Monday, May 31, 2010

This Fine Life

by Eva Marie Everson
Revell Publishing

Mariette Putnam has just returned home after graduating from boarding school.  She is unsure of what she wants to do with her life now.  Her mother wants her to marry money and her dad wants her to go to college.  

This is a story of young love and a women trying to find God and herself.

I found this book a bit slow, but interesting.  I think it is realistic, which is nice in a book.  I really could not relate with any character in the book though. 

Price: $14.99

*I was sent a free copy of this book to read and review.  I am not compensated for my opinion.

Peterson Directed Handwriting

My final product to review for the TOS crew  this year is Peterson Directed Handwriting
I had the chance to meet online with Rand Nelson to receive some individualized coaching on their method of instruction, and to determine the best placement for my children. I was really impressed that Mr. Nelson would take the time to meet with me online and discuss what would be best for my children.

"Peterson Directed Handwriting is based on movement-based instruction, with a goal of developing fluency in handwriting. The idea is to “develop a recording in muscle memory” through the following steps:
*illustrate and describe
*write in the air and say
*finger trace and say
*write and say"

Price: Varies depending on item purchased.  Between $10.50 & $20.00
Check out the Peterson Directed Handwriting website, where you can also consult with Rand Nelson.

*Read what other TOS crew members had to say about this product!

*I was sent a down loadable product to try and review. I am not compensated in any way.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Ideal Curriculum

"Are you looking for a preschool curriculum?  One place you might want to check out is Ideal Curriculum.  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."
 We received the kit for the first unit — Transportation — as a download.  I think this would be good for a group setting~ a co-op or preschool.  I would also be good for first time home schooling moms.  I is a bit more formal then we do in our school.  There are some cute songs and fun activities.

Price:  Units are available for $30 (download) or $55 (print version), 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

*To read other TOS crew member reviews check it out here.

*I was sent a free unit to use and review because of my involvement with the TOS crew.  I am not reimbursed in any way.

Lobster Network

"Lobster Network is a new web application that helps you share your stuff safely and securely. The hope of the creators is that it will help to create community amongst friends and strangers. Besides making it easy to lend and borrow things to/from other people, you can also use it to log and track your own stuff for purely personal use. The creators of LobsterNetwork just love sharing their stuff with others, but they found that it was really difficult to track it all and it was also difficult to encourage their friends to come and borrow stuff. Now by using LobsterNetwork their friends can browse their stuff from the comfort of their home and request to borrow whatever they have made available. Then the next time they see each other, they exchange their stuff! Finally, after the allocated time, LobsterNetwork reminds both of them that it’s time to bring the stuff back."

In all honesty we would never use this.  I swap things very rarely with others.  I encourage others to borrow things from us and we borrow from others, but not on a grand enough scale to need a website to keep  track of our stuff.  But since it is free you really have nothing to lose to try it out.

Price:  FREE

*Want to know what other TOS crew members had to say?  Click here.

*I was given a free membership to try and review.  I am not compensated in any way.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Beeyoutiful Products

BeeYouTiful's motto is "Healthy Living for the Real World."  They carry various natural products help people maintain good health.  

We were sent Tension Tamer to try.  


We LOVE it!!  My husband, 14year old son, and I all swear by it.  About the time we received this product, I had been suffering from horrible headaches for several weeks.  I had  been popping ibuprofen all day to get control of the pain.  The day I got Tension Tamer in the mail my son, Sonny, and I both had a headache.  We rubbed it on to the back of our necks and temples.  Within 30 minutes the headaches were gone!!  I am NOT kidding.  I was shocked.  My husband also suffers from headaches.  I told him about this product and he stole it from me!!!  He took it to work with him.  Now when I need it, I have to go ask him for it!  I think I need to buy my own now!!  The smell is actually soothing.  It smells like eucalyptus & peppermint.

  It is gentle enough for children as well.  Our other children do not get headaches, but it does work for Sonny (14).  He has suffered from headaches for several years.  I probably need to buy him his own too! 

I am excited to find a product that is not only natural but actually works!  My mom also suffers from headaches (guess it runs in the family), I am going to buy her one too!

I believe this is a wonderful product well worth the price.  I asked my husband how much he thought it costs.  He said $30 for the vial.  Nope~ only $11. 
If you suffer from headaches, try this out.  I was a skeptic and now am a believer!!

*Other TOS crew members tried various products from BeeYouTiful.  Check them out!

*I received this product for free to use and review because of my participation in the TOS crew.  I am not compensated in any other way.

Cerebellum/Standard Deviation

Cerebellum Corporation  "is the leading producer and distributor of high-quality programming for the family, educational, and fitness markets. Recommended by more than 500 teachers and college professors, Cerebellum’s programming covers the most difficult high school and college courses. Standard Deviants titles have won 19 Telly Awards for “Best Non-Broadcast Educational Video” and has also been named to the “Best Films and Videos” list by the American Association for the Advancement of Science."

 We were sent the AP Chemistry DVD to review.  My oldest is only 14 and is just finishing the 8th grade, so we were unable to really evaluate it for a high school student that is going to be taking the AP Chemistry test.  We really have not covered much chemistry either.  This was hard to review because of that.  
It is well put together.  The DVD delivers all the necessary review for students to master the chemistry facts needed for the Chemistry AP test.

The other DVDs in the AP series are:

*AP English Language and Comp. Exam Prep

*History of the U.S. AP Exam Prep

*U.S. Gov & Politics AP Exam Prep

I have a felling that our oldest, Sonny, will be taking the US History AP test~ since that is his passion, so I think we will revisit these DVDs when the time comes.

These are available at a very fair cost of:
Price: $14.98  

 *See here for other TOS crew member's reviews.

* I was sent this DVD for free to watch and review because of me being a part of the TOS crew.  I am not compensated in any way.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Lesson Planet

Lesson Planet is a membership website to help teachers and parents find the information they need to teach classes or explore subjects with children.  This search engine site began in 1999.  It is advertisement free and membership is available for teachers, homeschoolers and school districts.

There are several ways to search for what you are looking for by:
  • Searching by keyword, grade level and overall rating
  • Clicking the Narrow, Related or My Recent Searches keyword options
  • Browsing for reviewed resources by Subject, Calendar or Theme
  • Exploring relevant State Standards, matched to each member’s state
  • Utilizing Advanced Search to narrow by duration, method, technology, and more
Basically you type in what you are looking for and they will have links to other websites to look at and possibly use.  These websites are not looked in to for content so I would no let my children have free rein.  Also, some of the links they give are no longer available.

Personally I would never use it.  I found it difficult to find what I wanted.  Because of free search engine sites I believe this is really expensive.  However if you are not someone comfortable searching on the internet, then this could be of use to you. 

Price: $39.95 per year 
Want to check it out before you buy?  Sign up here for a free 10 day trial!
This is what other TOS crew members thought.

*I was given a free membership in order to write this review.  I am not compensated and am not required to give a positive review.

Super Star Speech

Are you concerned about your child's speech?  Do you want to do speech therapy at home?  Then Super Star Speech may be your answer!  

"Deborah Lott is a licensed Speech language pathologist a with Master’s degree in Education/ speech pathology. She has home schooled her 4 children for the past 16 years while doing speech therapy part-time, primarily with children with articulation disorders. Through her interaction with other parents, she has come to realize that many parents cannot afford speech therapy for their children, prefer not to utilize speech therapy through the public schools, or may simply prefer to work with their children prior to beginning therapy or as a supplement to professional speech therapy."

I had the opportunity to review Super Star R & L
Speech therapy can be expensive if you do not have insurance coverage.  I think this is a great alternative.  
Lesson plans and instructions are included with the book.  There are games, activites, and worksheets to go along with the various lessons.

Price: $18.95 for spiral bound or 30% off if you purchase an ebook. 

 We also reviewed some of the homeschool games that Debbie Lott designed.  The games are fun, educational and some are even challenging (well, for me anyway).  These games were written for homeschoolers in mind, bu would work well for any child.  One great thing about them is that they are pretty inexpensive.  I used them as a fun activity for my kiddos when they were done with regular school work or as time to spend together.  They are available through CurrClick for $3.50 each!

You might like to read what other TOS crew members had to say in their reviews.

*I received these products for free to use and review.  I am not compensated for my review.  This review reflects my honest opinion.

It Had to Be You

book #3 Weddings by Bella series
by Janice Thompson
Revell Publishing

The third and final book in the series  Can I just tell you how excited and sad I was to read this book?  I have fallen in love with Bella's family.  They are zany, delightful, and family oriented.  Not only did I want to read this book quickly to see what happens, but I also wanted to savor it at the same time.  Of course I read it in no time and I was surely not disappointed.  This book was even better then the 2nd one!  I personally like the first the best, probably because that is when I met Bella and her crazy family.

In It Had to Be You Janice Thompson, finally writes about Bella's wedding, but not before she gives us all the details of her Aunt Rosa and Uncle Laz's wedding.  What fun they all had.  I was thrilled to learn what each of these themed weddings would entail.  Of course there are many surprises lurking in the book as well. 

Are you ready to have a great laugh and your soul filled?  Read this book.  Haven't read the other two?  Check out my review for book 1, Fools Rush In  and book 2, Swinging on a Star.  They really will be worth your time to read them.

Price: $14.99

“Available May 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

*I was sent a free copy of this book to read and review.  This review reflects my honest opinion and I am not compensated in any way.

The Money Answer Book

by Dave Ramsey
Thomas Nelson Publishing

I am a BIG Dave Ramsey fan.  Brian and I have read several of his other books and wholeheartedly agree with his financial advice.  

We have used the debt snowball technique to pay off our debt and we have no credit cards!!  Dave has literally changed the way we think about money.

This particular book gives answers to a lot of questions people have about financesEven though I have read all of his other books, I sill learned a TON of information I did not know before.  I was amazed at hw quickly I read it.  I could not wait to read the whole thing.  

I like the fact that it is small, so you could put it in your purse or car and read it while you wait somewhere.  

I would definitely give this book as a gift for a wedding, high school graduate, Christmas, birthday, etc...

If you have never read any of Dave Ramsey's books you HAVE to get this book and read it` it will change your life!!

Price: $12.99

*I was sent a copy of this amazing book to read and review.  This review reflects my honest opinion and I am not compensated in any way.

Homeschooling For the Rest of Us

by Sonya Haskins
Bethany House Publishing

 I finished reading this book the other day and I found it to be a pretty good book for the beginning Christian home school family.  There is no certain method you "must" follow, which I like because we are more eclectic in our homeschooling style.  I feel this book would be a handy book to use while considering home schooling or when you are starting out.  

We have been home schooling for over 9 years and I did find a little that I gleaned.  However I find that it would best be used for a newbie.

I recommend buying this book if you are considering homeschooling, are starting out, or are in the middle and need some new ideas!

Price: $13.99  You can by it directly form the publisher here.

*I was sent a free copy to read and review. I am not compensated and this is my opinion.