Monday, April 23, 2012

TOS Review: Amazing Science


Science and sent us Volume 1 of their Amazing Science program. There are 23 science experiments that my boys found to be truly AMAZING. You have two options for purchasing the program: 1) You can download it for $17.99 or 2) You can receive the two DVD set for $19.95

The boys enjoyed all of the experiments they watched and they also tried many of them with no difficulty at all. I love that they were able to do most of them with little to no assistance from me (they actually allowed their younger brother and sister be their ‘assistants’). They were quite impressed with what they could do with ordinary items from our house. Our favorites so far are Lift an Ice Cube with a String, Matchstick Speedboat, and Cloud in a Bottle.



Jason Gibson is the Science teacher in these videos and he shows you step by step what to do and explains the science behind why it works. You can then do the experiment yourself if you wish, but it isn’t required. By watching the video you will have learned all you need to understand the science, but my kids weren’t happy with just watching, they wanted to actually do the experiment themselves. The video’s are pretty short, about 10-15 min each, as you can see from their demo HERE.

Science and also offers video’s for Basic Math, Algebra, Geometry, and Calculus as well as Chemistry and Physics.

I would suggest Amazing Science as a great supplement for any Science program and even a stand alone program for the younger children who really don’t require a lot of science instruction.

Visit Amazing Science and sign up for a free experiment delivered to your inbox. You can also find a list of all the experiments on these DVD’s.

If you would like to hear what other TOS Reviewers thought of Amazing Science please visit the blog here.

**Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I received this product free of charge, in exchange for my honest opinion/review. All opinions are mine. For more honest reviews from real homeschoolers, visit the TOS Crew website.


Monday, April 16, 2012

TOS Review: Christian Kids Explore Biology



Our family has been slowly working through a new Science program by Bright Ideas Press, and so far it is passing the Pickrel test for ease of use. With me, Science must come easily or…well, it just doesn’t come at all. 

There are several Christian Kids Explore Science choices to choose from: Chemistry, Earth & Space, Physics, and Biology. We received Biology.

Christian Kids Explore Biology is a 291 page, paperback text. It is laid out very simply for the parent OR the child to read a small amount on a particular topic (“Teaching Time”) and then do a hands on activity that ranges from a full blown experiment to a simple diagraming assignment (“Hands-On Time).


It is broken into 8 Units and each Unit has 3-6 lessons for a total of 35 lessons. The lessons are broken into Teaching Time and Hands-On Time.  It really is as easy as it seems. Our homeschool is very busy these days and I really can’t do anything overly complicated, but we have very easily been able to do this. And we’ve ALL enjoyed it. It’s written for 3rd-6th graders but even my kindergartners have sat in on some of the lessons and enjoyed the coloring pages. There are lots of extra’s in this books that you can use to make this more in-depth. The coloring pages are part of that option.

Everything you need is in this one book for $34.95, but if you would like a digital of all the reproducible pages you can order that here for $ 7.95. There are plenty of instructions to help you get the most from your text, including instructions on creating a Science Notebook and examples of how to schedule your day/lesson, and material lists for each Unit. Although there are plenty of instructions, I want to say there aren’t TOO MANY instructions. Sometimes, when I open a book and see pages and pages of instructions I just want to close that book and leave it on the shelf. I need quick and precise. That’s what you get with Christian Kids Explore. I LOVE it.

If you would like more information about this program or any of the other Science programs mentioned above, just visit their site here. You can view samples, which are always helpful in giving you an idea of what is covered and how a lesson looks.

The quick and to the point version:

  • Paperback (291 pages)
  • Christian Kids Explore offers Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Earth and Space,
  • $34.95 (for Biology)
  • 35 Lessons, makes it easy to complete in a year
  • Simple to do lessons and hands on activities

Want to know what other homeschoolers thought of Christian Kids Explore Biology? Visit our TOS Blog post.


**Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I received this product free of charge, in exchange for my honest opinion/review. All opinions are mine. For more honest reviews from real homeschoolers, visit the TOS Crew website.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Time to Sale

ALL PRICES ARE NEGOTIABLE (I really want to get rid of all this)

-Phonic's Pathway $10 + shipping

-Sylvan Learning Reading Skills Builder 1st & 2nd Grade (1st grade has 21 lessons and we used 11 of them 2nd grade has not bee used) $6 for both + shipping

-This Country of Ours by H.E. Marshall $20 + shipping(I believe this is a suggested spine for Truth Quest)

-Exploring American History by McHugh and Montgomery $8 + shipping (I believe this is a suggested spine for Truth Quest)

-Little Pilgrims Progress (by Moody Bible Institute) $5 + shipping

-The World at Her Fingertips the story of Helen Keller $5 + shipping

-Abeka’s Pilgrim’s Progress, simplified $3 + shipping

-Christian Liberty Press Nature Readers (Books 2 & 3) includes answer key for book 3 $5 + shipping

-Cocoa and Company: A Civil War Classic $5 + shipping

Christian Light Grade 3 Reading $10
+ shippingTeacher's Guidebook
Doors to Discovery (hardback)
Light Unit 310

Christian Light Grade 3 Language Arts $5
+ shipping
Teacher's Guidebook
Light Unit 310

-Preschool or Kindergarten Kit  $99 + $8 Shipping
Included in this sale: Explode the Code items:Teachers book for books A,B, & C, Phonics letters with pic, letter, and pic/letter combo, and ETC Wall Hanger with activity book. Wiki Stix activity set, Phonogram cards that help you teach the letters as well as phonograms, Phonics activity kit, molding clay, dry erase sentence strips, Alphabet match game, numerous letter and number cards, Winnie the Pooh numbers with words and objects offers a puzzle to help learn numbers and counting, Mother Goose activity book, Alphabet Art, Weather chart, days of the week and month, mini incentive charts, books include: God Made Everything Weird & Wacky, Sometimes I share, Choice Stories for Children, Did you Know devotions, Andi's Scary School Days, One Day in the Alpine Tundra, I can Read Golden Book, Eyewitness Explorers Weather Book, The Night Sky, Read Aloud Treasury, What is a Bird, Things that Go Trains & Planes, Sunflower Life Cycle, What is an Insect, Liz Looks for a Home, Treasury of Literature "Hold on Tight" and "Blue Waters" I have also included some wall charts to go along with this.

You can contact me by leaving a comment or email me directly at
I accept PayPal

Monday, April 9, 2012

TOS Review: Write with World

As a member of The Old Schoolhouse Crew, my family was given an opportunity to review Write with World created by God’s World Publications, publishers of God’s World News and WORLD Magazine.
I was given year one of a two year program, it included a student manual and a teacher’s manual. The teacher’s manual was an exact copy of the student text with a side margin listing some extra details and hints. There are 16 Lessons (4 Units) and each lesson is broken into 5 sections (called Capsules) making it easy to complete a capsule per day usually. Here’s a Sample Lesson to give you a better idea.
This program was designed for middle schoolers but can actually be used with 6-9th graders. While Write with World is loosely linked with it’s magazines and can be used very well with either one or both of them, but according to the publishers, it is not necessary to have the magazines in order to use this program.
The publishers list several reasons for creating this program on their website, including the need for “Christian’s to be heard in this era of conflicting worldviews.” I found this very interesting because, just today I was talking with my son about how difficult it is to get the actual truth from any media outlet. Our family enjoyed a membership to two of the God’s World News magazines last year and I really enjoyed hearing current news from a Christian perspective. If we can get our children interested in writing, while teaching them current news, we’ll be accomplishing so much more than just preparing them to write well for college. Not only that, they will be equipped to discern what they are reading in all media outlets. I think it’s a wonderful idea and my son loves the program!
When I asked my 11 year old his thoughts on the program, this is what he had to say: “Write with World helps you see the potential of a story in everything around you. I really like it.”
He has been used to using a pretty complex writing program so this seemed like a breeze to him, I guess. My problem with it was, yes it was fun and interesting, but it didn’t translate well. In other words, I saw very little actual writing. Perhaps I wasn’t monitoring him closely enough or we didn’t get far enough in the program. Another problem I had was being able to easily glance at the book and know what was going on. It’s written in paragraph form so you really have to read to get the jest of the lesson. There isn’t a bullet list or a “What You Will Learn In Lesson _”  to give you an overview of what to expect. There is a “General Overview” and a “Detailed Overview” in the teachers manual, but even the ”General Overview” is just paragraphs. I need short and to the point.
These are just personal preferences and shouldn’t stop you from checking out this program. There are plenty of good things about Write with World that I hope will encourage you to give it a try such as, your child learning current events from a Christian perspective while applying these to writing. Also, unlike what I grew up with, the variety this course offers in each lesson is fun and keeps them interested. Write with World doesn’t toss out a thought/topic and expect your child to write a couple paragraphs about it, which is exactly how I was first introduced to writing, in 7th grade. We had a journal and the first 5-10 minutes of class we wrote about whatever topic the teacher had on the board. For example “This weekend I plan to…”  It was very dull and ineffective.
The cost of this program is $95 for one year or $165 for two years (you receive a teacher and student manual for each year). Also, Write with World is in the process of creating an online site that should be ready in September. This site will have 3 primary functions: 1) provide additional prompts and subject matter for the child to work with, 2) allow students to submit their writings for publication, and 3) offer a place for students and teachers to discuss what their learning and provide feedback to Write with World.
If you are interested in reading more reviews on Write with World, please check out this post.
**Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I received this product free of charge, in exchange for my honest opinion/review. All opinions are mine. For more honest reviews from real homeschoolers, visit the TOS Crew website.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

TOS Crew: Amazing Animals by Design

Amazing Animals by Design was written by one of our fellow homeschool moms when she discovered there were very few intelligent design books written for younger children. Not only is Debra Haagen a fellow homeschooler she is also a crewmate with TOS! I was so delighted to hear about and receive her PDF e-book. (You can choose PDF 7.99 or paperback for 8.99)
I downloaded the book three times on my nook color but each time it disappeared, I’m sure it was probably something I’m doing wrong. She has tried to convert it to e-Pub and MOBI for nook and Kindle but she didn’t like the format after the conversion.
The book takes you to the zoo with John, Sarah and their parents. As they visit each animal the zookeeper informs them of the animals ‘special features’ that must have been created just for them.

This book was written for Pre-K through 3rd grade, but in my home this book was way over simplified for my 4 (almost 5 ) and 6 yr olds. They already knew what a Caracal was, they understood why elephants had trunks, and ostriches hide their heads in the sand, none of this was new to them. There was only one animal, the Barbary that they’d never heard of and thus was able to learn how the creator designed him special.
But if you have a child that hasn’t spent much time learning about the hand of God in the animal world, this will be a very good place to start. A very good place! And, Debra plans to write more in this series, so stay tuned!

links to help you

Facebook Page:
  If you would like to read more Amazing Animals by Design reviews, visit our TOS Blog Post.
**Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I received this product free of charge, in exchange for my honest opinion/review. All opinions are mine. For more honest reviews from real homeschoolers, visit the TOS Crew website.  

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