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Families Again
Saturday, 23 April 2011
SeeThe Light Art Class
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Homeschool Product Review


Last year, we were very blessed to review an art curriculum for John Allen, our oldest. John Allen loved it. Since that time, Joshua, our middle child has been wanting to join in and do some art as well. Unfortunately, the program that John Allen used was a little too complicated for Joshua. When we were chosen to review See the Light Art Class, we were thrilled, because it was for younger children.

We have not been disappointed. Not only did we need a younger art curriculum for Joshua, but we also need something that would be a good fit for him since he has asperger's syndrome which is on the autism spectrum. Because "aspies" have a difficult time following directions, we needed something that didn't have too many steps in the process. We also needed something that would move slowly so that he wouldn't get too overwhelmed if he didn't quite get a step correct the first time. Finally, we needed something that would keep his interest. This is what really makes finding a good curriculum difficult. So many times the programs that are slow and step by step are also boooriinnnggg! This one is boring at all and it comes with a few added bonuses that really make these art videos the cream of the crop. I'll talk about the bonuses in a minute. First let me tell you why I think this curriculum is fantastic for our child.

First of all, each of the 36 lessons is only about 15 minutes long and is focused on just one topic. That makes it perfect for our son Joshua. It's not too long for him to get bored, and it's not too complex for him to get lost and confused. The teacher, Pat Knepley, does a marvelous job of sticking to the topic but making it interesting. She also speaks on the students level and never talks down to them.

Another thing that I loved was that each lesson builds on the previous lesson. There is no jumping around from one topic to another. Each topic introduced adds something new to the things previously learned. Also, each of the nine volumes has a theme and each of the four lessons on that volume stick to the theme. Some of the volume titles are "The Basics", "Color Blending Techniques" and "Texture and Form" among others.

There are really so many good things that I could say about this curriculum but don't have the room! One thing that I do want to mention is that you don't need expensive materials for these lessons. Before we even knew that we were going to be reviewing this, we had bought Joshua a small inexpensive art kit for Christmas. We were very pleased to find out that it contained everything we needed for See the Light Art Class. In fact, the for the volume that we reviewed "The Basics" we only needed a pencil and regular copy paper.

Now for the bonuses. See the Light is a Christian company and each lesson contains a Bible story that has to do with the technique being taught. Pat Knepley does an excellent job of seamlessly tying the Bible lesson in with the art lesson. You almost don't realize that she is doing it. It all fits so well together.

All good art classes don't just teach art, but also teach art history. See the Light Art Class is no different. In each lesson you learn about an artist who used the same technique that you are learning that day. Again it flows well with the rest of the lesson. The creators of this curriculum have done an excellent job in thinking through all aspects of the lessons.


Finally, several of the volumes have bonus lessons in them. These are fun lessons such as "Creative Lettering" and "The Joy of Art". These are taught by special teachers, but are just as well done as the regular lessons.

Well, as many of us know, in these economic times, everyone is watching their money. I was very pleased to see that See the Light knows that well and has priced their product very reasonably. The entire set of the nine See the Light Art Class volumes is just $99.99 for the physical product. See the Light also has an online version where for ten dollars a month (for nine months - one volume a month) you will be given access to four of their art lessons. Each month you will be able to access four new lessons but continue to watch all of the previous lessons from the previous months.

Still not convinced? Why not try the first volume of See the Light Art Class for free! Yep, they will send you the first volume absolutely free (now I sound like a television info commercial - but it's true Laughing). That way you can try it out with no obligation. Just go to their website by clicking here or on any one of the hi-lighted links above. You won't be disappointed.

To find out what some of the other TOS Crew Members thought about this art curriculum you can click here. Happy home educating!

As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was given Volume 1 of the See the Light Art Class for free in order to try out and review on this blog.

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Posted by tink38570 at 10:53 PM CDT
Updated: Monday, 25 April 2011 12:00 AM CDT
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Wednesday, 20 April 2011
Another Feel Good Video
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: General

This one is from "Pilipinas (Philippines) Got Talent". And, again, it's not in English but Tagalog. I did manage to find a little bit about his story. He's 16 years old and comes from a very poor family with five children. He sells siomai (a Filipino dish) after school to try to help his family. The part that makes the judge cry is when he says that it's OK if he doesn't win as long as he shows everyone what it is to be a true Filipino. Enjoy!


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Posted by tink38570 at 10:06 PM CDT
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Monday, 18 April 2011
I Love Stories Like This
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: General

First of all, I know it's in Chinese, but I think you'll get the idea Smile. Second of all, get the tissues ready. Oh, and by the way, he won!


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Posted by tink38570 at 9:58 PM CDT
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Thursday, 14 April 2011
Truth Be Told...
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: General

You might think that this is one of my "I've got a secret" posts. Well, it kind of is.

A few weeks ago a group of us dads was invited by Mom Central Blogging to take part in a blog tour promoting the new television movie "Truth Be Told". Truth be told is a family movie, and we love family movies, so I jumped at the chance to participate.

Now, here's the secret part. I'm old enough to remember days before cable television. No, I'm not old enough to remember days before T.V., but I do recall times when we only got two clear stations on the old "Boob Tube". We did get a third, but it was usually too fuzzy to watch. Nevertheless, we still enjoyed getting together as a family to watch shows like "The Waltons", "Mary Tyler Moore". "Carol Burnette" and "Apples Way".

That tradition has carried over to my young family today. Unfortunately, T.V. has changed and there aren't quite as many family shows to view. Most of our living room time is clicking through the channels trying to find a suitable show to watch with young children. Most of the time we end up turning it off completely.

There just doesn't seem to be many good, family, movies anymore. Well, P&G and WalMart are aiming to change all of that. They are producing a series of films for what they are calling "Family Movie Night". The first one is going to be shown this Saturday on your local FOX station at 8/7c (check you local listings).

"Truth Be Told" is about Colorado's top romance expert (Candace Cameron Bure) who doesn't always follow her own advice. You see, this romance expert isn't married. In fact, she doesn't even have a boy friend. When she is approached by a wealthy eccentric rancher (Ronny Cox) about a new television show, she jumps at the chance. The only problem...he thinks she's married! Not wanting to ruin the opportunity, she convinces an old high school friend and recent widower (David James Elliot) to accompany her (along with his cheeky two children) on a visit to ranch of her soon to be boss. As you can imagine, hilarious events are about to happen. Can she keep up appearances? Tune in Saturday to find out!

I was able to preview this move and loved what I saw. I can't wait to watch it on our big screen this Saturday (the preview was on my computer). So, get the popcorn and soda's ready and join me! Remember, it's this Saturday, April 16 at 8/7c on FOX. To find out more about this movie and "Family Movie Nights", by clicking on this website - http://www.familymovienight.com/about-family-movie-night/ or you can click here - www.facebook.com/familymovienight to get to their Facebook Page. Have fun and save me some pretzels!

 “I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of P&G and received a movie kit to facilitate my review and a gift code to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

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Posted by tink38570 at 9:42 PM CDT
Updated: Thursday, 14 April 2011 10:51 PM CDT
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Tuesday, 12 April 2011
The Key to the Kingdom - John Allen's Review
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Book Reviews


About a month ago, I reviewed The Key to the Kingdom by Jeff Dixon for First Wild Card blog tours. Unfortunately, it was at the same time as Joshua's illness where we had to rush him to the emergency room with breathing problems and I couldn't write the review I really wanted to write.

Well, Joshua is all better now, and now is the time for the review. But...with a twist. I'm not the one who wrote the review, my 14 year old son, John Allen, did. John Allen became very intrigued with The Key to the Kingdom when I was reading it. I liked it so much that I would relay different things about the book as I was devouring it. Of course I tried not to give away any secrets in case another member of the family would want to read it. Well, I soon found that on the rare occasion that I had to lay the book down, it was never in the same location when I wanted to pick it back up again. It was always someplace in the vicinity of John Allen...usually in his hands! I almost had to fight him over it.

Being the good homeschooling father that I am, I decided to turn it into a learning experience and had him write a book review of his own. I must say that I was pretty impressed. He asked me to help him tweak it a little, but it was really an excellent review on its own. So, without further adieu, here's John Allen's review of The Key to the Kingdom by Jeff Dixon.

The Key to the Kingdom is probably one of the two or three best books I’ve ever read. This book (like many of my other favorite books) is filled with adventure, romance, mystery, action, and probably the biggest twist in the history of books thrown in there. It also has something most other books don’t have, Disney magic. The Key to the Kingdom is the dream book for any Disney fan (and even for people who aren’t fans of Disney). While reading it, you learn many secrets about Walt Disney and Walt Disney World. This novel takes you on a wild adventure through Walt Disney World, as you meet friends and foes it grabs your soul making you want to read more and more each chapter.

Dr. Grayson Hawkes, the pastor of Celebration Community Church, is invited to a place he never even knew existed by a good friend of his, Disney Imagineer, Farren Rales. Little did he know that his life was about to be changed forever. That night Farren Rales gives him something he says to be The Key to the Kingdom, and tells him to “do what Walt did”. Then he disappears in the middle of the night. I really encourage parents and their kids to read this book as you take a journey to a place where dreams really do come true.

By John Allen Tinkel

You can order The Key to the Kingdom on Amazon or at your local bookseller. You can also purchase it on the novel's official website - http://keytothekingdombook.com/index.shtml . Happy Reading!


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Posted by tink38570 at 10:00 PM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, 12 April 2011 10:05 PM CDT
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