It’s funny- whenever I think of Crew all that runs through my head is “How do I love thee, let me count the ways.” Seriously! I brag about this group all of the time.
Don’t know what I am talking about?
Let me start from the beginning.
I review products for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, on a team of about 200 women affectionately known as the Crew. I have done so now for about a year and a half and am getting ready to embark on a new season this month.
Each month I have the opportunity to ask for and receive homeschool and family friendly products to use in my own life and then tell you all about- the good, the bad and the ugly. Fortunately for me, there is usually only the good to report. This year when I was deciding whether or not to reapply to Crew, one of the things I decided to do was weigh the pros and cons of the job. The cons are few. The blessings, well, that is another story!
1- Amazing products. Honestly, that’s what drew me to Crew, because that is all I knew. Free products. I reviewed over 40 products this past year from companies like Notgrass, IEW, and Classical Conversations. In the process I was introduced to fabulous companies like Homeschool Spanish Academy, EEME, and Writing with Sharon Watson. Each company has brought a new learning aspect to our homeschool curriculum and challenged us. Without the exposure to these companies through Crew we would be stuck in a 15 year old rut of old curriculum and never have seen the wealth of new companies and products out there. I am thankful and so are my children.
2- Amazing friends. 200 to be exact. Two that I have met in person. 198 that I communicate with on a private forum as well as on Facebook and email. Ah, the power of social media. These are gals I laugh with, pray for and have come to love and cherish. They are a wealth of information. They are a strong community of diverse personalities, skills and ambitions. They make me laugh, challenge me and hold me accountable. And they are only a click away. Not a bad deal for this military moving momma whose friends are spread to all corners of the world.
3- Amazing support. From that group of 200, I have been a part of a weight loss accountability group for the past year. This is the group that helped me stay motivated to lose 20 pounds. While we are all at different places in our journey, we all have the desire to live a more healthy life. We pass on recipes, meal plans, and inspiration. We cheer each other on and drag each other through the tough times. They inspire me to do better and I love them!
4- Amazing blogging journey. Before Crew I was not a blogger. Come to think of it, I am not really sure I even knew much about blogging. I may have been following one or two blogs at most. I did not know what I was in for. This blog has taken on a life of its own thanks to the help and encouragement of Crew. I am telling you, these gals are talented. There is nothing they don’t know or cannot find the answer to. I ask, they answer. I mess up, they fix it! If no one else reads this jumble of thoughts I write weekly, I know they do. Because they understand. Nothing like a community of people on the same mission.
5-Amazing lessons. Some easy, some hard. I have learned a lot about social media. It’s a love/hate relationship, in case you were wondering. I have learned about the power of words. I have learned about deadlines and schedules and working with publishers. I have learned how to market myself and how to say no. Blogging for Crew has built my confidence, given me a much needed outlet and may one day help support my family. Not bad for an old, homeschooling momma!
6- Amazing opportunities. Because of my position on Crew, I am now also reviewing products for several other companies and have been asked to be a guest blogger at Our Homeschool Forum. I have been a part of three book launches now with hopefully more to come in the New Year. I finally have people asking ME to review for them- an honor I cannot even begin to describe!
Yes, it takes time, and commitment, and energy, and brain power, but that all pales in comparison to the Blessings of Crew!
Do you wanna be a part of this Crew? Each November/December time frame new applications are taken and a new team is formed. If you are an active blogger or want to be, it is never too early to get started and ask questions. This time next year, you too could be singing the blessings of Crew!