Families Again
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Families Again
Sunday, 16 May 2010
Ideal Curriculum?!? Why is it so Ideal?
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Homeschool Product Review


Hmmm. When I first saw the name of this curriculum the immediate thing that came to mind was the magazine Ideals that my mom used to get around different holidays. The most recent thing that came to mind, however, was "Why is this curriculum so 'Ideal'?" So, after looking it over, I decided to do a "This curriculum is ideal if:" and a "This curriculum isn't ideal if:" type review. So here goes.

Ideal Curriculum is ideal if:

  • You like a flexible schedule.  As most of you know, we have been going through a horrendous time with our kids lately. Joshua, our nine year old, was diagnosed with asperger's syndrome about a year and a half ago, and Jacob, our 4 year old, is presently being tested for very similar symptoms. Unfortunately we wanted to try out this preschool/early kindergarten curriculum with Jacob but most of his testing has been during the time we were supposed to be doing the reviewing. On top of all of the testing, he also had his tonsils and adenoids taken out and was practically out of commission for about 10 days. That really put a damper on our reviewing time. We were, however, able to use a little of the curriculum and, as we work with it more, I will write more about our experiences. The joy of all of that, though, is knowing that Ideal Curriculum does not follow a rigid plan. You don't have to follow a strict day by day schedule. If that were the case, we would never have been able to use this at all. In fact, Ideal Curriculum doesn't even follow a strict year plan. You can buy month one any time you want and start when you want. In fact, month one was sent to us to try out now - in the middle of the spring. They do suggest that you buy the curriculum in order beginning with month one, because each month builds on the other.
  • You like a total package. When you purchase Ideal Curriculum you get everything you need to begin teaching your preschool/kindergarten child. You can either buy the curriculum in hard copy books, or in a downloadable form. We received the downloadable form and received more than you could imagine. You could probably fill two months with all of the stuff that is included in this package. Each month has a Literacy Teacher's Manual, a Science/Social Studies Teacher's Manual and a Math/Calendar Teacher's Manual. You also get everything you need for that month, minus a few craft supplies and the normal pencil/paper/crayon stuff. The extra's, however, are minimal. The different areas cover different things each month. Here is a an overview of what the first four months cover:

  • You like a well laid out plan. As you can see by the above chart, the three months are very well laid out and very well planned. Each month comes with a theme and each month builds on the previous months learning. What more could you ask for?
  • You like a reasonable price. Some curriculum I've looked at cost less for a year's worth, some cost more for a year's worth. No, other curriculum that I've seen, however, has allowed you to buy a month at a time. With most curriculum you're stuck with what you have. Doesn't fit with your children's learning styles? Too bad! Just hope that you can resell it. With Ideal Curriculum, if you find that it's not working out, you're not forced to continue with it for finance's sake. Just don't buy the next month. Each month is $55.00 for the hard copy version or $30 for the downloadable version. There are discounts if you want to buy 3 months at a time or the whole year at one time. Or, there are discounts if you want to buy a package for multiple students at a time - say for a daycare or private kindergarten.
Ideal Curriculum is not Ideal if:
  • Well...er...mmm...humm...I can't really figure out anything. The only thing that I can think to even mention in the "Not Ideal" section is that Ideal Curriculum is not strictly Christian. In everything that I have seen, I haven't noticed anything really secular, like evolution, or anything like that, but it isn't particularly Christian based. With that being said, there was nothing else I could find. Ideal Curriculum is really...well...ideal!
Jacob really has enjoyed the little time that we have used Ideal Curriculum. He has loved the catchy songs (Did I mention that mp3 versions of the songs were included in the download?) and he loves Transportation. I'm looking forward to digging more into it with him.
Not convinced? As usual you can visit their website by clicking here or on any one of the hi-lighted links above. If you like what you see, you can receive a free week trial version of their curriculum to try out on your own. And, as usual you can check out what some of the other TOS Crew members are saying by clicking here. Happy Home Schooling.
As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was given a free downloadable copy of month one of Ideal Curriculum's Preschool/Kindergarten Materials to try out and review on this blog.

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Posted by tink38570 at 11:14 PM CDT
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Saturday, 15 May 2010
Thanks for all of Your Prayers
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: General
I'm feeling much better, thank you. I think it was a combination of something I ate and allergies. After suffering through last night and part of the day, I'm actually almost back to normal. I've slept most of the day. Maybe that's what I needed. Hopefully tomorrow we'll be off to church. It seems like ages since we've been to church with all of Jacob's sicknesses and tests. It would be a shame that he is feeling better and we can't go because someone else in the family is ill. I have the alarm set, so we shall see! Thanks again for all of your prayers.

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Posted by tink38570 at 10:04 PM CDT
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Friday, 14 May 2010
Another Great Video from the Turn of the Century! This time Barcelona!
Mood:  don't ask
Topic: General

Why am I posting another old video of our wonderful world so soon? Well, probably because I'm sicker than a dog and don't want to think about posting anything else. Somehow I ate something that didn't agree with me. You don't want to know the gruesome details. I should be posting a review tonight. Ah, well, it was half finished (at least in my mind), but now I can barely think to write this much less a review. It will have to be a day late (a day late and a dollar short - that's the story of my lifeLaughing).

This video of Barcelona, Spain in 1908. It was filmed by Ricardo Banos, a pioneer of Spanish cinema. The clothes are fascinating, and again, the looks on the people's faces are priceless. Enjoy. Hopefully I'll be back to normal tomorrow. At least I sure hope! Tongue out

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Posted by tink38570 at 8:40 PM CDT
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Thursday, 13 May 2010
A Very Heartfelt Thank You to all of my Readers.
Mood:  happy
Topic: General


Recently I told you that I had an announcement to make. An announcement that some of you will like, but, I'm sure, some of you will roll your eyes at.

Well, the big announcement is that I will be staying on the TOS Homeschool Crew as a First Mate this next year. That mean's I will be reviewing more great products for homeschoolers and non-homeschoolers alike, and I will be mentoring some new reviewers that will have just joined the crew.

We still however have the end of this year to complete. I, as of this post, have four more reviews to write before the end of the month. In wrapping up this Crew voyage we did have some end of the year things to do. One of those things was to vote for some awards that we are giving to the great products and companies that we reviewed this past year.

This past year has been an amazing year. I have grown as a person because of being part of such a wonderful team, and I have learned so much from them. My blog has grown as well. There have been so many new folks who have begun to read my blog this year. I appreciate all of my readers, it has been an awesome year. Lastly, our family has grown because of all of the great products that we have found and used that we probably would have never dreamed of buying before having the opportunity to review it.

Being a part of the TOS Homeschool Crew has been a very unique experience. I don't think that I realized how much being on the Crew has done for us until actually voting for the awards that I mentioned above. After voting, I wrote a post on the Crew forum about the Tinkel experience with trying to vote for the best products from this past year. I thought that I would post it here as well. Some of it you will not understand because it was written about things that are unique to the homeschool crew, but I think you will get the idea of what this past year has meant to us. I hope you enjoy reading it.

Well, the Tinkel family finally voted yesterday. We had a lively discussion for a little while and filled in many spots. Then the two youngest left and it was just John Allen and I to choose the rest. Finally we got down to the last one - The Crew Favorite. I shooed John Allen from the room because I really wanted to think this one through. After all, I was choosing the one product that was generally liked by all and the one that I felt had the most impact on our homeschool this year (at least that was my criteria). I couldn't make up my mind, so I decided to go through the list and write down the ones that stuck out in my mind. Well, that did ALOT of good! I managed to narrow it down to 16 items  Cheesy!

But, a funny thing happened when I began to read down through the "short list". As I was reading each product and thinking about how they impacted our homeschool, tears began to roll down my cheeks. I thought about traveling in the car listening to Hank the Cowdog, and how Grandma was "driven up the wall" with the crazy songs that the kids kept singing. I recalled how excited the kids got when their basic math skills improved after working with Barnum Math. I remembered snuggling up on the couch and listening to "Sarah's Wish". The memories and the tears flowed as I thought about the different things that really motivated my teen-age son and the things that made an impact on my asperger's child's learning. I even shed some tears when thinking about Time4Learning and how my preschooler really fell in love with learning because of that product. All of the tears really made me think about how much of a blessing the crew has been this year (and that I probably should start taking my anti-depressant again Cheesy).

So, after all of that, what did I finally choose? What was that one product that really effected our homeschooling for the better? The one that may not have been the absolute favorite of everyone, but that all agreed that they liked and thought it was worthwhile? Well can you believe it was Sue Patrick's Workbox System  Shocked?!? Yep, it was the one that really did transform our homeschool for the better...even with the adaptations! Sue won out!
With that being said, I need to thank you all, again, for a fantastic year. You all along with the wonderful products have meant more than you will ever know (at least this side of Heaven). I'm looking forward to more great things to come.

In conclusion I wanted to thank all of you dear readers for also sticking with me this year. For those of you that do not homeschool and do not have children, I appreciate you wading through the posts that you weren't interested in. For those of you who do enjoy the reviews, thank you for all of the encouragement during the year. I'm looking forward to another great year with many exciting things for all of my readers so be ready for another wild and fun ride!

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Posted by tink38570 at 11:00 PM CDT
Updated: Thursday, 13 May 2010 11:07 PM CDT
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Wednesday, 12 May 2010
Are You A Homeschooler? Quick! Look! And, no, it's not a review!
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Homeschool Helps

What am I missing this week? What is the one thing that I would be at if I could? The Schoolhouse Expo! Unfortunately, we have Vanderbilt today to get the ball rolling at the Autism Clinis for Jacob. Tomorrow Jacob goes to the ENT for a followup after his Tonsillectomy and then goes to the Physical Therapist to see if he needs PT as well as OT. Then, on Friday, Jacob and Joshua both go to OT. Needless to say, our week is shot! Well it doesn't matter, you can't go either Laughing! All of the tickets are sold. You can, however still roam around the vendor hall...and it's free! Here is a little blurb about the vendor hall that I am shamelessly copying and pasting.

If you're researching or buying homeschool curriculum, you have to check out the Vendor Hall at the Schoolhouse Expo! It's open to everyone. Browse through companies such as Rainbow Resource, WriteShop, Apologia, Latin Road/Phonics Road, Multiplication Shake, Go Phonics, and MANY MORE!

Latin Road/Phonics Road has freebies in their booth. Rainbow Resource has a free shipping offer. Spears Art Studio has a free CD. Real Science by Gravitas has a 25% discount coupon.

There is just so much to see. Stop by and meet the virtual hostess from each company, browse their selection, and look for "conference specials".


So, I promise that I won't look at the speaker schedule, because I'm sure I will be in tears at all of the things that I am missing. I will, however, enjoy roaming the vendor hall in my free time! And you can too. Just press on the link above and have fun.

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Posted by tink38570 at 10:50 AM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, 12 May 2010 10:56 AM CDT
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