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Families Again
Wednesday, 31 March 2010
If "Family Mint" isn't Candy, Then What is it?
Mood:  cheeky
Topic: Homeschool Product Review

All right folks. I'm going to throw a few questions at you:

Have you ever thought that there had to be a better way to teach your kids about money management?

Do you always dread allowance day because your not sure you'll have the money to cover it?

Would you like a way to empower your kids to keep track of their own money?

Do you wish there was some kind of reliable tool to teach your kids what it's really like to keep a bank account?

Do your children always say "I'm going to save my money for this" or "I'm going to spend my money on that"?

Do you ever long for a way that you can help your kids set goals for their money?

Are you tired of your kids coming to you constantly asking for you to slip them some cash?

If you answered yes to any one of the above questions, then NEVER FEAR, FAMILY MINT IS HERE! Family mint is a really innovative way that you can answer all of the questions above. Here's how it works.

Family Mint is kind of like an online checking account that your kids can use. It has places for them to fill in deposits and withdrawals. It even has a place where they can set up goals. It really is like a bank account but here's the difference. You're the banker!

Now, there are some pro's and con's about being the banker. First the pro's. This isn't a real bank. There is no money kept in a safe. No records that anyone can hack and make money off of or steal an identity.

Now the cons. It really is like a real bank in that you are the banker. You set up the account with weekly automatic deposits for whatever your child's allowance is. They can move their money around in their account and can take out withdrawals if they would like. They can even deposit money that they have earned for extra things like baby sitting or lawn mowing. But of course when they doposit the money they have to give it to the banker. Of course that also means, that they can go to the "banker" - YOU - and ask for some of their money back. Which also means, if you are playing fair, that you need to give them the money for what they want. Still, you are the parent and can approve what they buy but if it's for a large purchase that they have been saving up for with your approval, then you had better have that money on hand.

Everything is really easy to set up. You, as the parent/banker would have to open the initial bank, then you and your children can set up their individual accounts. You can decide how much money to put in each week for an allowance, and, the program even allows, if you want, for you to set up interest that they can earn on their money. That encourages them to keep their money in the bank for longer periods. You can even set up matching funds for their "savings" accounts if they want.

After that, they are on their own. They can set up "savings" accounts for things that they want to save for and name that account whatever they want ~ "Computer Account", "College Fund", "New Bike Savings". The Family Mint program will even tell them how long they will have to wait if they put so much money into their savings account each week.

There is a slightly different look for the younger kids to make it more appealing, but the older kid's "online account" looks just like most online bank accounts. 

Of course, everything is secure. No information is given to anyone else. There really isn't enough information on there for anyone to do anything with anyway. Remember, this isn't a real bank account and there really isn't any money so no one can actually hack into the system and transfer money from your account to theirs. It's really kind of like an online program to keep track of your kid's money.

Want to see what everything really looks like and how it's done. Here's a short video clip from the Family Mint website.


Overview from FamilyMint Inc on Vimeo.


Okay, you might be saying, "But my kids are really too young for this". My answer would be, "Are they ever really too young to learn how to handle money?" Make it like a game. If you don't want to use real money, use play money. Almost all families have point systems or something like that. Revise the point system to use play money instead. They can sit down at the computer with you and see how much "money" they have to buy rewards with. Extra time to watch TV or more time on a video game. Buy a favorite toy or a special treat. It's all up to you how you want to set it up and then they can save up their "money" for something they want to buy.

Now you might be thinking. "Yeah, but how much am I going to have to save in order to buy this crazy program to help my kids save?" Are you ready for this? IT'S FREE! There is a "Pro" version coming soon, but all of the great things that I just talked about are absolutely free! So, what are you waiting for? Check out their website by clicking here or on any of the hi-lighted links above. As always, you can check out what the other members of the TOS Homeschool Crew thought about Family Mint by clicking here. Now, since money management is something that all kids, not just homeschool kids, need to learn, I'll say Happy Educating!  

 As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I was asked to try the free version of Family Mint out and review it on my blog.


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Posted by tink38570 at 10:58 PM CDT
Updated: Thursday, 1 April 2010 12:40 AM CDT
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Ministry Moment - This is What it's all About!
Mood:  happy
Topic: Ministry


Sarah just called me into the bedroom and asked if I'd been on Facebook today. I hadn't, so she read this to me. It was written by one of Sarah's ladies. We have been talking to her about salvation since she and some of her family began coming to the Mission about two years ago. She is very shy about things like this, but always listens carefully to Sarah's lessons. She came to help clean the Mission  and mentioned two or three times that we needed to get on Facebook sometime today. Since Sarah and I we have nearly 1000 Facebook  friends, I don't think she'll care if I paste it here on my blog. I just won't mention her name. Here it is:

Everyone remember to Pray for me, my family and my friends and Pray for the one's that don't know Jesus Christ........God I wait you in my life,wait you to get dip in to my Heart,and Clean my Body In Side Out in Jesus name a men......God Bless Ya's

Even with the couple of typos, I think you can figure out what she is saying.

Thank you Lord for the dear people that come to Good News Mission. Please bless them all this evening. Bless the ones that have moved away recently. Help them to get involved in another church or Bible Study so that they can continue learning about you. Bless this dear lady that has publically professed you today. Help her to continue to grow in You. Amen


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Posted by tink38570 at 8:19 PM CDT
Updated: Thursday, 1 April 2010 12:52 AM CDT
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Tuesday, 30 March 2010
Thursday's Child - Well - Maybe Tuesday's Child This Week
Mood:  happy
Topic: Compassion International

I was so excited when I saw this on Compassion International's Blog. The boy in this article is from the same Island as our new Correspondence Child, Somi. Remember me telling you about the village that Somi lived in? They live in houses with dirt floors, wood walls, and thatched roofs. Remember me saying that they have no electricity and need proper sanitation? Well, guess what Ronny, in this article, would like to do? Just click on the following link to read this great article. You won't be sorry!

 Leading God's Ministry of Light


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Posted by tink38570 at 4:12 PM CDT
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Monday, 29 March 2010
Ode to The Rotten Number 10!
Mood:  down
Topic: General

Oh April come quickly because then,

I won't have to look at that nasty ol' 10.

That's on my calender to the left

Every time I see it I feel bereft.


I still recall when my 'puter crashed

I still remember when I dashed

To see what time was on the clock

But, Oh, those numbers they did mock!


It was past 12 and to my dismay

No post had I made upon that day.

That promise I'd made not so long ago

Was to post every day on my blog. But NO!


The broken computer had made me miss

my daily post. I wanted to hiss

"Why me? Why me? What have I done

to deserve this?" I wanted to run.


To hide my face. Oh the guilt, the shame.

Now all of NaBloPoMo knows my name.

"He's the one!" They point - they stare.

I want to run but I don't dare.


I must stay. I must fight. I must start o'er.

The day will come when I'll be more.

When I'll be someone! They won't jeer

When I finally post everyday for a year!


But oh that 10! That one dark blot.

When April comes I will see it not.

A brand new month is what I need

To begin again - to plant a new seed!


So pray for me! That I will not burst

Until on that calender I see April first.

Two more days I must suffer and then it's true

No fool I will be - I will start anew!









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Posted by tink38570 at 11:03 PM CDT
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Sunday, 28 March 2010
Artistic Pursuits - A Real Godsend!
Mood:  happy
Topic: Homeschool Product Review


OK, I'm going to be honest with you. Even though I feel confident that God wants us to homeschool, there are still some things that I feel inadequate to teach. Most academic subjects are fine. Either Sarah and I can cover even the advanced subjects because of our strengths. I have always been involved with music, so that's covered. Sports is Sarah's talent, so she deals with that. What's left that neither of us is good at? Art! Don't get me wrong, I love arts and crafts, but it is not something that I am confident in teaching. That's why I was so glad to hear that I was receiving Artistic Pursuits to review.

Artistic Pursuits is a great all around homeschool art program that doesn't just teach art, it teaches about art. I jumped at the chance to get the Junior High Book 1 for John Allen to try out. This was something that we have not delved into with him and I was anxious to see how he took to it. We bought all of the suggested materials and he was on his way. HE LOVES IT. I can't wait to scan some of his drawings in to show you all. They are definitely better than anything that I can do. And, like I said, he is learning about art while he is learning to do art. Let me tell you all about it.


The first part of the book discusses "The Elements of Art", while the second half has to do with "Composition". Artistic Pursuits uses a wonderful five step process in order to teach drawing. For example, Unit One talks about space. Not outer space, but how to use the drawing space that you are given wisely. In order to teach about space, they first talk about what it is. They do this in the "Be Creative" section that always introduces the new art vocabulary and gives you a creative exercise to help you understand the new concept that is going to be learned. For example - when they were learning about space, the creative exercise was to write your name so that it stretched across the page from the left edge to the right edge. You were to do this until you actually were able to judge how big to make the letters. For added fun, there is always a cute cartoon on the very first page that has something to do with the aspect being taught in that lesson. 

The second part of the unit shows an actual piece of art and teaches you how the artist creatively used the technique being taught. In the Space Unit, they showed a picture of an elephant "Dal Badal" chasing his attendant (Portrait of the Elephant, Dal Badal, Chasing His Attendent ~ Artist Unknown). They talked about how the creative use of space, where the elephant was positioned on the page, etc., made the picture more appealing. It also teaches how to look at art and appreciate it more. Again, you are given a creative art assignment to complete.

Section three is always the art history section. It usually takes the painting from the previous day and gives you a little bit of art history from where the picture is from. Since the picture of "Dal Badal" is from India, they talk about the history of art in India and the differences between art in Western countries and art in Eastern cultures. A short challenge is again given for the student to work on.

Learning and trying a new technique is always taught in the fourth section. The first unit taught John Allen how to make a rough sketch.

The final, fifth, part of the unit is the project/application section. This is where they actually give you a project to work on. In this case, they gave a story about six blind men and a friendly elephant. John Allen was to read the story, use his imagination, and draw a picture of what he read. 

I was amazed at everything John Allen learned just in this one unit. I believe it is much more than I ever recall learning in a whole semester of art in school. I really love this series and John Allen does to. This is a keeper in my book! I am so pleased that John Allen is learning a love for art and a love for creating art.

Artistic Pursuits has several levels of books to choose from including Preschool, K-3, 4-6, Junior High, and High School Levels. Most levels have at least two books for each level. Each book is $42.95 with materials costing extra. The materials for our book, however, only cost us approximately $15 though, and some materials are used for more than one level, so you wouldn't have to purchase them twice. 

To find out more about Artistic Pursuits, just click here or on any of the hi-lighted links above. Different TOS Homeschool Crew members reviewed different levels, so if you are interested in hearing about another level, click here. Again, this is a wonderful program, and I would recommend it for anyone. I don't know how the art programs are in public schools these days, but I know with all of the proposed school cuts in some areas, the arts are some of the fist things to go. This curriculum would be great for even non-homeschoolers who just want to give their children a step up in the area of art. Happy Home Educating.

As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I was sent a free copy of Artistic Pursuits - Junior High Book One - art curriculum in order to try out and review on my blog.




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Posted by tink38570 at 12:01 AM CDT
Updated: Sunday, 28 March 2010 10:52 PM CDT
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