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Monday, 16 August 2010
Life's Ups and Downs & A Great Giveaway!
Mood:  a-ok

Let's play a homeschool guessing game:

  • In the ups and downs of life you need this.
  • As you go through the peaks and valleys of life this is for you.
  • During the high points and the low points of your homeschool day this will help. 
  • As you zoom through your school year you will surely use this.
  • Even with all of the curves that come your way this will be wonderful for you. 

Have you guessed it yet?

So what is this wonderful product that will do all of the above?


It's the Download N Go unit study, Roller Coasters!

Now, let me tell you, this unit study will really give you a lot of thrills. It is jam packed full of 98 pages of fun! All right, let me give you my personal opinion. I have done two or three Download N Go unit studies, geared toward first through fourth graders over the past year and I'm going to be doing a lot this year. Supposedly the author, Amanda Bennett, wrote these studies to be done in five days. However, I'm here to tell you from experience that there is no way on this green earth that you can do everything in the Download N Go unit studies in five days! There is enough to fill two weeks. It's for that exact reason that I'm glad that they give us two weeks to review the Download N Go studies.

Okay, I know what Amanda is thinking. She's going to make sure that there is enough for every kind of learner in her studies and then the parent can pick and choose what to do. So, that's exactly what we did. Roller Coasters has five units in it (one for each day):

Day 1: What Is a Roller Coaster?

Day 2: The History of Roller Coasters

Day 3: People and Places of Roller Coasters

Day 4: Science Secrets of Roller Coasters and Rides

Day 5: Goodies and Gadgets of Roller Coasters

One of the most unique features is that Amanda has put in automatic links to everything that you need. You just download the Download N Go, click each day, and there will be links to all of the information that you need for that day - and links to a lot of other fun stuff as well. Joshua really enjoyed seeing the videos that were taken by people riding the roller coasters and he especially liked the video of the backyard roller coaster that someone had built! All of the links to dictionaries and other fun information about roller coasters were great as well. In fact, everything you need is right there. You don't need anything else but the download of this study.

Another really neat feature of these studies is the way every subject is interwoven - especially social studies and science. I'm going to tell you a little secret. Because I was reviewing this Download N Go, I felt like I should try out everything. That's a mistake I will not repeat! There is so much that even after a week, we are only about half way done. But, so far Joshua has already learned to locate Russia, France and, of course, the United States on a world map; he's learned about climates in these countries (yes believe it or not that has to do with roller coasters); he's learned about the historical times of the first roller coasters; and more. It's amazing how much information that the author can weave into a study. Along the way Joshua is also learning new vocabulary words, science terms, dictionary skills, and more. And, did I mention that each study has a lapbook that goes along with it! Yep, and each of the lapbook components are right there. There's no hunting around for this flapbook or that pocket. It's all included.

As you can tell I'm really impressed with these studies. And, they are inexpensive! Each Download N Go Study is only $7.95! They're even cheaper if you buy one of the bundles. All you have to do is to click here or on any one of the links above to get to the Roller Coasters Download N Go page and check it out.

If you'd like to find out more about Roller Coasters or any one of the other great Download N Go product click here. Or, to find out what some of the other Download N Go reviewers think about this great product click here.

Still not convinced? How about a free copy of Download N Go's Roller Coasters to try out for yourself? Well, I'm giving away one and there are a bunch of ways to win. Here's what you have to do to get your name in the drawing.

1. Leave a comment below telling me why you would like a copy of Download N Go's Roller Coasters (worth one entry).

2. Subscribe to my blog by clicking on the subscribe button at the end of this post and then leave a comment saying that you did (worth one entry).

3. Subscribe to my blog by clicking on the Networked blog button in the left column and then leave a comment saying that you did (worth one entry).

4. Become a fan on my Families Again Facebook page by clicking here and then leave a comment saying that you did (worth one entry).

5. Follow me in Twitter by clicking here and then leave a comment saying that you did (worth one entry).

6. Twitter or Facebook about this give-away and leave a comment with a link to the post(s) (worth one entry per day. Must make a separate comment each day).

7. Blog about this give-away and leave three comments saying that you did (worth 3 entries).

8. Become a fan of Download N Go by clicking on the Download N Go Facebook button in the left hand column and leave two comments saying that you did (worth 2 entries).

The drawing will be Friday, August 27, so enter, tweet, facebook and blog quickly! Thanks.

As a member of the Download N Go review team I was given a free copy of Roller Coasters to use and review on my blog. They have also allowed me to give one free copy of Roller Coasters away to the winner of a drawing on my blog. No other compensation was given and this review is my honest opinion of this product.

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Posted by tink38570 at 8:20 PM CDT
Updated: Friday, 20 August 2010 2:50 PM CDT
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Sunday, 15 August 2010
Announcing the 2010 Schoolhouse Planner!
Mood:  happy
Topic: Homeschool Helps

Scene One - Panicky Homeschool Mom - A Month Before School Begins:

  • I'm homeschooling Danny this year. That makes four kids!
  • How am I going to keep everyone straight?
  • What about scheduling?
  • What about lesson plans?

Scene Two - Harried Homeschool Mom - Two Months Later:

  • Johnie, you're going to have to use the computer to find that capital. Wait a minute. Debbie's using it for her book report.
  • We really need a new computer but we're never able to stay on budget.
  • No, Danny, I don't know the name of that other library book, but you'd better find it. It's due today!
  • *Ring, ring* Hello. I'm sorry Honey. No I don't know what we're having for supper tonight. Could you just pick up a pizza on the way home? Yes I know that we've already had take out three times this week, but I just can't seem to get everything done. This homeschool group planning has really bogged me down. I just don't have time to plan a menu. 

Scene Three - Calm, Organized Homeschool Mom - Four Months Later:

  • Debbie when you get done looking that up, it's Johnie's turn to use the computer. Until then, I think there's something about the presidents in our Schoolhouse Planner.
  • Only two more months, kids, and we should be able to buy that new laptop. I'm sure thankful for the Schoolhouse Planner's Budget Sheets.
  • Danny the list of your library books is posted on the refrigerator on the Schoolhouse Planner's library items list. Check it out, please, and see when they are due.
  • *Ring, ring* Hello. Yes Dear. I think I'm going to try that new Slow Cooker Pizza recipe I found in the Schoolhouse Planner. What? Oh, no need to pick up anything. I used one of the grocery lists from my Schoolhouse Planner and have everything we need. I love you too Dear. Bye
  • *Ring, ring* Oh, hello Babs. Yes, everything is planned for the homeschool group tomorrow. I used the Co-op planning list from my Schoolhouse Planner. I wanted to ask if you got yours yet? Yes, isn't it wonderful?! Since I received mine, I have been so much calmer. Not as much stress. And the kids are calmer, too. Since using the homeschool schedulers from the Planner the day is so much easier. Oh, yes, the lapbook section was worth it all! Have you tried that July recipe... 


Can it really be that easy? Can there really be an amazing thing like the The Old Schoolhouse's (TOS) 2010 Schoolhouse Planner? The answer is YES! YES! YES!

OK, the above scenario may sound a little like "Leave it to Beaver", but being a homeschooling mom (or dad) can be stressful. You have to make sure that you have lesson plans, and a grade book, and book report forms, and a schedule, and...and...and! You could look all over the internet and download everything, but then you would have to remember which file you stored it all in and then open every file until you found the exact thing that you needed. What a pain! The Homeschool Planner was written by homeschool parents from suggestions that came from homeschool parents. It has everything that you can think of whether it has to do with homeschooling or not. AND, when you download all of those lesson plan forms, grade forms, and schedules from other places, you have to print them out then fill them out, then put then in a binder, etc. With the Schoolhouse Planner's down-loadable e-book, you can fill everything out right on your computer and then print it out or save it for later! Let's look at some of the sections.


There is a Calender section with timely homeschool articles, resource lists and easy recipes (yes, RECIPES) for each month.









There's a Miscellaneous Educational Information section with tons of helpful information for homeschoolers and non-homeschoolers alike.









There's the great, ready to type on Homeschool Form section with all kinds of different forms. Many, like the Nature Journal and the Library Item list can be used by non-homeschool families as well.








Perhaps the most surprising section is the Household Forms section. In this section you'll find forms for anything from household chores to planning budgets to menu planning. All, of course, can be typed on straight from the computer.








So, how much does all of this cost? Don't worry, you won't have to get a second job of selling eggs at the market to buy this great planner. It's only $39! Still think it's too good to be true? Just click on the price button or here to get to The Old Schoolhouse store and you'll find more information about this and other great TOS products!






As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I have written this sell sheet (fancy way of saying add) as an entry into a most creative add contest for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine's Schoolhouse Planner. Although I was given a free copy of the 2010 Planner to download and use, this is not a review of the product but an add for the product.

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Posted by tink38570 at 4:57 PM CDT
Updated: Sunday, 15 August 2010 8:51 PM CDT
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Saturday, 14 August 2010
And the Award Goes To...
Mood:  happy
Topic: General


Yes, I was awarded the Sunshine Award. "What does all of this mean?" you may ask. Well, due to the fact that I have been super busy with a couple of other blog projects and haven't been able to post something superbly funny or creative today, you will have to wait until tomorrow or the next day to find out. But, I want to officially thank my blogging, fellow crew mate, great friend Sheri from Homeschooling on Wing and a Prayer for giving me this award. Please click on the link above if you want a sneak peak of this award is all about and to read the great, all true, stuff that she said about me Innocent. Really, her blog is great, so check it out.

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Posted by tink38570 at 11:04 PM CDT
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Friday, 13 August 2010
And We're Walking...
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: TOS Crew Blog Hop

It's time for another edition of the TOS Homeschool Crew Blog Hop! Check out these great bloggers. Remember, for the next few weeks all of the blogs will be from our First Mates (FM's). Mine isn't on the list yet, but it should be coming soon. The blogs this week are really great ones. Please check them out and leave a comment for my fellow TOS Crew FM's. I know they'd really appreciate it!

1. Ramblings from the Crazy House
2. Chicagoland Homeschool Network
3. Marine Corps Nomads
4. Faith, Family and Fun
5. Books and Bairns
6. Chatter, Clatter and Things That Matter
7. Canadianladybug Reviews!
8. Life at oak Grove
9. Home Sweet Home(school)
10. a glimpse of our life

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Posted by tink38570 at 10:58 PM CDT
Updated: Friday, 13 August 2010 11:01 PM CDT
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Thursday, 12 August 2010
Is There Anyone Out There Who Really Cares?
Mood:  not sure
Topic: Ministry

I purposely put that title at the top to get your attention. I'm sorry I tricked you, but would you have clicked on this post if I hadn't? Or, would you have just passed it by thinking "Oh that's just Tim again, trying to plug Compassion International". It's not so much that I'm trying to push Compassion International on you all. It's more that I am trying to make you more aware of poverty and the poor. And, it's not even that I am pushing for you to sponsor a child through Compassion. There are children that live in poverty all over the world...in the United States and beyond. Dare I say, probably in your own town. It's easy to ignore them. After all, shouldn't the government take care of them? Aren't they in this condition because of their own mistakes? Perhaps the adults are, but what about the children? And even if the adults are, haven't we all made mistakes? One of the things that Sarah and I have found out by working with the folks that live in the projects is that many of them are generational residents. They're there because they don't know any better. They have never been taught. They just need some help. Not necessarily financial help, but friend help. Someone to talk to, someone who will listen, someone who will teach them, someone who will pray for them. If not for the adults, at least for the children. Will you be that someone? Will you let God lead you? Perhaps He will lead you to help financially. Perhaps He will lead you to pray. Maybe He will even lead you to befriend. I am willing to bet, though, that He won't lead you to be apathetic. Won't you pray about what God would have you to do? Perhaps in your neighborhood? Perhaps in your country? Perhaps around the world? It all starts with a child...It all starts with you.

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Posted by tink38570 at 10:55 PM CDT
Updated: Thursday, 12 August 2010 11:02 PM CDT
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