Thursday, October 30, 2008

Review: Help Me 2

Like most Mommies out there, I've had to teach myself through plenty of trial and error, how to navigate that crazy thing called the Internet.

The words "Google it" have become the world's catch phrase, especially among homeschoolers. There's always something that will need to be looked up on any given day. But while a simple search will yield oodles and oodles of results, filtering out the useful from the downright awful, can be tricky and time consuming.

However, since I've done just that for years, I didn't think too much of it. I mean, that's just the way it is, right?

So, when I was asked to review, I was a bit skeptical.

Would this site really have good enough content to satisfy someone as picky as me?

Would it truly "help me to teach" my children, or would it seem confining and limited, and therefore drive me back to Google?

And maybe most importantly, why would I want to pay for something like that when running an online search is free?

Well, I'm pleased to say that after taking a good look around, my initial skepticism and questions were laid to rest. :o) is a nifty search engine that boasts a healthy assortment of pre-screened links (over 2300!), ranging in topic from the standard reading, writing and arithmetic, to more fun stuff like magazines, unit studies, and a whole section about (ready for this?) chocolate. (HELLO!)

There are links to printable worksheets, games, puzzles, maps, timelines and more.

While nearly most of the resources are free, they've included a list of "pay" curriculum programs like Christian Liberty and, if you happen to be in the market for a good distance program for your homeschool.

The links are carefully organized by subject, with additional coding by grade level (Pre-K through High School and teacher specific ones), to make your searching faster and easier.

Initially, there weren't any faith-based links included because the owner, Elaine Taylor, felt that could become a bit overwhelming and multi-directional.

However, based on the number of fellow reviewers asking for such content, Ms. Taylor graciously created a section for Christian and Bible stories. (How's that for service?)

I was also impressed to find links to several Jewish websites (our family is Messianic), including one that helps you learn to read Hebrew. prides itself on consistently updated content, so you can be sure the information is fresh and relevant. Not only that, but with its vast amount of information, can be used as an incredibly economical, stand-alone curriculum choice. (I'm always looking for a bargain, and this fits the bill perfectly.)

And while all that is great and wonderful, what I appreciated most about this site was the fact that I could safely allow my oldest daughter to do her own research for school, without constantly looking over her shoulder. (Can't say that about Google, sorry!) offers a variety of membership plans, ranging in price from:
  • $4.95 for a 3 day trial
  • $9.95 for 1 month
  • $15.95 for 3 months
  • $29.95 a year (by far the best deal). And all options cover your entire family.
Along with your subscription, you'll receive their monthly e-newsletter that's filled with even more links and information. This month's newsletter covers the Fall equinox, hurricanes, tornadoes and fall/winter holiday crafts and recipes.

And now for the super-cool-deal part! :o)

Now through December, when you subscribe to for 1 year, you'll get a 2nd year absolutely free! That's two full years worth of headache-free searching, and curriculum resources for under thirty dollars. (Wooo hoooo!)

Simply include the code "TOS" at the checkout to take advantage of this special deal.

So, there ya have it. Tons of pre-screened links and resources at your finger tips, all for one great price. Check out today, and see if it's just the thing you've been looking for. :o)
I give this service 1.5 thumbs up. :o)

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