Thursday, September 30, 2010

Build a Strong Homeschool Foundation with Organization

Students Planners Are Now Available!!

The 2010 Schoolhouse Planner

No other planner has as many building blocks!

Over 600 pages including:
Daily and weekly schedule forms
Monthly calendar pages
Attendance chart
Bible memorization record
Book report forms
Library book list
Journal pages with space for drawings
Assignment sheet with due dates
Audio/video log
Chore chart
Print alphabet writing charts
U.S. Presidents
United States and capitals
Countries and capitals
Timeline of inventions
Scientists & their discoveries
Preschool activity pages
Nature journal pages


The Schoolhouse Planner:

Don’t Homeschool Without it!
click image below for more information

Schoolhouse Planner Calendar
I created this advertisement for a contest for the TOS Schoolhouse Planner

Friday, September 24, 2010

Freebie Friday

I can hardly believe that September is almost over! I trust that everyone is settling into their school routine and that you are enjoying these cooler fall days.

This week, I would like to share three websites that were recently brought to my attention.

The first site is

Mr. Khan has developed a website that provides classes in Math, Science, History, Finance and Test Prep for free!!!!! All classes are student paced and free!!!! Did I mention that you can study a whole year of Pre-Algebra , Algebra I& II, Geometry, Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus, Calculus, Biology, Chemistry, Physics and so much more for FREE! Please share this resource with your friends.

The second site: offers live classes in many areas of study, including Apologia Science classes. The Virtual Homeschool Group has become very popular, so all live and asynchronous classes are currently at maximum capacity. There are no classes currently enrolling more students.However, if you sign up for their free newsletter you will be notified of up coming classes.

This weeks third FREEBIE is a Webinar at

Top 12 Homeschooling Mistakes... and How to Avoid Them
Sep. 28, 9 PM EDT / 8 PM CDT / 7 PM MDT / 6 PM PDT

This webinar will cover:

- The two big testing mistakes (that could have
far-reaching effects)
- The critical college preparation mistake that 80% of
homeschoolers make
- God's place in science
- The mistake made in teaching science to young
- The way college professors view homeschoolers
- The "8th grade mistake"
- The real truth about scholarships
- The dirty little secret
- The big high school science mistake

Presenter: Greg Landry, Homeschool Science Academy

As always, have a blessed week and enjoy the changes that the new season brings.


Friday, September 17, 2010

Freebie Friday

I pray that everyone is having a wonderful week. This week I would like to share three of my favorite sites for freebies and just some neat homeschooling resources.

The first website is On this site, hundreds of vendors have e-books for sale, but they also have a huge collection of freebies. Sign up for their weekly newsletter and receive a freebie every Monday or just go to their website and browse through the freebies!

Next, is an incredible website that all homeschool families should checkout. It's the homeschool buyers co-op. This site has great deals on curriculum and lots of free stuff! Take some time to really check out this website and join the co-op, it's free!! Their website is:

The last website for this week is This site has a wealth of information for homeschooling high school age students. Sign up for the newsletter to stay informed or just check out the freebies on the web page. This site is hosting a FREE webinar on Tuesday, September 21, with Jay Wiles as the guest speaker. Register for the webinar at this site:

As always, if this blog is a blessing to you, share it with a friend.

Have a blessed week!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Vocabulary Cartoons-SAT Word Power
New Monic Book Inc

Vocabulary Cartoons-SAT Word Power makes studying for the SAT fun! I received a copy of this paperback book to review for the TOS Crew. The book cover is colorful and inviting,not like many SAT practice books, which are big and intimidating. The books contains approximately 290 vocabulary cartoons. Each cartoon is a mnemonic device that is meant to aid in the memory of vocabulary words. The book is designed for anyone who is interested in improving their vocabulary, but it is particularly beneficial for preparing for test like the SAT or GRE exam. Vocabulary Cartoons-SAT Word Power is priced at $12.99.

This 347 page book, has a very eye pleasing lay-out. Each page is devoted to one vocabulary word. At the top of each page, the vocabulary word is printed in bold print in a text box with it's phonetic pronunciation and part of speech. Next, there is a clear definition of the word followed by a link word. The link word is a simple word or phrase that rhymes or sounds like the vocabulary word. For example, the word affidavit would appear as:

(af uh DAY vit) n.
a sworn written statement

Below this text box is a black and white cartoon of David slaying Goliath and a caption that states: "AFTER DAVID slew Goliath, he made out an AFFIDAVIT not to further hurt any big guys."

The cartoon and caption are followed by a few sample sentences. The book is divided into twenty nine units, with each unit containing ten vocabulary words. Upon completion of a unit, there are review questions and an answer key in the back of the book. The review questions include matching and fill in the blank type questions.

My daughter, Kaela used Vocabulary Cartoons, as part of her PSAT preparations. She enjoyed using the book and thought that most of the cartoons were funny. Kaela felt that learning vocabulary with mnemonics worked well for her,however not everyone is wired to learn using this method. She found that the number of words per unit was manageable and the review section was helpful. The one downside was the level of the vocabulary words. Both Kaela and I did not feel the words were challenging enough. Hopeful Vocabulary Cartoons II is more challenging than book I. We would recommend using this book as part of a SAT preparation course. Why not have a little fun while studying???

The New Monic Inc, publishing company has several books geared towards vocabulary development, including books for elementary level students. New Monic Inc, also sells blackline masters, overhead projector transparencies and a PDF formatted disks for classroom use.

I received Vocabulary Cartoons-SAT Power in exchange for my honest review of the product.
Read what my other Crew Members have to say about Vocabulary Cartoons by clicking on the banner below.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Freebie Friday

I pray that everyone had a great week. This week was the first day of our homeschool co-op, where I teach math. So I thought the freebies will all focus around math.

One of our favorite tools to learn the multiplication table is Time Attack.The base edition of Time Attack is absolute free and will help your video game lover master their multiplication table fast!

Another great math site is This site host all different types of math games for kids ages 13-100.

For the 3-12 year olds, there's

Finally, here's a great site where students can work on word problems in a fun environment.There is even a section on SAT math!!!

I hope these sites bring a little fun to your school day! Have a blessed week.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Math Tutor

The Pre-Algebra Tutor
The Texas Instruments
TI-83 and TI-84 Calculator Tutor

1-877 Math-DVD

Caution!! Using Math Tutor DVDs may cause your student to excel in math!! As part of the TOS Review crew, I received both the Pre-Algebra and the Texas Instruments TI-83/TI-84 Calculator Tutor DVDs to use with my children. I must admit that I was a bit skeptical of the claim made on the front cover of the DVD case. It states "The use of this DVD will cause increased understanding of Pre-Algebra and will lead to higher grades". Well, I viewed the Pre-Algebra program, along with my son Kwan and found the DVD to be very well done. Jason, the math tutor, presents the lesson in a very clear and concise manner. He introduces concepts and then works several examples to illustrate the concept. It was useful to pause the DVD and work the examples to add a little more of an interactive element to the program. I felt that the video quality was fair, however, the audio quality was very good. My son, Kwan, found the lessons a little too long for one seating, so we broke each lesson up into two parts and this seems to have worked well.

We reviewed Volume 1 of the Pre-Algebra Tutor. It contains two DVDs with five hours of lessons.Disc 1 includes lessons on Real Numbers, The Number Line, Absolute Value, and Adding and Subtracting Integers. Disc 2 includes Multiplying and Dividing Integers, Powers and Exponents, and Order of Operation.After completing all of the lessons, I did see an improvement in my son's math skills. The classes on Negative Integers and Order of Operations were especially beneficial. The 2 DVD set sells for $26.99 and can be used in conjunction with any Pre-Algebra curriculum.

click the link below to see a sample video

We also reviewed the Texas Instruments Calculator Tutor DVD. My daughter, Kaela, initially felt that she knew how to use all the features on her TI-83 Graphing Calculator. However, after watching Jason explain how to use the functions, I heard many comments such as "Oh! I didn't realize that ..."; or "This makes more sense now." This 3 DVD set has 8 hours of lessons and covers a wide range of topics. He starts off with an overview of the calculator and then goes over all of the functions as they apply to Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry and Trigonometry. This course is a must for High School level math students who want to get the most out of their graphing calculators. It has enriched our Algebra II course and will be quite helpful during our SAT review. This 3 disc set sells for $26.99 and like all of the DVDs offered by the company, comes with a money back guarantee. The Math Tutor inventory of DVDs includes Basic Math thru Calculus and Physics too! Although these DVDs do not replace a full math curriculum, they provide a great supplement for a struggling math student or parent.

I received both of the above mentioned DVDs in exchange for my honest review of the product.
Read what my other Crew Members have to say about Math Tutor DVD, by clicking on the banner below.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Freebie Friday

Well, with this being back to school time, I felt that I would share websites that provide FREE academic programs to enhance your homeschooling experience. I only ask that you share these links with other parents!

The first website is for Spelling City. They offer a free online spelling program. Lots of fun and games for the kids and a huge help to mom. You can read my review of Spelling City on this blog.

Next, we have a totally free vocabulary program that is sponsored by Wordly Wise. You may use this program with or without the Wordly Wise books. I really like the games on this site for reinforcing vocabulary. Also, it's great for SAT prep!

Finally, a great website to reward reading and to check reading comprehension skills is This site offers quizzes for thousands of books and rewards prizes for points earned.

If you know of any free websites or free school related materials that you would like to share please e-mail me at

I pray that this blog may be a blessing to you. Have a wonderful school year and check back next week for more Freebie Friday!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Homeschooling is a Labor of Love

Over the years the Old Schoolhouse Magazine has served as a support group, a resource, and a curriculum guide to my homeschool. I look forward to receiving the magazine quarterly, and my only regret is that it does not come out monthly. When the latest issue arrives, I can not wait for the end of the day when I can savory each article. By the end of the evening, the issue has been thoroughly reviewed and and selected pages are folded over for more careful review. I love to visit the various vendor's web pages and see the new materials available. So, if you have not experienced the Old Schoolhouse Magazine, I encourage you to take advantage of this incredible offer.

The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine is extending an extraordinary
subscription offer to homeschool families. Receive a one-year print
subscription for just $7.95 or a one-year plus current issue
subscription for $12.95. One-year subscriptions start with the winter
issue. The one-year plus current issue starts with the fall issue.
Only 5,000 of these special subscriptions are available from August 31
through midnight on September 15. Once the 5,000 are gone, they’re gone!
Hurry and grab this crazy price today!