I was officially invited to join the Crew in December of 2015 with my first review being due in January of 2016, but the process started before that. One day while I was on Facebook, I ran across a friend's post that announced the Crew was accepting applications for membership. This came at a time where I had just decided to end a home-based business and I felt like I had lost a creative outlet for myself so I decided that I would pick up blogging again which I have done off and on again for years. My blog was so inconsistent that I thought it would be a waste of time for me to apply to be a part of the Crew, but I thought I would read about it anyway. The more I read, the more I thought it was something I could do. The only thing I thought that would hold me back was my inconsistent blogging up until then. I had a little nagging voice in my head that kept telling me it couldn't hurt to put in an application because the worse thing that could happen was that they would say no and I would rebuild my blog anyway and re-apply the following year. So I filled out my application and focused on blogging. I had almost completely forgotten about my application when I received an email from Debra, the Crew leader. I had to do a trial review since I had not really posted many reviews, but it wasn't long after that trial review that I received another email with an official invite to be on the Crew. I was shocked, excited, and nervous all at once. They thought my little blog was good enough to be a part of the Crew and that gave me confidence I didn't even realize I was missing. They took a chance on me and I am forever grateful that they did. I get to give my opinion on homeschooling products and send my voice out into the world.
It Gives Me Freedom and Courage to Choose Again
The other thing that I was struggling behind the scenes with at the time was the curriculum that we were using for my son. I have posted about this and how it wasn't working for him and I knew it. I was so stuck in my curriculum rut that I didn't know what to do. I would have to research tons and tons of curriculum again and I just dreaded that. Then I got my position on the Crew and reviews are what we do on the Crew. We receive products to use, teach, check out, and figure out what our family thinks. So while we finished out the 2015-2016 school year using the curriculum that wasn't working, I was able to start subbing in review products that Buddy liked better and ones I felt worked better for him. Then over the summer I had time to pray, process, and decide that I would not use a boxed curriculum for him for the 2016-2017 school year. We would use review products we had received and I would build our own curriculum buying what I needed to fill the gaps. Being a part of the Crew and seeing so many great products (whether I reviewed them or read reviews from my Crew friends) gave me the freedom and courage that I needed to know that I could once again plan out school for Buddy on my own and I didn't need a boxed curriculum for him. We still use about 1/2 of a boxed curriculum for Little Miss but she asked to continue on with that curriculum because she loves reading all the books. We do use the reading part of the curriculum and the rest of her school is all review products that we have reviewed this past year.
I've Made Friends Around the World
If you read my reviews you will see at the end of every one of them I point you to "My Friends on the Homeschool Review Crew" and encourage you to read their reviews of the products too. I do this because we all use the products in ways that fit our families and we are all different. I also do this because I know without a doubt, they are giving you their honest opinions just like I am. I also do it because I trust these friends because we do get a chance to get to know each other and become friends on a private forum that is just for us. I value their input and we ask each other questions all the time. We share about our lives, share our struggles, and share our successes. It is truly a great group of friends that I know I can go to and chat with for wisdom, encouragement, support, and more. We rally each other and support each other. The Crew is International so I really do have friends around the world.
There is more, I really could go on and on, but I won't. I wanted to tell you some of the things I love most about being on the Crew to invite you to apply for the Homeschool Review Crew for the upcoming year. If you are a homeschooler and a blogger, you should definitely consider applying for the Crew. Take a chance and put in your application. Tell them I sent you. You can get more information and read the requirements of being on the Crew by clicking here. Click on the banner below if you know you are ready to apply to be a member of the Crew and don't forget to tell them I sent you.