Thursday, December 16, 2010

Tiny Planets

Product: Tiny Planets

Vendor Contact Information:

Buckingham House, West Street, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 1BE, England


Age Appeal: 4-12

Format: online gaming experience

Price: Many items on website free, to watch most of the TV episodes, read books and buy extras on My Tiny Planet you need to purchase keys at 10 keys $1.95, 25 keys $3.95, 85 keys $9.95, 250 keys $25.95, 600 keys $49.95

Winner of two BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) awards- Interactive Best Entertainment Website and Best Children's Interactive, Tiny Planets is a fun, fictional and interactive website for kids. When the kids have their Cadet accounts, they can go to:

Tiny Planets TV where kids can watch the different television episodes which were co-created with Sesame Workshop

  • My Tiny Planets is an online community where children adopt a planet, go to different areas through wormholes and play with other kids.
  • Tiny Planets Fun is where there are games, coloring books and comics.
  • Tiny Planets Books has interactive stories with Bing and Bong and the locals and the flockers.
  • Tiny Planets Learning has lesson plans that incorporate the television episodes and books into a complete learning experience.
  • Tiny Planets Labs is where the new games are tested out.
  • Tiny Planets Blog is where families can go to learn even more about the site.

Our Experience: We started Tiny Planets by exploring each planet and looking at the free books and movies after I signed the kids up for their cadet accounts. I also signed up for a parent account, so that I could add the keys to the cadet accounts. After that we worked on trying out games, like Lava Rescue and Afraid of the Dark. Those games were a little tricky for B and C, but they had a fun time trying them out. It was a couple days later when I helped the kids discover My Tiny Planets, the online community where the kids were able join other kids exploring the different neighborhoods. They are now asking me every day if they can play.

What I Liked:

  • The lessons involve the book, TV. and coloring book.
  • It was a safe site for the kids as they could only go to specific areas and on My Tiny Planets they could only “say” specific phrases to other kids.
  • Alpha Defender was a game where you type the letters as they come towards you it was challenging and good for learning the where the letters are on the keyboard.

What I Disliked:

  • When moving from planet to planet, for example TV to books, we would get logged out and we would have to log in again.
  • To get the learning experience with the lessons you would have to buy a lot of keys.

What B (boy, just turned seven, some first grade and some second grade) Liked and Disliked: I disliked that you don't learn anything and that it was hard to do some of the games, really hard. I liked that you got to watch TV. I wasn't sure when one of the book stories ended, because it just stopped. Those were my first thoughts. Here are my current thoughts. I liked shooting Quasars (stars), the music and making friends on My Tiny Planet. I am glad the books match with the TV episodes. Here is information about what happens with purchased keys. “When you purchase a book, video, planetary assets they are yours forever. For example, when you purchase a video it gets placed into the "My TV" and will be there whenever you log into your account.”

What C (girl, just turned five, working on Kindergarten) Liked and Disliked: I didn't like the game, "starlight", on My Tiny Planet, because it was really hard. I liked all my new friends. I'm going to change my ship. I liked the TV episode, “Picnic Poser.” And when I didn't know when I went to the stars I pushed the movie, but it would do it and not say anything. I didn't like that. My Tiny Planets was good and the wormholes were fun. I liked to play games and boom things. Traveling around was so so fun. In Star Fractions (My Labs) stars fall down and break, then you rebuild the stars, then they go floating back up into the sky and you can do it over and over again.


Other Products Available: None at this time.

I would recommend Tiny Planets for families with children under the age of fourteen who want a safe place for their kids to play. For more reviews go to The Homeschool Crew review page.

Disclaimer: I received this product for free for review purposes through The Homeschool Crew. All links were current when posted.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Apologia Press- Good Morning, God

Product: Good Morning, God by Davis Carman and illustrated by Alice Ratteree
Vendor Contact Information:
Apologia Press
Apologia Educational Ministries
1106 Meridian Plaza Suite 220
Anderson, IN 46016 US
Phone: 1-888-524-4724
Age Appeal: 1-8 years of age
Format: hardcover book, 48 pages, ISBN 978-1-935495-25-3
Price: $14.00


“These commands that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (NIV), is the theme of this book.

Good Morning, God told from the view point of a four-year-old boy is about his week with his family one day at a time. Each day for the young boy begins with a message to God, then continues with what he does during the day, followed by a bedtime prayer.

The application of Deuteronomy 6:6-7 can be done by the parents by doing the “Questions and Activities” in the back of the book with their children.

For a sample chapter please go here.

Our Experience: B, C and I were excited when we received this book in the mail. I opened it right away, took a look at it and decided that we would read the specific day of the week and do the activities. We waited until it was Sunday and we then began our week. It was during our school day that we did it during the week. It was a perfect break from our usual Bible study and the kids liked drawing pictures, like of our family, and studying the verses.

What I Liked:
  • The “Questions and Activities” section in the back of the book gives us greater insight into the daily story.
  • The section for the reader in how to use the book.
  • How the author takes the young boy through each day for a week.

What I Disliked:
  • Nothing

What B (boy, age seven, grade one) Liked and Disliked: I liked Good Morning, God very much. I liked Tuesday because the boy made a sandwich. And my favorite activity was from Saturday, because you can go on a bike ride. But we didn't go on a ride, because of snow. I think it is a good idea for kids my age to have this book, Good Morning, God. It teaches about how to be good, like not running, jumping, and climbing for cookies.

What C (girl, just turned five, doing Kindergarten work ) Liked and Disliked: I liked it all. I liked the kids coloring in the schoolroom. You don't jump on your bed and that is what the boy was doing Tuesday. I liked the picture of the little boy putting jam on the sandwich. I liked the activities. My favorite was drawing a picture of Jesus going up to heaven. I think this book is good for kids my age, because it teaches us about God.

Other Products Available: Good Morning, God coloring book ($4.00) and books about homeschooling

I would recommend Good Morning, God.

For more reviews on Good Morning, God by Davis Carmen go to The Homeschool Crew review page.

Disclaimer: I received this product for free for review purposes through The Homeschool Crew. All links were current when posted.

Friday, November 19, 2010



Vendor Contact Information:
Age Appeal: preschool-12th grade
Format: online worksheets to print as needed
Price: $29 for 1 year, $49 for 2 years, free 10 day trial with PayPal, 30 day money-back guarantee with credit card

KBTeachers is a website filled with thousands of worksheets and workbooks for all grade levels.

Worksheets available
Worksheets according to the season and holiday
English Language: printing, cursive, grammar
Math: money, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, time, algebra
Science: astronomy, geology, weather and climate
Biology: human anatomy, nutrition, marine biology, plants and microbiology
Social Studies: workbooks and maps
More Activities: dinosaur workbooks, four seasons, arts and crafts, clipart, basic skills

Please go here to find free worksheets and more.

What I Liked
  • 1,000 of worksheets at my fingertips!
  • I can generate different math pages with answer keys multiple times.
  • The coins in the money worksheets were very realistic.
  • The kids enjoyed having worksheets to do outside of our school time
  • Print button directly on the page, for easy printing.

What I Disliked
  • There is no search option that would have made it easier to find the specific worksheet I was looking for.

What B (boy, age six almost seven) Liked and Disliked: I liked the addition up to 20 worksheets. I liked that I could check my own answers when I was done. I liked the counting money worksheets, because you got to match the name of the coin to what it looks like. I think KB Teachers would be good for kids my age.

What C (girl, just turned five) Liked and Disliked: I like the math worksheets, because I know that 4+0=4. I liked the fall add across. I agree with my brother about the counting money worksheets. These worksheets are good for me! I think kids my age would like the worksheets.
Other Products Available: None at this time.

I would recommend KB Teachers to teachers and parents who want to give kids a chance to learn even more. For more reviews on KB Teachers go to The Homeschool Crew review page.

Disclaimer: I received this product for free for review purposes through The Homeschool Crew. All links were current when posted.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Book Collector Pro by Book Collectorz

Product: Book Collector Pro
Vendor Contact Information: BV
W.G. Plein 384
1054 SG Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Phone: +31-20 772 44 11 (during Dutch business hours)
Age Appeal: For those who are interested in having a complete list of their books on a computer for easy access
Format: Downloadable software for PC or Mac, CD available
Price: $49.95

Do you have so many books that you don't know what you have? Book Collectorz Pro is just what you need.

Book Collector Features:
Browse collection
Automatically data and covers
Sort and search
Export to CLZ (iPhone, iPad or Android)
Print book data
Use Loan Manager
See statistics of database

Add books in three easy steps!
1. Type or scan the ISBN- will automatically search book database online (you can also add all the information yourself)
2. Chose your book from the results
3. Add the book to your database, then add your details

Book Collector Pro is compatible with Windows 2000, XP, Vista, and Windows 7 and several different languages. It is also compatible with the Mac OS X of 10.4 or higher and only English.

Here is where you can read more about all of the features available.
For a free trial go to Book Collector.


What I Liked:
  • Ease of typing in book information, whether by ISBN number or title and author and then selecting my specific edition
  • Loan manager (just like a real library!)
  • All the available fields, such as genre, Dewey, Collection Status, personal information, etc.

What I Disliked:
  • Not all book covers available
  • LC Classification did not work for me
  • Owners manual only accessible online

B (boy, age six almost seven) and C (girl, age four almost five) thought it was exciting that we were going to be able to put a list of all our books on the computer. They were very surprised when they saw the number of books I inputted and what a small pile it was.

Other Products Available: (very useful if you have many books with bar-codes) CueCat Scanner, C37 Scanner, OPN-2001 Scanner, Music Collector, Movie Collector, Comic Collector, Game Collector, MP3 Collector, Photo Collector

I would highly recommend this product. For more reviews for Book Collector Pro go to The Homeschool Crew review page.

Disclaimer: I received this product for free for review purposes through The Homeschool Crew. All links were current when posted.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Homeschool Crew Review - PGKey SafeKey

Product: PGKey SafeKey
Vendor Contact Information:
PG Key, LLC.
2585 N. 1st Ave
Tuscon, AZ 85719
Phone: 1-800-301-8689
Age Appeal: all ages, focusing on those whose parents feel need safeguarding
Format: USB Adaptor for Windows XP/Vista/7 only, MAC coming soon
Price: $49.99 plus shipping, one time only

Created for parents by parents, the PGKey SafeKey seeks to protect children in a potentially hostile internet environment.

The SafeKey is easy to install when following the instructions on the computer screen when you first plug it in. You will set up a password and then select the parameters you need for your situation. As soon as that has been done, the SafeKey will be ready for use.

SafeKey features:
  • Time lock- how long the internet will be accessible for your specific child
  • Safe search- PGKey Safe Search is a homepage and toolbar, for search safety
  • SafeKey Alerts- e-mails or text messages you when your set parametersare not followed
  • SafeKey Encryptor- relies on AES encryption standard and any attempt to get past it will be recorded
  • SafeKey Session Recorder- records up to 60 hours of computer activity, whether on the internet or not.

I Liked:
  • the ability to block or allow certain websites.
  • the ease of installation.
  • how helpful customer service was when I forgot my password.

I Disliked:
  • that there were very few instructions on how PGKey worked.
  • the inconsistency of the program not blocking all my chosen restricted websites.
Other Products Available: 5' USB Dock Cable

I would recommend this product to those parents who wish to safeguard or monitor their children's internet use.

For more reviews on the PGKey SafeKey go to The Homeschool Crew review page.

Disclaimer: I received this product for free for review purposes through The Homeschool Crew. All links were current when posted.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Old Schoolhouse Primary Student Planner

Product: Primary Student Schoolhouse Planner, includes parent pack
Vendor Contact Information:
The Old Schoolhouse Store
The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC
P.O. Box 8426
Gray, TN 37615
Phone: 1-888-718-HOME
Age Appeal: K-3
Format: E-Book
Price: $9.95

I had seen an advertisement in an e-mail for the new The Old Schoolhouse Student Planners. I decided to download a free sample of the Primary Student Planner to see if it could benefit my children. It was filled with a sample calendar, parables, chore charts and more. The pages could also be directly typed on, which would make it very easy for multiple children. I decided to print out the chore chart and begin implementing it. It was wonderful.

I was very interested in purchasing the entire Student Planner for my children, but was unable to at the time. A few weeks later I was able to have a copy for free to review. The children (girl, age four almost five and boy, six almost seven) and I were very excited to build their own planners from the plethora of information that was available.

They were excited to choose the type of calendar they preferred. I picked out the nature journal, book reports, chore charts, family tree, field trip log, family rules and important phone numbers.

After we chose what we wanted to include in the planners for now, I printed them out and they each decided the order for their sections and we put them into ring binders.

We are now using them on a daily basis and we can't wait to add more information as needed.

What I Liked:
There was a lot of different sections that could be added.
It could all be typed on the computer and left there or it could be printed out.
It was fun for the whole family.

What I Disliked:
It took some time to print out each section for the kids.
I have young kids, so I will have to fill out the information for them.
There was only a multiplication table, addition and subtraction tables would have been nice for younger grade levels.

Other Products Available: Student Planners for middle and high school and one for parents. There are also many other The Old Schoolhouse product available.

Disclaimer: I received this product for free for review purposes. All links were current when posted.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Talking Fingers, Inc.- Read, Write & Type

Product: Online version of Read, Write & Type
Vendor Contact Information:
Talking Fingers, Inc.
830 Rincon Way
San Rafael, California 94903
Phone: 1-800-674-9126
Age Appeal: Ages 6-8
Format: online program
Price: Home online program is a five year subscription 1 user for $35, 2 users for $55, 3 users for $70, 4 users for $85, 5 users for $100


Reading, writing and typing all in one program? Yes. You can get all of this with Talking Finger's online version of Read, Write & Type.

After you have chosen which home online program to use and made your purchase you will want to register your account. After that step your kids will be even closer to learning reading, writing and typing. You will set up their accounts with usernames and passwords. Now your kids can begin learning.

Your kids will participate:

  • Home screen- meet the letters
  • Theater, video store and fair booth- phonics skills
  • Park- blend sounds together
  • Story tree- build words and write simple stories

Optional Activities:

  • Power fountain- build speed and accuracy
  • Hall of fame- Earn certificates for achievements
  • E-mail tower- send “e-mails”
  • Spaceship challenge

As a reward each student will be able to read a story when they have finished a level. Those stories are found here.

On the website under downloads you will find your online manual, activity book (with more ideas for reading) and a practice keyboard.

What I Liked:

  • B and C can do this program themselves.
  • B and C are asking me every day if they can play the games.
  • The instructions are clear.
  • B and C can strengthen their weak areas by repeating the activities.

What I Disliked:

  • Vexor could be scary to younger kids.
  • The program says both the letter sound and what the letter says.
  • C is with the pointer finger, which seems very difficult to me.

What B (boy, age six almost seven) Liked and Disliked: I liked everything, but I agree with Momma. Vexor could be scary to young kids. Vexor could be scary, because he sucked up the letters. I liked that the Leftway and Rightway could talk. It was hard trying to get the storytellers across the playground. I recommend this to other kids my age, because it is a great way to learn how to type.

What C (girl, age four almost five) Liked and Disliked: I love everything. It was hard because Vexor made it tricky. He made it tricky by changing the rules. It was easy typing one letter at a time. In Vexor's ship it was easy to push S if the word began with S or spacebar if it did not. There was nothing I disliked. I recommend this for kids my age who would like to learn how to properly type.

I would recommend this product. For more reviews for Read, Write and Type go to The Homeschool Crew review.

Other Products Available: CD versions of Read, Write & Type (not for Windows 7 or Mac 10.6), Word Qwerty – online and CD versions

Disclaimer: I received this product for free for review purposes through The Homeschool Crew. All links were current when posted.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Digital Frog International- Digital Field Trip Series

Digital Frog Intl Logo
Product: The Digital Field Trip Series
Vendor Information: Digital Frog International, 1-800-621-3764 (FROG),
Age Appeal: K-12th grades, there is a lot of reading for teachers of younger grades, so use the link below to try the demos.
Format: DVD, contains e-books (workbooks and teacher guides)
Price: $125 for Home License

Want to get away, but you can't leave home? Then come take a trip with Digital Frog Field Trip series to the desert, rainforest or wetlands.

Each field trip group has the same basic sections:
  • the field trip using QuickTime Virtual Reality.
  • study of the area.
  • different types of rainforests, deserts or wetlands.
  • mechanisms of the rainforest, desert or wetland.
  • human impact or endangered areas.

The easiest way to start is to begin in the field trip. In the field trip you will go to multiple posts where you will explore the area learning more about the plants and animals. In the field notes, you can locate the organisms to study. There are pictures, text and sometimes videos to help you learn more. For the more difficult words to pronounce you there may be a “Say-it” icon to help you learn how to pronounce it.

You can go back at any point in time during your field trip experience. There is also a handy menu and map of the digital field trip.

You will not want to forget to go through your “my computer” icon and explore the workbooks, graphic resources, and CD text.

To be able to try a demo, you can join the free Digital Frogger Club, here. When you try the demo you will have a good idea of what the field trips are like.

Digifrog WetlandsDigifrog RainforestDigifrog Desert

What I Liked:

  • So much complete information.
  • Workbooks for each field trip.
  • Complete text for each field trip available.
  • Extra graphics (silhouettes and line drawings) to be used for flash cards, to color or pad for games (I would like to use them for a flannel board).
  • Excitement from B (age six) and C (age 4) each time program is used.
  • Blue checks appear on the field trip map when the activity is complete.

What I Disliked:
  • Wish e-books and extra material would automatically download, not just the field trips.
  • The teacher's guide for the Desert Field Trip was not complete, so it had to be downloaded from the Internet.
  • When enlarging the screen it would be nice if the text would then fill the screen, because it would be easier to read.

What B (boy, age six almost seven) Liked and Disliked: I liked everything about it really. My favorite field trip was the wetlands. I liked seeing the beaver and the caddis fly! And the beaver run. The beavers use the beaver run to to help carry the trees to the lodge. And we have beavers at the ranch. We've seen beaver dams at the ranch before. A tree has fallen on a path, so we can't go that way. A beaver might use the tree for it's dam. I liked seeing the dragon fly in the wetlands at post nine. I liked learning about every animal and tree.

Do you want to learn more about the rainforest? Yes! When the vines grow from one tree to another and one tree falls, the other will fall too. When they fall, they will form a tree fall gap.

I think Momma liked it too. I know I did. Thank you to Digital Frog International for making the field trips.

What C (girl, age four almost five) Liked and Disliked: I loved everything about it. I really liked putting my own photos into the wetlands workbook. And I liked taking pictures of a frog at the wetlands we visited. I liked learning about the plants and animals at each post, like the dragonfly. I liked seeing the duck. I didn't dislike anything.

Windows System Requirements: Need a Pentium II with DVD drive using Microsoft Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Windows 7. Pentium III is recommended. 32 MB required (64 recommended) and QuickTime 7 or later.

Mac System Requirements: G3 300 with DVD drive needed and Mac 10.3.9 or later. Needs QuickTime 7 or later.

More Digital Frog International Products: Digital Frog 2.5, Science Matrix: Cell Structure and Functions, each individual field trip on CD

I would recommend this product.

There are more reviews of this product. Please go here to read more.

Disclaimer: I received this product for free for review purposes. All links were current when posted.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Homeschool Crew - Schleich


For the past 75 years Schleich has been designing and producing quality figurines. Based in Germany, Schleich began business by designing figurines of comic figures, such as smurfs, snoopy and the muppet show. In the 1980's the line was expanded with animals and again in 2003 with the knights, Wild West, and Elves playworlds.

The inspiration for the toy is often taken from nature and designed with the imaginative play of a child in mind. Each Schleich toy is designed by a master craftsman, made from a variety of plastics and a special softener, then painted by hand.

okapignu calfgnu

The kids were very excited to learn we would be reviewing Schleich. They would ask almost every day when we would receive them. The package arrived finally (for them). We received the Prezwalskis horse, SwabianHall piglet, donkey, Dartmoor Pony, Asian elephant calf, okapi, gnu and gnu calf. The kids immediately took them out of the packages and got the horse trailer, livestock trailer and grain truck, so they would be able to feed the animals.

We also spent time looking up each animal on the internet to learn more about the animal. One thing we learned was that the okapi is bigger than a gnu.

What I Liked:
  • site easy to navigate
  • sturdy life-like toys
  • catalog is free and provides endless hours of entertainment when on trips
  • can be played with for years to come
  • lets a child's imagination run wild

What I Disliked:
  • store locator on site not working

What B Liked and Disliked (age 6 almost 7): I liked that you could play with them. And we learned about the wildebeest and how it was called a gnu. I thought it was neat because I have a Schleich jeep and horse trailer that I could haul the animals around in. And I have a cattle semi that I used to haul the pig. It was funny when Momma and I learned that the wildebeest and gnu have the same name. Ha ha ha. There was nothing I disliked. The end.

What C Liked and Disliked (age 4 almost 5): I liked them. There was nothing I disliked.

We would recommend to both boys and girls.

Age Appeal: best for ages 3 and older

Price: $2.00 and up

Vendor Contact Information:
3258 Hawthorne Road
Ottawa, Canada K1G 3W9

More Schleich Products: farm life, wildlife, world of knights, world of American Indians, world of fantasy (smurfs and Bayala)

Disclaimer: I received this product for free for review purposes. All links were current when posted.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Homeschool Crew - Salem Ridge Press


Do you have a difficult time finding good quality books for you and your children? Then look no further than Salem Ridge Press and it's founder, Daniel Mills.

Salem Ridge takes a great deal of time locating and choosing books from the 1800's and early 1900's to republish. The books are chosen based on morality and ability to teach character according to the Bible. The company decides if any editing needs to be done such as leaving out a kiss or derogatory comment, or adding definitions of words or historical timelines.

Twenty-seven books are now being republished and we received three of them to read.

Mary Jane - Her Visit

Mary Jane – Her Visit
by Clara Ingram Judson was the first book we read. In this book five-year-old Mary Jane visits her grandparents in the country and has fun hunting eggs, playing with baby mice and rabbits, going on picnics and having her cousin and sister visit. Please go here to read the first chapter as a pdf.

Soldier Fritz

Next was Soldier Fritz and the Enemies He Fought by Emma Leslie. It is the autumn of 1525 in Germany where a young boy, Fritz, choose a Bible as a birthday present from a peddler's pack. The peddler, Carl, shares with him what the Bible is about and how Fritz could be a soldier for the Lord like Dr. Luther. Father Anselm of the Church does not approve and Carl has to help Fritz, his mother, sister and two servants escape the Castle of Thorn where they will live with the charcoal-burners until Fritz's father, Count Eric is able to return and rescue them. Please go here to read the first chapter as a pdf.

The American Twins of the Revolution

We finished by reading The American Twins of the Revolution by Lucy Fitch Perkins. Roger and Sally Priestly's father is a general in General Washington's army. General Priestly secretly comes to the house one night to ask Mrs. Priestly and the children to keep money for the payroll safe. General Howe of the British then comes to the house and threatens the family. The family and Uncle Jude and Aunt Hitty (slaves) is able to escape with the money and food supplies. They are chased by General Howe's soldiers until the Colonial soldiers help them and they are taken to General Washington's camp and their father. Please go here to read the first chapter as a pdf.

What I Liked: Learning about Salem Ridge Press and their republished books was an enjoyable experience for my family and me. It can be difficult today to find quality books, without spending a great deal of time researching the books. I knew I did not have to pre-read these books, because they were coming from a company whose mission is to republish quality work.

The addition that I liked the best was that of the definitions. There were words that I would not have explained to the kids, if the definitions had not been there.

The children and I both looked forward each day that we were able to read these books.

What I Disliked: Two of the books we received were e-books and I discovered that I do not like read books as e-books, if I were purchasing the titles it would be as a physical books. It tied us to the computer and it was hard on my eyes.

What B (age six almost seven) Liked and Disliked: I liked that Mary Jane's doctor came when she was hit by a roadster. And I disliked that that crazy driver hit Mary Jane. I really disliked that. I disliked that Mary Jane was standing in the middle of the road in the dark. I was not sure if the headlights were on or not. I liked Soldier Fritz, because he fought his pride and his passion. I disliked that Soldier Fritz knocked Elsie down the narrow stone stairs. I liked that the twins' father came home by surprise. Sally and Roger were told by their father to not tell any living soul, oh and I am sorry for not saying I liked this part, that he had been there. And I liked every bit of it. The end. Yes, these books would be good for kids my age.

What C (age four almost five) Liked and Disliked: I didn't like Soldier Fritz, he hit his sister. I liked Mary Jane, because they were nice. I think kids my age would not like Soldier Fritz, but would like Mary Jane.

Age Appeal, Number of Pages, Republished and Price of the Books We Received:
Mary Jane – Her Visit- ages 6-10, 190 pages, republished 2008, softcover $12.95, hardcover $22.95, e-book $9.95
Soldier Fritz and the Enemies He Fought- ages 8-adult, 137 pages, republished 2006, softcover $10.95, hardcover $20.95, e-book $7.95
The American Twins of the Revolution- ages 8- adult, 204 pages, republished 2007, softcover $12.95, hardcover $22.95, e-book $9.95

Vendor Contact Information:
Salem Ridge Press LLC
4263 Salem Drive
Emmaus, PA 18049

More Salem Ridge Press Products: Books by Caroline Austin, William W. Canfield, Alice Corkran, Clara Ingram Judson, Emma Leslie, George Manville Fenn, Lucy Fitch Perkins

Disclaimer: I received this product for free for review purposes. All links were current when posted.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


“It was really fun watching the movie with the alphabet and zoo animals, where you click the letter and a little girl tells us about that zoo animal that starts with that letter,” says B.

If this sounds like something your children would like to do, then Time4Learning is the interactive Internet program you will want to use. Time4Learning can be used for homeschool, afterschool, or summer use.

The pre-k level has two separate levels. Each level has different sections such as alphabet, colors, shapes, rhymes, number, weather, on the farm, space, time and many more. In each section your youngster will participate in activities such as matching, finding, storybooks and paint it.

The kindergarten level contains math and reading. There are 18 chapters in the reading level. Each chapter contains the sight and sound of two letters, reading comprehension, phonological and phonemic awareness. There is a different anchor story for each chapter.

There are six fun filled chapters to explore in math level. Each chapter contains different activities to learn more about recognizing numbers, money, basic addition, subtraction, graphing and probability.

What I liked: Time4Learning was a fun program for B and C. They both enjoy playing on the computer and this program allowed them to explore and learn different subjects. I would recommend this to families who enjoy playing and learning on the computer.

What I disliked: There was nothing about the program that I disliked. The only problem was that the computer we had access to was too old to use, so we had to go to the library. Each of the kids were involuntarily logged off a couple of times when they were in the middle of something, but that only happened once.

What B (age 6) liked and disliked: “I liked everything. My favorite was the zoo. I even told them how much I liked it. There was nothing I disliked.”

What C (age 4) liked and disliked: “I liked everything in school. My favorite was helping Jo-Jo the mouse. I did the second level for my age group. There was nothing I disliked.”

Age Appeal: ages 4-6.

Vendor Information: Time4Learning, 2010, Internet, $19.95/month for first child and $14.95/month for each additional child

Vendor Contact Information: or (954)771-0914

More Time4Learning Products: This product has different levels for grades pre-k to eighth grade.

Disclaimer: I received this product for free for review purposes.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Peterson Directed Handwriting

Are your children having problems learning how to write their letters? Then Peterson Directed Handwriting may be just what you need.

We were given three different levels of handwriting: kindergarten, first grade and second grade.

In Kindergarten Print the three objectives are:
providing daily exercises to learn and internalize the proper sequence of movements.
provide regular opportunity to take letter lesson into your reading lesson.
collect and track fluency with a timed test.

The daily lesson procedure is :
illustrate and describe
air writing
write and say

In Grade One Print the student will continue to develop patterns, practice them and apply the concepts by turning the letters to words.

In Printing Fluently the student will work on mastering writing position and rhythmic movement.

The On Your Mark Game is played by placing a pencil on the circle, the student closing his/her eyes and writing the letter that is verbally given.

What I Like: I thought it was a lot of fun to say the steps out loud as we worked to write the letters. It was an excellent way to see how many of the different letters have the same steps/strokes.

What I Dislike: There was nothing I disliked. We were using both Kindergarten and Grade one at the same time, so we had to pick the same letter to work on, otherwise it was too difficult to say the strokes for two different letters at the same time.

What B (age six) Likes and Dislikes: I like learning to write letters. I dislike saying it because it is too hard to concentrate on writing the letter.

What C (age 4) Likes and Dislikes: I like finger tracing. I don't like saying it out loud.

Age Appeal: Kindergarten Print, ages 4-5; Grade One Print, age 6; Printing Fluently, age 7; On Your Mark Game, any age

Vendor Information: Peterson Directed Handwriting; 2010; e-book; $19.95/level; On Your Mark Game price unavailable

Vendor Contact Information:, phone number (724) 837-4900

More Available Products: Software to use on tablets, cursive handwriting products and many more

Disclaimer Statement: I received this product free for reviewing purposes.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Travel Kits: A Simple Way to Bless Others

Are you going on a trip or do you know someone who is? If the answer is yes, then you will want to purchase Travel Kits: A Simple Way to Bless Others, by Donna Rees.

This 91-page e-book will help you build kits for people of all ages who need extra entertainment, whether traveling in the car or in a plane.

This comprehensive e-book has:
a chapter dedicated to the who, what, when, where, why and how of the basics;
the plan, the presentation and distribution;
many pictures to show you different ways to build your kits;
gift and game ideas for people of different ages and genders; a list of recommended books for ages 3-adult.

What I Liked: I thought this e-book was wonderful. My two children (ages 6.5 and 4.5) and I make several 16-hour trips and shorter trips per year. While they do not need many things to entertain themselves, travel kits would provide a special treat for them.

I really enjoyed the photos, why duplicate gifts are a good idea for young children, and the mention of using Internet sites where audio books can be downloaded for free.

After I read this book I was so excited that I thought about how I could build a kit for my family or for other families with small children.

This e-book did not leave anything out. I had no questions.

My favorite part was the list of books at the end. It would be fun to include several of those books in a kit.

What I Disliked: The only thing I disliked about Travel Kits: A Simple Way to Bless Others was that the file was large at 8.5 MB. It was too much for the older computer I was using with 56k dial-up.

Age Appeal: All ages for using the kits, but an adult would likely make the kits.

Vendor Information: The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, 2010, e-book, $12.45

Vendor Contact Information: The Old Schoolhouse Magazine

More Products: Wannabe Series products, Download N Go Series products, and more.

Disclosure Statement: I have received this product free of charge for review purposes.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Does your family need to get away this summer? Then come, “Travel the World,” as project manager Laura Clark and The Old Schoolhouse Magazine take you on a journey to the seven continents.

Take several days to several weeks and learn about latitude and longitude, other map features and individual studies of each of the seven continents. There are also several pages dedicated to copywork, both manuscript and cursive.

Young children will enjoy the word scramble, crossword puzzle and rebus puzzle, before they begin their lapbooks. There are coloring pages of several continents that can also be added to the lapbook.

This unit also has a high school expansion section with geography - how it relates to literature, history and your own business. At the end is a fun word search.

The Internet is an integral part of this unit study with links to many different information sites and game sites. If you want speed, you may want to use high speed Internet, not dial-up.

What I Liked: My favorite section of this unit study was the song, God has the Whole World in His hands- Continents, which was sung to the tune of He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands. This was an excellent way for B (age 6) and C (age 4) to review the names of the seven continents.

I also liked the fill-in-the-blanks, word scramble and other activities at the end of the information about the continents.

The kids and I decided to do the lapbook together this time and we had a fun time picking the information we would include in our small travel book about Scotland and our matchbooks of the continents.

What I Disliked: I am in an area of the country where the only easy Internet access is with dial-up and a 13-year-old computer. This unit had a lot of links to different websites and it took a long time to get to each site. Some sites also did not lead to areas I thought could be useful.
What B Liked and Disliked: I liked everything except where it said South America was both the third and fourth largest continent.

What C Liked and Disliked: C liked the latitude and longitude game.
Age Appeal: Grades K-12th

Vendor Information: The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, 2010, e-book, $7.95

Vendor Contact Information:

More Products: Wannabe Series products, Download N Go Series products, and more.

Disclosure Statement: I have received this product free of charge for review purposes.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

When I Grow Up, I Want to Be... A Firefighter

If you and your children are looking to learn more about what it is like to be a firefighter then, look no further than e-book, When I Grow Up, I Want to Be… A Firefighter done by The Old Schoolhouse Magazine from the Wannabe Series.

This 80 page e-book covers every subject you need for a day of school. You will learn the history of firefighting, what it takes to become a firefighter, and how much a firefighter gets paid in different parts of the United States.

This comprehensive e-book has:
Building a robotic arm and why firefighters use them.
Learning important firefighting vocabulary through a fill-in-the-story, word search, crossword and copywork.
Fun coloring pages.
End of the unit activities and games.
Answers to all of the activities in the back.

What I Like: I thought this e-book was well written and a lot of fun for the whole family! B (age six) and C (age 4) were really excited to learn about being a firefighter. They always enjoy going by our local fire station, so this book was for them. I enjoyed learning the history of firefighting and the different wages around the country. Our weather has been chilly, so when it is nice we are going to do the fun games with their cousins. There were just a couple of websites to visit and the best one was of a steam-powered fire engine. The suggested memory verses were thought provoking and dealt with fire as well. This book might be difficult for the younger grades, but as the parent you can look at it and decide what will work for your child now and then do it again in a couple years when your child can do more of the work.

What I Dislike: B does kindergarten/1st grade work and the math and word search were very difficult for him. We had to work on these items together and it was frustrating for him when he was unable to get the answers correct or find the words. For the word search, I ended up having to find the words for him and marking the first letter and it even took me a long time to find the words. He enjoyed the word search after I made it easier for him.

What B likes and dislikes: I love it. I loved the math. The word search and math were very hard. I loved coloring the pictures of the fire truck and Dalmatian.

Age Appeal: ages 4-10, but I think the whole family will enjoy it

Vendor Information: The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, 2009; e-book, $8.95

Vendor Contact Information:

More Wannabe Series Products: When I Grow Up I Want to Be a… Farmer, Missionary, Police Officer and more

Disclaimer: I received this product for free for review purposes.

Expedition Australia

Start up your computer and get ready to visit Australia in Download N Go Expedition Australia, by Amanda Bennett and The Old Schoolhouse!

Each day you will visit a different aspect of Australia:
Day 1: Where on Earth is Australia?
Day 2: Some of the Special Places in Australia.
Day 3: A Bit of Australian History.
Day 4: Cool Things to Know About Australia.
Day 5: Fun and Games in Australia.

Your day will consist of geography, word-of-the-day, Australian animal-of-the-day and weather here and there to help your child learn and build their lapbooks.

The Internet is an integral part of this unit study with links to YouTube and other sites, so you may need high speed internet for the videos, but dial-up will be fine for the other sites.

What I Liked: I was excited when I received this unit study. I did not know very much about Australia and I knew my excitement would excite the kids as well.

B (age 6) and C (age 4) were excited each day to learn more about Australia. Since we just do school in the morning took several days to do each “day, so we were able to spend a relaxing time learning and exploring the different links and suggested books we checked out of the library. One thing I learned after a couple of days was to have all the links ready, so that we could easily look through them. Also some of the links were very similar, so I chose the important information that would help us answer the questions.

The word-of-the-day was fun to learn and now we use words like fair dinkum and lolly in our lives.

What I Disliked: The only thing that I did not like with this unit was there was no math. I also wish that I had looked at the entire unit before I printed it out for the kids. I had to print out the pages for the lapbook again, because I originally printed double-sided. Sometimes not all of the links worked, but since the activities repeated themselves I was able to go to the different days to find links that worked.

What B Liked and Disliked: I liked the whole thing. I liked making the lapbook, because we got to use some glue. The YouTube videos were delicious. I liked learning about the poisonous sea snake and saltwater crocodile in the Magic School Bus book, Expedition Down Under. There was nothing I disliked.

What C liked and Disliked: I liked everything we did for Australia. I liked the koala the best.

Age Appeal: Grades K-4th, but I think the whole family will enjoy it

Vendor Information: The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC and Amanda Bennett, 2010; e-book, $7.95

Vendor Contact Information: and (Amanda Bennett)

More Download N Go Series Products: Simply Soccer, Ireland, Amelia Earhart and more

Disclaimer: I received this product for free for review purposes.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

We are making a firefighting robot

We are making a robot and it's called a firefighting robot. And it will have lots of odd things on it like cars and Legos and Slinkies.

What We do at the Firehouse!

What We do at the Fire House!

We have to slide down the fire pole if we’re upstairs. We have to put on our firefighter clothes; a jacket, some boots, a helmet, pants and an oxygen tank. We have to jump in the big fire truck.
And then we sound the sirens and go out of the fire station and down the road to the fire. We will see cars pull over to the side of the road to let the big fire truck go through.
We will go in the building as we fight the fire to see if anybody is in it. And we will get them out of the building as quickly as possible so they don’t die in the smoke.

Another story from working on our "When I grow up, I want to be... A Firefighter."

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

This is my plan to become as strong as a firefighter

In our homeschool we are working on a unit about firefighting. This is how B wants to become as strong as a firefighter.

I am going to run every day. I am going to drink milk and water, to help my bones. I am going to eat meat. I am going to eat salads. I am going to run in place if I can’t go outside and play. I am going to eat fruit. I am going to eat vegetables. I am going to hug and kiss, because I know it’s nice and God likes it. I am going to go outside and walk up and down a steep hill to become strong.