Have you ever wondered what it was like to be a TOS Crew Reviewer?
Like with anything you know that there will be ups and downs with everything you do. I have the pleasure of saying that it has been mostly all ups being on the tos crew. This is a great thing. Some of this post is more technical, some of it purely from my experiences. Hopefully it is all helpful though. Give you a little more insight and knowledge into what you are looking into doing (being apart of the tos crew) or give you insight as to who were are and what we do.
1. What is the TOS Crew?
TOS Crew stands for The Old Schoolhouse Crew. The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew are a bunch of bloggers (about 200 of us) that both home school and blog. Many of us even blog about our homeschooling itself. We have many different home school types both within the crew itself and even within the families in the crew. We are a diverse set of mamas (and maybe even a few papas) who come from different backgrounds.
2. How do I participate in TOS Crew as a home schooler?
You apply first off to be apart of the crew. Once you get accepted into the crew spot-- early congrats on joining the team by the way-- you start!
They schedule when you show interest in particular products for homeschooling families. This can be from phonetics to crafts to toys to online resources to high school curriculum.
If you are picked for that review, you go ahead and your information goes to the vendor. They will either mail you the product or give you the codes to access the materials online.
You will have 4-6 weeks to review the product. After that you have about a week to do the review and get it live. Yes, there is a deadline for reviewing the product. Of course, many times, you either keep the product or have access the for the year to the product so you can use well beyond the review period in your schooling.
You will have word count requirements, mentioning the product you review and the business who gave you the product. This is super important to do. You are (as normal) required to say that you got the product for the review and also to put the blog hop banner at the bottom of your review.
It is fairly simple.
3. What kinds of Reviews do I get to do?
I will list at the bottom of this Q and A my list of reviews I have done thus far for TOS, but in general it is related to homeschooling. It can be a toy, phonics, books, online products, calendars for the teacher, audio books, and so much more. I even once got to do a review for a health product through them. I have some exciting ones coming up actually (including a kids email account that is safer for them).
4. What do my figures/stats need to look like?
This is not something I can personally answer to. I know it is different for each blogger. You need to have an established blog of course. Review background is a huge plus but not required. I highly suggest if you are going to do the reviews for this to have review background- it makes it easier to understand why they ask certain things of you to do in your blog and also it just makes it easier to approach the product with the review in mind. That way your review almost writes itself. Not really, because that would be a cool invention, but you get the jest of what I am saying, right? Okay, good.
Also make sure you have a decent (doesn't have to be super high) amount of followers across your social media channels. This will help you not only land the 'job' but also to get your reviews out there!
Join my Facebook Group for Homeschooling Free Thinkers here
5. Would I do it again?
Absolutely and in a heart beat. There are programs that I would not have been able to use or do otherwise.
6. Do my reviews need to be positive or honest?
They need to be honest. More than anything be respectful if you are going to do a review where you didn't like or agree with it. Remembering that a lot of the places we review for are small businesses. In fact, it is fun especially when you realise that your product you are reviewing is local to you. I have had this happen a couple of times. It's cool actually!
7. Is it a real job?
It is important for you to know that it really is a 'job' in a sense. You are representing TOS and your blog which is your brand and theirs while writing reviews for other brands. It is important to know that a commitment is a commitment. That being said, it is fun and worth it! It isn't a boring 9-5 and no you don't get paid in money sense but you get to try this cool (and some of them amazing) programs for your kids that you may never have heard of otherwise! That is worth gold.
8. My TOS Crew Reviews! (22 Thus Far)
1. 2 Ways to A+ Interactive Math
2. 5 Cool Ways GREEMU Can Work for You
3. 5 Ways "Talking Fingers" Helps Your Child's Learning
4. 13+ Ways Forbrain is the Best to Retrain Your Brain
5. Channel Your Inner Artistic Pursuits 1 Skill At a Time
6. Expand Your Homeschooling Horizons
7. Is LearnBop Actually Worth It for Summer Review?
8. Is there Magic and Wonder to be Had in Multiplication?
9. Hey Mama- Save Money Here Now & Get Your 2017 Planner
10. How Can Legos Fit Into Your Faith Building?
11. Math Made Easy For All Your Kids
12. Now Boarding for the Writing Adventure of a Lifetime!
13. Oprhs of the Woodlands: The Treasure of Hightower
14. Shepherd the Amazing Little Scientist in Your Home
15. Talking Shapes: One of The Best Ways to Teach Phonics
16. The Sword in the Tree-- A Great E-Guide
17. What Essential Skills Can Give Your Child the Advantage?
18. What is the Ultimate Gift?
19. What is One of the Best Ways to Learn Foreign Languages?
20. What is Your First Thought When You Think of Stars?
21. Writer's in Residence--- Be the Writer You Want to Be
22. Your Kids Can Become Awesome MaxGuru's Right Now
9. Meet the Crew
Blog Roll We all have different blogs, different styles but we come together as an awesome group of home schoolers and bloggers. We hope you enjoy our blog posts as much as we like doing it!