Showing posts with label Homeschool Supplies/Books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Homeschool Supplies/Books. Show all posts

Monday, February 15, 2010

TOS Crew Review-Homeschool Library Builder (Revisited)

Looking for a great place to purchase books for your homeschool library? Well, by all means-head over to the Homeschool Library Builder site to check out their great prices, selection and sales! Currently, they are running one for February-20% off your purchase all month! In these tough economic times, that is such a wonderful blessing. I have to say, they have done a great job creating a nicely laid out site, that is easy to cruise through, so you can find what you are looking for. Please keep in mind that they are a small, cottage industry, so you may not be able to find every book you are looking for-but they do have lots and lots of what can be used to further your children's education, so do take time to meander through their collection.  I reviewed them last year,  and I thought you may want to take a second to read my original post-Homeschool Library Builder Review to get a better idea of what this neat company has to offer.

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Homeschool Library Builder Homepage

Be sure to visit the TOS Review Crew Homepage to read what my mates have to say about this, and many other fine homeschool products.

***Homeschool Library Builder did not provide me with any product or service, the opinions noted above are of my own, and are a result of being asked to discuss their site through the TOS Review Crew project.

Friday, January 15, 2010

TOS Crew Review: Apologia -Debra Bell's book: The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling

Well, you know being that I have homeschooled (officially speaking, I was doing the homeschooling thing way before I even knew I was) for so long now, I have pretty much read every book I can get my hands on directly relating to homeschooling. No joke here folks-if it is written, in the library system or available through friends or my own personal purchase fest-I have read it.  I have poured over all the "classics" one would be expected to read, and some that should be used for doorstops-due to the lack of any worthy material.  I have read Debra Bells book, The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling, not once, but perhaps 2 or 3 times (first edition) since I came across it  a few years back (well make that 4x now, except this is the revised and updated version I am discussing here) -and even though my brain does what I call the "Spock Mind Meld" with what I read (blending all that knowledge together so I cannot recall where exactly the info came from or which author said what, as they are now just one huge conglomerate), I can tell you that I thoroughly enjoy her writing style and wit. I must, because I would not have reread it if it weren't so.

So what exactly does this book offer the reader?  Loads of useful advice, down to earth stories and thoughts to ponder and well-that is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg!   New homeschooling families, those who have been around the block a few times and even those who "own" the block since they are the matriarchs of the homeschool world, can benefit from reading this book.  Chapters touch on the following topics:
determining if homeschooling is right for you, choosing a curriculum (remember to reflect upon each child's personality, learning style and tastes before buying anything),  organizing and planning, preventing burn-out (this one spoke the most to me right now), what-when and how to teach, homeschooling your teenie boppers (my term for them-the book states "homeschooling teens"), using computers in your homeschool and creative solutions for those with mixed families (babies, toddlers, special needs).  There are also a couple other sections which touch upon testing, assessing the success of your homeschool, and loads of resources to make this journey more beneficial to all involved. Just remember that with any "homeschool-how-to" book-you will need to discern for yourself what advice and ideas will work for your family. You will need to decide what parts you can use, and what advice/sections you should drop because it doesn't line up with your way of doing things. This is one lady's ideas and experiences-and yours may be very different.  Use it for what is was intended to be:  a really helpful  homeschool resource.

Interestingly, if you are not aware-Apologia Press now holds the publishing rights to Debra's book!  They (meaning Dr. Jay Wile) was bought out by Davis and Rachael Carmen in 2008, and since that time they have been busy beefing up the other areas of the Apologia line (I know, I know-you only think science when it comes to Apologia-but not so any more). I have been scrolling through the website to see the new changes, and I think they are certainly on the right track by providing books, such as Debra's, for your reading pleasure.

If you are wondering about the science line-have no fear, as several of us reviewed products from Apologia last year, so you can visit the TOS Crew Review postings to check out those as well.  I stand by their books and cannot say enough good things about them.  You may also read my review of the Biology and Flying Creatures books to get my take on these two products.

As for Debra Bell's Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling,  this is one resource I actually have recommended, and will continue to do so to anyone who inquires about "good, thorough and useful" homeschool help books (and even if they don't ask per say-I will still be sure to mention it!)  This puppy will remain a part of my library of "Needful Resources" which I plan on referring to frequently [yes, an old dog can learn new tricks].

This is for the homeschooling parent to read, refresh and renew themselves with.
The author/publishers are Christian, but the book in of itself is not geared to just Christians
-any homeschool parent can benefit from this-so I gave it a world icon for that reason.

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Product Info
Found under Apologia Press info:

Apologia's Homepage

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

***Apologia provided me with a free copy of Debra Bell's Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling, to use and read.   I have discussed my opinion regarding this product, and have not received  financial compensation for writing this review.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

TOS Crew Review: Homeschool Library Builder

I am all about books! My house is full of them. I actually have plans to retire inside a big, overstocked library-I will just set up camp between the isles and move along, one book at a time. Until that point, I am working on building up a nice home library of my own. When I started to homeschool, I already had a mountain of books for my children, but once the "need" increased for books that went with the programs we used-I suddenly had an open license to "go forth and multiply" (with the book collecting, that is).

So, when I come across a site that offers books, I am always eager to take a look-see. What I see at the Homeschool Library Builder site, is a very professional, and organized business that offers a wide variety of bound materials, which will bless your journey. Run by two homeschooling moms, this company is just the ticket to feed your need for books (and there are not many homeschooling families that I have come across who do not share this somewhat addictive fancy!)

First off, what sets them apart from other retailers is that Gayla and Julie are home educators. They understand our "addiction" and work hard to provide quality new and used books that correlate with several popular programs. For instance, HSLB has links set up so you can search by curriculum, age, country/religion, subjects and so forth. I really liked that I could click the curriculum one (so far they have it divided into books that go with Ambleside, Beautiful Feet, Five in a Row, Sonlight, Tapestry of Grace and Veritas Press) and go directly to the books required for one of our programs.

Secondly, I find their prices to be comparable to Amazon, or better. Frugality is a key issue right now, so if you are trying to find some much needed books, start with the Homeschool Library Builder. That said, their stock is limited-therefore, it is first come-first serve. You may need to ask them to "search" for a book, and they will gladly do that for you. I suggest visiting the HSLB site frequently to see the newly added books, and specials-you just never know what you will find!

What really impressed me is that Gayla and Julie work hard to provide avenues to bless others. I strongly encourage supporting companies that have a bigger goal for themselves, than just the bottom line (the almighty dollar)-and urge you to read through their information in regards to this at: HSLB. One of the many benefits, as a member, is that they provide at no cost, a Market Place Service which is designed to help get the word out about homegrown products or services. Better yet, you can you earn points to put toward future book purchases (by referrals and by buying through them) which is always a blessing, but most importantly, you can help others in need. They dedicate a percentage of the proceeds from selected items to go toward helping victims of recent hurricanes and disasters, which speaks volumes to me (no pun intended).

By making purchases through Homeschool Library Builder, you are supporting fellow homeschoolers-which is always a "Good Thing". And while you are at it, tell them Sheri sent you (when you sign up as a member) which will definitely help support my need to turn my home into a diverse and well-stocked library!

The Homeschool Library Builder