Chasing Treasure {CLOSED}

Here’s a fun little giveaway, just because!

Check out Victoria’s post over on DenSchool and use the Rafflecopter form below to enter to win a Chasing Treasure Trinket Box!


TOS Sweet Critique: Math Rider

Math Rider Collage

Math RiderWhat:  Math Rider

Cost:  $37 until February 15th, after that, $47

Recommended Ages:  6 to 12, or grades 2 to 6


What is Math Rider?


Math Rider is a computer game designed to teach children four math operations:  addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.  The software is built to reward progress and ultimately help children develop mastery of each operation with numbers one through 12.

Each player lives in the Land of Ray and rides a horse named Shadow.  His or her mother is sick, and so he or she has been sent {by the doctor} to The Mathlands to find the mysterious Pythagoras flower to help her.  Playing through math quests, the player advances across the map to find the flower.

Our Thoughts


I think Math Rider is a fun way to encourage mastery of math facts in your child.  The game play is easy for children to grasp, the maneuverability is easy, and they are rewarded for making progress, not for perfection.

In addition, the game intuitively determines your child’s speed and knowledge and adjusts ride speed and questions based on this.  It is easy to track progress, see where you are on the map, and view the facts that you need a bit more practice with.

One thing I wasn’t too fond of was the fact that while the math problem is on the bottom right of the screen, the answer box is on the bottom left.  This doesn’t really affect game play, but if you have a visual child who needs to see the answer as they type it {or if you’re like me and thought you typed it but aren’t sure}, they’ll have to do a lot of glancing back and forth.  A big deal?  No, but something I thought I’d mention nonetheless.

I also want to point out how great a value I think this game is.  We love video games in this house, so I know a thing or two about games and pricing.  We’ve tried {or are currently using} several different games to enforce learning in a variety of subjects.  Most are monthly subscriptions, which can add up and are rather expensive when you add it over a year’s time.

At only $47 {a one time cost}, you have access to Math Rider for up to eight children.  That’s an amazing deal for a game that covers addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division through mastery.  Love it!!

Here are a few screen captures of the game:

What Did Others Think?


To find out what other TOS Reviewers though, visit this link!

True Confessions:  We were provided with Math Rider software in order to facilitate this review.  All opinions are my own.

Supplementing Your Way to Good Health and a Giveaway!


ETA: I plan on replying to each and every one of you!! I decided to hold off to help the official tallying go smoothly. I haven’t forgotten about you, though, and I really appreciate all the help. You guys rock!

Yes, I know, you have to do more than supplement.  This is probably my favorite part, though, other than eating, because it involves little effort on my part

I’m not a huge fan of really super-uber good-for-you stuff, and I’m also not a huge fan of exercise, so I have to take all the help I can get when it comes to getting healthy.

Since I am currently so far from eating the proper nutrition it’s really not funny, supplements help give me a boost.  Even if you are in great shape, there’s a chance you’re missing something you need, so either way, they’re pretty cool.

Supplement AisleBut have you ever walked down the supplement aisle?  It’s ridiculously confusing…  Even if you know what you’re looking for {like I often do}, you can be all messed up because you don’t know the correct amount of that particular vitamin or supplement.  Craziness!

There is so much on this aisle, that if you don’t know what you’re looking for it’s quite possible you’ll want to just turn around and leave…  But there’s a great way to get help.

Centrum Nutrition Possible


Centrum Nutrition Possible is a cool site that enables you to take a really quick assessment to find out what kinds of supplements you should be taking.  It really is fast; it took me less than 30 seconds to sign up for an account and less than two minutes to take the assessment.

What I ended up with was a great breakdown of what supplements I should be taking.  The thing that I like best about their tool is that I was provided with an at-a-glance glimpse of what I needed, as well as a specific breakdown of things.

To get started, all you have to do is sign up for a Nutrition Possible account

Nutrition Possible

click “Start the Assessment” once you’ve created an account…

Nutrition Possible

…and take the assessment.  I like the colorful pictures; it makes it fun!

Nutrition Possible

You answer questions about your intake of fruits and veggies, water, exercise, and other relevant information, then you’re presented with your results.  This is my favorite part, the glimpse:

Nutrition Possible

I can use this to get shopping right away.  And to make it easier on your pocketbook, Centrum will provide you with a $10 off coupon!

Nutrition Possible

Giveaway Time!!


If you head to Centrum Nutrition Possible, take the assessment, and come back here to let me know if you learned about something you didn’t know you were lacking, you can win a $25 AMEX gift card {contest rules}!

To enter, please visit the site using this link, Centrum Nutrition Possible, and then come back here to comment on this blog post.  After you’ve commented, you’ll be able to mark that entry on the Rafflecopter form.

Giveaway ends at 11:59 PST on 2/13.  Any comments made after that time can’t be accepted, sorry!


Another Giveaway!!!


Centrum is a Blissdom sponsor, and they’ve been kind enough to offer a Blissdom sponsorship and ambassadorship opportunity to the person who gains the most entries for the giveaway.  I would love to win this, and as a way of saying thank you, I’m going to offer a $50 cash giveaway on top of what Centrum is offering if you guys can help me win the sponsorship.

So, if I get the most entries and win the sponsorship opportunity, I will be adding all of your names into a drawing for $50 cash, paid via PayPal!!!  I want to make sure to show my appreciation for all of you helping me attain this goal!

Remember, we’re all busy so proper nutrition is important!  Head to Centrum Nutrition Possible now to take your assessment and then come back to enter to win!

True Confessions:  I am participating in a sponsored campaign hosted by One2One Network.  I received incentives and am eligible for prizing.  While all opinions stated are my own, I make no claims about as a product or its effectiveness.

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TOS Sweet Critique: Celestial Almanack


Celestial AlmanackWhat: Celestial Almanack

Cost:  $3.00

Recommended Ages:  Middle School and up/Parents


What is the Celestial Almanack?


Celestial Almanack is an illustrated guide to the sky!  Complete with guides for both the daytime and nighttime sky, as well as information about “special” events of the month {Leap Year, Groundhog Day, etc.}, this guide extensively covers planets, stars, everything that’s going on up there.

Our Thoughts


I think most kids find the stars and planets fascinating, even more so when they know what they’re looking at.  For this reason, I think the Celestial Almanack is a great thing for every family to have!  It’s always fun to head outside {especially when it’s cold and you can have hot chocolate…} and take a gander up in the sky.  Quality family time!

The Almanack points out a variety of nuances happening in the sky this month, and provides great illustrations to help you digest it all.  There are 21 pages in this months Almanack, and with the wealth of information contained, it’s well worth the $3 price tag.

A few of our favorite things:

The chart of moon phases

The daytime sky

The nighttime sky

One thing that I’d like to note for those who are not strictly Christian homeschoolers is that this product does have a fair bit of religious information contained inside.  I personally found it easy to simply leave this information out, and think with the amount of other information in the product that it is still a great thing to purchase!

With a new Almanack coming out each month, I think this would be a fun thing to use to start a family tradition of stargazing!

What Did Others Think?


You can find out what other homeschoolers thought here.

True Confessions:  I was provided with a copy of the Celestial Almanack to help facilitate my review.  All opinions stated are my own.

Sweet Critique: Princess Recovery

Princess RecoveryWhen I first got the review copy of Princess Recovery:  A How-To Guide to Raising Strong, Empowered Girls Who Can Create Their Own Happily Ever Afters, I was excited because it was pink and sparkly {like, it actually shimmers}. I can’t help it, I love pink and I love sparkles and glitter and girly stuff.

With that said, I also believe strongly that females should be able to stand on their own two feet as independent, hard-working, functional individuals.  Whoa, that’s a loaded statement isn’t it?

For the most part, I’m not heavily slanted to one side or the other on this issue.  I am a very strong-willed and independent person {having been raised by a single mother} who feels strongly that women have not gotten enough credit throughout history, but I also enjoy having a husband that goes out and makes the money for the household and whom I can throw burdens on if I need to.  For the record, I know it sounds like I just use him for money and stress relief, but I really do love him tons!

So, after the “Oooooo” of the pink and sparkly wore off, I thought that the concept of this book was fascinating and I couldn’t wait to dig in.

My Favorite Part of the Book


Right off the bat I found my favorite part of the book.  Inside the front sleeve is a section entitled Who Will Your Daughter Be.  You know, I’d like to think that all of us would pick “The Heroine” for our daughters, but sadly, at least some would pick “The Princess”.

I want Babydoll to:

  • appreciate her inner AND outer beauty
  • help herself – and others
  • work hard to earn her successes
  • maintain healthy relationships with everyone she loves
  • believe in a bright future she’s imagined for herself
  • define herself by her own standards and moral compass
  • expect the best of herself – and treat others with compassion

I don’t want her to think her looks are most important, romance will fix a relationship, that marriage is an end-all, be-all, or that she is entitled to the best at the expense of others.  That was one powerful little section.

My Second, Almost Equally, Favorite Part


I was a little worried that this book would be a bunch of babble about how girls can’t like pink or dress up or balls or other girly stuff, and I was so pleasantly surprised to find out that is not at all what Hartstein is endorsing.  In the back of the book she has two sections, Children’s Books for Heroines and Healthy Princess Play Ideas.

We love books in this house, so a section that outlines books such as The Daring Book for Girls and Watch Out for Clever Women! was great to see.  And Babydoll loves to play dress up and have tea parties and go to balls, so I like the fact that Hartstein points out things such as designing a dress, having a real tea party, and learning to dance as great add-ons/alternatives to these activities.

The Book as a Whole


In it’s entirety, I think Princess Recovery is a must for any mother of girls.  Hartstein provides practical action items for a variety of age groups to help you teach your daughters how to become heroines that appreciate themselves as a person and what their talents and abilities are, rather than a pretty object.

The book is not heavy on complete avoidance of girly stuff, but celebrates the fact that girls can be multifaceted and love being girly as well as going out and getting dirty.

I definitely recommend it!

True Confessions:  I was provided with a review copy of this book to facilitate my review.  All opinions are my own.