Monday, December 10, 2012

Review: (TOS Crew)

So I’ve got some news. I am now reviewing “stuff” for a very reputable homeschooling magazine and website. Somehow they let me in. Those folks must have an overwhelming supply of patience…if not a sense of humor. The Old Schoolhouse Magazine has been a part of my life for a few years now. I still have copies of my print magazines lurking around in baskets and on bookshelves.  Of course, the term “lurking” sounds a bit ominous. I guarantee you that I would rather part with my favorite pair of fuzzy socks than discard even one of those magazines. I don’t know about you, but this girl needs a bit of inspiration now and again. Mostly right now! The magazine has gone all digital on us (you can read my review of the November issue here) and is available for free!  But what happens when I need more at my fingertips?

The good news is that The Old Schoolhouse Magazine has brought great teachers and people together in this wonderful smorgasbord of ideas, lesson plans and inspiration at is a resource for any homeschooling family. You can use it as a supplemental resource or as a stand alone curriculum. As part of my new reviewing gig I received a subscription to

Here is what they claim.
provides the flexibility and options you are looking for!

With over 25 different “school” subjects presented via teaching videos, ongoing lesson plans, worksheets, lapbooks & unit studies, writing prompts and other assignments to choose from, students can additionally interact personally with the teachers by asking them questions and gaining feedback.


 Could it be true?

The category headings on the website alone made me sit up and take notice. Teachers, Elementary, Middle School, Highschool, Family, Dailies (something new in each subject matter every day)...Extras, Library...And those all specific headings those have oodles and oodles of additional categories underneath them. Figures in History, Everyday Explorers...Filmaking, Economics...and it goes on and on. There is even a menu with a new recipe every day of the month. I will say there is something there for everyone.  It would take me eons (or at least a week) for me to describe all the wonderful features at

Instead of writing a post that would keep you reading on into the new year, I thought I would give you a little peek of how we used last week. With pictures and everything!

I have talked a lot about my love of Lapbooking. To me it is just a neat way to learn. It keeps my “hands on” guy interested and allows me to scrapbook. My friends, any time I can incorporate scrapbooking into my day to day responsibilities I am elated. I couldn’t have been happier to find out that the Lapbooking section at is put together by none other than the wonderful creators of In the Hands of A Child. What?! In the Hands of A Child have some of the most beautiful and well put together lapbooks out there.   

This month’s lapbook is created around a short story, “Christmas In The Barn.”

Josiah loved the story and activities. I already have my stickers and stamps out to make it pretty.  To make my life complete I found that there are even more lapbooks in the archives.  I can go back and use lapbook kits from previous months. Yay!


Another favorite activity of the week was our science experiment. We brought in Christopher (our cousin who homeschools with us) He and Josiah completed the science activity from Hooked on Science. This one was called How Santa Gets Down the Chimney. It was so much fun. In fact, I found the boys trying to recreate the experiment just a few days later. Again…all of these activities are in the archives. And I love that the materials used aren’t things I have to send away to NASA for.  
Just a disclaimer: Santa really never made it completely down the chimney.
 He gave it a good try and got stuck. Poor Santa.

Keeping with our love of all things “hands-on,” we completed an activity using Ditch-the-Desk. The Ditch-the-Desk feature is a group of exercises that encourage…nay…implore you, yes… require you to get your kids moving. For this activity I created several math puzzles, placed them in envelopes and hid them. When the boys found the envelopes they had to solve the puzzles before receiving an ingredient to a recipe. When they solved all the puzzles (and therefore received all the ingredients) they were able to make Rice Krispy Treats! I chose the recipe. “Tis the season for Rice Krispy Treats! A good time was had by all.

I just have to give a little shout out to the Library List also found at I was able to find several treasures for us to explore. We are currently reading through Jathom’s Journey for advent and we are going to see The Messiah Project in concert this week. I was pretty excited about suggested resources on Handel.  Did anyone else sing The Hallelujah Chorus in choir (be it church, high school or college)? I can still remember my part. I sang with it the other day in the bookstore. Josiah was properly mortified.

Anyhoo…back to the task at hand. I am really saving the best for last. With a subscription to you receive access to the most wonderful planners.


Years ago, I actually won one of  these from some kind of online expo I attended. I thought it was the most wonderful, detailed planner. It still is....and even better.

I can’t begin to tell you how pretty terrific the whole site really is. There are videos, free books, downloadable mp3s, daily lessons on every subject, guitar lessons….truly everything for your homeschool needs. I can’t wait to really dig in further. Astronomy, Geography, History, foreign languages…somebody stop me!  My only criticism is that the archived lessons were better labeled. Sometimes it’s hard to find the time to browse through each one.

Here are the particulars.

Price: $1 for your first month. $5.95 for every month after that.  And currently there is a pretty nifty promotion going on.  Join now purchase a 1-year membership for only $49 (regular price - $69.26) You also receive the 2013 Annual Print Book and a tote bag free. Every self-respecting homeschool mom can’t have enough tote bags in my opinion!
You can click here and check it out.

In my opinion this is a very reasonable price. Especially if you are a family who is finding it hard to come up with the extra funds to get what you need to homeschool.
Ages: all ages (including Mom).

So have I said enough? Probably. It is pretty exciting to be able to give my two cents. Go forth and check it out for yourself!

You can click on the The Blog Cruise Schoolhouse Review Crew Button Below or right here and read what the other members of the TOS crew have to say.

Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations


  1. This was super informative, Rebekah! I especially loved the photos of your kiddos trying out the material. :-)

  2. Yay! I am so glad you will be reviewing. I always love your posts and I am sure I will always read the reviews, too. I am also certain that you will encourage me to part with some of my $ for the stuff you review. :)

  3. Great review. I'm going to go check out some of those activities! I loved your photos, too. Welcome to the Crew!

  4. Just a quick "Welcome to the Crew!" message. Looking forward to getting to know you better - and if you haven't already added your name to the Crew blogroll, please do - you are way too entertaining a writer not to share!

    We're huge fans of since reviewing it in July/August and have used it pretty much daily ever since!


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