Families Again
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Families Again
Wednesday, 24 February 2010
Memories of a Dear Friend and Coworker.
Mood:  sad
Topic: General

Recently I got word that a dear friend of mine was retiring from the private school that she's worked at for nearly 25 years. We worked together at The Master's Academy in central FL for eleven of those years. I can't express what she meant to me during that time. Ann Hayden was actually my boss. She was the head of the Discovery department that included NILD (National Institute for Learning Differences) and the PAL (Program of Alternative Learning) classes. She also taught the Special Education classes at the college that I graduated from.

We didn't always have a smooth relationship. I can remember getting aggravated when she would leave notes telling me to do this or to do that or fussing at me for something. What I realize now, but didn't realize then, was that she was just pushing a greenhorn therapist to do his best. She was almost like more of a mother to me than a boss. I'm sure that fact made it a doubly difficult job for her. It's hard enough to be just a boss let alone a mother and a boss. Looking back, I understand how much she put up with from me. Even though she had to get onto me quite a bit, she always did it in a very loving and patient manner. I'm also sure there were many times that she defended me when others were ready to give up on me.

She also taught me compassion for those who had a disability. She was a tireless worker for those who had learning disabilities or were physically disabled. Her love for the children that she defended showed in her work and the way that she treated those who are defenseless.

Although she was a task master, working with Ann was not always work. There was plenty of fun as well. Even physical labor could be a blast with Ann. I remember carrying a heavy filing cabinet up steep fire escape steps at the original elementary campus. I think we laughed as much as we toiled. Eating out was always an adventure with Anne as well. There was always a lively discussion about the students we had, or the happenings going on. There was never a dull moment.

I certainly miss those days with Ann Hayden. I miss the love that she taught me to have, and the love that she had for me. Ann will always be more than just a boss to me. She will forever be a good friend. Even though we don't talk much or see each other much anymore, she will always be dear to me and my family.

I know that she will be greatly missed not only at The Master's Academy, but also in the learning disability community of Central Florida and the NILD world as well. I know that she will stay busy in her life of retirement and I wish her well.

Mrs. Hayden, know that I will always be praying for you and please know that the impact and blessing you have been on my life is immeasurable. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. 


This was originally written for a retirement book that The Master's Academy was putting together for Anne's retirement. I thought I would include it on my blog. What I have said here, I've said from the bottom of my heart.

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Posted by tink38570 at 9:38 AM CST
Updated: Friday, 26 February 2010 1:17 PM CST
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Joshua's done it again
Mood:  d'oh
Topic: General
What has he done? Find out soon!

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Posted by tink38570 at 12:01 AM CST
Updated: Thursday, 25 February 2010 12:02 AM CST
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Tuesday, 23 February 2010
Update on BCM International's Haiti Efforts
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: BCM International


Just received another email from Marty Windle, BCM (Bible Centered Ministry) International's President, regarding BCM's Haiti recovery effort. Here it is in full:

Greetings from the President’s Desk.

Several of you have been praying for the Haiti situation. Our missionary Tommy Gambrill has safely returned. We are currently reviewing our findings, and will be deciding the best course of action and strategy in the next short while. We have been able to connect with several local churches and pastors, as well as the director of the Seminary in Port au Prince. Our efforts will most likely focus on helping the local church as they rebuild in the coming days. 

I will keep you updated as to our plans, and hopefully will have some pictures for you in the near future.


Marty Windle

BCM President

Thanks for all that you have done so far in assisting BCM International in this endeavor. Your prayers and contributions have been greatly appreciated. If you would like to contribute to BCM's Haiti relief fund or would like further information on BCM, please click on the BCM Haiti relief banner at the top of this post and it will take you to their website. 


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Posted by tink38570 at 11:26 PM CST
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Monday, 22 February 2010
Math Mammoth - A Behemoth of a Curriculum
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Homeschool Product Review

I have really appreciated all of the math products that I have received to test this year. They have really helped my boys in many ways. The only problem is, that they were all supplemental programs. Either a game or a video to assist in the learning of math concepts. What I have really struggled with this year is a regular math curriculum for each of my boys. I have tried this and tried that but have not found anything that I really liked...until now!

I was excited just be getting a full curriculum to try, but now that I've tried it, I know that this is where we belong. Before I talk about what I really like like about Math Mammoth, let me tell you about my past experiences with homeschool math curriculum.

When I first took John  Allen out of school I searched and searched for a quality math program that would get John Allen ready for upper level math. I read about a program that didn't believe in spiraling. Spiraling is when you continue to review concepts year after year. You may begin addition in 1st grade, but you continue to review and build on it the next year and every year after that. The folks who like it, like the idea of reviewing things often. It keeps things fresh in their minds.

The folks that don't like it as well feel that there is too much fragmentation. They feel that a student never has enough time with one math topic. They are always moving on to something new. And, when it is finally time for them to get back to a math element, they have to spend so much time reviewing that they only have enough time to advance a small amount before they have to move on to something new again. They think that you should stick with one topic and learn it thoroughly before moving on to something else.

After doing a lot of reading on the latter approach, I was really intrigued, and thought that it might be perfect for John Allen. I was not disappointed. He really enjoyed the approach and seemed to excel. Until, the year that we couldn't afford the curriculum that we had been using. When we tried to find another cheaper curriculum, all we could find was the spiral approach. We had to pick and choose things from several Goodwill and Thrift shop purchases in order for him to get the information that he needed. There had to be a better way.

Enter Maria Miller's Math Mammoth Curriculum. Boy do I wish we would have found this sooner. She see's the value of both approaches and has found a way to combine the two. What she does is use the spiral approach, but doesn't include so many things in each years texts. For example, she chooses to include the basics in her first grade curriculum, but chooses to wait until a later grade to begin other. That allows for her to cover the things included in grade one more thoroughly without having to move quickly through each topic in order to get to something new. In fact, the Math Mammoth website states:

"I often introduce somewhat difficult topics in two grades. A few topics are "introductory" in one grade and "in focus" in the next."

This has been just what we needed for John Allen and the perfect curriculum for Joshua. Things are laid out very nicely in both the younger and older. The explanations for new things are done very well, with a lot of examples and with a lot of problems to practice on. Also, because Maria Miller doesn't have to move quickly to a new topic, she can go a little slower and be a little more thorough in her teachings. There pages are also not cluttered with a lot of cutesy visuals that I know would distract my children. It has been a win - win situation for both kids. 

OK. Are you still not convinced. Do you still like the single topic approach better? Is your student still struggling in a specific area and you need help on that topic? Here is a secret that I have been hiding from you. Maria Miller's Math Mammoth has something for all of the above. She actually has many different "series" of texts that you can buy depending on your needs. If you like the modified spiral approach, you can choose the grade leveled "Light Blue" series. If you would rather study using the single topic approach, look at the "Blue Series" which is very similar to spiral books but with a single topic in each. If you need more work on a specific topic, use the "Green Series"  (worksheets by topic) or the "Gold Series" (worksheets by grade). The worksheets contain many of the same problems as the Blue and Light Blue curriculum but with out all of the explanation. Depending on the series, Math Mammoth is available for grades 1-5 (full curriculum) and subjects from grades 1 - algebra one for the subject series. More grades are expected to be added in the near future. Those would be perfect for public or private school kids that just need some extra help.

Still not convinced? Don't worry, Math Mammoth has you covered with that as well. There are two ways that you can receive 280 worksheets Surprised! Yes, I said 280 free worksheets! Just click here or on any one of the hi-lighted links above to go to the Math Mammoth website to check it out. There prices are very reasonable and range in price depending on what you get. For example, there first grade curriculum is divided into two halves. The first half is priced at $11.90 + shipping for a printed copy to $15.50 for the downloadable version. I like the downloadable ones because you can just print out what you need and you are also allowed to use them with multiple kids in multiple years if you would like. They also have package deals that give you a discount if you are buying more than one grade level. Did I mention that they even have a downloadable worksheet maker for you to make your own worksheets if you want? This company has everything. Don't take my word for it only though, check out the reviews of the other TOS Crew Members by clicking here. Happy Home Educating. 

As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I was sent free downloads of Math Mammoth's Light Blue Grade One and Light Blue Grade Five in order to try out and review on my blog.


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Posted by tink38570 at 9:21 PM CST
Updated: Tuesday, 23 February 2010 12:02 AM CST
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Sunday, 21 February 2010
Viva La Patria Bolivia
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: General

I put "General" down as the topic for this post because I couldn't figure out which Topic was really the best to put down. Do I put "BCM International", because BCM has a very large and fruitful ministry in Bolivia? Do I assign it to the "Compassion International" category because that is where our compassion child, is from? Should I put "Ministry" since everything we do we consider it to be ministry, including sponsoring Marcelo? I couldn't decide so I just put general.

Anyway, on to what this video is all about. I got the link from my friend Kee's who sponsors many Compassion International children in Bolivia. It is of a famous patriotic song from that country. First the video featuring the song and scenes from all around Bolivia.


Now for the translation:

Viva mi patria Bolivia
una gran nación
por ella doy mi vida
también mi corazón.

Esta canción que yo canto
la brindo con amor
a mi patria Bolivia
que quiero con pasión.

La llevo en mi corazón
y le doy mi inspiración.
Quiera mi patria Bolivia
como la quiero yo.


Long live my homeland Boliva
a great nation;
for her I give my life
as well as my heart.

This song I sing
I dedicate with love
to my homeland Bolivia
which I passionately love.

I bear her in my heart
and give her my inspiration.
May you love my homeland Boliva
as I love her.

For more information on BCM International or on Compassion International just press on their names and it will take you straight to their websites. For more information on our ministry here in Livingston, please click here to go to our prayer letter blog.



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Posted by tink38570 at 2:07 PM CST
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