Friday, November 19, 2010

KB Teacher Review

As part of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was asked to review KB Teachers. There goal is to be the one-stop shop for all your teaching needs. It is a website full of worksheets for all subjects as well as webquests and various other teaching tools and clipart. They have some of their material available for free but most of the material is watermarked until you sign up for the premium membership. The membership is priced at a rate reasonable for most families $29/12 months or $49/24 months.


There were two features with the premium membership that I used the most, the math worksheet generator and the custom handwriting worksheets.

The math worksheet generator is just that - you pick the operation and the details and it produces a worksheet. With a click of the mouse you can create a new one. This was perfect since Paul is working on multi-digit multiplication and he needed daily practice. They currently do not have a division worksheet generator that has remainders but there is a note on the site that they are currently working on that, so we (or I guess "I") can't wait for that one...Paul won't be too happy about more division worksheets!

The custom handwriting generators were great because I could make similar worksheets for all three kids with just a little tweaking. For Molly I used the large letter to color and then a line of writing that letter and one word. For Zach I used the six print words and then for Paul I just switched those same six words to cursive and it worked great!

Another benefit is they are constantly adding new material so you can go back often and find new things to print. Also, if you don't find what you are looking for they encourage you to ask and they will try to find it for you, and if they can't they will make it for can't get much better than that!

They do offer a ten day free trial as well as a 30-day money back guarantee so if you are looking for a website to print some resources from you can give them a try without the risk of losing your money.

I do want to make sure and mention the lack of Christian-based material. They do not claim to be a Christian based company so I don't expect alot but something would be nice to see. Also, I was excited to see their "dino" workbook and thought my dinosaur loving 5 year old would really enjoy it. Before I printed it out I was careful to look at all the information and it does mention "millions of years ago", and supports the "old earth" theory. We are careful not to have anything like that in our home so I was not able to use that "dino" workbook. I did not look at all the other science worksheets but I imagine they are also "old earth"/secular worksheets as well. It is easy enough to ignore those worksheets and use the math and other worksheets we did enjoy, but I wanted to make sure my readers know this is a secular company.

I should also note that they are currently working on redesigning their site and I will be sure and check out the redesign and see what changes they make, and I will make sure and post about it on my blog.

Be sure to take a look at what other crew members had to say here.

Disclaimer: I received this product for free in exchange for my honest opinion of the product. There was no other compensation given for the review

Monday, November 15, 2010

Corps Of Re-Discovery - Tomahawk Kit - Review

As a part of the TOS Homeschool Crew we were recently given the opportunity to review a Tomahawk Kit from the Corps of Rediscovery.


You can find the tomahawk kit here for a very reasonable $5.50.


We are right in the middle of our study on frontiersmen in American History so the tomahawk fit in perfectly with our History lessons. Paul is also a HUGE Braves Baseball fan so a tomahawk was fitting for that as well. He loved this project. It was very easy for him to complete with a little supervision from me. All the pieces that were needed were included in the kit...except for the paint if you choose to paint it, which we chose not to do. The instructions were very simple and easy to follow for a bright 9 year old. I think 8 or 9 would be the youngest that would be able to complete this project mostly independently. The tomahawk was well made and lots of fun for the kids to play with. You can also purchase the Tomahawk as part of an American Indian Package, as a part of the Frontier Craft Pack, or as a part of the Lewis and Clark Expedition Study Pack. I think all of these kits would be a wonderful addition to a History Curriculum or as a quick unit study on their own.

You can also find many other project kits for your History studies at Corps of Rediscovery site.

Check out what other TOS Crew Members had to say here.

Disclaimer: I received this product for free in exchange for my honest opinion of the product. There was no other compensation given for the review

Friday, November 5, 2010

Collectorz.Com Review

As a "typical" homeschooling family, we have books EVERYWHERE...

Zach's are in a basket by his bed...
Molly has a basket by her bed...
Paul has a drawer by his bed...

There's an overflowing bookshelf in the "office"
Books on my nightstand...
And of course there are books on the toilet...
Books in the playroom floor from today's playing...
Books on the shelves in the schoolroom...
More books on different shelves in the schoolroom...
And that's just SOME of our many books! So, when I was asked to review book edition I knew it would be a great product for us. The "Book Collector Pro" is a great deal at $49.95.

Basically you enter your books in with either a scanner or using the ISBN code. I did not purchase the scanner that is sold separately. Entering the ISBN code was plenty quick enough for me, although it did take quite some time to enter all 758 books I have entered thus far! The program catalogs the books by genre and anything else you want to add in the "category" section. It automatically fills in the pertinent information such as author, title, publisher, and much, much more, as well as a picture of the cover. For us, this means that when we are doing a unit on fish, or dinosaurs, or American History, or if Paul wants a Star Wars book or whatever the kids decide they want to read about I can simply pull up Collectorz and search for all the books on that topic. Although, it doesn't help me then LOCATE the book on our many bookshelves it does let me know what books we have so that I don't go buy another book. So, I then go search the shelves knowing that is there somewhere, instead of thinking "Did I get rid of that book"

You can also purchase an application for the iPhone that allows you to upload your list so you can have it when you go book shopping. I haven't done this yet but plan to before I start searching for books at curriculum fairs in the Spring. I don't know how many times I have been at a Homeschool Fair/Expo and thought "Do I have that book" or have I just looked at it many times. Now I will know! In a nutshell I loved this product and think many homeschooling/book loving families will find it very useful!

Don't forget to check out to see this as well as other products for movies and music inventories!

You can check out what other TOS members have to say about the product here

Disclaimer: I received this product for free in exchange for my honest opinion of the product. There was no other compensation given for the review.