Sunday, August 23, 2009

Thomas Nelson Review: Rick & Bubba's Guide to the Almost Nearly Perfect Marriage

I couldn't resist a look at this book. I really didn't plan on taking it that seriously. This definitely shed some humor on marriage, but with a realistic touch. I believe the over all theme of this book is to cut some slack! Marriage requires give and take, and almost always not 50/50. Sometimes you have to give 99.99999% to remain happy. This book gives great suggestions on how to do that, of course with humor.

You'll learn about their first dates, their first kiss, their first trip to the OB/GYN and what to expect (from a mans perspective and with humor of course!) You'll learn the real meaning behind your marriage vows and some great (and not so great) date suggestions. They also touch on some great parenting tips and the importance of dad's taking on their role. This book is written mostly to the man, but both sexes will get a lot out of it. It would be funny for both partners to read and laugh at together.

I didn't care for the CD that accompanied it, which I guess was from their radio shows. It is nothing like the book. I was very disappointed, maybe because I am a women. But my husband doesn't act like they do on the CD and I am glad!! I am not sure I could stand it. Makes me realize what a blessing my husband truly is!!!

NavPress Review: Invitation To The Jesus Life

What an incredible book this is! It has taken me such a long time to go through this because it is so full of meat that I have to read, stop, and digest after sections of this book. I was challenged over and over as I read how to really listen to people, how to be real, how to show compassion and more. The book is great because it not only describes Christ-like-ness, it gives you exercises on what you can do to practice each character of Christ. It is kind of looking in the mirror, like James (of the bible) says, and actually practicing what you have learned. Many books leave you dry in this area. You, too, will not doubt be challenged and grow closer in your walk with the Lord, when you read this book. Makes a great devotional or small group study!
To Purchase at CBD Click HERE.
To Purchase at Amazon Click Here.

TOS Crew Review: The Quarter Mile Math

(*Read Update below for referral code discount for readers of TOS Crew Blogs! Good through September 30th 2009)

My family has been fans of Quarter Mile Math for many years. We purchased an older version at least 10 years ago on CD-Rom. Our family has been playing for years, however the version we had was not completely compatible with Windows XP. We could play it, but if we got something wrong more then a couple of time it would lock up the game (they did find the cause of this!) HOWEVER, this new "Deluxe" version solves this problem because once you purchase it, you can always upgrade it for free (as long as you keep your subscription.)

What is great now is that if you purchase the deluxe version, you get to choose how long you would like to keep your subscription for. You can purchase by the month for $2.95, by the year for $19.99, or for two years for $34.99. (SEE REFERRAL CODE BELOW FOR DISCOUNT!) You can request the CD for $5 dollars more or just download it off the Internet. The deluxe version requires Internet access, at least dial up.

What I like most about this game is that students can compete against themselves or optionally against other friends and family members, like grandparents across the country. It says you can make copies for grandparents and use the same activation code so you can compete against them. Sounds motivating - doesn't it??

You get to chose between a horse or a car. I personally like the horse races, so that is what I choose! If you are competing against yourself, you race against your best time, trying to improve your score. You get to choose the activity you want such as keyboard skills, addition, multiplication, fractions, etc. Then it is broken down further depending on what subject. For example in multiplication you can pick the one time tables, two times tables, and so on or math facts up to a certain amount, for instance "facts up to 10 X10." So you can really break down where the child is at and place them where ever they need.

My children thoroughly enjoy this and will play for hours, competing against their own scores. My only complaint was on my wireless Internet it seem to be slow loading and waiting to start the next game. Also, I have to shut off my Internet filter when using this.

This software has won many awards and has been chosen for use in Sylvan Learning Centers across the country. This is all for good reason - it is an excellent FUN program that gets children motivated to learn their math facts!

If you have a struggling learner, they do have some information on how Quarter Mile Math might help on their website. You can read more by clicking HERE.

There is a "Standard Version" also available which I did not review. It is the same game, but it is not online and is not based on a subscription. You pay it all up front and it stores your scores on your own computer. It only comes on CD-Rom and you have to pay $5 for updates. You can not participate in tournaments in this version, while in the deluxe you can. To see a complete comparison CLICK HERE.
To find out more or to purchase visit The Quarter Mile Math Website HERE.
I want to share some more info about Quarter Mile Math and a special discount...
1- This is mult-grade level, so several students can use it at one time. My younger children work on basic math facts, while my older child worked on "order of operations." This covers preschool to high school level math topics and are correlated to state and NCTM standards.
2-Some people may not like the idea of horse racing. Quarter Mile Math makes a point that these are riderless horses. The green background give the feel of horses running through a meadow.
3-Quarter Mile Math is offering a discount on Quarter Mile Math for readers of TOS Crew blogs through September 30th 2009. If you use this referral code: 7R7D7 Quarter Mile will take $5 off the purchase of the Deluxe or Standard version.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Back to School 2009!!!!???!!!!

Well, it is just about to time to get back to school. We have had the busiest summer on record and I need a vacation from that, so back to school we must go!!! I really appreciated the article: Notice of Intent to homeschool from Little Blue School. We are just to busy to go to school. This article explains it all too well!

There are some great articles from The Old Schoolhouse Magazine available online and a free ebook, too. Follow the following links to find great articles:

Are Public Schools For Christian kids??Learn about how the public school system began, and by whom. What was the original intent of this system? As a Christian parent, can you confidently make the decision to place your child in the public school environment day after day, year after year? What is being taught there?What is the national drop-out rate?Is God being honored. . . respected. . . lifted up?

What About Public Schools is The Old Schoolhouse's newest brochure that examines public schooling vs. homeschooling.

Escaping the Homeschool Matrix Brochure

Homeschooling with confidence article

Ebook about Ebooks....Discover all you ever wanted to know about E-Books, their use in homeschooling, and even how to publish your own! Gain a better understanding of the many ways E-Books can improve your homeschooling by quickly and resourcefully linking you with the latest information on a seemingly endless supply of lessons, encouragement, support materials, and more! E-Homeschooling is hyperlinked to additional reference material, purchasing sources, and free E-Book websites to sample and enjoy.

Also available is the freebie directory from The Old Schoolhouse. Try before you buy!!!! Here is the link to that:

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

TOS CREW Review: Hank the Cow Dog

Hank the Cowdog has been an award winning line of books, audios, and games (among other products) that has been around since the 1980's. I had not heard of them before I received my review package from them. In it contained Hank the Cowdog: The Case of the One-Eyed Killer Stud horse, Tales and Tunes from Hank CD, and Tornado game.

The stories are told from the perspective of Hank the Cowdog. He is from northern Texas and is a little ruff and gruff around the edges. The tone of the stories are reminiscent to me of what I would have listened to growing up in the 70's and 80's. The stories lean on the silly to nonsensical. Although children tend to love these kind of stories, because we tend not to read these type of stories, my husband and I screened them together.

Hank is the "Head of Security" on the ranch. He tells different stories of his encounters and stories involving several of the main characters: Sally Mae (the human,) Drover, Wallace the Buzzard, and Pete the Barncat. Other characters are also briefly mentioned. All the books are also available in audio format.

The CD contains a sampling of the stories and songs from the books. My husband enjoyed them somewhat, for every time I tried to skip ahead to the next story on the CD, he would make me wait until the end of the story. Like I said, Hank is a little rough with his speech and likes to use words and phrases such as darn, ninny, "little snot", "what the heck," and calls people moron, dumb, and stupid. So I was not comfortable reading this to my children or letting them listen to the CD.

The Tornado game is similar to "Sorry" or "Trouble" games. Your goal is to get your men around the board first while sending other players back to start. My children did have fun playing the game. The game is simple enough that non-readers as well as readers can enjoy the game together. It is compact and folds nicely so you can take it with you when you travel. The pieces are the characters from the books and stories.

You can hear samples of the story: The Case of the One-Eyed Killer Stud Horse HERE.
You can hear samples of the CD: Tales and Tunes from Hank The Cowdog HERE.
You can find out more about the Tornado game HERE.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Online Euducational Share

There is a great list of education links available at:

Always "surf" at your own risk! There will probably be sites you don't agree with, so beware! Children should never "surf" alone!