Showing posts with label Computer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Computer. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

TOS Crew Review: LanSchool Home Version computer monitoring program

Wouldn't it be great if you could monitor your student's computer time?  Pop in and post a note to them or receive a question from your student's inquiring mind? How about being able to see what your child is doing in real time?  Or where they have been?  How about being able to check to see if they are really doing their assigned work, or [gasp!] dawdling on another site instead?  What if you could block out questionable websites?  Wouldn't it be fun to have your students be able to see on their own screen, the "something" you are demonstrating on your computer?  Or perhaps you want everyone to enjoy a video without scrunching up to see it on one screen (in other words-they watch it on theirs, without squashing you to view it).  These are not some far fetched "Geez that would be swell" sort of scenarios. There is a program out there that can do just that.  It is called LanSchool, and even though it serves many public and private schools, they also have a home version available.  But dear readers-I simply cannot adequately describe everything it offers-so please visit the LanSchool Homepage link, and read about it-then come back to see what I think about it.

See?  There is a lot to the program and obviously, they can describe it best.  So on with my thoughts...

I guess I must admit-we're most definitely smack dab in the middle of the most technically advanced era on the ole timeline of human history. Unfortunately, I am not one to always embrace it.  Especially the whole computer thing-sure, I can use it and have found it to be a great blessing-but I also have felt gray hairs popping, and my veins surging due to the frustrations that occur when using something so complex and downright fussy.  Simply put-I am not a computer geek, and I just don't "get it" most of the time-which is why I have a very tumultuous love-hate relationship with it.

So when it comes to how we homeschool, I utilize the old fashioned way of doing things, for most of it.  You know-using face to face discussions, reading real books, cuddle time on the couch, using the ole television set to view movies and so forth.  I do not use much computer time during our regular school hours-but we will use some educational CDs and websites as supplemental activities to our main curriculum. Granted our teen does have her own computer; but we have the safety issues already addressed; as well as the ability to check her history at any given moment-so those bases are covered. So when I was chosen for the LanSchool review-I was unsure exactly why I would even need it-not to mention the fact that I was having a bit of a panic attack because I am not techno-savvy at all.

Some of you are probably shaking your heads and asking what the big deal is.  Well, for me and those who are not all computery is a challenge. Thankfully, LanSchool has a very helpful PDF file and several (yes, I watched them) tutorials to get me started.  I found that I was able to download the program fairly easily and then navigate it well enough. It certainly was not something to "freak out" about because it actually makes sense once you play around on it.  Best yet-it has plenty of tech help available if and when I require it.

Now, even though I was able to do those things mentioned in the first paragraph, it simply is not a good fit for us.  As I stated, we are more "old timey" in our way of learning (and if and when my son was doing computer work-it was on mine. That is definitely a valid point to ponder; as it also happens to be the one I have as the "teacher's" it kind of voided out the need for monitoring his activities) so I truly wasn't seeing much of a reason for this type of application for us. Perhaps I will find more of need for it down the road, but right now-it is simply "overkill" for us.  But, I can definitely see this being a great program for a homeschool group or co-op; especially for those classes that can use computers but have limited funds to provide each child with their own curricula (such as a video they need to see), or better yet-used for actual computer instruction classes.

For those families who use a computer curriculum program, or for those who use the computer frequently to teach-then perhaps this is a most useful program indeed.  I have to say-you'll need to do your homework in regard to whether it is right for your family.  Reading the Home Version Information Flyer should fill in the gaps too.  Pay attention to the specific system requirements noted at the bottom of the flyer-and you will need to have computers that "can talk to each other", so research and know that information prior to purchasing.
And there you have it folks-my take on the LanSchool program.

Basically they are doing what they normally would be during their computer time-you now have the ability to assist and monitor it with this program-so that is why I have this icon here-unless they are not computer literate, than I guess they would need assistance.

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Home Version Sign-Up (3 computer monitor limit)
$99 for home  license with 3 yr. update access
This can be used for most ages-as long as they can use a computer, you can monitor them

Don't forget to visit our TOS Crew Review Homepage to see what my crewmates had to say aboutthis and many other fine homeschool products.

***LanSchool provided me with a free home version license to test and use on my family's computers, so that I could write this review.  I did not receive any financial compensation for my honest opinion of this product.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

TOS Review Crew: Graphic Toolbox

My crafty side was itching to try out something like this.  Something where I can design, create and otherwise just play around with different techniques, and tools to make something of substance, something worth "writing home about".  Usually, I do this sort of thing with real paper, scissors, pens, pencils and tape (Velcro if I am making workbox goodies) and so this was a bit of a challenge for me-to go digital and all.  What am I talking about?

Well, I am yammering about  a software program called Graphics Toolbox, which is  designed to help you create personalized material for all your needs-not just for the homeschooling stuff either.  It can help you infuse visuals to create some really nice projects, in just about every subject matter.  You, or your child, can [because yes-it is very kid-friendly] create artwork, report covers, book reports that are professional looking, science/history/art fair displays and more. Actually, if you pop over to their education page, you can see what I am talking about. You will be able to glean more ideas regarding just how useful this can be in your daily homeschool acitivities.  You can design headers for blogs, create Christmas or other holiday cards, whip up some fun "can you spot the differences" pictures, create truly personalized announcements and on and on.  It runs along the lines of the MS Paint/Power Point/Publisher, Photoshop and other graphic design programs, but with more advanced features [from what you get with the MS programs],  and some slightly tweaked and different  options [like the larger workspace area] that you won't find in Photoshop. To be honest-I cannot list all of the features, so I have that link available for you to go to.  Take your time-as it is quite a lot of information to digest. Be sure to come back here though, to see what I was able to do with it so far-as I simply have not had nearly enough time to just mess around and come up with more, but I will try to continually post new projects as I get them made.

Here is an example of a typical situation in life. Take the subject of history. It is well, history-something that has already occurred.  So trying to get a child to become truly “involved” in it, can be a difficult challenge indeed.   By using Graphic Toolbox, and a bit of one’s  imagination-you can draw (quite literally) the child into any time in history, to create a memorable report cover, picture for a lapbook or notebooking page,  an entertaining picture for a scrapbook page,  or even a center piece for a history display board.

Last summer, we spent some time exploring George Washington’s estate, Mt. Vernon.  We could walk the grounds as our first President did some 2 centuries ago, but alas-without ole George to give the tour himself.  Using Graphic Toolbox's features/tools, I was able to create a unique photo which brings George right out of the museum, and out onto his front lawn-with my son saddled up with estate's owner/tour guide, and my husband meandering alongside. 

After watching the extremely helpful video tutorials, I was able to go into the program, pull up 3 specific pictures I felt would work, to which I  then meshed together (amazingly actually-never thought I could do this) to get the final masterpiece. I am pretty proud of this one-and had a lot of fun working on it too.  That would have made an adorable postcard that I could have sent out-too bad I didn't have the program then.  But not all is lost-I have it now, and will print this off in a smaller size for my son's history notebook (when we get to George and his contribution to our nation this spring) to make it much more personalized for him.

I have had only MS Word to play with in my creative endeavors, and frankly-it is extremely limiting after a certain point.  I was quite pleased to be able to use some “real” nitty gritty type of features to pull this project off.  The Irregular ShapeCopy/Resize/Move/Rotate, Clone, Text and Ribbon features afforded me the opportunity to put to “paper” what is in my head.   I have not even touched the tip of the iceberg here.  But what I can tell you, is that so many doors of possibilities beg to be opened with the use of the Graphic Toolbox program. I plan to continue to further explore this, so that I can create more personal lapbook components, history visuals, and especially to make creative workbox materials to use in our daily homeschool adventures.

 Don't be fooled, it took me some time to figure this massive program out.  Those tutorials made the difference from throwing my hands up in despair, to instead taking on the challenge of working through the "learning curve" to get it all figured out.  So I highly recommend that one spends time watching those, then practicing the techniques. And with the wealth of ideas on their featured projects section-which the Mt. Vernon picture will soon reside, you can find many applications that suit your needs.  I have to say, now that I have  the "hang of it", I am truly enjoying myself.  

Here is an example using one of their scrapbook choices (layout is pre-done, you just add the picture and text). I simply added the shot my daughter had taken, at sunset one fine summer evening, to fill the blank picture area.  I had to erase the lines that were in the text area, since I wanted to add the verse via the computer, not by hand. It didn't take long to create this at all.  G.T. stated they decided to not focus as much attention on the pre-done scrapbook pages (so that area is somewhat limited) since there were so many other digital scrapbook companies out there. I thought I would show an example of one though, for those digi-scrappers out there.  You obviously can create your own pages with all the gadgets this program offers, or utilize parts of it to add to other layouts. Again-it is a tool to use to create your own one-of-a-kind works of art.

I have told you of my experience, but what you should do is try the 30 day Free Trial, in order to see for yourself. Allow a few days of just "practice and play" before you yeah or nay this I stated above-it takes time to figure out. And if you have been using another type of program similar to this one-then you have to allow for that "difference" adjustment, as well.

Before I end this though, I cannot stress this enough-KNOW YOUR COMPUTER before installing this program.  Please refer to their system requirements before you test run this program, as it will not work for every application. It does take up space on your 'puter's hard drive-so carefully read those details ahead of time.

I am sure you are wondering now-would I have sought out and purchased this, had I not received it as a review item?  I have to say, that right now with our financial belt tightening, no-I would not have.  But that is because of finances, which I have pointed out in several reviews this year.  Things are tough right now-but that doesn't mean I wouldn't recommend it.  I do-if you are one needing a way to personalize and add flavor to your schooling, business and well-"whatever else" needs-give it some serious thought.  Is is on the spency side? Depends on what you decide you can afford.  I have made that very clear right from the beginning of my TOS crew adventure-I cannot even begin to know your financial needs/ I can only address our situation.  Do your research homework, read the other crew mates' reviews and try the 30 day free program. Then you will have a pretty good idea if it is right for you.  I am very, very happy that I have this to play around with and to enjoy.

Easy as in after you get the hang of it-I am sure the kids will pick it up far faster than the older generations-just allow for some adjustment time

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Graphics Toolbox Homepage

$149.00 - 1 user License with discount offered for up to 2 users (ie: uploaded on to another computer)

Don't forget to read what my TOS mates have to say about this, and many other fine homeschool products, over on our TOS Crew Review Homepage.

***Great Software Tools provided me with a free Graphic Toolbox Program for my computer system, so that I could tinker, create and utilize this to satisfy my creative needs, and in exchange for an honest opinion of their product. No financial compensation was exchanged for this review.

Friday, January 15, 2010

TOS Crew Review: Keyboarding for the Christian School

I have to admit-when I first saw that I would be reviewing a keyboarding product, my mind went to piano lessons.  I suppose that dates me, because I call it typing-but in this 'puter age it is referred to as keyboarding, and that is exactly what this product teaches-how to type on the keyboard.

Only one of my brood does not know how to type yet...after all he is 8-and I usually don't push it at this age.  But, I had planned on starting something with him this coming semester, and now I have the very product for him to use.  The lessons themselves are very short, nicely laid out, while providing just enough info/practice material to keep the younger ones focused and involved. Because this is an eBook, I did have to print (chose to do so in gray scale) off the pages, but that was not really that big of a deal.  One I did choose to print the keyboard page (shows the division of the rows) in color, since this is vital to getting good hand placement and is referred to throughout the lessons . I was quite pleased to be able to do this, because the colors are ones my son can "see" fairly correctly, as he is color blind.  Believe it or not, that issue has caused me to not be able to use many programs, simply because the color choices make it impossible for my son to distinguish things correctly.  If you too are blessed with a child who cannot see certain colors, I suggest you contact the author so she can list those used in this program, to save you the expense of purchasing something your child cannot use properly.  To create a sturdy book,  I slipped the pages into sheet protectors inside a 3-Ring binder for him to use.  As the name implies-this is a Christian product.  Each lesson starts with verse, then moves into the material to be worked on.  What I like best about this is that it is just keyboarding lessons-not a mixture of activities that distract from what is being taught.  I have some other products littering my shelves that contain a variety of subjects (including keyboarding skills)-which I choose not to use to teach the typing, because it is too hard to separate them from the other material within the product.  I like that there is nothing else but the actual goal right in front of my son, and that is it-especially because my precious boy can be quite distracted at times.

Contained within the eBook are 32 lessons covering the keyboard and finger placement, with the last 3 focusing on centering, enumerated lists and timed writing sections (given after finishing lesson 6 and so on).   I do have one small issue with this level  though.  The font points are too small, making it kind of hard to "see" what it is they are to be typing.  With the material positioned off to the side of the computer, my son had to lean in and squint to see what letters he was to type.  This became frustrating for him, since he tends to flip around some of the letters (b, d, f and r) and it confused him because they were not on the line he was working with (which I pointed out, but it still was an issue). This certainly is an easy fix, as enlarging the font will solve this dilemma.  Other than that, I am rather pleased with it. My son has really enjoyed working through the Keyboarding for the Christian School  lessons, so we will definitely continue to use this one to completion.

We were also given the option of using the Upper Elementary, Jr/Sr high level program as well.  I decided to opt out of this because my daughter already knows how to type.  But after looking through it (so this is my take on it without using it), I have decided to  have her do some of the timed typing tests, and some of the report/essay format, and business letter pages to give her a chance to practice these valuable techniques.  From what I saw by strolling through this eBook, it comes across just as nicely organized as the Elementary one.  The lessons are more advanced (after lesson 32) than what we saw in the lower grade, so if you have a student who does have basic skills, but needs to know how to type up MLA, APA reports, the cover, bibliography and works cited pages, and type personal/business letters and envelopes correctly, than this program will be most beneficial.  The lessons also include proof reading marks, timed tests/scales and tables.  And if your student hasn't a clue on how to type properly, then this all in one program could teach them to do just that.  There is very minimal teacher prep (just copying off the pages and organizing it into a usable book) which offers you more free time to work with the other children whilst your budding speed typist works independently.  I do wonder though, if the beginning lessons should have larger fonts too?  It would be easier for the student to see what it is they are to be typing, but then again-as they move into the "real world" they very well may be looking at that sized font material anyhow. So maybe getting used to it from the start is the best for the older students.  Well, again-that is about the only issue I have with either product, so I guess that really isn't too bad.

I am rather pleased with the Keyboarding for the Christian School series, as it fits our family's learning style quite nicely. For those looking for a straight forward keyboarding program-this is a great one to consider.
And to satisfy your curiosity, you may try some of the pages for free by visiting the site.

for older children who can read and understand what is being asked of them

The younger children may need some assistance from time to time

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Keyboarding for the Christian School Homepage

Elementary level: $12.95 eBook download

Upper Elementary/Jr/HS level: $15.95 eBook download
Buy both for $22 and from now until Feb. 28, you can use the code NewYear5 to get $5 off the set!

Don't forget to see what my TOS mates had to say about this and many other fine homeschooling products over on our TOS Review Crew Homepage.

***Christian Keyboarding provided me with a free eBook each on Keyboarding for the Christian School Elementary level and a Keyboarding for the Christian School Revised (Upper Elementary-Sr High) edition eBooks, to use and test with my family. I have discussed my opinion regarding this product, and have not received  financial compensation for writing this review. 

Thursday, August 27, 2009

TOS Crew Review: Aleks

If you are a frequent visitor of my review blog-then you may have just done a double take after reading the title. It is no mistake though...I actually was asked to post a little ditty on the new improvements that have been made to Aleks' program. Before going any further on with this updated review, I strongly encourage you to read the original post, and then come back here to continue on. That way, you will have a pretty good idea about what Aleks provides, and I can avoid rehashing what I have already stated in the first review.

I am going to highlight some of the new features first, since they are rather exciting. Immediately upon signing in, I noticed the Announcement section touting the recent additions. I was also happy to see all the necessary links, clearly labeled, so that I can navigate the site with ease.

For starters, in our home, we have several visual/tactile learners, meaning we need to put pen to paper to work through math problems we're covering. So having extra worksheets available is an excellent way to meet this need. There are two different ways to accomplish this-the first is by clicking the "worksheet" button found in the top info bar on their page. The system will then generate problems based on what my child has been working on in worksheet form, then all that is left is to print it. Another option is found within the QuickTables section. This "math fact mastery" program is quite interesting and fun. The student can work on their speed and accuracy for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. After navigating through the fun activities, they can view their progress, and I can create a worksheet to further their knowledge. Like the main math program my child is working on, I can also adjust and change the material to provide extra work on their mastery skills. I really am impressed with this addition to their program.

The new quiz feature is a much needed improvement with Aleks. For those, like me, who like to occasionally quiz their students, there is now that option. I can simply create one based on the material my student has been working on-it is that easy. If it appears that there is a need to provide another one (to be sure they are understanding the concepts), I can remake a modified version which retests those very same concepts-just with different problems. These can also be used to help issue grades for their work, as well. And of course, it can be printed for their records-which is always a nice feature.

Lastly, they offer the attendance record sheet now too. I personally, do not have to carefully monitor the amount of days we do school (thankfully); but I know many who do because of their state's laws. So if you are using Aleks for your child's math program, you will only have to merely click the print button to have a full report for your records. It is nice to know that is being recorded for me, in case I would want to have that in my child's school file, as well.

Overall, the new improvements are wonderful. I really appreciate their great customer service at Aleks, they are quick to respond and very helpful with any issues I had. I also like that they take the suggestions from customers to heart, by trying to implement those ideas for improvement; which will further improve this less traditional, but rather progressive way to do math (and chemistry).

They also have a Homeschoolers Resource section, with lots of additional information to make your experience more beneficial.

The best way to see all that Aleks has to offer, is to head over to their web page. You can view the mini-tutorial videos which explain some of the new features, and how Aleks works. Just look for the green button with the arrow in it, right by the log-in section to take a tour. Your time there will be well spent.

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Aleks Homepage
$19.95 per month/per student, $99.95 for 6 months or $179.95 for 12 months...but they offer a Family Discount Plan when you sign up your students at the same time. This is a complete math program, so you can give your student full credit for completing a course. Or they can earn college credit for the courses meeting criteria for the ACE program. So the price is really quite reasonable, when compared to other math programs and college fees.

Visit ALEKS for 1-Month Trial
(just click this icon for info)

Intrigued? Well, why not give it a test drive? If you are a homeschooling family and NEW (sorry, if you have tried them out before, you do not qualify for this offer) to can get one month free (when going through the website, you only receive 48 hours free)-so, by Jove, go for it!

Don't forget to check out what my TOS Mates have to say about this and other great homeschool products on our TOS Review Homepage

**Aleks provided us with a Two-month free subscription to Aleks' On Line Math Program in order to test and use it with my family, so I could write this review.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

TOS Crew Review: Quarter Mile Math Deluxe (Level 1, 2 and 3) Bundle

I am always on the hunt for a high quality CD Rom games for my children to use, particularly those that address the subject of math. When we first learned that we would be receiving the Quarter Mile Math program to review, I made a bee line to the site, in order to take a look see. I have heard, over the years, about this particular company and it always was the same-awesome. I am not so sure what took me so long to investigate them-but none the less, we decided to download the free demo to try it out. My son was immediately taken with the graphics, and most especially-the RACE CARS! Have I ever mentioned that all of the males in this home are car fanatics? The engine parts that find themselves upon my counters on occasion, the garage packed with all things cars-including cars, and the engine parts stuffed in the back closet? Yes, well these definitely are a dead give away about this obsession. With that in mind, it makes perfect sense that anything car related, or anything that makes revving sounds, and has the capability to speed (in real life or in virtual reality) simply ignites the spark plugs of my son's mind! I didn't even have to give it 5 minutes to see this was a keeper. So, whilst we waited for the box to arrive-he practiced on the demo and enjoyed it every time.

1/4Mile Image

Then the big day arrived...we anxiously opened the package-WOW! We received the Deluxe Version, contains all three levels (grades K-9, but even the aged-minds in our home can use some practice, and stimuli regarding such skills-so I say it can even meet the needs of math needy adults). This is truly the Cadillac of their product line-cleverly designed to sport a few extra nuggets of coolness, which the Standard versions do not have. This model provides online tracking so you can view the practiced topics detailing such things as: the overall tally of the number of races completed, tracking of correct answers, and their continued progress in those areas. What's more, Quarter Mile Math has a few different subscription plans to meet the needs of of most homeschooling families. Oh, and it is a very affordable alternative to spency math tutors, or CD games with limited capabilities.

We haven't even scratched the surface of this humongous program. My son has, up to now, had limited computer time-so he is at the bottom of the skills level at this point. Mostly, we are working on hand placement for finding the numbers and letters on the keyboard. He is able to work through the simple addition/subtraction races-but it is slow going-mainly due to his need to improve his speed in calculating the answers (this will improve greatly by using the Quarter Mile Math game) and finding the correct number keys.

I really appreciate the ability to review, and print my son's progress with the Deluxe program. I need that visual to track his skill level throughout the year; and so that I can be sure to schedule extra time to work with the Quarter Mile Math, when organizing and filling his workboxes each day. For those who are required to maintain a paper trail, in accordance with their state laws, this is a wonderful feature. I am excited to see how he improves and progresses through this awesome math skills program, over time. We are quite pleased with this new addition to our math curriculum~it is a keeper for sure.

Now, I know you are very curious to learn if I played around with The Deluxe Quarter Mile Math program, and how I did. Frankly, my son seemed to be having such a great time, that I was quickly drawn into the hoopla of this program! At first, I decided to try my hand with the horses. Gracious, I was like a bumbling fool the first few attempts. I panicked and couldn't remember what 2 + 2 equaled. I was so embarrassed, but not for long-after getting the hang of it, I was blowing the competition away (you race 5 other opponents) the end, I decided that the race cars best suited me. I found the clopping of the horses distracted me for some reason; when the car noises did not. I guess I can always turn off the volume when I want to return to the horses-especially since I am partial to those lovely creatures, and would like to see my filly succeed. For good measure, I have decided to get on once a week to sharpen my skills, and refresh my memory on the basics (like 2+2), so I am in good mental condition to start up another year of educating the chitlins.

and for younger children who may need additional assistance

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Smaller Size

Their Website provides a wealth of information, and so it is best to spend some time going through all their pages to learn more about this fabulous program. Here are just a few I have highlighted, to get you started.

Overview Information


Product Info

Barnum Software provides several different product packages to meet the needs of most homeschooling families. Prices range from $39.95 to $89.95 (depending on which CD version you choose), and the Deluxe version that is a subscription based product. You should have no problem finding one that best suits your budget. They have just changed their subscription fees for the Deluxe version, and these are so affordable!

For the Quarter Mile Math Deluxe Bundle: You choose the subscription fee of:
--- $2.95 per family per month
--- $19.95 per family for one year (save $15.45 over one year) and
--- $34.95 per family for two years (save $35.85 over two years).

Quarter Mile is offering a discount for my readers!
Get $5 off any product (Standard or Deluxe)until September 30, 2009. Simply type the code-7R7T7-in the "Referral Code" section of the order form.

Don't forget to check out TOS's store, as they sell the Quarter Mile Math series as well.

And if you need more info on this awesome product, or many others; be sure to visit our TOS Review Crew Homepage for more info.

**Quarter Mile Math provided me with the free 3 year subscription and CD version copy of The Quarter Mile Math Deluxe Series, in order to test and use it with my family, so I could write this review.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

TOS Crew Review: Web Design for Kids-Click Drag Solutions

HTML? HMLT? HLTM? Get confused on such things? I do, and frankly I shouldn't, but I do. Oh sure, if it all laid out nicely for me, I can go about my blogging business with little or no issues. But ask me to code something and my eyes will gloss over, my hairs will produce a couple more grays, and that ole "deer in the headlights" look will grace my face. So teaching this sort of material has been somewhat of a challenge for me; one I do my best to avoid. Luckily, am blessed with a child who has been able to understand the slew of books she has read regarding such things. She has spent a lot of time utilizing the knowledge she has acquired, to create all sorts of things her mother can only shake her head at and admire. Now, this has eliminated the need for me to give her lessons; but I still have another student under my tutelage. He will eventually need to know this important information, to better survive in our ever growing computer saturated world.

So what is available for my son? Or for that matte-what about those whose children want to learn, but just do not know where to get the information or instruction? And doubly worse, what if they have a mom like me-a computer challenged individual? Is there a simple program that teaches kids about this HTML coding business? One that isn't all techno talk, or super expensive?

Well Click-Drag my stars of joy! The Web Design for Kids (and Curious Grown-Ups) is one program I easily understood, and it is very well priced! This lovely little DVD course covers:

*10 Basic Lines of Code
*Sandwiches and Colors (not the edible kind, all though having a few new sandwich recipes, is always a good thing)
*Make Subject Stand Out
*Stand Alone Tags
*Designing Backgrounds
*Fonts and Paragraphs

So after attending "class", they will be able to pull all this information together to create a nice, simple web page they can be proud of. After spending time practicing the learned coding skills, the child should be able to create a few different styles of web pages. And believe it or not, it is clear and quite easy to grasp!

My son chose to design his web page extolling his love of trucks. Because he is 8, which is a few years below the recommended age level, I simply did the more difficult activities (typing, saving, etc.) while he dictated to me what he wanted on the page. Due to the darker background he chose, I needed the assistance of my daughter to add a white bar behind his reasons concerning his love of trucks; so folks could read it more easily. Making it a wee bit more dressed up than what is covered in this DVD-but not much. We could have also made the pictures scroll, and bounce if we wanted to-since this technique was discussed-but decided against it. Basically, it comes down to how much time the child wants to spend exploring the options, and design elements; in order to have a more jazzed up page. We chose to be more simple in design/style, and are pretty proud of the outcome.

When we wrapped up the lessons, I was a bit saddened. I wanted to learn more! Thankfully, Brian Richardson (the dude behind this program) is hard at work to wrap up the second Web Designs for Kids DVD, so curious grown-ups like me (and yes, children too) can continue on to more advanced concepts. It was a pleasure to use and review this product-and that speaks volumes coming from a Code-aphobic like myself!

and for younger children who may need additional assistance

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Web Design for Kids Homepage
Current sale on DVD (limited time): $19.99 plus shipping-normally, $40.00
For children (and grown ups) from about age 9 or 10 and up...but if your younger child can follow directions with ease, knows the keyboard and your computer program system-then they should be able to do this with minimal assistance.

When you are all done with your web page design, Brian has created a mini-lesson on how and where to upload your page, so all can enjoy it!

What is really nice about this company is that they will donate a portion of the sales to 5 charities-so you are not only helping your own children out-but others as well. That sounds like a win-win situation to me!

Try the FAQ Section for more helpful information regarding Web Designs for Kids.

Be sure to visit the TOS Crew homepage to see more reviews on this, and many other fine products.

**Click Drag Solutions provided me with the free DVD copy of Web Design for Kids-Click Drag Solutions, in order to test and use it with my family, so I could write this review.