Archive for January, 2011



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An online math program that can stand alone or supplement your child’s curriculum.

Ten Marks offers lessons and personalized programs that cover all the core math skills and concepts your child will need…”

Ten Marks offers a free assessment for your child and will build a personalized curriculum for them, based on the results.  It services grades 3-10, but I think it has a bit of flexibility.

The creators say that this program is based on 3 simple principles:

  1. Personalized Learning Makes All The Difference.
  2. On-Demand Instruction Provides Help When You Need It.
  3. Practice Builds Confidence And Improves Achievement.

As the parent, you sign-up your child and he/she is given assignments according to grade level.  You can actually choose the number of worksheets given each week.  The default is 4, which works well for my two that are using this program.  You can choose as few as 3 to as many as 7, according to ease and progress.  Remember, these are tailored to each individual.

Video lessons



are available to help complete each worksheet.

There are practice pages and tests.  A current report card can be viewed by you or your child and there are printable certificates of mastery awarded when a skill is completed.  A unique system of reward is built into Ten Marks.  As a number of worksheets are done, games are unlocked.  My children have a set time to work on assignments and when they unlock a game they get additional time to play.

“Drive the taxi using the maximum possible speed.  Press the arrow keys to dodge other cars, accelerate and decelerate, and press the space bar to jump over them.”

You can also customize a reward for each child, e.g., 20 completed worksheets = 20 minutes on the Wii, or 30 completed worksheets = a Sonic milkshake; it is posted on their page as an ever present motivation toward a goal.

HERE is a video of “how it works,” by Ten Marks.

You can use the entire system for free AND there is a money back guarantee, if you are not satisfied after purchase.  I think they can offer a money back guarantee because they are confident in your satisfaction.  Ten Marks has excellent customer service and it is their desire to see your child achieve the highest marks they can in math.

China shouldn’t test higher than our children in mathematics!  10/10 can be achieved with Ten Marks.

Pricing is per child:

  • $10 a month
  • $49 for six months
  • $89 for 12 months

Contact ~


38 Glen Avenue

Newton, MA 02459



The TOS banner below will take you to more reviews of this program.

Encouragement and Blessings,

This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

Categories : Computers, Games, math, reviews, TOS
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Do you understand?

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The Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary for Kids is meant as a guide to perceive the meaning of; grasp the idea of; comprehend, and generally, make understanding the Bible easier AND that’s exactly what it does.

This is a stunning, 209 pages plus, hard cover book!  750 Bible words.

-Definitions and pronunciation guides for those words that you find yourself mumbling or stumbling over, because you’re not quite sure how to say them.  Like these entries:

  • “Gennesaret, Sea of (gih NESS uh ret) Also known as Sea of Galilee or Sea of Tiberias.  Jesus calmed a storm on this lake, and with Jesus’ help, Peter walked on water on this lake.  Luke 5:1”  and
  • “World – 1.) Planet Earth.  2.) In the Bible world often means the people who live on Planet Earth.  In John 3:16, Jesus said, “God loved the world in this way:  He gave His One and Only Son,” to all the humans in the world.  3.) The Bible also uses world to describe evil and people who do not know Jesus as Savior and choose to do wrong.  Nehemiah 9:6; Colossians 2:20.”

-Charts and illustrations.  Among many, you’ll find:

Insects of the Bible

  • Birds in the Bible;
  • Food in Bible Times, and
  • Names of God, with the reference, meaning and English name

Elohim ~ Genesis 1:1 ~ Powerful God ~ God

Jehovah Jireh ~ Genesis 22:14 ~ The Lord provides ~ The Lord will provide

Yahweh ~ Exodus 3:14 ~ Israel’s Covenant God ~ I AM

and more.

-500 vibrant, color photographs, from the likes of Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Joseph A Calloway Archaeological Museum, Kentucky; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Biblical Illustrator photographers – Bob Schatz, Ken Touchton; even NASA.

Moses leads the Israelites across the Red Sea on dry ground.

-Numerous maps and reconstructions reinforcing that “Bible stories are true and happened in real places.”

Reconstruction of the City of Corinth

Map of Egypt: Land of The Nile

Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary for Kids is kid-friendly without compromise.  I reference the Ten Commandments, Exodus 20:1-17.  In this dictionary, they are worded in a way that a child can understand without changing God’s meaning.

  1. Do not have other gods besides the One True God.
  2. Do not make an idol to worship.
  3. Do not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
  4. Keep the sabbath day holy.
  5. Honor your father and your mother.
  6. Do not murder.
  7. Keep your marriage promises.
  8. Do not steal.
  9. Do not lie.
  10. Do not want things that belong to someone else.

And… I can put off having to explain the nitty-gritty of adultery and coveting your neighbors anything, until they’re older.

B and H Publishing has a PDF sampler of this book you can download.

This is an outstanding resource for $14.99.  I was blessed that LifeWay Christian Stores gave me a copy for this review.  “LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention is one of the world’s largest providers of Christian products and services…”  Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary for Kids is available at LifeWay Christian Stores, your local bookstore, online and through the publisher.

Making the language of the Bible more accessible and understandable to young hearts and minds is a worthy investment, with the possibility of eternal dividends.  Compiled with ages 5 – 10 in mind, I found it beneficial for all ages.

Shop online or

Find a LifeWay Christian Store near you.

phone:  1.800.448.8032

Click the TOS banner below for additional reviews of Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary for Kids.


This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

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Hablo español!

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En serio, yo hablo español.  (Seriously, I speak Spanish.)  Only a little español, but a whole lot more than I did two months ago, before I was given Speekee TV online, to use and review.

Speekee is a language learning system for young children, generally ages 2-10 years old AND Speekee is the name of the main character in each episode.  150 minutes in 10 videos, with access to numerous worksheets and downloadable flash cards that reinforce the words and phrases taught; an entire scheme of work for the parent/teacher.

In each of the 10 units you will find yourself in Spain,  en el parque, en el café, o la casa.  Visitar el zoo, la clase, el mercado, la estación, la playa, el jardín y la fiesta!  With Speekee, a Jim-Henson-type purple puppet, his two sock-puppet friends, Dino and Lupi,  real Spanish children and Jim, you will go to the park, the cafe or the house.  You’ll visit the zoo, class, the market, the station, the beach, the garden and the party!  Through the immersion method, with songs and speech entirely in Spanish, your child, and you will learn everyday language, new language and praise words.  My favorite is estupendo!  /esstoopendoh/  Great!

$7.50 per month can be paid using PayPal or a credit card, giving you instant online access, with no minimum period of use or obligation AND Speekee offers a two week free trial.  There is also a full set of PAL formatted DVD’s available for a single purchase price.

Contact Speekee


telephone:  01422 820263

fax:  0871 714 2336


Lingua4 Ltd

Swift Cross Farm


Sowerby Bridge


United Kingdom

Me gusta Speekee!  I like Speekee and so do my young children.  I’ve  wanted to learn basic Spanish for years and I’ve wanted my children to speak it and understand it.  Spanish wasn’t even offered when I was in high school.  Our choices were French and Latin, and because I expected to go into a medical field, I chose Latin.  I appreciate the foundation, but it hasn’t helped me talk to my Spanish speaking neighbor.   Speekee is changing that and we’re all looking forward to having a real conversation in the spring.

Several of my crew mates received this program and they’ve shared their views on The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew Blog.

¿Habla usted español?  Do you speak Spanish?


This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

Categories : homeschool, reviews, Spanish, TOS
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Virtual Nerd

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As many of you know, we have homeschooled our children for years.  Teaching higher math has always been a challenge.  Usually, it’s the only subject I want to ship them out for or at least hire someone to come in and tutor them.  If  I thoroughly understand something, I tend to be able to break it down and teach it.  Notice that “thoroughly understand” and “higher math” are not in the same sentence.  The cavalry has arrived though and this challenge can now be conquered at

Virtual Nerd is an interactive video tutorial with over a thousand videos.  Presently covering Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Algebra 2 and Intro Physics.  Searching by keyword, topic or textbook, questions are asked and answered.  Students learn at their own pace, gaining a clear understanding of science and math concepts as they study.  A private tutor, available on your schedule, for a fraction of the cost.

Use the 2 hours FREE to see if this program works for you and read more reviews on the Homeschool Crew blog


Subscribe today:

Will this be your new conquering hero?  Let me know.

What other challenges do you face and who do you call when you need the cavalry?


This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

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See, Focus, and Remember

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See-N-Read Reading Tools are created by CadenaSmith Enterprises.  They have been thoroughly researched and tested.  The purpose of the tools are to help a reader – See, Focus, and Remember.

Simply:  if you can see, more clearly, what you are reading, you can better focus on the content and are more likely to achieve greater comprehension and retention of the material.

The regular See-N-Read tool is lightweight, flexible and easy to use.  It is blue grey with a clear solid read bar.  It’s available in two sizes:  3 1/2″x5″ book size (perfect for the Bible) and 3 1/2″x8 1/2″ document size (or a favorite for large children’s books.)

MemoryMark, is See-N-Read PLUS.  It’s also my favorite.  Same lightweight, flexible construction, but it has a cut-out read bar.  I can write notes, underline in a straight line (without keeping a little, flat, metal ruler in the back of the book I’m currently studying) AND highlight (in any of the cool new colors that aren’t yesterday’s yellow.)  We also found Memory Mark useful for math problems.  Flip it vertically to align columns and hold place values.

The one and only problem I found with this product is that I don’t have one for everyone.  Too many of us and not enough of them!  This can be easily rectified, though, because the price is reasonable.  Just $2.99 for a single, book size.

The eSee-N-Read is See-N-Read gone electronic for your PC.  The same feature of focusing on a line of text, but on your computer, controlled by your mouse.  “You can change orientation, size or shape of the tool and/or ReadBar™ to highlight specific text, data or images.”   You can have more than one open at a time and it reduces screen glare.

$29.99 for a download to be used on a single computer.  Additional prices are available for multi-packs of the See-N-Read or MemoryMark tools and also for the eSee-N-Read downloaded to 3 or more computers.

order ~

contact ~

2533 Sutton Lane

Aurora, IL  60502-9461

Phone:  1-630-236-5592

more reviews ~

Let me know if you like these tools as much as we do.


This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

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