TOS Sweet Critique: Mobile Education Tools StoryBuilder

StoryBuilder app homescreen

PhotobucketWHAT:  StoryBuilder app for iPod Touch, iPad, & iPhone

COST:  $5.99




StoryBuilder app homescreen

StoryBuilder is an app by Mobile Education Tools that is designed to help children:

  • improve paragraph formation
  • improve idea integration
  • improve inference abilities

While it is dependent upon the settings you choose, your child is presented with a picture, and possibly a narrated question, that is supposed to encourage them to create a story.

StoryBuilder app for iPod Touch, iPad, iPhone

StoryBuilder app for iPod Touch, iPad, iPhone

Your child can record, repeat the question, skip the picture, and then when they’re finished {generally five or seven questions}, they can listen to their entire story or email it.

You have the option of customizing your child’s experience by allowing for narrated questions, number of questions, and more.

StoryBuilder app settings

You can even sign up for an account for the Parents’ Center.

StoryBuilder app Parents' Center


At first, Babydoll was not at all a fan.  She’s nine, going on 10, and she thought the narration and pictures were a little too “immature” for her.

However, Daddy came to the rescue.

By answering seven questions about a particular image {a busted up giraffe}, he created a narrative that had all three of us laughing hysterically.

This got Babydoll excited about using the app.

She immediately ran off to come up with a silly story for us.

When she came back, she had put together a silly little story about a man who had been splashed by mud after his car broke down.

Then, something became apparent to her.

She had simply answered the questions that had been asked.  When these were put together into a story, it made no sense.  Information had been left out.

The app teaches children how to answer questions in a way that many of us learned to answer questions: by restating the question in the answer.

Once she realized this, Babydoll was able to better craft her story.

She did about three more stories and was done for the day.

I think this app can be very effective if you stick with it and help your child along at first.  It takes some inference skills to really be able to work this, but once it’s been established, it can be fun.

Also, I personally don’t think this is an app that can be used as a game that a child can play everyday.  Sure, it’s fun, but it’s not mindless entertainment.

I think after a while of continuous play Babydoll would start to view it more as work than fun.  Then again, she also isn’t a fan of grammar/language arts.

All-in-all, I would recommend this to you guys, just be sure you’re prepared to be silly to show your kids how it works.



TRUE CONFESSIONS:  I was provided with a copy of this app in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.


“But you don’t have to take my word for it.”

Remember Levar Burton used to say that right before the kids did book “reviews” at the end of Reading Rainbow?

Side note:  Does anyone else miss Reading Rainbow?  I absolutely LOVED that show; I think it is hands-down my favorite show of all time.

Anyway, as I celebrate my eBook launch this week I wanted to spotlight the folks that have taken the time to review the book for me.

I appreciate their efforts more than they will ever know, and I’m so glad to get such great reviews of the book!

Anna-Marie at Life’s Adventures

Lisa at Franny Bolsa

John at The Wired Homeschool

Sam at Sam’s Noggin

Dawn at Guiding Light Homeschool

Carole at Our Normal Chaos

There are even more reviews on the way and I can’t wait to share those with you either!

Don’t forget; you can:


I’m Hanging at the Hop Today!

Hip Homeschool Hop ButtonIn the craziness surrounding writing my book {squee!} and preparing for it’s launch {double squee!}, something was completely lost on me…

Today I’m sponsoring the Hip Homeschool Hop!

That wasn’t lost on me.  That was planned.

Go visit the Hop.

The ladies that host it are awesome.

The blogs that link up are awesome.

Today’s sponsor is awesome. *wink*

What was lost on me {until now} is the fact that I remember the first time I found the HHH.  I wanted someone, anyone, to read my blog, and was excited to link up.

I also found other totally awesome ladies.  Ladies that I’m still in touch with today.

That was 21 months ago.  Almost two years ago.

Today, I am sponsoring the Hop.  I wrote a book and I’m pushing it on the Hop.

For those of you new here, I’m not full of myself!  I’m just so shocked and humbled and amazed that I’m here, doing this.


It can only get better right?

So, You Think You Wanna Homeschool?

So, You Think You Wanna Homeschool?

Available for purchase on Amazon


The eBook is divided into two sections:  section one is for someone who is just starting to homeschool and section two is designed for those who aren’t so new to homeschooling.

While each group of people will definitely find useful information in their respective sections, their is great info in both sections for all!


When I started homeschooling I had a hard time finding concrete steps to get started.

I found a lot of information about evaluating my educational philosophy and the best way my child learned.  I read about not spending too much money on products.

What I found was a bunch of ambiguous stuff that didn’t help me.  I needed to know specifically what I needed to do to get started.

I’m a box checker, and I needed to know the specific steps to take to get started.

Section one puts these steps together for you.  You’ll find information about:

  • state laws
  • organizational methods
  • curricula
  • record-keeping
  • planning
  • socialization
  • and more!

One bit I’m particularly proud of is the listing of states and their laws.

The statutes and laws can be confusing if you don’t know the jargon just yet, so I took each state and separated out the meat of their laws.  If available, I also included a link to each state’s Department of Education homeschool site {or the state’s equivalent}.

Even if you’ve been homeschooling for a while, there’s still some really great info in this section if I do say so myself!

I’ve included lots and lots of links for extra-special reading!  Many of you are featured in the eBook!


Section two might be familiar to some of you, as the basis for this section is the original posts from the series of the same name.

Don’t worry, though; I tweaked it, made it better, added more substance, and made it new and shiny!

Just as in section one, lots of links are present.  Tons of great reading for information purposes, as well as motivation and encouragement.

Some wit is sprinkled in for good measure.


Because I am a box checker and because I like organization, I also included sweet extras at the end.

You’ll find checklists, link lists, and more!  So super cool!

Look at All the Awesome Going on this Week!



Man oh man, I never thought this day would come!

I am happy to announce that the eBook So, You Think You Wanna Homeschool? is available!

To purchase, head over to the eBook site and download to your PC or eReader!  The book is 50% off this week only:  $4!!!!

The book is full of links for all sorts of subjects like homeschool planning, organization, curricula, and more!

It takes you through the process of starting to homeschool, but has quite a bit of great info for those who have been homeschooling for a while as well!


As I mentioned already, the eBook contains tons and tons of links.  Problem was, I kept finding more and more links I wanted to include.

Well, the book had to be released at some point, so there had to be a cutoff.

That made me sad.  You guys keep producing so much awesome that I want to share it with others!

How could I address this?

I know how much homeschoolers *heart* Pinterest {I’m guilty!}, so I decided that I’d put together Pinterest companion boards to go along with the book!

Visit How 2 Homeschool on Pinterest and you’ll find more than 15 boards furthering the awesome!  Boards on organization, planning, military homeschooling, it’s all there!

Have a post or a site that you think would tie in nicely to one of the boards?  Let me know! I want to feature you!


The launch of the book is fun and all, but how can I make it uber-awesome?

By giving away two copies of Microsoft Office Home and Business 2010, that’s how!

Microsoft has graciously given me two copies to give away to you fine folks!  I love, love, love Office, so I’m thrilled!

This is how the giveaway will work:

  • One {1} copy is up for grabs for anyone to win.  Just use the Giveaway Tools form below to enter.
  • One {1} copy is up for grabs for those who purchase the eBook to win.  Once you make your purchase, you will receive entry instructions in your purchase email.

That’s right, buy the book and you get twice the chances to win!


I know I’ve said it before, but I want to thank each and every one of you for supporting me!  I love what I’m doing and am so happy that I can share it with each of you!

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