Wednesday, May 22, 2013

My Home School Grades - A Review

My Home School Grades is an online grade tracking program. Let me tell you, this product could not have fallen into my lap at a better time. We have been homeschooling for about 8 years. I have never really "graded" my children's work. Yes, I corrected their work and helped them learn from their mistakes. However, I didn't really see a need to track grades. We have reached the point in our homeschool life where we need to rethink that philosophy. My oldest is starting high school. I had been trying to figure out the best way to record and track his grades.

This program could not be simpler. Step one: Create an account. Step two: Add a student. Step three: Add classes, lessons, grades, activities and create your transcripts. OK, so step three may be really more than one step, but it really is not complicated. For me, the best part about this is that it is all saved online. I am not the most organized when it comes to paperwork. Trying to track my son's grades on paper, I would be sure to lose something. My other thought would be to create a spreadsheet. However, our computer technology is more than a little antiquated. I worry on a daily basis that one or both of our computers will crash and we will lose everything. Even with my tech troubles, I am able to access the website with no problems. I also know that I can go use a computer at the library if needed. No wait, on second though, I can access it right from my smart phone. If you have an Ipad or other tablet, it will work on there too. There is no app to install.

My Home School Grades is much more organized and easier to read than a spreadsheet. The bonus is that it also does all the calculating of grades and GPA's for you. Then, you can print out complete transcripts.

I could try to go into all the details of how to use the program, but they have laid out some great videos for you on the My Home School Grades website. Go check them out. While there, you can also sign up for a free 14 day trial. If you decide you love the program, the cost of $49.99 is for a lifetime membership. For me, I have 8 years until my littlest graduates. That breaks down to just over $6 per year. Not really, though. Many times, transcripts will be needed long after graduation. I'd call that well worth the price.

I received a membership in exchange for my honest review. I received no other compensation.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Waterproof Bible

Of all the things in the world to be waterproof, who ever would've thought of a Bible? On the flip side, of all the things in the world to be waterproof, what could be more important than the Bible? We really had fun with this review. My first thought when I saw I would be review it was, "What use would I have for a Waterproof Bible?" Then it arrived on my doorstep. I opened the box and found a pretty pink Bible. In my house when there is anything pink, that automatically means it's all mine. That is one of the benefits of being the only female in the house. At that point, I started listing all the places where it would be useful to have a Waterproof Bible.

One of my favorite places in the world is the beach. When I was in college, there was a local singing group that had a song about water and how it illustrated the Trinity. Ever since then, being near water makes me feel even closer to God. The vast ocean is even a more powerful testament of His creation. I would love to take my waterproof Bible to the beach.

However, that was not the first place I thought to test the Bible out. They wanted to me to thoroughly review this product. I was very excited to test it out. You see, my husband and I like to run in mud runs/obstacle races. We had a race scheduled in the review time frame. I really wanted to find a way to carry it with me on the race, but couldn't come up with a good way to do that. The boys were just spectators at the race. There were times when they couldn't really see anything. That was the perfect opportunity to give them the assignment to do what they could to the Bible. They also had the camera.

It got a little dirty, but not really bad enough that it would show up on the camera. The pages did not get damaged at all. It is truly amazing.

Don't worry, even though the pages are waterproof, you are still able to take notes and highlight. Regular ball point pens work, as well as pencil and dry highlighters. Gel pens and markers are not recommended as they need to absorb.

I got the NIV version of the New Testament/Psalms/Proverbs. I want to order one of the full version ones.The Bibles range in price from $24.95 to $44.95. What's really great is that they offer so many different versions. You can choose from NIV, ESV, King James, New King James, or NLT. The cover designs are pink, blue or camo. There's also an option for personalization. My only complaint is that the print is really small. I finally got my new glasses and can read it as long as I have them. I would love to see a large print version, as that is much easier on my far-sighted eyes. All in all though, I really think it's a great concept.

I received this Bible in exchange for my honest opinion. I received no other compensation.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Ooka Island - A Review and A Coupon

Ooka Island Adventure is a learn to read game for kids ages 3 - 7.  This was a challenging yet fun product for me to review. It was challenging due to technical difficulties. Our computers are just a little bit...shall we say...outdated. I had to try on both my laptop and desktop and couldn't get it to work properly. I finally got it to work on the laptop, albeit very slowly. The other challenge was that my kids are 10 and 14. They already know how to read. The funny thing is, I never actually taught them. My 14yo learned in a preschool program and then attended the government school for Kindergarten and 1st grade. My 10yo was at home, but just kind of taught himself. The fun part, was that I got to borrow a 5yo from one of my friends.

The website claims that five year olds will begin to read after about 8 hours of using the program. Unfortunately, since I was borrowing a child, I didn't get to fully test that out. What I was able to see of the program, however, I really liked. The child had a lot of fun playing the games. Since I only could get the program to work on my laptop, he had a bit of a learning curve to use the mouse pad. Once we got past that issue, he did well. I could tell by playing around on it myself for a bit, that it's something my boys would have really enjoyed when they were that age. I encourage you to check out some of the other Mosaic Reviews to get a better picture of the program from those who were able to use it more fully than I could.

I received this program in exchange for my honest review. There was no other compensation. You, however, can take advantage of this 30% off link:
This code is valid through June 1, 2013 for 30% off any annual or monthly subscription. The annual family subscription is already 37% off the normal monthly subscription, and this gives you another 30% on top of that.