Friday, November 24, 2017

2017 Blue Ribbon Awards

It's that time of year again, when the Homeschool Review Crew selects their favorite vendors from the 2017 review year. These are called the Blue Ribbon Awards.  You can see how the Homeschool Review Crew, as a group, voted by clicking on the graphic below. You will also be able to check out various Review Crew members, and to read about how they voted in some or all of the categories.

Homeschool Review Crew Favorite Products for 2017

Having a high school student, means that we did not review products from every category and thus I did not vote in every category. However, I have listed out some of the categories where I was eligible to vote and our selections.

Favorite Writing Curriculum -  Institute for Excellence in Writing: High School Essay Intensive
The Crew as a whole voted for Writing with Sharon Watson for this category. While we love Illuminating Literature, we did not consider it a writing curriculum and Amber absolutely loved the High School Essay Intensive.

Favorite Literature Curriculum & Favorite High School Product – Hewitt Homeschooling
In this category, I agreed with the majority of the Crew members. Amber differed with me, but it was my vote that was cast. Amber would have me vote for Writing with Sharon Watson's Illuminating Literature. It was very close in my mind, but I prefer Hewitt Homeschooling's Lightning Literature. I think Amber actually learns more with Lightning Literature, even if she prefers Illuminating Literature. Both products are fantastic choices.

Favorite History Supplement Best e-Product –  Home School in the Woods
We did not review much that qualified as a history supplement and very few e-products, however we will always, always adore Home School in the Woods. Especially, this year since we were using the Ancient Greece Project Passport. 

Favorite Science Curriculum - Apologia - Marine Biology
The majority of the Crew voted in this category for a product we did not use. Amber was extremely happy with the Apologia Marine Biology curriculum though, and that was our vote.

Favorite Foreign Language Curriculum & Favorite Elective Curriculum – Memoria Press (Greek) 
Where the Review Crew voted for Memoria Press (Latin) as their favorite foreign language curriculum, we voted for the Greek. Even though Amber is very fond of their Latin program, she much prefers Greek to any other language and absolutely appreciates the subtle changes in the structure to create the Greek curriculum from the same base as the Latin.

Favorite Christian Education Curriculum – Drive Thru History
This was a surprise hit with Amber. Well, I shouldn't say that. She had watched other Drive Thru History and liked it, still I did not expect her to be quite so taken with this particular series. Nevertheless, it was one of her favorite things from the whole school year.

Favorite College or College-Prep Product – Institute for Excellence in Writing: High School Essay Intensive
Here's another where I agreed with the majority of my Crew mates. Besides using this with Amber at home, I am just now finishing teaching it as a semester class in our homeschool co-op. It is a fantastic program.

Best Online Resource - CompuScholar
 While a good portion of the Crew voted for a vendor and product that was well below Amber's age group, we preferred the CompuScholar Digital Savvy course. It really has helped Amber to come to a better understanding of computer usage and how everything fits together. Yes, it is still ironic that two computer science majors have a child that is nearly computer illiterate. 

Favorite Audiobook or Audio Drama – Heirloom Audio Productions: Captain Bayley’s Heir 
I really thought Amber would vote for the Heirloom Audio Productions: In the Reign of Terror, since she is enamored with studying the Reign of Terror. However, she said that Captain Bayley's Heir is probably her favorite Heirloom Audio Production so far, which is high praise indeed. And for the record, the Crew agreed with Amber.

 Teens’ Choice - Writing with Sharon Watson
When it was Amber's turn to pick without my input, of course she chose Illuminating Literature. This was her favorite from the whole year, which is pretty amazing. We had a spectacular year with hit after hit, including Greek language, Ancient Greek history, audio dramas, Drive Thru History, and more. 
All Around Crew Favorite - Institute for Excellence in Writing: High School Essay Intensive
I'm pretty sure this is what I selected, or Hewitt Homeschooling. Since I'm presently teaching the High School Essay Intensive at our co-op and rather pleased with it, I believe this was my final choice. The Review Crew, as a whole, did not agree with my selection, but that's okay. They did choose one of our favorites from this year too.

There were a few additional categories where I was eligible to vote, but honestly I can't remember what my end decision was. For example, The Resource I Didn't Know I Needed category. I didn't know I needed Greek language for Amber, but we did. Oh so much. I didn't know she would take to the Drive Thru History, but she happily watched another of their series after The Gospels since it was "better than she remembered." The list goes on, and I can't remember what my end decision might have been.

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