Families Again
Families Again
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Families Again
Tuesday, 10 November 2009
Who Says Homeschooling Isn't Fun?
Topic: Family

These pictures were taken during a recent three day "field trip" we took to "the grandma's house" (grandma and great grandma-both widows).

Mayfield Dairy's Corn Maze

Hay ride and Pumpkin Patch

The Race Is On!

                                          Jacob's Not So Sure                                                                           One Tired Grandma

                         Mom Got Into the Act                                                            We Had "Sand Mountain" All to Ourselves

Trunk or Treat at Aunt Phene's Church

          "Ninjas Don't Smile You Know"                                 No Words Needed

                                             Michael Jackson (aka Aunt Phene)                          The Mummy (aka cousin Olivia)

Cade's Cove in the Beautiful Great Smoky Mountains National Park

 God's Creation

Joshua was fascinated with the old, historical graves. He took the above pictures himself. Could we have a budding photographer in the house?

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Posted by tink38570 at 10:59 PM CST
Updated: Wednesday, 11 November 2009 3:28 PM CST
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Daddy's In the Kitchen - Again!?!
Topic: General

If you have been reading my TOS Homeschool Crew reviews, you know that recently I wrote a review for Virginia Soaps and Scents. They generously sent all of the great folks on the crew a packet of ingredients to make your own laundry soap. We loved it, but soon ran out. I had seen other people's recipes for homemade laundry soap, but had never tried it. So, today I did. I kind of combined a couple of the recipes, took pictures, and decided to invite you to come along on the Tinkel's new laundry soap making journey. Here are the pictures and the original Tinkel recipe - a patent is on the way!

1. You take a bar of soap and grate it. We are very blessed to have a friend who makes and sells soap. A couple of years ago she gave us some of her bad soap that came out discolored and was unsellable. We passed out most of it to the families that we work with in the low income housing area but had a few bars left over. So, we grated one of them. You can, however, use whatever soap that you choose.

2. You put the soap in a small pot, cover with water, and slowly melt it. I made the mistake of putting it on high and leaving it. Joshua called to me a few minutes later to tell me it was boiling over. I caught it before losing too much, but next time I will put it at a lower temperature and stir occasionally as I go.

3. I then poured the melted mixture into a large pot that we had. I would recommend a bucket if you have one handy. I added one cup of borax and one cup of baking soda. Some recipes suggest washing soda, but others say that the extra expense isn't needed - baking soda works fine.  I also added two gallons of water and stirred the whole mixture and let it stand for a few minutes.

4. I then cleaned out a couple of old liquid laundry soap containers that we had ready to throw away and poured my new laundry detergent into them. I plan on using 1/2 cup for regular loads or one cup for more soiled loads. The mixture should thicken into a gel after time. There may also be some hard pieces. Just give the container a good shake before measuring the soap. 

The first load came out great. We'll see how things work in time. Next up on our new money saving experiments - dishwasher detergent. We'll keep you posted!


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Posted by tink38570 at 7:30 PM CST
Updated: Wednesday, 11 November 2009 9:45 PM CST
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I've Made the Finals!
Topic: General

Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! I've made the finals of the Homeschool Blog Awards!.This blog is one of the seven blogs that you can vote for in the "Best Homeschool Dad Blog" category. I would love to have your vote. You can find the "Best Homeschool Dad Blog" category by clicking here. If you click on the name of the blog, you will be led to that blog. If you click on the box, then you are casting your vote for that blog. The judges ask that you vote only once, but up to 5 people can vote per household, so ask your friends and family to vote as well. Don't forget, the name of my blog is Families Again! You can vote up until November 21st. To see the rules and the rest of the categories, just click here. Thank you ahead of time for your votes. I'll keep you posted as to how I do.

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Posted by tink38570 at 4:31 PM CST
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Monday, 9 November 2009
American Heritage - A Great Curriculum at a Great Price!
Topic: Homeschool Product Review

I have mentioned before how much I love history and teaching history. I must admit, however, that when I saw that we would be receiving the American Heritage CD: America's Heritage: An Adventure In Liberty, I was not excited. I had already downloaded their curriculum years ago, and couldn't recall getting a lot out of it. In fact, I never used it. But, I gave it the old college try and, when, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I received a free CD from American Heritage to try out and review on my blog. I opened it, previewed it once again and really liked it. I was thinking about something for Joshua, but after looking it over, decided that it was something that John Allen might actually benefit from. Especially since he is studying American History right now.

According to the CD America's Heritage: An Adventure In Liberty was:

Developed and provided by:
The Houston Independent School District
in cooperation with
The Robert and Janice McNair Foundation
The American Heritage Education Foundation, Inc.

They go on to say that:

Teachers are provided these resources as a supplement to school resources as they
deliver instruction focused on developing an understanding and teaching of our
nation's factual and philosophical heritage to promote Freedom, Unity, Progress, and
among our students and citizens. (Emphasis mine)

The American Heritage curriculum focuses on our American history by dividing historical events into four themes which I emphasized above - Freedom, Unity, Progress, and Responsibility. They teach these themes by using games, puzzles, and, factual historical documents. The topics are divided by age level. The Elementary Edition is for grades k-5, the Middle School Edition is for grades 6-8, and the High School Edition is written for grades 9-12. There are some overlapping topics and some topics that are unique to the age group. Some of the elementary topics include:

  • 1776 - The Declaration of Independence - Theme:Freedom
  • 1782 - The Great Seal - Theme:Unity
  • 1864 - The National Motto - Theme:Progress

The middle school topics include:

  • 1776 - Lives, Fortunes, Sacred Honor - Theme:Freedom
  • 1791 - Bill of Rights: Rights and Responsibilities - Theme:Responsibility
  • 1776-1791 - Our National Documents - Theme:Progress

Included in the high school topics are:

  • 1622 - The Mayflower Compact - Theme:Responsibility
  • 1794 - Entrepreneurs in History - Theme:Progress
  • 1998 - Religious Expression in Public Schools - Theme:Unity
  • 2000 - What is an American? - Theme:Responsibility

So much of history today is what is called "revisionist history". It is rewritten to fit the needs of a specific people group, or of a certain philosophical group. Things are added or taken out in the name of "political correctness". I really like the fact that this curriculum doesn't water down what our country was founded on. The authors weren't afraid to mention that our founder's religious beliefs were behind much of the decisions that they made. Don't let the fact that this curriculum was written for a public school system fool you. This is no typical public school curriculum. It is very diplomatic in it's teaching, but overall tells it like it is. It is great for homeschooling, and I could see a public school parent using this to supplement what their child is learning in school. I'm definitely going to continue using it with my kids.

America's Heritage: An Adventure In Liberty is very well laid out and written in an easy to use way. And, everything is included on the CD's but the pencils! All you have to do is download and print out what you need for the day. But, do you want to know what the really, really neat thing is about this curriculum? It is totally FREE!  Yes, I said free!!!. Their website claims that the curriculum would sell for $150 but they are able to provide it for free because of donations and grants. All you have to do is go to the website to download the entire curriculum. If you would rather have the CD version, they will send that to you totally free as well! Or, you can order the printed binder editions for $19.50 per level. What could be better than that? What have you got to lose? Just click here or on any one of the hi-lighted links above to go to the American Heritage website. If you are still not sure, then click here to find out what the other TOS Homeschool Crew members are saying about this curriculum.


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Posted by tink38570 at 11:10 PM CST
Updated: Monday, 9 November 2009 11:56 PM CST
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Sunday, 8 November 2009
National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo)
Topic: General

Recently I was introduced to National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) where you are challenged to write a novel during the 30 days of November. Their website has a lot of helps and encourages you to set a goal of so many words per day until, at the end of the month, you have completed a whole novel. John Allen and I gave it some serious though, but then decided that, with our busy schedules, we really don't have the time.

Then I heard about National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) and decided that this might be just what I am looking for. I have been dissatisfied with my blog for a long time. Oh, don't get me wrong, I really enjoy being on the TOS Homeschool Crew and receiving  free homeschool products to use and review, but it seems like that is all I have been doing lately. I've been asking myself, "What happened to the core values of my blog? The values that I began my blog with - strengthening my own family and the families of others?" I need to get back to that.

NaBloPoMo encourages you to write a post per day for the entire month of November. Since I started late, I'm going to attempt to write up until Dec. 8, which would be 30 days for me. I'm looking forward to it. I don't know what all that I am going to write about. I know that I will continue writing reviews. They have really helped me improve my writing. I'm going to write about some other things, though.  I'm going to try to add some pictures, posts about ministry, posts about things that I care about. Who knows what I'll blog about? But, I do know, that it will be about the things that I care about...faith, friends and family. Make sure you keep checking my blog every day. There could be something about you!?!

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Posted by tink38570 at 4:09 PM CST
Updated: Sunday, 8 November 2009 6:56 PM CST
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