Monday, May 16, 2011

My Thoughts on the TOS Crew

It was this time last year when I applied to be on the TOS Crew.  I seriously thought it was a long shot.  We only have one child and I had no public blog at the time (I did have a private one for just friends and family, but not one I would share with the world). 

Then, out of the blue, I received an email that I was to do a review.  This was my "test" and I was so nervous.  I created a blog and wrote my first review.  I must have re-read it a hundred times before publishing it.  Within 15 minutes I heard back that I had made it!!  Phew!!  Little did I know what the upcoming year would bring.

There were a few things that I was not prepared for.  The first was the time commitment.  I realized early on that there was no use in me writing reviews if I only had my family reading my blog (and yes, they do read it everyday).  :)  I actually had to get other people to read what I was writing and then "talk" to them...lol!  I'll be honest and say that it took me a while to get use to chatting with complete strangers (though hubby would have to disagree).  ;)  But slowly I gained followers and made friends.

And that brings me to another thing I was not prepared for...the good friends that I have made.  There have been so many people, both on and off The Crew, that I have met online.  It has been fun chatting with people and learning about their families and homeschooling activities.

The last surprise for me has been the great products I have reviewed.  I had no idea in the beginning how many products we would get to try out.  Although a few did not work for us, many have been a perfect fit for our family!  And I just love hearing feedback from readers on how my reviews have helped them in their purchasing decisions. 

I've reviewed a total of 28 products with 3 more to go.  Some of my favorites include:

Latin for Children A
PyraMath
Talking Fingers
Apologia: Who Is God
Yesterday's Classics
Circle C Books
Maestro Classics
Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary for Kids
Dig It Games: Roman Town
Growing Healthy Homes

So to conclude, I have enjoyed my first year on The TOS Crew and look forward to the year ahead.  I hope it will be just as wonderful and I'm sure it will be full of surprises!

Thanks for taking this voyage with me!

 

11 comments:

Kim

I've enjoyed following along on your year on the TOS Crew! Thank you for all the great reviews and for the time invested and shared with us all!
:-)

Martha

Enjoyed your post about the crew this year. I also did not have a blog and was surprised to have been selected. I actually had forgotten I had applied until I received the note asking me to do the test review.

While looking back over the year I marvel at how much I have learned while being on the crew.It has been a great year.

Jodi

It's hard to believe that this is your first public blog, you've impressed me for sure! I had no idea;) The good friends met via the Crew is my favorite blessing too.
Thanks for participating in the BC this year!

Our Homeschool Reviews

This year has been great on The Crew! Thanks for all your kind comments! And Jodi, your comment made my day! ;)

Jennifer

We have really enjoyed the crew too. I wonder how you went from just starting your blog to having 600 plus followers? I have been blogging since 2008 and have like 200 followers?

Cara R.

This is my first year too. I had slightly more experience than you. I started my blog in November '09. When I applied to be on the Crew, I had only posted ONE review. It was for an educational product and I was so glad to get it that my review was way, way, way thorough. LOL! I can't imagine starting from scratch! But, I started out with WordPress and had quite a learning curve. I know more about the inner workings of the Internet than I ever thought I'd need - or want - to know. ;oP Anyway, you've done great! :o)

Tracy

Congrats on being on the Crew for a year! You've done a great job with your reviews and I've enjoyed reading your posts! Thanks for all your hard work! Have another super year with TOS!

Wendy R

Only one year with a blog? And only one year on the Crew? How did you get over 600 followers??? I can't even seem to reach 100!!! :p LOL This has been my first year on the Crew too, and what a blessing!!

Our Homeschool Reviews

Tracy, thanks! Wendy, it has been a busy year trying to get followers. Cara, I think I am going to look into WordPress when I get some time. It seems like a lot of people like it.

Our Village is a Little Different

I'm like you. I had never blogged, and while I have two boys, they are the same age - so I don't have a lot of range. I was so surprised and happy to be selected!

I don't know if you noticed how many times people called me "Christine" on the forum. I have always taken it as a huge compliment. :)

I loved meeting you, and I'm already looking forward to next year!

Our Homeschool Reviews

Catherine, I know I emailed you but had to say on here that I am glad we have met. I love reading what you have to say on your blog! And for anyone wondering how you get over 600 followers in one year, you can ask her too...lol! She passed me up and I bet she will tell you it is hard work. :)

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