Showing posts with label TOS Magazine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label TOS Magazine. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

My TOS Team

Oh, this is very exciting. Please take a moment or two and stop by my new TOS crew mate's blogs. These four have been assigned to my team. Look for this icon on their blogs for future reference as well.

I decided to call my team "Outward Bound" because the term means that one is leaving the safety of the port/harbor to head out to open sea. And I do believe that is what we do, we head out on a trip of new experiences-toward the unknown. We become a part of a unique adventure, with amazing opportunities to test out many different home school products. We also learn to stretch and fine tune our writing skills while tweaking our blogging knowledge. Moreover, we have a whole ship loaded with a gaggle of new friends who home school and love TOS! Awesome!

I am very honored to serve the TOS crew again as a First Mate, and look forward to getting to know my team.

Visit Debbie at Debbie's Digest

Visit Hillary at Our Homeschool Studio

Visit Sara at The Homeschool Project

and Visit April at Once Upon a Qpon

to see what they have to say about the TOS review products [should start posting reviews by mid-August to early September, and possibly the TOS 2009 Planner by the beginning of July] and life in general!

Friday, November 14, 2008

TOS Crew Review: Splish: And then Mama said...It Takes Time to Learn to Read

I have been busy, very busy, and just have not had an opportunity to visit the Old Schoolhouse Magazine store as often as I wish to. What a shame! I see that Gena Suarez has recently written a delightful child's book about an endearing little frog named, Splish. Not only is he adorable, but he struggles with reading, much like my little man, Buddy. This book could not be more timely. He too, struggles with everyone else in the home being able to read fluently, while he manages to read only a few words. This has caused him to become somewhat downhearted and sad about it all. It is nice to see there is a book that directly addresses this issue. And the fact, that Gena has gently woven a tale that encompasses a homeschooling frog family too...that just adds to the charm. I have not seen many books that have the main characters as homeschooled children (or in this case, amphibians).

This lovely story with the great illustrations (eye popping color and adorable characters), and the wonderful ability to be able to springboard to other subjects (by just using this story)just adds to its charm. Gena also took the opportunity to add some character study to the story line-a much needed and important aspect for teaching children about God, and traits that make them a better person. Again, Splish being a homeschooled student is the cherry on top of this delightful "reading dessert."

I especially liked it when Gena summed up our opinion about one of the reasons why we choose to homeschool, when she wrote,
"Because she homeschooled him, Mama knew Splish.
Lots of quality time spent together revealed plenty about her son.
This wise mama was paying attention—every day."

As an added bonus, they include a link to a great Splish Companion Activity Book for free. It includes copywork pages, pictures to color, mazes and activity pages for labeling parts of the animals in the story. I used the copywork pages about turtles (since my boy doesn't like to write much) to create a "matchbook" mini-book for the info on Turtles (and will continue with all the critters covered in the book). I made a simple matchbook fold to hold a mini-flip book (top side) for the info on turtles and I also found a diagram for turtle parts for the bottom part of the booklet. I have a picture of Tia the Turtle on the outside, and a label that states: "What is a Turtle?" on the matchbook outside flap. I will then combine all the matchbooks into a larger booklet/lapbook, so that my son can refer to them with ease. This is a great opportunity to for nature study, and very lapbook friendly(amphibians, mammals, insects, reptiles)! To see what I am referring to go to my Scrapbook and Lapbook Blog

This book is sure to become a family favorite-even for those who read fluently!

Need help with icons? Click Here

Splish-And Then Mama Said: It Takes Time to Learn to Read
Gena Suarez
$9.95, soft-bound book and free link for the Splish Activity Lapbook
Splish book

Sunday, November 2, 2008

TOS Crew Review: eZine Magazine

I once heard a frog sing, "It's not easy being green."

Well to that frog, I say-"OH CONTRAIRE little green dude!"

With the Internet being what it is today, the need for printed material is becoming somewhat obsolete. We now have an opportunity to "go green" and save a tree or two; just by utilizing this great new concept of Ebooks and Ezines!

So where am I going with this? Well, the second item we were asked to review is the TOS digital Magazine. Instantly my mind went to my criteria list. Number one, IT MUST BE EASY. With that established, I "strolled" on over to the TOS Magazine store. I clicked on the free, digital, Summer 2007 issue. Following the easy instructions, I popped my freebie into my cart, checked out, and was instantly issued my Ezine.

If Kermie were with me, I would of cuddled up next to him while I easily maneuvered through the issue. Tool bars with the icons begged me to click them. I hit the thumbnail icon to see all the pages neatly laid out for me to glance over. I had the most fun clicking the corner to turn the pages. It was easy to read; and just as wonderful as the printed version. If your curiosity is peaked, then you can download the free issue. Go to: Free TOS eZine .

Like what you see? You can order a subscription for yourself and "go green" my friend. And they give you some extra free gifts-just for ordering!

I cannot say enough good things about The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. I have yet to find another homeschooling periodical that comes close to the excellence of TOS. It is chuck full of great articles, homeschool vendors, product reviews and contests. TOS is extremely professional, and full-colored. The beauty of the digital version is that you get it instantly!

TOS Crew Review-The Old Schoolhouse Planner

First off, I would like to say that it takes a lot to impress me. I have been around the homeschool block enough to see a lot of handy dandy planners come and go. Mostly go, in my case. I also know that even though I am gifted with good organizational skills, I still need help (more than I care to admit actually).

So, I had to stop and think of what criteria I would consider a product to have; in order to get a thumbs up from me- instead of receiving an overhand pitch into the closest waste basket. Right off the bat, I knew it would have to be easy to use. I just do not have the time to fuss over something that shouldn't be complicated. My second "must have" is that it best be loaded with forms, and ideas I would actually use. No sense in having a bunch of nonsense pages that are totally irrelevant to my needs. I also like to have something I can jot down information on...the stuff that pertains to my family. I do not want or care for idea planners that do not fit what is going on in our homeschool or life. Lastly, it cannot be so expensive that I have to delete other home school products from my wish list (or re-mortgage the house), in order to purchase it. With that in mind, I opened up my new Schoolhouse Planner from The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.

First off, I was impressed with the colorful graphics. Then I noted the side bar. Being that I am somewhat 'puter challenged..I just started clicking away to see what they were all about. Wow. I found that if I clicked the little page that is dog eared it pulled up each page (in miniature) with a scroll bar. I was excited about having the ability to "flip" quickly through pages to get to the ones I wanted to read. This was going well so far. I then went through every page. I am so impressed with what they have packed into this planner, that I can honestly say-it fits all of my criteria and then some!

Not to spoil the fun of experiencing this for yourself, I will refrain from discussing every little nugget of goodness in the Schoolhouse Planner. But, I will mention that if you desire a product which is loaded with: ideas, recipes, links to products that will enhance your studies, forms that cover just about everything a homeschooling family could possibly use, forms that you can fill in, encouragement from fellow homeschooling moms, calendars, charts and still stay within your budget-then you will not be disappointed with this gem of a planner!

I like to think of this planner as your Martha Stewart, Mary Poppins, Mr. French, Nannie Jo, Holly Homemaker, Mrs. Sharp, and a whole lot of Betty Crocker all rolled into one. Couldn't we all use a super-conglomerate friend like that? I know I can.

That said, I do have a couple of minor concerns. One being, that no matter how great something is, it isn't great if you do not use it. So, since it takes about six weeks to form a diligent. Start small in your plan to reorganize your life. Give the program ample opportunity to take root. Remember-this does not come with a helpful fairy who does the work for you. That, dear friend, is your job. I can honestly say to that you will be blessed, if you hang in there.

Secondly, I did not see one form that I know I need desparately. So, I guess I will be creating one of my own. Or perhaps I will put a note in the suggestion box at TOS. I did not see a form in which you could list all of the books in your library. I cannot tell you how many times I have re-bought a book I swore I didn't own; or was dismayed to discover that I did not own a book I swore I did (of course this has always happened on the day I needed the book!). I am sure I am not alone in this shameful practice.

To wrap this up, I give the new Schoolhouse Planner an A+. You can find out more at TOS Planner
The Old Schoolhouse Magazine has a wonderful selection of various goodies just waiting for you to purchase. Oh, and I forgot to mention this-the Planner is an instant e-book. No shipping, crumpled-up, bent packages, or shipping fees! And you won't "break the bank" buying one, this wonderful product is only $39.