 5-8: The Museum Layout

  • The student details the museum that houses the art selected for the heist.
  • Project 5 uses PowerPoint
  • Project 6 uses Word
  • Project 7 uses Excel
  • Project 8 uses Access

Projects 9-12: The Crew Selection

  • The student designs a crew to help with the heist.
  • Project 9 uses Word
  • Project 10 uses PowerPoint
  • Project 11 uses Excel
  • Project 12 uses Access

Projects 13-16: The Heist Plan 

  • The student develops a plan to “liberate” the art from the museum.
  • Project 13 uses Word
  • Project 14 uses PowerPoint
  • Project 15 uses Excel
  • Project 16 uses Access

Project 17 &18: Retirement 

  • The student makes a plan for retirement.
  • Project 17 uses Excel
  • Project 18 uses Word

Our Experience

Now, honestly, this was a lot of fun!  And it's not just for students, but for non-techy parents as well.  Or those of us who are so old that we didn't learn these things in school and have been fumbling our way through teaching ourselves over the course of our careers (fingers pointed at the mirror).

I appreciated the videos, which walk students through each project step by step.  There were one or two places that we didn't see instruction, but when I contacted the provider, she explained that with Project-Based Learning (which this is), students are given some instruction and expected to do a bit of research to figure out the answers...which helps to cement that learning.  She went on to tell us about working as a technical consultant at a large computing company.  She said, "It was never assumed that I knew everything about ***, but I could figure things out.  Project-based learning uses the same philosophy."  Knowing that helped me to see these projects through a new perspective....and I like it!

We had a little issue completing the project packet, but only because our version of MS Office didn't come with Access.  This is the program my kids are least likely to use in the future, however, so we just skipped it.  Should we get access to Access later on, we'll probably revisit the activities.

There are a few things provided with each project bundle that made my life a bit easier as a parent-teacher.  First, there is a grading rubric that parents can use if the students are completing work alone.  We chose to complete everything as a family, focusing on skills improvement rather than grading, so I did not use this.  But it's there!  Secondly, most of the projects and skills have a set of templates provided to help the student get started, particularly in the earlier steps, so that they have some confidence from the get-go and are started down the right path.  Finally, tcuked within the projects are several fun tidbits of trivia!

Try it out for F-R-E-E

Want to see for yourself?  Download the Excel Dice Project absolutely free and give it a whirl!  This sample unit is shorter than the full curricula bundles, but will give you a good idea of what to expect.  Here is one of the videos from inside that unit...


  1. I've been looking for something like this!

    1. It was one of those things I didn't know we needed until we discovered it!


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