Thursday, November 19, 2009

AVKO membership

AVKO Membership

AVKO is a non profit organization that helps teachers and parents in teaching children with dyslexia how to read, write, and type. Their approach specializes in multisensory learning.  No matter if your child has dyslexia or not, this website membership can be beneficial to you as a parent.

None of my children show sighns of dyslexia, so I am writing my review according to that.  If your child does, you will probably glean much more from their website then I was able to.

Also, if you use Sequential Spelling this is the website for you, there are a lot of resources for this program with a membership.

What does a BASIC membership to AVKO include?

Benefits of AVKO Basic Membership~

*Discounts on AVKO printed materials

*Hundreds of dollars worth of FREE e-books (PDF)

*The Patterns of English Spelling (All 10 Volumes) with Word Families in Sentence Context

*To Teach a Dyslexic

*Starting at Square One

*The Teaching of Reading & Spelling: a Continuum from Kindergarten through College.

*The Reading Teacher's List of Over 5,500 Basic Spelling Words

*Access to the Member Only section

*AVKO Newsletter with freebies, discounts, resources, and promotions

*Access to Don McCabe's most popular workshop recordings in MP3 format.

*Supplemental Curriculum Materials including word games, worksheets, activities, and more!

*Access to Pretests and Placement Tests

*Access to the Answer Keys for the Unscramblers and Family Reunion exercises of the Engaging Language Kits

**Price is $25.00 a year for the basic membership.

There is also a DELUXE membership as well~

Benefits of AVKO Deluxe Membership:

(Institutional Membership is open to individuals as well as tutoring centers, schools, learning centers, homeschool resource centers, etc.)

*Access to all of the benefits of AVKO's Basic Membership

*25% discount off all materials ordered

*Read-only access to ALL AVKO curriculum materials (except for Sequential Spelling and Engaging Language Kits)

*Access to AVKO's newest e-books:

*Word Family Supplements 1-7 for Sequential Spelling

*Spelling Remediation Test Kit

**Price for Deluxe membership is $100 per year.

I did not find very much on the website that we would use in our homeschool.  We were given a one year basic membership in order to review.  I found a few of the things on there unnecessary and a few rather inappropriate.  But as you work your way through the humor section etc... you as a parent can weed out th few things you may not deem appropriate for your family.

There were a few things like the puzzles and quizzes we thought were fun.  If you use Sequential Spelling then this would be the perfect website for you.  There are lots of extras for this program.

There is also a freebie section that you can take advantage of even without the membership.  There are many ebooks, forms, and help available for your child.

Other TOS crew members post their reviews here.

Monday, November 16, 2009


GyMathtics DVD

Exploramania is a cmpany comitted to teach children to become fit and healthy.  The GyMathtics DVD is one of their Exploracise products.

GyMathtics is a DVD fitness program which also reinforces math concepts.  It uses visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning to teach children fitness and math.

I used this DVD with my 9 year old, 4 year old and with my day care kids 4,4, and 1.  The little kids enjoyed it eventhough they did not understand the math concepts.  My 9 year old son thought it was fun the first and second time, but soon lost interest.  Occasionally he will want to do it.

I am really not impressed with this.  I felt it was kind of cheesy.  The math concepts were geared for older kids but my son did not really get much out of it.  My preschoolers liked it better.

If your child is a kinesthetic learner I think it would be beneficial to them.  My child is not, so it did not mean the same to me as it would if my son was.

Price~ $24.95

Other TOS crewmembers' reviews are here.

*I was sent a free DVD to review.  I do not receive compensation for my reviews and am not required to write a positive review.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

FREE Holiday book from TOS!!

2009 Holiday Digital Supplement/Idea Book

Click on above picture to get your own FREE copy!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fall Fiction Blog Tour

Leaving Carolina
by Tamara Leigh
Multnomah Publishing

Piper Wick left Pickwick, North Carolina over a decade ago.  She now lives in CA as a public relations consultant for the Big Whigs.  Her boyfriend is running for office and Piper does not want anything to happen to dampen his chances.   Unfortunately her family from Pickwick is in need for her services. 
Piper's uncle is about to let the cat out of te bag about all of the black sheep of the family~ which is nearly everyone.  Piper can not let her family ruin her name or her boyfriend's career.

This was a cute book.   I enjoyed it as a fun read.  I did not really find much in common with this book, so it was more of a fun read for me.  

  Does Piper learn to find peace with her "crazy" family and find true love?  Purchase your book for these answers here. 

*I was sent a free copy of this book to read and review.  I am not compensated in any way and am not required to write a positive review.

What Matters Most Diary of a Teenage Girl
by Melody Carlson
Multnomah Publishing

"Sixteen-year-old Maya Stark has a lot to sort through. She could graduate from high school early if she wants to. She’s considering it, especially when popular cheerleader Vanessa Hartman decides to make her life miserable–and Maya’s ex-boyfriend Dominic gets the wrong idea about everything."

"To complicate matters even more, Maya’s mother will be released from prison soon, and she’ll want Maya to live with her again. That’s a disaster waiting to happen. And when Maya plays her dad’s old acoustic guitar in front of an audience, she discovers talents and opportunities she never expected. Faced with new options, Maya must choose between a “normal” life and a glamorous one. Ultimately, she has to figure out what matters most."

What an intense book.  I personally do not have  a teen girl, but I hope my daughter's life will never be this complicated.

To purchase this book click here.

*I was sent a free copy of this book from the publisher to read and review.  I am not compensated and I am not required to write a positive review.

by Melody Carlson

"Claudette Fioré used to turn heads and break hearts. She relished the glamorous Hollywood lifestyle because she had what it takes: money, youth, fame, and above all, beauty. But age has withered that beauty, and a crooked accountant has taken her wealth, leaving the proud widow penniless and alone."

"Armed with stubbornness and sarcasm, Claudette returns to her shabby little hometown and her estranged sister. Slowly, she makes friends. She begins to see her old life in a new light. For the first time, Claudette Fioré questions her own values and finds herself wondering if it’s too late to change."

Everyone must re-evaluate their life, especially when things do not turn out the way we would want.

To purchase this book click here.

*I was sent a free copy of this book to review.  I am not compensated and I am not required to write a positive review.

Swiss Courier

by Tricia Goyer & Mike Yorkey
Revell Publishing

I LOVED this book.  I hope that the authors make more books from WWII.  There was not a bunch of romance, refreshing to say the least.  Intrigue and spies, I am not sure I ever would have ever picked out this book for myself but it was so good. 

 I just finished it last night.  I can not keep thinking about it.  SO GOOD!!

Taking place in Switzerland 1944, during WWII, Gabi, who is half Swiss and half American, works for the OSS doing translations.  She also has a rare talent~she is a safe cracker.  Gabi is asked to do crack a safe to retrieve some very important documents.  From there she becomes involved in a bigger more important job.

Joseph Engel works at the University.  He is working on a top secret German war weapon (the atom bomb).  Gestapo agents uncover that he is a Jew.  The race is on to see who will get to him first the Americans or the Gestapo.

I implore you to read this book.  You will NOT be disappointed.

*I recieved a free copy from the publisher to read and write my review.  I am not compensated in any other way and am not required to write a positive review.

“Available October 2009 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Things Worth Remembering

by Jackina Stark
Bethany House Publishing

Kendy and her daughter, Maisey, used to do everything together a mother and dughter could do.  Now, they barely even talk.  This weekend Maisey is getting married.  Kendy wishes things were different.  She would love to be involved in the wedding preparations.  Maisey has not shared anything with her mother about the wedding.

What happened between mother and daughter?  What went wrong? Things Worth Remembering is about the week leading up to the wedding.  Daily Kendy worries about the stressful situation she is in.  When Maisey reveals the secret that she has kept for so long and is what is keeping the distance between her mother and herself, will all be well?  Or will it be worse?

Reading this book, I pondered the relationship I have with my mom.  She and I are very close.  I am happy to say that our relationship was good as I was growing up as well. 

I was saddened by the big "secret" that kept Maisey from continuing a relationship with her mom.  I  hope those that read this book, will realize that the mistakes we make can effect our children in ways that we may never realize.

Monday, November 9, 2009

American Heritage

American's Heritage~an adventure in liberty
The American Heritage Education Foundation, Inc.

The American Heritage Education Foundation "AHEF is a non-profit, non-partisan educational foundation dedicated to the understanding and teaching of America's factual and philosophical heritage to promote constructive citizenship and Freedom, Unity, Progress, and Responsibility among our students and citizens.

AHEF accomplishes this patriotic mission by writing, producing, and distributing FREE K-12 lesson plans to teachers, students, and families in all 50 states and through additional initiatives, programs, and partnerships."

America's Heritage: An Adventure in Liberty is a K-12 teacher lesson plan resource. When we received the CD in the mail I was so excited. We are learning about American History this year and this fit in nicely. There are grades K-12 on the CD, so it is easy to teach American Heritage to all of your children using the same program.

All lessons are based on the themes: unity, freedom, progress, and responsibility. What I really like about this program is it does not have the children spit out facts, but helps the students think, explore, and understand the importance of liberty in United States history.

Price: CD Rom is FREE
Binder is $19.50 per level.

Here is what other TOS crew members thought about it as well.

A Young Scholar's Guide to Composers

A Young Scholar's Guide to Composers
by Bright Ideas

A Young Scholar's Guide to Composers is a year long curriculum study of various composers through out time.
This one year program does not cover all of the composers, but gives a great variety of especially the main ones. This study includes classical composers as well as modern ones.

There are activities to go along with each composer as well as cards to print out to learn more. The only thing not included in this program is the music itself. This is a drawback for me, as I had to find the various selections myself. Luckily we have a huge selection of classical music and I was able to find several. Obviously we have not finished this program because we have only been using it for a little over a month. we look forward to the rest of the program. I appreciated the way it was very thorough and had some interesting activities.

We really enjoy this and look forward to trying some of the other books in the young Scholar series.

A Young Scholar's Guide to Composers is geared for children in grades 4-8. I did use this for Ben too and he is in 3rd grade.

The CD Rom is priced at $29.95
The Paper book is priced at $34.95

*I was sent a download of this program for free. I am not compensated in anyway and am not required to give a positive review.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Career Planning Program

DISCOVER is a career planning program designed for career counselors, but used by students. Students are able to assess their interests, values, and abilities.

With DISCOVER students are able to explore various career paths. Students are able to uncover what they migh want to be "when they grow up." It is not a guessing game, DISCOVER is a well researched program to help high school students along their career paths.

DISCOVER has not only an up to date data base filled with occupations, (including military), colleges, and majors but also financial aid options as well.

Sonny is the eighth grade. In my opinion this program is geared toward high schoolers as opposed to middle schoolers. Sonny was not really interested in doing this program, I think because he is not thinking about his future yet. We did not finish the entire program because we have had a lot of intrenet issues with our current provider.

Price: $19.95 for a three-month license, $24.95 for a six-month license.

*I was given a free download from ACT in order to write a review. I was not paid for my review and am not required to write a positive review.

Monday, November 2, 2009

abcteach membership

abcteach has over 5000+ FREE printable worksheets and activities on their website.  Members will have access to over 35,000 printable worksheets and activities.  But that is not all! 

Members will have:

*ad free pages

*a large number of clip art images

*various range of grade levels and subjects

*new worksheets and added weekly

*customer service to help with your schooling needs

Whatever you are studying I am sure they have.  There are science worksheets, printable handwriting sheets, crossword puzzles, plus more!

Right before Columbus day I decided to look for some worksheets to make a unit study for Ben and Julianna to learn about Columbus.  I was able to print off several activities for them to use in our study of Christopher Columbus.  They are both talking about what we learned.

In the beginning of October I decided to try the crossword generator~ this is a fabulous program on abcteach that allows you to create your own crossword puzzles and word searches etc..~  I made Ben a crossword puzzle for General Conference with church related words.  He thought it was so cool that I could put in clues and the words that go with them and then the program made the crossword.  I can see how this would be helpful for spelling words, vocabulary words, etc...

Please check out this introductory page as it will help answer questions you may have.

Remember you can get 5000+ FREE printables without the membership, BUT with a membership you will have access to over 35,000 printables for $40 for a one year membership or $70 for a two year membership.

Check out what other TOS crew members had to say about abcteach.