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Monday, 25 October 2010
Terrific Tigers - A Really Terrific Unit Study!
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Homeschool Product Review

You know that from time to time I divulge secrets about myself or my past. Some are serious, but most are fun. Well, I'm about to post another secret. Are you ready? Here it is. When I was young, I wanted to be a zoo keeper! Yep! It's true. Actually it was either a zoo keeper or a forest ranger. I loved the outdoors. I still do. Oh, I'm not an adventurous one that likes to go on 25 mile hikes to see a waterfall or anything like that, but I do like to be outdoors and be around nature. I am still fascinated by God's creation. That's why I was excited when I found out that we would be reviewing the Download-N-Go unit study, Terrific Tigers.

Now, I've told you in my past Download-N-Go reviews that the author, Amanda Bennett, has done a fantastic job writing these unit studies. But, there is just too much to do in the time they say you are to do it in! She recommends a week. In fact each Download-N-Go study is divided up into five days. The problem is that if you try to do even half of what she recommends it would take you forever. Terrific Tigers is no exception. There is just so much.

There's really too much to even try to include in a review. That's why I said a few reviews ago that I was going to try to focus on on aspect of these great unit studies in each review. In this post, I'm going to focus on the "Internet Resources" section that is included at the end of each days study.

Before I do, however, let me remind you of what is included in each one of these studies. As I mentioned before, each study is divided into five days. Each day highlights one aspect of the theme. For Terrific Tigers the five days are:

Day 1: What Is a Tiger?

Day 2: Getting to Know Tigers.

Day 3: Where Are the Tigers?

Day 4: The Science of Tigers.

Day 5: Cool Things About Tigers.

And let me tell you, each day is packed with information and fun. At the beginning of each day there are great informative videos. Some of the Terrific Tiger videos included clips of tiger cubs, tigers playing with monkeys, working with tigers and even one of a tiger and a little boy. Following the opening videos, there is more fun. Amanda Bennett does a great job of intermingling information and fill in the blank pages with fun stuff like coloring pages, word searches and other types of puzzles. And, remember, her studies cover every subject - social studies, science, math, language arts...you name it, it's covered somewhere in the week. And, don't forget that there is always a book list with lots of great books that you can check out. There is also a family fun suggestion at the end of each day, along with the section that I'm going to cover in this review, the "Internet Resources" section.


I don't know why I had never paid a whole lot of attention to the "Internet Resources" section at the end of each day. Maybe it was because there were so many internet sites intermingled in the information for each day. Or, maybe because there was so much information in each day to begin with, we never had time to cover even more. But, having said that, I really like having the extra stuff for a couple of different reasons.

One, there may be a child that really develops an interest in a topic because of doing that particular unit study. This section is a great starting point to find even more websites and information that have to do with that topic.

Two, I found that the extra resources came at the topic of Tigers from a lot of angles and included things for many different age groups. So, if you want to do this unit study with your whole family and they have a wide range of ages, then all you have to do is look in the "Internet Resources" section and pull from there. Have an older child interested in tigers? No problem. Have a toddler? No problem with him either. There is something in the "Internet Resources" section for everyone.

Some of the extra things included in Terrific Tigers were:

  • Tiger Crafts
  • Tiger Puzzles
  • Great unusual information about tigers including information about some extinct tiger species
  • And, my favorite, a website that you can go to and find tiger sounds

And all of this is on top of the great information that is included in the study. Amanda Bennett's Download-N-Go studies are just too much...and I mean too much! There is just too much to do. But, as I have said before, I would rather have too much than too little. You can always do the lighter stuff when the kids are younger, then redo the same unit steady a couple of years down the road using the heavier things. Don't you wish all unit studies were like that?

Anyway, by now you may be wondering how you can get this great product. Well, all of the Download-N-Go unit studies are available from The Old Schoolhouse (TOS) magazine's store. Just click here or on any of the hi-lighted links above to get to the Terrific Tiger page. This study, like the previous ones, is only $7.95. To get a list of all of the topics in the Download-N-Go series, just click here. And, finally, to find out more about what the other Download-N-Go reviewers thought about Terrific Tigers, click here. Happy home educating!

As a member of the TOS Download-N-Go review team I was sent a free download of Terrific Tigers in order to use and review on my blog.


Do you want to win a free download of Terrific Tigers? Here's how you can do it! Just follow these steps. The drawing is going to be held on Monday, November 1st. I hope you win!

1. Leave a comment below telling me why you would like a copy of Download N Go's Terrific Tigers (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).

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Posted by tink38570 at 10:34 PM CDT
Updated: Monday, 25 October 2010 11:48 PM CDT
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Sunday, 24 October 2010
I Knew It! It's All My Fault!
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: The Kids

Well, we got the results back. For those of you who may be knew, I have been blogging off and on about my three sons' health problems. We are a very unique family. All three of our children have had fairly serious life-changing things happen to them.

My oldest was stricken with a rare eye cancer at 15 months old. He is now 14 years old and cancer free, but has an artificial left eye.

My middle, 9 year old, was diagnosed with asperger's syndrome about two years ago. We had been struggling and going from doctor to doctor for years with out any satisfaction. Finally we know what it is and are learning how to handle it, but it has been a difficult journey.

That brings us to our four year old. Very early on he seemed like a normal toddler. Until about a year ago when he was stricken with a severe rash and fever while we were out of town. A quick trip to a pharmacist solved the rash and fever, but his behavior changed overnight. We have taken him to doctor after doctor and still don't have a satisfying diagnosis, but he is doing okay.

Recently we had some genetic testing done with him and found that he was missing part of his ninth chromosome. We worried and fretted until we could finally get with the geneticist to learn more. When we got there, they told us that this was very rare and they didn't have a whole lot of information on it yet. They wanted to testing on Sarah and I to see if he inherited the problem. Well, we got the results back yesterday. And it's all my fault! I am missing the same part of the ninth chromosome. It came down from my line. That still doesn't help the problem much, but at least we know that I turned out...uh hum...fairly normal, so that can't be the main problem.

So, we're still trying to find out what's going on. All the boys are in some type of therapy - either physical, occupational, or speech - and all are doing some better. We have learned some more significant things recently that I'll talk about in another post. But for now, you can blame it all on me...it's all my fault!

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Posted by tink38570 at 10:56 PM CDT
Updated: Sunday, 24 October 2010 10:58 PM CDT
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Saturday, 23 October 2010
Halloweens of Today - Part Two of a Two Part Series
Mood:  cool
Topic: General

Yesterday I talked about my Halloween memories from my childhood. My how times have changed. Gone are the days where you child could freely walk door to door in your neighborhood without fear. The innocent costumes of yesteryear have taken back seat to ugly, gross, expensive store bought masks and costumes. I can see why some churches condemn Halloween and have nothing to do with it.

I won't get into the debate about the history of Halloween and why some say that Christians shouldn't be celebrating this holiday. I won't take time to reiterate why Halloween costumes have become more gross than I could have ever imagined when I was young. I won't delve into what has happened to our world to make going door to door unsafe for our children. These things have been discussed into the ground.

I am of the opinion that, with a little bit of planning, Halloween can still be a safe and fun holiday that can be enjoyed by all. Here are some suggestions:

1. Don't sweat the costume. Homemade can still be great. Last year our son, Joshua, went as a ninja. We found some white pants, a white shirt, a black cloth belt and a black cloth headband and that was it. No one cared and he loved it! Jacob, our youngest decided that he didn't want to wear the army shirt that we had found, so he just wore the camouflage pants with a grey turtle neck shirt and called that was it. He was happy and so were we.


2. These days, I wouldn't suggest allowing your kids to go door to door by themselves anywhere. How about driving you kids to the homes of some of your good friends or pick a really nice neighborhood to trick or treat at. Always instruct your kids to never go into someones home unless you are right there with them and always be very visible and keep your kids in site. In a busy neighborhood it is sometimes hard to tell which witch is which. Perhaps have some tell tale sign that is unique to your child's costume so that mommy won't mistake some else's mummy for her mummy.

3. Church sponsored "Trunk or Treats" are really popular these days. That's where church members will park their cars with the trunks facing out. They open their decorated, candy filled, trunks and the kids walk through the rows of cars trick or treating and filling their bags with candy. Often the church will have inflatable jumping toys and other games to entertain your child as well.


4. Not sure about the trick or treating or dressing up part? Some churches sponsor "Fall Festivals" where you dress up like a Bible character or sometimes come as you are. Ask around. Most are open to anyone.

5. Still not convinced that Halloween is for you? Why not take your family to a corn maze. They are very popular these days. At least they are around here. Most don't have a Halloween theme at all and are a lot of fun. In fact, we just went to one today as a family and had a blast. Pictures are coming soon, but, until then, here's a picture from our adventure last year.


Even though Halloween is not the innocent holiday it used to be, it can still be a lot of fun. You just need to be creative, pick an activity that fits your family, and don't sweat it. Have fun!

“I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Dad Central Consulting and they sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

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Posted by tink38570 at 10:44 PM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, 27 October 2010 1:43 AM CDT
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Friday, 22 October 2010
Halloween Memories Part One - Finally My
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: General

I know what they say today. Some churches are horribly against Halloween. With all of the realistic vampire, witch and monster movies and TV shows these days I don't really blame them. It used to be that witches and monsters were black and white. They were almost always evil, and they were a joke. No one believed that they were real. These days, they blur the lines of good and evil. Witches and warlocks and vampires are glorified. They are worshiped. And doing evil things for the greater good is accepted. So, even my views of Halloween have changed over the years. But, that isn't what this post is about. It's about memories of Halloweens past.

Halloween used to be a fun holiday. I don't remember any controversy like we have today. Where I lived in Pennsylvania we dressed up like all sorts of things. If someone dressed up like a witch or a ghost it was always fun. Evil looking masks were not even known about. More than not, kids dressed up like a scarecrow, an old hag or something similar. And everyone knew each other. It was the norm to try to guess who it was behind the mask before you gave them the candy. Even at school, the principal would travel from class to class to guess who each person was.

I remember one year I dressed up like "Puss in Boots". It was a hodgepodge of a costume. We never had enough money to buy a costume from town. They weren't the norm anyway. I was almost the winner that year. Mr. Williams, our principal and also the sixth grade teacher, didn't recognize me! That was unusual, since Mr. Williams knew my family well. My brother went to a Bible study with him and my mom was a substitute teacher for the school. I was so thrilled.

Another time I dressed up as a cowboy and went trick or treating with my cousin. We were rustlers. We even made up a chant that we would say when someone came to the door. Halloween was fun in Central Pennsylvania. The air was cool and crisp. It was safe to go house to house in groups without your parents. Those were the days.

Really, my happy Halloween memories go back further than my days in Pennsylvania. We moved to PA when I was in second grade, but before that we lived in Indiana. Indiana was much the same. Everyone knew each other and things were safe. Even folks from my church held Halloween parties. I remember one such party held at the farm of one of our good friends. I had dressed up like a ghost. I remember we all had to walk around in a circle while our hosts judged our costumes. I was young, maybe in kindergarten, and could barely see out of the eye holes that had been cut in the sheet that I wore over my head. I recall suddenly being grabbed and lifted up. It scared me half to death. It seems that I had won a prize and they were just scooping me up so that I could accept it. Then later we took a tour of their innocent "haunted" barn. It was so innocent that one of the rooms held a trough full of feed with shoes stuck out of it to look like someone had been buried. That was the extent of the scare.

Another time I was paired with the daughter of one of my mom's friends. She dressed up like Raggedy Ann and I was Raggedy Andy. We marched in a parade and again I won a prize. I may only have been two dollars, but I won!

As you can see, Halloweens back...ummm...40 years ago or so, were innocent and fun. The worst thing that happened was some older teens threw corn at our house and broke our screen door with a pumpkin. My how times have changed. Unfortunately many things have made this formerly fun October holiday into something totally different than what it used to be. Tomorrow I will focus a little on Halloween today and how we can make it fun and safe for everyone.  

“I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Dad Central Consulting and they sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

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Posted by tink38570 at 4:25 PM CDT
Updated: Saturday, 23 October 2010 10:27 PM CDT
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Thursday, 21 October 2010
I Promise My "Scary" Post will be Written Tonight!
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: General

I'm sorry! We are down to one computer right now until we can get one of the others fixed. Soooo...that is the reason why I haven't been posting every day. I am one that writes when I post. There are talented bloggers that can write three or four posts at one time and then schedule them to be posted on certain days. Not me! I'm not that talented. I write and post all on the same day. Therefore, when I can't get one of the computers (or should I say the ONLY computer) to write on, then...no post. But, I feel good tonight, and even if Sarah wants to get on (which she deserves to, she's been helping out some of our Mission folks who have been in the hospital or at emergency rooms all day - but that's another story), then I will wait until late tonight to write it. IT WILL BE WRITTEN!


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Posted by tink38570 at 7:38 PM CDT
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