Well, I’ve completed my last review for the TOS Homeschool Crew. And what a year it was! I had the opportunity to try out many different kinds of curriculum – some, a great fit for our family, and others, an experiment in what does not work so well for us.
TOS Crew members voted on the different curriculum from the past year for their favorites in a long list of categories. Here is the list with the links to those winners. You may find them helpbul in making decisions for your curriculum!
Favorite Language Arts Product : Educational Diagnostic Prescriptive Services (EDUDPS)
Favorite History Product :Bright Ideas Press (All American History and Mystery of History)
Favorite Science Product:Nature Friend Magazine
Favorite Math Product: Math Mammoth
Favorite Online Math Product: Mathletics
Favorite Handwriting Product: Zeezok Publishing (Presidential Penmanship)
Favorite Fine Arts Product (art, music, etc.): Artistic Pursuits
Favorite Pre-school Product: Time 4 Learning
Favorite Elementary Product: Critical Thinking
Favorite Upper-Grade Product: Professor in a Box
Favorite College Prep Product: Cerebellum/Standard Diviants
Favorite Special Needs Product: Super Star Speech
Favorite Health and Beauty Product: Virginia Soaps and Scents
Favorite Christian Product: Grapevine Studies
Best Resource I Didn’t Know I Needed: StudyPod
Best Homemaking Product: Sue Gregg Cookbooks
Best Customer Service: Great Software Tools
Best Online Resource: ABCteach
Best e-product: Growing Healthy Homes: Nutrition 101
Best Office and Technology Resource: Web Design for Kids (and Curious Grown-Ups)
Best Homeschool Resource:Apologia Press: The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling
Best Map Resource: Home School in the Woods
Best Book, Novel or Magazine: Sarah’s Books
Best Children’s Book: Children’s Bible Hour: Season’s of Faith Series
Best Hands-On Resource: A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks
Most Adaptable Resource: Sue Patrick Workbox System
Most Unique Resource: Lobster Network
Most Family-Oriented Product: Family Mint
Kid’s Choice: Maverick Books: Hank the Cowdog Series
All Around Crew Favorite: All About Spelling (All About Reading)
My Favorites and My Boys’ Favorites
We did not receive all of the products reviewed by the Crew, so I cannot give an opinion on some of the winners listed above. I can share with you a seconded opinion on some of these products where we agreed with the consensus.
Our favorites from the above list:
All About Spelling
Web Design for Kids DVD
Standard Deviants DVD for AP prep
Virginia Soaps and Scents
Homeschool in the Woods
Apologia Press: The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling
Our Favorites that did not make the list
Mathscore.com – For the math program, of which there were many that we reviewed, we liked and worked best with Mathscore.com. This program did not have distracting bells and whistles, but kept my guys focused on learning, practicing, and mastering the math concept on which they were working. The mastery level is 100%, so there was no question in my mind that my guys knew what were they were doing when they achieved mastery in that concept. My guys felt proud of what they had accomplished as they moved to higher levels upon achieving 100%.
I saw the most improvement in their math skills with this program than the others we reviewed this year. With other programs that had a lot of games and were fun for them to play, they got so wrapped up in winning the game or playing the game, they were not focused on the skills and they did not feel like they had learned something new. Mathscore really provided them with the feeling of having accomplished and learned something.
Visit mathscore.com to see what their homeschool version can do for your family and try a free trial.
Our favorite science resource was the Christian Kids Explore Physics book we used. This book gave a good succinct explanation of the concept with review questions and a practical experiment to “see” the concept we just finished reading. Check out this science program and others at Bright Ideas Press.
Well, that’s all for now and for the TOS Homeschool Crew reviews. I am presently working on other projects for the future, as well as homeschooling my guys and entering into the High School phase. Look here for major announcements of my current projects in the near future! I am very excited about them and hope you will be too!
I will also be completing the series I started about learning styles, now that I’ll have more time for my personal posts. So, I hope you will come back and read about these!
Talk with you soon! And, thanks for following my reviews!