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Tuesday, 25 May 2010
John Allen's Done it Again! He reviewed another great book for summer reading!
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Homeschool Product Review


I remember the days when summer was not only a break from school, but also a great time to catch up on reading the stuff that I wanted to read. I've mentioned before that I was blessed with a family that read all of the time, and summer was no exception.

As part of the TOS Homeschool Crew we have been blessed this year to receive a number of good books to read and review. Some I have read, others I have used as read alouds to the family, and still others I have divied out to different family members to read. Although some may rank higher than others due to family tastes and interests, there really hasn't been a lemon in the bunch. All would be great for summer reading from the first that we reviewed on down to the following.

Recently we received Andrea Carter and the Trouble With Treasure to review and I immediately turned it over to John Allen to read. Since he did such a good job on his last review, I thought I would allow him to write a review for this book as well. He didn't disappoint me. I am constantly amazed at how much his writing ability has improved this year. This time around in his reviewing he learned how to use spell check and the thesaurus to improve the quality of his writing. So, without further ado, here are his thoughts on the book.

This time I read a book called Andrea Carter and the Trouble With Treasure by Susan K Marlow. In this book three friends, Andi, Jenny, and Cory go on a camping trip searching for treasure. When they get into some trouble, and find a rattle snake things start to go the wrong way. They also meet up with some bank robbers and they get in a fight with a mean deputy. Go on the quest for gold and adventure with these three friends. This adventuress book teaches how to accept responsibility and take charge when needed. It is fun for young readers and old readers alike.

Although the main character was a girl, Andrea Carter, John Allen seemed to really enjoy this book. Thankfully it is part of a series, so when his reading load for this year lightens, I can purchase more of the titles in this series and can be assured that he will be reading good wholesome material. 

The Andrea Carter series is published by Kregel, the same company who published Bertie's War. They are know for only publishing family oriented material. The Andrea Carter books can be purchased for $7.99 a piece, and you can find them by clicking here or on any one of the hi-lighted links above. Some of the other members of the TOS Crew also reviewed Andrea Carter and the Trouble With Treasure, and you can find out what they had to say by clicking here. Remember, summer reading season is upon us. This would be a great book for your young reader. Happy Home Educating Summer!

As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I received a free copy of Andrea Carter and the Trouble with Treasure in order to read and review on my blog.



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Posted by tink38570 at 10:50 PM CDT
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Monday, 24 May 2010
This is Why I Never Became a Graphic Artist!
Mood:  don't ask
Topic: Ministry

I have been working all evening on a flyer for the summer day camps we hold here at Good News Mission. It's driving me crazy! I got the picture part correct but I can't get the lettering correct. This is why I never became a graphic artist. Anyway, here's the picture part!



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Posted by tink38570 at 10:24 PM CDT
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Sunday, 23 May 2010
Ah! To be Young Again
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Homeschool Product Review


Boy do I wish I were young again! When I was young, we didn't have the internet, we didn't have computers, we didn't even have VCR's. So, we didn't have anything like Light Speed's History of the U.S. AP Exam Prep. For that matter, I don't even remember Advanced Placement (AP) classes or AP tests. If I would have know about them, I would have definitely taken advantage of these great resources.

Now, when I first found out I was getting Light Speed's History of the U.S. AP Exam Prep. I wondered who in the world I was going to give this to to try out. I really didn't think that Jacob was ready for it, Joshua wasn't quite there either and , John Allen wasn't even in High School yet let alone ready to take an AP Exam. But, since John Allen had just gotten done with U.S. History, I decided to let him give it a try. He loved it! In fact, he loved it so much, I decided to watch it myself. 


This two disk set comes with a disk that explains what the U.S. History AP Exam is and includes an explanation of the different sections of the test along with ideas on taking the test. Boy would I have loved a DVD like this helping me to prepare for the SAT or ACT! The section that I really liked was a section called 30 in 30. The 30 in 30 was very entertaining. It took 30 of the  major events in U.S. history and explained them in 30 minutes. Now you wouldn't think that much could be covered with that little amount of time, but if you did, you would be sadly mistaken. They cover so much in a very fun way. I learned a lot, and never got bored. They covered things like 

  • Manifest Destiny
  • The Origin of the Two-Party System
  • Slavery and the Civil War
  • The Progressive Era
  • World War II
  • ...And much, much more

The second disc is an outline of what's on the DVD that you can use to follow along and take notes. It also has some helpful hints and suggestions listed.

Don't get me wrong. For someone who didn't listen in class or didn't study, this product is not a cure all. You won't pass just by watching this video. But, it is a great way to solidify the things that you learned in your U.S. history class and gain a lot of information on what the AP test is like and what you are expected to know when you take it. It's kind of like one of those expensive books that you buy to get you ready for a test, but much more interesting. However, get this, those boring books can run you $20 or $30 while the Light Speed's AP Exam Prep collections only cost $11.24!


Collections? Yes I said collections! So far there are also Light Speed AP Test Prep DVD's for Chemistry, English Language and Composition and U.S. Government and Politics as well as the U.S. History set. Other TOS Crew Members reviewed some of the other AP Test Prep sets and you can find out what they thought by clicking here

Light Speed is a subsidiary of the Cerebellum Corporation. They make loads of other well done educational materials for all ages and all subjects. You can click here or on any one of the hi-lighted links above to find out more about the AP Exam Prep collections or any other of the Cerebellum educational products. Of course, AP classes and exams are not just for homeschoolers. Public and private school students could really benefit from them as well. so, with that I'll say "Happy Home Educating".

As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was sent a free copy of Light Speed's History of the U.S. AP Exam Prep DVD in order to try out and review on my blog. 

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Posted by tink38570 at 11:00 PM CDT
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Saturday, 22 May 2010
Put a little Swag in your Bucks - with Swagbucks!
Mood:  lazy
Topic: General
Search & Win
If you are a friend of mine on Facebook or Twitter, you have probably seen me post something about winning "Swagbucks". I was introduced to Swagbucks a couple of weeks ago and I've been hooked every since. 
Swagbucks are points that you earn and then, when you have accumulated enough, you can "buy" different things with them. I'm saving up for amazon gift cards myself.
It's really easy to earn Swagbucks. The easiest way is to use their search engine to do your internet searches. You can either download their toolbar (which earns you more Swagbucks) or you can just go to their website to do the search. You don't get points every time, but many times you do. I've earned as many as 32 Swagbucks for just one search! I'm all the time doing a search and earning 12 or more. You can also earn Swagbucks by befriending them on Facebook or Twitter. Every once in a while (like just a few minutes ago) they will say something like "Enter this code in the Swagbuck code box by 9:30 pacific time and you will earn 7 Swagbucks." They also have Swag code hunts every once in a while, and they have a daily poll where you win points just for answering their questions of the day.
I have only been a member of Swagbucks for a couple of weeks now and I've already earned over 730 Swagbucks. A $5 Amazon gift card only costs 450 Swagbucks and I can buy two at a time, so I'm waiting until I've earned 900 bucks before I redeem them. I hopeing that I can purchase some neat things for my Compassion kids that won't cost me any money so won't dip into the Tinkel family budget.
There are all kinds of companies that deal with Swagbucks. You can get nearly anything with them - gift cards, toys, school supplies, electronics, books, magazines, posters...the list goes on and on. And, it's all free! Want to get in on the fun and help me out a little as well?  Just click on the banner at the top of the page or on any one of the hi-lighted links above. If you end up joining Swagbucks after clicking on one of the links on my page, I will earn a few extra Swagbucks as well. Then, you can tell your friends and you will earn bucks by telling them. Thanks ahead of time and have fun!

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Posted by tink38570 at 11:01 PM CDT
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Friday, 21 May 2010
Anyone for some Lobster?
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Homeschool Product Review

No, not real lobster, but Lobster Network lobster!

Now, let me tell you, that when I first heard that we would be reviewing something from Lobster Network I wondered what in the world it was. Now that I know what it is, I know that it is great, but it is still hard to explain! Let's just say that it is kind of like Craig's List, Facebook, and Mozy all wrapped in one...but then again it's not. Oh well, I guess the only way to get you to understand is to just tell you another one of my stories . So, here goes!

Scene 1: Picture it. You're sitting down with a colleague, Sally, during your one hour lunch break:

Sally: So, how was your weekend?

You: Terrible! My mother-in-law is coming for a visit this weekend and so I was cleaning the house to get ready. I noticed a huge stain on our living room carpet. Freddy must have spilled something. It was too late on Saturday to go out and rent a steam cleaner and everything was closed on Sunday. Now I'm going to have to use one of my comp days this week just to get it done.

Sally: Well, we own a steam cleaner, I would have been glad to loan it to you. Why didn't you call?

You: I had no idea or I would have. Bummer!

Scene 2: Picture it. Two homeschooling mom's sitting and chatting during a play day.

Homeschool Mom 1: You know, I have all these homeschool books just sitting on my shelves collecting dust. Some I'd like to sell, but some I need to save until little Penny gets old enough to use them. 

Homeschool Mom 2: I know, I have the same problem.  I wouldn't mind loaning some of mine out if I knew someone who needed them. Someone should really make a list of our group and all of the things that everyone owns so that we can borrow or buy from one another. 

Homeschool Mom 1: Yeah, but who has the time?

Scene 3: Picture it. Husband and wife filling out insurance forms.

Wife: Honey, do you have that inventory of our household furniture that we did last summer?

Husband: Oh! No! I just realized that all of that was lost when the computer crashed last month! Now what do we do? I should have backed up my files with Mozy!

Do any of those scenarios sound familiar to you? Do you wish that you and your friends had a way to inventory all of your stuff so that you could loan and borrow from one another (what a deal in these economic times!)? Do you long for a way to sell your stuff to people who really want it and need it? Do you need a way to inventory all of your stuff and to keep it safe from disaster or computer crash? Well now you do! And guess what? It's all in one place and it doesn't cost a thing! It's called "Lobster Network". 

LobsterNetwork.com Item Networking  

Lobster Network is a really neat website. First of all, after the easy registration, it gives you a place to inventory whatever you want for free. You can inventory expensive items, books, homeschool materials, ...anything you want. It's private and secure. No one has to know that anything is there at all...unless you want them to! So, why would you want them to?

That brings me to the next great thing about Lobster Network. You can make public (allow other members to see) items that you would be willing to loan out, or even sell to someone. "But wait a minute!" you shout. "I don't want just anyone borrowing my stuff!" Well, that's where the comparison to Facebook comes in. Everyone doesn't have to see your stuff. You invite your friends and family members to Lobster Network and you form "communities". They can be private communities or public communities. That way, you only "show" the things that you have to borrow or sell to people you know and trust! 

Now things are starting to get interesting. Aren't they? You've inventoried your stuff and invited friends and family and now your ready to start wheeling and dealing! You can even post things that you don't have, but would like to borrow or buy. That way, if anyone sees that you are looking for that item and they have it, they can notify you. The folks of Lobster Network have thought of everything. They even have reports that you can print out as to what you have loaned out and when it is due back, what you have borrowed and when you have to return it, what you have inventoried, or, you can even use it to keep track of things that you've loaned out to people who are not part of Lobster Network!

See how neat Lobster Network is? You can just use it to inventory, or you can loan, borrow, buy or sell and you can do it with people you know and trust. Are you convinced? I am! I love it. All you have to do to join in the fun is just click here or on any one of the hi-lighted links above and go at it. Still not convinced? I understand. It's hard to believe that something like this could really be true. But, don't take my word for it. Other TOS Crew members have tried it out as well and you can find out what they think by clicking here. Happy Home Educating!

 As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was asked to try out Lobster Network in order to review it on my blog.


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Posted by tink38570 at 10:46 PM CDT
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