As an alternate on The Old Homeschool Crew of reviewers,
...was so honored and privileged to have been chosen!
...absolutely loved seeing another box on my front porch. :)
...admit that meeting deadlines takes some planning and organization!
...began the experience with a lot of self doubt. I had many questions. I was so new to homeschooling, that I didn't feel "real". And my homeschooler has such different needs from most children, I questioned how would I ever be a "real" homeschooler?
...*am* a real homeschooler! Yes I am! :)
...realized that I am not the only mom in the world who homeschools a child like mine.
...broadened my education about the concept of "developmentally appropriate" as it applies to my child.
...did not expect just how disappointed I would feel when not chosen to review some items.
...did not expect just how relieved I would feel when not chosen to review some items.
...did not expect that I would be given so many "just right" items.
...learned that breaking the rules is okay! Homeschoolers all over the world "break the rules" and adapt curricula, products and resources to meet their own needs. :)
...realized that my perception of "homeschooling" was really small and inaccurate. There are at least as many homeschooling styles as we had Crewmates this year.
...learned that not every product is appropriate for every family.
...learned that neither I nor my child is at fault if a product didn't "work" for us.
...learned something about me from every product.
...learned something about my daughter from every product.
...learned more about how to evaluate a potential product in terms of being a match for our family and meeting our unique needs.
...learned that some products are better in "e" format or digital
some products are *not*.
...was surprised that I *like" e-products and digital versions better in some cases!
...learned about quite a few products to keep on my "not now but for later" list.
...get a really big kick out of connecting folks to new resources!
...am still growing into a homeschooling style. It's okay to be flexible.
...learned (via a professional assessment) that my daughter made more progress at home during the review period than she has ever made in a 6-month period.
...met the most incredible Crewmates! This Crew is composed of generous folks, authentic parents, quick to offer advice and prayer when asked and not afraid to share themselves.
...am amazed at how quickly and tightly the Crew members bonded. Years ago, I studied how "real life" groups bond when I was doing grad level work, but never studied how a *cyber* group bonds. There were no cyber groups when I took some grad level courses!
...am delighted to have met some of my Crewmates in real life!
...wonder how many products we Crewmates ordered from vendors after completing a review (a lot of us did!)