Monday, March 22, 2010

Children's Bible Hour

From Children's Bible Hour Ministries, we received the Seasons of Faith illustrated picture book series. As I had never heard of Children's Bible Hour, I flipped through the books myself, and then we listened to the recordings while following along.

My boys loved listening to these stories. Titled Race With Midnight, You Can't Come In, Seventy Times Seven and Braving the Storm, the books "encourage children to learn about their faith in God." The narration was well done, and we really enjoyed the illustrations.
Through the innocence of young children, these stories share the message of faith in God, Salvation, forgiveness and God's love. Each book concludes with a page about Salvation, using Bible Scripture for reference.

Each softcover book costs $10 and you can read lots more about them here. If you order your Seasons of Faith book set before April 15th (my tenth wedding anniversary!) you can get free standard shipping. Just use the code FREESHIPAPR15 when you order. If you would like to read what other reviewers thought, you can do that here.
I received these books free of charge in exchange for my review.

Monday, March 15, 2010


If you're looking for homeschool encouragement, resources, and fun, check out all that is going on at The Old Schoolhouse!

Right now March Madness and Win Big are going on in the Schoolhouse Store. During March Madness, over 240 items are 10 to 40 percent off!

Then, if you're customer 139,000, 139,500, or 140,000, you will win over $348 in prizes. Prizes include a 5 year subscription to TOS (U.S.
only), Scripture Sleuth literature series, guitar lessons on CD, and more! Hurry, they are just past customer #137,818.

The BIGGEST news of all--The Schoolhouse Expo is coming in May!
Pre-register now and save $5!

As homeschool teachers, what do you need to learn? More about teaching multiple grades? All about different homeschool methods? Transcripts?
Could you use some help with reading, language arts, math, and more?
Are you intimidated by the idea of teaching middle school and high school, those dreaded, advanced courses? Would some encouraging words and motivational Scripture help you on your way?
Get answers when you attend The Schoolhouse Expo, a 3-day, online conference, presented by The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine and The Old Schoolhouse® Speaker's Bureau.

Pre-register today for only $19.99 through March 31. You do not want to miss this unbelievable, virtual homeschool convention! PLUS, you'll receive over $300 in free gifts when you register.
Get the details and preregister here.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Homeschool Library Builder

Hero denied my request to line the hallway with bookshelves. Yes dear, I know it's a fire hazard. We're running out of places to stack them, though! Should I ever have a house big enough to line the walls with bookshelves (I've always dreamed of having a home library.), I would have absolutely no problem filling them up.

If you ever have the desire to make a library in your home, or just want to find a good deal on books, check out Homeschool Library Builder. Created by homeschool moms, the company
is "geared toward serving homeschoolers and others who use excellent literature to educate."

They offer plenty of books (from curriculum such as Sonlight, Tapestry of Grace, Ambleside, Five in a Row, Beautiful Feet, and others), and a book search feature, to hunt down those out of stock books or books they don't carry.

Homeschool Library Builder offers free product marketing to members. Throughout the year they preview and select websites for the current season or holiday and also provide links to some favorite homeschool sites.

Through a program called Helping Hand, Homeschool Library Builder has a "specially designated category of books whereby all money goes to helping others." They also offer a frequent buyer points program to members.

The best part... membership is FREE! So please, check out Homeschool Library Builder today.

I received no compensation for writing this review.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


If you're looking for homeschool encouragement, resources, and fun, check out all that is going on at The Old Schoolhouse!

Right now March Madness and Win Big are going on in the Schoolhouse Store. During March Madness, over 240 items are 10 to 40 percent off!

Then, if you're customer 139,000, 139,500, or 140,000, you will win over $348 in prizes. Prizes include a 5 year subscription to TOS (U.S.
only), Scripture Sleuth literature series, guitar lessons on CD, and more! Hurry, they are just past customer #137,818.

The BIGGEST news of all--The Schoolhouse Expo is coming in May!
Pre-register now and save $5!

As homeschool teachers, what do you need to learn? More about teaching multiple grades? All about different homeschool methods? Transcripts?
Could you use some help with reading, language arts, math, and more?
Are you intimidated by the idea of teaching middle school and high school, those dreaded, advanced courses? Would some encouraging words and motivational Scripture help you on your way?
Get answers when you attend The Schoolhouse Expo, a 3-day, online conference, presented by The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine and The Old Schoolhouse® Speaker's Bureau.

Pre-register today for only $19.99 through March 31. You do not want to miss this unbelievable, virtual homeschool convention! PLUS, you'll receive over $300 in free gifts when you register.
Get the details and preregister here.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Math Galaxy

Was I excited about yet another math review? Not necessarily. But that is indeed what I received! The Galaxy of Education allowed me to download several of their Math Galaxy products for free, however, so I couldn't complain! Here is what they offered in exchange for my review.
Whole Numbers Fun
Fractions Fun
Decimals, Proportions, % Fun
Word Problem Fun
Pre Algebra Fun
Algebra Fundamentals

As Whole Numbers Fun is geared toward first through fourth grades, we decided to focus on that one. From the creators "Math Galaxy starts from the beginning, with addition and multiplication tables and single-digit operations, but its main focus is on where children start having trouble with math: multi-step problem-solving... Math Galaxy Whole Numbers Fun is a comprehensive math tutorial that is like having an interactive textbook and your own private tutor, with explanations, practice and games that cover whole number operations, including place value, rounding and estimating, patterns and number sequences, word problems, time, money, graphs, probability, and geometry concepts appropriate for lower grades, including length, area and volume."

Having already taken several math programs on a test run, Butterbean did not find Math Galaxy interesting. Now don't get me wrong, this program definitely has value. My 8 year old would learn from the tutorials and games, if I forced him to give it a chance! Unfortunately, for this particular product, he is a bells and whistles kind of learner. If a game isn't sparkly, he won't stay with it for long. I think for some, Math Galaxy may be a little shiny, but there's just not enough action for my little ball of energy!
I can see how Math Galaxy would work for some families. There are lots of worksheet-type-but cooler activities to choose from, including fun little games and riddles. The program is well laid out, and could be used supplementally for many years. But sadly, for now anyway, it just isn't our cup of tea! Don't take my word for it, judge for yourself. You can purchase Whole Numbers Fun for $29.95 here. If you'd care to read what other reviewers thought, you can do that too.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Homeschool in the Woods

I have conducted many a web search for printable maps. So, of course, I was thrilled when I received a massive collection of maps to review from Homeschool in the Woods.

"It is our desire to encourage, through a variety of hands-on, visual ways, an excitement and love of learning history that leaves a student itching to know more! Mapping through history is crucial, as it helps a child determine "where" the topic of study takes place. It creates an anchor point, allowing the child to understand the topic in context to its climate, politics, and geography."
Old World Style Modern and Historical United States Maps (a set of over 180 maps) has three types of printable maps for each state (labeled, unlabeled or an outline). There are several historical maps dating back to Colonial America. Present day physical and political maps of the US are included as well. And then, there are state fact notebooking pages for every single United State and full color flag pictures too! I'd love to have the flags in black and white, but didn't find those in my offering. Old World Style Modern and Ancient World Maps (over 130 maps) almost contains too much for me to even describe! It is perfect for an historical study, as there are printable maps from ancient China, Egypt, Palestine and Rome (and many more). Modern day maps are there from all seven continents plus oceans. There are more than 40 different notebooking pages where students can describe people of the past, flora and fauna of certain countries and even note a country's distinctive food using the recipe cards provided. (Those are just a few examples.)

I have already used some of the state maps for my Cub Scout den, along with a few notebooking pages. As my boys grow, these maps will be perfect for our History and Geography notebooks.
The best part is, I don't think I'll have to do a web search for a map for a long time!

Please note, this product was given to me free of charge in exchange for my review. I received no additional compensation.

The Critical Thinking Company

I have been receiving this catalog for about a year now, and I always enjoy browsing through and marking up a wish list. I was excited to receive a book from The Critical Thinking Company to review.

Their "award winning products have helped students of all abilities achieve better grades and higher test scores with highly effective lessons that sharpen the mind..." They are "committed to developing children's critical thinking skills for better grades, higher test scores, and success in life."
Just because I question their mission statement, doesn't mean I can't love their products, at least this one! I received Balance Benders (beginning level for 2-6 graders), a Logic and Algebraic Reasoning Puzzles book. Now, typically, I am really excited about receiving things to review by snail mail. But upon opening this book, I thought for sure I had missed the critical thinking boat. Hero (Daddy) and Butterbean (8) cracked open this puppy at the kitchen table and proceeded to whiz right through the first twelve puzzles. Every now and again, Hero would ask Butterbean to explain the problem to Mommy! This softcover book, Balance Benders contains 40 pages of puzzles that involve basic algebraic concepts. But trust me, your child doesn't have to be studying algebra to try them out. Butterbean is eight (3rd grade) and he and Hero truly enjoyed this little book!

We will surely use Balance Benders for a while to come, as there are some puzzles Butterbean has trouble with! Print out and try a page before you buy, or go ahead and order Balance Benders for $9.99. There are several levels, and you can check them all out right here.
And remember to read what other reviewers thought by clicking the banner below.

Artistic Pursuits

Artistic Pursuits..... ahhhh what a breath of fresh air for my homeschool. I have neither reviewed an art program, nor used an art curriculum in my homeschool. Being the creative teacher that I am, I've never had a shortage of ideas for art. Some ideas have been my own, some learned through teaching preschool in the past, some gleaned from the numerous online websites.

Artistic Pursuits is an "award winning homeschool art program..." that "encourages students to observe the world around them and choose their own subjects." I reviewed Book Two for grades K-3, Stories of Artists and Their Art. It "focuses on unique projects, which give students opportunities to make original works of art."

Through creative fictional stories and art activities, my students have the opportunity to learn about Cimabue, Giotto, Limbourg, Van Eyck, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Anguissola, Durer, Bruegel, Parmigianino, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Fragonard, Turner and Millet. They have created scratch art, frescoes, watercolor paintings, sculptures and carvings. This curriculum has been as much of a learning experience for teacher-mama as for my students!
Take a look at a sample lesson here. You can purchase Artistic Pursuits Grades K-3 Book Two for $42.95. You can read about what other reviewers had to say about Artistic Pursuits here.
I received no compensation for my review of this product.

Graphics-Toolbox

Great Software Tools has been kind enough to give me a copy of Graphics-Toolbox in exchange for my review of the product. In a nutshell, Graphics-Toolbox is a computer aided graphic design software that can be used to create a myriad of things, whether for school, home or business.

As a homeschool Mama, preschool teacher, writer and avid crafter (when I have time), I have thought myself to be pretty creative. I have never, however, had a talent for drawing, and when I first took a look at Graphics-Toolbox, I was absolutely lost! I have never used a computer graphics program and really have never needed to use one.
Through online tutorials and a clearly written manual, I discovered that there are some pretty cool things that can be done with Graphics-Toolbox. Really, the only thing holding you back is your imagination; or your child's imagination, as the program is suitable for children as well.

When you use Graphics-Toolbox, you'll have all the tools you need to create:

customized greeting cards
business fliers
unique school projects
enhanced photos that stand out from the crowd
wearable designs

Graphics-Toolbox has the potential to be a really cool program for my family. Unfortunately, we haven't had the necessary time to sit down and play with it much. That's what it takes too, playing with it. And playing with it some more. It takes a while to learn all of the functions (there are a ton of them!) that this program offers. Then there's coming up with a project to make. I'm sure if I had a project I needed to make, I'd figure out the program. There are plenty of examples on the Graphics-Toolbox website.
I am excited to delve into all that Graphics-Toolbox has to offer. I know the program will become useful in our homeschool, and for my home daycare as well. Who knows, I may even think of some projects to do for Cub Scouts!


You can download Graphics-Toolbox for $149. You can try it out first for free for thirty days. But don't expect to learn it all in that 30 days, I know I didn't! Visit Great Software Tools to learn more. Please read what others had to say here.