Thursday, February 18, 2010

Homeschool Library Builder

If you are looking for a great site that has an abundance of homeschool materials, but is small and run by homeschooling families like mine, Homeschool Library Builder is the perfect site for you. There are tons of books in all categories that are perfect for building up your home library.
In February there is a 20% discount on all purchases!!

Some benefits that this site offers from the site owners are:

· Books. We offer new and gently used books for all ages at affordable prices, giving others an opportunity to build their own home library. We stock titles used in literature-based curricula (Sonlight, Tapestry of Grace, Ambleside, Five in a Row, Beautiful Feet, and others) as well as those useful for unit studies for all interests and grade levels.

· Book Search. If a customer needs an out-of-stock book or a title we’ve not previously carried, we are happy to search for it.

· Product Marketing. Wow! Marketing is expensive! For a small company like HSLB or others who want to launch a newly-created product or service, purchasing ad space in magazines or on the internet oftentimes just isn’t an option. The HSLB Market Place offers the opportunity to get the word out about a “homegrown” product or service through our website as well as our monthly online newsletter. This is a free service offered to our HSLB members.

· Spotlight on the Season. Throughout the year we preview and select sites for the current season or holiday, so our customers can eliminate searching and filtering, and enjoy that special time of year with their children. We also provide links to some of our favorite homeschool resources.

· Helping Hand. Through the Helping Hand program we have had the opportunity to raise money for those in need, such as a young autistic boy living near the Alaskan wilderness who needed a service dog, Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child or the victims from the Chinese earthquakes or the Gulf hurricanes. Currently our Helping Hand program is focusing on Haiti. We have a specially designated category of books whereby all money goes to helping others. Oftentimes HSLB matches the amount raised for a particular cause.

· Frequent Buyer Program. When a customer becomes an HSLB member (free of charge, of course!) we offer incentive programs through our book points program. Fifteen book points equals one dollar for use toward future purchases. These points never expire. Points can be earned a number of ways:

Purchasing Books (one book point is earned for every dollar spent on books)
Referring friends to HSLB
Linking HSLB’s Website from the Customer’s Website or Blog

Start building up your library for next years homeschooling season, visit the Homeschool Library Builder Website

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Wordtoons!! You will never see Words the same again!

Our family was asked by the Wordtoons creators to review their new book. The author takes ordinary words like the word dog and turns it into art. This was a perfect item for our family to review as my two youngest sons love to draw.

The boys had so much fun with this book and even started doing their own wordtoon characters!! They would draw the wordtoon and then add backgrounds and other items to their drawings. The directions are so completely easy to follow that even my five-year old was making wordtoons right away!

The e-book is $17.00 and can be purchased on the
Webtoons Website

Our family was contacted by the publisher to review this product. The opinions expressed in this review are mine after our family has reviewed this item.

Zezok Publishing - Stephen Foster/Edward McDowell

Often when one thinks of famous composers, they think of Beethoven, Chopin, and Handel. We do not realize that even in America's history, we have some amazing composers that wrote songs that we have sang over and over and never even thought of the person that wrote them.

The Crew was asked to review several different composers and when I received a set about Stephen Foster and Edwards McDowell, I have to admit I had no idea what they had composed or who they were. Once I started reviewing the materials, I was excited to learn that these two were American composers.

Stephen Foster grew up in the South and started showing interest in music at the age of two years old. One of the things that I loved about his story was that he played the flute like I do. He wrote songs such as Camptown Races and Oh Susanna.

Edward McDowell grew up in the North and also showed a profound interest in music at a very young age. He was taught and mentored by some of the most famous musicians of the time. He wrote songs such as Duet from Hamlet and Ophelia and Visit of the Bears.

I received two storybooks and review guides for each of them. I also received a CD with music from the two composers as well. I love the way that the author tells each of the young men's stories. The books are so captivating and put you right into the time period.

The set of two books, two study guides and CD is $35.80. You can purchase the items separately, but I would strongly recommend getting the entire group as you will not be disappointed.

See the Great Musicians Series at the Zeezok Publishing Website

This product was provided to my family as part of my membership in The Old Schoolhouse Crew review team. The opinions expressed in this review are mine after our family has had a chance to review this product together.

All About Spelling - Beehive Reader

Our family received the Beehive Reader by Marie Rippel from All About Spelling.

My five year old son, who has just started reading, was in seventh heaven with this book. The stories are exciting and fun and perfect for a beginning reader. What excited him the most was that it had several different stories in the same book and that it was the same size as his older brothers' chapter books.

The illustrations in this book are amazing and bring the stories to life. This was the perfect addition to our children's library and I highly recommend it to any family that has a young reader.

The book is $19.95 at the All About Spelling Website

This book was provided to our family as part of The Old Schoolhouse Review team. The opinions expressed in this review are mine after our family reviewed the book and implemented it in our daily homeschooling activities.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Math Tutor DVDs

The members of the Crew had an opportuntity to review to wonderful math DVDs this month.

The first DVD was The Basic Math Word Problem Tutor. It basically gives your homeschool student the opportunity to learn how to do word problems with an instructor who breaks the problems down piece by piece and then shows them how to solve them. It's not filled with a whole bunch of graphics, music or hype which helps the student focus more on math rather than on being entertained. My middle child viewed this with me and since he's very good at math like the rest of the males in my family, he was kind of bored when we reviewed the lessons that covered what he is learning in 3rd grade math. I think as his math gets more difficult though, this program will be helpful to guide him through the more complex story problems that are covered in this 8 hour program. It's a great way to help your student who is struggling with story problems like I did as a student! The DVD is $26.99.

The second DVD was my favorite of the two!! Oh how I wish I still had a young toddler in the house as this DVD is absolutely perfect for children from birth to age 5! As a photographer, I was absolutely captivated with the stunning photography in this DVD!! It makes me want a DSLR and a bazillion lenses even more! I also like the use of classical music in the DVD as well. I would have definitely used this video when my children were infants and toddlers. The DVD is $24.99 and is a perfect addition to your DVD library if you have small children. If you have seen Baby Einstein videos and love them, you are going to absolutely adore this video!

Math Tutor DVD Website

This product was provided to my family as part of my membership in The Old Schoolhouse Crew review team. The opinions expressed in this review are mine after our family has had a chance to review this product together.


If your children are working on learning their facts through flash cards or other programs, they are going to absolutely LOVE this website! Factsfirst is a fun website that not only teaches your children addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts, but drills them to learn how to answer them quickly.

The program starts out by explaining to them the facts and the answers and then runs them through a series of drills of the problems.

It is progressive and as your child masters the facts it moves on in difficulty. My five year old absolutely loves trying to beat the speed!

Visual learners will like the chart to the right as it shows them what they need to learn and whether or not they have mastered the fact. If they have red, it is a fact they are having trouble yet. If they have yellow they know the fact but are slow to answer. If they have green (which my five year old loves to see) they have mastered the fact. A full green screen means that your child has master all the facts.

One of the most exciting features is the avatar creation part of the website. Your child gets to create an avatar that is their player for all the activities!! They get to choose hair, eye, and clothing color as well as choosing fun accessories to personalize their player. I think it really gives this site a personal touch that really grabs your child's interest and puts them into the game!

Then after your child has been drilling, they get to go to an "arcade" for five minutes. Even though the games are "fun" they still work on the facts that your child has just been working on to help reinforce their learning.

The crew was given a free 90 day trial to try out this website. A yearly membership is $49.


This product was provided to my family as part of my membership in The Old Schoolhouse Crew review team. The opinions expressed in this review are mine after our family has had a chance to review this product together.