TOS Review: Standard Deviants Accelerate Homeschool Courses ~ U.S. History

Standard Deviants Accelerate Review
Today, we’re reviewing the U.S. History course from Standard Deviants Accelerate Homeschool Courses offered by–you guessed it–Standard Deviants Accelerate.

Standard Deviants Accelerate Review
SDA Homeschool Courses provide a year’s worth of supplemental content for fourteen different courses for middle- and high-schoolers. SDA is completely online, and uses interesting videos to teach students in a way that they actually enjoy. Continue reading

TOS Review: Happy Kids Songs (Ages 4-8)

Happy Kids Songs Review
Most younger kids love music, and my six-year-old certainly does, so reviewing Happy Kids Songs was a lot of fun for us. We received three sets of songs: Friends & Sharing, Happiness & Attitude, and Manners & Character. There are a total of seven sets, with other titles such as Social Skills & Bullying, Feelings & Fears, Practice & Success, Talking & Listening, and Respect & Responsibility.

We also received the Happy Kids Songs Workbook, which includes lyrics and activities for every song in the entire collection. When you purchase a download, you will also get access to free pages you can download for those songs. This is the same content that is in the Workbook. The Workbook is just all of those free pages (122) pre-printed and bound for you. Continue reading

TOS Book Review – Flourish: Balance for Homeschool Moms by Mary Jo Tate

Flourish Book Review
About the book

Title: Flourish: Balance for Homeschool Moms
Author: Mary Jo Tate
Publisher: Apologia Educational Ministries
Pages: 288
Where I got the book: I received this book free through The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for an honest review.

My review

In the foreward, this book and system is described as “life management, not time management”. All moms have challenges trying to fit in work, kids, recovery time, friends, spouses, family, and an endless list of household tasks. This particular book addresses those issues faced by homeschooling moms, with particular interest in moms who work from home. Mary Jo Tate is also a single mom, and she hasn’t forgotten this sector of homeschoolers who are frequently ignored, particularly in the Christian homeschooling world. She mentions single moms throughout the book, and there is an entire chapter devoted to encouragement for them (us), as well as things other families can do to help make a single-parent family’s journey easier. Continue reading

TOS Review: Veritas Press Self-Paced History – New Testament Greece and Rome

Veritas Press Review
Today’s review is for the Self-Paced History of New Testament Greece and Rome from Veritas Press. This online course is aimed at students in grades 2-6, but older students may enjoy it, too. Jack just finished 6th grade, and has no patience for things that he feels are “too young” for him (such as the preschool shows his little brother wants to watch), yet he really enjoyed the lessons. Continue reading

TOS Book Review: A Life in Balance by Frank and Eric Belgau

Learning Breakthrough Program Review
Back in my senior year of high school, I was fascinated by the information I learned in my one-semester Psychology class. Not quite fascinated enough to pursue it further (because, science), but still… Little did I know that twenty years later I would be reading everything I could find about neurology, which is even more interesting and complicated (for me, anyway) than psychology. Of course, when the opportunity came to read and review A Life in Balance, the story of Frank Belgau, as told to his son Eric. The book takes us through the journey of how the Learning Breakthrough Program came to be. Continue reading

TOS Review: Micro Business for Teens

Micro Business for Teens Review
Today we’re reviewing Starting a Micro Business, Running a Micro Business, and Micro Business for Teens Workbook from Micro Business for Teens.

Carol Topp is a Certified Public Accountant who wanted something to help her teens learn about planning and managing a business. When she couldn’t find anything she was happy with, she wrote the book herself. As someone who has read way too many small business/marketing/bookkeeping books and/or websites, I was very impressed with the way the information was presented. Most of it was not new to me, but it was definitely written in a way that was easy to understand, and I even picked up a few new ideas.

Now, it’s Micro Business for Teens (or pre-teens, ages 10-18), so of course, my twelve-year-old read the books. He’s been asking for years what he can do to make money and I really didn’t have any good ideas for him, partly because of his age, partly because of our location, and partly because of his OCD-induced preference for staying clean. (It’s hard to do yardwork and stay clean.)

First, I’ll go through my impressions of the books as I read them. Then I’ll have an interview with Jack about his thoughts. The suggested pace for the books is one chapter a week. My son read one chapter a day, although that was spread out over five weeks, rather than the three it would have been had he read one each day. I think it would depend on what actions your child is taking as they complete each chapter. We’re still in the early planning stages since he didn’t see anything that jumped out at him as a business he wanted to start right away. (Although there were a couple of things he’s thinking about.) Continue reading

TOS Review: Logic of English, The Rhythm of Handwriting, Manuscript

Logic of English Review
Today’s review is for the Rhythm of Handwriting Manuscript Complete Set from Logic of English. I don’t usually request review products in subjects in which the kids haven’t expressed an interest, but the boys’ other parent was concerned that they weren’t doing enough “school-like” things, so I thought handwriting for the five-year-old would be a good place to start. We won’t tell Dad that the boy actually (mostly) enjoyed the practice.

The Manuscript Complete Set includes one soft-cover student workbook ($18), a laminated manuscript quick reference chart ($10), one tactile card set ($28), and a student whiteboard ($9). The set sells for $65.

There are a variety of ways to use this program, and we almost used one of the suggested ways. 😉 (You know I have to do my own thing.) Blake’s fine motor skills still need some work (so do his gross motor skills, but that’s not relevant right now), so after trying the workbook for a couple of days, we decided to just stick with the whiteboard for now. It was much easier for him, not just because the lines are wider, but because the marker slides across the board easier than a pencil on paper. Continue reading