Tuesday, April 19, 2011

TOS Review - Yesterday's Classics


As a member of the TOS Review Crew and a self confessed book junkie I was lucky enough to be chosen to review 'Yesterday's Classics'. Currently they are running a special sale - 225 ebooks in either Kindle or Epub format - for $99.95. The sale through May 31st then the collection will return to the regular price of $149.95.


To get a full listing of all the wonderful books that are included in this collection click here. These files are free of DRM or other restrictions so for the low price above you may put them on as many devices as you wish. In fact we will be purchasing another Kindle for the sole use of putting these and any other ebooks for school on it.

We have both a Kindle and Ipod so I checked out the collection in Kindle and Epub format. This impressive collection contains book recommended by the curriculum we currently use and many that will make excellent supplements. Right away I noticed that the formatting is much better than the free books I had downloaded from other sources. Another great feature is that the table of contents are hot linked - meaning you can click on the link and go right to the chapter you're looking for.

We primarily used it on the Kindle for several reasons. The main reason was that our oldest is dyslexic and Kindle has text to speech enabled for some ebooks. I was delighted to discover that the ones we checked out from Yesterday's Classics had this feature. Also on the Kindle the user can make notes or highlight sections of text.

The instructions made loading these onto the Kindle and the Ipod a breeze. The information file had the books listed in a variety of different ways - sorted by Level, Genre, Author and Title, by Genre, Author and Title, by Title, and by Author.

There was also a list of books and descriptions as well as a price for those available in print form with pricing. This made it very easy for me to determine which books would work for which child and with which study.

Here are a few of the titles we've read so far:










The biggest problem is getting the boys to share the Kindle. Middle is a nature lover and he's all about the Science books. The Oldest will now actually do his literature assignment because when he gets tired he can use the text to speech feature and his retention of what he reads is better.


I'm looking forward to using these to finish out our school year and to enhance our new year starting in the fall. I feel the product is well worth the price. If I had not been lucky enough to be chosen for this review it was on my 'to buy' list. It is a true bargain. The tech support was prompt and friendly. The instructions were quite clear and easy to understand.



Please head over and see what other TOS crew members have to say about this product: Here


Disclaimer/Disclosure: I was given use of this product for the purpose of obtaining my honest opinion. I received nothing else. This is my honest opinion. Please consider that every family is different and results may vary.

Monday, April 4, 2011

TOS Review Crew - GoGo Kabongo


As a member of the TOS Review Crew my youngest got a trialhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif subscription to GoGo Kabongo to try out.

GoGo Kabongo is a colorful website devoted to strengthening a child's pre-reading skills through games of various types. The recommended age levels are 4 to 7 years old.

Kids get to create their own avatar in order to explore the learning games. Colorful characters guide the student through the levels or habitats. The first habitat - Laughter Lake - is free. Additional habitats are $4.95 each - with no subscription fees. If you sign up now you can get Galaxy Gardens free for a limited time.
Kabongo home

In the Treehouse
you can create your own avatar in the Avatar Maker, use the Comic Book Creator, play in the Skate Park or use the Map to access the habitats.



The above image is the Map used to navigate to the habitats. There are three with three levels each:

Twister Top
- which contains the games Crazy Maze, Desert Dash, and Design a Door.




Galaxy Gardens
- where you can play Photo Safari, Robo Bobo (Robot building was something my youngest liked a lot!) and Rocket Racer.



Laughter Lake - has Scuba Dude, Critter Sizer, and Going Buggy.



My youngest did not like the characters and refused to play the games more than once. This is not unusual for him and is not a reflection on the product. We are currently unable to determine his actual reading level but I'm sure it is higher than the target group. He is easily bored and does not like to do anything more than once. Therefore this review was mostly based on my playing around on the site. It is easy to navigate and we just had a few minor hiccups - badges not appearing - that were resolved by refreshing the screen.


The games are just challenging enough without being too hard and therefore discouraging. When my middle son was younger he would have loved a website such as this. I can see how it could teach visual-spatial skills along with spelling and other necessary skills. In fact it could have helped any of my guys in their weaker areas of attention, visualization and working memory to name a few. I would recommend it for any child in the target ages but especially a child who has visual tracking and working memory issues.

Here is a nice chart that shows the skills the website is designed to teach and a progress report is emailed weekly so you can easily keep track of your child's progress.




Please head over and see what other TOS crew members have to say about this product here.



Disclaimer/Disclosure: I was given use of this product for the purpose of obtaining my honest opinion. I received nothing else. This is my honest opinion. Please consider that every family is different and results may vary.