Captivated The Movie DVD ~ A Schoolhouse Crew Review

Captivated Movie Review


How many TVs do you have in your house? More than the amount of people? More than the amount of toilets? These are two statistics, that we have more TVs than people or toilets now in our houses! Media Talk 101 ~ ( has come out with a documentary, Captivated DVD, that puts the media into perceptive for anyone who plays games or watches TV. 


The Captivated DVD is $16.95 and has free shipping. It is approved for all ages, but made for adults. The running length of this DVD is 107 minutes long. They have a group study guide if you want, but this DVD is eye opening enough in itself for any household in America or even the world. 


This is not a curriculum of any kind, it is a documentary to help inform you of some statistics that you may not have known. I have sat down and watched this video, a number of times now. I keep finding new things that I didn't hear the first time. After watching the video, I sat back and watched my kids…and myself. I didn't realize how much we were addicted to our media, our TV, computers, tablets, phones and video games. I couldn't believe how much all of us were staring at a screen of some kind. I was actually sad…



I took this video and the statistics that they were telling us, comparing the addiction to media 1:1 with a gambling addiction. Or how about the fact that media is a bigger addiction than drugs! I took these thoughts and changed they way we started living our days. No, I haven't taken all media out…we homeschool and love to "Google" things. Movies are good learning tools, when they are positive and not full of violence. Nonsense games have been put on a hold…and no, it has not been easy. We want to work on finding the real joy in life. We want the freedom that comes with being away from screens. We want to hear God's voice instead of listening to all the noise and distractions that come with the media.

Media took off from the simple invention of the telegraph in 1844…once we found out that we could have more, we wanted more. I use and love media. I didn't think about how much I used media to "help" me. But I do, I use it every day. But I am now cutting back on it. I use the time after kids are in bed to work on my writing for this blog. I don't want my kids to see me sitting at the computer all day. Some days I may need to sit down and do something…but I love that I can just shut the laptop when my kids need me. I love knowing that I am showing my kids what is more important to me, which is them instead of the computer. 


(Pulling out games and finding good books when they are bored is something I love to see now.)


I loved this video, as much as I don't care for documentaries, I really did love this one. I have learned from this. I have had my eyes opened from this video. I have used this information to take a look at what our house is like and how "free" we really are. I have started making changes, simple little changes that the kids don't really seem to notice, but I notice good things from them. Simple changes like saying no to using the tablet. Yes, my children get upset and yell, but when I sit down and start reading a book out loud, they come running and sit down and listen. I am taking something away and giving them something different to be "captivated" by at the same time. 


I can not say one bad thing about Captivated DVD, other than I know that not everyone has seen it yet! I recommend that everyone get themselves a copy of this and just sit down and watch it. Take your "media" time to watch something eye opening instead of something full of junk.


Please take some time and stop by and visit Media Talk 101, find them on Facebook and Twitter and really do think about ordering yourself a Captivated DVD so that you can find the freedom and voice of God.


Don't believe what I have to say? Want to hear more? Check out these other wonderful reviews!


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Spelling You See ~ A Schoolhouse Crew Review

Spelling you see


When we started our homeschooling journey, Moe Man had his spelling under control. However, I was a tad worried about our homeschool spelling study with Ray Ray. Spelling You See has been my life saver!


We we received a copy of the Spelling You See: Jack and Jill (Level B) for Ray Ray to try and the Instructor Guide for me to use.



Spelling You See Review


With the student books, you get two workbooks, A Guide to Handwriting sheet and erasable colored pencils for $30. The workbooks are broken down into 36 weekly lessons. Each one of these weekly lessons are than broken down into sections A through E (5, one for each day of the week). Spelling You See: Jack and Jill (Level B) is nursery rhyme based. Each week we get to work on a new nursery rhyme. Book 1 has the kids copy the a selected passage of the nursery rhyme and than we get to work on filling in letter boxes. Book 2 has the kids looking for vowel and consonant patterns within the nursery rhymes.



Spelling You See Review


The Instructor's Guide ($16), provides you the parent/teacher with a beautiful "getting started" guide. This guide gives you an overview of the 36 lessons, information on those lessons, skills and concepts learned plus much, much more! I could not (and would not recommend) using this program without the instructors' guide!



Spelling You See Review


There are no "ages" or "grades" to pick from this program. They have different levels that will match your child's stage in the 5 developmental stages of spelling. We did use the Spelling You See: Jack and Jill (Level B) with Ray Ray while he was 5, and it seemed to click with him very well. It is best to read more about the different levels and stages, as well as reading some of the FAQs that are listed on the site before you just pick a level for your child. Even though you may have a 5 year old at home, they may be at a different level, higher or lower, than where Ray Ray is at right now. And this is normal!


We used this program as part of our daily school lessons. Ray Ray was a little disappointed to start this, but soon started asking if it was time for spelling yet. I would start by reading the nursery rhyme of the day and than Ray Ray would read it after me. He would than work on copying a part of that nursery rhyme down. It would only be a line or two, but it was enough for him. After the nursery rhyme, we would move over to the next page. This page would have us working on the sounds of letters and writing them down. After the letters and their sounds, we would work on simple three letter words with short vowel sounds. Not only did this help Ray Ray with his spelling, I noticed he enjoyed reading more! Each day had us doing something different in the beginning phrase, from underlining rhyming words to finding capitals and punctuation. There are no spelling lists, as this program using the idea of seeing the words written correctly and copying that.


Ray Ray's thoughts on the program were very to the point. He loved reading the nursery rhymes, and saying and writing the words on his own. When I asked him if he would change anything "No, nothing really". And I had to have that 'no' in there as he watches me right this now πŸ™‚

My thoughts on the program, very easy to use! That was a fear of mine. There is really no way to screw this up! It is an open the book and go program. Once you read your instructor's guide you will be set for the lesson that day! A simple 10 minute (depending on your child's mood that day) lesson and spelling is in their head for the day! I loved that they used the nursery rhymes at this stage and how much fun Ray Ray had with this every day! Would I change anything? Not at this point. I really couldn't think of anything to change at all.


Make sure you check out Spelling You See on Facebook and Twitter!


Since there are 5 different levels, and I couldn't review them all, make sure you hop on over and check out what these other reviewers had to say!


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Mango Languages ~ Review

Mango Languages Review


Does your homeschool curriculum include a foreign language?  Just one? Or more than one? Plain old boring books, or a program that teaches you the actual language through speaking?


We had the opportunity to review Mango Languages Mango Homeschool Edition recently with The Schoolhouse Review Crew.



Mango Languages Review


Mango Homeschool Edition is an online program that helps you to add in that foreign language to your homeschool curriculum. Mango Homeschool Edition offers you over 60 foreign language courses with access to all of those with your subscription! You don't have to worry about the boring vocabulary that you won't remember years from now, Mango Homeschool Edition helps you work on actual conversations from the beginning, just like when you learn your original language. You don't have to worry about carrying around books and DVDs or CDs. Everything you need for this course is right here on the computer. There is no special computer equipment or operating system required.


You may have heard of Mango Languages before, as they have been around for years now. They have a library program that is free if your library has a membership. But there is only one problem with that…they don't have all the levels of the different languages available with the library edition. With Mango Homeschool Edition you have access to all the levels of all the languages. Which, I find to be well worth it if you really want to learn the language.


Mango Homeschool Edition is recommended for ages 6 up to adult. Moe Man and I have been using it, and Ray Ray hopped on and started having fun also. He is only 5, but was able to easily navigate the course and since there really isn't a huge need for the reading, he has been picking up on the different  words and phrases of French. Yes, he picked French…because he wants to go to Paris and the Eiffel Tower!


Ray Ray hasn't had to use this for an actual class. He has had the opportunity to play on it. Moe Man and myself have been using this program for at least 4-5 days a week…both of us will sometimes do more if we are having too much fun πŸ™‚ Since Moe Man is only in 7th grade this year, and there is no requirement for a foreign language yet, we are using this as our introduction, or review in my case.


Moe Man had wanted to do Chinese for his language of choice, but I said he could only do that as a free choice and we worked on Spanish (Latin America) together. We kept a notebook of the different words and phrases we were learning, as well as how the verbs work together and the formal and informal versions of speech. By taking this notes, we were able to practice throughout the day, even without the computer! 


Once starting the program, we found out that each language is divided into different Journeys. Each of these are than broken down into chapters. The different chapters have different lessons in them. We would take our time going through the lessons and practice them over and over again as many times as we could. Since the conversations are usually among two people, it helped that we were learning together. It is much easier to practice a conversation with another person versus by yourself πŸ™‚


After you complete the chapter, you are given a quiz on what you learned. This is where Moe Man struggles. He does not like quizzes. So, since we homeschool, I tweaked this for him. I have the printed up file of what we are learning and we would go through and have the conversation over and over again throughout the quiz. This really helped to re-enforce what we were learning, and help with the quiz taking process. 



Not only do you get to learn how to have conversations within the language you are learning, but you get to learn the cultural and grammar notes. They do not place a huge emphasis on this, but they do not leave it out also. You have to think…when we learned how to speak as babies, you  never heard WHY you said what you said…you just heard it and learned it. Mango Homeschool Edition seems to be doing this same thing. I really like this way of learning much more than any other way of learning when it comes to a new language. 


Mango Homeschool Edition offers many other options to go along with this too. You can use their progress assessment tests to see how much you already know and skip the things you do know. They have a in system chat setup where you can ask questions and find answers from other members. In the near future, Mango Homeschool Edition will have an enhanced progress tracking and progress monitoring. This will include "seat time". They are also making a goals and personal lesson plan section that can be stand alone but is also tied into the Mango program. They also plan to have a resume and portfolio builder. We have not used all of these options yet, some are still in the working, so I will not comment on them πŸ™‚


I really liked the idea of this program and the fact that it is focused on the hearing and speaking of the language. I would have loved to see a little more worksheets or paperwork to help the visual learners. However…Moe Man loved the program and learning the different languages. He loved being able to listen to the different language and using their voice comparison tool to see how well he was matching them. When I asked him what he would want to see changed, he said nothing. He liked the whole thing and felt it was easy to navigate and understand.


All of this is packaged up in one pretty little bundle for $125 for a year for one subscription or $18 a month. That includes all 60+ languages and access to all of them!  Need more than one subscription? Get 2 for $175 for the year, $28 for a month, 3 for $225 for a year or $38 a month, 4 for $275 a year or $48 a month, 5 for $325 a year or $58 a month. By far the yearly deal is better! If you are really serious about wanting to add a foreign language into your homeschool…take the plunge with the yearly deal. Don't forget to show your love for Mango and follow them on their social media here:





With over 60 langauges from Spanish to Pirate (yes, Pirate) to Polish and everything in between, there is no way I would be able to review them all. Want to know more? Check out these other reviews: 



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Glow in the Dark Easter Eggs ~ Egglo Entertainment Review


I don't know who was more excited about the package from Egglo Entertainment, me or the kids! We were so happy to open it up and see glow in the dark Easter eggs!

Upon opening the package we found Glow in the Dark Egglo Eggs, The Egg-cellent Easter Adventure book, The Egg-cellent Easter Adventure (book audio download), Egglo Treasures Scripture Scrolls, and The Egg-cellent Easter Adventure Program Guide.


Egglo Review



The Glow in the Dark Egglo Eggs come in a package of 12 eggs. They come in four colors and there are plain eggs or eggs with a cross on them. They are able to open up and you can put items in them. Once charged, these beautiful eggs glow bright in the dark! The 12 eggs cost $9.99.


The Egg-cellent Easter Adventure Book is a very beautiful book! The kids couldn't put this down! This 40 page book tells the story of searching in the dark for the light…kind of sounds like a bible verse "The light of Jesus shines in the darkness" John 1:5, which is the books theme. The kids in this story are searching for the eggs with clues to lead them to the next egg and ultimately the greatest treasure. This beautiful book sells for $9.99.


The Egg-cellent Easter Adventure audio download book is 30 minutes long. This is a perfect way to let the littles listen to the story over and over again all day long πŸ™‚ They loved the story and with the chimes they knew when to turn the page! this download sells for $2.99.

Egglo Treasures Scripture Scrolls are little tiny scrolls that come with 12 verses that go along with the theme of the book. They are just the right size to fit inside the eggs and if your kids are like mine, they will treasure these scrolls more than anything…even the candy! They are only $4.29 for the 12 of them.


The Egg-cellent Adventure Program Guide is a 60 page step by step guide that helps you (or a church/youth program) plan out a wonderful and fun experience for the kids. This two part download gives you decorations, invitations, snack ideas and discussion cards. The program guide is $14.99 and lets you make this Easter a truly unique experience that teaches your kids the true meaning of Easter.

All of these items are perfect for home or group use. They are recommended for ages 4-13, but we used them with Little Miss who is almost 3 and she loved them just as much as the rest of us!

Egglo Review


As soon as we opened the package, I lost eggs throughout the house. The kids had fun holding them up to the light and than running into the darkest room to see what would happen. We than sat down and looked through the book. We didn't read it right away, because we wanted to wait for daddy, but we got the idea right away. Jesus is the light in the dark. Ray Ray took this one to heart and now carries around a "fake" candle that he can turn on whenever he gets scared. 


While the kids were busy playing and checking out the new "toys", I spent some time reading the program guide. I took the ideas and used them to work for us. We love ideas for new snacks, and snacks that go along with the book! How awesome. The program guide also gives you questions and answers to see how well the kids followed along in the book. There are coloring sheets and fun printables to add to the eggs if you want.

When daddy was home, we were ready to have fun! We left the eggs in the window sill all day to charge, and they were ready for us after supper. We all sat down together with the book and followed along with the audio download. After we finished the book, we talked about the story and the true meaning behind Easter. Than the kids had to go and hide while mommy and daddy hid the eggs. They came out and we had a flashlight shining in a general area so no one got hurt. Everyone found their eggs and had so much fun! They were thrilled that they each got a scripture scroll! However, now I am three scrolls less in my bag, but hey, it is worth it πŸ™‚

I love the program! I love the idea of the program! I love that my kids are having more fun with learning about the true meaning of Easter! The kids had fun and that is what matters to me. The pictures in the story book are beautiful and the story line is perfect! My only complaint about the story is that it is a little long. I don't know how I would make it shorter and still keep the details that this story had. I see why they say the older ages, Little Miss had a harder time sitting still for the whole story. The program guide is full of details, and I only printed the items I wanted to use with the kids. There are lots of colors and pictures, so I didn't want to print the things I didn't need to. Would any of these dislikes deter me from purchasing the product? No. I don't think any of it takes away from the program. 

So, what is your favorite memory of Easter? I sure hope you are going to look into this to help your kids with their memories πŸ™‚

Hop over and see what these other families did with their Egglo Eggs!


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Crew Disclaimer Alegebra 1 Review (Schoolhouse Review)


When you say the word Math to Moe Man you get met with a disappointed, defeated look. He has not had the "aha" moment when it comes to math for him. When I was given the chance to check out The Algebra 1: Volume 1 Tutor on DVD from I was excited to see what we could have here. Review

As part of this review, we were given The Algebra 1 Tutor Volume 1 DVD. The physical DVD (which we received) sells for $26.99, or you can get the DVD download for $23.99. Review

We also received the Fractions Thru Algebra Companion Worksheet PDF download, which sells for $21.99 or the physical CD version sells for $24.99.


As the title of this DVD states, it is a Tutor and not a full math curriculum. You will still need a curriculum, but this is a perfect way to help your child along when you don't know how to explain what they are learning. It is not required to have the companion worksheets, but they do help to reinforce what you are learning while you watch the DVD, and I highly recommend them πŸ™‚ The Algebra 1 Tutor: Volume 1 is for grades 7 and up, unless you have someone younger who is taking an Algebra course. Review Review has been a life saver for us! We took this algebra tutor and used it the best that we could. It is a wonderful way to have someone else "teach" Moe Man when he doesn't want to listen to me. There are 3 disks which have 3-4 "lessons" on each one. From these "lessons" you are able to pick and choose what you need help with. We started at the beginning for a review of the most basic parts of real numbers and the number line. 


Even though we started with items that Moe Man already knew, he loved being able to have that review. And to have it on the T.V. and letting him be in control of the remote let him "take control" of his math learning. We took lesson 1 on disk 1 and broke it up into three days. During those three days, Moe Man would watch the video, take notes as they were written on the board and than did the companion worksheet. Doing this quick review gave him a confidence boost that continues to show every day when it comes to math now!


After our quick review, we took the tutor as a tutor. When we learned something new or had a struggling moment, we would jump over to The Algebra Tutor and see another view point on how to learn it. This is perfect for Moe Man. He learns best from the repetition, and being able to watch the same thing as many times as he needs to is wonderful. 


There is no schedule for this program. There is no do this on this day and than move onto this on this day. This is a tutor. This is a use it as you need it program, and for us we are using it a lot! 


So, do I like the program? YES! Why did I like it? Well, Moe Man actually asked me if he could do math first on the second day. He always puts it off, but to hear that he WANTED to do math, made me smile. The instructor goes slow enough on the DVD that you are able to keep up. He makes it fun for the kids, and I even caught Ray Ray watching the video with Moe Man. It is not a boring lecture of math that kids don't like. It is simple, yet effective! Moe Man enjoyed (and still enjoys) being able to go to this when he needs help. He likes being able to pause the DVD when he needs to, and the fact that he can rewind it makes it even better. I like that I don't have to keep repeating myself, yet he still gets the repetition. 


Who do I recommend this program for? I would recommend this to any family who has a child in Algebra! I don't care if you are a homeschool family or not. This program is great to help all children who need that extra boost. It helps those who struggle with math and may not have had their "aha" moment. 


I loved this program. Moe Man loved this program. This is something we will continue to use and benefit from. I can't think of anything that needs to be changed with this. 


Make sure you check out what these other families have to say about this and other programs available at by clicking on this picture:


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Science4Us Review

Do you need a Kindergarten Science Curriculum that comes with not only online activities, but also printable science worksheets? Are you after a good kindergarten program that includes science projects and experiments? What about the lessons plans for you? Oh, and what if it had 4 different areas of study such as Inquiry, Physical, Life and Earth/Space? If these are the things you are looking for, do I have something to share with you! is what you are looking for! Online Subscription is an affordable way to let your kids have fun with science and and easy way for you to watch them learn! We received a six month subscription to their online site through the Schoolhouse Review Crew and both Ray Ray and Little Miss love when it is science time!

science4us is your one stop shop for your science curriculum. For the price of $7.95 a month per student, you will have all that you need. This online program does not require the purchase of any additional items if you don't want them. I have used my printer and ink to do some of the offline activities, and I also have done some fun experiments to go with the lessons. You don't have to print everything, and you can print it all if you want. There are lesson plans all set up, and as the teacher, you are able to pick and choose what activities you want your kids to complete. There are specific requirements for using this program, other than speakers so your kids can hear. We have used the speakers and when everyone else is too loud, Ray Ray will throw on his headphones. This is recommended for for use with Kindergarten up to 2nd grade, but if your 3-5th graders need extra review, this will work for them also.


Science4Us Review

The teacher page shows you all you need to know to teach your child further after their online lesson is over. The teacher support printables explain each section that you are using and how to make them work for you (this is the section that I read online and save my ink by not printing). You are also able to find offline materials here to print up for your kids to work on (this is the stuff I love to print for Ray Ray to use). I usually come to my page in the morning, or the night before, and see what we will be working on. I take some notes and am ready to talk with Ray Ray as he is doing his lesson that day. 

There are many different activities for you to pick out for your kids to work on. They include such things as Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate and Evaluate. There are also some other fun activities that add in other subjects such as vocabulary skills, alphabetizing and math skills. You don't have to choose for your child to do all the activities, but I have found that Ray Ray is benefiting from using all of them and showing that this is sticking with him…including all the extras, like alphabetizing.


Science4Us Review

The student page is very easy to navigate. In fact, after watching the intro video, Ray Ray has begun to navigate this page better than me! I log him in, and let him go! After my review the night, or morning before, I am able to ask Ray Ray questions as I am making lunch or supper, but I usually end up loosing him to the activities before I know what has happened.


We started with the Earth/Space unit and right away we were being told that all our simple explanations of things were wrong πŸ™‚ This is one of those times when I don't care that my children correct me. A shooting star is not a shooting star, it is a comet or meteor. Or how about Ray Ray's newest phrase…"Where are you going, Jupiter?" He is loving that he knows something and is able to tell us about it. 

Our first day with the program ended up being a full science day. Ray Ray loved it so much that he didn't want to stop…in fact he did over 3 days worth of work in just one sitting! He was having so much fun and I just didn't want to stop that fun learning. After that, we tried to limit how much was done each day. I have seen him learn how to alphabetize and love watching him pick out patterns, such as night and day, and seasons. I try to start each day with simple questions of what he might already know and what he thinks we are going to talk about. After going through the lesson for the day, I like to have him tell daddy what he is learning. He is able to tell him all about what he learned, and I am able to see what he is remembering.


This week we are working on changes in matter. As a way to help the kids better understand it, we watched an ice cube change proprieties. We talked about what we thought would happen…we had an idea after watching the ice disappear in our water cups, but this was a way to enforce it (plus they had this as an example on the lesson today). The kids loved watching and marking the time…they wanted to do the tomato experiment too, but I didn't like the idea of smashing or having an over ripe tomato in the house vs on the computer πŸ™‚

So, you are now going to want my honest opinion right? Well if you couldn't tell from what I have already written, we loved the program. This is something the clicks with Ray Ray and I love to see this. Ray Ray loves the program also. He gets excited every time he "has" to do it. The only thing he complains about is when he gets an answer wrong. He loves getting the answers right, and pays more attention now that he knows he will be quizzed. I haven't found a reason not to like this program yet. I enjoy watching my kids learn and I see that happening every time Ray Ray sits down to do his science!


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