Friday, May 13, 2011

Lucky you!

  Well, in the category of humor, since Blogger was down for a while I received messages via other routes from interested parties. 

After my darling daughter randomly picked I am happy to announce that Catherine will be receiving the book even though she was not able to post comments here.  Thanks and blessings to all who entered.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Fun Giveaway for Moms - Humor for a Mom's Heart book

Humor For a Mom's Heart
Compiled by Shari McDonald
Howard Publishing Co, Inc.
ISBN 1-58229-266-3

Stories, Quips and Quotes to Lift the Heart  from Patsy Clairmont, Martha Bolton, Dave Meurer, Nancy Kennedy, Angela Elwell Hunt, Charlene Ann Baumbich, and many more

This is a good one !!!

This giveaway is for all you moms out there that need encouragement and a good laugh.

(Here's what it looks like on Amazon)

Some great thoughts from some very popular and funny people --  just a few you'll find in this 245 pages of fun:
  • I Am Mommy, Hear Me Roar  - Nancy Kennedy
  • The Husband's Progress - Chris Fabry
  • If Mr. Clean Calls, Tell Him I'm Not In! - Martha Bolton
  • Our Father Who Art in Heaven--Hurried Is My Name - Nancy Chapman Monroe
  • Summer Commandments - Joey Earl Horstman
  • Top 5 Ways to Spot a Mother on a Date - Becky Freeman
  • You Rile the Kids Up, You Put 'Em to Bed! - Joey O'Connor
  • A Smashing Success in the Kitchen - Karen Scalf Linamen
  • The Roosters in Our Family Tree - Gracie Malone
  • A Mother's Guide to Cool - Kathy Peel
  • Laugh and Lollygag - Lindsey O'Connor
  • Invisible Friends - Denise Roy
  • Mrs. Perfection Meets Ms. Im--: The Proverbs 31 Woman - Patsy Clairmont

             How to Enter

  1. Tell me in a comment your favorite funny and/or encouraging author or speaker
  2. For another entry leave a comment about something you've seen on my blog
  3. For 3 entries post about this giveaway on Facebook and comment              
  4. For 5 entries mention this on your own blog and leave me a comment/link

Drawing will be Friday, May 13th - Good Luck!!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Have you heard? 19 Free Gifts at The Old Schoolhouse

The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine is running their popular semi-annual 19 Gifts promotion, the 2011 Homeschool Gifts Bouquet. There were 5,000 packages available but they are almost sold out! They'll probably be all gone by early May.

If you haven't already subscribed, you really should consider getting this amazing homeschooling publication in your hands... or in the hands of a homeschooling friend!

If you get in on this Gifts Bouquet (by ordering a 2 year subscription) you will have several educational GIFTS rolling in over the next few weeks!  So what kind of companies are on board this year?  Check out this list:
  • Friends & Heroes 
  • Library and Educational Services 
  • Joy Berry Books 
  • Video Text Interactive Math 
  • A Journey Through Learning 
  • Beautiful Feet Books 
  • Graphics Toolbox 
  • Healthy Life Press 
  • Art of Logic 
  • Homeschool Programming 
  • In the Hands of a Child 
  • Make It Real Learning Company 
  • Math Mammoth 
  • Shurley English 
  • Supercharged Science 
  • World Wide Center for Math 
  • Brooks Educational Aids 
  • SpeeKee TV 
  • Egghead Academics 
  • The Old Schoolhouse Bonus Gifts => John Taylor Gatto E-Book & MP3!


BEYOND the 19 free gifts, you'll also receive the monthly Teacher's Toolbox email and access to the SUBSCRIBER ONLY website. (This is the BRAND NEW password-protected site which is LOADED with resources for TOS subscribers ONLY.)

As a subscriber to The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine you'll flip through approximately 200 glossy, color pages of vibrant and encouraging inspiration every quarter.  You'll need to hurry to get in on this great deal though, because the spring promotion is almost SOLD OUT!  
Click the Bouquet picture below for more information

(No, I am not paid to promote this.  I'm doing it because I subscribed this way--and it was a great deal!  This is a really great magazine with lots of information and encouragement for homeschooling families and anyone considering homeschooling.  Blessings to you -- hope you get a chance to enjoy this!)

Congratulations! You are a Winner!

Congratulations to April, the winner of the Homeschooling Cartoons book by Todd Wilson.  Thanks to all who entered and blessings to all.

Kregel Publications - Circle C Beginnings - Andi's Fair Surprise - TOS Review


Circle C Beginnings 
Andi's Fair Surprise
ISBN 978-0-8254-4184-4
Susan K. Marlow - 2011
Christian Fiction - Chapter Book - Ages 6-8

Kregel Publications
a division of Kregel, Inc.
P.O. Box 2607
Grand Rapids, MI 49501

Recently I received a copy of Andi's Fair Surprise, by Susan K. Marlow.  We really liked the book and are thinking about getting more books from the Circle C Beginnings series.  I remember growing up with a variety of horse books around.  They were all good, but a lot of the stories were about boys and their horses.  I remember wishing I could find a series of stories about a nice little girl and her horse.  If you have a darling daughter, niece, or granddaughter that loves horses, you'll want to check these out.  Let me share a bit about the book we read and the series. 

Andi's Fair Surprise is a delightful story about a 6 year old girl named Andi Carter and her trip to the 1874 California State Fair.  Andi is growing up in the Wild West of the late 1800s.  Andi wants to take her foal, Taffy, to the fair to compete for a blue ribbon like her brothers.  Unfortunately she and her foal are too young to compete so Andi tries to find something else to make the trip worthwhile.  Andi has to get dressed up and ride a train, for hours and hours, and she doesn't want to "bounce and slide around all day"--she's so sure this is a long and pointless trip.  A fancy hotel room,  great food, spending money and a special entry ticket help Andi realize that the fair trip might not be too bad after all.  Andi even ends up winning a prize--one that she's told she absolutely cannot take home.  Life's not fair.  What to do?  By the end of the trip Andi grows up a bit and learns a few things.  Andi gets to be a blessing to another little girl, and she receives a prize she wanted badly.  Best of all, Andi finds out how much her family loves her. 

This is a great story about growing up and learning about the unfairness of life.  Andi finds out how to make an unfair situation a blessing to someone else.  The story is filled with fun illustrations of Andi and her journey.  The story is 10 chapters long and easy to read.  At the beginning of the book is a "New Words" vocabulary section.  At the end of the book is a "Peek Into The Past" which describes state fairs during the time period of the story.

Other books in the series include:

  • Andi's Pony Trouble 
  • Andi's Indian Summer 
  • Andi's Scary School Days 
  • Andi's Lonely Little Foal 
  • Andi's Circle C Christmas

To order these cute easy-reader chapter books click here .  The books are a very reasonable $4.99 plus $2 shipping and handling if purchased individually.  Books 1&2 or 3&4 can be purchased for $9.98 plus $2 shipping and handling.  Or, for the best deal, order books 1-4 for $15.96 and $3 shipping and handling.

Free, age-appropriate learning activities to go with the books can be found here

You can also find cute free coloring pages of the illustrations in the books by clicking the logo below

Find more info on Facebook here
Sign up for the Circle C Beginnings Ezine here

Andi's adventures continue in the Circle C Adventures series which includes:
  • Andrea Carter and the Long Ride Home 
  • Andrea Carter and the Dangerous Decision 
  • Andrea Carter and the Family Secret 
  • Andrea Carter and the San Francisco Smugglers 
  • Andrea Carter and the Trouble with Treasure 
  • Andrea Carter and the Price of Truth
For more information about Andrea Carter - Circle Adventures series - Ages 9-14
click the pictures below.  

We received one Circle C Beginnings book to read and review.  We really enjoyed Andi's Fair Surprise.  My daughter thought the age range was appropriate, and the vocabulary used was easily read and understood.  She liked the "New Words" section at the beginning of the book--"because then you know the words when you see them in the story".  The story was fun, and the website activities, coloring pictures, and other information were fun to check out also.  She now wants to read the rest of the Beginnings series and move on to the older Andrea series.  We really liked the illustrations in the stories too--such a cute little girl! 

As the mom of a horse loving daughter I'm really excited to see this series geared to girls.  We have not read the next series but look forward to finding them in the future.   I also felt that the layout, illustrations and vocabulary were quite suited to readers of beginning chapter books of the suggested ages.  This was a fun book to read and review.  I hope you get a chance to check out some of the links I've provided to see samples from the books as well as the related activities.  Great author, great pictures, a new favorite series!

Other Review Crew members also received other books from the series.  To see more Crew reviews on these books click here.

As a member of the TOS Review Crew I received Andi's Fair Surprise free from the vendor in return for an honest review of the book.  I received no further compensation.  Opinions and observations are my own.  I am not obligated to provide a positive review.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

This One's a Real Classic - Yesterday's Classics - A TOS Review

Yesterday's Classics
PO Box 3418
Chapel Hill, NC 27515

Age Range - PreK - 13 or 14 - but equally great for adults
Price Range - Normally $149.95 / $99.95 through May 31st
When I think of "classic" several things come to mind
  • classic car - '57 Chevy
  • classic dress - Audrey Hepburn's black dress in Breakfast at Tiffany's
  • classic book - hmm, there's so many . . . where to start?

What exactly is a "classic" anyway?  Definitions I found included
  1. something that is a perfect example of a particular style 
  2. something of lasting worth or with a timeless quality 
  3. serving as a standard of excellence : of recognized value    
    (Thanks Wikipedia and Webster's Dictionary)

Yesterday's Classics definitely qualify for all 3 definitions.
Do you remember any of the books you read as a child?  I'll bet some of you have favorite old books you can't find anymore but would love to have for your kids or grandkids.  So many old favorites are out of print or very hard to find.  Let me tell you about a great option to find some of those old "classics" to read again and share with a new generation.

Yesterday's Classics is a company that republishes classic books for children, all written from 1880 to 1920, the era known as the golden age of children's literature.  Many of their titles have been out of print for decades, but now you and your children can have this "library" at your fingertips without having to do a lot of research and without paying large sums of money.  You don't need several bookshelves either.

As a member of the TOS Review Crew I received a free download of a group of 225 e-books from Yesterday's Classics to check out and review.

                      Let me start with WOW!  I love these!  

All Yesterday's Classics titles are offered in high-quality paperback editions, with text cast in modern easy-to-read type and the illustrations from the original volumes.  (except in those few cases where the quality of the original images was too low to make their reproduction feasible)  In addition, these titles are also now available in Kindle or EPUB format.  (But, you do NOT have to have a Kindle or an EPUB ebook device to read these books since there are APPs (applications) for both of these formats that work on a PC (computer).  (EPUB ereader devices include Nook, Kobo, Sony Reader, iPhone, and iPad.)  When you check out the website you'll find information on both formats and how to download the APPs.  You can even download a sample to check out what the readers are like.  (They don't, however, sell all the different kinds of readers.)

There are so many titles available with their descriptions that I won't list them all.  The covers of a few are further down in this review.  Take a look at the EPUB titles available by clicking here.  These same titles are available in Kindle format.  *And remember, all are available as paperback editions.  You can order the ebooks by clicking here .

Right now Yesterday's Classics has a special going just for you - check it out! 

From May 1 - May 31 you can get this group of titles, in either form (EPUB/Kindle), at a wonderfully discounted price.  Click the offer below if you want to take advantage of the $99.95 special, normally priced at $149.95--and yes, it'll go back to that for June.

You can take a look at the 225 available titles here to find details.  Within these titles you'll find the following:
(number in parentheses shows the number of offerings in each category)

  • World History(9)
  • Children of the World(6)
  • Nature(27)
  • Ancient Greece(29)
  • Fables(5)
  • Kindergarten(14) 
  • Fairy Tales(12) 
  • Britain(9) 
  • Shakespeare(2) 
  • Poetry(5) 
  • Faith(10) 
  • Early Civilizations(5) 
  • Ancient Rome(18) 
  • Middle Ages(17) 
  • Legends(14) 
  • Renaissance and Exploration(9) 
  • Science(7) 
  • Readers(4) 
  • American History(18) 
  • Christmas Stories(6) 
  • Literature(5) 
  • Biography(10)


So, here's what you get :
  • 225 titles which fall into 22 genres
  • easy-to-navigate Table of Contents for each book (unlike a lot of EPUB and Kindle books)
  • the ability to print as much or little of the titles as you choose
  • a Guide to EReader Devices and Software
  • the ability to put on as many devices as you like (no DRM, digital rights, issues)
  • email support for those all those little other things that come up. 
That's a lot of research, compilation, downloading and time saved! 
Did I mention I love these?!


I don't know about you, but we have thousands of books taking up shelf space.  Many of these books are used in curriculum lists from Ambleside Online, Living Books Curriculum, Heart of Dakota and others - check the lists on the website.  All in one place, less money, a whole library and less space taken up in your home.

Some of our favorites in perusing the many to pick from include Mother Stories, Hurlbut's Stories From The Bible, Parables From Nature and Pilgrim's Progess.  We really like all the different nature and animal books (especially Thornton Burgess).  I'm looking at incorporating a number of the history books into our curriculum plan for next year, and the beginning readers should be popular with my little guy.  We've looked at some of the science books and will be diving into them again later (plants will be now while Spring turns to Summer)  We, of course, continue to do fun reading too (fairytales, fables, poetry) and look forward to getting through more as we have time.  The illustrations in these books are wonderful.  I like the easy navigation from the Table of Contents because it helps us to be able to stop and pick up where we left off quite easily--bookmarking helps too.  Although I have not printed all of the books offered, I like the ability to print as I desire.

For those who may be wondering, while many of these are downloadable free from various websites the quality is definitely not the same.  Many contain no illustrations.  Not all ebooks contain a Table of Contents.  There are often sections which don't scan correctly.  Formatting is not always consistent in the free downloads either.  Taking into consideration that to purchase all 225 titles in paperback you would pay $2495.75, or to purchase the titles individually as EPUB files you would pay $648.80, $149.95 doesn't look so bad.  And if you order this month, before May 31st, the $99.95 looks really good!

These are a really great deal!!  

I received these books free from Yesterday's Classics to use in return for an honest review of the books.  I received no further compensation.  Opinions and observations are mine.  I am not obligated to give a positive review.

For more reviews from the TOS Review Crew click here .   

Monday, May 2, 2011

Giveaway !!! The Official Book of Homeschooling Cartoons - Volume 2

The Official Book of Homeschooling Cartoons - Volume 2   It's a Giveaway!!

The Official Book of Homeschooling Cartoons - Volume 2
ISBN - 13: 978-1-933858-16-6
ISBN - 10: 1-933858-16-8

Todd Wilson 
FM Publishing
611 S. Main St.
Milford, IN 46542

Familyman Ministries

Todd Wilson is a writer, speaker, former pastor and dad.  He has a passion to change the world one dad at a time.  Father of 6, Todd sends out weekly e-letters to dads from his site.  Calling all dads--if you don't already get this weekly encouragement please check out Todd's site.  And you mom's, why not suggest it to that precious hubby of yours.  My husband loves Todd's site and finds it incredibly encouraging and helpful.

Todd also writes homeschooling family cartoons, thus the book up for giveaway.  These cartoons are soooo true to life.  Having read a number of Todd's writings let me just say "You Need To Enter This One!"  "Do It Now!" 

I have a copy of Todd's book to give away.   Come on, who doesn't need a little encouragement to realize we're not out there doing things alone?

To have a chance to win this book all you have to do is:

1. Leave me a comment that you're interested in the book.

2. For another entry, visit Familyman Ministries at and tell me another one of Todd's products you'd like to check out.

3.  For another entry, visit Todd's Facebook page and "like" it, then let me know in a comment.

4. For another entry, click to follow me on Google Connect or tell me that you already follow.

5. For an additional entry, click to follow me on Facebook Networked Blogs.

The lucky winner will be picked randomly from all entries and posted on Friday, May 6, 2011.

Good luck!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Greek N Stuff - Hey Andrew, Teach Me Some Greek - Level 3 - A TOS Review

Greek 'n' Stuff
P.O. Box 882
Moline, IL 61266-0882

Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek!
Copyright©1994 by Karen Mohs
ISBN - 13: 978-1-931842-11-2
ISBN -10: 1-931842-11-6

Looking for a foreign language program?  Interested in reading the Bible in the original Greek form?  As a member of the TOS Review Crew I received the Worktext, a teacher Full-text Answer Key, and a Pronunciation CD  from Hey Andrew!  Teach Me Some Greek!, a group of products from Greek 'n' Stuff,  to use and review.   This is an easy to use, self-teaching workbook program which introduces the language of the Bible's New Testament.  Koiné - or "common" - Greek is not spoken in Greece today, but  we found out that it can be spoken and read in your home quickly and easily.

The workbooks introduce the Greek alphabet and grammar through natural immersion with plenty of practice, drill, and games. The concepts are introduced fairly slowly and are reviewed often.  You can actually start reading original Biblical text within a few lessons!

The Level 3 Biblical Greek Worktext is 180 pages containing 36 lessons. Topics covered include Alphabet Review, Vocabulary Review, Punctuation, Word Order, Moods of the Greek Verb, Voices of the Greek Verb, Present Tense, Gender of the Greek Noun, Cases of the Greek Noun, Bible Copy Work and more. There are flashcards included in the back of the text for review.  (Laminating these cards would  be a good idea considering the frequency of use - daily is suggested.)  The Pronunciation CD is also a great help while learning the materials.

In Level 3 students review the alphabet and vocabulary introduced in Levels 1 and 2. Students then construct simple sentences while working with the specialized endings on nouns and verbs.  Level 3 is designed to either be in the normal progression through levels or as a place to start for older learners and/or adults.  (This worked fine for my 13 year old and myself.  I didn't think there was any problem starting at 3 without having done 1 and 2.)

Other materials available include quizzes/exams, flashcards on a ring, an audio pronunciation CD or cassette tape and a Bible Copybook containing the Greek and interlinear English text of the Gospel of John.  There is also a new E-book available.

The Worktext begins by having the student write the Greek letters and pronounce the letter names. The sound of the letters is also indicated. These are short but effective lessons.  Matching exercises and other review then follow.  Students then quickly start learning some words, including their basic meaning and pronunciation. Daily flashcard practice is also encouraged, and there is a place at the bottom of each page to mark completion.  There are also a number of short practice games, puzzles and sections where the student draws a picture for a Greek word. Sentence practice then is introduced. The end of the book contains an Appendix of various references to aid the student.

Pricing for Level Three:
Greek Level Three Student Workbook ($21.95)
Greek Level Three "Answers Only" Answer Key ($4.00)
Greek Level Three "Full Text" Answer Key ($21.95)
Greek Level Three Quizzes/Exams ($5.50)
Greek Level Three "Flashcards on a Ring" ($8.00)
Pronunciation CD for Greek Levels Three and Four ($10.00)
Pronunciation Cassette Tape for Greek Levels Three and Four ($8.00)
Greek Level Three "Short" Set ($39.45)
Greek Level Three "Full" Set ($57.40)
Bible Copybook - The Gospel of John ($25.95)
Sheet Music for The Greek Alphabet Song ($2.95)
Set of five (5) Koiné Greek Alphabet Bookmarks ($6.00)
(Please see the Greek 'n' Stuff website for other levels/products and further pricing information.)

My Thoughts:
This self-teaching foreign language program is a good one. We liked the way the text and lessons were set up. (We also liked the fact that they were short and easy!) The CD and Appendix materials were very helpful. This really is a quick-start program. I also liked that the Full-text Answer Key is exactly the same as the student text, with the answers filled in. It was good to be able to look at the same material while my daughter had her book. I'm not always a user of teacher texts, but I was glad I had this one. Although my daughter will probably not continue with this program I might. The program was not difficult, it just wasn't one she was interested in right now. Writing is not my daughter's favorite thing to do, and it was overwhelming for her to do so much copywork. As for me, I think that is one of the strong points in this program. I would definitely recommend this set to anyone thinking about learning to read Biblical Greek.

(Sample PDF pages)

A postal mail catalog (available per request) or an online catalog are available for more information and to order these products.  An online store option is also available.  A number of free educational pages and other links may also be found at the company website.

As a member of the TOS Review Crew I received these items free to use in return for an honest review of the products.  No further compensation was received.  Comments and observations are my own.  I am not obligated to provide a positive review.

Friday, April 22, 2011

See the Light - Art Class DVDs - A TOS Review

See The Light - Drawing Children To Him
Art Class DVDs
Volumes 1-9

$99.99 for set of 9 volumes (not sold individually)

Master Artist, Pat Knepley
Parking Lot Productions
2010 Legacy 4 God Publishing, LLC

See Vendor Website for more information (or here to try free lessons)
    See what others had to say about this product

Click for Art Class Online Subscription

Lately we've been trying something new for art, Art Class DVDs by See The Light Shine, with Master Artist Pat Knepley.  Pat has a degree and teaching credential in Art Education from Penn State and works as a Director of Children's Ministries in her church.  Let me tell you a bit about this fun art program. 

Pat takes the student through each lesson with an easy to follow, step-by-step, approach.  While teaching the various lessons Pat also blends in scripture which pertains to the lesson, to allow the student to look at art from a whole new perspective.  The lessons are short (about 15 minutes each), easy, and appropriate for elementary students (targeted for ages 6-10) right up through secondary ages (if the secondary child has not had art lessons).  Pat is very animated, positive and engaging.  If you're looking for a program to get your kids excited about learning to draw you should really consider checking these out.

***The Art Class is also available for $10 per month as an online subscription. This is a great option if you can't afford the 9 volumes as a set. (As noted above, the DVDs are only sold as a set for $99.99. They are not available individually.) With your initial subscription you receive access to the first four lessons. Each month thereafter your subscription provides the following four lessons while still giving you access to all the lessons you've already completed.

The programs consists of 9 volumes, each of which contains 4 lessons. (A bonus lesson is included in each of the first 3 volumes.)  Here's what you'll find on each one:

Volume 1:  The Basics
1.  Tools of the Trade (drawing "toolkit")
2.  It All Starts With a Line (contour drawing)
3.  Contours & Composition
4.  Draw What You See
Bonus - Chalk-It-Easy Chalk Art Lesson - with Gloria Kohlmann

Volume 2:  Shape & Space
5.  Shape Up - Part 1
6.  Shape Up - Part 2
7.  All About Space
8.  Putting It All Together - Line, Shape & Space
Bonus - Creative Lettering - with Heidi Shorts

Volume 3:  Value & Color
9.    It's Not Just Black & White
10.  Tone, Shade & Shadow
11.  Color, Color, Color
12.  Complements & Intermediates
Bonus - The Joy of Art - with Jim Pence

Volume 4:  Color Blending Techniques
13.  Blending with Colored Pencils
14.  Practice Makes Perfect
15.  Blending With Chalk Pastels
16.  Putting It All Together

Volume 5:  Proportions For Composition
17.  Stand Your "Ground" (background, middle ground, foreground)
18.  Keep Things In Proportion
19.  Scale
20.  Point Of View (bird's-eye, worm's-eye)

Volume 6:  Texture & Form
21.  The Element of Texture
22.  Choosing The Right Tool
23.  Make It 3-D
24.  One Shape, Three Results

Volume 7:  Perspectives For The Landscape
25.  Put It In Perspective (One-Point Perspective)
26.  Put It In Perspective (Two-Point Perspective)
27.  The Landscape (Part 1)
28.  The Landscape (Part 2)

Volume 8:  Balance & Foreshortening
29.  Balance & Symmetry
30.  Circles & Ellipses
31.  Whoa!  That Was Close
32.  The Bug Jar

Volume 9:  The Portrait
33.  Drawing People
34.  A Different View
35.  It Starts With a Stick Figure
36.  The Human Figure

We really like this program.  My daughter thought it was easy to understand and follow.  She liked the step-by-step approach.  We liked that the lessons were short, to be followed by some practice before the next lesson.  We also liked how the lessons connected to each other and to Bible references.  The lessons were fun to watch and very educational.  There's definitely a renewed interest in drawing at our house.  Although the full set is a bit expensive, the monthly subscription would be easier to fit into a budget if you have Internet access.  We also liked the natural and easy way that Pat tied in scripture with her lessons.  All in all, this is a great option to have fun while learning art.  

     As a side note, there are Easter, Christmas and other art lessons available too.  There are also art supplies, music and books available through See The Light.  Check out these products at the website mentioned above. 

As a member of the TOS Review Crew I was provided with a free copy of the first volume of Art Class from See The Light to use in exchange for an honest review of the product.  No further compensation was received.  Opinions and observations are my own.  I am not obligated to provide a positive review.

Visit See The Light at Facebook here
Check out See The Light on Twitter here

Some Great Links

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