Monday, November 16, 2015

The TOS Blue Ribbon Awards

As my first year on the 2015 Review Crew winds down and the family and I switch gears to prepare for the holidays, I wanted to share with you what my families personal favorites from the 42 wonderful products we reviewed this year as well as share the 2015 Blue Ribbon Award winners.

Overall Favorite Product:

Without a doubt, Koru Naturals came out on top for our absolute favorite vendor.  We reviewed this vendor not once but twice and each time we loved everything we were given.

However, the clear winner here was the Pure Emu Oil. Prior to this review, we never would have even thought about buying Emu oil. Now, we cannot live without it.  Both my oldest daughter and I use this oil as part of our nightly skincare routines and it has helped to keep our skin blemish free.  My husband uses this oil daily in correcting his dry skin in his T-zone.  My youngest daughter LOVES this oil as it quickly eliminates scales caused by plaque psoriasis with absolutely no pain.  If ever there was a miracle in a bottle, this would be it.    When asked what their favorite review item was, both Charles and Alyssa did not hesitate to answer with Koru Naturals and the Emu Oil.

Garrett and Ashleigh's Favorites:

This was a two way tie for both kids as they couldn't really decide which one was their absolute favorite.  They both named these products as their favorites.

First is Egglo Entertainment's Glow in the Dark Eggs.  Garrett and Ashleigh are both looking forward for Easter to come back around so they can have another glow in the dark egg hunt.

Their second choice is Peter and the Wolf from Maestro
Classics. I honestly believe this one should have been the clear cut winner as they listen to it almost daily and they still sit and discuss the various instruments and how they are represented in the production.   Although, I have to laugh how they follow listening to this with "All About the Bass" by Meghan Trainor.  Go figure!!

Mom's Educational Pick:

This was a very hard choice as there were so many wonderful products to choose from but I kept coming back to one product in particular.   Horizons: Phonics and Reading by Alpha Omega Publishing.   This product has been a game changer for Garrett when it comes to reading and writing.

Garrett has always been the type of student who basically throws a fit and says "I can't" when it comes to reading aloud and sounding out words.  I don't know what it is in regards to this particular curriculum that he doesn't mind, but this is one of the very few curriculum where I can ask him to read a word or a sentence and not get met with a complete meltdown.

As we have progressed through this curriculum, both kids reading skills have improved greatly.  Ashleigh has moved on to reading three syllable words with very little problems and Garrett is where he should be as far as his reading levels go.

For these reasons, Horizon's gets Mom's Educational pick for 2015.

Other Top Pics for 2015

There were so many wonderful vendors that we got to review and I wish I could list all of the ones we especially loved.  However, in addition to the ones above, these 6 really stood out as our favorites. 

The Blue Ribbon Awards

Each year, the members of TOS Review Crew votes on many different categories to pick their favorite vendors. Many of these products were not ones I reviewed as they didn't fit in with my family so it's a great way to read reviews for other wonderful products and vendors.

And the Winners Are

Favorite Reading Curriculum: Reading Kingdom
Favorite Writing Curriculum: Institute for Excellence in Writing
Favorite Vocabulary Program: Dynamic Literacy
Favorite Spelling Program: Institute for Excellence in Writing: Phonetic Zoo
Favorite Grammar Program: Institute for Excellence in Writing: Fix-It! Grammar
Favorite Penmanship Program: CursiveLogic
Favorite Literature Curriculum: Progeny Press

Favorite History Curriculum: Home School in the Woods
Favorite History Supplement: Heirloom Audio Productions: In Freedom's Cause
Favorite Science Curriculum: Visual Learning Systems
Favorite Science Supplement: Ann McCallum Books: Eat Your Science Homework
Favorite Math Curriculum: CTC Math
Favorite Math Supplement: SimplyFun

Favorite Christian Education Curriculum: Grapevine Studies
Favorite Christian Education Supplement: Brinkman Adventures
Favorite Foreign Language Curriculum: Middlebury Interactive Language
Favorite Fine Arts Product: Maestro Classics
Favorite Elective Curriculum: Apologia Educational Ministries: Field Trip Journal
Favorite Audio Drama: Brinkman Adventures
Favorite Video:

Favorite Preschool Product: La La Logic
Favorite Elementary Product: Star Toaster
Favorite Middle School Product: The Critical Thinking Co
Favorite High School Product: Writing with Sharon Watson
Favorite College or College-Prep Product: Freedom Project Education
Favorite Parent Product: Koru Naturals
Favorite Planning Product: Apologia Educational Ministries: The Ultimate Homeschool Planner

Best Resource I Didn't Know I Needed: Homeschool Planet
Best Online Resource: Super Teacher Worksheets
Best e-Product: Home School in the Woods
Just for Fun: USAopoly
Kids' Choice: La La Logic
Teens' Choice: YWAM Publishing
All Around Crew Favorite: Institute for Excellence in Writing

2015 Schoolhouse Review Crew Blue Ribbon Awards

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