I love reviewing products on this blog. I get a lot of questions from people about why I review products, and how I got such a sweet gig, so since application season for the Schoolhouse Review Crew is upon us, I wanted to share with you why I write reviews, and how you can get involved.
Reviewing allows me to do my part to help support my family
This first reason is the most obvious. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but homeschooling isn’t always cheap. I do keep my eye out for free and frugal programs, but the simple truth is sometimes I just want a ready-made, easy to use program.
My husband works very hard, but the military isn’t known for its awesome pay. Reviewing is what allows me to keep homeschooling year after year, despite our meager budget. For us, reviewing means I don’t have to make the choice between homeschooling, and exploring Europe. It gives us the pocket change we need for our adventures.
Reviewing allows me to give my children the education they deserve
I want my kids to be able to learn reading, writing, and arithmetic…. But I also want them to be able to enjoy distance education classes on topics they are passionate about, take music lessons, learn foreign languages, and learn to code…. And so much more.
Reviewing makes “extras” accessible for my family. This year, we’ve been able to try so many programs I never would have been able fit into the budget otherwise, and my children’s education is richer because of it.
Reviewing allows me to explore curriculum to find the perfect fit
When we first started homeschooling, I had an idea of my children’s learning styles, but I was so overwhelmed with all the options that choosing a program was difficult. Now that I have review products coming through my home on a regular basis, I’ve learned better what works for us, and what doesn’t.
Some products I specifically request because I think they will be a good fit for one or more of my children. Oak Meadow was like this- I contacted the company because I just knew it would work well for my Crew. I was so lucky to have been given a chance to review them and sure enough, they are a company we’ll stick with for the long haul.
Some products are a surprise blessing that I never would have thought to try if I hadn’t been asked to review them.
Reviewing gives me a professional outlet
I love being a stay at home mom. But I also really miss working. I’m just personally the kind of person who craves a good challenge. Reviewing has given me a sense of accomplishment and goals that are all mine. I love having something to work towards, and the independence of “being my own boss.”
Blogging and reviewing do take a lot of my time, and the harder I work, the better the results for my family. I take a lot of pride in my work, and love getting positive feedback from my clients and companies I work with.
While my kids are young, I am able to spend each day with them, while also adding to my resume. It’s the best of both worlds!
Reviewing makes me a better blogger
Reviewing means deadlines, professional expectations, and lot of people waiting to see that I deliver what I promised. I’m never required to write glowing reviews about a product that doesn’t work for my family, and y’all know I tell it like it is…. But I am required to be professional about it. I always want to do my best work, write reviews that help you guys really “see” the product, and I want to explain how it works so you can know if the product will work for you.
The reviews need to be good for the company (because they want you to see the product too!) and good for you, because you can make better informed decisions when purchasing homeschool materials.
This means I have to think carefully about my words and what images I use. I also have to make sure I have good content on this blog that isn’t just reviews, because let’s face it- who wants to read only reviews?
Luckily, the bloggers I work with have been a huge help in teaching me how to improve my writing, how to best promote my posts, and how to offer my readers more. More content, more information, more freebies, and more things to make all of our lives better.
If you’re not a blogger
Thank you for being here, and for reading these posts. Thank you for supporting me as I work on this blog, and being the reason I can stay home and homeschool the kids comfortably. Thank you for all the support!
If you are a homeschool blogger
Consider joining the Schoolhouse Review Crew review team. I can’t put in words how much I love being a part of this group. I shared a little bit about the benefits of the review crew along with ten other members here. Check it out, and apply today! If you have any questions or want more information about reviewing, feel free to message me on Facebook, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!