Thursday, May 24, 2012

Heritage History

From their website:

"The Heritage curriculum encourages students to learn at their own pace, without busywork or rote memorization. The complete text of dozens of fascinating books are included in the curriculum, so there is no need to track down hard-to-find titles. It is the simplest and most enjoyable way to learn history, and helps instill a love for the subject in students of all ages."

Check out the education philosophy behind Heritage History.

"Each Curriculum CD includes biographies, legends, hero stories, and historical literature as well as comprehensive histories. In addition to books, study aids, including timelines, historical maps, and era summaries are provided in printable format. "

I was sent British Middle Ages to take a peek at. 

It features "The complete illustrated text of 55 books, over 60 maps, timelines, battle dictionaries, reading recommmendations, geography terms, short biographies, historical era summaries, and a ready-to-print Study Guide for one low price."

Each Complete Curriculum CD is available for just $24.99 - Purchase the complete 5 volume set for $99.99

Choose from 5 Classical Curriculum Libraries: Young Readers, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, British Middle Ages, British Empire

Heritage History offers five others as well: Early America, Christian Europe, Modern Europe, Spanish Empire and Action and Adventure.

When I got a Nook for my birthday last year, I wondered - "what am I ever going to do with this?"  After all, have you seen the bookshelves I have?  I LOVE BOOKS!   It didn't take me long to realize that I could use it to have even more books, without the bookshelves (we really don't have room for anymore...unless you count the garage!)

What does that have to do with Heritage History?  Everything!  Here's a great way to build a complete, quality history library full of classic literature -  affordably (only $24.99 for 55+ books!) and it won't clutter up your bookshelves!

Each CD has the resources in three formats - Printable PDF files and E-Reader formats - MOBI, and EPUB.  You can use it with ANY device or reader that you have!  The CD is filled with the great books (no hunting for you) but, that's not all...  You get the Study guide and Study Aides as well.  (if you prefer a printed guide - they are available as well.)

 The Study Guide is printable as well.  It is helpful tool containing -  color maps and charts, timelines, recommended core reading for beginner, intermediate, and advanced readers, geography terms, outline maps, binder covers, historical era summaries, list of prominant characters, and accountability records.

The Study Aides include visual aids, such as high quality images and historical maps, as well text-based material, such as timelines and battle dictionaries. Hundreds of pages of study aids are included on each curriculum CD. (check out some samples to see for yourself.)

You can use Heritage History as a complete history curriculum, or you can combine it with other popular history programs.  They even have a guide how to best use it for your family!

The Bentz Test Laboratory has loaded up their Nook, iPod, and Touchpad, and they are all off and running on a full summer of reading material.  Shhhh....don't tell them - but, it's really "school" and we're studing the Middle Ages next year!

See what the other members of the TOS Review Crew thought here.

I was sent a complimentary CD in exchange for my honest opinion as part of the TOS Review Crew.

Monday, May 21, 2012

WriteShop Junior Book D

From their website:

"WriteShop Junior is a creative writing program that appeals to many learning styles. As with all WriteShop products, Book D helps you guide children through the steps of the writing process. To keep the experience fun for everyone, each lesson includes engaging games and activities that teach and review important writing and self-editing skills. And whether you have a more advanced child or one who is fairly new to writing, this program is flexible so children can work at their own level."

What Do I Need to Get Started?
 Includes several schedules with daily lesson plans. Schedules are flexible and easy to follow.   This is not an independent course. Lessons are designed for parent and child to work together.

  • Activity Pack: E-book (1 per family) - $29.95 or hard copy (1 per child) - $39.95
An essential part of WriteShop Junior Book D, the Activity Pack is actually two workbooks in one! It contains both the Student Worksheets and the Level 1 Fold-N-Go Grammar Pack.

The E-book version includes 60 printable activity pages your child will use to complete portions of each lesson. Games, word banks, worksheets, and graphic organizers introduce children to lifelong writing skills such as brainstorming and self-editing.

Make 10 lapbook-style grammar and writing guides, each devoted to a different skill. Simple rules, engaging examples, and practice exercises make learning or reviewing grammar fun! By the end of Level 1, your child will have his own set of portable reference folders.

The E-book version allows you to make as many copies as you need within your own individual family. 
This product truly saves you precious hours of prep time. Instead of creating and assembling your own game cards, spinners, and other tools to teach creative writing,  the Time-Saver Pack includes durable, ready-made props for many Book D activities.  Or, get the E-book and have fun creating your own!

Kim Kautzer, author of WriteShop, has been kind enough to offer 15% off any WriteShop Primary and Junior products in the WriteShop store (including e-books) using coupon code CREW15 at checkout. Offer valid through June 15, 2012.
Here's a list of writing genres covered in WriteShop Junior - Book D
  • Letter of Invitation
  • Humor
  • Adventure
  • Science Fiction
  • Mystery
  • Poetry/Haiku
  • Folktales
  • Historical Fiction
  • Personal Narrative
  • Expository Writing: Factual Article
Some of the skills covered are:
  • Identify and use proper grammar and punctuation
  • Narrow a broad topic to a specific topic
  • Brainstorm before writing
  • Structure a sentence
  • Write a paragraph
  • Choose strong words instead of weak ones
  • Write sentences of different lengths
  • Use emotion words to develop voice
  • Use the five senses to add descriptive detail
  • Self-edit and revise their work
  • Creatively publish their final drafts

So, what did the Bentz Laboratory think?  My tester LOVED it!  My particular tester is in 3rd grade, and we have not had a chance to venture to far into writing yet.  This program has it all!  I love that it focused on skills (in a very engaging, grade revelant fashion), and creativity - at the same time.    Best of all, the variety and hands-on projects will keep her interested all year long!

This is a very comprehensive program, I am very impressed!

  • It is full of help for you to teach writing, but even more importantly - to make writing an enjoyable learning journey too! Each lesson is split into 8 Activity sets  - Fold N Go Grammar, Reading Log, Pre-Writing, Skill Builders, Journal Writing practice,  Brainstorming, The Writing Project, Editing and Revising, Publishing the Project, Evaluating, and Want to do More?! Each step is outlined very clearly for you to follow.  All the worksheets, activities, games and teaching tools are included.  No guessing what to do next!

  • The Ebook format is very large family friendly, you can print what you need, for who you need. 

  • This is not a "workbook" program, or one that you plop down in front of your child to do independently.  They describe it like this "WriteShop Junior is a partnership between you and your child".  You are encouraged to share in the entire process

  • They have included Cross Curricular writing ideas as well.  You can use these to integrate writing into history, science, etc.

You will want to check out all the products available at  WriteShop  - they offer a full K-12 product line.  While your at their website - peek around a little, you won't believe all the helpful resources and links they have available for you!

See what the other members of the TOS Review Crew thought here.

I was sent a complimentary Ebook set in exchange for my honest opinion as part of the TOS Review Crew.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


From their website:

"Reinforcement builds skills. Feedback rewards skill performance and maintains importance of program. CapJaxMathFax™ employs a patented rating system that uses reinforcement and feedback data to create a game-like feeling. Ratings allow learners to keep score and set personal achievement goals. Student ratings also constitute a measure telling teachers and parents precisely where a student is in his or her math fact development."

Take a peek at this CapJaxMathFax at a Glance pdf file!

Purchase as a Download online - $29.95

or as a CD - $29.95 plus $5.95 shipping

Let's face it - math facts are not our children's favorite activity!  But, programs like CapJaxMathFax can make even your toughest student smile!

CapJaxMathFax works like this:

Start at first level. Beginning at the easiest level generates initial success and establishes keyboard skills useful at higher levels. Math types (+, -, x, /) may be practiced in any order and in combination.

Play through each level.
Advancing through small levels of difficulty assures progress. Just a few minutes each day is all that’s needed.

Watch score climb.
Visible progress encourages students. CapJaxMathFax™ has a proprietary rating system that produces obvious feedback about even small gains. Kids will say, This is fun!

Master all facts.
CapJaxMathFax™ rating system assures structured practice through all sets of facts associated with each math type. Students achieve mastery at each level before advancing.

Immediate Positive Reinforcement.
Immediate knowledge of results is vital to efficient skill development. Most efforts have some element of success. CapJaxMathFax™ captures these with instant feedback about accuracy and response time.

Regular Positive Feedback.
Encouraging information about progress is critical. It underscores the importance of the effort and maintains learner involvement. CapJaxMathFax™ provides feedback about each session with a graphical bar chart, a running summary of session results, and a personalized session progress report.

Achievement Certificates.
Tangible evidence of math achievement is available in the form of individual certificates showing student’s performance and current status. Certificates may be displayed and printed at any time.

Detail Reports.
An Item Detail Report of each CapJaxMathFax™ performance session is available for teacher and parent diagnostic review. CapJaxMathFax™ employs a patented rating system that uses reinforcement and feedback data to create a game-like feeling. Ratings allow learners to keep score and set personal achievement goals. Student ratings also constitute a measure telling teachers and parents precisely where a student is in his or her math fact development.

Check out this video:

The Bentz Test Laboratory really enjoyed this program.  It was easy to download and jump right in.  The graphics were a little "goofy" according to my testers.  But, it didn't stop them from wanting to work on their levels to keep progressing!

CapJaxMathFax gives you another handy tool to use in teaching math facts.  And, it's a great bargain to boot!  Why not try the FREE evaluation, and see for yourself?!

See what the other members of the TOS Review Crew thought here.

I was sent a complimentary download in exchange for my honest opinion as part of the TOS Review Crew.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Go Science by Library and Educational Resources

I have been a long time fan of Library and Educational Resources (a wonderful way to build a quality, affordable library in your home - I have!)

I was sent 2 volumes of the Go Science - DVD's to review.

From their website:
"Every time we learn something about SCIENCE, we learn something about our CREATOR GOD!

Even kids who claim an aversion to science will be engaged by the high-energy science demonstrations of Ben Roy! Ben teaches science methods at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and is the former director of a science program on television. With this expertise, Ben captivates, motivates, and inspires students to be excited about science, while providing effective instruction based on science phenomena. Each spectacular demonstration of physical or chemical science has a spiritual application and points to our Creator!

More information about Ben Roy can be found on his website and Facebook. "

Volume 1 in the Go Science Series is about Motion: Discovering the Laws of Gravity and Motion

Volume 2 in the Go Science Series is about Simple Machines, Sound, and Weather

Volume 3 in the Go Science Series is about Magnetism, Engineering, Electricity, and Design

Volume 4 in the Go Science Series is about Chemistry, States of Matter, annd Life Sciences

Volume 5 in the Go Science Series is about Air and Flight

Volume 6 in the Go Science Series is about Water, Space, and the Solar System.
Each demonstration ranges in time from 3 to 6 minutes.

Recommended for ages 6-14

These episodes were originally produced for a religious television show.

Available for $8.97 each, or as a 6 Volume Set (67 lessons) for $47.95

Check out a sample video:

The Bentz Test Laboratory loves all things science, especially science videos!

Go Science was a big hit!  The younger testers especially enjoyed Ben Roy's presentations.  I do feel that the science concepts were presented well, but the presentation style was geared toward a younger than 14 age group.  That's great - little kids love science too!

This is a perfect summer activity - when it's too hot to go out to do science - why not do some "Go Science" together!  My favorite part - Ben Roy points each and every lesson to the Creator God.  It's a Bible lesson and a science lesson!

See what the other members of the TOS Review Crew thought here.

I was sent two complimentary DVD's in exchange for my honest opinion as part of the TOS Review Crew.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Judah Bible Curriculum

From their website:

"The Judah Bible Curriculum is a "Principle Approach" Bible curriculum whose distinctives are the following:

  • The BIBLE is the textbook. The student studies and learns the Bible.
  • The student learns God's purpose in history, studying the hand of God in the lives of men and nations through the Bible.
  • The student develops his reasoning ability, helping him to apply Biblical principles personally.
  • The curriculum helps you shift from rote learning to Biblical reasoning.
  • The student learns the relationship between the sovereignty of God and the personal responsibility of the individual.
  • The student learns the relationship between individual character and national liberty. "

Purchase Options - 

 Judah Bible Curriculum delivered online -  Total $44.00.

You get:
1) Judah Bible Curriculum K-12 Manual, e-book format to download;
2) Elementary Notebook Ideas booklet to view online or download;
3) Eight-lecture Teacher Training Seminar. listen online or download.
(40% discount for online delivery!)

 Judah Bible Curriculum Pack Hard Copy:  $69.00, plus 5.00 p&h, Total $74.00Allow 7 days for delivery.

You get:
1) Judah Bible Curriculum K-12 Manual;
2) Elementary Notebook Ideas booklet;
3) Eight-lecture Teacher Training Seminar on CDs.

The Bentz Test Laboratory was very interested in testing out a new Bible Curriculum.  We have become fans of intense Bible study, and were on the look-out for a curriculum to guide us. 

We were quite excited to receive the Judah Bible Curriculum to test. Right away, we found we wholeheartedly agreed with this statement:

 "The Judah Bible Curriculum will enable YOU to teach the Bible to your students. The curriculum is designed to help teacher and student break curriculum dependence and become self-educating students of the Word of God. The curriculum allows for lots of creativity in your design of the daily study. In order for there to be sustained liberty in any society, there must be a shift in character away from dependence."

You get an amazing amount for your minimal investment!   8+ hours of teacher training, a full K-12 - non-consumable Bible Curriculum (see the Scope & Sequence,) plus the Elementary ideas.  But, a word of warning - this isn't an "open it and jump right in" type of program.  This is going to force you and your students to think, reason, and apply!  Exactly the outcome you're hoping to produce, right?  You can investigate this approach by watching this PowerPoint presentation.

The elementary students begin with "art projects" and advance to more research skills as their reading and writing skills increase.  All your children can be studying the same weekly theme together.  The older students will be creating a notebook (read more about the Notebook approach) filled with their discoveries.   With a large family, this is a key feature for any program - How many of us can use it at once? - With the Judah Bible Curriculum - it's everyone - even Mom & Dad!

The main concepts you will investigate are:

1. Education and Character/Curriculum Overview
2. How God Changes Nations
3. God’s Kingdom: Creation - Flood.
4. God’s Kingdom: Abraham - Malachi
5. God’s Kingdom: Matthew - Revelation
6. Methods: Weekly Themes, Notebooks, Key Sheets, Writing Exercises, Essay Testing
7. God’s Kingdom: Pentecost - Present
8. Studying the Life of Joseph

This is truly, the only Bible curriculum you will ever need - The Bible is your textbook, and you will build a sound Biblical Foundation and Worldview in your family.

See what the other members of the TOS Review Crew thought here.

I was sent a complimentary download edition in exchange for my honest opinion as part of the TOS Review Crew.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Homeschool Library Builder

Books.  LOVE THEM!  We have them in every room (yes, even "that" room!).  With a housefull of avid readers, we could easily break the budget buying books!

Help is on the way...Homeschool Library Builder to our rescue!

This is a description from them:

We offer quality new and used living books at bargain prices -- selections recommended by your favorite curricula such as Five in a Row, Sonlight, Beautiful Feet, Tapestry of Grace, Ambleside Online, and others.

New and used literature Whether a book is hard- or softcover, like new or ex-library, in good or fair condition, our items are clearly rated by condition and priced accordingly.

Guidance for selecting worthwhile books
Items are organized by categories and age level, so you can easily locate what you need!

Amazingly low prices We love bargain shopping and delight in sharing our savings with you! We want to help you stretch those dollars as you build your special home library!

"Christian, family-run book business dedicated to providing good literature at affordable prices"

Become a member for free and get monthly newsletters with sales & promotions. Additionally, for each dollar you spend on merchandise at the Homeschool Library Builder, you earn a Book Point. Fifteen book points is equal to $1 in your account to use toward future purchases. The more you purchase, the more you earn! Click here for full details on the HSLB Book Points Membership Rewards Program.

Another benefit, When you become an HSLB member you have the opportunity to earn extra Book Points by telling your friends about them.  Click here for full details on our HSLB Share the Savings Program

Great timing!  Now through May 31 all items are 25% off!

Be sure to stop by and see what the other members of the TOS Review Crew thought here.  I'll be unavailable for a little while kids, I'm book shopping!

I was not sent anything in exchange for this opportunity to share my thoughts with you.  HSLB looks like a great resource!   If I place an order, I will get a discount.