September 8, 2016

CHSH-Teach: The Christian HomeSchool Hub for Educational Materials {Product Review}

As a homeschool parent, I am thankful for websites that offer printables to supplement my curriculum. It can be tricky to keep track of everything I find, however, when I have to pull it from all different blogs or websites. I recently was given an annual subscription of the CHSH Download Club to review for CHSH-Teach.com, the Christian HomeSchool Hub, a website offering over 50,000 downloadable pages of educational material. Needless to say, I was intrigued and eager to give this website a try.
CHSH-Teach.com ~A Review

About CHSH-Teach.com

CHSH-Teach.com was created by veteran educator of 20+ years and homeschooling mom, Linda Ackert. She discovered a love for creating educational materials for teachers and homeschoolers, and just like that, the CHSH-Teach community was created. 

CHSH-Teach.com is a place for downloadable materials, a community forum, a blog, and more! A place for homeschooling parents to come seek out JUST the material they need or interact with other families on the forum.

You do not have to subscribe to be able to take advantage of some of what the website has to offer--there are freebies anyone can grab, but to truly enjoy the full plethora of materials available, you should join the CHSH Download Club--50,000+ downloadable pages of educational materials at your fingertips! An annual subscription to the entire site is just $25--and you could get a LIFETIME membership for $99. 

We were given an annual subscription of the CHSH Download Club to use with my family.

Using CHSH-Teach.com

I found that using this website was very straight forward. I logged in and then just started looking around. I found that on the home page, you can see a calendar which links up to any daily events, observances, or holidays which could be used for educational planning. (for instance, for 9/8 there is a link about the Great Galveston Hurricane of 1900). These events can be sent to your own calendar with a quick click. Scrolling down the homepage also shows me a nice detailed index of categories separated into "by subject", "By grade", and "By Month". Because I was curious, I clicked on the link for Bible Related Resources. This section contains everything from a Bible Atlas, to sermon notes, to scripture memory verses, to puzzles and games...and more. 

I just kept looking around, and the first thing I found that really caught my eye were some Character Trait unit studies. I really wanted to add this kind of thing, so I looked into it. I loved it. It's a 40 week unit study of 40 different character traits--good and bad--using literature to learn more about what each trait "looks" like. 
The list of the different traits that are covered
I decided that instead of downloading the entire volume, I was just going to pick units as I went, so I started with Responsible and Perseverance. Each unit is three pages long. The first is a colorful poster explaining the character trait and what it is with a little cartoon of a child exhibiting it. The second page is a worksheet to teach your child about the trait with places for them to fill in things like what it looks like, times when they did it, people (real and imaginary) who display it, and examining themselves for it. There is also a section with either quotes, or facts relating to the character trait. The third page is a literature character study. Picking a character from a story that demonstrates the trait--and then writing your evidence to support your choice. The unit also comes with a suggested list of books to be read for each week.
I have been laminating these posters

Writing/Drawing his evidence

Filling out his character trait worksheet
While I don't have the books that are part of the unit, I do have a copy of William Bennett's Book of Virtues which has been PERFECT for these units. We have been working on these over the last few weeks.

Other than various single page printables for either boy, I've also recently discovered the Monthly Learning Packs for grades K-2. These were just uploaded for September, and I snagged the one for first grade. It has over 200 pages of daily worksheets that can be done. I just fell in love with the style of them, and I printed off 20 pages of them right away for Baby Britches. He REALLY enjoys them with their mix of problems and activities.
I look forward to snagging these for each month--and snagging the 2nd and 3rd grade ones when they come out to save for later. 

I also explored their literature section and printed out a literature unit for the book Shiloh which I know my boys will enjoy working through with me. With 9-11 around the corner, I am going to be using their September 11th teaching materials this year. I have checked out some of their delightful organization materials too, including their awards/diplomas. I just discovered their "curriculum treasures of the past" section where they have digital version of some very old classic wonderful readers including "The Arithmetic Reader for Second Grade" which is a very cute reader that also teaches math. I'm going to be using that one with my youngest who LOVES math and will probably like reading about it too.

I have only scratched the surface of what this website offers, but these are the things I have checked out the most.

I also peeked in the forum and other of the social parts and discovered that no one appears to really be using them. I checked out other members from my state and the last post was from late last year. I think it would be handy to have a forum like that, but only if it's being used. I did notice that there was a place to read homeschool laws, Christian Daily Devotionals, and a place for members to add their photos.

It appears that members can also upload their own materials, but I didn't have a chance to check that out.

My Thoughts

I have appreciated every item that I have downloaded from this website. They are easy to implement and very useful in what they offer. I like that there is something from nearly every single subject for all grades. 

My favorite finds so far have been the Character Trait Unit Studies and the September Activity Packs. These were instantly added to my curriculum and have been a wonderful addition, as we have been using them every day. There are many things that I have my eye on to check out, and will be visiting many other areas.

I find helpful that when you click "download", the printable opens up as a pdf instead of going straight to my computer. This lets me check it out before deciding whether or not I want to save it. 

After using this program for a while, one of the main things I wish it would let me do, is to SAVE something in like a "for later" basket. There are times I don't want to download or print something right away, but would like to save it to check out in more detail later, but I don't want to hunt for it again. It would be nice if this was an option for a member. 

I have been enjoying seeing the newest downloads as soon as I click the download catalog. That's how I found the September Activity packet. I have found odds and ends that way too.

I have used extensively, the option to search for keywords in search boxes, but also love having the ability to look for things by grade, by subject, and by month (for seasonal). This makes it very easy to navigate through what there is to offer.

Will I continue to use this website?
Absolutely. It is also something I think would be very valuable every year, and I think I'm going to maintain my membership to this site.

Would I Recommend CHSH-Teach.com?

I would highly recommend this website. It has so many fabulous resources and materials. I love that it even has full curriculum in a lot different areas that I use regularly. Because it's a downloadable website, I can use the material as many times as I need to, but I don't have to store it myself. This is a major plus for all of us with limited space and a desire for new materials. Whether you are looking for simple worksheets to add, full spelling curriculum, bible notebooking, or character trait training, these are just a sample of the goodness that is included in this fabulous website. 
I don't know what kind of homeschool wouldn't need or want to use the downloads available on this website, so I don't know who NOT to recommend it to. LOL. 


Want to Know More?


Over the last few weeks I have been reviewing the CHSH Download Club from CHSH-Teach.com in our homeschool. You have seen the items I have used and loved, but there is so much more to offer by this website! Make sure you check out a few of my fellow crew members to see what products caught THEIR eye!
Christian HomeSchool Hub {Download Club}
CHSH-Teach is very active in social media, so make sure you connect with them--especially their newsletter to get FREE downloads!

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After using this website for the last several weeks, I am so glad to know that I have this in my arsenal for the upcoming year. Every time I visit the website and look around in the downloads, I find more and more that I am eager to use this year. I encourage all homeschool parents to consider getting yourself a subscription to this delightful and useful website.
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