TOS Sweet Critique: Amazing Science! – Volume 1

Science

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What:  Amazing Science! – Volume 1

Cost:  $19.95 for the DVD or $17.99 for the immediately download

Recommended Ages:  Any, really, as long as there is parent supervision for the kids!

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WHAT IS AMAZING SCIENCE! – VOLUME 1?

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Amazing Science! – Volume 1 is a set of two DVDs full of 23 science experiments kids can do with items commonly found around the house.

Here is a list of the experiments completed on the DVDs:

A complete materials list is given for each experiment, multiple camera angles show what’s happening during the experiments, and an easy-to-understand explanation of the science behind each experiment is given.

OUR THOUGHTS

We loved these DVDs, especially Babydoll!  She love science anyway, but she absolutely loves doing experiments.

It’s been our experience that experiments in previous curriculum called for a ton of supplies that we didn’t have on hand, so inevitably they didn’t get done.

The materials used in these experiments really are things you have around already:  dish soap, cotton swabs, jars, pepper, plates, etc.

Babydoll had a few favorite experiments:

  • Build a Motor #2
  • Ocean in a Bottle
  • Reversing an Image with Water

She watched the entire set of DVDs in one day and paused every so often to go do an experiment.  That’s how easy it was!  I was working that day, so she was on her own!  She was able to gather the materials herself and, with my supervision, complete the experiment.

She did four different experiments that day!

We highly recommend this DVD set:  it’s easy to understand, fun, full of great science info, and has some great experiments!

WHAT OTHERS THOUGHT

See what other members of the Crew thought about Amazing Science! – Volume 1 here.

True Confessions:  I received a copy of these DVDs in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

 

 

Sweet Critique: Interactive MATH

Interactive Math 4

I see the posts all the time:

Math is a four letter word in our house.

Most homeschoolers search far and wide for the math curriculum that fits their child’s needs.  Once they find it, they hold on tight.

Over the past three years Babydoll and I have tried several math programs.  Each had its merits, but ultimately, we’re still searching.

It’s not that any one particular program has been bad, they’ve just not been quite right.

What does all this mean for you?

Well, it means that we’re still trying different programs and I get to share our experiences with you!

I was recently sent a copy of Interactive MATH Premium to try.  I’ve given it a thorough look-through so I’m ready to let you know what I think!

OUR THOUGHTS

The program is computerized, which I love.  You know I’m a huge fan of technology.

This means that you get a wealth of information in the Premium addition:

  • Multimedia Lessons
  • Math Book
  • Worksheets
  • Exams

The Table of Contents to the left of the screen makes it very easy to identify exactly what you’d like your child to study and delve right in.

The program covers a wide range of topics, too:

  • Addition
  • Subtraction
  • Multiplication
  • Division
  • Geometry
  • Fractions
  • Decimals

 

There’s quite a bit more that is covered.  You definitely get an extensive program.

The multimedia lessons can be followed up with worksheets and exams, and the program is set up to allow the parent to track progress.

I did have a bit of trouble getting us signed up; I was unable to see the boxes to type in Babydoll’s name and was promptly warned that I could not change that student so I had to hope I had the name typed correctly.

Also, some of my options were cut off on my screen; not sure why, I have a HUGE one!  Or, they just didn’t show up at all.

I think we’d definitely use this as a supplement or for extra practice.  It would be a nice change of pace when we really need to drive home a point.

Interested in giving Interactive MATH a try yourself?

The good people at A+ TutorSoft are giving away one copy to one reader!

TO ENTER, leave a comment letting me know what the most difficult math for you to teach was!

True Confessions: I was provided with product in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Linked at Hip Homeschool Moms.

Update:  I spoke with the good folks with Interactive MATH and they let me know that the issue I was having was due to the resolution of my graphics card and can easily be fixed.  Great to know!  Also, I wanted to make it clear that while we are happy with what we are currently using for math, Interactive MATH can be used as a complete curriculum!

TOS Sweet Critique: AIMS – Earth Rocks!

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What:  AIMS – Earth Rocks!

Cost:  $29.95

Recommended Ages:  Grades 4-5

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WHAT IS AIMS – EARTH ROCKS!?

AIMS – Earth Rocks! is an activity book that covers Earth science topics for grades four and five.

Topics taught include:

  • Rocks and minerals
  • Soil
  • Water
  • Earth changes
  • Resources
  • Pollution

The book provides a multitude of activities such as make-your-own books, experiments, worksheets, and more.

A complete materials list is also included.

OUR THOUGHTS

Babydoll is a huge fan of science and rocks and outside stuff; she loves Earth science.

She also enjoys working with her hands making things like little booklets, cutting, gluing, etc.

She’s a huge fan of activity books and will sit there on her own completing them.

All this means:  she enjoyed AIMS – Earth Rocks!.  I felt bad that I didn’t have some of the items on hand that she needed for the experiments she chose, but she still made a few of the booklets and read through some of the material.

I was quite impressed with the variety of worksheets.  I can’t stand getting an activity book that has all of the same:  all matching, all multiple choice, etc.

AIMS did a great job of incorporating drawing, writing, coloring, matching, and lots more.

The material covered is quite thorough and each chapter gives an assortment of experiments.

I would like to see perforated pages in the book for times when you might need to tear pages out, but I’m sure that’s just me being OCD and weird.  It of course does not affect the content.

With the variety of subjects covered by AIMS, I would definitely recommend taking a look at their site to see if there are subjects that you would like to include in your homeschool or as extracurricular activities for your kids.

WHAT OTHERS THOUGHT

See what other members of the Crew thought about the different AIMS books they reviewed here.

True Confessions:  I received our copy of AIMS – Earth Rocks in exchange for an honest review of the material.  All opinions are my own.

I’ve Got Gas

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Gas is expensive.  You really notice it when you have a husband who makes a two hour round-trip commute for work.

And I’m just going to put this out there:  It’s also not much fun to purchase.

The yummy fresh pasta I purchased today-that’s a fun purchase.

My new vacuum-fun purchase all the way.

Gas-eh, not so much.

Enter MurPay!

Who thought that buying gas could be made fun, convenient, AND frugal?  Not me…

MurPay allows users to text the amount they’ll be spending on gas {up to $125} and receive a custom code to purchase that gas.

This code is good for 24 hours, and when you do use the code at the pump, you’ll get the best gas price in the past 24 hours or three cents off per gallon, whichever is less.

That’s right, the cheapest price on gas!  Just because you texted them!  How insanely awesome is that?

So insanely awesome.

But how does all this awesome work?

  1. Sign up for MurPay.  It’s FREE and only takes a few minutes.
  2. Verify your checking account information.
  3. Text “MURPAY” and the dollar amount you’d like to spend on gas to 304050.
  4. Pay for your gas using your unique code and Customer Verification Number.
  5. Go! You only pay for what you actually purchase, even if your code was for more!

Let’s do this!

We’re smack-dab in the middle of soccer season, which means we’re trekking hither and yon, in addition to Vince’s commute.

With an away game this weekend, Babydoll and I decided to try out our new-fangled way to get gas.

I sent a text the previous night:

Out the door we head!

This game was almost 30 miles away, one way; almost 60 miles round trip!

Considering she had two games this weekend, plus she’ll be playing in a tournament about 30 miles away next weekend which will warrant three round trips, the mileage starts to add up fast.

The game was over and it was time to get gas and head home.

Murphy USA wasn’t too far from where we were, so we headed that way.  This was a new-to-us store.

We got there and found something we hadn’t seen before, an Additech console!  This allows you to purchase additives for your gasoline, designed to clean your engine.  It talked to us!

It was time to purchase my gas with my handy code.  Excuse the glare, it was rather difficult to get a good shot with the sun the level it was!

Next you would enter your Customer Verification Number, watch your savings appear, and get to pumping.

An employee was heading out to tell me I couldn’t take pictures, so I wasn’t able to get pictures of that process, but I bet you can imagine what it looks like.

Why is this so cool again?

Several reasons!  I love my smartphone and it was fun using it to purchase gas!

Then there’s the huge one:  the savings you get.  The best price in a 24 hour period or three cents off {whichever is less}, you can’t beat that man!

There’s something else about MurPay that I think is really cool for households that are trying to budget gas for teenagers, multiple drivers, etc.

You can set purchase limits and product restrictions:

They also have an app!

Of course I’m going to love an app if I enjoyed purchasing gas on my phone!

The Murphy USA app lets you find gas prices nearby {including competitor prices – Murphy USA knows who has the best price}, gives you driving directions to the nearest Murphy USA, allows you to use MurPay, and lets you sign up for coupons and discounts!

It does all of this for free.

This is an awful lot for a gas station yes?

Yes, but you know what I love about it?  It shows that Murphy USA cares about its customers.

Sure, not every person will use every helpful tool that they provide, but they’ve provided several options in the hopes that one will work for their customers.

Let me know if you use the MurPay service and what you think!

True Confessions:  I was compensated for this post.  It was still tons of fun to learn about this service and to use it.  As always, all statements are my own opinions.

TOS Sweet Critique: Action Alert

Action Alert

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What:  Action Alert

Cost:  Free limited-functionality option OR maximum protection for $29.99

Recommended Ages:  Any

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WHAT IS ACTION ALERT?

Action Alert is internet safety software designed to help protect your child during computer time.

Two options are available for parents:

  • a free option that gives you everything you need to keep your child safe online
  • a paid option {$29.99} that also provides you with multiple user protection, full social media monitoring, and a fully customizable program

Action Alert gives you the following internet safety tools:

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OUR THOUGHTS

I was happy to get the chance to review this item, since Babydoll does spend quite a bit of time on the internet.  This software comes with an impressive set of tools to really help you protect your children.  A few of my favorite features were:

  • Ability to shut down the computer remotely
  • Activity video recording
  • Site blocking
  • Content filtering
  • Keystroke, chat, and email logging

While I don’t yet have a need for all of these just yet {Babydoll doesn’t use email or chat}, I appreciate the way this program can grow with your child.

I have the ability to protect her from unsafe search results and content right now, and then can monitor social media and email use, shut down the computer remotely if I need to, and set time limits for her in the future.

Unfortunately, her screen went out in the middle of testing the program, so I didn’t really get to use the product to it’s fullest potential.

I did get email updates on her activity and she did notice the safe search feature as well.  Those two alone were awesome to have.

The user manual does a great job of taking you through all the steps necessary to full protect your child online.

At $29.99, it’s a bargain compared to other programs and really has some great features not present in others.

Action Alert is the only internet safety software endorsed by the Child Safety Network and it has won the Disney iParenting Award.

Here are a couple of screenshots of the parent dashboard:

WHAT OTHERS THOUGHT

You can see what other members of the Crew thought here!

True Confessions:  I received the maximum protection version of this product in exchange for an honest review.