Monday, November 29, 2010

Smart Kids Productions, Nanuq Book Review

As a member of the TOS Crew, I was sent a book called Nanuq, A baby Polar Bear's Story. The book is published by Smart Kids Publishing, inc. found here. The Nanuq book is part of a series of books called My Animal Family which allows the reader to learn about the animals and watch them in their native habitats. The My Animal Family Series is a storybook/DVD package with an interactive website, designed for children. Each package includes a hardcover book, a DVD featuring footage of the baby animal with an original song, and a secret code card that allows kids and parents access to the My Animal Family website
The book can be purchased at this website on sale now for $10.39.

At first glance, the book is lovely, it has a nice hard bound cover and the story is engaging as we learn about Nanuq's adventures with his brother Suka. Suka likes to get into mischief and play even when he is supposed to be learning how to survive in the Arctic (the theme really tied in well with our unit on responsibility; we also used this as our science topic). The story is wonderfully illustrated. I was surprised to learn some interesting facts about polar bears as well!

 The DVD is narrated by a child's voice and uses amazing footage by the BBC Library. When we first got the book/ DVD in the mail we read the story first, then watched the DVD. We enjoyed watching the DVD and then watching all the bonus educational facts and footage that was on the DVD.

The My Animal Family Program includes a revolutionary interactive game web site. Children will explore the online animal habitat of the baby animal character featured in the book they are reading. The habitat is full of games, activities and an Art Studio that will both entertain and educate pre-readers and young readers alike. The book contains a secret code to access the web site. I can choose what age group I want to have use the website, so my preschoolers are able to color etc, while my third grader can play games based on her skill level.

My children really enjoyed this review! I think it would make a great gift for cousins or for a book swap. You don't have to take my word for it, check out what my fellow reviewers have to say about this product: TOS CREW

As a member of the TOS Crew I was sent this product for free in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, November 19, 2010

KBTeachers Review

Did you know that today is Gettysburg Day? Were you aware that tomorrow is Peanut Butter Fudge day? To think you may have let Peanut Butter Fudge Day slip by without so much as a piece of peanut butter fudge. How do I know all these little fun facts? From the Website

As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I was given a year membership to the online site that I believe,  is a dream come true to a homeschooling mom like me! The site is really neat, they have many awesome features that are so helpful in providing supplements to me to use with my curriculum.

One feature I fell in love with was the worksheet generator. I was able to custom make worksheets for my preschool aged daughter who is learning how to spell her name and address and phone number. I can create handwriting sheets in either script or penmanship specific to letters that my children are having trouble with. I can do the same thing with math. I can create worksheets that highlight specific math concepts that my children may require extra help in. For example, we are just beginning to learn how to tell time and so I can print out some worksheets just for my first grader to practice on.

I am due with a baby in about 4 weeks and we will be having a few "substitute teaching days". I plan on taking the subject matter that we will be working on and making each child an age specific folder that they can do while I am at the hospital and they are with Grandma. The website offers a wide range of subjects as well as a wide range of ages, so you will be able to find this site useful for many years.

The site also offers information and activities on Social Studies. We will be studying Early American History after our Christmas break, and I plan on printing out some of the Early American printable pages to use to supplement our studies. I can do the same with science and biology.

The site offers seasonal activities and right now they have many Thanksgiving themed activities for my children to do while I am cooking our Turkey! Premium members also have access to free clip art and unlimited downloads. You pay a flat yearly rate regardless of how many downloads or worksheets you print out. The price for a yearly membership is $29 or $49/ two years. The website also offers a free trial and if you do purchase a membership, you have up to 30 days to cancel it for a full refund. I think the site is well worth the money and would at least recommend the free trial so you can test it for yourself.

You can also check out what my fellow TOS Crew members thought of this product here.

As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I was given the year membership to for free in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Corps of Re-Discovery Review

The Corps of Discovery was the name President Thomas Jefferson gave to Lewis and Clark’s party as he commissioned them to find an east-west water passage to the Pacific Ocean over 200 years ago.  Their goal was to explore what lies around the next river bend, to seek out new life and new cultures, to boldly discover what had never been discovered before. The Corps of R-Discovery is a business started by a homeschooling family: Husband and Father, John, wife and mother, Katie, and sons Eric, Nicholas and Joshua. This family had the opportunity to travel cross country and experience so many learning adventures first hand. It is a fascinating story and if you follow this link you can read more about it:

As a result of their travels, The Corps of Re-Discovery has found and created great project kits to enrich your studies of American Indians, Frontiersmen and Pioneer Americans so you, too can "re discover" America. The kits are made in the USA by John, Katie, Eric, Nicholas and Joshua. As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I was sent the Cornhusk Doll Kit to review. According to the product description on the website,  the Cornhusk dolls (also known as faceless dolls) were introduced to the white man by the Iroquois Indians. Because the pioneers and colonists had limited materials, they were happy to find ways for the children to play.

These cornhusk doll kits include everything you need to make and dress your own doll.
Each kit is sold separately and costs $4.50.

I had my 9 year old daughter Emily try out this craft and she did require my help with the directions and assembly. I think a child a bit older, who is used to assembling crafts would be able to do this project solo. We enjoyed working on the craft together and she was very proud that in an afternoon had actually made her own doll. The product came at just the right time for our family, since we are studying how the pioneer children made their own toys out of materials found around the home. The kit included complete directions, cornhusks, fabric and all the materials required to make one Cornhusk doll. We did need to have scissors and a needle and thread handy to complete the dress and apron.

I am planning on purchasing the Pioneer/ Colonial Craft pack to use in January for our upcoming unit on Early American Colonial Life. We will make homemade ink, our own candles and many other fun projects. I love the Corps of Re-Discovery and the fun/ educational kits they offer because workbooks get boring (especially in the dead of winter), and I love to wrap up unit studies with hands on learning to help cement a concept with my children.

If you would like to read about the other projects that my fellow Crew members were able to review please click  here .

As a member of the TOS Crew, I was sent this product for free in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, November 5, 2010 Review

Does row after row of organized books, listed by Author, genre or ISBN make you drool? Do you consider yourself a "type A" personality or at least wish you were? Are you an avid collector of books with an awesome collection that you like to share (or at least brag about)? Then I have found a website that will rock your world. offers a service that allows you to do all the things mentioned above.

With Collectorz you are able to:
Catalog and share your book collection online.

Automatic book details and cover images,

Just scan ISBN barcodes or enter authors & titles.
The company even offers a free 30 day trial on their website.
As a member of the TOS Homeschool Review Crew, I was sent the Book Collector Pro Version for my PC (they also have one for Mac.). The Book Collector Standard Version costs $24.95, while the Book Collector Pro Version costs $49.95.
Once you have the software needed, you can begin to catalog your books. All you need to do is to scan ISBN barcodes or enter Authors and Titles, the website will add the book details and cover images. If a book is old and out of print you may need to add the details yourself. You can even keep track of your  collection and who you have lent books to. I know as a homeschooling mom, this program can be a very valuable tool. Especially if you can create a network of homeschooling friends who would be willing to pool resources for everyone's benefit.
I can appreciate a computer program like this and would one day love to be able to organize and catalog all my books (they are currently in cardboard boxes while I wait patiently for books shelves). The reality is this: I cannot dedicate time right now to cataloging my books online (they aren't even organized in real life). I am 8 months pregnant and my two year old literally escapes if I take my eyes off of him for one minute! It is just not the season for online book organization at Camp Corbett. One day I will have a clean house, hung book shelves lined with alphabetically ordered books, and fit back into my college jeans. So in the interest of full disclosure, I don't think is is a program that is a good fit for our family right now. is an excellent program, just not one that is needed in our family right now. I love the concept and think it is brilliant, but I need to work on real life organization before I can accomplish virtual organization.
I do know that my fellow Crew mates used and loved the program, so please click on this link to see what they have to say:
As part of the TOS Homeschool Review Crew, I was sent the product at no cost to myself in exchange for an honest review.