Thursday, December 24, 2009

Tektoma Review

As a member of the TOS Home School Review Crew, I was sent access to a website called "Tektoma" to review. I have never heard of this company, and the name really wasn't giving me any clues, so off to I went to check out this new product.
Tektoma is a website that teaches children ages 7- 17 how to create video games. This site is awesome for children who are very technology minded. I can see the value in having a site like this for a child who wants to pursue a career in computers or who want to broaden their knowledge in this subject.

The site offers a 14 day free trial and you can earn free membership time by referring friends. If you try the site out and your kids fall in love with it, the price monthly for membership is $14.95 or $140/ year. This will give you access to all tutorials as well as moderated secured online forums. The site monitors for appropriate content, language and graphics, so even young children can partake a bit independently.

The site offers tutorials on how to create and develop video games in different genres, such as, Racing Games, Arcade Games, Platform Games, Fantasy Adventure Games. The tutorials are progressive and offered at different levels, so kids can learn at their own pace. If your child is not sure what kind of game they want to create the site offers example games that the children can play.

This site was fun, but my children were just under the bar for being interested, I think my husband would have had a blast! I would suggest checking out the site and trying the 14 day free trial, especially for kids who really enjoy computers and technology. It is a great teaching tool and could be very valuable.

Maestro Classics Review

Have you ever heard of Aesop's Fables? Chances are, if you are a mommy of a preschooler, you have heard one of their stories, even if you haven't realized where it came from. Take for instance the story of "The Tortoise and the Hare"; Ahhh light bulb moment, see now you remember. As a member of the TOS Review Crew, I was sent a CD titled "The Tortoise and the Hare" from the company Maestro Classics. I was in the car when I picked up the mail, so I popped it in the CD player and continued on my way. The kids enjoyed the story. The music was conducted by Stephen Simon and played by the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Pretty Impressive.

After the story was told, I really expected the CD to end. Much to my surprise, it did not. Actually, I was very impressed with what happened next. Additional tracks were included on the CD that taught the history of Aesop's fables, the point of the story as well as the composers thought process through the story to add musical details (my untrained ear did not pick up on, so I am sure my kids did not catch it either). Once the educational/ informative tracks ended, they retold "The Tortoise and the Hare", which was much more interesting to listen to given all the background information. I had fun listening closely and pointing out where the conductor put little musical details into the story line. The CD also came with an informative activity booklet.

Maestro classics stated that the Cd I was given is for ages four and up. I would concur with that and add that even my 8 year old was very interested. I would recommend this product to a family that loves music, especially quality, educational music that tells a good moral tale. It would also be a nice compliment to a unit study on music, or Children's literature. Maestro Classics can be found at Each set costs $16.98 and that includes the CD, story, activity booklet and the educational tracks. They are offering 3 sets for $45.00. In addition to The Tortoise and the Hare the company also offers Cd's titled "Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel" (a favorite story in our house.); "Peter and the Wolf"; "The Story of Swan Lake" just to name a few. Worth a look!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

All About Spelling TOS Review

As a member of the TOS Homeschool Review Crew, I was sent Level one and Level two materials from the company "All About Spelling" to review with my children. At first glance, I was impressed with the nice manipulative's and teaching tools All About Spelling offered with each Level. The materials are colorful and the teachers manual is clear and easy to understand. All About Spelling is a spelling program that teaches your child how to spell if you are just beginning to teach them, or if you have a child that needs remedial help in this area.

I use a very comprehensive spelling/ reading/ phonics program, so my daughter Emily flew through the information. I have great respect for the company and after checking out the website, I am looking forward to more programs they will be rolling out soon. I didn't feel that this particular product was necessary for our homeschool, we were not in need of remedial help in this area. I do see the value in it for a parent that is looking for help in this particular area for their child.

The program uses a multi sensory approach to teach spelling and it contains spelling lists that follow a logical order. The program is also mastery based, not grade level based, so a parent would be able to tailor it to a specific need a child may have. The program offers a continual review and contains scripted lesson plans that make teaching the information easy for a homeschooling family. All About Spelling offers a one year learning guarantee and if you visit the website at www.ALL-ABOUT-SPELLING.COM you can watch a video that will tell you what you will need to order. To use the program, you will need a starter kit which contains Letter Tiles, magnets, and a Phonogram CD- Rom and costs $26.95. You will then need to purchase a level which contains the teaching manual and one student material packet. Each Level ranges in price from $29.95- $39.95. All About Spelling also sells additional student material packets if you have more than one student at a level. If you think this product would be of help to you, I would recommend it, especially if you have a struggling speller. I plan on keeping my eye on this company, I would love to see them put together a comprehensive reading/spelling/phonics program.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Gymathtics DVD from Exploramania

I was sent a DVD from the company Exploramania, to review as part of the TOS Homeschool Crew. This 30 minute DVD incorporates "multi-sensory learning techniques to meet the different learning needs of children." This particular DVD titled "Exploracise Gymathtics" combines exercise and education using auditory, visual, and kinesthetic senses. This company will be coming out with several new products over the next few months.

Exploracise Gymathics has also won several awards from Dr. Toy, AEGIS, Telly Awards, and many others. As a Health Educator myself, I was looking forward to this review. The day the DVD arrived I popped it into the DVD player and within minutes, my three girls loved it! I was not moved to participate, but my children did watch it three times in a row and had fun with it.
The DVD combines math facts while exercising. For example, they move their arms to form congruent circles etc... The math facts target 2ND- 5Th grade levels, so just a bit above my children's level, but they did enjoy the movement. The topics on the DVD begin as "Shape stretches" for the warm up; then onto "Counting Calisthenics" which include counting multiple aerobic movements; next is "Pattern Power" repeating pattern exercise and then finally the "Well-Being Wind Down" which are relaxing stretches and a cool down all while discussing healthy lifestyle choices. I did enjoy the scenery in the final segment, it looks like they are at a beach resort.
If this is something you think your family may enjoy, you can visit the website at and order the DVD for $24.99. The website also has other DVDs and learning materials available. It's worth a look!

This has been a TOS Homeschool Crew Review. As a member of the Homeschool Crew, we are given homeschool-related items and asked to write honest reviews. The items are provided to us by the companies, but we are not paid for our reviews.

Monday, November 16, 2009

AVKO Membership Review

As part of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I was sent a one year membership to AVKO, the site can be found at If you live under a rock, as I do, you may not have heard about this organization, but apparently seasoned home school parents are well aware of AVKO.

For those sad rock dwellers, I will enlighten you as to what AVKO is and why you may want to look into becoming a member. On the surface, actually on the website, AVKO is "a non-profit 501 (c) 3 membership organization that focuses on the development and production of materials and especially techniques to teach reading, spelling, handwriting and keyboarding. AVKO is dedicated to teaching everyone how to read and spell regardless of their mild to moderate learning disabilities, dyslexia, poverty or opportunity."

Sounds nice, right? Avko's philosophies and methodologies are "Orton-Gillingham" based ( I really have no idea what that means, but I figured I would include it so you can google it), using a systematic and multi sensory approach to teaching the language arts. AVKO firmly believes that studying and lessons should take place in short frequent sessions; daily reading and writing are important for engaging in the language and becoming fluent.

The AVKO website has a vast amount of information for teachers/ parents who may need guidance/ educational materials for children who are struggling or floundering in the Language Arts subjects. The site has many great resources concerning Dyslexia, and many great books for those of us who need to teach a child that doesn't quite learn within the same parameters as other children. AVKO's spelling lessons are based on a cirruculum called "sequential spelling" (fyi)- Sonlight uses this as their spelling curriculum.

The AVKO site does offer freebies, so if you were not sure you wanted to become a member, you can go check out the site and get a feel for the teaching method used/ materials available. Once you become a member you will have access to over $400 worth of e-books. A basic membership costs $25 per year and includes e-books such as all 10 volumes of the "Patterns of English Spelling" as well as the book "To Teach a Dyslexic". You also receive a 25% discount on all printed AVKO Materials.
The Deluxe Membership is $100 for the year, it includes access to all materials/ benefits of a basic membership as well as read- only access to all AVKO curriculum materials (except for sequential spelling and engaging Language Kits) as well as access to AVKO's newest e-books.

I think becoming a member of AVKO would best suit the needs of a parent who has a child that is struggling to learn Language Arts. This site is a great resource for those who are seeking help teaching in this area. I don't have a child who is struggling in this area at this time, however, I see the value in a site like . As an educator, you want to fill your teaching tool box with as many tools as you can, AVKO provides you those tools. As I said earlier, the site is loaded with information, go check it out, if you think this may be exactly what you need, the membership is worth the price. I don't think there is such a thing as too many good resources.

This has been a TOS Homeschool Crew Review. As a member of the Homeschool Crew, we are given homeschool related items and are asked to write honest reviews. The items are provided to us by the companies, but we are not paid for our reviews.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

America's Heritage Education Review

As a member of the TOS Crew I was sent a CD version of social studies/ civic K-12 Lesson plans titled "America's Heritage: An Adventure in Liberty." The CD is valued at $150.00 but the American Heritage Education Foundation (AHEF) has made it available to educators (in homeschools and public/ private schools) for free. There are two forms of "America's Heritage" the CD, which is free, and a printed binder version, which costs $19.50 to cover printing and shipping. All the AHEF asks is that you write to them and let them know about your experiences using the resource. This helps them continue support for teachers and social studies/ civic education.

According to AHEF the information correlates with NCSS and Core Knowledge national social studies standards. "American Heritage" has been proven to increase student performance in history objectives in schools which use this resource.

I love the fact that the "AHEF is dedicated to the understanding and teaching of our Nation's factual and Philosophical Heritage to promote constructive citizenship and freedom, unity, progress, and responsibility among our students and citizens." This material is so necessary, while I was logging onto the computer to write this review, I read an article about the health care bill, ugh! Visit or call 1-713-627-2698 for more information.

I am very impressed with the lesson plans offered for the Elementary school aged Children. Not only does the CD offer background historical information on every topic, the lessons are engaging and interesting. For example, the unit on Thanksgiving is under the Theme Unity. There is historical background given as well as a story and then other educational activities to tie all the information together.

I strongly urge all parents to obtain this CD. I do not think many public schools teach to this scope on History, in fact, the public schools are so mired in political correctness, that much of this information is simply not taught. Homeschools and private schools have a fantastic opportunity to utilize this resource to train up a generation of citizens who can look back to the roots of our heritage and go forward in freedom.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Virginia Soaps & Scents Review

A few weeks ago, I received a package in the mail from a company called Virginia Soaps & Scents. My mail box is located at the end of my road and I typically pick up the mail when I am on my way out to go to town. So this little box from Virginia Soaps & Scents took a ride with me while I ran my errands. At one point, while I was waiting in my car, I opened the box because I was curious about this new product. The smell that began wafting through my car was amazing!
Inside the box was 3 bars of Pure Handcrafted Soap each was 1.75 oz in size, one was Coconut Lemongrass scented, another was Oatmeal, Milk and Honey scented and the third was Fresh Orange scented. The bars are pretty and the small size is called the bed and breakfast bars. The usual bars of soap are 4.75 ounces. Another sample was in the box as well, it was a Ginger Lime scented Shampoo Bar as well as a Laundry Soap Kit. The Laundry Soap Kit makes 1/2 gallon of Laundry Soap and is great if you ever wanted to begin to make your own laundry soap but didn't want to make the initial investment in the Borax and washing soda.

There was also a letter from the creators of Virginia Soaps & Scents, Roy & Richelle Spargur explaining their company, products and how Virginia Soaps & Scents was formed. They are a homeschooling family of 9 children, 5 graduated and 4 still being taught at home. Three years ago the Spargur family suffered the tragic loss of their youngest Granddaughter in an accident. After months of grieving, the family began to take comfort in doing the familiar things and homeschooling provided a framework for daily life. It began with a unit study on Colonial Life in Virginia (where the family resides) and there was a lesson on soap making. The family made a one pound batch of lavender soap and they were back to making fun as a family again and they didn't want it to stop! What began as a lesson in soap eventually led to the birth of Virginia Soaps & Scents. Sounds like the story line of a great movie right?

The soaps are lovely and smell great! They are made with all natural ingredients and contain no added chemicals for hardening or lathering properties. I loved how the soaps smelled, especially when I used them. I did get razor burn on my legs when I showered with the sample soaps, but I checked out the website and they offer soaps specifically for shaving, which I will purchase, because I really enjoyed how soft my skin was after using the soap. The Shampoo Bar is an olive oil based soap and also contains Castor oil. I was a bit skeptical at first but was very surprised to see how much the bar lathered like liquid shampoo. I used the bar for a few days and found my hair really needed conditioner, so I went back to my usual shampoo, but noticed a difference in how my hair looked. It seemed smoother and not as frizzy. I happened to read on their website that you can use the shampoo bar as a clarifying bar and this was the perfect solution for me. Once a week, I use the shampoo bar and have really enjoyed smoother, shiny hair.

I have made my own laundry soap before and so I was familiar with the process of making the Laundry Soap. I have found that us Corbett's are a messy bunch of people and need to take stock in stain remover! I enjoy the clean smell from the laundry soap, and while I can't use it on my kids cloths because the stains just won't come out for me without using pretreatments, I have found that it works great on towels and other laundry that doesn't see as much action!

Check out the website at to view the full product line and the reasonable prices. I am a table leader at my local MOPS and I am planning on purchasing the Bed & Breakfast Soap sampler, it contains twelve 1.75oz bars of their best selling soaps for $18.00. I plan on wrapping each bar and giving one to each of the moms who sit at my table as a little Christmas gift so they can have a bit of pampering. They have special scents for Christmas also, so think stocking stuffers etc... I noticed they have bars for kids, so I may also purchase some soaps for my daughters as they love things like that in their stockings. They also sell individual bars, maybe pamper the Sunday School teacher a bit or my mother and sisters. I like to support companies like Virginia Soaps and Scents, they make a great product and seem like a great family!

This has been a TOS Homeschool Crew Review. As a member of the Homeschool Crew, we are given homeschool related items and asked to write honest reviews. The items are provided to us by the companies, but we are not paid for our reviews.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

ABC Teach Website Review

As a member of the TOS Crew I am sent some pretty neat products, and ABC Teach falls into my "neat product" category! Actually ABC Teach is a website, find it here: I had never heard of it, not surprising since I had never home schooled prior to this year, but in my opinion, this is the jack pot of teaching tools! The website has some free downloads, but you can purchase a membership for $3.33 per month (which I did after reviewing this site). The members of ABC Teach have access to 35,000 printables and worksheets with more being added weekly (they notify you by email once a week with all the new materials). You also have access to 6,500 pieces of clip art; oh the endless possibilities of clip art...... anyway.

The site also has custom worksheet generators to tailor materials specific to your home school topics. For example, if you are wrapping up a unit study on a specific topic but want to practice some of the new words with the kids, you can custom make worksheets in spelling, cross words etc... The possibilities are literally endless, and if you are really creative, you may not need to look any further than for what you need. The website was the winner of the 2007 Teachers' Choice Award.

The site is very user friendly and it has a search engine to help you find what you need quickly. I liked that it offered many of the worksheets in black and white or color. I have spent literally hours on the site just exploring and looking into what would be fun and applicable for my children. The site also breaks down the topics under the directory for ease of use too. An example of some of the topics are: Art & music, Book Units (the books are great too; for example, Amelia Bedilia: you read the book and the site has follow up activities and worksheets ready to be printed and tailored to the story); other topics include Holiday and Seasonal activities, Handwriting (which I LOVE because when they are learning how to write they can't get enough of the handouts to practice on!). The site also divides topics by age and grade and goes from preschool through high school to help you print out what you need specifically for your child. You can preview the site to see if you would like it and then you can really get an idea of the vast amount of resources members have available at their fingertips. I only named a few of the topics listed under the directory, you can check it out yourself when you visit the website.

So far I have downloaded 4 games for my preschooler. Each game was either a matching game, counting game, or a sorting game. I searched the site and found games with butterflies and ladybugs and trains and printed them out since I knew they would appeal to her. I will share with you one example of what I did with my printouts: I took a file folder and cut, pasted and laminated one set of the butterfly matching game pieces on the inside of the folder. I then cut out the matching pieces and laminated them as well. I attached a bag to the folder to keep all the loose pieces together and viola! she has a matching game that I made just for her! It made her day! I am currently scouting the site for Thanksgiving Theme ideas.

As I said before, I have spent hours on the site and really am impressed with the resources. If this is something that you think you would like, I highly recommend it, and the price is very reasonable.

This has been a TOS Homeschool Crew Review. As a member of the Homeschool Crew, we are given homeschool related items and are asked to write honest reviews. The items are provided to us by the companies, but we are not paid for our reviews.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Amazing Bible Timeline Review

As part of the TOS Review Crew I was sent "The Amazing Bible Timeline" from the company Bible Charts and Maps, LLC. They can be found at www.BibleTimeline.NET . The product is, well, pretty amazing. It is large, 37" by 45" and can be hung as a wall chart or put on a flat surface. The Bible Timeline is put together in a compact circular format and the timeline goes in a clockwise direction. This timeline is a great way for visual learners to put the people in the Bible in order and can add historical clarity to a Bible study. It is priced at $29.97 and comes with free interactive maps of the Holy Land and a digital timeline for the computer.

The Bible Timeline shows order, and overlap in generations and history. For example, Daniel and Confucius lived at the same time. I loved seeing that Adam was still alive at the same time as Noah's father. When I was sent the timeline to review, I started looking at it with my husband. That weekend we had friends from our Church over for dinner and we pulled out the Timeline and really enjoyed looking at the chart and pulling out our bible and looking up different topics. I wanted others opinion on this product, especially since it refers to the Bible and I am not a Biblical scholar. My friends were impressed with the product and really found it fascinating. They were asking me for the website information and were considering purchasing charts for their homes as well. That following Monday, I was surprised to see an email from the company responding to some concerns that other TOS Crew members had regarding this product. As I said, I am not a Biblical scholar so many of the concerns raised were not even on my radar, however, I feel that I need to share this information with you so that you can make an educated purchase. The Company does offer a 60 day money back guarantee if you are not satisfied with the product. To be honest I was disappointed to hear other reviewers had issues with it, I thought it was a great product and could be used as a good teaching tool. I have decided to copy and paste the body of the email from the company here so that you can read and decide for yourself if this product may be right for you:

"Response to the LDS Question and Ussher's Table"
We have been questioned about the following:The Native American belief in a White God who would one day return. This is historical fact. You can find it in the Complete Idiot's Guide to Native American History - a condensed version of history. If it makes that book you know it's standard historical fact. People have known that Native Americans (north and south) believed in a person they called either the White God, The Great White God, The Fair God or The White Bearded God "who would one day return" since the Spanish first showed up in America. Not only did Cortez take advantage of it, the Spanish priests constantly commented on it. This is history not Mormon doctrine.

Every quote on the Amazing Bible Timeline referring to that fact is from highly regarded historians such as the Harvard trained historian Prescott.No serious historian disagrees with this. The disagreement arises over whether or not this has anything to do with Christ or whether or not any Native Americans (north or south) are related to the lost ten tribes. Cortes used the belief in the return of a Great White God to defeat the Aztecs by either claiming he was that God or at least not denying it. Sources: The Complete Idiots Guide to Native American History by Walter Fleming page 52 - you can read it online. You can also reference the following: "Letters and Dispatches of Cortes," translated by George Folsom (New York, 1843); Prescott's "Conquest of Mexico" (Boston, 1843) which is referenced on the Timeline; and Sir Arthur Helps's "Life of Hernando Cortes" (London, 1871)Common Christian Belief that the Great White God, The White God, The White Bearded God or The Fair God refers to Christ. Sources for Christian belief that this referred to Christ. Note that none of these are LDS and there are tons of them besides these few. This is historical fact, like it or not. The only question is, who was this person really? And are the Native Americans related in any way to the lost ten tribes? "History of America before Columbus VI : According to documents and approved authors" (Philadelphia 1900) Dr. Peter de Roo"Most ancient and modern authors agree in saying that the Christian religion had been taught to the Indians in pre Columbian days. Bastian establishes this opinion by the numerous analogies he points out between the religious belief and practices of the Christians and those of Americans aborigines. Von Humboldt admits the parity to be so striking as to have given the Spanish missionaries a fine opportunity to deceive the natives by making them believe that their own was none other than the Christian religion....Quite a number of ancient writers, such as Garcilasso de la Vega, Solorzano, Acosta and others are equally explicit in asserting that several Christian tenets and practices were found among our aborigines." Pages 423-424 (some of his books are on line but not VI.
Also note there are many references to writings by early Spanish Catholic priests writing about the legends of the White God and the teachings of same and their similarities to Christianity. ) William Prescott ( The wiki article mentions his access to unpublished documents in Spain and that he was considered a fair and impartial historian. In his book" Conquest of Mexico" (referring to the Fair God) Prescott says, " In a preceding I have noted the popular traditions respecting Quetzalcoal, that deity with a fair complexion and flowing beard, so unlike the Indian physiognomy, who, after fulfilling his mission of benevolence among them, embarked on the Atlantic Sea for the mysterious shores of Tlapallan. He promised, on his departure, to return at some future day..... That day was looked forward to with hope or with apprehension, according to the interest of the believer, but with general confidence throughout the wide borders of Anahuac."
The statements regarding historical belief in similarities between ancient people in America and Jewish people and temples It is historical fact that this similarity was noted and widely accepted throughout the Christian world long before the LDS church began. (see Radin's book and his footnotes on the Timeline) Since the DNA evidence this is now in dispute. We removed most of these statements before the 2008 reprinting. We did it without trying to rewrite the historical fact that for centuries many people, Christians and non-Christians alike thought there were similarities between Native American peoples and cultures and the Middle eastern peoples and cultures.As we have reprinted the timeline we have removed most of the references to any interpretations of history that are no longer accepted by the majority of Christians and will continue to do so on future updates but refuse to rewrite history including historical beliefs.

Why is there an LDS version of the Timeline? We began working with the Amazing Bible Timeline in 1975, forty-four years after its first printing in 1931. 1975 was a time when Christians were committed to building greater unity or cooperation among Christian faiths, very different from todays time of Bible bashing and rejection of any Christian whose faith does not exactly match our own. The contention among Christians today is appalling to us and we don't support it. (We were asked to provide primary references that there was such a time and attitude. Fair enough.

To answer the question, we were asked to provide an LDS version. We did it and we still provide it today. None of the original Timeline dates were changed and no LDS dates were added to the original Amazing Bible Timeline. A separate version was made. The two timelines have separate copyrights and ISBNs. When the North and South American history dates were added (Olmecs through Mayans and more) they were taken from archaelogists working in those areas. After that was done, not before, Book of Mormon dates were added to the LDS version.

Does the Timeline have an LDS slant? We don't know how it could. The original Timeline on which ours is based does not have an LDS background. We added dates from 1931 to 2000 so unless you think there's some LDS slant to WWII or the first astronauts on the moon there isn't one.
Bill and Margaret both come from varied religious background. Bill attended a non-denominational church throughout his youth and young adulthood. Margaret attended Baptist, Presbyterian,Episcopalian and Catholic depending on where she lived or which relative she was visiting. We feel we have a broad understanding of Christian doctrine.This is not a platform to proclaim our variety of Christianity (other than our belief in Christ as our personal savior) but a stewardship to an ongoing project. We hope it outlives us as it did the original author. We don’t feel it belongs to us any more than Ussher’s chronology or the King James version of the Bible belongs to us. We do everything we can to keep ourselves out of it and to present it as the history it is intended to be.We feel strongly that the Amazing Bible Timeline should be just as accessible to all Christians as is the Authorized King James Bible and Ussher’s chronology. The Timeline is used by Non-denominationals, Baptists, Fundamentalists, Evangelicals, Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians, Catholics, Seventh Day Adventists, Friends Churches and more. Therefore, we willingly and happily answer questions about Bible history on our site.

We do not answer doctrinal questions. We do our best to ensure there is no doctrine on the Timeline (other than a belief in the Bible and it's history) and to make sure it is historically accurate. If you find something you believe is more doctrine than history, please let us know. Also if you catch any errors in spelling or dating please let us know. This is a huge work and even after years of checking we sometimes find an error. After researching it we are happy to make changes before future printing.

Why do you keep talking about Ussher’s Chronology. What does that have to do with the Bible dates?If there are dates printed in the margins of your Authorized King James Bible they are from Ussher’s table not the other way around. The original Hebrew texts on which the Old Testament of the Bible is based didn’t come with dates although it does mention time frames. The dates calculated by Bishop Ussher were added to the margins of the Authorized King James Bible in 1701 ninety years after it's first printing. Many Biblical scholars still believe Ussher's Chronology is the most accurate. We hope you enjoy using The Amazing Bible Timeline as the tool it is intended to be –
to see the order of Biblical events
to visualize the length of time between Biblical or world events
to coordinate Biblical history with secular history. If you have more questions you are welcome to either call us at 877-966-7300 or
email us. "

That is the email that was sent to me and I copied and pasted it. I felt obligated to share it out of fairness to the company to give them an opportunity to explain and back up their product and also out of fairness to any potential buyers. I personally liked the product and I will hold onto it and use it as a reference that it was intended to be.

This has been as TOS Homeschool Crew review. As a member of the Homeschool Crew, we are given homeschool related products and asked to write an honest review. The items are provided to us by the companies, but we are not paid for our reviews.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Educaching Review

Hey everyone! As you all probably know by now, I am a member of the TOS Review Crew, and I was sent Educaching Curriculum to review. In case you need a little background information on what "Educaching" is, let me ask you if you have ever heard of Geocaching? It is a pretty popular "sport" right now. You plug Coordinates into a hand held GPS device to find hidden treasures located in various locations etc... there are many groups online that you could join if you had time and enjoyed the adventure. Actually, some reality/ adventure/game shows have also incorporated Geochaching into their shows; so word of this is spreading.
I have a GPS, mostly because I don't like to get lost, especially with 4 little kids in my car. My husband also commutes into NYC and a GPS comes in very handy when he needs to visit a new job site.
SO, back to Educaching (pronounced educashing). Educaching is a GPS Based Curriculum for Teachers (home school or classroom). The book was written by Jason Hubbard, a 5Th grade teacher himself. The teachers manual is well put together, and really for the price ($32.00 plus $6.95 shipping & Handling for a hard copy, 3 ring binder plus CD with customizable Templates or pay just $32.00 for the exact same electronic manual) it is a great curriculum. You can find it at

The 128 page manual is broken down into 5 Sections and covers everything you need to know to implement this into your school curriculum. Section 1 includes: teacher training, lingo, and equipment and gear. Section 2 includes lesson plans ranging from beginner to advanced. The author has also included National Standards and how the lessons taught meet those standards. Section 3 includes Field Sheets (and instructions on how to use them). Section 4 provides information on how to acquire a GPS through fundraising or grant writing and what questions to ask when purchasing one. Finally Section 5 is titled beyond the basics and covers how educators can take this information and really run with it! Home school groups, church youth groups, boy scouts, girl scouts etc... can really have a great time.

I am a fan of unit studies and Educaching is easily incorporated into that style of teaching. Every lesson plan spells out in detail the objectives covered, materials needed and step by step procedures to follow. Even the "electronically challenged" among us can follow along. As I read through the manual, I was impressed with the curriculum, but I have to admit, I didn't actually physically go Educaching. The curriculum has a target age of 4Th- 8Th Grades. My oldest daughter is in second grade and it goes down from there, so it was over their heads. Honestly, if you have kids in 4Th- 8Th grades (or are learning at that level; mine are not), and this is something that you think would be fun and educational, go for it! This product is well put together.

This has been a TOs Homeschool Crew Review. As a member of the TOS Crew, we are given home school related items and asked to write honest reviews. The items are provided to us by the companies, but we are not paid for our reviews.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

"Sarah's Wish" Book Review

As part of the TOS Review Crew, I was sent an autographed copy of the book "Sarah's Wish" to review. Jim Baumgardner is the Author and describes "Sarah's Wish" as such: "Twelve year old Sarah Smith is the star. She is a likable protagonist, a girl with grit, a young lady with steel in her backbone. She loves people; hates injustice, and fights for the underdogs- who are the runaway slaves in the Sarah books. In chapter one her mother dies and suddenly the responsibility of moving the runaways along the underground railroad rests upon her shoulders; at least she thinks so. Sarah's Wish tells of her quest for a family while ever mindful of her duties as a conductor and agent on the railway."

Since the story is told from a 12 year old girls perspective, it held my daughters attention and piqued their curiosity. The book led to many conversations on slavery and American History, topics that I didn't expect to talk about to my 3, 5 & 7 year old but grateful for the opportunity. The book offered a glimpse into 19Th century pre-civil war life. I even enjoyed reading it. The Author also offers a free Sarah's Web Newsletter. It comes by email and it's free! Go to enter "send newsletter" in the subject line. The newsletter is a great way to expand on the topics and information learned in the book. The Books and Newsletter are a great way to supplement a unit study on this time period in history (way more fun than text books!).
The books also come with a link to a free audio Book Download, download it to your computer or I-pod etc... you can listen to the story.

The Author Jim Baumgardner is a Christian and his writing clearly shows the good guys vs the bad guys. FUN FACT: the author is the great, great, grandson of Doctor Baum, the Town Doctor in Sarah's Wish.

Here are all the juicy details: There are three books in the series so far: Sarah's Wish; Sarah's Promise; Sarah's Escape. If you go to you can purchase all three for $39.95- shipping and handling are FREE, and the author will autograph them for you. You can also purchase Sarah's Wish for the sale price of $9.99 also Free shipping and autographed.

This has been a TOS Homeschool Crew Review. As a member of the Crew we are given homeschool- related items and asked to write honest reviews. The items are provided to us by the companies, but we are not paid for our reviews.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Guardian Angel Publishing E-Book Review

As part of the TOS Review Crew, I was sent 5 e-books from Guardian Angel Publishing to review. Guardian Angel Publishing can be found at they sell picture books, early readers, storybooks and chapter books and come in e-books, print and paperback, Cd's and will be selling book video with sound DVDs for your TV. The cost ranges depending on which format you choose. The e-book downloads that I reviewed cost $5.00; the e-book CD cost $9.95 plus $5.95 for Shipping and Handling; Print versions of the books cost between $10.95 & $11.95 (depending on the book) plus $6.95 Shipping and Handling. The DVD option I find interesting, we have a built in DVD player in our car which we rarely use and on long car rides we will often listen to books on tape, I may purchase a few DVDs to use for our next car ride to offer a change of pace. Three of the books that I reviewed were going to be offered as a DVD book video for $9.95 plus $5.95 shipping and handling.

The first book I reviewed was titled "Andy and Spirit go to the Fair" by Mary Jean Kelso, pictures by K.C. Snider. This book was the second book in a series of three. The story is sweet and the main characters Andy, a boy who is in a wheelchair, and Spirit, an albino wild horse, are an unlikely pair, each with their own unique differences. Together they are able to accomplish great things in spite of their obstacles. This story is great for all families and children who are interested in horses or involved in 4-H will enjoy it. The end of the book contains an information guide as to how wild horses are managed in the US.

The second book was titled "Earthquake." The book was informative and had excellent information all about earthquakes and emergency preparedness. The illustrations were great and the book was filled with factoids. I think this book would make a great addition to any unit study on Earth Science. The book won Honorable Mention in the Wild Card Category at the 2009 Green Book Festival.

The next book was titled "Maybe we are Flamingos" part of the Safari Sue Series and was written by Safari Sue Thurman the artist was Kevin Scott Collier. The main characters are flamingos and once hatched, are not the same color as the other flamingos in their flock. They finally work up the courage to ask their mom why they look different and their mom explains how they turn pink (diet). Much to their relief they begin to make silly pictures about what they would look like if they ate tacos, broccoli etc... the moral of the story is, it is not what is on the outside that counts but what is on the inside. This book is cute and really appealed to young children especially when the flamingos start to draw the silly pictures.

"No Bones About It- Sum of our parts Series" written by Bill Kirk, artist Eugene Ruble is a fun rhyming way to learn the names of the bones of the human body. I also had the pleasure of getting this book to review. The pictures are funny and will hold the children's interest. The book also contains factoids, a quiz and mystery bones. This book would be an nice addition to a science lesson or a health lesson.

The final book that I reviewed, and easily my favorite, is called "Rainbow Sheep". The author and Fiber Artist is Kim Chatel. The book is about a character named Genevieve who shares her gift of a great imagination with a sad rainbow who winds up cheering up and laughing so hard he cries tears of joy. The tears drip down splashes of color onto Genevieve's sheep and changes them to rainbow sheep. The story is sweet, but the pictures are the highlight of the book and are beautiful and different. At the end of the book the author shares with us information on how to do Felt For Fun and comes with activities and projects. Children who are artistic will love this book.

I was impressed with the wide variety of books offered by Guardian Angel Publishing for ages (0- 12), if you check out the website, there are a few free books available to download.

This has been a TOS Home school Crew Review. As a member of the Home school Crew, we are given home school related items and are asked to write honest reviews. The items are provided to us by the companies, but we are not paid for our reviews.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Nature Friend Magazine

As part of the TOS Review Crew, I was sent the August & September 2009 Nature Friend magazine to review. As a newbie to the homeschooling world of products, I of course did not know of this one, so I did not recognize it when it came in the mail. My first glance at the cover led me to believe it was one of my husbands photography catalogues. After I took a second and read the title, I realized what it was and was immediately intrigued!

The photographs used throughout the magazine are breathtaking! There is something special about Nature Friend, it is different than other commercial publications. For example, on the cover is a beautiful photograph of Gods creation. The cover is uncluttered, there are no featured stories plastered all over the cover to detract from the beautiful picture. The Nature Friend title is at the top of the cover and under that is this statement: "Helping Families Explore the Wonders of God's Creation". SOLD! How refreshing to read those words in today's world. The magazine lived up to it's promises. Every article, picture, letter and educational tool, lived up to that description.

Nature Friend magazine publishes 12 issues/ year, 6 of which are "gently nudged" towards the older family members. Even non readers can enjoy looking at the photographs contained in Nature Friend. Nature Friend began in 1983 by the Stanley Brubaker Family. Their desire was to encourage children to believe in God as their creator and to seek out, recognize, and appreciate His handiwork. Nature Friend is now Published by kevin and Bethany Shank.

My children enjoyed the 'invisibles' section of Nature Friend. This is where you try to find the small objects hidden in the big picture (IE: I Spy). Also another monthly feature is the "Wondernose" article. A "Wondernose" is a Pennsylvania Dutch phrase to describe someone is curious about everything around them. Each issue contains a new topic that "Wondernose" is curious about.

Nature Friend also offers a Study Guide subscription in addition to the Nature Friend subscription. The Study Guide, in my opinion, is a must for home schoolers. It meshes with the Nature Friend magazine and once ordered, can be found in the center of the magazine. It is a great way to round out and reinforce the information contained in the magazine. The exercises in the study guide may be photocopied for multiple children to use. Each study guide contains crossword puzzles, True/False questions, an acrostic, fill in the blanks etc... all covering and reviewing the information contained in the magazine.

You can order from the Nature Friend website at or toll free at 877-434-0765. The cost of the magazine is as follows:
1yr subscription- USA- $36.00
2yr subscription-USA- $68.00
add the study guide for $2.00/ issue
Nature Friend is currently offering a promotion, BLOG93 can be used to save $3.00 off of any new subscriptions and this promotion is valid until November 30, 2009.

At first the price seemed a little much, but I think, you get what you pay for. I used to pay $70/ month for cable to watch TV. We cancelled it because we felt it wasn't worth the money. I can get a two year subscription to a magazine that teaches science based on Biblical truths and is way more edifying than anything on TV, for what I would have paid for one month of cable. Worth the money, or add it to the Christmas wish list and ask family members to order a subscription for your children as a gift. Talk about a gift that keeps on giving!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Growing Healthy Homes Review

As a member of the TOS Review Crew I was able to review a great book titled: "Nutrition 101: Choose Life" published by the company Growing Healthy Homes. The website that sells the product is and it can be purchased as an e-book (CD ROM for $79.95) or as a hardcover book ($99.95) or you can get a combo (book and CD for $129.95).

I know what you are thinking, a bit expensive for a book about healthy living, but give me one minute of your time. I am a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) and I have a Masters Degree in Science with a major in Health Education, so I have read MANY Health related books, articles etc.... I am passionate about this topic, so when I had the opportunity to review the book, I was pleased. The title of the book should really be "Everything that has ever had anything to do with any health related topic, ever" All kidding aside, this whopper of a book is 448 pages chock full of information. The book breaks down 12 body systems into 6 units:

Brain/ Nervous System
Digestion/ Elimination
Respiration & Olfactory
Muscular & Skeletal Systems
Cardiovascular & Immune Systems
Endocrine Systems and Emotions

Each Unit is broken down into chapters and thoroughly explains what each system does and then it links the role that lifestyle and diet have on the different body systems. The graphics are beautiful, and the book covers all age ranges. It offers hands on activities, experiments, projects, reading and writing assignments. The Activity Guide is broken down by Unit and further by school age (so home school parents can go right to the necessary information to expand on each topic). Two highlights in this book for me was the way the authors tied in Bible verses to each subject, our lifestyle and well being is so strongly tied into God's word and this book does a fantastic job of threading this through the book. My other favorite, was the recipes!! Yes I said recipes!!!! At the end of every unit there are recipes and activities to do to wrap up the unit. I love cooking (in case you don't know that yet!).

Nutrition 101: Choose Life not only provides the facts, but then offers tangible solutions for a Healthier Lifestyle. This book is a fantastic resource to fulfill health/ science requirements but it goes so far above and beyond that. New wives/ mothers can use it to educate themselves about the importance of running a healthy household; people who desire a healthy lifestyle change need to look no further, this book has it, soup to nuts (literally, there are recipes for soups and some for granola!). The Appendices contain such a vast amount of information for further study and it also offers Health statistics, food pyramid and a serving checklist; a food shopping list; tips on how to select fresh produce; Top 40 foods to eat/ foods to avoid. Information on Asthma, Mold, Reproductive Health, Non-Toxic Cleaners (with the instructions on how to make them). There are many many more topics, but I have to stop sometime!

As a Health Educator I know that one of the best ways to get someone to change a behavior is to provide information that will create a desire to change the negative behavior. Nutrition 101: Choose Life is a great resource, it is worth the price. This book, regardless of the age range of people in your household, is a must have for health education for homeschooling moms, and women who desire to run a healthy household.

Monday, September 21, 2009


I was sent the STUDPOD made by GENIO, LLC to review for the TOS Review Crew. I have to admit, I had never heard of this product either but once I opened the package, I was instantly SOLD!!! The Studypod is a book holder designed for students to hold their books as a way to improve their studying. Picture your child sitting at the table doing school work using a textbook and taking notes. The Studypod holds the textbook upright at about the same angle as a computer screen. It helps your child not strain his/her neck looking down at the book and freeing hands for writing notes etc... I like the fact that it automatically creates a small work zone that can help the student focus on their work.

My children are not old enough for textbooks so when I had to use the product to write this review I was happy to snag it and keep it for myself (oh the sacrifices we make as moms.....)! I love to cook, so instantly I thought JACKPOT, this can hold my cookbooks. I love the fact that it sets up easily and holds the book firmly allowing me to get my hands messy without getting my recipes messy! As a matter of fact, I am a bit nerdy and I always write out my reviews by hand to make sure I get all my thoughts down and the facts right before I type it out (remember word processors, I guess in college this was my writing papers method and has still remained so!) Anyway, as I write the review I have all my notes propped up using my lovely Studypod to hold them. My opinion- great, simple product that is versatile. I LOVE when I can use the products for more than one function, I feel that it is a better bang for the buck!

So what's the bottom line? Visit or call 1-434-974-7042 to order or for more information. The STUDYPOD is priced at $19.95 for one or $16.95 for two or more. They are running a special for my readers (Thank you very much) enter in TOSBLOG5 in the coupon code and receive $5 off your order. The STUDYPPOD is available in Black, Pink or Blue. It is also compact; size (closed) 6.75" x 8.875" x 1.25" and holds any sized book with thickness up to 2.25" (i.e. "Twilight" thickness). The product comes with instructions on how to set it up, literally three steps. It also has a mesh holder on the left side to carry a cell phone or pens when closed. It is in the shape of a book, so it can fit nicely on a book shelf for easy storage.

I am off to fold some laundry, but I am bringing my STUDYPOD with me so I can do some reading, nice!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Maverick Books: Hank the Cowdog

Soooooo....... apparently I have been living under a rock for a while, or maybe it is because I live in NJ, the most populated State in the US and live no where near a ranch or cowboys or, maybe it is because I have three little girls, but I had NO IDEA there was any such thing as "Hank The Cowdog." If you are like me and find yourself saying- "yes I live under a rock too, what is Hank The Cowdog?" please read on.......

Maverick Books, Inc. Publishes the Hank The Cowdog books (54 so far: one paperback book costs $4.24) and products which include audio Cd's (on sale now for $3.00 each), a TORNADO board game (price $12.99 on the website) a spin off of one of the books- ha ha- no pun intended- and several other products. You can check out the website at and view for yourself the full product line.

I was sent three products from Maverick Books and the Hank the Cowdog product line to review. The first product I began reviewing was the book (#8 in the series) The Case of The One-Eyed Killer Stud Horse. I read to my children every day- I am an avid reader and my children are beginning to enjoy chapter books, so this was something that I looked forward to reading out loud to them. We started reading the first few chapters and my girls enjoyed the story. We had taken a long car ride one day, so I took with me a second product that I was sent to review; "Tales and Tunes from Hank the Cowdog". The girls found the songs and stories on the CD funny. and they really enjoyed listening to the characters' voices especially since we had been reading about Hank and his buddies on the ranch for the past several nights. There is one story on the Cd which is from the book we were reading. The girls listened to the story of the "Poisoned Bacon Grease" in the car. That night, we were up to the same chapter in the book. I read it to them and they were giggling the whole time. The story was so much more significant to them once they heard the Cd and were able imagine all the characters speaking the way they did on the Cd.
If you are new to the Hank The Cowdog product line- buy the Cd's along with the books to really grab your children.

Hank is a lovable character but totally clueless as the "self appointed Head of Ranch Security" along with his Deputy Drover. Together the duo talks in circles and usually end up confused and completely off topic! The other characters in the story add to the fun and chaos. As a mom of four children I have a special place in my heart for "Sally May" the mom. The story is fun reading for the whole family. Normally I would have passed right over this type of product line because I have three little girly girls and really didn't expect them to embrace Hank the way they did.

The final product that I was sent to review was the TORNADO board game. The game was enjoyable for all of us, and I think our favorite product. We love playing board games at Camp Corbett! Maverick books describes the TORNADO game very well so I am going to quote them "Hanks TORNADO game is a wild, fast paced race and chase game. Each person gets a Hank, Drover, and Junior the buzzard game piece, and it's a race to see who can get their pieces around the board and and safe to their home spaces first. There is a cassette tape with 30 minutes of excerpts from hanks 25th story, "The Case of the Swirling Killer Tornado." the excerpts tell a story that fits with the game."
My 7 & 5 year old picked up on the games rules after only one game. They can play it with each other and not have any problem, the rules are easy to understand. I like the fact that the game does not take too long to play so we are able to play it in the evening to wind down and I don't have to worry that it can take all night. I would be remiss if I didn't mention the 30 minute tape that comes with the game was hard for us to hear. The sound quality was not that great. That being said, I haven't used my tape player in about 5 years so, it may have been a malfunction on my part. We really have been playing the TORNADO game approximately three times per week since we got it and it is very portable; when it folds up the game board becomes a container for all the pieces.

Overall the Hank the Cowdog products are clean wholesome fun for the entire family. I can't wait for my little boy (who is one) to get a bit older, I see some Hank adventures in his future!
Happy Trails friends............

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Web Design For kids (...and curious grown-ups!) Review

As part of the TOS Homeschool Review Crew, I was given a product by Click Drag Solutions titled: Web Design for Kids (...and curious grown-ups!). I have to admit, I was a bit intimated by this product, basically because I am not too computer savvy and would rather be cooking than learning all about basic HTML. I am happy to report, that I was very pleased with the DVD and felt much more computer literate after viewing it. My children are too young for this particular product (the website gives the age range of 8- adult) and since I was never taught this material, I used the product as a student would.

I would suggest watching the DVD on a TV screen and following along with your own computer. The DVD is 1 hour and 22 minutes long covering 7 chapters. At the end of each chapter the "Teacher" Brian Richardson (who is actually a middle school Computer Literacy Teacher) asks the viewer questions to review and if at any point you don't understand what was just taught, simply go back and watch that chapter again. Brian Richardson has two students in the DVD who are at computers following along with his instructions. He answers their questions and even has them change some parts of the HTML code to demonstrate how important attention to detail is when creating the web page.

As a mom, I can see the value in having my children learn this skill as they get older. Also, as a business owner, I see how this DVD can be a very valuable tool in creating a web page for a business without spending a lot of money hiring someone to design a web page for me. The pace of the DVD was perfect for me as it walked me through step by step the basic lines of HTML Code; Colors, making the subject stand out; creating stand alone tags; designing backgrounds; how to use Fonts and Paragraphs and how to incorporate pictures into the web page. The DVD has the viewers use the computer software called "Notepad" and "Internet Explorer" which every computer that operates in Windows has, so there is no need to purchase any extra software.

You can purchase the DVD Web Design for Kids (...and curious grown-ups!) at the website or you can call them at 1-866-932-9122. They have a 24 hour call center. At the time I am writing this post, the DVD was being offered for a limited time for $19.99 (plus $3.99 shipping and Handling) that is 50% off the regular price of $40.00 (plus $3.99 for shipping and handling). I also wanted to mention that proceeds from the DVD go to charities listed on the website and are also named at the end of the DVD. So if teaching your children (or yourself) how to create a web page was one of your goals for this school year, I would choose this DVD.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Grapevine Studies: Beginner Birth of Jesus Books

As part of the TOS Review Crew I was able to review the "Beginner Birth of Jesus Books" by Grapevine Studies. My children are ages 7 & 5 so this study was perfect for them. This particular topic was a chronological study of the nativity of Jesus Christ. It had seven lessons covering Mary, Joseph, Birth of Jesus, The Shepard's, The Temple, The Wise Men, and Herod. I plan on pulling this back out right before Christmas to review it again and put the focus back on the Lord during the Holiday season.
According to the Grapevine teaching method the beginner program is different from the other Grapevine Studies Levels in that it "Teaches just the accounts of the major characters and events of the Bible." This method in my opinion was perfect for my children's ages. Even my 3 year old was following along! My children would listen to the Bible passage and then draw a picture representing that passage using a stick figure. Even the artistically challenged: read: me was able to make a beautiful picture. Even my 5 year old felt competent drawing the pictures.

At the end of each topic I would use the review questions to ask what they just learned. If they were not sure how to answer the review question, all they had to do was look at the picture they just drew and it helped them remember. They were able to explain the entire Birth of Jesus to my husband by sharing the pictures with him. The study also has a teachers manual which made preparation time minimal. The study is very hands on and held their attention. The kids loved it, and have asked for more topics, so it looks like we will be purchasing more subjects from Grapevine Studies. Who can say no to that?

This paticular Teacher Study (priced at $14.95 for a hard copy) comes with a Statement of Faith from Grapevine Studies; Teacher Goals; student goals and a supply list (minimal need for supplies). It also gleans the goals and key points for each topic. The student copies for this study were $7.95 for a hard copy. I visited the website at and was amazed to see the many products the company carried and many available as E-Books or hard copies. You can also contact them at 1-877-436-2317. They have different studies designed for ages 5- adult and Grapevine Studies teaches Foundational Bible Facts and leaves the application to the teacher so it can apply to a variety of denominations.
My family was richly blessed by this study. We will be ordering other studies from Grapevine Studies. My children loved it and I am grateful for a fun hands on way to teach the Bible.

Quarter Mile Math Review/ Barnum Software

As part of The Old Schoolhouse (TOS) Review Crew, I had the opportunity to review a product called Quarter Mile Math Deluxe. I was very impressed by this product! Your child/ student chooses either a wild riderless running horse or a fast dragster car. You choose a topic from a wide selection offered, typically one that your child may be having a hard time understanding. Then the games begin! Your child competes against their own best times in a fun game while reinforcing math concepts.
My 5 year old liked playing even though she has had little formal math training, she will be starting Kindergarten next week. I was impressed by the vast amount of topics covered by this game, because it not only covers math concepts but also letters and keyboarding. The parent decides what topic they wish to concentrate on. For example, my 5 year old is learning her vowels and consonants and they actually have a game where she had to type either v for vowel or c for consonant as a letter popped up on the screen. As she got each problem correct her horse would accelerate. The game would last for approximately a minute and at the end of the game, it would tell her how long it took her to finish. Then another game would start and she would compete against the horse that was in the previous race. She found this so exciting! She kept asking for more topics, so we were able to teach her the concept of any number plus one. She was learning addition and having a blast!!!
My second grader had fun with the < > (greater than, less than) topic. She enjoyed running each race and even though the graphics are simple, she found the game exciting because she kept tying to beat her previous time. I see this product as so very valuable to have as a teaching tool in the home, and not just for children who struggle with math concepts. This game is a great way for children to improve on math skills in a fun exciting way. The children can do those math drills that are so necessary for learning math without flash cards, and they can have a blast doing it.

Barnum Software makes the Quarter Mile Math product and can be found at or 1-800-553-9155. I reviewed the Deluxe version which covers levels 1,2 & 3 or students who are working on a K-12 grade level. The company charges for the Standard version of the Levels 1, 2, and 3 Bundle $89.95, the Deluxe version is just $2.95 per family per month. There are two other Deluxe version subscription options that are less expensive over time. But if someone pays $89.95, that's all they pay and they can use it forever. In my opinion, this is reasonably priced, especially for families who have a wide range of students working at different levels. This one program will cover them all for their entire school career. They do have a standard package which has three separate levels covering grades k-3, 4-6 & 6-9 respectively and are each priced at $39.95. The Deluxe version requires the Internet, but the students never need to go online. The standard package does not require the Internet.
This product is great and I can understand why Sylvan Learning Centers chose to use it for all of their US & Canadian centers.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Winds of Change- Homeschooling

This week marked several significant milestones for my family. My Oldest daughter Emily is finishing up first grade and will soon be a second grader! My daughter Jessica just had a little preschool graduation ceremony yesterday and is now officially a kindergartner. Jessica also lost a tooth this week and my one year old son Joshua just cut a tooth this week and finally slept through the night. My third daughter Mary is three (and she is acting like a typical three year old!) Three is the new two! Funny, her behavior is the one thing I would like to change!

My parents are moving out of state this week and my brother who is 21 will be coming to live with us until he can find an apartment. My friend Danielle just had her fourth baby yesterday, she has three boys and now a beautiful baby girl. As of 12:30pm tomorrow afternoon I will be a full fledged homeschooling mom!

I took a year to research and pray regarding homeschooling. Carefully researching my curriculum choices, subscribing to magazines, surfing the web for research articles regarding homeschooling. I ate slept and breathed homeschooling. I ordered my curriculum with gusto and opened it with as much anticipation as I used to open Christmas presents as a child. I organized shelves and cabinets. I sent in my letter to my daughters school letting them know she would not be returning. I daydreamed about the relaxed mornings we will have soon once school is over and the hectic morning schedule is over. Then something funny began to happen. I started crying. Not just a little nostalgia of all the friends we have made at my daughters school, but I mean sobbing, like a baby! My daughter came home with a book of drawings from her friends saying GOODBYE..... I lost it. A year of research went out the window, a year of prayer gone. All my answers went away and I felt terrified. What was I thinking? I am ripping my child out of this environment for my own satisfaction. How terrible, what kind of crazy person was I? My children looked at me rather puzzled, I am not known for crying. Emily asks "what is wrong?"
I answer "I am just nervous that I made the right decision for you, I love you and I want to do what is best for you". Her reply "Oh good, I can't wait to home school, I am so sick of going to school." Her simple words put back into perspective what I took a year to discover. I am sure we will have many terrifying moments along the way, but God directs our paths and when we are in step with God, we are going the right way.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Camp Corbett


This is my first Blog and I have decided to begin blogging because I wanted to share with other people my life experiences, trials and joyous moments. This year marks the beginning of the rest of my life. I know that sounds silly, but I have prayed and made the decision to begin Homeschooling my four children. I am taking a leap of faith! Outside our Church I know only a few people who are Christian and even fewer homeschoolers.

Since becoming a Christian I have been changed and my heart has been brought home to serve my family. After the Lord, my family has become my top priority. If you told me 5 years ago I would be a mother to 4 children, baking my own bread (grinding the grains myself), keeping the house clean (and enjoying it), planning meals, trying to budget and overall manage a home as well as undertaking the task of teaching my own children I would have told you that you are crazy!

I have also been asked this year to serve as a Crew member for TOS Homeschooling Magazine. I will be reviewing home school products. I can't tell you what a honor it is to serve on the Crew and I hope to do it well.

I LOVE to cook and will be sharing recipes and pictures of my "cooking experiments". I can't wait to share with you all the ups and down of parenting four children under the age of 7. So please, pull up a seat around the Bone fire grab some marshmallows and enjoy Camp Corbett!