Monday, May 31, 2010

Lobster Network Review

I am new on the homeschooling scene, but I have noticed a common trait amongst homeschoolers. They are a resourceful bunch! For example, ever since I was asked to participate on the TOS Homeschool Crew, I have had the opportunity to ask many different questions on our TOS Crew online forum. The questions ranged from topics on curriculum, to books, to different companies, or just plain life advice. What a wealth of knowledge I have found from other homeschooling families. I say all of this because I just found out about a really neat opportunity to network with other homeschooling families on a website I was asked to review.

As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was asked to review a website called found here:

According to the website, LobsterNewtork describes itself as:

LobsterNetwork is a social networking utility that helps you keep track of your stuff and, if you choose, to advertise it within communities of like-minded people or friends. You can use it to borrow a movie from your friend, and it will help you keep track of the loan. Or you can lend your items out to other people. Similarly, you can use it to buy, sell, trade, or give items out to other people.
Some people even use it as an offsite inventory list for insurance purposes.

LobsterNetwork stands for:

I had an easy time setting up my FREE account with LobsterNewtork (it is free to join for everyone). The TOS Crew created a "Community" on the site so we can better pool our resources for those who choose to. You can invite your friends to join as well. I think this was a great idea. I can see the value in this site, especially for a homeschool co-op, church groups, MOPS groups etc...
The only aspect of the site that may get a little time consuming is uploading all your inventory with descriptions, but I think you will find it time well invested. Since I am new to homeschooling, I do not have much to share or sell just yet, but as the years roll by I will be posting up many items. I am going to ask my husband if there is any house "stuff" he would like to see put into the LobsterNetwork site. I highly recommend this site, there are instructional videos to teach new members how to utilize the site and it is very easy to set up and begin using. If you join, please friend me, my user name is katiecorbett. Happy LobsterNetworking!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Ideal Curriculum Review

I love Unit Studies! Mostly because I enjoy an interesting topic and pulling all areas of study, reading, language, spelling, math, writing, geography, history etc.... into one topic and Ideal Curriculum has done just that with a Curriculum aimed at preschoolers.

As a member of the TOS Homeschool Review Crew, I was sent the month long "transportation" unit study and I was very impressed with the material. I know my son will enjoy it tremendously when he gets a bit older and can do more of the work, and my 4 year old daughter enjoyed a few of the lessons, especially the music and games. I enjoyed the daily lesson plans and all the extra tips and teaching helps for us moms to use. All of the prep work was done for me, all I had to do was print off the material I needed. If you have a printer, you can download the material yourself or order the print version for a few extra dollars. The unit studies are a month long, and are on fun topics that preschoolers will enjoy (my son loved the beautiful pictures in the transportation unit study).

According to the website:

They have created a program that covers Literacy, Math/Calendar, and Science/Social Studies.
The program is made up of nine monthly kits, including such themes as Weather (unit 3), A Healthy Life (unit 5) and People in My Community (unit 7).

Each month has three sections:

Literacy: The program teaches letters and sounds, introduces approximately 100 sight words, works on developing motor skills and other writing skills, explores phonemic and phonological awareness, and develops oral language and vocabulary. Included in this program is music and games along with the print-based materials.

Math: Ideal Curriculum works on basic math concepts such as the number line, rote counting, one-to-one correspondence, cardinality, adjacent values, an basic shapes and number recognition. The Calendar portion works on various concepts of time. The plans include a weekly math lesson and a weekly calendar lesson.

Science/Social Studies: Each unit has a different theme involving science or social studies. Within the theme are included picture books, sequencing stories, vocabulary lists, suggestions for library books to supplement the study, and lots of oral language and vocabulary activities. There are lots of hands-on suggestions in the daily lesson plans.

Units are available for $30 (download) or $55 (print version), and it is also possible to purchase portions of the curriculum. In May, Ideal Curriculum is offering TOS Homeschool Crew followers a 10% discount on a first purchase by using the code: welovekids

Monday, May 10, 2010

Beeyoutiful Tummy Tune Up Review

This past winter consisted of a few snow storms and my small children with many upset stomachs. In fact, I threw in the towel mid February when a stomach bug had made it's rounds through my family for the sixth time since November. I was one unhappy momma, and I was bogged down with laundry. As part of the TOS Homeschool Review Crew I was sent a product called Tummy Tune up to use and review. The company "Beeyoutiful" found here: makes Tummy tune-up and many other natural products. The company motto is: "Healthy Living for the Real World." Beeyoutiful’s owners believe that each person’s health is his own responsibility, and their company offers a variety of natural products to "aid others in obtaining and maintaining good health."

Of course, since we had such a rough winter with illness, I was more than willing to review any product that promised better heath. The product I was given to try out is called Tummy Tune-Up and is made up of capsules that deliver an especially potent blend of 8 different strains of beneficial bacteria known as probiotics, designed to restore intestinal balance and promote health. 4 billion active bacteria per dose.

I had the opportunity to use it with my older daughter immediately. She had been on several different anti-biotics for strep and was complaining of an upset stomach. I was thrilled when, after a few days of taking "Tummy Tune-up" her stomach stopped hurting. I think the company offers quality products and they have a full line of health and wellness products to choose from to meet your families needs. I plan on stocking up on products this coming fall to prevent illness, rather than medicine to take after we all fall ill again. I hope to have a better winter next year by using more Beeyoutiful products.