Showing posts with label Updates and Info. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Updates and Info. Show all posts

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Well I can see the shore line up ahead-did someone shout out "Land Ho!" ?

After 3 years of being on the TOS crew, I am just about to wrap it up and disembark.  Yes, it is true.  I decided to not re-enlist.  It is starting to hit me that I won't be on a TOS review schedule or crew anymore...but that is OK.  Seasons begin and end, and the best thing to do is know when to make the change.  I believe I will be entering a brand new season of exciting changes and opportunities and I pray you'll come along for the ride.  I am thinking that after I am done with the TOS products I will start reviewing my own stuff.  The title of the blog will be wrong tho...so maybe I will let this puppy rest and just add reviews to my main blog.  I will decide later.  I definitely will need to switch the header tho cuz I won't be on the crew after May 31st.

Now before you think you have seen the last review from me-you haven't.  I have 6 in the hopper and they are good ones (products, not necessarily my reviews).  Let's see...up next is Yesterday's Classics, then I will have a juicy one on IEW, there will be one on a brand new product from BIP, one on Mad Dog Math, then  Considering God's Creation and lastly-Read for the Heart from Apologia Press.  Plus, as an added bonus of goodness-I will post the top 10 products we enjoyed using this year (and just for giggles, here are my posts on the previous top ten products from 2009 and 10-now this is what the whole crew voted as the top ten-apparently I forgot to come back and do one for us..oh well, I am sure I will have some in the over all top notch list I mention below).

Whew.  I may even do the top notch products of the three years combined.  I like that idea, so I believe I will.  That is going to be hard because I have had so many good ones!  Anyhoo-keep visiting and I have so enjoyed being a part of this crew, and hopefully, helping you choose great homeschool products for your family.

Friday, March 11, 2011

2011-12 TOS crew application now available

Visit the TOS Review crew site for more info: 


Please read through the requirements you must have in order to be considered, as these have changed from last year.  Also understand, this is a job and it is to be taken seriously-so no slackers man.  I have enjoyed 3 tours of duty, have made wonderful friends, been introduced to awesome products and have built up a collection of blogging skills that have made me a better blogger.  Do consider it!

And for my loyal readers-I am announcing my official resignation.  I know it is time for me to disembark from this wonderful adventure, to pursue new ones and expand my horizons.  Thanks to all of you for supporting and reading my blog.  Don't fret-I still have some in the "hopper" that I am dying to talk about; and I won't officially get off board until this ship pulls into dock at the end of May.  Obviously, I will keep this blog up for you to use as a reference/guide concerning many HS products.

To all the vendors I have worked with-thank you so much for the opportunity to review a product (or two or three) of yours.  It has enriched our homeschooling experience beyond what I could never have imagined. Mostly though, we were able to try some things we may not have even considered, or may not have been able to afford-yet through your generosity, we were truly blessed.  I hope you will consider continuing with using the TOS crew as a wonderful way to grow your virtual marketing and your business.

As it states in Ecclesiastes, and particularly the ones I have in red-this is what the Lord has been speaking to me about lately-and I look forward to the new paths He will lead me and my family on this year.


1 There is a time for everything, 
   and a season for every activity under the heavens:
 2 a time to be born and a time to die,
   a time to plant and a time to uproot,
 3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
   a time to tear down and a time to build, 
 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
   a time to mourn and a time to dance,
 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
   a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
 6 a time to search and a time to give up,
   a time to keep and a time to throw away,
 7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
   a time to be silent and a time to speak,
 8 a time to love and a time to hate,
   a time for war and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8

Oh the possibilities!~


Curriculum for sale to help adoption funds

Please visit any of my blogs to check out my current for sale section.  This will help build our adoption funds. Thanks.

Homeschooling on a Wing and a Prayer (main blog) look under Curriculum for Sale page

Saturday, October 30, 2010

I have been tagged in a game of TOS Blog tag

I have been tagged by fellow TOS mate, Nanette (Joys of Homeschooling blog), and I guess what I am to do is answer the 8 questions, then tag 8 bloggers, and come up with 8 questions...problem is I am not on my puter, and have limited access right now as my ole girl crashed into oblivion.  So I will honor the tag, but not pass it along due to the issues I am having.  Thanks to Nanette for including me in the game. Here were her questions I needed to answer:

1. How do you stay organized? I dunno-some days are better than others-and I honestly don't have an exact formula, ...just try to keep some pre-work for future lapbooks, activities and such, done prior to when I need it, so I can pull it to fill the workboxes as needed (instead of running around trying to get it all together as I am setting up the day)...stuff like that...
2. What is your favorite curriculum and why? (Ex: Apologia, Life of Fred, etc.) 
Beautiful Feet Books programs [history and science], because it is easy to apply and adjust as needed-uses great literature.  Not overwhelming at all.  Been using it pretty much since the start.  I have lots of other favs, this one just stands out the most right now.3. Do you notebook or lapbook? Do you have any successful secrets to share to a lapbook newbie?
Yes, and Yes.  Best advice-premake the items (copy, cut, gather necessary extras and books before you want to do the project) and store in Ziplock bags...that way when you want to do an couple mini-books it is all set and ready to go.  Also-don't try to do it all [suggested booklets, activities-pick and choose what strikes you as the most interesting or needed] or  attempt to do too many per month-you'll get student and teacher burnout.  4. What kind of field trips, or outings do you go on for school enrichment? 
Been pretty lame-O in that department.  When traveling with daddy, we try to visit as many interesting sites/museums/etc. that we can.  We zero in on historical places the most.
Also attend a co-op.
5. Do you have any awesome science experiments to share?
After my puter decided to die-I am wondering if we should learn to build a computer from the ground up-sorta like when Steve Austin crashed in the plane and the gov't decided to rebuild him.
6. What is the best website, book, etc; you have found that has helped you through your homeschool journey?
Any and all relating to Charlotte Mason and her philosophy, and how to apply it.  
and workboxes have saved my sanity and given order to the kid's schooling...so that process has helped immensely.
7. Within your homeschool, what is one thing you could never live without? 
God and his mercies that are afresh every day
8. What is the craziest thing you’ve ever heard from a non-homeschooler? It can be something from a child or an adult. 
Dunno...most annoying?  "I would never have the patience to hs."  and dumbest?  "But what about Prom?"  

There you have it.  Nothing fancy, or too in depth...but wanted to respond.  Thanks and yes, I am the tag game party pooper....

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Remember when I reviewed the Phonics Road to Spelling and Reading?

Well, at the time it didn't go so swimmingly.  But alas-I think my child is ready for it-and I think I figured out what I am suppose to do..so we're giving it another try....I wrote a post you may want to read-esp. if you have a dyslexic in your home too.  HTH

Phonics Road post

Friday, July 16, 2010

The TOS Review Posse-my new unit

Well, now that I have heard back from my mini-crew, I can list their blogs and names so that you can swing by there and visit them.  3 of them are actually returning maties from the first voyage. They are seasoned reviewers so they are bringing much to the table again this time round.  My 4th and 5th members are new to the TOS crew experience, and I look forward to watching them grow and learn whilst on our next cruise.  So please take a moment to stop by and say "hi" to them.  Don't forget to start looking for the new reviews we'll all be offering up this coming year too, on our TOS Review Crew Homepage.  I believe those should be arriving sometime starting in July [so reviews will be out in late Aug./early Sept.].

Again-we're on the younger crew, so our products will mostly center on curriculum and such that is targeted for the baby-6th grade level.  There is also an older crew team which will handle the 7-12th grade material.  All of us will also have the opportunity to try out various products which can be for any level.  This is a new twist and should give you a huge variety of reviews to help you decide what will work for your family.

And without further ado: my Posse-

Lynn at Homeschool Curriculum Reviews (Lynn and I served together [along with Angela and Sarah] the first year this TOS Viral Marketing started, and we found ourselves to be friends almost immediately-I love when that happens!  So I am ever so tickled she is back for another cruise, and serving on my Posse!)

Angela at Angela's Analysis (I am so glad to see Angela back this year, as I enjoyed her on the first cruise. I look forward to getting to know her better this time 'round and toward building a great friendship with her too! )

Sarah at Growing for Christ (Sarah and I had a great rapport going on whilst on our first voyage, and I am ever so excited to have more of a chance to know her better this year! I [like with Angela] hope to build a great friendship with her through this experience as well!)

and our 2 newest members of the TOS crew:

Elinette at His Wonderful Works (I am really looking forward to finding out more about Elinette and seeing this adventure thru her eyes!  I am so hoping we'll get a friendship going whilst on this cruise too!  So many great possibilities lay before all us this year!)

Melanie at To the Sea with Me (I just acquired this lovely lady for our Posse, and am also looking forward to getting to know her and watch her as she sails the Review Seas with the rest of us!  I am also hoping we'll find ourselves friends before this journey wraps up as well!)

and while I am talking about mini-crews....my pal, and Unit member from the '09-'10 cruise, Debbie at Debbie's Digest was selected to be a First Mate this year.  And I am so happy and proud, that she came back to serve on the crew again in this capacity!  She will now have her own mini-crew to manage and so be sure to swing by her blog to say "hi"  too.

And there you have it.  My new Posse.  I am like a proud mama here.  And of course-where would the crew be without our fearless leader, Heidi at Reviews and Reflections and her co-cap'n, Brenda at Homeschool Trenches?  They are the brain trusts of this operation, so please visit them-you won't be disappointed.

and hey-don't forget to stop by here to see what goodies I will be checking out this year too!

Friday, July 9, 2010

I have had to create a new icon to represent those items that are pretty balanced

I am finding that I need another icon-one that says:  this is from a Christian author/creator, but the over all material is not so overtly Christian in nature-yet it does contain scripture reference, respect for the Lord and so forth-so Christian, but not enough to be avoided (if you are not a Christian or have no particular claim concerning religious views).  So if you see the balance, then you can assume (coming from my perspective) that you will find references to the Word and or the Lord, yet most the material itself is just material-middle of the fence type stuff.  I hope that makes sense...


from my description of these icons: 


POINT OF VIEW-CHRISTIAN OR SECULAR (IF THE MATERIAL ITSELF ISN'T JUST OOZING WITH CHRISTIAN MATERIAL, IT GETS THE SECULAR WORLD ICON, EVEN IF THE AUTHOR IS A CHRISTIAN)-BUT wait!  I have added a new balanced scale icon to represent those products that are from Christian authors or from a Christian intent-but may not necessarily be super infused with it.  They are a good balance for many, many families who are, and are not Christians.

One of these images will be listed at the end of the Quick Summary. I considered the product’s point of view, and whether it leaned toward being secular or Christian in nature. This will help you decide if it best suits your overall preferred goal for your family’s curriculum. Personally, I use both types depending on what information and needs our family has for a particular area of study-but tend to prefer Christian perspectives due to our personal beliefs. 
 - Secular perspective/company
 - Christian perspective/company



-this is a new icon (2010) to showcase those items which present some or many references to the Word of the Lord (Bible) yet remain neutral enough for those who tend to steer clear of such products-in other words, you will find a Christian undertone, but it is not so drippy with it that you should still be able to enjoy and learn from this product, without feeling  overwhelmed by the Christian connections. So the perspective is most likely Christian-but benign enough to not be labeled with the cross (as I am finding pretty much everything but Bible education material is fitting this new one).





SO be on the lookout for this new icon because I am already finding I am using it and the year has just begun! 



Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Have you noticed I changed the blog header and background?

Yeppers-all nice and new for the 2010-11 cruise.  Even went with something not so blue...figured I would be a bit more colorful, and spicy this time around.  Thank you Photobucket for that lovely free scrapbook option.

Come by and stay awhile, wanted to let you know my review home is always an "Open House" and I sure do appreciate your stopping by! Need info on a product before you buy?  Well here is the place to start, then move along to our TOS Review Crew Homepage to see what the other crew maties had to say about them [and actually more products, b/cuz I didn't receive them all...].

Have a blessed and safe and firework lovely Fourth of July!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

THE NEW TOS YEAR has begun!



All right folks-here we go-we have boarded and are about to embark on our journey for the 2010-11 TOS Crew Review Cruise!

Starting in mid-July, you will start to see new posts on the goodies I get to test out and review with the fam; and you can visit our TOS Crew Homepage to read about the opinions and experiences my fellow TOS mates had as well.

On deck: [teaser here]

The Schoolhouse Planner-June Module 2010, and the TOS Travel Kit: A Simple Way to Bless Others

Be sure to stop by and visit often!

Monday, June 7, 2010

It is that time of year again-the creation of my mini crew for the TOS review crew year

 Yeppers, my cruise for the 2009-10 year ended, where 3 of my mini-crewmates deboarded, one remained to take on the duties of a First Mate this coming year.  And now the time has come where I have been notified of my new unit members!  But that is a secret right now.  Have to contact them first and introduce myself.  Have to get a few things squared away, then I can share their names/blog addies....but for now-

Here is this year's unit badge for them.  The running joke on the crew is that I took on the role of Sheriff Sheri after noting a few misdemeanors my fellow mates committed (jokingly so, but they-the mates-took that and ran with it, all in good fun...and so I decided to wear that title with pride) so....I decided to break away from a ship or sea theme this year and do the Sheriff scene.  This picture was the one my mates came up with, well specifically my pal Heidi, and why reinvent the wheel?  I swiped it [no I didn't arrest myself] and added the necessary title/info for it.  The tag line points to opportunity we have to use and review several homeschool products and to blog about it in an honest, straight forward manner.  All so that you can make a more informed decision about your curriculum purchases.  Mind you-this year has a different line up.....

This year, the TOS crew has been separated into to 2 groups...one for the youngers-upper elementary ages and the other for Jr/Sr high level products. Sometimes, we get something that could be used for any age...so there will now be 200 new mates and 50 First Mates who may have the opportunity to try out those products (some I am sure that you may have been considering)....

and without further ado, here it is.....look for my new post noting the TOS mates I will mentor this year, visit their blogs and say hello!

Look for this badge and when you see it-you'll know they are under my tutelage (poor things!)....


Friday, May 7, 2010

I simply cannot help but share this funny pic

So, as you know [well, I hope you do] that being a part of the TOS crew is an amazing opportunity for those who are on it.  We get great homeschool [and sometimes totally just for fun] products to use and enjoy in our homeschool, all for the trade of writing a useful and descriptive review about them.  But there is way more to it than that!  You get to be a part of an exclusive group of homeschoolers who are from all over the country and Canada!  You get daily chances to chat, learn from others, and opportunities to develop excellent friendships!  That is the biggest blessing of all.  What's more-is that on those days when you are a bit down or not in your groove-you can swing by the forum and find something like this occurring....

[back story here-I, being the oldest member of the crew-143 years young that is (when I originally signed on it asked for your bday and I thought it was for the forum monitors, not for everyone to see.  Being the comedian that I am, I said I was born in 1867-making me 143 years old...so that is the running joke in the crew.  I am the old lady and in jest, we poke fun at it all the time). When I was noticing folks were forgetting to label their linkages on the Mr. Linky thingy, on the TOS Review Crew Homepage, to denote specifically what product they reviewed (if applicable), to help you-the viewer-pinpoint what product reviews you wanted to read-I posted a reminder thread about it and noted that I was the "Crew Police" to liven it up a tad. Never crossed my mind that my jokester pals and fellow crew mates-First Mate Heidi and Tim (yes, he is the only dude on the crew but such a blessing to us gals) would take this notation and run with it!  I simply could not stop laughing!]

First, Tim stated he found a pic of me in my youth-this is what he posted:
and if that wasn't hilarious enough-Heidi added some commentary notes:

and there you have it!

Granted, it is probably only funny to those of us who are on the crew, because as we wind down in the next 2-3 weeks to end our 2009-10 voyage, we all get a bit emotional (some of us are carrying over to the next round, others are leaving to pursue other things and well-it has been several months of reviewing and we need this push to get to the end triumphantly...so yeah-that is why we need funny things like this to perk us up [and the weather doesn't help either] a bit).  But I dunno-some of you may find it humorous.  

Anyway, this just highlights the awesomeness of being a part of a collection, a group of like minded folks who support, build up and encourage each other.  Now, if you applied to be be on the Crew for the 2010-11 crew, and have not heard anything yet-be not disappointed.  I understand they are currently starting to inform those who have made the cut and are going to continue doing so for a time here.  So you may be one of the new mates who will get to experience this crazy and fun group and all the review opportunities.  If you didn't try out, and now are intrigued and want to go for it next year....the try-outs usually start somewhere in Feb. So do your best to watch the announcements on the Crew Homepage, my blogs and fellow mates' blogs. 
And heh-if you do make it, be sure to say hi to the old lady of the crew (also now known as Sheriff Sheri), I am sure she'd appreciate it (I am using 3rd person here cuz with my old brain cells-I may very well forget I ever penned this post!)

Have a blessed day and remember-humor is your friend!  

Monday, February 8, 2010

2010-2011 TOS CREW try-outs now starting!



Head over to the TOS crew info page to find out about becoming a member of the awesome crew I belong to. You will need to fill out a survey first, then if selected-you will receive further information on how to continue the process.  This is a tad different than the previous 2 years, so follow the instructions and best wishes to ya all-

And if you are wondering about me...I have accepted the invitation to return for a 3rd year of serving on board the US TOS Cruise ship.  I hope some of my regular readers will give it a try-I would love to have you on our team. 

You can also leave a comment if you have any questions you may have.  I will do my best to answer them for you.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Disclaimer Information

Please note: all of the products discussed here within this blog [1 of 100 (Plus 25) TOS Crew Reviews] are given to me by the noted company in order to review it here on my blog. I do not receive cash payments, only the product, in return for penning a review where I discuss the pros and cons of that particular item.
To read the full Disclaimer, please see the information located in the bottom, right-hand sidebar of this blog.

First Mate Sheri
TOS Crew Reviewer 2008-10
1 of 100 (Plus 25) TOS Crew Reviews Blog Author