Friday, February 26, 2010

TOS Crew Review: AAS Beehive Reader 1

I originally did a review for the "parent" program, All About Spelling (AAS), that goes with this reader.  It can be read HERE. This reader can be used with this program or a supplement for any other phonics reading program.

The Beehive reader follows the schedule for All About Spelling and you introduce the story after reaching certain points in the program.  What I really like about this hardcover reader is that the stories go beyond most readers and actually tell a story the child can relate to.  Also, there are excellent pencil drawing to accompany most pages in the book, that add to the child's delight in reading the stories.  There are also some questions that are available separately in PDF File format that you get with purchase, if you choose to use them.  I like to have my children tell me the story back in their own words for reading comprehension.

My early reader loves to read from this book.  We always get this one out to practice with on a regular basis.  This book has a "home-y" feel about it that may become a children's classic.

To look inside, CLICK HERE.

From the website:

"Your beginning reader will delight in finding out what happens when…

…a busy cat lives in a windmill

…a sleepy bear cub takes a nap

…a grumpy duck demands a snack

…a singing bat befriends a lonely king

… a curious boy shrinks from tall to small

… and much more! "

"Beehive Reader 1 correlates 100% with All About Spelling Level One."

For more info: Click Here.

TOS Crew Review: Math Tutor Young Minds DVD

This numbers and counting video from is an excellent introduction or review for children just starting their math adventure. This is a great video for the under "6-ish" crowd.

What makes this special? The excellent music and beautiful, colorful photos. There are approximately 12 photos for each number from 1 to 10. So you would see a picture, count the objects in the picture, and then make the sound for the picture, if it makes a sound. Pictures include (farm and wild) animals, trucks, airplanes, birds, and more. This is then set to beautiful classical music by Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, and others.

There are also bonus features: Guessing the picture, dot to dot, and puzzles. My boys especially enjoyed the guessing the picture feature (I can't tell you what those are ;-)

My boys, although older, did enjoy the video. Because they are 7,8, and 9, I doubt they will watch this over and over again. However it was engaging enough for them to sit and watch it once through. It is an absolutely beautiful video that I am sure younger children would love. It does have 3 awards (Dr. Troy 10 best Audio Video Products, Creative Child Magazine 2009 TOP CHOICE Award, and WINNER

I do think this is a great video for the age intended.

To find out more visit: MathTutorDVD

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Come Together Now - For Haiti

Come Together Now (Music City Unites For Haiti) from Music City Unites For Haiti on Vimeo.

100% of funds go to Samaritan's Purse and The American Red Cross

Gospel Music Association (MA) chairman of the board Ed Leonard took time to highlight a few of the ways the gospel music industry has reached out to Haiti in its hour of need, introducing the powerful music video for “Come Together Now” (Music City Unites for Haiti) which was led by Michael W. Smith (written by Smith, David Mullen and Cindy Morgan).

Teary-eyed from viewing the powerful video, Michael W. Smith spoke briefly of his trip to Haiti last week and how long it would take for the people to recover.

We may be here to announce Dove nominations today, but the true awards go to the people in Haiti and the meaning of something like this comes only through what we do in times like this,” said Smith, who visited Haiti after the earthquake. Any recognition we give to those making an impact in this industry, goes all just to God’s glory and His fame, to be able to reach out further, to communicate His message to the world.
He made special mention of U.S. troops in Haiti…

To watch our military not only keep the peace but love on the Haitian people was an image I’ll never forget the rest of my life…

The making of the video:

Haiti benefit concert:

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

TOS Crew Review: MathScore

"Developed by MIT graduates, MathScore is research-based and proven to raise test scores with students of all demographics."

MathScore is an online assessment tool for schools, parents, and homeschoolers.  This assessment and math practice covers grades 1 through Algebra. Problems range from simple to complex through all the grade levels. What makes this program special is that it has the ability to generate problems and base difficulty on ability of the student.

MathScore can be used to supplement for most math curriculums. While it does not specifically teach, it does give mini-lessons on the topic area.  Some homeschool parents have successfully used this as the foundation of their math curriculum for their children.

After a simple registration process, I started my free 2 week trial which is available to anyone on their website.  I went on as my 8th grade child and choose from a list of topics. It then generated a worksheet for me do with several problems. The object is to quickly do the problems.  You then generate a score and are encouraged to move on to the next worksheet which for my topic, had more problems to do then the previous worksheet. You are awarded "trophies" for certain levels of accomplishment.  If you are unsure of a topic you can click on "mini-lesson" and read a sample of how to do the activity. It was no means in depth just a sample overview.

This program is not fancy, but does it's job without bells and whistles.  You can view a two week trial of the program at their website without giving any credit card /payment info.

For more info - visit their website at:

Saturday, February 13, 2010

TOS Crew Review: FactsFirst (Saxon)

I have to admit that this program has been the most enthusiastically accepted math program my children have done.  Well, not initially.  But after I "made" one my children try it, the rest watched in amazement and couldn't wait for their turn.

This program is meant to teach and review math facts.  The most impressive thing about it was that my 7 year old who is in first grade taught himself multiplication and division using this program. He also was giving me the hardest time doing basic math facts in his everyday math and now they are a breeze for him, so, no more fighting!

They started by making a character to portray them selves.  This was a fun assignment. They are always changing their man.  They then proceed to do math facts which does supply some instruction with the lesson. They are then rewarded with a fun game, which was probably the motivation to do more math facts. Some games are just fun, and some are educational.

So, if I gave stars this one would get 5 out 5 stars.  I have seen such an improvement in a fun way, they voluntary do their math drill.

From the website:
"factsfirst™ is a personalized and fully adaptive online math product that builds a child’s confidence and helps develop instant recall of basic facts in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Children are engaged in performance-based learning through interactive, real-world scenarios that make math facts meaningful and fun. "

To learn more visit:

I was given a free 90 day  preview to review this product.