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Families Again
Monday, 14 November 2011
Today I am Thankful for the TOS Homeschool Crew
Mood:  happy
Topic: Blog Carnivals!

For the past three years I have had the fantastic opportunity to review products with the TOS Homeschool Crew. You have know idea how blessed we have been to be part of that team. We are blessed because we are on a limited budget and the homeschool products that we have gotten to review have been fantastic. This year I had to spend a lot less money on homeschool products because of the great vendors that provided products for us to review in years past. Some items we would never have tried out if it hadn't had been for the crew. We may not have even known about them. Many of those items have been such blessings to us. I wouldn't say "life saving", but at least "life changing".

But, those great blessings don't even hold a candle to the great friendships that we have made along the way. Some of the crew members have now become life long friends. Friends that I know that I can turn to with any prayer requests or problems. I have even become friends with some of the vendors! I thank God for the great friendships that we have made because of the crew.

Thank you, Lord, for the TOS Homeschool Crew. Thank you for the blessings of friendships and products that this great group has provided. It has forever changed and the lives of each member of my family for the better. Amen

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Posted by tink38570 at 11:13 PM CST
Updated: Monday, 14 November 2011 11:37 PM CST
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Sunday, 13 November 2011
Keyboard Town Pals - A Unique Approach to Learning to Type!
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Homeschool Product Review


I think that I have said before that one of the things that I appreciated learning the most in high school was how to type. It's probably one of the things that I use the most every day. I was blessed to have a typing teacher that taught me how to type properly. I've determined to find a way to teach my children how to type correctly because I feel it is that important.

Now the problem is to find the right keyboarding program to us in a homeschool setting. I have searched and found free ones. I have even reviewed some. They have all been good. John Allen learned some basic keyboarding with one, but I still hadn't found anything for my youngest two until now.

Keyboard Town Pals is a very unique program that I feel younger kids who are learning to type would be drawn to. Joshua, our asperger's syndrome child, has been using it and loving it. It is like no other typing program I have seen. Why? Because it uses puppets to teach how to type!

They use an associative approach. An associative approach is when you train your mind to think of two things together. I learned the 10 plagues that God cursed Egypt with by using the associative method. I associated the number one with a pen and the number two with a coat hanger, etc. Here's how it worked.

I picked up a pen to write but instead of ink coming out there was blood. (The first plague was the plague of turning the water into blood).

Then I went in to my closet to get a shirt out but instead of a shirt hanging on the hanger there was a giant frog. (The second plague was the plague of frogs).

Okay, I know it's kind of different, but that's how I learned them, and it really worked. Later on, in my therapist days, we used the keyword (associative) approach to teaching the sounds of the alphabet. So, I know that the associative approach really works.

With Keyboard Town Pals the association is with puppets. Let me show you a little example. This is a preview of lesson one:

Now, I'll admit, the characters, like Miss Sunny, Amy, the Zebras, etc. looked a little silly at first. And the humor is somewhat corny. But, you have to realize that this is not for us, as adults, but for our kids and trust me, it really works.

Because my son is asperger's and doesn't sit well for long periods of time, he only does a couple of lessons at one setting but I could see how a child could sit and do all of the lessons at once. All of the lessons together only take about an hour. So, your child child could actually be  fully typing in an hour! It may not be fast, but it's proper typing and the more they practice, the fast they will become.

Joshua is really enjoying Keyboard Town Pals and I really like the associative approach. It may not be for every child, but I can really see it working for younger children and special needs children like my Joshua.

The other thing I really like about Keyboard Town Pals is the price. The cost is only $30 for either the web based version or the CD ROM version. Keyboard Town Pals also has several "companion" items such as coloring books, finger puppets, a concentration game and stickers that you can purchase. AND it comes in an English, Spanish or French version! To get to the Keyboard Town Pals website, just click here or on any one of the hi-lighted posts above. To find out what the other TOS Crew Members had to say about Keyboard Town Pals just click here. Happy Home Educating!

As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was given limited time access to web version of Keyboard Town Pals in order to try out with my children and give my honest review on this blog.

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Posted by tink38570 at 10:38 PM CST
Updated: Sunday, 13 November 2011 10:40 PM CST
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Saturday, 12 November 2011
Gratitude Challenge - I'm Thankful for Our Church Family
Topic: Blog Carnivals!

Today I'm thankful for our church family at Memorial Baptist Church. If you've been on my blog lately, you've probably seen pictures of our family at some type of church event. Last night we were at another. The youth and some of the adults had a Murder Mystery night at the pastor's home. We each got a folder weeks ago with who we were, what our goals were, the list of other folks on the cruise (we were on a ship in 1914) and how to dress. I was a French chef named Blaise de Richilieu (who really wasn't a chef at all, but was a spy for the US Internal Affairs Department), Sarah was Elvira something or other, and John Allen was someone whose name escapes me but he was training to be a steward on the ship. It was a total blast and the youth and some adults spent the night. Sarah and John Allen stayed but I picked the youngers up at the babysitters and went home. We went back today to pick up John Allen and Sarah and the two youngers ended up playing with the pastors kids and Sarah and I stayed and talked and played game with the pastor, pastor's wife and another friend. Yes, even after they had been up half the night with kids and youth! I say all of this not because it seems like the church is having some type of an outing every week - they really aren't, but this was a particularly busy fall, but because of how open and accepting they are to us and our kids.

It's not easy to find a church that is understanding to special needs children. Even our oldest, John Allen, who's not special needs, requires some special care. It's not easy living with two brothers that are high maintenance. John Allen sometimes gets left in the dust. Not any intention of ours, but he often gets the short end of the stick. Often he gets very frustrated and angry at the situation. Our church body understands all of our kids and is patient and loving all the same.

Our church family is a true example of what God wants Christians to be. They are truly loving and caring and really want to obey the Holy Spirit. I am truly grateful to God for the body of believers that He brought us to.

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Posted by tink38570 at 7:19 PM CST
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Friday, 11 November 2011
What is BCM International all about?
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: BCM International

What is BCM International all about?

BCM International is the mission organization that Sarah and I are part of. This year was BCM International's 75th Anniversary. Throughout it's history BCM has remained true to it's core values. The question "What is BCM International is all about?" is a complex question, but watching this video should help you understand.


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Posted by tink38570 at 4:59 PM CST
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Thursday, 10 November 2011
Forget Flower Power...How About Flower Praise?
Mood:  happy
Topic: Blog Carnivals!

A good friend of ours gave this to us a couple of months ago. Originally we used it for homeschool to teach solar power and, let's face it, it's just plain fun to watch.


Then, one day I walked out into the kitchen and saw it in a new light. No, not sunlight, but sonlight! After watching it for a few seconds, it almost looked like it was lifting it's arms and praising God. It seemed to be saying...

Praise God...Praise God...Praise God...Praise God!


...with every lift of it's petals.


It made me think of these verses from psalms 148:


1.The desert and the parched land will be glad;

the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.

Like the crocus, 2.it will burst into bloom;

it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.

The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,

the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;

they will see the glory of the Lord,

the splendor of our God.


Okay, I know it might be a stretch, but seeing that little mechancal flower does remind me to Praise the Lord every time that I see it. It's something that we should be doing every day - every minute of the day. So, today I am grateful for my solar power flower that sits in our kitchen window and how it reminds me to always be thankful for the Sonlight that God is always shining down upon me. Praise the Lord!

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Posted by tink38570 at 5:16 PM CST
Updated: Thursday, 10 November 2011 6:13 PM CST
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