Saturday, November 20, 2010

TOS Review - KB Teacher



I’m an avid internet user. One of the things I enjoy is to find websites with worksheets I can use for our homeschool.

I was very happy then that as part of the TOS Crew I recently received a generous 2 year subscription to KB TEACHERS website in exchange for my honest opinion about this website and the products they offer. I did not receive any other compensation for my review.

So WHAT is KB TEACHERS?
KB Teachers is an online tool for parents and teachers, providing them with teaching materials including printable worksheets, information sheets and workbooks. You can find out more about them and their kids' site (kbears.com) HERE.

Which topics do these worksheets / workbooks cover?
You will find 1,000s of printable pages on this website covering a wide range of topics including:

Seasonal worksheets (at the time of writing this review it was THANKSGIVING), English (from alphabet to Conjunctions), Math, Science, Biology, Social Studies and more.

There are over 10,000 printable pages available on this website!

What I thought of it:

When I first looked at the website I thought it might be too ‘young’ for my 7 and 10 year-old children but after a little while it was evident that I was mistaken.

As I mentioned it covers a wide range of different topics and also covers a wide age range. There are worksheets available for pre-schoolers such as the Alphabet worksheets that include a single, large letter with a graphic on the page HERE, all the way through to the worksheets on Social Studies for grades 8 and over on topics such as World War 1 and Post War Europe over HERE.

At the time we received this subscription we were studying the rainforest. I was pleasantly surprised to find several worksheets and supplemental documents on the rainforest under the Weather and Climate section of the website.

My son just loves dinosaurs and again we were not disappointed! If you have a dino-fan visit this page HERE.

The worksheets can be printed straight from the website using there PRINT button or clicking on File / Print OR if you are planning a unit study on say…mmmm…. yes, DINOSAURS! And you don’t want to print all the pages straight away, you can click on FILE / PRINT and save it to your computer as a PDF-file by clicking on (you guessed it), PDF.

The great thing about KB Teachers is that they are constantly adding new worksheets to their website and at the time of writing this review they are hard at work at doing a major upgrade to their website. I am looking forward to seeing the end result.

Another EXCELLENT feature of this website is that you can create different math and writing pages with their Worksheet Generators. Often websites might have for example Math Fact Worksheets, but often there is not a large number of different worksheets. With KB Teachers you can generate a new page with a new set of numbers in seconds by clicking on the “Click her to generate a new set of numbers’ button! Have a look at it HERE.

The same can be done with handwriting worksheets over HERE.

As a subscribed member of KB Teachers you also receive a weekly e-update of their new worksheets available with direct links to the particular pages. Have a look at their news letter HERE.

As members of the crew we were given a password from the creators of KB Teachers. The password wasn’t easy to remember and after we e-mailed them they came up with a solution within less than 48 hours! Customer service is great and their aim is to have an answer to your query in 24 – 48 hours. They even make a bold statement in saying that if they don’t have what you are looking for, they will find a solution for that too, even if they have to create it!

HERE are some added benefits of membership.

So how much does all this cost?

To gain the most benefit from this site you’ll need to subscribe.

A KB TEACHERS subscription is in my opinion VERY REASONABLE at US$29 per year, or US$49 for two years.

If you are cautious about signing up you can preview the ENTIRE site for free and make use of some of their free worksheets.

You can also sign up HERE for a 10 day FREE TRIAL.

If you are happy with the trial and feel ready to subscribe you can sign up for a 30 DAY MONEY BACK GUARANTEE! So there is no way you can lose!!

I encourage you to go and have a good look at the site for yourself.

But mine is but one opinion. Why not check out what the rest of the TOS Crew think about this website by going HERE.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

TOS Review - Collectorz



I LOVE books. Several months ago, I read this quote by Anna Quindlen: "I would be the most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves." It is definitely a quote that speaks to me : )  I think most homeschoolers think that way.


Now the thing about having a lot of books is that one can well, lose track of said books. Questions such as: "Do I have that book?", "Who did I lend that book to?", "Did I READ that book yet?", " etc are some that might pop up if you have a lot of books. So what to do ....


Collectorz.com has an answer to this problem. 


Collectorz.com provide downloadable software you can install on your Windows Based PC or on your Mac or even your i-phone to help you catalog all those lovely books you have. Not only can you catalog your books, but you can add your own personal notes to it. Did you read it, loan it, sold it, borrow it, etc, etc. 


The way to catalog is easy; you either type in the name of the author and title OR ISBN number and Book Collector will download the book title, author, publication data, synopsis of the book, cover art and other information about the book. You also have an option to SCAN the ISBN number without having to type it in if you have a scanner. This can also be bought through Collectorz.com. After scanning and downloading all the info on the books, you can add your own personal opinions to the info page and even rate the book. After this you can export it all to HTML, text, i-phone or ipod-touch. 


Collectorz keep on working on adding to their software and keep you in the loop via update e-mails. 


Currently Book Collector has two editions: 



     Book Collector Standard edition @ US$29.95
     Book Collector Pro edition @ US$49.95

This is how the two versions compare: (based on link from Collectorz.com website)

Book Collector Standard vs Pro feature comparison

Standard

$29.95

Pro

$49.95
Catalog your book collection by typing ISBNs, author & title or by scanning ISBN barcodes.checkcheck
Full access to the Collectorz.com online book database for downloading book data and cover images.checkcheck
Full support for CueCat, Opticon C37 and Opticon OPN-2001 barcode scanners.checkcheck
Add and Edit Books, then browse, sort and group your books in List or Image View.checkcheck
Use the Quick Search box to find books in your database.checkcheck
Print book lists, with any column selection or sort order.checkcheck
Add multiple books in batch using the Queue Mode of the Add Books Automatically screen.checkcheck
Modify your book entries in batch, using the Edit Multiple Books feature.checkcheck
Export data to the CLZ Books mobile apps (for iPhone). check
Publish your data to your Book Collector Connect account. check
Integrated Loan Manager: keep track of who borrowed your books. check
Graphical Statistics of your data. check
Filter screen : create advanced search filters. check
Extra User Defined Fields, plus rename any other field to your own liking. check
Print Customized Lists and Details Pages using XSL Templates. check
Export book lists and detail pages in HTML format, for uploading to your own website. check
Export book data to XML and Text (CSV) formats (for use in Excel and other software). check


Here are the system requirements for installing the pro-version.



Pro edition

WindowsVersion 7.0.2 (Sep 09, 2010)
for Windows 7, Vista, XP, 2000
Mac OS XVersion 3.4.1 (Nov 10, 2009)
for Mac 10.4.9 or higher





This is what it will look like on your screen:






Link specific for Book Collector: http://www.collectorz.com/book/


You can enter your e-mail and Try Before You Buy. (I always appreciate this option from a company!).


Collectorz.com does not just have this database software for books, but also for Music, Movies, Games, MP3's and more. Do go and check out their website and start cataloging : )


See what other TOS crew members think of this product HERE.


DISCLAIMER:  I received a free installation for my Mac as part of the TOS crew in exchange for my honest opinion of this product. I received no other compensation.