Action Alert Review

Action Alert is another great product that I have had the privilege of reviewing as a TOS Crew member. It has been featured on NBC's Today show, was the winner of Disney's iParenting award, and is the only internet safety solution endorsed by the Child Safety Network! 

There are several of the above features that I loved, some that I wasn't too crazy about, and some that didn't matter to me one way or the other. Let me explain:

What I Loved:

I think my absolute favorite tool is the Activity Video Recording that records 60 hours of ALL PC activity and lets you watch it in video format complete with pause, rewind, and fast forward. 

Another was the Keystroke Logging tool that logs user names and passwords. One of my children has a bad habit of changing his passwords without telling me because he is constantly trying to keep his twin sister off of his computer. I don't appreciate not having access to my children's computers at all time and this tool assures that will not happen when I am running the program.

Content Filtering allows only "safe searches" to be performed and if a flagged word or phrase is searched, a notification is sent to your Action Alert Manager, your email, and can also be sent to a cell phone if you choose to set it up that way. 

What I Didn't Like:

This program slowed down my system and made it freeze on numerous occasions. After using the program for several weeks, I finally had to remove it. Once removed, my computer ran like normal again. 

I also did not care much for the Site Blocking because of constantly having to type the password in to access the blocked sites (and there were A LOT of blocked sites). I am not so naive as to think that my children would never ever access a website that they weren't supposed to, but for the most part, I trust them right now. Having said that, I do think that this is a feature that I could utilize in the future when my younger children are online more to ensure they will not accidentally access a website that they shouldn't and also when my older children reach their (rebellious) teenage years and have an itch to do something they know they aren't supposed to. 

While there were some tools I was neutral about personally, I can see how they could be well utilized by other families.

Such As:

Chat and Email Logging 

Time Allowance

Access Control

As a homeschooling family, we are almost always home together and everybody usually knows what the other person is doing (and if not, believe me, there is always somebody willing to let everybody know). If I were a working mother, rather than a homeschooling stay-at-home mother, having something like the Access Control would be a great tool to have since it allows remote shut down of the computer that Action Alert it installed on. 

I think that this program has everything, and more, that a parent could ever want in internet safety. I've never seen another program that can compare to all of these features. 

If you are interested in Maximum Protection for your kids, Action Alert is currently offering 33% off their regular price making it $19.99 with a 30-day money back guarantee. 

They also offer FREE Protection via download and sets up and is ready to use in seconds. 

Contact Action Alert for special pricing for your school or business. 

You can find Action Alert on FACEBOOK

Read what other TOS crew members thought about this product HERE.


Winner of The Mighty Macs DVD Giveaway

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I have been trying to contact Daniele at You were the winner of the Mighty Macs DVD giveaway but I haven't heard back from any of the emails I've sent. If you see this post, please contact me with your mailing info so I can forward it to the sponsor if it's not too late. Thank you for entering!

Progeny Press Review


The Cay by Theodore Taylor, follows the story of Phillip Enrights, an 11 year old American boy living in Curacao with his parents during the start of WWII. When German subs begin torpedoing oil transport ships near the island, Phillip's mother decides she and Phillip will sail back to American to be safe. Their boat is torpedoes before it leaves the Caribbean, and the young boy is stranded on a raft with a black deckhand named Timothy. When Timothy goes blind from an injury suffered during the shipwreck, he must rely on Timothy, a man Phillip has been taught to distrust because of the color of his skin. The pair finds a small island to wait out their rescue and it is there that Phillip learns it's whats on the inside that counts.

I am currently reviewing The Cay study guide from Progeny Press. While we still have several weeks to go before  completing the study guide, we are thoroughly enjoying reviewing this product. 

The interactive study guide allows the student to answer multiple-choice questions, fill-in-the-blanks, and also includes underlining, cross-out text, and highlighting. This is one of my favorite things about the study guide. 

The guide we are reviewing is for grades 5-8 and includes a Table of Contents with the following sections:

  • Study Guide Author
  • Note to Instructor
  • Synopsis
  • About the Novel's Author
  • Background Information
  • Ideas for Prereading Activities
  • Chapters 1 & 2
  • Chapters 3 & 4
  • Chapters 5-7
  • Chapters 8-10
  • Chapters 11 & 12
  • Chapters 13 & 14
  • Chapters 15-17
  • Chapters 18 & 19
  • Overview
  • Essay and Project Suggestions
  • Additional Resources
  • Answer Key
The Progeny Press guides are designed to help students understand and enjoy the books that they are reading by getting them to notice and understand how the authors craft their stories. It teaches the student to think through the themes and ideas introduced in the stories and to take their time reading the book and to really think about what the author is trying to say. To properly work through  a Progeny Press guide, students are encouraged to have ready access to a dictionary, a thesaurus, a Bible, and sometimes a concordance. Internet research may be helpful at times as well as a good set of encyclopedias.

Most middle grades and high school study guides take from 8-10 weeks to complete. The guide suggests having the student completely read the novel the first week, while also working on a prereading activity. Starting the second week, the guide suggests working on one study guide page per day until the chapter sections are completed. Most study guides also include an Overview section that can be used as a final test, or it can be completed in the same way the chapter sections were completed. I am looking forward to using that section as a final test for my students.

Some of the Prereading Activities included in our guide include mapwork, writing a report, making a time line of WWII, and more. I was surprised at how in-depth this guide is. Progeny Press has really thought of everything, in my opinion. 

Study guides range in price, but The Cay is available for $18.99 for the booklet, $16.99 for the CD, $21.99 for the CD & booklet, and $16.99 for pdf email attachment.

For more product information, download their catalog or view the return/exchange policy . You can also visit their website for great deals and ways to save money.

Read what other TOS Crew members thought of this product HERE.

*Disclosure: I received this product for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and no other compensation was received.

The Guardian Duke Review & Giveaway (Ends 3/22)

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The Guardian Duke is a Regency-era romantic adventure written by award-winning novelist Jamie Carie. 


Gabriel, the Duke of St. Easton, is ordered by the King to take guardianship over Lady Alexandria Featherstone whose parents are presumed dead after failing to return from a high profile treasure hunt. But Alexandria ignores this royal reassignment, believing her parents are still alive and duly following clues that may lead to their whereabouts. Gabriel, pressured by what are actually the King’s ulterior motives, pursues her across windswept England and the rolling green hills of Ireland but is always one step behind.
When they do meet, the search for earthly treasure will pale in comparison to what God has planned for both of them.

Want to know more? Watch the Live Action Trailer

What I Thought:

I love historical fiction, and this novel set in the early 1800's in England & Ireland was an enjoyable read! The suspense and unexpected twists and turns that the story took kept me drawn in so much that I finished the book the same day I started reading it! If I have one complaint, it would be the way that the story ended in an unresolved way. I don't like it when books leave me hanging but from the author's and publisher's standpoint, it's an excellent marketing strategy because they know you'll buy the next book in the series. Speaking of which, the sequel will be released this summer and I am anxiously awaiting it's arrival!


Enter to win your own copy by simply leaving a comment on this blog post. Must be 18 years old and a U.S. resident to enter. Winner will be chosen via and will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner will be chosen. Giveaway ends 3/22 at midnight.

*Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and no other compensation was received.

Free Body Lotion Sample from gud!

Visit gud and like their FB page and complete the form to request your free sample of body lotion. You can choose 1 of the following scents: Orange Petalooza, Vanilla Flame, or Floral Cherrynova. I requested the Vanilla Flame. Looking forward to trying it out. I had no idea Burt's Bees had this line!

Free Sample Lipton Tea & Honey

Get a FREE SAMPLE of Lipton Tea & Honey by liking their FB page and filling out the form. Sample should arrive in 6-8 weeks!

We adore iced tea! Can't wait to give this a try!

Reading Eggs Review


Over the past month, I have been reviewing Reading Eggs with my 4 year old. He absolutely LOVES the program and asks to play it on a daily basis (sometimes several times a day). In a matter of a few days, he was trying to sound out words that contained the letters that he had been practicing. I am amazed at his progress!

So, what exactly IS Reading Eggs? It is an online literacy program for early readers ages 4-8 that builds on and reinforces phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Fun games & songs, interactive animations, learning activities, and rewards makes this innovative program work to motivate your child to learn. Want to know more? View a sample lesson

Some things I love about Reading Eggs:

It is online, so it is accessible anywhere.

It is a secure environment, with no ads.

The program tracks your child's progress so you know what they are learning and what they need to work on.

It is highly customized to your child's learning level.

A certain number of lessons must be completed & skills mastered before the student can move on.

The student is rewarded with "eggs" after each lesson is completed, which they can spend on creating avatars, playing games, and purchasing items for their virtual playhouse.

After every 10 lessons, children complete a Mastery Quiz & can repeat lessons as many times as they like.

If you have a student in 2nd-6th grade, check out Reading Eggspress. The program has a wide range of resources, lessons, games, e-books, and reporting. If you are already a Reading Eggs customer, Reading Eggspress will be included in your existing subscription at no additional cost.

How much does Reading Eggs cost?
Parents have two options: a 6 month subscription for $49.95 or a 12 month subscription for $79.95. If you add a 2nd or 3rd child at the same time you will receive 50% off their subscription price. 

Below are some of the program's screen shots:


Sentence game.

New games & characters are unlocked after each set of lessons are completed.
Parents, try the program out for yourself by signing up for a FREE 5 WEEK TRIAL! If you are a teacher, sign up for a FREE 4 WEEK TRIAL, download the PDF order form for school pricing information, or contact the company by emailing or calling 1-877-394-6695.

Some fun facts:

99.6% of parents who use Reading Eggs have seen a significant improvement in their child's reading skills.

Reading Eggs has already taught over 500,000 kids to read.

Over 200 elementary schools across the U.S. are using the program in their classrooms.

98% of teachers recommend the program to other teachers.

If you are looking for an amazing program that will grab your child's attention and help them to learn to read without realizing it - this is the one! I look forward to continuing our reading journey with Reading Eggs!

Read what other TOS Crew members thought of Reading Eggs

*Disclosure: I received this product for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. No other compensation was received.