Crew Review: Zane Education

Have you heard of Zane Education?  I had not. Zane Education provides video based instruction for classrooms and home school.  In today’s technologically driven world, videos have become almost essential for teaching and learning.

Zane Logo with text

As you can see from the tag line, Zane Education provides “the Missing Piece.”  You can download several catalogs for free and get a feel for what is available.  I especially recommend the Video Title Catalog.

Zane offers several levels of membership including a free basic level.  At the basic level you have access to all the resources including the online quizzes but you’ll only be able to view sample videos as the full online educational videos are only available with a premium membership.

  • GOLD MEMBERSHIP provides access to the videos for all topics at just $17.99 per month or $197.89 per year.
  • SILVER MEMBERSHIP provides access to the videos for all topics in a particular Age/Grade at just $12.99 per month or $142.89 per year.
  • BRONZE MEMBERSHIP provides access to the videos for all topics in a particular Subject at just $8.99 per month or $98.89 per year.

How we’ve been using Zane Education: With thousands of videos to choose from it can be overwhelming.  We used the Video Title Catalog to see what subjects and topics were available.  For BooBear, a senior, we’re using Zane Video Education to build self-constructed independent study courses.

Zane provides free lesson plans with suggestions for research topics, essays and even debate. Those items, along with the quizzes provide a fully structured course. Boobear wanted to study Psychology.  We’re using the Zane videos along with the quizzes and lesson plan assignments to choose complementary books with those topics from the library to create our own “Overview of Psychology” elective for her senior year. She’s also using Zane to give structure to her study of Music Composers.

Turtlegirl is studying biology.  She is using Zane as a supplement to her regular biology course picking and choosing Zane topics that match her course.  She is also using Zane to study Art History.

For Tailorbear we found some topics that interested her.  She’s been watching videos about Ancient Egypt and doing some literature studies focused on Greek Mythology.

With Supergirl, I’ve picked a topic here and there to supplement her history studies. For her Zane is strictly a supplement.

Some Things to Note:

  • The Math Videos are NOT owned by Zane Education ~ Because they are not owned by Zane they are not subtitled. These are provided  “for your convenience only as we proceed to develop our own.”
  • Some words are green and some are blue ~ these are highlighted words and the student can use the Resources to learn more.  I have been unable to find any significance to the color. 
  • Some areas look “clickable” ~ On the side of many videos are words that look like they should be hyperlinks.  They are not.  This can be distracting and frustrating.  Also it “feels” like the highlighted words should be hyperlinks but they are not.
  • Size of video can not be changed ~ Some of the video titles are actual moving pictures.  These are about 2 1/2” wide by 2” tall. There is no way to make them larger.

Thoughts from BooBear (age 17): “I think it is a great way to get an introduction to topics to give you the lift or push off to go deeper. Lectures are interesting and provide several topics that you could choose to research as well. I like being able to read along with the lecture. The subtitles really help. I wish Zane’s dictionary and encyclopedia had more words. I would look for a word that they had highlighted in the lecture but I wouldn’t find it in the dictionary or the encyclopedia  even though those are words you are supposed to look up. This is a great addition for my senior year.”

Thoughts from Turtlegirl (age 14 1/2): “I like it. The different videos are very good at covering the information. I like how it has music playing, the person talking and I can read along. I like how it has a multi-sensory approach. I’m glad we got it. There’s so many topics I want to study.”

 Thoughts from Tailorbear (age 13):  “It is amazing. I love history and it gave it to me in lovely ways. I like how it has this little button that is so obvious.  It says videos. I can click on that and then I click on the subject that I want. I like the subtitles.”

My Bottom Line: What I love most about Zane Education is the ability to use the videos as a jumping off point for designing our own courses for my high school students. This is an incredibly rich resource for home school families.  ONE subscription is good for the entire family.  And I mean the whole family as many topics are listed as –Adult. This is a K-12 product with something for everybody.  Though I don’t like that I can’t change the size of the videos or that some things look clickable but aren’t, I really like this product.  If you are looking for a great resource for every student in your home school, you’ll want to consider a Gold Level Membership to Zane Education.

Check out Zane Education on Facebook!  And be sure and check out the FAQ page on the website. 

Zane is also offering their first ever promotion!  I’ve been given a promotion code to share with my blog readers: The 35% Discount Promotion Code: ZE774HSM

Click on the banner below to read what other Crew Members had to say about Zane Education.

All information is correct and accurate as of the date of this review.

Disclaimer: As a TOS Crew member, I received a one year Gold level membership free of charge to review. I am required to write a review but I am not required to write a positive review. This review contains my and/or my daughters’ honest opinion with, hopefully, enough detail as to why I/ we liked or did not like a product so that my readers can make an informed decision. I received no compensation.

You can read my other Schoolhouse Review Crew Reviews by clicking here.


The Best Laid Plans and All That Jazz

A few weeks ago I posted about my plans for preparing for our staycation.  And several days after that I posted a list of 10 Family Fun Ideas for Summer.  Many of those ideas were planned for our staycation.  But you know the phrase, the best laid plans, well they didn’t go so well.

As Life does so often, it threw us a curveball or to use another cliché it threw a monkey wrench into the cog wheel of my well oiled machine plans.  I got sick. Sick enough to need to go to Urgent Care.  Sick enough that I couldn’t do the work that I planned.  And then I got sicker.  The bacteria was resistant to the antibiotics I was originally prescribed and I needed new ones.

I also learned that I have allergies.  Most likely seasonal and pollen related.  Bad allergies.  No sneezing.  No itchy watery eyes.  Nope not for me.  I have to be different.  I get a cough.  A cough from the pits of hell that does not respond to any kind of cough medicine known to man or at least to me.  I thought I had another bug.  Something serious like Whooping Cough.  In fact at my second trip to the UC I was tested for pertussis.  A week and a day later after the FIRST Urgent Care visit I am feeling better.

I still have a few more days of my staycation and I promise to post about the lemonade we made from those lemons that life handed out. I might even have a picture or two to share. 

For now, I’m going to go play games with my family and be thankful that I am no longer sounding like I’m at death’s door with my cough.


Crew Review: Math Essentials: No-Nonsense Algebra

I love Algebra.  My children? Not so much.  Oh I mean I love my children, they just don’t love Algebra so much and I don’t so much love teaching it. I love that with No-Nonsense Algebra from Math Essentials that I don’t have to teach and Tailorbear is finding that she doesn’t hate algebra as much as she thought.  In fact, I think she secretly likes it!

Rick Fisher, author of the  Math Essentials materials, is known as “America’s Math Teacher”.  Since 1971 he has devoted himself to teaching 5th and 6th grade math students.  Mr. Fisher has developed a “system of teaching algebra.” (p. 3) That system has become No-Nonsense Algebra.  His systematic method teaches in a step-by-step, logical manner.

These lessons are short and self-contained.  Each lesson contains five key parts:

  • Introduction and explanation of each new topic.
  • Helpful hints that offers important tips and shortcuts.
  • Examples with step-by-step solutions
  • Written Exercises with answers in the back of the book.
  • Review that ensures students remember the concepts.

But the book is only part of the program.  In the back of the book is a website: www.nonosensealgebra.com.   There is a sticker on the inside of the back cover with a special code.  Register at the website using the special code and you get free online video lessons.  Once I registered my code, I received an email with my log in information. 


I love the video instruction that accompanies the book.  Mr. Fisher explains each step as he works through several example problems.  I like that he tells the students to show their work even if they can do it in their head because they will get to problems that are more complicated.  I also noticed something that makes so much sense.  I wish I had known this ages ago.  Write the problem twice.  In the video he using black marker to write the problem.  Then he switches to a blue one and re-writes the problem.  He begins to work out the problem using the blue re-written equation and then CHECKS the answer using the original equation.

 There is a video for every one of the concepts taught in the No-Nonsense Algebra book.  The book is divided into 10 Chapters.  The chapters are divided into lessons.  Each lesson ends with review and there is a review at the end of every chapter.   The program even contains a final exam!

Thoughts from Tailorbear (age 13): “It is tedious but practice makes perfect which is its basic goal. I like how you can go online and watch the video for the lesson.  It’s a good product. I feel like I am understanding algebra. And despite what mom thinks, though I like algebra better than before I still don’t like algebra.  I mean I do but I don’t.”

In addition to a main math curriculum such as the No-Nonsense Algebra program,  Math Essentials gave each crew member an additional Mastering Essential Math Skills Book.  I received Geometry.  This is not a full curriculum, but is a supplement to be used for more practice and review of Geometry skills.   

Thoughts about Geometry from Turtlegirl (age 14 1/2): “I like the workbook aspect. I like how it gives you a topic and then two pages with which to practice it. I like how they have a review section for the stuff you’ve learned.  It is really good for practicing. I recommend the product.”

No-Nonsense Algebra retails for $27.95.  Remember that includes the online videos. The Geometry supplement retails for $11.95.  For more products and to order click here.

Click on the banner below to read what other Crew Members had to say about No-Nonsense Algebra and other Math Essential products.

All information is correct and accurate as of the date of this review.

Disclaimer: As a TOS Crew member, I received this product free of charge to review. I am required to write a review but I am not required to write a positive review. This review contains my and/or my daughters’ honest opinion with, hopefully, enough detail as to why I/ we liked or did not like a product so that my readers can make an informed decision. I received no compensation.

You can read my other Schoolhouse Review Crew Reviews by clicking here.


10 Family Fun Things for Summer

Recently I blogged about preparing for a staycation.  I hinted that I’d be doing another post talking about the fun stuff we’d do on our staycation. I also want to mention some of the the other things we like to do for fun as a family during the summer.

Ten Family Fun Things For Summer from Circling Through This Life

What do we like to do?

  1. Picnics!  We have a beautiful park with a lake nearby.  Lots of ducks spend the summer at this lake.  Sometimes we just go to the park to walk trails near the lake and visit the ducks.  Sometimes we’ll grab some sandwiches and find a picnic table.  One summer we even brought along a game to play.  The girls are excited to take the grandparents to the park for a picnic. Tailorbear has even made some special loaves of French bread to make sandwiches. 100_5026
  2. Sleeping in a Tent: No, this not my idea of fun.  I like my bed thankyouverymuch.  My girls, especially Tailorbear and Turtlegirl, however, think it is very fun to set up a tent in the backyard and pretend they are camping.  I guess you could call it Backyard Camping.  Since those two are giving up their bedroom for the grandparents, I think they’ll be “backyard camping” during part of the visit.
  3. Go to the beach! We live just far enough that my preference would be to do an overnight trip to the ocean but we have done it as a day trip.  We grab some “to go” type breakfast like muffins or breakfast sandwiches and we pack a picnic lunch.   We won’t be doing this on our staycation with the grandparents but we will be going to ocean this summer.  We even have the date blocked off on the calendar.  I love walking along the beach.  I love the ocean.  I wish we lived a tiny bit closer but I am thankful to live in a coastal state.  And if you count Puget Sound as “ocean” (it is saltwater and it does take you out the Pacific!) then I am fairly close. 
  4. Go to the Mountains!: I know I said I lived close enough to the ocean that I could do a daytrip, but I live even closer to the mountains.  I love the cascades.  If I crane my neck, I can see them from my bedroom window. We love to pack up a lunch and take a drive.  As part of our staycation, we’re taking a slightly longer day trip to Mt. St. Helens.  We’ll have to do the “grab and go” breakfast to eat in the van but I think it will be worth it.
  5. Have a Game Day! and I do mean DAY.  We like to set aside a day for just playing board games.  We try to do one in the summer and it is our tradition to do it on Thanksgiving and sometimes Christmas.  We like to play Wits & Wagers (Family Edition), Say Anything (Family Edition), Tri-Cross as well as other board games.  I’m hoping that a new game that I get to review will be here in time for our planned Game Day during our Staycation.
  6. Go to the Zoo or Museum! Some years we get a membership to the zoo and some years we get a membership to the science center.  This year we renewed our membership to the science center.  We’ll be heading up to the science center to see the King Tut exhibit.  We even got tickets for the grandparents.  This I think is the highlight of our staycation. King Tut flags hanging outside science center
  7. Have a Barbeque in the Backyard! At least once each summer we like to invite friends over and have a backyard picnic.  Sometimes it’s just one family and sometimes it’s several.  We grill up some hamburgers and hotdogs and friends bring a side dish to share.  Great food, great fellowship and great fun for the whole family.  Sometimes we do this for the 4th of July or around a birthday.
  8. Take a drive: There are many small towns around here with interesting historical sites.  My family enjoys exploring.  Last year we found a small town with a war memorial and Carnegie library.  We were able to tour the library and I sat in a comfy chair and read a couple of picture books to Supergirl.
  9. Have a Water Fight! Ok this is another one that mom doesn’t really participate in but the girls (and sometimes dad) like to do.  Put on some bathing suits, find some water and “attack”.  Usually the girls just use the hose and a bucket or two.  Water balloons and squirt guns have also been used.  Warning: This requires a very sunny warm day which makes it an activity more for late July or August here in the Pacific Northwest.
  10. Have a Lazy Day! One activity that I love to do is have a sit in the sun and read a book all day.  Sometimes the girls will take their books outside but it works to find a spot in the living room by the window with the sun streaming through the glass.

What does your family like to do for fun in the summer months? You can read what other Schoolhouse Review Crew members are doing for Summer Fun on Tuesday.  In the meantime you can always read past Blog Cruise posts here.

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Backyard Wildlife: Snakes??!!

Because our backyard is separated from a forest like area, we seem to have an abundance of wildlife visit.  Recently I wrote about raccoons coming to play.  In that post I had mentioned a snake.  Well here’s that “but that’s another post” blog post about the snake.

Unlike squirrels and birds, snakes are not frequent visitors.  Thank goodness!  I’m not sure I’d want to have to deal with snakes on a regular basis.  My father’s family is from Kentucky.  There are a lot of snakes in the mountains out there.  Whenever we visited my  grandparents, Papa (pronounced poppy!) made sure we knew how to watch out  for snakes.   My father’s cousin (an adult male with children older than I am!) would tease us horribly.  We’d be walking down the dark dirt road and he’d come up behind us and pinch our heels so that we’d think a snake had gotten us.  (He really isn’t mean and he makes the BEST chicken and dumplings.  Of course he learned from his mother, my grandmother’s sister, who learned it  from her mother.)

I remember one summer playing in the creek.  I saw a snake!  A scary one!  I thought it looked like a rattlesnake.  I yelled for Papa and he came running with a shovel.   It turns out that it wasn’t really a snake.  It was the shed skin of a snake.  <shudders>.

Back to the present.  My children, warned of the dangers of snakes, still find them fascinating.  I am certain they get this trait from my their aunt, my sister, who once had a baby boa for a pet.  <shudders>

Several years ago we had a snake in our backyard.  It was there for a few days and then was gone and for years we never saw another one.  Until this summer.   Though this is NOT the same snake from years ago, this one has made more than one visit these past couple of weeks.  The pictures are from his first visit a few days after the 4th of July.

black snake in grass


What creatures have you seen in your backyard? I’d love to hear what wildlife frequents your neighborhood.


Crew Review: Webber HearBuilder Following Directions

Auditory processing, how the brain perceives and interprets sound information,  is  foundational  to our ability to follow verbal directions.  “Following verbal directions requires strong knowledge of basic concepts and the ability to process and retain auditory information.” (p. 23 Instruction Booklet)

Cover Image Following Directions

Webber HearBuilder Following Directions teaches 40 basic concepts.  What are basic concepts?  These are the the words that we need to understand in order to perform tasks like following directions or engaging in conversation.

Basic concepts taught include:

  • Basic Colors ~ red, blue, green, yellow
  • Quantities ~ one, two, all, both, either, except, none, or, and , don’t, not
  • Sequence ~ first, second, third, next, then, last
  • Shapes ~ circle, square, triangle, star
  • Size ~ large, small
  • Time ~  before, after
  • Spatial Relationships and Positions ~ first, second,third, last, between, next to, above, below
  • Condition ~ hot, cold

Students become “master toy makers” and build “their own Toy Central Factories” while working on auditory training activities.  There are 5 targeted skills. Each “toy factory room” focuses one skill. 

The 5 Targeted Skills:

  • Basic Directions ~  The Tool Room: this has 14 levels.  Starts with “Click on the Dog” and advances to “Click on the large blue dog that is spinning below the boat”
  • Sequential Directions ~ The Toy Machine Room: these 7 levels target the ability to follow multistep directions in order.  Level one starts with “Set the size to large and press start” and the activity progresses to “First, set the size to small. Second, set the color to blue, and finally press start.”  Some levels require the steps to be completed in the exact order and some levels allow any order.
  • Quantitative and Spatial Directions ~ The Toy Inspection Room: with 20 levels student progress from “choose two dollhouses” to “Choose the third small red plane.”
  • Temporal Directions ~ Toy Packing Room: Uses the concept words before and after in different places of the sentences.  14 levels moving from “put a train in the box before you put a duck in the box,” to “Before you put the blue Frisbee in the box, put the red duck in the box.”
  • Conditional Directions ~ Toy Shipping Room: this activity provides directions containing conditions.   This room has 14 levels.  At level one directions are similar to “If a doll is in the box, put the box on the truck.” At level 14 the directions are more like “if a green doll is in the box, put the box on the large truck; if not, put the box on the small truck.”

My Thoughts: I admit that auditory processing skills are near and dear to my heart.  Closely related to the skills of following directions is auditory memory.  A strong auditory memory is necessary to process the different steps in complicated directions.  I love that Following Directions stretches those auditory memory muscles. The stronger the auditory memory, the easier it is for the brain to process, perceive and interpret the verbal data presented. 

I was a bit concerned when Supergirl mastered and completed the “Tool Room” which focuses on basic directions.  Did I underestimate my daughter’s abilities?  Is the program not as strong as I hoped? Are all the “rooms” going to be this easy for her?  Yes, I did slightly underestimate my daughter’s abilities.  Yes the program is as strong as I hoped and not all the rooms were that easy for her.  This has been a great product for her.  She has completed 3 of the 5 rooms.  I like this program for her because it is engaging and stretches her auditory memory muscles which increases her ability to process information received verbally. When she completes the whole factory, we’ll start over.  Eventually, I’ll have her try the expert level which adds background noise to the activities.

This product is intended for children in the Prek-3rd grade range but I did have my 17 year old daughter start at the advanced level.  She has always struggled with following directions and we suspect that she has some type of mild auditory processing issue.  She was not as dedicated to using the program as Supergirl.  BooBear did share with me that “maybe it would have been better for me if it wasn’t so babyish.  I wish we’d had this when I was younger. Some aspects were good for me like the part where we put stuff in the boxes. You’d have to actually think about it for minute in order to figure out which toy to put in the box first.”  I want to have BooBear try the expert level.  Though the games and activities were too young for her, I think she would greatly benefit from having to filter out the background noise.  I do not regret having her try the program. 

Thoughts from Supergirl: “I like it. It’s fun. I like the truck room [shipping].  I get to drive when I complete a level. I like to get all the toys.  [reward game in the Toy Inspection Room]”

I would not recommend this program to older students who do NOT have trouble following directions but I do highly recommend this program for ALL children in the target age range.

Webber HearBuilder Following Directions, intended for grades prek- 3, is available from Super Duper Publications for $69.95 for the Home Edition.  A Professional Edition is also available.  The crew also reviewed a few other Super-duper Publications products: HearBuilder Auditory Memory and a game, Jeepers Peppers.  You can check out the online catalog for more great ideas!

Super Duper Logo

Super Duper Publications has provided a coupon code for Webber HearBuilder Following Directions.  With this coupon you can save 30% on this product.  Coupon is valid until 8/31/2012.   Coupon Code: BLGFD30.  For more coupon codes visit the other crew reviews.

Click on the banner below to read what other Crew Members had to say about the three different Super Duper Publications products we reviewed.

All information is correct and accurate as of the date of this review.

Disclaimer: As a Schoolhouse Review Crew member, I received the Home Edition of Webber HearBuilder Following Directions free of charge to review. I am required to write a review but I am not required to write a positive review. This review contains my and/or my daughters’ honest opinion with, hopefully, enough detail as to why I/ we liked or did not like a product so that my readers can make an informed decision. I received no compensation.

You can read my other Schoolhouse Review Crew Reviews by clicking here.


Crew Review: Knowledge Quest: Map Trek 6-E-book Set

One thing I’ve learned about teaching history is knowing where something happened is just as important as knowing when something happened.  Adding map work to any study of history will add depth to a student’s understanding.  Many history programs even suggest having students locate cities, countries and battles on a map.  Terri Johnson of Knowledge Quest understands this connection between history and mapping.


From the Introduction of Map Trek Vol. 4 Modern World:

“It only makes sense to study geography alongside history. In history, we learn about times, places and people. Geography covers the “places” part. Each aspect of historical study is important in its own right, but they cannot be studied exclusively of one another. For example, when you study Alexander the Great, it only makes sense to see the large land area that he conquered by looking at a map. Modern maps will not give you the same information or
perspective as historical maps do.” (p. 5)

The Schoohouse Review Crew had the opportunity to choose between two products: Map Trek 6-Ebook Set or the TimeMaps Collection.  This was a difficult choice to make and I wanted to shout: “BOTH.  I WANT BOTH.”  But I could only choose one so I chose the Map Trek 6-Ebook Set.

This collection includes the four World Map books and the 2 U.S. Edition books for a total of 465 maps!  The Map Trek U.S. Edition includes 53 historical maps and 53 unlabeled maps. The U.S. Edition even includes a map for each state!  According to the website:

“With Map Trek Historical Atlas and Outline Maps, your students can...

  1. See the landscape (i.e. the political boundaries, major cities, etc.) from the historical time period - instead of what the region is like today.
  2. Label places of historical significance on their outline maps.
  3. Color in empires, trace travel routes, draw scales and directional symbols, etc.
  4. Maps don't have to be boring... Students should feel free to experiment with colored markers, pencils, paint and even glitter (this is optional, of course!)
  5. Finished maps can be posted to the bulletin board or refrigerator or placed in a history notebook”

Sample Student Map

The Map Trek 6-Ebook collection provides:

  • Full color Teacher Answer Key Maps  ~ We didn’t just use these as answer keys.  Sometimes we used these as the resource to verify a location of a city or empire.
  • Unlabeled Student Maps ~ This has light shading on the water part so that the student can see water versus land but it is not so heavily colored that it uses so much printer ink or inhibits a student’s creative streak.
  • Lesson Plans ~ This is my favorite feature!  These are broken into three levels: A ~ grades 1-4;  B ~ grades 5-8 and C ~ grades 9-12.  I printed out the lesson plans for each of my students.  I love that these didn’t just include “label this or that” but also included items such as “Using the Internet, your history textbook or encyclopedia, research and explain the significance of the 36 degree 30 minute latitude line. Label it with its more widely known name.”
  • Grid Maps and Blank Grids ~ Students can use these to learn how to draw the landmasses.

Sample Teacher Map

 My Thoughts: These maps are so easy to use.  BooBear has been studying Sonlight’s 20th Century World History so she used maps from Vol. 4 Modern World.  Turtlegirl is using Sonlight’s History of God’s Kingdom.  For her map work we selected maps from Vol. 1 Ancient World and Vol. 2 Medieval World.  Tailorbear is using Sonlight World History In Depth.  She’s focused on the Middle Ages right now so her map work comes from Vo.l 3 Medieval World.  I’ve started using Story of the World Vol. 1 with Supergirl.  Map Trek Vol. 1 Ancient World is perfect.  Map Trek works so well with so many history programs that Knowledge Quest has made available curriculum integration guides.

But Map Trek doesn’t just go great with history programs.  We’ve been using Lightning Literature for English class and we’ve pulled out Map Trek to map out the Roman Empire at the time of Julius Caesar while reading and studying Shakespeare’s tragic play.

Thoughts from BooBear (age 17): “I really like maps in general. I like the visualness of seeing the map change throughout history when you compare maps.  I thought the upper level assignments in the lesson plans could use a little more challenge.”

Thoughts from Turtlegirl (age 14 1/2): “I like that you still get to color the maps even if you are in high school. The assignments were in good chunks. It added to my understanding of history.  It worked really well to work on it once a week.”

Thoughts from Tailorbear (age 13): “I can’t say I like maps. These maps are better then most though! I like how you can do more then just label the maps. Like for one of my maps we could find an encyclopedia and research the topic of the map. Overall a good product.”

The Map Trek 6-Ebook Collection is available as download for $47.  This collection is also available as a 2 CD ROM Set for $49.95.  Each of the 4 volumes are available for download for $14.95.  The U.S. Edition is available for $19.95.  If you scroll to the bottom of this page you will find samples to download.

Be sure to check out the Products page from Knowledge Quest to see all the goodies they offer including my favorite time line set History Through the Ages.

Click on the banner below to read what other Crew Members had to say about Map Trek 6-Ebook Set or TimeMaps Collection

All information is correct and accurate as of the date of this review.

Disclaimer: As a TOS Crew member, I received Map Trek 6-Ebook Collection DOWNLOAD from Knowledge Quest free of charge to review. I am required to write a review but I am not required to write a positive review. This review contains my and/or my daughters’ honest opinion with, hopefully, enough detail as to why I/ we liked or did not like a product so that my readers can make an informed decision. I received no compensation.

You can read my other Schoolhouse Review Crew Reviews by clicking here.


Preparing for a Summer Vacation er uh Staycation

Summer is finally here. The calendar says that officially summer begins the third week of June, but here in the Pacific Northwest (west of the Mountains anyway) summer doesn’t really begin until after the 4th of July.  Summer means vacation time! Birdhouse hanging from tree in sunshineI would love to take a real vacation.  Drive or fly somewhere fun, stay in a hotel and eat in restaurants. I wouldn’t have to cook or clean.  And we’d be taking a break from school so there would be no lesson planning or prep work, no teaching of lessons, no grading.  Wouldn’t that be lovely?  Well, we can’t afford to take a vacation.  (If we could, be going back to Minnesota to visit family and help  my uncle and aunt celebrate 50 years of marriage!)

We can’t go anywhere but I still need a vacation.  My husband needs a vacation and he has “use it or lose it leave” accrued.  My children do need a fun break from school.  What to do?  Have a staycation of course!

Honeybear and I sat down with a calendar and instead of him taking off a full week or two for a family vacation that we can’t afford, he’s taking two or three days off of 3 or 4 weeks this summer.  One of those 3 days off weeks, will be the longer staycation to enjoy a visit from his parents.  The girls and I will have the WHOLE week off and Daddy will join us from Wednesday to the end.

Since we’ll be staying home, I won’t have a maid to make my bed or tidy my hotel room, but I can do a few things to make the week more pleasant and less stressful.  We’re doing some DEEP cleaning and decluttering.  If the house is completely clean at the start of our staycation, I will feel more relaxed.   If we go on our day trips, we won’t be here to really mess up the house and coming home will be relaxing.  I’m also making sure the really cute quilts with the matching pillow shams are clean.  Then the bedroom will look more bed & breakfast cozy.

Speaking of breakfast, one of the things I love about staying at an hotel is that most of the time, a continental breakfast is available.(For free!)  Also, when you are on vacation you eat out so there’s no cooking to do and no clean up. We can’t afford to eat out every day during our staycation so I’ve come up with a plan to reduce the cooking we need to do that week.

The girls and I have done some meal planning and some grocery shopping and we’re going to do some cooking ahead to have meals ready to go with little to no work.   We have purchased bagels, cereal and muffins and we’ll be making breakfast sandwiches.  We’ll pick up some yogurt and fresh fruit for easy breakfasts that we can quickly eat at home or take with us to eat in the van on our longer day trips.

We’ve got baked ziti and hamburger patties in the freezer.  We’ll add come chicken breasts in marinade to the freezer.  They’ll marinate while they defrost and we can grill them for an easy dinner!  I’ll be adding some home made broth for a soup and making sloppy joes and spaghetti sauce.  If I do as much cooking/prep as I can BEFORE my staycation, then it’s like getting a mini-vacation from cooking that week.

By having meals planned, prepped and some what prepared, and by having the house extra clean, I’ll be able to relax a little more.  I’ll be able to spend more time creating memories with my children as we have fun and visit with their grandparents.  No I don’t get a complete vacation from cooking and cleaning, but I will get a vacation from home school and I will get to relax and have fun.

What are your plans for this summer?  If you home educate do you take the summer off? 


This weeks Blog Cruise topic is Summer Staycation Ideas. The Crew Blog post with all the links will be up Tuesday morning.  Next week’s Blog Cruise Topic is Summer Family Fun and I’ll be talking about some of the fun activities that we’ll be doing both on our staycation and over the summer.


Crew Review: Keyboarding for the Christian School Elementary Version

When I was growing up, keyboarding meant the typewriter.  And in college we advanced to “word processors” and then computers with “word processing software.”  Thankfully QWERTY** has stayed the same through the years.  In this age of technology it is even more important that our students have solid keyboarding or typing skills.  We might live in an era of “copy and paste” but not everything can just be copied and pasted.  Sometimes we still have to “type it in” or “type it out.”

Keyboarding For the Christian Home Cover

As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, Christian Keyboarding gave me a choice of E-Book Versions: Keyboarding for the Christian Home (grade 6 and up) or Keyboarding for the Christian Home Elementary Version Large Font Edition (grades K-5).  I chose the Elementary version.  I planned to use this primarily with Supergirl who is developmentally at a 1st grade level.  I noticed though that Turtlegirl really doesn’t touch type and though this is geared for younger students, I asked her to give it a try. 

Let’s talk about the program first:

**  From the book:  “We will be using the QWERTY keyboard. There are only two types of keyboards: QWERTY and Dvorak. Most people use
QWERTY. It has a funny name but QWERTY is just what people call it
since the first six letters shown spell out QWERTY.” (p. 7)


There are 32 lessons.  Since this program is intended for younger students this is a perfect pace for 1 lesson a week spread out over a typical 36 week school year.  This would still allow for an additional review and practice time.  Lessons 1-20 cover the alphabetic keys starting with the home row letters, then the top row, followed by the bottom row and finishing with the apostrophe and quotation marks. Lessons 21-25 introduce the numbers and symbols followed by lessons 26-29 which cover the number pad.  The last three lessons cover: Centering, Enumerated Lists, Timed Writing. The book also includes: a table of contents, an introduction, a section on typing technique, an index, and  a timing scale.

Cute cartoon ladybug

Mabel, the adorable lady bug, introduces each lesson with a bible verse, detailed instructions and for lessons 1-25 a colorful graphic of the row.  For lessons 26-29 there are photos of the number pad.  

Using it with Supergirl: First a little background.  Supergirl is developmentally delayed.  She functions (and looks) very much like a 6 year old.  Developmentally, a program for K-5 is a good fit for her.  In addition to cognitive developmental delays, she also has physical impairments.  Touch typing is a physical impossibility.  So why would I even try this program with her? Well, I want her to be comfortable using the computer.  I want her to be familiar with and know the locations of the keys.  We are working using her right index finger for typing the key and using her right thumb for the space bar.  We’re focusing on the first 29 lessons but we’re going at very slow pace.

Lesson 7: bible verse, and images

Using it with Turtlegirl (age 14 1/2):  She used this independently.  I handed her the Nook and she worked for 15-20 minutes daily.  She has had some experience with typing instruction but did not have the proper technique.  At first she completed 1 to 2 lessons per day because those keys were review letters.  Though I think she would benefit from using the regular program, this Elementary version was not “too babyish”.  When I compared samples between the two versions, the lessons are identical except for two things: 1) the elementary edition has Mabel and 2) the regular version introduces topics such as the tab key and some MLA formatting.

Thoughts from Turtlegirl (age 14 1/2):  “I like it. It is taken in small bursts: two keys at a time. I like that they don’t just have review lessons. The normal lessons include a section that reviews 3 of the most recently learned keys and the keys you just learned. When you’ve learned enough keys to make words, practice words are added to the review section, and then phrases and sentences. I like the practice it gives you. I also like the fact that it is easy to do 2 or more lessons in one sitting. “

Some things to consider:

  • Bible verses appear at the end of each lesson (lessons 10-20) That’s great except that it is hard to tell if the student is supposed to type those verses as part of the practice or not.  Sometimes the verses contain letters that have not yet been taught.  Turtlegirl found this annoying.  “Mom, how can I type this for practice if I haven’t learned those letters yet.”  Lesson 10 has a great bible verse but the letters v and n have not yet been taught.  N is not taught until lesson 13.
  • I reviewed the PDF or electronic version: I uploaded the PDF version of the book to my Nook Simple Touch.  I didn’t want to print out the book but I didn’t want to lose the opportunity to have Turtlegirl practice typing by reading the page off a non computer source.   For Supergirl I adjusted the window size and had the PDF version on the computer with Word Document open.  The letters to practice were on the top half and the space to type on the bottom half.
  • Students who are older or reading fluently and well can do this program independently.  I love this!  Turtlegirl is completely independent and working at her own pace.  The text is written to the student and is very easy to understand and follow.
  • There are no games or characters or bells and whistles to distract the student.  I’ve been so frustrated with other typing programs that are more entertaining than educational.  Turtlegirl isn’t tempted to go play games that do not improve her skills.  She stays focused on typing.  And Supergirl?  The colorful graphics and the ladybug keep it from being boring. 

My Bottom line: This is a great program.  I am pleased with how much Turtlegirl has improved with her typing.  I’m please enough that I am going to have my 13 year old daughter work through the program to improve her typing skills. If you are looking for a non-software program to teach typing skills, I recommend checking out the different programs available from Christian Keyboarding.

The e-book version of Keyboarding for the Christian School, Elementary Version is $12.95.  A hardcopy is also available for $45 which includes the full color book plus shipping and handling.  I am pleased to be able to offer my readers a 20% off coupon code.  This code expires 8-29-2012.  The code: SUMMER2012

Click on the banner below to read what other Crew Members had to say about these two e-books from Christian Keyboarding.

All information is correct and accurate as of the date of this review.

Disclaimer: As a TOS Crew member, I received this product free of charge to review. I am required to write a review but I am not required to write a positive review. This review contains my and/or my daughters’ honest opinion with, hopefully, enough detail as to why I/ we liked or did not like a product so that my readers can make an informed decision. I received no compensation.


I won the Sunshine Award!

I’ve been wanting to share with you about this really wonderful new blog that my friend started in May.  I really love her blog and I wish that I was more like her.  I love how she incorporates her faith into her homeschooling and I love how she blogs about it!

Well she awarded ME the Sunshine Award.  If I could award it back to her I would!  Her blog really does inspire and encourage me.  She’s inspired me to want to blog more.  Oh.  You want to know who it is and what the blog is where to find it? That would be helpful wouldn’t it. My friend, Anastasia, blogs at In the Shadows of Life.  Thank you, Anastasia, for the award!

Beautiful Orange Flower

The Sunshine Award is given from bloggers to "bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere."

Okay, so here's how the award works: 

First, you should thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them.  Next, answer the following questions about yourself.  Then, choose 10 of your favorite bloggers and link their blogs to your post.  Be sure to let them know that you are nominating them for the award. 

Last, be sure to copy and paste the award to your blog! 

Here we go!

1. Favorite color- I don’t know. Judging by my blog background it should be purple right?  But I think I’m partial to shades of red or hues that contain red so various shades of purple but also wine or burgundy.  I think it would be easier to say that I don’t like yellow.  Or orange but blues, greens and reds are fine LOL

2. Favorite animal- for a pet?  Or any animal?  I don’t know.  I love having cats as pets.  Trying to think.  Pretending to go to the zoo.  Which exhibit would I most want to see.  Ah ha.  The aquarium.   I  love whales and dolphins.  The Minnesota Zoo had Beluga Whales and watching them was my favorite part of a zoo trip.  I love watching water mammals. 

3. Favorite number- I don’t know that I have a favorite number.  14?  24? 

4. Favorite Drink- for a carbonated beverage I’d have to say my vice is Coca Cola.  I’m drinking a glass of coke right now.   For a hot beverage, I am very partial to earl grey tea.

5. Facebook or Twitter- I don’t get Twitter. I just don’t understand it so I’ve never bothered to get a Twitter account.  Guess I have to say Facebook.  I don’t really get that either but I do at least have a FB account. 

6. Good book or good movie- Book~ This is a tough question. There’s books that are good reads and then there are books that are so good they really are great.  I think I am overwhelmed with my choices so I’m going to go with Pride & Prejudice.  I love Jane Austen.  (And if you’re going to watch a movie version.. the only one I’ll watch over and over again is the one with Colin Firth.  I love Matthew Macfadyen but he’s no Mr. Darcy.

7. My passion- My faith.  Becoming more like Christ (I fail miserably but I’m passionate about striving for that goal!) and my family.  My husband and children mean everything to me.

8. Giving or getting gifts- I love giving gifts.  I enjoy picking out special gifts for people. I do love getting gifts but I think I’d rather give than receive.

9. Favorite day- I think Fridays because we do a lighter day and Friday evenings are family time.  Often they are “stay at home date nights”.  The children go off and play a game or watch a movie and my husband and I spend some time together.  Sundays are also a favorite day.  I love going to church and I love our lazy Sunday afternoons!

10. Favorite flower- Carnations.  I love carnations.  I also love lilacs.  I don’t know why I love carnations but I do.  My wedding flowers were a mix of Fire & Ice Roses and white carnations. 

Now you know a little bit more about me.

Now, the 10 8*** blogs that I would like to give the Sunshine Award to, in no particular order, are:

  1. Elizabeth at The Endless Road
  2. Lizzie at A Dusty Frame

*** there are far more blogs than 8 or 10 that I could give this Sunshine Award to but I’m choosing to stop at 8!

Please visit the blogs of my friends.  Each of them has inspired me in some way.


Think Back Thursday: Bridges

I thought about being cute and clever and posting a wedding picture or two with the idea that a wedding bridges two families.  My husband suggested a picture of one or more of the girls with books because “books are bridges to another world.”

I kept digging through or scrolling through the digital photos to find a picture of a bridge.  I found one from 2004 of the family (minus me the photographer!) and in the background you see a tiny little bridge.  The girls vetoed that one: “the bridge is microscopic, Mom.  You can hardly see it!”

I found two pictures that I could pretend were bridges but my conscience would not let me choose them.  Both photos were from a trip to the seashore with the grandparents a few years ago. 

Wait, I thought.  Didn’t we get any pictures with the digital camera at the waterfall?  There’s got to be a bridge at the waterfall.  After checking multiple different folders on TWO different thumb drives, I finally found a bridge picture.

But I can’t resist the idea of posting a wedding picture (maybe because the bride is so beautiful and the little girls just adorable). This bride was a junior bridesmaid at my wedding which was ten years before this picture. This wedding was 8 years ago.  It was also BooBear’s 9th birthday.

The beautiful bride with her three young cousins

Boobear is on the left.  She turned 9 that day.  Tailorbear’s in the middle.  She was 5.  Turtlegirl is on the right end she was 6 1/2.

Instead of reading a book, I decided this picture shows the excitement of bridging to another world through a book.  Turtlegirl loves dragons and she especially loves the How to Train Your Dragon series.  She was very happy to receive one for her birthday.

I'm so happy it's a book!

So now on to the real bridge photo.  A couple of years ago BooBear and Turtlegirl went to a girls retreat for a week on the other side of the mountains.  We turned picking them up into a day trip to the falls.  It was a gorgeous day and the falls were beautiful.

Double Waterfall with Bridge

Thank you Debbie for hosting Think Back Thursday over at Debbie’s Digest!  Come join in the fun!


Crew Review: Who Is My Neighbor? (Apologia)

Apologia: Learn, Live & Defend The FaithIn the Bible, Jesus tells us to “love our neighbor.”  Being human, the first question must be “but who is my neighbor?” And the next logical question, for me anyway, is “how do I love my neighbor.”  In Who Is My Neighbor? (and Why Does He Need Me?), the  3rd book in the “What I We Believe”  series from Apologia, students focus on “becoming more like Christ by serving others.”

Before expressing interest in reviewing this product, I read through the FAQ for the  What We Believe series.  After reading  that Volume 3 “will focus on how we are meant to become more like Christ by serving others,”  I knew I needed to know more.  I want to become more like Christ by serving others.  I want my children to become more like Christ and I want them to serve others.  Thankfully, Apologia offers sample lessons and a table of contents.  I liked what saw and I eagerly expressed interest.

Cover of the Who Is My Neighbor Book Written directly to the student, Who Is My Neighbor? requires a 5th to 6th grade reading level. This Worldview Curriculum is suitable for 1st grade through 8th grade (or ages 6-14).  Older students, like my Tailorbear can work through the program independently, whereas younger students will need someone to read the text aloud or help them with the reading.  In addition to the textbook, Apologia also offers a Notebooking Journal and a Coloring  Book.

I’ve chosen to use this resource with both Tailor Bear (age 13) and Supergirl (developmentally delayed, she works at a 1st grade level).  We’re following the suggested schedule of working 2 days per week. I read aloud from the textbook($39) while Supergirl colors a page or two from the coloring book($8).   We stop and discuss things along the way and later in the day or the next day, Tailorbear works through the Notebooking Journal($24) on her own.

I was a bit worried that Tailorbear would not be interested in the journaling aspect but she surprised me and even completed pages that I told her were optional.  It was for her that I wanted this study.  I wanted her to see how valuable she is when serves others.  I want her to understand that she does make a difference and what she does is important. The Notebooking Journal adds such a depth to the study, that I cannot imagine using this program with children 6th grade and up without it. 

Key Features:

  • Text is written directly to student:  This means that if your child can easily read at a 5th to 6th grade level, they can read the text independently
  • Easy to use with Multiple Students: Though I primarily used this with the two students mentioned above, my other two children have “been around”.   It would be very easy to read aloud to all of them and have full family discussions.
  • Course Website:  Apologia has a course website for book extras.  This is password protected but the website address and password are in the introduction section of the book. The course extras include teacher helps and lesson objectives.
  • Suggested Lesson Plans: The book lays out a general lesson plan that covers each lesson over 3 weeks.  The beautiful Notebooking Journal has a suggested detail schedule that lays out each day’s assignments.  I love the detail schedule in the journal and am using that with the two days a week pace suggested in the text.
  • Suggested Scripture Memory texts: Each lesson has suggested memory work.  You are free to choose whatever translation your family prefers.  We are using The Orthodox Study Bible.
  • Lessons are structured: Each lesson has these sections: The Big Idea, What Will You Do, Short Story, Think about It, Words You Need to Know, Hide it in Your Heart, Integrated Learning, What Should I Do?, Prayer, Encounters with Jesus (my favorite section!), Take a Closer Look, House of Truth.

Thoughts from Tailorbear (age 13): “If you like writing out  what you are thinking about the world and God, it’s perfect! I like this. Relatively speaking. It is a good exercise to help you understand what you should do to those around you! Overall this was a good product.”

My Thoughts: As an Eastern Orthodox Christian, I am usually hesitant about using Bible Study materials from a Protestant or Western point of view.  The FAQ states:

The entire What We Believe series is nondenominational in content. The authors of the curriculum, who come from different denominational backgrounds, have intentionally omitted from the course minor points of doctrinal difference that separate denominations in order to focus on the larger issues that inform our faith. You may choose to adapt the book’s terminology or expand on its lessons to cover what your church teaches about such doctrinal distinctives as water baptism or spiritual gifts.

I have found it very easy to bring an Orthodox view to the materials.  I am pleased with how well this is working for us and I recommend this volume for any family that wishes to focus more on becoming servants. 

In addition to the What We Believe series, Apologia also offers science curriculum, other books and more! 

Read what other Crew Members had to say about Apologia’s Who Is My Neighbor?

You can also read past Schoolhouse Review Crew reviews of Volume 1: Who is God? and Volume 2:  Who am I?

This Graphic contains the FTC Regulations statement for Reviews.

All information is correct and accurate as of the date of this review.
Read my other Schoolhouse Review Crew Reviews HERE.


Backyard Wildlife: Raccoons!

Because raccoons are normally nocturnal, it was quite a surprise and a shock to see this big ‘ole raccoon wandering through the yard during the afternoon.  She waddled across the lawn around the same time nearly daily. We thought this very odd.  And then she stopped coming around.  That was fine by us.  Boobear didn’t like having her trampoline time interrupted by a potentially dangerous wild animal. 

Mama raccoon making her escape!

After several days I noticed that the raccoon was no longer making her daily visits.  I pondered whether or not this was because someone had called animal control or perhaps the raccoon had found new territory.  I even wondered whether or not this had been the same raccoon that had made nightly visits last summer.

Then one day the raccoon returned.  She returned with her  family.  Not one, not two.  Not three like we thought but FOUR.  Yes, four baby raccoons.  Running, playing, climbing, and looking adorable.  I think we enjoyed watching them as much as they enjoyed the outing with their mother. 

Three baby raccoons climbing a tree.

I love watching the wildlife in our backyard.   Sometimes it’s like having zoo right out my back door! I enjoy the birds, squirrels, chipmunks and the raccoons.  The snake?  Not so much but that’s a topic for another Backyard Wildlife post.


Crew Review: Professor B Math E-learning

Though I had heard of Professor B math before, I had never really looked into the program.  When the Schoolhouse Review Crew announced that Professor B would be an upcoming vendor, I explored the website.  I read through the FAQ page and the philosophy page and decided that indeed I was interested in reviewing Professor B E-Learning.

I read "Well, mathematics is the academic area that studies structures for their own sake, and to build a structure, whether it be physical (like a building) or mental (like a story you know) you must connect the pieces (fragments) in a specific way.” I was intrigued by the idea of using connections to teach math.

Through the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I received a 1 year subscription to all three levels of the E-Learning program.  Each level of Professor B is equal to “3 years of Math”.   In other words, Level 1 covers Prek- 2nd Graders, Level 2 covers 3rd –5th and Level 3 covers 6th-8th.  All levels can be used for remediation of older students. According to the website one level should take about 10 months to complete.  

Using the Program with Supergirl (learning disabilities, developmentally delayed and works at a first grade level in most areas):
I started her at the beginning of LEVEL 1 with the very first concept.   Here you can see the table of contents for the first level. 

Table Of Contents Level 1

Some of those concepts are further divided into Lessons:

Lessons for Introduction to Addition and Subtraction

I thought I could skip over “Understanding ‘one’ through ‘ten’” but when I tried “complements of ten”,  I found that Supergirl needed more work with the foundational idea of number sense. For the understanding numbers concepts Professor B uses 5 stages to teach the number.  You are instructed to go through all 5 stages in each lesson for 2 to 3 lessons.  In theory then you would take 3 to 4 school weeks and have a solid foundation with number sense.  Supergirl still struggles with associating a group of objects (like balls) with a number.   With Professor B, though, I can go back and review this concept. 

We have now reached “Counting backwards from ten with fingers.”   This is an introduction to subtraction.  We have mastered “counting to ten using plus without fingers” which lays the foundation for addition.  This is the connection aspect mentioned in the philosophy.  Prior to starting Professor B, Supergirl could not make the connection that adding one is the same idea as counting the next number.  She is capable of memorizing her “plus 1 facts” but really didn’t understand the concept.  Now with Professor B she is making the connection that when she adds one to a number, it’s just like counting to the next number.  I am very pleased with how this is working for her.

Professor B Opening Screen

Using the Program with Tailorbear (age 13):
While Supergirl has focused on building number sense and grasping the relationship between counting and adding, Tailorbear has been solidifying her understanding of the relationship between decimals and fractions.

I primarily wanted o use the program with Supergirl but since Tailorbear was finishing 7th grade, I decided to try the program with her as well.  I let her use the program independently and we used this as a supplement rather than as the principal or spine math program. I looked at the topics covered in Level 3 and I mistakenly thought she wouldn’t get that much out of this program.  These were all concepts we had covered with our regular math program.  I was wrong.  Though we had covered fractions and decimals she had never really understood them.  Professor B helped her to make those connections that she needed so that she now understands the relationship between decimals and fractions.

Thoughts from Tailorbear (age 13): “It taught me some things that I kind of needed to know. I think it would teach kids how to do some things. The worksheets can be tough. I would suggest a parent sit with them or help them.  It helped me finally understand fractions to decimals.”

Transforming a fraction to a decimal

Some Things to Keep in Mind:

  • This is not intended as an independent program.  Though I let Tailorbear use the program independently, I made sure I was available.  From the website: “The decision to not have the Bee speak was intentional. We did not want parents leaving the student at the computer by themselves. If the child answers incorrectly, you would not know unless you are there. This is not a game. This is a teaching program.”
  • There is no sound in the program.  See the quote above.  This is intentional.
  • There are no student log ins.  Though multiple people in the family can use the program, only one log in is provided and only one computer can be logged in at a time.  Tailorbear and Supergirl could not use Professor B at the same time. 
  • No way to track progress within the program.  Parent/Teacher or student must make a note of which lesson is finished or which lesson to start with as this is not tracked at all.

At the time of this review, monthly prices are $20 a month.  Discounts are offered for purchasing more than one level at the same time.  They also offer a 1 year contract.   Professor B also offers an Algebra program and a few other items.  Check out their products page!

************************************Breaking News************************************

This post is edited on July 12 to add the following update on prices: (This information was provided by Professor B through the Schoolhouse Review Crew)

“We also have a new price change on our yearly subscription.  Our program can now be purchase for $100 for 3 years access to each level. Our IT department is working on changing the site.  However, if the customers call 678-765-6655 we will be able take their order and honor the new price.”


Click on the banner below to read what other Crew Members had to say about Professor B Math (E-learning)

All information is correct and accurate as of the date of this review.

Disclaimer: As a TOS Crew member, I received this product free of charge to review. I am required to write a review but I am not required to write a positive review. This review contains my and/or my daughters’ honest opinion with, hopefully, enough detail as to why I/ we liked or did not like a product so that my readers can make an informed decision. I received no compensation.