on April 9, 2009
The idea of a program completely on the computer was appealing to me as a first time home-schooling mom. I bought this curriculum (2008 version) for both my 7th and 8th graders. We all found the program very constrictive and quite honestly, just plain irritating! We struggled with having the right concept, sometime even answering with synonyms and the computer still telling us the answer was wrong. In a few cases more than one word is acceptable but if you are not on track with their line of thinking - you can be close but not close enough. I would have to use the parent password to figure out what EXACT answer was needed. I do mean EXACT - spelling, plural/non-plural, no synonyms, spell the number or numeric...I agree that in certain subjects spelling should be correct but sometimes learning a new concept you just need to get the concept and grasp the spelling later - even partial credit would be nice -but not with SOS. There was way more hands on involvement than I expected - I would have rather used paper/pencil workbooks like by 2nd and 3rd graders used. After paying 600 dollars for both grades we struggled through but I definitely will not buy this curriculum again.
on September 8, 2010
As a mother of five homeschooled children, I have always been a fan of AOP. My three oldest are now in college, but my youngest still use SOS for PC. I only wish they had a MAC version. Years ago, I used the workbooks. I was thrilled when they came up with the computer version. Every year, it gets better. Again, they just need to make a version for the MAC. Reviewer #2 may not realize you can set the program for easy spelling, then it will only deduct points on a mispelled problem and not count it as completely wrong. YOU set up how harshly it grades your students. Go into the teacher mode and where you set the grade percentages, check EASY SPELLING.
As for their customer service, they used to be in Chandler, Arizona and they were wonderful. The techs stayed on the phone with me for hours when I had computer issues when the programs first came out. They were wonderful. I haven't had any issues in more than a year, but I have had to talk to them a couple of times after they moved to Iowa. Again, they were great. Offered me free shipping and everything. Sweet girls.
I also LOVE the curriculum itself. Vocabulary words for each lesson, spelling words, review mode, games, and just all of it. I rearrange it a bit by placing the spelling lessons FIRST, then the regular lessons, quiz, spelling quiz, and begin again with the next spelling lesson. Otherwise I don't think it gives the students enough time to learn the spelling words each week. But, I have the option of moving the lessons around how I see fit. Awesome!
I would recommend Switched on Schoolhouse to ANY homeschooler. I've been doing this a LONG time and Alpha Omega has been with me all the way. I was a math major in college and I love the math more than Saxon (I know there are Saxon die hards out there, but move out of the last century already). Science is packed with experiments, videos to watch if you CAN'T do them yourself, lists of things to purchase so you can; History covers the basics, all you need; Language has it all; there's even a Bible that isn't too over the top and can be used by the majority of Christian religions.
All in all, I give AOP and A+ and their program a high score as well. Only being Mac friendly could make it better.
on October 1, 2009
I won't waste my time going into reviewing the interface quality for a program at this price point; let's just say there is more to be desired. What I am writing about today is about the quality of customer service you can expect from this company. They tout themselves as Christians but are more like thieves. Whenever you purchase software you are in essence licensing the software itself not the media on which it is printed. I had just purchased this product and had accidently scratched the CD shortly after opening it (accidents happen). I called the company and was able to produce the receipt proving that I had just purchased their product, I also told them the truth about what had happened (I wish I would have lied at this point). I was told that they had to charge me almost the full price of the CD to replace it! I was shocked!!!! I told them that I purchased the content on the CD and not the CD itself and that I did not mind paying a processing fee for a new one but that cost should be minimal. They forwarded my call to a manager who ended up calling me a day later to tell me that they would have to charge the full replacement price for the CD. I told them that this was the last year my child would be using their product and I would let everyone else know what kind of service they offer. I do not recommend doing business with a company whose only goal is scrape every penny from your bank account. Christians? Yea Right!!!