The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews

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Health Quest 2002 Software Review by Mrs. Kimberley Wampler

Switched-On Schoolhouse
Alpha Omega Publications
300 N. McKemy Ave.
Chandler, AZ 85226

Health Quest by Switched on Schoolhouse is to teach the importance of personal hygiene and fitness methods, as well as personal and ecological stewardship, to children between the fourth and seventh grade at a cost of $41.95. The software comes as a complete package, and you can print pages from inside the program if you wish.

I appreciated the opportunity to review a software program that is so positively geared toward home schooling. Alpha Omega started to develop computer software in the 1990s for home school families. Before that, they produced other types of products for home schooling, and still do.

Because I have personally used such a variety of software to teach my children, I may offer constructive criticism and useful feedback on such products. My overall impression was that the program is of high quality. Particularly noteworthy in my evaluation of this software product was its user-friendly installation. Immediately following installation, the child's name must be added by accessing the Teacher Center to begin using the program. At that point, there are a lot of available options from which to choose. I personally played the first lesson myself, which is intended for fourth to seventh grade children. I enjoyed the way the program functioned and appreciated its style. I also had my boys (ages nine and 11) play the second level. They were able to successfully complete the spelling portion (which they really enjoyed), although the selected words were rather challenging. Initially, it may require some time for children to fully understand what they need to do within the program. However, after completing one level, most children would know how everything operates since the program remains consistent.

In my opinion, there are some ways that the program could be improved. For instance, the screen did not seem to end on the right side. In fact, when rolling the mouse to the side, it just keeps going in that direction. Additionally, when attempting to progress to the next level without finishing the current level, the program asks if you really want to go. If "Yes" is selected in response to this question, the whole screen comes up with "Incorrect," which was somewhat irritating. My husband was a bit more critical than I about the program's appearance, because he often plays graphically intense games.

As stated previously, I enjoyed the program and believe it has a lot to offer children. Although it is difficult to keep them on task for long during the summertime, my children also enjoyed the time they spent using this program.

-- Product Review by: Mrs. Kimberley Wampler, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine