LanSchool

For this review I was given a download of LanSchool v7.4 Home edition to try out on our computers. This software allows you to track what is going on on different computers in your home. If you use a lot of computer-based learning in your homeschool, this could be very helpful in allowing you to monitor what your kids are doing while they are at the computer!

The home version allows you to monitor up to three computers. If you have multiple children working on the computer at the same time, you can see how this would be helpful. It is sometimes difficult to run back and forth and keep an eye on what everyone is doing, especially if you have other children in your home.  This is some of what LanSchool allows you to do:

  • monitor real-time thumbnails of home computers
  • limit distractions like the internet, games, and instant messaging
  • track internet history
  • log every keystroke typed on the computer
  • limit computer access by locking out the computer
  • provide help through remote control
  • chat with family members

   Now, I am not a real computer expert, and I did have to get my husband’s help with installing the program on our laptop and home computer, but once he did, I found it relatively easy to use. It was helpful when I had one child on the computer working on an online program, and I was working with another in the kitchen. My oldest son could “talk” to me by chat and ask me questions without me having to leave my other child. I also found it helpful to keep an “eye” on what they were doing, as I found out my younger child was playing a game when he was supposed to be working on spelling! 🙂

   The cost for the home version is $99.00, which is kind of pricey. If you don’t have kids who use the computer for school a lot, or you have your computer in an area where you can easily monitor what is going on, it may not be necessary. However, if you do most of your homeschooling online, and if your children use the computer in an area that you cannot easily see, you may want to consider investing in this program.

The website is: http://www.lanschool.com/

 

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Zoe and Sozo publishing "Foundlings Book One"

As part of the TOS crew, I was sent a copy of Foundlings Book One by Matthew Christian Harding. It is published by Zoe and Sozo publishing, a Christian publishing company. The book is part of a series called The Peleg Chronicles. Along with the book, we received a packet of information from the author, describing the book and detailing his purposes in writing it. This is a quote from the cover letter “Foundlings is Historical Fiction that takes place in the time period of Peleg, soon after the Tower of Babel dispersion. My hope and vision is to instill a young “Biblical” earth model into our youth and adults with an entertaining read–strengthening the creation foundation of the Word of God.”

The book is aimed at ages 12 and up, and was read by my oldest son, a 7th grader. He is familiar with fiction/fantasy novels, having read both The Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Narnia books. Foundlings has a similar assortment of characters, including a witch who represents a false prophet. An older child could easily pick up on the biblical references in the book, but if you were using it as a read aloud with a younger child, you might need to explain some of them.

The plot of the book begins with Lord McDougal and his shield bearer, Fergus as they begin a journey that will lead them into a search for the Foundlings, and a battle with the Dragon Priests who are also searching for them, but with evil intent. Along the way, they meet other adventurers who will help them (and some who will not) in their quest.

As my son began the book, he felt it started slowly, but as he went on, the excitement began to build and he found himself rooting for both McDougal and Thiery (one of the foundlings). The book led to much discussion, as I was reading it too, and we talked about how it related to familiar stories from the Bible my son has heard many times. After finishing it, he told me to get the second book so he could see what happens next! 🙂

As a parent, I look for every opportunity to reinforce Biblical principles in my children’s lives. Christian fiction is an effective, and fun, way to do just that. The important thing is finding the right book. I can tell you this book appealed to my adventure loving son! If you have a boy in 6th grade or up, who likes The Hobbit or the Narnia books, then I would definitely recommend this one for them.

This is another quote from the summary we got that I thought gave you a good description of what to expect: “Foundlings weaves together Biblical principles of chivalry, truth, courage, duty, faith and love within the framework of Genesis, and a bold adherence to its historicity. It’s an exciting page turner that leaves you wanting more, but more importantly it leaves the reader with Godly heroes to think on and emulate, and a young earth creationist view of history that conforms to the Word of God.”

The website for the author is here: http://www.matthewchristianharding.com/   The books cost $11.95 each.

You can check it out to find out more about the books!