Friday, April 29, 2011

I Can Study 1 Samuel Alone With God (TOS Review)

When I heard I was on the list to review a product for Greek 'n' Stuff, I trembled at the thought of teaching my girls Greek.  I've long admired Greek 'n' Stuff for their quality language programs because I've heard excellent reviews, but wasn't sure I was ready to tackle Greek (especially on top of the Latin that we're already studying in our co-op).  I was pleasantly surprised (and, admittedly, a tad relieved) to discover that Greek 'n' Stuff also publishes a great line of Bible studies for children, written by Karen Mohs, titled Alone With God Bible Studies.

Product Details

The I Can Study 1 Samuel consists of 39 weekly lessons, broken into three parts, with assignments for each day (Monday through Saturday).  Each week a section of the book of  1 Samuel is assigned, and each day's assignment starts with a reminder to pray, then recitation of the memory verse(s) for the week (not necessarily taken from 1 Samuel).  Each daily lesson includes several questions to answer from the week's passage, and each weekly lesson also includes several thought-provoking questions (sometimes including a bit of knowledge about the time, culture or geography) and a "think and pray about it" section which serves to make the kids think about real life application of what they've learned.  The 1 Samuel study is available here for $21.95, and is available in KJV or NIV.

What I like

That each and every day's assignment begins with a reminder to pray and ask God to help you study his Word.  How often we just delve in out of obligation to do our "daily quiet time," without asking for wisdom and guidance in studying God's Word.  I'd love to instill in my girls the habit of seeking wisdom early in their lives.

I like that, as the name implies, my oldest was usually able to study the book of 1 Samuel alone.  The way the study is set up allowed her to do a little at a time, by herself, and she felt good about that.  Rather than having me instruct her on what she should study, she took the initiative and did it herself.  Granted, we never completed a week's lesson in a week, and she often needed help with interpretating the questions and sometimes searching out the answer, but that's okay with me - we should learn how to search the Scriptures.   She still did a great job, as this was her first verse-by-verse Bible study.  

Note that while this study is targeted to upper elementary, I think it can cover a wider age range it appears to me to be fairly easily simplified for younger students or beefed up for older students.

Watch out for

The study is entirely in black/white.  My oldest, who has a few sensory issues, was fine with it.  My somewhat hyper younger daughter, who likes all things brightly colored, sometimes had trouble focusing because it didn't keep her attention due to the lack of color and because most of  the pages are set up similarly.

If you have a younger child who wants to do this study, consider using the NIV for the simpler language.  The study is targeted to upper elementary-aged students, but my 3rd grader wasn't happy about being left out of a Bible study opportunity, so I ordered an extra copy of the study for her.  She had some trouble studying the KJV, an I suspect the NIV would have been a tad easier for her to use.

Be sure to

View the complete Greek 'n' Stuff catalog here.  

View sample pages for this study here (using KJV) and here (using the NIV). 

Check out the rest of the Alone with God Bible studies here

Final thoughts

I really liked this study, and hope that they publish more in this series.  What a great gift to our children to teach them to do independent Bible studies while they are young!

Thoughts of my crew mates

To see other reviews of this product, click here. For giveaways, other product reviews and other fun things, follow the 2010-2011 TOS Homeschool Crew blog at:

Disclaimer: As part of the 2010-2011 TOS Homeschool Review Crew, I received the product described in this review (in pre-production form) at no cost in exchange for my fair, honest and unbiased (and not necessarily positive) review. No other compensation was received.

Friday, April 22, 2011

See the Light - Art Class (TOS Review)


Like most kids, my girls love creating.  For some reason I find it challenging to make time for art - that's one reason I was excited to learn we'd be reviewing a sample of the art lessons from See the Light.  

We received the first DVD (Volume 1: The Basics) in the1-year Art Class DVD set, and immediately upon starting the DVD the girls were hooked.  

Product Details 

Art Class includes 9 DVDs, with each DVD containing 4 regular lessons for a total of 36 regular lessons. The first three DVDs also include a bonus lesson.  The Art Class set is available here for $99.95.  An online subscription is also available for $10 per month, which will unlock 4 lessons per month (you can also view prior lessons). Payment by Paypal is required for the online subscription. 

The lessons contain step-by-step instructions taught by Master Artist Pat Knepley.  Each lesson is approximately 15 minutes and provides follow-up activities for more practice on the techniques taught in that lesson.

The target age for this series is 6-10, but I think that upper age range is a bit low - since I enjoyed them and learned some things, I think older kids would like them too, especially those without any practical art instruction.

What's covered on each DVD?

Volume 1 - The Basics
Volume 2 - Shape and Space  
Volume 3 - Value and Color
Volume 4 - Color Blending Techniques
Volume 5 - Proportions for Composition
Volume 6 - Texture and Form
Volume 7 - Perspective for Landscape
Volume 8 - Balance and Foreshortening
Volume 9 - The Portrait  

You can see detail on the lessons included on each DVD here or here (click on each DVD for a summary of its contents).  The DVD that we reviewed (the first in the series) included:

Lesson 1 - Tools of the Trade: the basic things you need to have on hand to be ready to draw

Lesson 2 - It All Starts with a Line: instruction on different qualities of a line and about contour drawing 

Lesson 3 - Contours & Composition: how to train your eyes and hands to be in sync and work on a composition 

Lesson 4 - Draw What You See: how to draw a contour drawing of a shoe. 

Bonus Lesson - Chalk Artist Gloria Kohlmann teaches how to draw “Cross Hill,” the art shown on The Crossmaker DVD

Find out more about the Art Class lessons in this video:

What I like

Pat's teaching style - it's friendly and engaging and, most importantly, easy to undersatnd.

I like the step-by-step instructions.  I was very impressed with what the girls were able to do after only watching the DVD once.  Check out their very first attempts:




I like that it gives the girls confidence to draw- just look at those smiling faces! 

My favorite thing is that this is an art curriculum that we can and will actually use.  I have a couple others that sit on the bookshelf and taunt me. 

I wish...

There was an optional workbook containing more practice suggestions for each technique, and perhaps providing more information on the art history topics that were covered in the lesson.  I know they use "no workbooks ever" as a selling point, but we like workbooks!  I know I could find these things myself, but with my work schedule I like having the option to pay someone else to do it for me!  

While I love the Biblical application and devotions provided by the artist, I wish it could be done primarily at the same time she's illustrating the concepts, rather than separately.  The lessons are fairly short, so the girls wanted the entire lesson to be strictly art.  Don't get me wrong - I love any and all opportunities for the girls to hear the Word - I just wish the art instruction itself would continue during the short devotion/discussion.

I hope the rest of the DVDs (remember that we only received Vol. 1) include a bit more art history.  

Watch out for

Make sure to preview the lessons to make sure you have the necessary supplies on hand before you allow your kids to view the lesson.  (I learned this the hard way - please learn from my mistake!)  While most of the lessons can be done using only pencil and paper, it does add a lot to the lesson to have the suggested supplies

Be sure to


 Click here to request the first DVD in the series for free!!

Check out other instructional yet fun stuff here 

Check  out the free lessons available here. 

Watch a replay of a recent webinar by The Old Schoolhouse and See the Light here - watch quick, as I believe this webinar will only be available for about six months.  The webinar will give you much more information about the course and the topics included, plus there's a discount code mentioned!

Be sure to watch the website for new products - I understand Art Class 2 (along with several other  is in the works! 

Check out the Bible story DVDs, containing a Bible story told through art and art lessons.  Available now are The Crossmaker (the story of Easter, which includes lessons on creative lettering, chalk pastels and water color) and The Gift of Love (the story of Christmas, which includes lessons on creative lettering, colored pencils and chalk-art techniques).  I understand more Bible story DVDs will be available soon.

Final thoughts

This is the first art curriculum that I've felt really comfortable with.  The girls can learn art techniques without waiting for me to get my act together (other than making sure I have the correct items on hand for them to use), so they're thrilled! 

I'm putting the complete Art Class series on my wish list.  When I get it, I'll bless another family by sharing the duplicate Volume 1 we'll receive with the set.

Thoughts of my crew mates

To see other reviews of this product, click here. For giveaways, other product reviews and other fun things, follow the 2010-2011 TOS Homeschool Crew blog at:

Disclaimer: As part of the 2010-2011 TOS Homeschool Review Crew, I received the product described in this review at no cost in exchange for my fair, honest and unbiased (and not necessarily positive) review. No other compensation was received.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Nutrition 101: Choose Life! (TOS Review)

Take one look at me and you can tell nutrition hasn't been high on my priority list for the last several years.  With my 50th birthday looming, the thought has (briefly) crossed my mind that (perhaps) I should take better care of myself.  After all, I have two little girls who need their mommy to stick around for a long time.  You'd think that thought alone would be enough for me to improve my eating habits (not to mention making sure that my girls have the right foods to eat).  Just hearing that certain things are bad for me hasn't seemed to make much difference.  I guess I need the proverbial dump truck to back up and dump its load on my head to get the point across.

Nutrition 101: Choose Life! appears to be that dump truck.  This 448-page family nutrition and health program, by Growing Healthy Homes, explains not only the basics of starting and maintaining a healthy diet, but also provides the reasons for having a healthy diet.

Product Details

Nutrition 101: Choose Life! consists of 448 pages chock full of information not only about diet, but also about how our bodies work and the way what we consume affects our bodies.  

It is available in printed/bound form for $99.95, on a CD for $79.95, and a combination of the two formats (printed and CD) is available for $129.95 (the combination set would be my preference, because I like printed books, but I also like the flexibility of printing specific pages from the .pdf).

Don't let sticker shock over  the price deter you.  This book, in my opinion, is worth every penny.  This study is not the customary anatomy textbook - it is a beautiful, interesting and compelling introduction to (or reminder of) the importance of diet and nutrition and of taking care of your God-given body. It is set up in a similar fashion to a unit study, and contains six units covering the 12 main body systems:

Unit 1: The Brain and Nervous System
Unit 2: The Digestive System
Unit 3: The Respiratory, Olfactory, Auditory and Visual Systems
Unit 4: The Muscular and Skeletal Systems
Unit 5: The Cardiovascular and Immune Systems
Unit 6:  The Endocrine System and Emotions

Each unit is divided into chapters which include such things as how each body system functions, what it needs to function properly and efficiently, the effects of the food we eat on the body system, discussion questions, activities, and recipes.  

The book also includes an activity guide, which serves as an answer key for the activities.  Beginning on page 305, the book provides a wealth of reference information in the form of appendices, including such things as how to select fresh produce, an alkaline/acid chart, sugar alternatives, cancer, sleep, spices for good health, healthy home resources, and too many other references to list.

The following video will tell you more about Nutrition 101: Choose Life!

What I like

Tons of incredible information.  Tons.

The chapters are intended to be completed in a week, but there is so much information (and so many potential rabbit trails to follow!) that we are going slower than that, and have found it easy to adapt to a longer schedule.  I also plan to go through the entire book now as an overview (not doing all the activities or following all those beloved rabbit trails), and then go back through it when the girls are a bit older and do a more in-depth study.


The discussion questions sparked lots of great conversation, and the activities and recipes inspired several very interesting trips to the grocery store!  

One of the more interesting things we have done so far was to make our usual list and shop as we normally do, then go back and look at everything in our cart to see if there was a healthier alternative.  I think it was an eye-opener for my girls!


My girls, especially my youngest, loves to experiment in the kitchen.  We're enjoying trying the recipes included in the book.  Not all of them are being readily accepted, but I'm hopeful.  I've always enforced the "three bites, four times" rule - when I serve something new, they have to take three bites of it.  After the fourth time I serve it, if their reaction is still "yuck", I don't force them to eat it.  Because of this rule, my oldest will now eat her weight in asparagus.  I'm hoping that rule will allow us to introduce many of these new recipes into our regular menu.

I was struck by the vividness of the pictures in this study.  It truly is a beautiful book.

I wish…

I have not yet read this entire book (remember - it's 448 pages!), but so far I can't think of anything I would do to improve this book.  My only wish might be that my girls would accept all of the changes we need to make.  My kids, like many others, are fairly picky eaters - but I think any improvement will be a great start!

Be sure to

Attend the webinar hosted by The Old Schoolhouse tomorrow, April 21 from 4:00pm - 5:30pm EDT,  with Sera Johnson (one of the authors of Nutrition 101: Choose Life!).  Register for the webinar here!!

Read an excerpt (including the complete Table of Contents) here.

Growing Healthy Homes has provided a 15% off coupon for your use!  Use the code TOScrew11 and you'll be given the same discount you would receive at a homeschool conference!

Check out upcoming conferences where you can see this and other products from Growing Healthy Homes.  Click here to see upcoming events (be sure to click "next 5 events" at the bottom of the page). 

Click here to stay up to date with current news from Growing Healthy Homes. 

Final thoughts

If my health/nutrition class in school had used a book this interesting, I'd know a lot more about how my body works and what it needs - and would probably be a lot healthier.  It's never too late, though, so I'll be implementing as many of the suggestions as possible into my family's diet. 

It bears repeating - this book is worth every penny of its price.

Thoughts of my crew mates

To see other reviews of this product, click here. For giveaways, other product reviews and other fun things, follow the 2010-2011 TOS Homeschool Crew blog at:

Disclaimer: As part of the 2010-2011 TOS Homeschool Review Crew, I received the product described in this review at no cost in exchange for my fair, honest and unbiased (and not necessarily positive) review. No other compensation was received.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Meet me on Monday - 4.4.11

Here's a fun weekly meme that I also hope to participate in - kind of a "get to know me" meme.  Click on the pic above to get to know other bloggers!

1.  If you had to eat only one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Wow.  I'm not even sure how to begin contemplating that.  There's no one thing that sticks out that I could survive the rest of my life on.  If it could be a food type, then maybe mexican - but I don't think I can narrow it down any further than that!

2.  Do you write your blog posts in advance or the day you post them?

Last minute.  Almost every single time.  Sometimes I get started early, but finishing always goes down to the wire. One of these days I'll surprise myself and be finished early. 

3.  Have you ever ridden in an ambulance?

Thankfully, no - and I'm not looking forward to that first time. 

4.  What is your favorite candle scent?

Cucumber Melon.  I also like Clean Cotton, but somehow Cucumber Melon always makes me happy.

5.  Coffee or tea?

Another hard one!  I can't survive without my coffee - often the coffee's caffeine plus the loads of sugar that I put in it are the only things that keep me going.  But I am a Southern girl, so I also love my sweet tea.   Can I pass on this question?

Goal Planning Monday - 4.4.11

Here's my second post for Goal Planning MOnday.   How'd I do on my first goals which I set, ahem, over a month ago?  

Epic fail.  Almost.  I did manage to get our new mattresses ordered - this past Saturday, when I realized I wasn't going to be able to report that I accomplished any of my goals.  In 4-5 weeks, My Hero and I will be sleeping on a comfy, new mattress.  Did I mention that the mattress set we're using is the same one I purchased when I moved out on my own the first time 25 years?  It was time for a new mattress.  

Clean slate now.  No going back to the old goals, even  though they're in the back of my mind.

New goals for this week:

1 - avoid big projects at work.  I've been working 40+ hours a week since at least mid-January (often more than that - one week was 90 hours!), and I'm supposed to be part-time.  I miss my children.  I miss my family.  I miss my sleep!  So the goal this week is to avoid any more big projects and to attempt to communicate that I really want my part-time job back, at least for the foreseeable future.

2 - decide on color/stain for new kitchen cabinets.  All that overtime I've worked since January will be paying for new kitchen cabinets and new granite countertops.   I can't pick a granite color until we pick cabinets.  Maple or cherry?  I was sure My Hero would go for Maple, but lo and behold he picked cherry!  Now I'm afraid it will make my kitchen look like a cave if I pick the granite that was my favorite, because it's dark.  So, hopefully we'll have time this week to go look at cabinet options.

3 - clean the house.  You can imagine how it looks with me working so many hours.

4 - accomplish goal #3.  I thought cleaning the house deserved two spots on the goal list.

No more goals for this week.  I think that's enough!  

Hopefully I'll be more successful with this list than I was with the last one! 

Thanks to Mama Manuscripts for getting me started on goal setting Mondays!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

So much for doing this meme every week.  I did my first and only post in this in late February, and here it is early April!  Oh well, the best laid plans, right?

In my life this week...

It was a tremendously busy week at work - 50+ hours, a lot when I'm supposed to be part-time.  Actually, most of my weeks so far this year have been 60+ weeks, so I should be thankful that last week was "better."  Of course, I took yesterday off, or my hours would have been higher.

Punkin's woke up yesterday morning with pinkeye, and her skin is infected again.  Ugh.  We are both so tired of struggling with her eczema.  And if I hear one more person ask me "have you tried putting lotion on it?" I may just scream.  Yes, thank you, we've tried pretty much every lotion on the market, or at least it seems like it.  Currently we're testing for gluten sensitivity.  I'm praying the test is positive - it will be hard to go gluten-free, but if that would help her skin, it'd be worth it.  In the meantime, she's on yet another antibiotic and yet another course of oral steroids - both for extended periods this time.  

In our homeschool this week...

We started in earnest reviewing our Classical Conversations memory work so that both girls could try for Memory Master.  I was surprised at how much they have learned.  They are still struggling with geography, so I'm not sure they'll make it to Memory Master.  Punkin is ready to give up because she doesn't think she can do it (another side effect of severe eczema - lack of self worth).  I'm encouraging her to keep trying, but pushing her too hard makes her nervous, which makes her itchy, which doesn't help.  We'll see, I guess. 

Places we're going and people we're seeing...

No new places this week.  We are, however, planning our next trip to Europe.  My precious, globe-trotting mother-in-law will be in Italy in September,  so we're seriously thinking of going there this year instead of Germany.  Or maybe split our time between Italy and Germany.  Of course, we couldn't do this kind of trip but for the fact that we can stay for free.  If we truly get to go to Italy, I'm planning for us to take a side trip to Rome for 3-4 days - what a special treat to see in person some of what we've studied in ancient history!

Well, one new thing did happen this week - the Awana Grand Prix race was last night.  My Hero took Puddin and, since Punkin was sick, the Awana folks were kind enough to allow  him to enter Punkin's car too.  Puddin won all of her group races (awesome for the first time she's ever participated!), but her overall score wasn't good enough to win a trophy or prize.  My Hero took her to Braum's afterward to improve morale.

My favorite thing this week was...

Last night Punkin wasn't feeling well.  She wanted to read, so we crawled into bed together.  Just this week I downloaded 60+ free G.A. Henty books to my Kindle, and recently I had downloaded several Beatrix Potter books.  I grabbed the Kindle and read a Beatrix Potter story to her, and she wanted me to read more.  As I started looking for the next Kindle book, she said "Can we read a real book?"  Bless her!  I worry about all the e-readers replacing printed books, but that one statement told me I've instilled a love of books in her - one of my main goals when I started homeschooling.

 What's working/not working for us...

 My working so many hours is not working for us.  It's working financially, but it feels like (to me) that everything else is falling apart.  Unfortunately, I can't quit working just yet.  Praying that that happens soon...

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have...

Our Classical Conversations co-op will be on Cycle 3 next year - U.S. history, Columbus through today.  Recently I ordered the ancient history Mystery of History curriculum.  I want the girls to have an overall picture of how Biblical history fits with world history, and I wanted to start at the beginning.  Now, though, I'm wondering if I shouldn't have ordered the Mystery of HIstory that would fit in with the time period that we'll be studying in co-op.

Decisions, decisions... 

A photo, video, link, or quote to share...

Those of you with children who take what you say literally will appreciate this.

Puddin has been reading a book I picked up at some point called 365 TV-Free Activities You Can do With Your Child (by Steve & Ruth Bennett).  The activities are fairly quick and easy, but entertaining.  Puddin also likes all things that have to do with the kitchen  - cooking, mixing, etc.  She found an activity describing how to make "oobleck."  What's that, you say?  It's a mixture of cornstarch and water that makes "glop."  She found an unopened can of cornstarch in our pantry, and proceeded to make oobleck.   My only requests when she were done was that she (1) clean up and (2) put the remainder of the cornstarch in a plastic bag.

She did a fairly good job of cleaning up.  Here's the result of my request to put the remaining cornstarch in a plastic bag:

There's absolutely no argument that she did what I asked her to do. 

Until next time.. 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Ultimate Blog Party 2011!!

Ultimate Blog Party 2011

I love a good party!  I don't attend many parties now that I'm a mom (well, honestly, I never really attended that many parties), but as any mom knows having children is a party in and of itself.  But I do love an online party...and a blog party is right up my alley! 

Enter the Ultimate Blog Party 2011.  It's a great way to introduce yourself and your blog and a great way to virtually meet other moms whose blogs might interest you - whether it's product reviews and giveaways, specialty blogs, business blogs, or daily life blogs, there's something for everyone!

My blog has been fairly neglected recently, as "real life" has gotten in the way - most of my recent posts are product reviews, but that will change soon.  I'm a homeschooling mom who also works outside the home, and my work schedule has recently gone from 20 hours a week to 70+ hours a week which has left time for only the basics.   I started my blog as a journal of our homeschooling lives so that our family in Europe could keep up with our girls' accomplishments, activities and antics.  I hope you'll come back and visit once things get back to normal. 

In the meantime, go visit the UBP11 and discover some new friends!

Z-Guide to Kit Kittredge (Zeezok Publishing) (TOS Review)

Media is an overwhelming influence in today's society.  I'll admit that we are a media family - my girls love to watch TV and movies.  I admire families who are media-free, but that will likely never describe our family.  I do my very best to make sure that their viewing strikes a balance between "strictly fun" and "educational", although much of it tends to be both - since they love to learn, they think educational is fun.  In the current TOS review product by Zeezok Publishing I discovered a method to make great movies even better.  

In our house there is usually at least one American Girl doll within sight at any given time, along with a smattering of AG accessories.  When I learned I would receive one of Zeezok Publishing's ZGuides to the Movies for review, there was no question which one to choose - Kit Kittredge: An American Girl. (Note that the version we received to review was a pre-production version, so editing/changes have likely occurred.)


The story of Kit Kittredge is set during the Great Depression.  For those of us old enough, we heard stories from our parents and grandparents of what it was like to live through the this period in history.  The difficulty comes when we attempt to convey those stories to our children - children who have become accustomed to living in the "land of plenty."  That's where the Z-Guide to the Kit Kittredge movie becomes useful.  

Product Details

The Z-Guides are unit studies built around movies, which are provided as a CD containing a .pdf of the complete study guide or as a downloadable e-book.  Each guide is written for a specific version of the movie - the Kit Kittredge Z-Guide uses the 2008 New Line Cinema version starring Abigail Breslin).  

The guides include a topic overview, a movie synopsis, ten learning activities (together with an answer key in the back!) for in-depth study of the topics covered in the movie, and (my favorite) a "For Family Discussion" question list.  For the Kit Kittredge Z-Guide, those activities include movie review questions, a research assignment, decoding (and making your own) hobo codes, vocabulary, a "who am I?" activity (one of my girls' favorites!), and several other fun and educational activities.

The guide is designed for use over five days, with two activities per day: 

Day 1:
Activity 1: Movie Review Questions (you watch the movie in its entirety this day, then
          review other days if necessary)
Activity 2: Research the Great Depression

Day 2:        
Activity 3:  I Need a Sign...
Activity 4: Vocabulary can be Depressing

Day 3: 
Activity 5: Something New, Fresh, and Real
Activity 6: Fashion Runway: Great Depression Style

Day 4:
Activity 7:  Who am I?
Activity 8: Literary Devices:  Ironic Foreshadowing or Foreshadowing Irony

Day 5:
Activity 9: Worldview Activity
Activity 10: The Filmmaker's Art and Dramatic License 

The study allows you to pick/choose the activities to do, but the girls wanted to do them all.  However, we took a more than 5 days,  because we tend to follow a lot of rabbit trails.  Also, some of the activities are fairly lengthy (there are 25 questions in Activity 1!), so I suspect that two activities a day, depending on the age and attention span of the children, might be too much.

What I like

Watching the movie with purpose (instead of as simple entertainment) provided a different dimension. The family discusions questions spurred some fairly in-depth conversations, and I've seen the result of those conversations as we've driven around town and encountered homeless people stationed on street corners asking for help.

The Z-guides are affordable at $12.99. 

Doing the activities were very thought-provoking, even for me.  We learned a lot more about the Great Depression than I anticipated, and were forced to think through several issues that I would not have considered otherwise.

This study is also very timely for any family (depending, of course, on the age of the children) facing unemployment in the current economic environment. 

The activities cover a wide spectrum of topics regarding the movie and the historical period.  For example, Activity 10 incorporates filmmaking concepts - lighting, irony, music and color - and poses questions about how each of those elements is used in the movie to convey mood/atmosphere.

There are Z-Guides on several books that are used in literature-based curricula - A Tale of Two Cities, Johnny Tremain,  My Side of the Mountain, etc.  Using Z-Guides for these books would add another dimension compared to reading them, and would be great for auditory or visual learners.

I wish… 

While I know I can google for helpful websites to go along with the study, I'd love to see each guide include suggestions for 3-4 quality websites covering the topics in the study suitable for the age range of the guides.  (Recall that I received a pre-production version of this Z-Guide to use for this review, so this wish may very well have been added to the final version.) 

I wish the guides would include several suggestions for "younger students".  

Watch out for

Note the movie is not included with the guide.  Zeezok Publishing also offers the movies (and appears to have very competitive prices), or you can purchase/borrow them elsewhere. 

Some of the Z-Guides are available in downloadable e-book form, although the price is no different from the CD version. 

Be sure to

Check out the other Z-Guide offerings here.

Note the following license info from their website:  "This file is licensed to the original purchaser and is not to be resold. Permission is not granted for classroom, district-wide, school-wide, system-wide, or co-op use."

Final thoughts

Reviewing this Z-Guide added a fun and welcome break from our usual studies, and greatly enhanced our knowledge about the Great Depression.  Our local homeschool conference is coming up in May, and Zeezok publishing is a new vendor this year.  I'll be stopping by to add a couple more Z-Guides to our collection and plan to intersperse them throughout the year.

Thoughts of my crew mates

My crew mates reviewed this and other Z-Guides.  To see those reviews, click here. For giveaways, other product reviews and other fun things, follow the 2010-2011 TOS Homeschool Crew blog at:


Disclaimer: As part of the 2010-2011 TOS Homeschool Review Crew, I received the product described in this review at no cost in exchange for my fair, honest and unbiased (and not necessarily positive) review. No other compensation was received.