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Friday, November 19, 2010

Review: KB Teachers

teacher-logo

Looking for a never ending supply of customized worksheets to keep the kiddos busy? KB Teachers has what you’re looking for, and they’ve thrown in some bonuses: web quests, free clipart, and plenty of pre-made worksheets on various topics from astronomy to ancient history.

Disclosure: As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I received a free subscription to KB teachers for this review. I received no other compensation. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Now you’re thinking: “Worksheets, what’s the big deal, there are tons of free worksheets available all over the internet.”

And that’s true. Given the plentitude of free resources out there, many of them made by teachers and other homeschooling mamas (and papas), any service that provides worksheets for pay has got some pretty stiff competition. It’s going to have to be really good. How does KB Teachers measure up?

The site is easy to navigate. There’s no search function, but this is intentional. The goal is to get you where you want to be within a couple of clicks and I like that. A well organized site that doesn’t require me to scan through of couple of pages for possibles saves me some valuable time.

There are numerous premade worksheets waiting to be printed off. One thing that struck me was the number of worksheets for older students (middle school and high school) for history and geography. Worksheet sites tend to be mostly for the elementary grades, so I was impressed by this.

Most of the science worksheets could be used for multiple grades. There are sheets on marine biology, human anatomy, plants, nutrition, astronomy, geology, weather & climate, and dinosaurs. A nice mix of topics, not a curriculum by itself, but nice little extras to add to whatever you are using. The answer keys are complete, so some of these could even be used independent of a curriculum (perfect for when one of the kiddos announces he wants to study octopi on a rainy day, for instance).

Graphics on the worksheets tend to be pretty low-tech, this is not necessarily a negative (really nice graphics would drink up tons of ink, after all), just an observation.

Alphabet and picture counting worksheets will keep your preschool to K kiddos busy while your elementary students work on sheets you’ve created from the handwriting and math worksheet generators. You can choose print or cursive (solid or dotted) fonts, in color or black and white.

Looking for something to do on a rainy day? Check out the calendar for this month’s web quests. For November, there were web quests for Charles Schultz’s birthday, peanut butter fudge day, Veteran’s Day, Marie Curie’s birthday, Thanksgiving and many many more special topics.

What did I like?

KB Teachers is a handy “go-to” site to quickly print off a few pages without doing a bunch of hunting around. I really liked the option for making worksheets using ASL and Morse code…unusual and cool! And having the option of printing many of the worksheets in black and white or color is perfect. Sometimes you want a little color and sometimes you want to save on ink.

What could be improved?

I found the offerings to be fairly limited. I would like to see more font options for the handwriting worksheets. There are free handwriting worksheet generators out there with more options.

The web quests need to be updated. Out of the half dozen or so that I checked the links on, all had at least some dead links, and a few had no good links. The web is a dynamic place that is constantly changing…in order for web quests to work, they need to be constantly updated.

What don’t I like?

Although I applaud the designer’s desire to remove a need for a search function, I would like the option of a search function.

Seasonal pages are only linked to the menu “in season,” so without a search function I can’t go looking for Christmas in July.

No save function---I realize this is to protect the company’s interests (why renew your subscription if you’ve saved their content to your hard-drive?). Your subscription entitles you to print from their site, not to save files from their site. However, pdf print drivers do work on this site.

I hear that KB Teachers is in the process of remodeling their site...there may be changes on the horizon.

Would I recommend it?

If you like using worksheets in your homeschool KB Teachers is worth a look. We don’t tend to use very many worksheets, though I have used them when I need to keep some people busy. In my case, it probably wouldn't make much sense to have a subscription, but for someone who uses more worksheets, the price for KB Teachers is quite reasonable.

How much?

You can actually print most of the worksheets on this site for free…if you don’t mind a very obvious, somewhat obscuring “watermark.”

kbteachers watermark

Yes, it really does print with that light blue lettering across it.

For a premium membership to KB Teachers that removes all watermarks, the price is $29 for 12 months or $49 for 2 years. It comes with a 30-day money back guarantee.

For more reviews on this product, please visit the TOS Homeschool Crew blog page.

4 comments:

  1. Seems like a good deal, when you break it down month by month. But I still think that with patience anyone can find what they want for free on the internet.

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  2. Hi! You did a good job on this review. I appreciate the way you wrote about what you liked and did not like about the site.

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  3. Awesome as ALWAYS! ;-)) Thanks so much!

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  4. great review! I am just walking by on the TOS blog walk and am a new follower :)

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