Memories From TOS Crew Review Cruise 2012 {early summer and fall}

Do you know I completed 35 reviews as a member of the TOS Review Crew this past summer? You may be thinking WOW because I know that I am. That is a lot of reviews, but we had a lot of fun doing them.

As I did last year, I am going to share our top five and a few runner-ups. I know that most of us started our school year some time ago, but I still wanted to share some of the products that we totally loved. Anyway, these favorites may give you ideas about products to consider for the next session or school year.

Again, it was difficult to choose just five, which is why I am also sharing runner-ups. These are listed in no particular order.

Always Ice Cream (read my review)
This online program was a hit the moment Lily got logged on and started earning scoops to buy pets, pet food, furniture, houses to put that furniture in as well as a car (I wish real life were like that) and more. It is so girly, which is the target audience for the program. Scoops are earned playing a variety of educational games as well as watching videos like “How It’s Made” that provide learning opportunities. Your daughter will not run out of activities to do. River and Canyon also enjoyed using this program. We haven’t tried it yet, but Clever Dragons, the boy’s version, was released earlier this year. We may have to try this one. Who knows, it may be offered on the cruise.

Math Mammoth (read my review)
River is entering the fifth grade this year and it is time to make some changes in his curriculum, specifically math. I totally love RightStart and will continue using it for my younger two, but he is ready for a different approach. Math Mammoth allows the student to work more independently and takes a mastery approach towards topics. Since, we are in a review stage at this point, I have found that the presentation of the lessons are perfect as we continue to review. The price is excellent too!

Reading Eggs (read my review)
Reading Eggs is cool. We no longer have access to this program, but my children loved every minute they used it. I weaned my children from Reading Eggs where I set their last day of usage before the expiration date just so they wouldn’t have severe withdrawal. I didn’t even use the program and I miss it. Reading Eggs targets non-readers and this was one of the first online programs where Canyon was able to work more independently. It has a section for older children, but if you have a non-reader or early reader, then this is a great program for that child.

Guidecraft Kitchen (read my review)
Okay, I know this isn’t really a curriculum item, but they loved this kitchen. It was a learning experience putting it together and they received such satisfaction playing with it after the work was completed. The children played with it daily. Although they loved it (and still do), the kitchen will probably be heading out of the house sometime this year because everyone is growing up. If you have a child three years-old or a little older, then this kitchen will inspire hours upon hours of creativity and play.

TruthQuest (read my review)
This is a little weird choosing this as one of my top five because I was a little disappointed in the curriculum thinking it was going to be something else. On the flip side, I absolutely love the resource it has become for our studies. The extensive list of suggested living books I can use for studying different periods in history has been invaluable.

Heritage History (read my review)
This one was in tough competition with TruthQuest and the only reason TruthQuest won out at the time is because we’re still doing our state study. Once we begin history full on, this one will be the winner.
Educating the WholeHearted Child (read my review)
All About Reading (read my review)
Visual Latin (read my review)
WriteShop (read my review)
Who Am I? And What am I Doing Here? (read my review)

You may have noticed that I am still sailing. Yep! The ship docked for a few weeks and headed out again for a summer and early fall cruise. The cruise ends this month. Some of the reviews I have already completed for the TOS Crew this summer are Rainbow Sentences, Creation Illustrated, IXL (which I totally love), Christian Keyboarding, Hewitt Homeschooling and currently another IEW product. I just love that company. Although this trip is shorter than the others, the wrap-up for this trip will be just as difficult to figure the top five because we have used some really great products.

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