The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews

With so many products available we often need a little help in making our curriculum choices. The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine family understands because we are in the same boat! Do you need more information on a product before you buy? With over 5,500 products listed in 52 easy-to-use categories, much of the information you need to know is only a click away! Let our reviewer-families help yours.
Do you want to get the word out about your product or service to the homeschool community? Email Tess Hamre and share a little about what you´d like showcased, and we can help with that!

Learn To Find Your Creative Self . . . Quickly Review by Crystal McClean

Janet Scarpone
Learn Quickly
P.O. Box 4464
Palm Springs, CA 92263-4464

Do you ever find yourself in a rut? Perhaps you have many ideas and don’t know what to do with them or you don’t have the confidence to act on them? Or perhaps you wish you were more creative than you are? That is how I’ve been feeling this year, so when the opportunity to review Learn To Find Your Creative Self . . . Quickly came up, I thought the timing was right.

I’ve been so busy this year; homeschooling, bringing in more work as a virtual assistant, blogging, and of course bringing up my children and keeping the house. It’s been taking its toll on me. It feels like I hardly have a moment to myself. I’m sure you know the feeling, too!

I’ve always loved to learn and I miss taking classes. Learn To Find Your Creative Self . . . Quickly was originally developed by Janet Scarpone as an independent college course and it did so well that she’s tweaked it and put it online via the Moodle platform to share with the world. (Editor’s Note: The vendor offers an initial phone consult with anyone interested for help with Moodle questions, set-up, or other inquiries about the program upon purchase.)

The Moodle format of this course was a little new to me. It’s set up so that teachers can use the platform to teach it to their classes with places for students to submit their work. However, I was taking this course on my own so I didn’t have to submit my work and there were no deadlines. The general length of this course is twelve weeks, but when you work through it on your own you can be a little more flexible with the deadlines if life gets in the way. 

All materials are provided for you with the exception of a journal and pen. There is also the option to purchase the book, Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool’s Guide to Surviving with Grace, by Gordon MacKenzie, to read through a little at a time as you work your way through the course to give you some inspiration and humor.

Within each of the twelve units you’ll find questions to answer in your journal, discussion questions to ponder, videos to watch, and a one to three page document from Janet to read through. This document tells you what the goals are for the unit, gives you some encouragement, and starts you on your way. 

Each week you’ll be asked to answer some of the same questions relating to keeping up your end of the class. As part of the class participation, you’re meant to spend fifteen minutes a day relaxing on your own, as well as have a two hour play date by yourself each week doing something that you enjoy. 

I’ll admit that the questions were almost as difficult for me as finding some quiet time, as I’m not naturally introspective. I wasn’t always successful at either; but even if I didn’t get my answers formally on the page, I was thinking through them during the week as I was folding laundry or pulling weeds. They gave me something new to think about and focus on.

A big portion of the class is journal writing three times on different days using the questions asked each week as prompts. No one will see these entries other than you, so you can write and empty your mind and soul. Each week they will revolve around a different topic. 

Watching some of the video clips took me, and even other family members on new paths.  One assignment was to watch a movie trailer for Temple Grandin. After watching it, I showed it to my husband and he found it for us to watch together, and we’ll be sharing it with our children as well, it was so inspiring.

Janet’s goal is for her students to become more positive thinkers with self-confidence who will rediscover their inner creativity, have fun with it and prosper.

I am glad I’m taking this course, even if I am swamped with work. It’s giving me the excuse to have a little time to sit quietly and reflect as time passes all around me. Introspective classes are not my usual fare, but every now and then we need to stretch ourselves and grow so that we can help our families prosper through our own pleasure in life.

I’m looking forward to discovering where this course will take me over the next few weeks and into the future. I know I have some undiscovered creativity in me, and I’m curious to see how it will be released as I explore new paths.

-Product review by Crystal McClean, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November, 2016