The Sojourner

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Write Foundation Review

I have taught essay writing co-op classes several different times and I have used a number of different writing curriculum.  So when I received The Write Foundation's Essay Writing course, I was very interested to see what it had to offer.

At first glance, this curriculum is well laid out and detailed.  There are three different levels available:  Level 1 Sentence to Paragraph Writing for suggested ages 11-13, Level 2 Paragraph Writing for suggested ages 12-15, and Level 3 Essay Writing for suggested ages 14-17.  Each level has step by step lesson plans and can be used for one or two years, depending on the speed at which you go through the material.  There are also worksheets included with the instruction book that will help with learning the different facets of essay writing. 

This curriculum is ideally suited for use in a co-op setting, however, it is also suited for use with just one student as well.  Rebecca Celsor, the author of The Write Foundation, created this material while using it to teach a writing co-op class.  She includes examples, checklists and grading system, as well as many more helps.  Essay Writing incorporates creative writing, along with the more formal essay writing, too.

The Essay Writing Complete Curriculum is available for $100 and includes Spiral-bound Teacher Instruction Manuals with Lesson Plans, 1 set notebook-ready Worksheets, 1 CD with additional resources (Grading System, Grading Record Sheets, Word Games, Checklists, Teacher Presentation Sheets, Weekly Assignments, Extensive Reading list).

Something to note, you will need to be prepared to spend an initial amount of time (1-2 hours) acquainting yourself with the curriculum before beginning to teach it.  However, after that you should be able to move along with each lesson as it comes without much prep time at all.  I have found The Write Foundation's Essay Writing course to be very comprehensive, easy to use and a great curriculum to teach your high school students the basics of essay writing even if you are not a great writer yourself.   You can check it out for yourself by getting the sample pages that are available online.

You can find more reviews for this product and the other levels at the TOS Review Crew.

I received this product for free in return for an honest review. I have not received financial reimbursement for my review of The Write Foundation's Essay Writing.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Collectorz Review

If you are like most homeschool families, you probably have ALOT of books!  Have you ever bought a book and come home to find out you already had it?  Sure you can resell it or swap it, but it is frustrating when you can't remember if you already have something.  Well, I had the privilege of reviewing a really cool product called Book Collector Pro from  It is a downloadable software program that is very easy to use to catalog your personal collection of books.  Their programs are available for PC or MAC and they also have programs to catalog your movies, games, comics, music, mp3s and photos.

This program is very easy to get started entering your books.  You can just enter the ISBN and it will automatically bring up the cover and details.  If you have alot of books, you might want to purchase a handheld scanner which can make your job even a little easier.  There are many features where you can organize/sort your books by different categories like genre.

Some of the benefits of using is to have a list of all your books for insurance purposes, to keep track of books you loan out (so you can get them back) and to help you have a handy list which you can access on your iPhone or iTouch (with an additional app) when you are out buying more books. has a free trial version so that you can see how it works and load up to 100 books.  Then they have a standard version for $29.95 or the Book Collector Pro for $49.95.  The Pro version has many additional features.

Some of the things you can do with Book Collector is to browse your home library, group your books into different folders, add data and covers automatically, sort and search your database, view your data in various skins, view statistics of your database, export to your iPhone, iPad or Android, use the loan manager, and print your book data.

Available Fields

  • Main book information
    • Author
    • Title
    • Publisher
    • Publication Date
    • ISBN
    • Format
    • Genre
    • Subject
    • LoC Classification
    • Dewey
    • etc...
  • More book details
    • Series
    • Volume
    • Edition
    • Printer
    • Paper Type
    • Dimensions
    • Orginal Title
    • Original Language
    • etc...

 If you have a lot of books and would like to have them organized and cataloged, I think you will be thrilled with Book Collector Pro from  I know that my husband will enjoy entering his books and keeping track of them, too.  It will take some time to get them entered and all set up, but the benefits will make the time and effort worth it.

You can read more review of this product by the TOS Review Crew here.

I received this product for free in return for an honest review. I have not received financial reimbursement for my review of Book Collector Pro from

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Professor In A Box Financial Accounting Course Review

I was pleased when I was chosen to review this Financial Accounting course from Professor In A Box because I have a daughter who most likely won't attend college and doesn't want to take advanced math courses.  I took Accounting in high school and felt that it really helped me with many jobs after high school.  So I was considering an accounting course for my daughter and didn't know exactly where to look.  Now I have had the privilege of receiving and reviewing Financial Accounting which will serve wonderfully for my daughter in a few years.

Financial Accounting is a CD course by Michael P. Licata, Ph. D.  It is comprised of 12 chapters and includes everything you will need for the entire course on 4 CDs.  Students can take the course over an entire academic year by working one lesson per week for 28 weeks or take the course in a traditional college semester format working two lessons per week for 14 weeks. 

Financial Accounting is a first accounting course for homeschool high school students, and can be taken by any high school level student with basic math skills.  Each chapter has flash lectures in 2 or 3 parts plus lecture slides that can be printed by the student for later reference.  There are also Key Terms and Concepts for each chapter, as well as Chapter Problems  and the solutions to them.  Every 4 chapters there is an Exam.  On the Instructors Disc, there is a very comprehensive syllabus, as well as overviews of each chapter and much more.

This Financial Accounting course is taught in a non-traditional format, having no textbook with long, boring chapters to read.  Personally, this is a big plus because I have a hard time understanding something written in a textbook.  However, when each concept is shown to me as in these slide presentations, it is much easier for me to comprehend new material.

With this course, students learn financial accounting in four simple steps:
1.  Watch the Flash lectures for a chapter which include important concepts and demonstration problems.
2.  Work the assigned homework problems.
3.  Compare the homework problems worked to the solutions file.
4.  Take the exams.

Michael P. Licata, Ph.D. is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Accountancy in the Villanova School of Business2 at Villanova University in Villanova, Pennsylvania. Professor Licata has taught the financial accounting course dozens of times in his 24 plus years as a Professor at Villanova University.

You can purchase this entire Financial Accounting course from Professor In A Box for only $99.95, which also includes content coverage for the new CLEP Financial Accounting Exam, so your student can get college credit if they take the CLEP test.  They also offer a Principles in Marketing course for $89.95 and will launch an Entrepreneurship course in 2011.  In my opinion, this is a great price for a complete college-level high school math course.

You can read more review of this product by the TOS Review Crew here.

I received this product for free in return for an honest review. I have not received financial reimbursement for my review of Professor In A Box Financial Accounting.