It’s time for the 3rd Annual Handmade Holidays hosted by Sew, Mama, Sew! Last year’s was packed full of great ideas, so I can’t wait to see all the goodies!
Archives for November 1, 2009
review – Virginia Soaps & Scents
I was very excited to receive my package from Virginia Soaps & Scents because I LOVE handcrafted soap. Are you wondering what reviewing soap has to do with homeschooling? Well, sometimes Mommy just needs a little Calgon time after a long day of teaching her little stinkers blessings. Oh. . . and it might be because the soap is made by homeschoolers LOL. My box held four samper soap bars and a laundry kit.
My soap sampler contained three soap bars and a shampoo bar. I smelled the Orange and the Coconut Lemongrass soaps (they smelled nice!) and then I never saw them again because the kids claimed them as their own. I held on tightly to the Oatmeal, Milk & Honey soap because it was mine, all mine!! It reminds me of an oatmeal cookie and is exactly what I imagine Autumn would smell like if you could gather it up and turn it into a bar of soap. Since this soap has natural oils in it, I decided to try it on my face. It left my skin so smooth and soft!
I really want to try the Christmas Scents, and speaking of Christmas, these would make very affordable gifts. You can buy 10 full size bars for $35.00, or purchase a Sampler of the smaller bars to split up for stocking stuffers.
The Shampoo Bar was a new thing for us. I only had so-so results with my thick, coarse hair, but I will definitely be buying this for my daughter & hubby. My daughter has a very sensitive scalp and most shampoos make her itchy. She loved the shampoo bar from the very first use and it makes her hair very soft & wavy. My husband picked it up one day & decided to use it on his face to shave. For the first time in years he wasn’t bleeding after he shaved! (His beard is extremely tough – he has a 5 o’clock shadow by noon. LOL)
I was amused by the clever little Laundry Soap Kit. It is a good way to try out their Cleaning Bar without investing in all the products. One kit makes enough for 64-72 loads of laundry and works in top- and front-loading washers. I think this would be a cute addition to a gift basket.
The Nitty Gritty:
- Soap – $4.50 each or 10 for $35.00
- Shampoo Bar – $5.50 or 2 for $10.00
- Laundry Soap Kit $4.95
- See website for more products & prices
Things I Like:
- The ingredients are pure and natural.
- The scents are strong enough to be smelled on the skin after washing, but they are not overpowering.
- Their products have multiple uses.
- They make beautiful and affordable gifts.
- My purchase supports a homeschool family.
Value: I think the soap is a great value! The cheapest I have ever seen handcrafted soap in our area is $6.95 a bar.
See what my TOS Crew Mates have to say about Virginia Soaps and Scents!
review – My Access!
My Access! is a web-based writing tool for kids ages 8-18. The student can choose from a large selection of topics (or the parent can assign a topic), write about that topic, and then submit the writing to be scored. My Access! provides instant feedback and shows how the writing can be improved. The parent can easily keep track of each student’s progress. All parts of the writing process are covered:
I really thought we were going to like this, but it just didn’t click with my family. It seemed a bit overwhelming. Many of my fellow Crew Mates seemed to enjoy it though, so we are going to give it another go and I will update with our results. You can check out some demos HERE.
The Nitty Gritty:
- $99.95 12-month subscription for 3 children
- $129.95 12-month subscription for 6 children
Things I Like:
- Each step of the writing process is covered.
- It is easy to keep track of all your kids.
- The program sets goals for the revision of the writing.
- It is very self-motivating.
Value: I really think this depends on your need and the amount of students you have, but in my opinion is it a pretty good deal for up to 6 kids!
See what my TOS Crew Mates have to say about My Access!
review – Amazing Bible History Timeline
One of the amazing things about the Amazing Bible Timeline is the size of the thing! We unrolled our timeline and spread it out on the couch because it was too big to fit on the table.
The Amazing Bible Timeline is a unique way to mesh world history and the Bible. I like being able to compare the different lineages in the Old Testament and seeing which lives overlapped. I am not a fan of linear timelines because I want to see the whole picture. (Shh, don’t tell anyone or I might get my Homeschool Mommy license taken away. ;-))
As much as we enjoyed looking at the timeline, there are some things that really bothered me about this review. The company that produces this timeline has another website for the LDS Book of Mormon Timeline and some of these Mormon references show up on the Amazing Bible Timeline. Now let me be clear here: I have no problem with them selling a Mormon version of their timeline. My problem is that there was no mention of any of this when we were sent the chart. Some of my fellow crew members discovered all of this after finding Mormon references in the timeline. I feel like this was all a bit deceptive, even if unintentional, and that I can’t fully trust all of the info on the timeline.
The Nitty Gritty:
$29.97 and it comes with two bonuses: Interactive Maps of the Holy Lands and Digital Amazing Bible Timeline
Things I like:
- I love being able to see how the people in the Old Testament overlapped each other. I’ve never had a clear picture of that before.
- I like the circular timeline.
- This is a high quality product – very thick and made to last.
This is a tough one. I will not be using this for a history resource, but I love it as an old Testament visual. You’ll have to make your own decision on this one.
See what my TOS Crew Mates have to say about the Amazing Bible Timeline!