Friday, December 18, 2009


As a 2nd year member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I have been given the wonderful opportunity to review many homeschool products over the next several months. The only compensation that I receive for my review is the free product. I feel truly blessed to be participating in this review group and I'm looking forward to trying out more products and giving you my honest opinion.

I know I'm posting a review right in the middle of Christmas Movie Unit Study posts, but I really needed to get this review up and its been a little crazy around here this week. I promise I will let you know about the rest of our Movie unit!

In the meantime I wanted to tell you about this neat product that we got the opportunity to review. Being a part of the Crew has been so awesome, because we are constantly getting the chance to try out things that we maybe never would have otherwise.

We received a 3 month subscription to Tektoma, which is an online game tutorial for kids. What does that mean? It means your kids can actually learn how to create their own computer games!

Tektoma was created by Tom Marx and Matilda O'Connor. They actually run summer camps for children interested in computers and technology. They had a desire to "provide 24 hour a day, 365 days per year access to engaging video tutorials that teach children game programming" and so Tektoma was born.

The tutorials are geared towards children age 7-17 and include instructions on how to make many simple arcade style games including a racing game, memory game, fantasy game, and more.

Windows XP or Vista is a requirement to use this program as is a free downloadable game software. (Instructions to download are given when you sign up.) It's also recommended to have a broadband connection.

G9 and I were the only ones big enough in this house to really give this program a try... (well, that statement doesn't give my hubby much credit, does it?) Okay, G9 and I were the only ones big enough and who had enough time to try this program out.

How we felt about it: I actually felt like the video tutorials were very thorough. I wouldn't necessarily say that it is an easy to follow program, however. I have always been a bit of a slow learner when it came to anything science, math, or technology related. So, I had to stop, rewind the video tutorial, and try again several times while attempting to create a game. G9 was interested at first, but needed my help to work through it...apparently he takes after his mom on the technology end. He became bored with it after about a half an hour and to be honest, I sort of did as well.

That being said, I really don't want to leave you with a negative view of this product. It's actually a good product, but just not necessarily one that hits a particular interest for our family. Tektoma offers a safe learning environment for kids. None of their games include any inappropriate content such as language or violence. Membership also includes a private and secure Member's Only Forum to post questions.

14.95 per month or $140 per year gets you access to all the tutorials as well as online help via the forums. It's payable by credit card or Paypal on the Tektoma website. You can also try Tektoma for free for 14 days.

Many of my crew members found great success with Tektoma and their kids really enjoyed making computer games on their own. You can read their reviews here.

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