A Comparison of Monarch and Switched-On Schoolhouse

Key Similarities - Monarch and SOS programs both contain:
• Interactive, computer-based learning for homeschool students in grades 3-12
• 5 core subjects: Bible, History & Geography, Language Arts, Math, and Science
• Over 35 electives in all content areas
• Nearly identical lesson content
• Text-based instruction with multimedia to enrich and reinforce lesson content
• Videos, audio clips, slideshows, review games, animations, and an interactive timeline
• Customizable settings to create individualized learning environments
• A customizable calendar to suit each family's needs
• Printable recordkeeping options

Key Differences

Monarch Switched-On Schoolhouse
Online. Students and parents log in online to access
the program.
CD-ROM. The program is installed to the
user’s PC.
Compatible with a broad range of operating systems.
Macintosh and PC supported.
Requires use of a Windows-based computer that
meets the minimum specifications. Macintosh is not
supported.
High-speed Internet required.
(Firefox recommended)
Internet access not required.
Accessible 24/7 from most computers with a
high-speed Internet connection.
Program can only be accessed from the
computer and/or network on which the program
has been installed.
The program is purchased as a subscription (18
months) for coursework for a single student and
cannot be reused.
Program is purchased as a set of CDs and can be
reused at no additional charge by younger children
in the family (5 students total).
Reuse by younger siblings and resale of product is
prohibited by the license agreement.
Resale of product is prohibited in the End User
License Agreement.
Program improvements, curriculum updates, and
fixes are made regularly and automatically as part
of the subscription cost.
Fixes and updates are released periodically for up to two years after the original release.
Storage of student data for up to seven years from
the purchase date is included as part of the
subscription.
Storage of student data is the responsibility of
parents.
Once subjects have been assigned, the product cannot be returned or exchanged. Once package seal has been broken, the product
cannot be returned or exchanged.

 

Who Should Use Monarch or Switched-On Schoolhouse?

Monarch Switched-On Schoolhouse
Great for families who operate Macintosh computers.
Great for families who are using older computers or operating systems that do not support new software.
Great for families who are using Windos-based computers running Windows 7, Vista, or XP (service pack 3).
Great for families who are mobile and need the
flexibility of anywhere access.
Great for families who have a largely home-based
homeschool program.
Great for families looking for a less complicated
approach to setting up and administrating the homeschool environment. Great for families not seeking lots of bells and whistles.
Great for families looking for a highly customizable and flexible homeschool environment filled with a variety of features and functions that enrich the student learning environment.
Great for families not concerned about reusing
curriculum.
Great for large families with multiple children looking for a curriculum that can be reused.
Great for families seeking to supplement their homeschool program with an elective or single subject. Great for families seeking to create a complete homeschool experience with highly customizable, individualized learning environments for students.
Reuse by younger siblings and resale of product is
prohibited by the license agreement.
Resale of product is prohibited in the End User
License Agreement.
Program improvements, curriculum updates, and
fixes are made regularly and automatically as part
of the subscription cost.
Fixes and updates are released periodically for up to two years after the original release.
Storage of student data for up to seven years from
the purchase date is included as part of the
subscription.
Storage of student data is the responsibility of
parents.
Great for families that are not 100% comfortable with the use of technology. Great for families with a high level of comfort with the use of technology.
While both programs contain features that might appeal to children with special needs, Switched-On Schoolhouse provides a broader range of customization options, allowing parents to create learning environments that are uniquely suited to the needs of a child with special needs. Additionally, the page-load time experienced by Monarch users could frustrate many children with special needs.

 

Features Comparison

Monarch Switched-On Schoolhouse
Text-to-Speech yes yes
Highlighting Not at this time yes
Vocabulary Games Not at this time yes
Interactive Timeline yes yes
Customizable Calendar yes
(more basic functionality)
yes
Review Games yes yes
Customizable Curriculum Not at this time yes
Message Center yes
(more basic functionality)
yes
Customizable Homepage yes
(Only themes)
yes
(Widgets, themes, custom theme, games)
Advanced Lesson Planning Options (Student must work with calendar-based lesson plan) yes
(Student can work without calendar-based lesson plan)
Printable Records yes yes