Monday, November 8, 2010

A Family Favorite

Our family started a tradition a few years back that I would love to share with you.  Based on homeschooling mentors recommendation in a class I took I picked up the book Jotham's Journey by Arnold Ytreedide.  Based on the calendar in the back of the book we started it one advent season.  You read one chapter a night leading up to Christmas, lighting our advent wreath as we go along.   Jotham's Journey is fictional based on the New Testament story of Christmas.  The book can be intense, even scary, in some parts for young children.  However, it brings the Christmas story to life from a child's perspective.  The author has followed up the first book with two others, Bartholomew's Passage and Tabitha's Travels.  I just noticed that he has an Easter book coming out soon as well.

Reading a chapter each night during advent led our family to slow down and spend time together during the busy Christmas season.  After reading each night for over a month we realized it was a part of our day we didn't want to end.  On my husband's prompting we continued reading aloud from our school read alouds.  This tradition is going on it's third year!  We will be reading Tabitha's Travels this year for the first time and then we will revisit Jotham again next year.  Each year as my kids get older I pray they glean a little more from the story.

Friday, November 5, 2010

TOS Review ~

I have a problem.  My children, all five of them, have a problem.  My husband funds our problem.  However this is not a problem you will see portrayed on any of your daytime talk shows.  Nope this is a problem most homeschoolers have..... books and lots of them!  I heart books.  I have loved books since I was little.  I used to polish off Nancy Drew's in 2 hours.  It was hard to keep me in books and it is hard to keep my kids in books.  So the problem lies in how to keep track of what books we own or don't own when we head to the book store.
The solution came via this review product. offers a downloadable program for Mac or PC that will help you organize your book collection. Phone apps are available too.  They also have programs for movies, music, comic books, and games.  Book Collector standard edition is $29.95 while the pro edition is $49.95.

I quickly downloaded the program, typed in my license code for the pro version and got started entering ISBN numbers into it.  The program is easy to use.  After doing manual input without a number pad I went ahead and ordered the cue cat scanner from them.  It arrived incredibly fast and has made input a whole lot quicker (once I discovered the barcodes on the inside of the books are more accurate)  My kids have been bringing me stacks of books off their personal shelves as well as the books we are currently using in school.  The search function is fast and almost 100% accurate.  I can organize them into folders of my choosing according the tag I give them.  I can also indicate on which bookshelf they are located on.  More features can be found here.  I also like that I can print a copy of our books for insurance purposes. This product is very well thought out for the collector.

You can try book collector for free up to 100 books.
In a household that loves books this is a great program to have to keep track of what you have.  You can also indicate if you loaned out a book and to whom.
Crazy book lovers can see their collections on screen with
See what my crew members thought of on the crew blog

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product for review purposes.