Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

Crew Review: Zane Education

Vendor Name:  Zane Education

Vendor ContactZane Education Contact Us page

Name of Product:  Zane Educational Videos

Price:  Basic free membership; Gold Membership $17.99 per month or $197.89 a year; Silver Membership $12.99 per month or $142.89; Bronze Membership $8.99 a month or $98.89 a year; Topic Taster $5.00 per month.  The Gold membership is your best value

Age/Grade Range:  all ages/grades

Zane Education provides “visual learning – on demand subtitled videos, quizzes, study tools, lesson plans” as well as The Missing Piece – which helps students to learn effectively while improving their reading and literacy skills and helping them to not be left behind.  On their frequently asked question area about whether or not the videos contain religious teachings or messages the response is that they do not convey any religious or spiritual beliefs but use videos to support educational facts as outlined in K12 curriculum.

That being said, I really like the fact that there are a wide range of subjects covered such as:

  • Art – Ancient Greece through the 20th Century as well as other areas
  • Biology
  • Biological sciences (there is an area on evolution and natural selection)
  • Geography
  • Elementary World Geography
  • Health
  • History, including elementary
  • Library Skills
  • Literature
  • Math
  • and much more!

We have been using Zane to compliment what we’ve been learning or what the child’s interest is.  It does a wonderful job in filling in the gaps or adding to our current history and science curricula.  I’ll be continuing to use this website to add another exciting feature to our school days – although mine still prefer I read their lessons to them.  My 6 year old especially like the body videos which showed how the nervous system and other systems of our bodies work in a way that was easy for him to understand.  The Getting Started and User Guides can be downloaded for free by visiting Zane Education here.

I barely scratched the surface in watching these videos as there are over 1,500 videos spanning 400 topics with included lesson plans, quizzes and more.  While I am a home educator, Zane Education can be used by families who just want to add a little more education to their child’s learning experience – and since it’s aligned with National and State standards for grades K through 12 – it’ll work for just about any child in public, private, virtual school or home schooled!  With the subtitles and closed captioning it can help those who struggle to read, while improving those skills without them realizing it.

When I first started out with this, I was very excited, because I was thinking these would be videos like other on demand video sites – but they aren’t.  They reminded more of a slide show that I would have been subjected to in the schools I attended, although the sound quality was much better but some videos still appeared to be less modern – which is both a good and bad thing, good because there were no skimpy clothing; bad because most children may not be able to relate to the older style of dress that appears in some videos.  This did not bother my 6 and 7 year old however my 10 year old was not as enthused about the videos – I did enjoy learning from them myself even with the sense of nostalgia.

Overall, I liked being able to have videos that are easy to access and available for my children without me having to worry about content as much as I have to with regards to T.V. and I think the quizzes are a good thing but even I struggled with some of the questions because you much pay very good attention to what you are watching and in the body area you have to watch all the videos before you can take the quiz – so if you don’t remember everything you won’t score well.  There are downloads of the lesson plans for each video and those can be printed if you desire to do so, along with study helps such as a dictionary, encyclopedia and a thesaurus.   Thankfully there are levels for each income level even if the smaller memberships limit they each have something that will work for families who want a little something extra for their students.

You can find Zane Education on Facebook.

If you want to order – now through the end of August 2012 you can receive 35% off any membership order of Bronze, Silver or Gold by using the following, case sensitive code at check out:  ZE555HSM

**Disclaimer:  As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I received this product, at no cost to me, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are mine.


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Crew Review: Creation Illustrated magazine

Vendor Name:  Creation Illustrated

Vendor Contact Contact information

Name of ProductCreation Illustrated magazine

Price:  $19.95 for 1 year, $37.95 for 2 years, $53.95 for 3 years – save $5.00 a year per sub if you pay with credit card.  Canadian residents need to add $5.00 for postage, foreign countries add $10.00

Age/Grade Range:  all

Creation Illustrated mission statement is this: “Our purpose is to share the wonders of God’s creation.  By revealing fresh insights of His infinite wisdom, gentle touch, undeniable justice, redeeming love, and flawless design, pure truth shall bring renewed peace.  Each part of this publication is offered as a reprieve from the daily rigors of life so that all can look to the future with unbridled gratitude and hope.

This beautiful magazine has been called the Christian version of National Geographic and rightly so.  The beautiful, glossy magazine is one that will be treasured and used for years to come – the articles, in my opinion, will prove to be timeless as they share a sense of science from a godly, Biblical worldview as well as inspiration from Scripture.  I appreciate the photos of nature because there are times, especially in the summer I can’t get out to enjoy it first hand and the professional quality of the pictures are a real aid to my children and I.  There are advertisements throughout the magazine but they aren’t a major factor in the magazine and they are for homeschool curricula or other products from Christian companies.

There is a section called Genesis Cuisine that has recipes that are as close to nature as one can get – we haven’t tried the recipes yet as my family isn’t real keen on trying new things, especially the children but I think the Grapefruit Avocado Tacos in the summer 2011 issue sound absolutely delicious and refreshing.  If you want to put the recipes in your recipe box or collection they come with dotted lines so that they can be cut out and filed away for later use and re-use.

There is a child’s story and photo contest for young people – there is literally something for everyone and for every age in this magazine, which cuts down considerably on subscription rates to numerous magazines – Creation Illustrated is literally a magazine for the whole family.  There is an included instructional guide at the back with questions for going deeper into the stories and these can be used as a family, during your home school time or individually.  There are also creation activities and these will vary depending on what that issue’s theme is – for spring 2012 one of the activities is to hang a hummingbird feeder in your yard.

I didn’t use the magazines we were given, summer and fall 2011, winter and spring 2012 in our school time as I preferred to let the children enjoy them on their own – my son was particularly enthralled with the beautiful photography while all three loved the children’s story.  I will be using these again and again as we study the Lord’s creation in our school time as a supplement to learn more about animals and the plants around us.  If you’d like to see what other homeschool parents thought check out the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog.

**Disclaimer:  As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I received this product, at no cost to me, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are mine.


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TOS Crew Review: Zeezok Z-Guide to the Movies

Vendor Name:  Zeezok

Vendor ContactZeezok Contact Form

Name of ProductZ-Guide to the Movies

Price:  $12.99

Age Range:  elementary through high school


I think we’ve all seen a great movie, one that has a light bulb moment – we think, ‘wow, that would make a great unit study!’  We don’t know where to start or maybe we just don’t have the time to do the work it would take to write our own study, so we don’t worry about it and try to forget it – until we realize there is a Z-Guide to the movies!

With Z-Guides we can easily use a movie to teach a time period in history, is your high school student learning about Ancient Civilizations?  Well then check out the movie One Night With the King and the corresponding Z-Guide and they’ll get more out of the movie than if they were just sitting watching it.  What if you’re studying Ancient Rome with both your elementary and high school students?  There is Ben-Hur and the Z-Guide has two levels one for elementary and one for high school.

Since my girls enjoy American Girl and the movies that go along the girls they asked that I request the Kit Kittredge Z-Guide so that they could delve more into the Great Depression and learn more than just watching the movie.  In the Z-Guide you’ll get a “How to Use This Guide”, which outlines on what day which activities should be done.  The layout is given for 5 days but it could easily be fitted to a shorter schedule (we do school only 4 days a week) or stretched out for a longer study.  Day 1 is Activities 1 and 2, Day 2 are 3 and 4 and so on.  Before watching the movie reading the topic overview, movie synopsis and the Activity 1 Movie Review Questions is advised and is included in the Z-Guide.

Activity 1 Movie Review Questions are to be answered while watching the movie, this aids in comprehension and retention of the information given.  The questions deal both with the characters as well as the events surrounding the Great Depression.  The other activities are to research the Great Depression, learning about hobo signs that were prevalent during that time, vocabulary, writing a newspaper story about an event from the movie, your community or even interviewing a relative who lived during the Great Depression, researching fashion in the 1930’s, figuring out which characters are which by descriptions alone, learning about ironic foreshadowing and foreshadowing irony, worldview and filmmaker’s art and dramatic license.

At the end there are questions that can be discussed by the family and will give everyone time to share their thoughts based on the family’s beliefs.  I like how throughout the Z-guide the student is encouraged to think about the issues through a Biblical lens or through Scripture.  The topics that are covered in Kit Kittredge are The Great Depression, journalism, prejudice, family unity and hobo life – viewing the movie with the Z-Guide and mom or dad present will go far in learning to look at movies through a Christian perspective.

My girls enjoyed this and it also gave us an enjoyable week of school as we just did some fun learning.  My 7 year old did need some help in writing answers but she enjoyed learning right along with her almost 10 year old sister, and one day I’ll be using this for their brother when he’s old enough to get value out of it.  So if you’re looking for a way to implement movies into your school then look no further than the Z-Guides from Zeezok.

**If you’d like to see what other homeschooling parents thought about a variety of Z-Guides visit The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew.

**This is a TOS Crew Review.  I received a copy of the Z-Guide Kit Kittredge: An American Girl from Zeezok in exchange for my honest opinion, no other compensation was given.

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TOS Crew Review: The Reading Game

Vendor Name: The Reading Game

Vendor ContactContact page

Name of ProductThe Reading Game

Price:  $24.95

Age Range:  4 years and up

What is The Reading Game? (from the website)

The Reading Game is a fast-action memory card game.  It includes a series of six beautifully illustrated storybooks.

The Cards & Books work together to make learning to read exciting and enjoyable.

Game sessions are fun-filled with a winner every few seconds.

After completing the first memory card game, the student has thirty words “hardwired” into memory.

The Skunk story, Book One in the series, is told using only those thirty words.

On completing the series, the student has a reading vocabulary of 180 words.

Almost half of them are among the one hundred most commonly used words in the English language.  The Reading Game was created by “Wordly Wise” author, Kenneth Hodkinson.

My Thoughts

I used this with my 5 year old, not-yet-reading-but-says-he-wants-to-son, who was very, very excited when it came to our house and wanted to start reading the books right away.  Once I explained that we had to play the card game first before he could read the books, he wasn’t as thrilled – he thinks he should just be able to pick up a book and read it.  The explanation I’ve given that each letter has a sound and that then helps us form words hasn’t quite sunk in yet – and it’s for this reason that I’ve put off typical phonics curriculum and requested to review this game because he loves games and it may help us with his reading.

When we began to play he was having fun but as the novelty wore off and he became frustrated with not getting some of the words he eventually lost total interest.  As it is with my son, if it frustrates him the best thing to do is let him leave it alone and revisit it again later.  I also liked the fact that if I wasn’t available to play it with him, my 9 year old can easily pull it out and do it with him – but it seems he gets more frustrated when she’s playing it with him than when I’m playing it.

The game is easy to play and figure out and as the child continues to memorize more words the sooner they are reading the books that correspond to the card game.  The books and games go in the order of Skunk, Snake, Bear, Penguins, Unicorn and Zebra.  Each story has 6 games that go along with it after every two games the student is given test sentences using words learned either in those games or the ones before it.  During the test if the child has a hard time or struggles with it playing a refresher game is the recommended course of action.  After passing all the test sentences for Skunk and reading the book the child then moves on in order to the games and books to learn 30 new additional words in each story.

The cards are easily identifiable with what story they belong to with a picture of the animal and what game they go to.  With numbers 1-6 the parent can easily tell what is Bear game 1 cards or Penguins game 5 cards.  Not only do the animals match but the colors for the covers match the color of the cards as well.  The books are illustrated in black and white, which for my reading 7 year old (who read the Penguin book) but didn’t play the game, was a plus since it’s wasn’t something that took her attention from the words.

**If you’d like to see what others had to say about The Reading Game then please visit the Old Schoolhouse Review Crew Blog.

**This is a TOS Crew Review.  I was given this game from The Reading Game in order to facilitate my review and in order to give my honest opinion, no other compensation was given.

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TOS Crew Review: Time Timer

Vendor Name: Time Timer

Vendor Contact:  Email:

Name of ProductTime Timer 3″

Price:  $30.00

Age Range:  all ages

Other Products Available: 8 and 12 inch Time Timers, wrist timer,  software and apps, Time Timer puzzle, accessories

Do you have a child with special learning needs such as Autism?

Does your child have a hard time staying on track?

Do you want your child to do their math work in a certain time or timed speed drills?

Does your child need to be able to ‘see’ how much time is left to do their chores?

Well then – I have the answer!  The Time Timer – this small, 3″ timer will be able to help you and your child or children keep on track in whatever it is you’re doing.  My 7 year old daughter has a hard time staying on task and needed constant reminders and while I’m not saying the Time Timer is a cure all it sure has made our school day less of a struggle.  She knows she now has 30 minutes to complete her math work (the area of the most struggles) – I set the time timer and walk away (unless she needs help, in which case I stay).  I use the audible sound setting (a low beep-beep sound) so she’ll know when time is up.

I thought there had to be more than just using this for my daughter’s math so I now use it for their speed drills as well.  Each will have 3 minutes to finish their speed drills – with the Time Timer I set it for the allotted time and they know when time is up if they don’t finish before.  I’ve also used it so they know they have so much time on the computer or if we have to leave for an errand and I’ve even used it for knowing when I had to drink something or when I have a meal in the oven.  This Time Timer is a great way to keep track and manage time so that things that need done get done.

What I like about it as well is the fact that it has a cover that doubles as a stand so if I wanted to I could throw it in my purse and take it with me to places that need to have time limits.  I can see great potential in using it at a children’s museum where if you’re not careful the children will spend four hours at the water table.  With the Time Timer you can set a time limit of anything from 0 to 60 minutes and let your children know that when that time is up it’s time to move on.

To use the Time Timer you simply move the red disk counterclockwise to whatever time increment you need – again it’s from 0 to 60 minutes with 5 minute intervals displayed.  You can turn the sound off or on depending on your needs or your child’s needs and it only takes one AA battery.  I’ve been using this almost everyday for our school and home needs and I have yet to replace the battery.  I’m so happy that I’ve added the Time Timer to our school and home day as it even helps me, who also gets easily sidetracked, to stay on task and focus on what needs focused on.

**If you’d like to see what other homeschoolers are saying about the Time Timer please visit the TOS Homeschool Crew Blog.

**This is a TOS Crew Review.  I was given the 3″ Time Timer from Time Timer to facilitate my review, no other compensation was given.





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TOS Crew Review: Bower Books “The Person I Marry” by Gary Bower

Vendor Name: Bower Books

Vendor ContactContact Page

Name of Product“The Person I Marry” by Gary Bower

Price:  $11.99 hardcover

Age Range:  all ages

Other Products Available: What Do Heroes Wear?, There’s a Party in Heaven, board books, and more

Watch The Person I Marry from Bower Books on Vimeo.

I was given an e-book version of The Person I Marry and this is such a splendid little book, in 32 pages, the book outlines the character and faith that future spouses (as well as what we should have personally) before entering marriage.  In today’s world marriage is seen as temporary, we don’t get along, get a divorce – I don’t like the way he or she looks, get a divorce, but as Christians we should strive for something more and in God’s eyes marriage is forever, unless a spouse passes on.

I want my children to be marriageable material and that means being loving, caring, sympathetic as well as having God as the #1 in their life and making sure their future spouses also put God first so that their marriage is one that can last the test of time.  Beautifully illustrated by Jan Bower using her own grandchildren for the inspiration for the illustrations, this book has a old time charm that is hard to find in books today, but in The Person I Marry, Jan has succeeded in making this book feel vintage but yet modern.

While I read the ebook version the pictures are vibrant and colorful and seem to come alive.  The text is beautiful and keeps even the youngest child’s attention but yet it’s written for all ages.  Given to a young child it can begin to help instill certain character traits that are desirable for marriage and life in general (as the book says some marry and some don’t), given to a teen this could be a way to avoid some of the temptation that occurs in those teen years as certain feelings bubble to the surface, give it to a couple as a wedding present or even to a couple as an anniversary present.  However you use this book, you’ll find yourself enraptured by the beautiful illustrations and touching words.

**If you’d like to see what others had to say about The Person I Marry please visit the TOS Homeschool Crew Blog.

**This is a TOS Crew Review.  I was provided an e-copy of this book from Bower Books in exchange for my honest opinion, no other compensation was given.

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TOS Crew Review: Ooka Island

Vendor Name: Ooka Island

Vendor ContactContact Page

Name of ProductOoka Island Early Literacy Program

Price:  1-month $12.95 for one child; 1-month for up to 4 children $19.95; other pricing options available on the pricing chart.

Age Range:  ages 3 to 7

Ooka Island is a neat learning experience that combines great 3-D graphics with early literacy that is great for those who are beginning to read or need some extra help.  My 5 year old is enjoying it, although I will say that his patience level doesn’t allow him to fully listen to instructions and listen for the sounds he is supposed to find, so either my older daughters or I sit with him to help guide him.

This is a large download, 2 GB in size so don’t be alarmed if you find your computer telling you it could take 2 hours just make sure your computer has enough space on it.  You may be asking yourself why the file is so large and that is a great question and the answer to that is that it contains 85 digital books, instructions in digital format, full 3-D graphics and nine original Ooka tunes.  I will say the time that this download takes is very much worth it once your child begins playing on the computer.

The games start by teaching children that letters have individual sounds and then moves on to showing how these sounds are blended to form words and begin reading.  This learning is facilitated by the friendly Ooka Island host, Zobot, that guides your child through the Island taking them to such places as Cave of Sounds, Alphabet Mountain and other places.  As they play children earn Ooka Island money or currency that they can use to buy items in the Misty Mart, after they’ve earned their free time to roam.  After lesson time, children are given eight minutes of free time where they can roam wherever they want on the Island.

My son really likes the Cave of Sounds as it features what looks like a roller coaster in a mine shaft and he says he feels like he’s riding a roller coaster.  He also enjoys the virtual stickers he can earn for each activity he completes as well as the digital books that are earned along the way and can be accessed in the Popcorn Library.

This is a really interesting and educational reading program for children and while I received it mainly to test out with my son even my older daughters thought the graphics were “cool” and they were very interested in it as well and I had to remind them that it was for their brother since they are already fluent readers.  If you’d like to try it out there is a free 14 day trial or you can use the above promo code to save 30% on a monthly subscription.  I know this will be a program that my son will continue to enjoy as we work on reading with him

**If you’d like to read what other homeschoolers thought about this product please stop by the TOS Homeschool Crew blog and click on the linky.

**This is a TOS Crew Review.  I was given a subscription to Ooka Island for the purpose of the review and no other compensation was given.

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TOS Crew Review: Memoria Press Classical Phonics and First Start Reading

Vendor Name: Memoria Press

Vendor ContactContact Information page

Name of ProductFirst Start Reading and Classical Phonics

Price: Classical Phonics $14.95 ; First Start Reading teacher’s guide and A,B,C student books $29.95 ; First Start Reading student set $21.00

Age Range:  K-2; children ready to learn to read

Other Products AvailablePrima Latina, Famous Men of Rome, K-6 curriculum packages, and more Classical curriculum resources

I’ve taught two of my three children so far how to read, it’s a great feeling knowing that I taught them and I can’t wait until my 5 year old son begins to read.  My husband thinks he should be reading now, I say we wait until he’s ready but at any rate I was happy to try out Classical Phonics and First Start Reading from Memoria Press.  I have really enjoyed using this great phonics based reading curriculum however my 5 year old was less than ecstatic and I now know we need to wait a little while before delving into the reading.

Classical Phonics is written by Cheryl Lowe is a tiny book that is chock full of reading guidance.  This is a 126 page book that is based on the 1913 book titled Word Mastery by Florence Akin.  While I’ve never seen the original of this re-written book I can tell the work that went into this book to make it more user friendly for today’s teacher/parent and the modern child.  The pictures are hand drawn and correspond to the pictures used in First Start Reading.  If you’re child is already reading and needs some brush up on some weak areas or your child is learning to read and needs some extra learning challenges or reinforcement this is a great book for that.

If you are looking for a comprehensive reading and phonics program then look no further than First Start Reading.  This curriculum teaches phonics, reading and pencil holding, which is often overlooked and will eventually lead to writing problems and children complaining that their hands hurt.  In the teacher’s guide you’ll read over the phonics overview that covers such things as phonograms, phoneme, Latin vs. English and others.  A complete overview of the program is given in the following pages including how to use the workbooks, getting started, how to teach pencil grip and more.  Each lesson has a sample page of the student workbook and the words that are supposed to be read to the student are in italics making it easy to tell what needs to be read or said out loud.

There are 33 lessons and this is included in three student workbooks labeled A, B, and C.  Every few lessons the child will learn new words or sentences and would go something like this:

  • Lesson 1 focuses on the M letter and sound and writing it.
  • Lesson 2 focuses on the A letter and sound and writing it.
  • Lesson 3 the child learns to read the Common Words (CVC) “am” and “I” as well as the sentence “I am”

The lessons build on each other and in workbook one the student will eventually be reading sentences such as “Sam is fast” and other sentences that tell a story.  Once they get into the last two workbooks they will be reading stories, taking dictation, learning more punctuation, common words and more.  The pictures are easy and simple and provide a great hands-on learning experience if your child prefers and learns better while doing something, they can color them in.  There will also be an area for them to draw their own pictures and illustrations depending on the workbook they are working in.

The other great thing I like about this curriculum is that if your child is ready to read but not yet ready to write, no problem!  Cheryl Lowe takes into account some children are ready to read but not write at the same time and it’s noted in the teacher’s guide that it’s okay to skip over the writing component if needed.  I cannot say enough about this phonics and reading curriculum and as we continue to progress through it I hope to have another fluent reader that I taught.

**If you’d like to read other reviews about First Start Reading and Classical Phonics please visit the TOS Homeschool Crew blog.

**This is a TOS Crew Review.  I was provided the above curriculum from Memoria Press in exchange for my honest opinion, no other compensation was given.


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TOS Crew Review: North Star Games: Say Anything!


Vendor Name: North Star Games

Vendor Contact: North Star Games Contact Page

Name of Product: Say Anything Family Edition

Price: $29.99

Age Range: 8 years and up

Other Products Available: Wits and Wagers, Say Anything, Wits and Wagers Family, Wits and Wagers Expansion Pack I


Last year I had the chance to review Wits and Wagers Family from North Star Games so when I had the opportunity to review the newest addition to this line of fun games, Say Anything Family Edition, I jumped on it and was accepted to get the game.  This game has proved to be a blast for our entire family to play, even our 5 year old can join in with a little bit of help from mom or dad or big sisters.  While it says it’s for ages 8 and up even the youngest can play along, with help – or form teams.

There are 360 topics within 60 cards and it also comes with 6 dry erase boards, 6 dry erase pens, 1 Select-O-Matic 6000, 12 player tokens, 1 dry erase score board and 1 full color rules.  So how does one win a game when there are no right or wrong answers?

The easiest way to explain how to play is in five steps:

  1. The person who is the youngest goes first and gets the “state-of-the-art” Select-O-Matic 6000, this is the judge.  The judge will draw a card, select and read the question.
  2. After the question is read everyone else will write their answers and place them on the table.  The judge does not get to answer but will secretly select their favorite answer using the Select-O-Matic 6000
  3. Everyone guesses which answer the judge chose by placing their tokens on the answer they think the judge picked.
  4. After all players have choosen the judge will reveal their choice by showing the Select-O-Matic 6000 face-up.  Points are awarded by who choose the judge’s answer, who wrote the chosen answer and the judge gets awarded points as well.
  5. After the points are recorded on the score board you prepare for the next round by erasing your answer (with a napkin or cloth, not a finger), pass the cards and Select-O-Matic to the left and continue on as above.

Easy-peasy.  Basically the game is over once everyone has had a chance to ask two questions and whoever has the most points wins.  This game goes quickly and once we figured out the rules (sometimes I’m not the sharpest pencil in the bunch when it comes to game rules) we finished a game in about 15 to 20 minutes that included having to help our 5 year old.  Our then 6 year old, who is now 7, also had a blast with answering the questions.

I think the funnest part of the game wasn’t the winner but was reading all the answers and believe me my children and husband can come up with some very intriguing answers.  Another great thing about this game is since it’s so easy to explain and play as well as quick is the fact that it’s great for family gatherings or even to share with friends as it’s easily transportable in it’s sturdy cardboard box.

With Christmas and other holidays coming up this would be a great and entertaining game to find under the Christmas tree or however your family celebrates the holidays.  I can totally see us bringing ours to family Thanksgiving dinners and Christmas gatherings and sharing the laughter that this game elicits.

**If you’d like to see what other homeschooling families had to say about this game please stop over to the TOS Crew Blog.

**This is a TOS Review.  I was provided a copy of this game from North Star Games in order for me to review honestly, no other compensation was given.



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TOS Crew Review: Apologia – "Educating the WholeHearted Child" by Clay Clarkson w/Sally Clarkson


Vendor Name: Apologia

Vendor Contact: Apologia Contact Page

Name of Product: Educating the WholeHearted Child

Price: $22.00

Age Range: moms and dads, those who need help and inspiration for homeschooling

Other Products Available: How to Have H.E.A.R.T for your Kids, Elementary Science series, Junior High and High School science, Apologia Academy, and more

  • Have you started your homeschooling journey but just aren’t sure where to begin?
  • Have questions but don’t know where to turn?
  • Are you a seasoned homeschooler who needs some inspiration to keep going on those days that you don’t want to keep going?
  • Are you a parent who has heard about crazy homeschoolers but then again think we may be on to something?

Well then have I got the book for you!  This book will give you practically all the education you’ll need in educating your child or children yourself and doing it whole-heartedly  (yes, I know it’s not technically a word).  This isn’t a book you’ll read once and shelf it – you’ll keep coming back for it as a continual resource probably until you’ve highlighted it all or the pages are falling out.

This is the third edition and it has over 100 pages of all new, never before seen material and a good proportion of the book from the old version has been rewritten to give it a new lease on life.  The book covers the following areas: home, learning, methods, living, postscript and resources.  376 pages of encouragement for moms and dads who are choosing to bring their children up and teach them in the Lord. It isn’t all about education or the 3 R’s but it’s about gaining your children’s hearts and giving them a Christian education that centers on Christ, discipleship, and then planning the education around that.

The books subtitle is: Discipleship, Whole Books, and Real Life!  WholeHearted Christian Home Education for Ages 4-14, it’s quite a mouth full but sums up the book in a few words.  You’ll see the breakdown of schools such as public, private, independent and homeschooling and what each entails.  The one that isn’t mentioned and is gaining ground is the online virtual schools which could fall into the public or the independent genre of school but by definition not parent directed homeschooling.  Different curricula, approaches, child-centered, home-centered methods are all outlined in detail.

I wish I had more space and infinite time to go about this wonderful book, but there is so much to it that it would take me days of writing to tell you the wonderful things about this book.  If you buy only one book for homeschooling, I could not recommend this book alone enough.  My only disagreement with it is the encouragement to get involved in a support group.  I know they serve a purpose and some families thrive in them, however after being in a group or groups for 3+ years I no longer feel they are a necessity to our homeschooling life.  This is my personal opinion though but we have gotten so much work done and have had more fun in these few months than we did in the last three years without a group!  I do understand though what the author is saying though in regards to support groups and there is a time and place for them.

While I love the whole book, I think my most favorite part is the resource section.  The resources are as follows:

  • Books for the WholeHearted Family (divided into genres/time periods,etc)
  • Books for WholeHearted Learning (divided into subject like Young Men and Women or Devotions and Discipleship)
  • Forms for WholeHearted Learning (learning agenda, reading records, book reports, Godly character charts, devotional planner, calendars and more)

I cannot stress enough how much I think this book needs to be on every homeschooling families shelf.  This book is a go-to resource for everything from beginning homeschooling, to figuring out what learning style your child is so you can better train and educate them, to everything in between and then some.  The book is an encouragement and may even be a balm to someone’s heart and soul as they renew their homeschooling endeavors after a rough patch.  The best thing though isn’t the forms or the methodologies but it’s the fact that the authors keep Christ at the center and remind the reader time after time that Christ and our children’s souls are what truly matters in homeschooling.

**If you’d like to read more reviews by homeschoolers about this book please visit The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew blog.

**This is a TOS Crew review.  I was provided a copy of this book from Apologia in exchange for my honest review, no other compensation was given.




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