Friday, October 17, 2008
Help Me To Teach Review
As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I have been given the wonderful opportunity to review many homeschool products over the next several months. I feel truly blessed to be participating in this review group and I'm looking forward to trying out the products and giving you my honest opinion.
"Where did you get this?" my 7 year old son asked me a couple of weeks ago. In his hand he held a paper with information about Jamestown that I had printed off the Internet.
"I found it online and printed it." I said.
"Oh..." he still sounded confused, "But how did you find it online?"
I brought him to the computer and asked him to just name something to search for...anything.
"Bob!" he said.
I sighed. "Okay, 'Bob' it is". I typed in B..O..B and clicked 'Search'.
It was about this moment that it dawned on me. I really had no clue what would be popping up in the next couple of seconds. I couldn't just let my son sit down in front of the computer, type in a word, and hit search. Even filters don't block everything. Plus, it's not that easy to navigate through the thousands of sites that pop up for a simple search. Teaching him to research the Internet was not going to be easy.
Helpme2Teach.com is a subscription-based Internet directory of online educational resources. This site was created by a teacher for teachers, homeschoolers, and students. Quotes from the home page of Help Me To Teach say that the author has spent thousands of hours "surfing the net for SAFE, RELEVANT sites". There are over 2200 links and more are being added continuously as the site is updated daily.
This is a safe site for students to use as the links take them directly to the information they are looking for. It is also a user-friendly time saver for the teacher who does not want to wade through all the unwanted information herself to find good, educational sites. You can use the online search engine to find what you are looking for or browse through the Table of Contents. I have found WONDERFUL links at Help Me To Teach. Some of these links have full year curriculum online and are totally free!
Another feature of Help Me To Teach that I appreciate is that each link has a description and is labeled to let you know the age appropriateness of the site. So if the site is geared for high school students and adults, it will be labeled as such. If it is a pre-school site, you will know even before clicking on the link.
The site is a work in progress and obviously a labor of love to the site owner, who I have corresponded with through email. Unlike a traditional web search, you will obviously not find links for every subject under the sun. But the owner has generously offered to research appropriate topics that are not already on the Help Me To Teach site for any one who has a one year membership. This means that while you're teaching, she'll do your research for you...that's a pretty sweet deal!
A membership can be bought in 4 ways:
1 Year - $29.95
3 months - $15.95
1 month - $9.95
3 days - $4.95
You can also use this site as a fundraiser, earning 50% of each one year subscription sold to your organization. (Perfect for co-ops!)
But here's the really great news...if you purchase a One Year Subscription any time now through December, then you get ONE YEAR FREE! That's TWO years for $29.95. You'll need to enter the code TOS in the discount box on the order form to participate.
I realize that most homeschooling moms are more than proficient in web searching and are one-income families, so you should really consider the cost on this one. I have to admit, though, that I have been pleasantly surprised at what I have found at Help Me To Teach. Admittedly, I drew a blank list several times when looking for specific topics. But when simply looking through the site's directory I have found TONS of sites that are true gems. I've enjoyed having Help Me To Teach as an additional resource.
For more reviews of this product visit the TOS Homeschool Crew Blog.
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