Saturday, October 10, 2015

My Mother-in-law Passed Away Yesterday



She was a lot more than just my mother-in-law, she was like a second mother to me. She was also a fantastic mother to my wife and grandmother to my children. I am so glad that she is not suffering any more, but she will be greatly missed. We did a lot together as a family. She was my wife, Sarah’s, best friend. Life is going to be a lot different from here on. We’ll just have to get used to a new normal. It really hasn’t sunk in yet.

Here is her obituary. Thank you so much for all of your prayers for our family. Please pray for my kids. They were very close to Grandma and, as time goes by, it will be very difficult for them. We have two on the autism spectrum I am not sure how this will effect them as time goes by but it will be hard for all three of them.

We love you Mom but we know that you are kicking it up with Jesus right now!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Jacob is Reading!–A Schoolhouse Review Crew Review


Reading Kingdom Review

So, why should the fact that Jacob is reading be such big news? Well, Jacob is our nine year old developmentally delayed child who is also on the autism spectrum. He is high functioning and is very intelligent, but as much as we have tried, he hasn’t mastered reading. Really not even the easiest words. Although he loves to be read to and has very high listening comprehension, and although he soaks up math and does very well, he can’t decode the letters and words that are required for reading. It has just never clicked. We have tried various methods and curriculum, but it just has not worked. What we think he has mastered one day he totally forgets the next day. It’s as if he had never seen it before.

To tell you the truth, I was a little skeptical of ASD Reading (Autism Spectrum Disorder Reading) from Reading Kingdom. Jacob had tried other online reading programs and, well, as you know, nothing had worked so far. However, I was willing to try anything at that point, so I was excited to see my name on the list of reviewers chosen. Almost immediately we go started and, to my great pleasure, Jacob absolutely loved it.

The first thing he did was take the beginning placement test. There is an earlier section that I could have started him at, but it was a section for children who aren’t familiar with a keyboard or a mouse. Jacob was very familiar with a mouse, and, although he didn’t know where all of the letters were on the keyboard, he was familiar with using one. The placement test found that Jacob was weak in sequencing and wasn’t able to quickly find the letters on the computer keyboard. Both of those things are very important in using this program and sequencing in particular is important in learning how to read. If a child can’t sequence the letters he is reading correctly, then he will more than likely not be able to correctly decode and read it. Hmmm…I wonder if sequencing could have been one of Jacob’s problems all along.

So, since sequencing and keyboarding were weak skills for Jacob he was placed directly in “Seeing Sequences” and “Letter Land”. In Seeing Sequences Jacob was taken through a series of exercises where he had to look at a group of letters or a word and then remember the order to recreate that group of letters or word. If he was incorrect or if it took too long for him to remember, he was gently guided to doing it correctly. If he was correct, then he was rewarded with animated figures bobbing there heads up and down or waving at him.

I think one of the things that Jacob really likes about this program is the animation. It is very well done. Letters might be flown onto the screen by a helicopter or beamed down from a spaceship. You just never know what is going to happen, it is all fun. However, it is not overwhelming. It is the right balance of fun and learning and Jacob was taken by it right from the start.

Letter Land has the same high quality graphics and rewards, but in this section you are introduced to the letters in each row of the keyboard. Jacob would be shown letters and then asked to find them on the keyboard. I was amazed. After two or three weeks of practice Jacob knew where all of the letters were on the keyboard almost immediately with no help at all!


There’s the problem, though. These two sections took two or three weeks. Don’t get me wrong. A child is encouraged to work with ASD Reading four or five times a week and, trust me, it never was boring for Jacob and I could see how well he was progressing. It was time truly well spent. So, what was the problem? Well, let me tell you a little secret about the Schoolhouse Review Crew. When we are chosen for a review, we are given five or six weeks to review that product from the time we receive it to the time we have to write the review. Well, I thought to myself, if it takes Jacob two or three weeks just to learn sequencing and where to find the letters on the keyboard, that just leaves us two or three weeks to see if the learning how to read section of ASD Reading really works for Jacob before I have to write the review.

However, we kept on going. By this time, though, Jacob liked the program so much that he was doing two or three lessons a day so he moved a bit quicker. So, we began with Level One. There are five levels in ASD Reading and in each level you learn enough words to be able to read six books. The ASD Reading website says that each level should take 10-15 weeks to complete, but when you break it down, that’s about two weeks per book. In Level One you learn 36 new words, however, you don’t only learn the words, you learn many variants of that word as well. For example, a child might learn the word “park”, but then he will also learn the variants “parks”, “parking” and “parked”. So in reality Jacob will be learning a lot more than 36 words in Level One.

Each lesson begins with showing Jacob a new word and making sure he knows what that word means. For example, one of the new words was boy. The computer showed the word boy while a voice pronounced the word. Jacob was then shown three or four pictures and he would have to pick the picture of the boy. Farther in the lesson he may have to type the word boy or he would be shown the word “boy” with some letters missing and he would have to fill in the missing letters. Then, they may add an “s” to the word to introduce a new variant or perhaps even a whole new word and he would have to go through a similar process again.

As I mentioned before, he has begun doing two or three lessons a day, so he whizzed through the words for book one and, to my amazement, read the first book aloud to me with hardly a mistake! He had never done that before! I knew that we had found the answer to his reading problems. ASD Reading!

Jacob likes the program because of the clever and well done animation and because of the reward factor (you also earn points and, after you have accumulated so many points you are rewarded with a page in your passport). I love ASD Reading for other reasons, though. Of course I like it because it has been our answer to Jacob learning how to read, but it is the process that they use that I really like. You see, ASD Reading has a built in program that monitors how well a child is doing and if a child needs more help in a particular area. If a child is catching on quickly then the program might move him along a little faster. If a child need help in something then the built in program might review a section automatically or give him more help in a specific area. I also like the fact that I get periodic progress reports and can go to the ASD Reading program myself to see how he is doing. Everything is done online using secure passwords. I think I love it as much as Jacob!

Something that is very unique about this program is that it was developed specifically for autism spectrum children. And, that is for all autism spectrum children even if they are non-verbal. I am a believer in this program and am very impressed with it. If you have a child anywhere on the spectrum I would encourage you to check it out.

This is one of those “WOW” reviews that I have talked about recently. I only give a review a “WOW” if it is extra special and made an impact on my children. ASD Reading by Reading Kingdom fits that requirement. It is definitely a “WOW” review. To find out more about ASD Reading or about Reading Kingdom just click on any of the highlighted links above. To find out what some of the other Schoolhouse Review Crew members had to say about ASD Reading and about another program by Reading Kingdom called Reading Kingdom Online, just click on the banner below. Happy Reading!

Reading Kingdom Review
Crew Disclaimer

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Scripture Sunday - Is Anyone Listening? Does Anyone Care?

Scripture Sunday


Psalm 121:2-4King James Version (KJV)

2 My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. 3 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. 4 Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. Sometimes I wonder. Is anyone listening? Does anyone care?
  • My wife’s mother is sick and my wife has to spend long periods of time away from me and the kids. Is anyone listening? Does anyone care?
  • People don’t understand our ministry, some just plain don’t want to understand, and some are bent on destroying it. Is anyone listening? Does anyone care?
  • We have two special needs kids that can be difficult sometimes. Is anyone listening? Does anyone care?
  • As missionaries we are terribly under supported and are struggling financially. Is anyone listening? Does anyone care?
  • I could go on and on but… Is anyone listening? Does anyone care?
It is easy to get discouraged in ministry. Hey, it’s easy to discouraged with just plain life!
Recently I was searching for another verse when the above verse popped up in my search results. It has been very encouraging to me during my present difficult time. God is always in control. He made Heaven and Earth. We have no need to fear (although I find myself fearing all of the time). When I feel myself falling into those old habits of fear I just need to remember where my help comes. My help comes from the Lord. He will not slumber! He loves me and wants to help me. All I need to do is go to the Father!
My Father is listening! My Father cares!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Wow! Wow! Wow!–YWAM Publishing–A TOS Review Crew Review

YWAM Publishing Review
Okay folks. I don’t say “Wow! Wow! Wow!” for just any old review product. I reserve my “Wow! Wow! Wow!” for only the products that have made a significant impact on our homeschool and on my kids (and on me!). Well, I can heartily say, with tears in my eyes because it was that good, that the products that we reviewed from YWAM Publishing made a tremendous impact on my kids and me.
Let me give you some background to this first. I love missionary stories and biographies. I have read many of them in my lifetime. In fact, one of my favorites is a missionary by the name of Mary Slessor that served in Africa in the late 1800’s/early 1900’s. When the crew filled out the form to be possible reviewers for YWAM, we were given a choice of many “Heroes of History” and “Christian Heroes:Then and Now” and the YWAM Biography titled Mary Slessor: Forward into Calabar written by Janet and Geoff Benge was on the list. I debated and debated. I really wanted to pick that biography, but I thought perhaps I was being selfish. Maybe the biography of Davy Crockett would be of more interest to my kids. Finally I couldn’t resist and put Mary Slessor as my first choice and Davy Crockett as my second and prayed that God would give us the one that He wanted to give us. Well, I soon found out that God chose Mary’s biography for us and, of course, God always knows what he is doing. And boy, He sure knew what He was doing this time! Mary Slessor’s life has made a lifelong impact on my children!
We were very blessed to receive both the biography, Mary Slessor: Forward into Calabar and the accompanying Mary Slessor Unit Study Curriculum Guide. First let me tell you a little about the biography and then I will fill you in on the fantastic unit study.
Mary Slessor 
As I said above, I have read two or three biographies of Mary Slessor and also have told the missionary story of Mary Slessor to my Bible club kids so I knew quite a bit about her, her life, and her ministry. I wasn’t expecting to learn many new things. However, I was very pleasantly surprised with Janet and Geoff Benge’s version. Although it was written on a level that my kids could understand, it was also very informative and brought out a few new things that I didn’t know about this great lady.
Mary Slessor was born in Scotland in 1858 and, largely due to the “Missionary Record” that told about the happenings of missionaries around the world, and due to the life of David Livingstone, Mary, from a young age, aspired to be a missionary and work in the jungles of Calabar in what is now known as Nigeria, Africa. Her mother had always dreamed that one of Mary’s brothers would become a missionary and Mary’s dream was to go along as the brother’s assistant. When both brothers died before begin able to go, Mary thought that her dream would never come to pass. However, God has other plans. Mary was to be the one to do God’s work in Africa.
This excellently written biography, part of YWAM’s Christian Heroes: Then and Now series, chronicles Mary’s tough early years living with an alcoholic father and a Godly mother in the slums of Dundee to how she was saved at a young age and began working for the Lord when she was yet a youngster and then how she received the call to go to Calabar and become a pioneer and one of the first missionaries, man or woman, to roam deep into the jungles to reach the fiercest of tribes. There is a lot of exciting stuff – adventure, drama, sadness and laughter – that kept my ADHD/Autistic kid’s interest so I’m sure it will keep your children’s interest as well.
Mary Slessor 2
If you think that the biography is good, wait until you see the Mary Slessor Unit Study Curriculum Guide also written by Janet and Geoff Benge! It’s eight chapters, listed below, contain a wealth of topics to explore that all have to do with Mary Slessor’s life, Scotland, Africa and missions.
The Chapters include:
1. Key Bible Verses – Bible verses that your children can memorize that go along with the story.
2. Display Corner – Ideas for how you can make a display that reflects the story.
3. Chapter Questions – always four questions – a vocabulary question, a factual question, a comprehension question and an open ended question that seeks you child’s opinion or interpretation.
4. Student Explorations – A variety of activities for all ages.
5. Community Links – How you can use people from your community to enhance your unit study,
6. Social Studies – Naturally a biography like this lends itself to many, many social study projects.
7. Related Themes to Explore – How you can pull other school subjects into you unit study.
8. Culminating Events – Things you can do to wrap you study up or end your study with,
Appendix A – Books and Resources – This was one of our favorite sections – you’ll find out why in a moment.
Appendix B – Answers to Chapter Questions
We dabbled in every one of the chapters, but there were three chapters and the two appendixes that we used the most.
One thing that we did after reading every chapter was to do the chapter questions. They are very well done and provoked many interesting discussions. I was thrilled out how much vocabulary my kids were learning and I was very pleased with how much of the story they were absorbing and understanding.
We also used the Social Studies ideas a lot. My middle child, Joshua, loves Geography and really got into this part of it, and this was a great introduction for Jacob, my youngest. We used the pull out maps that came with the Unit Study and other maps from the the internet extensively as we followed Mary Slessor’s adventures.
We used many of the Student Explorations ideas to enhance our study as well. One of the suggestions was to study the life of David Livingstone, the missionary that inspired Mary when she was younger. We found a great video about his life that the boys loved and are now begging me to buy the YWAM biography of David Livingstone, also written by Janet and Geoff Benge along with the accompanying Unit Study Curriculum Guide.
I would say that the section that excited us the most was the Appendix that gave us a lot of Books and Resources to use. It was a plethora of information! The authors listed other biographies of Mary Slessor along with a small blurb about each one. We are planning on buying one or two in the near future. The most exciting things that we found, though, were the websites listed for further exploration. There is an actual recording of Mary Slessor speaking Efik, the native tongue in Calabar in her day! There were also actual pictures of her with many of the natives and other missionaries that she was involved with. We could see pictures of the people that were being talked about in the book! It added so much to our study.
So, how much did we actually like YWAM Publishing’s Mary Slessor: Forward Into Calabar and the Mary Slessor Unit Study Curriculum Guide? Let me tell you what happened at the end of the book. I, of course, knew what was going to happen. Me, being the usually softy teared up many times during that last couple of chapters. At one sad point I looked up to see Jacob with his hands clutched together and a worried look on his face and Joshua wiping his eyes. Joshua saw me looking and quickly said, “I’m not crying, Dad. My eyes were just itching.” Later, my big 14 year old boy admitted that he indeed was crying but only just a little.
These books made a huge impact on my children. As I am typing this, there are tears filling my eyes not necessarily because I am remembering the great biography, but because of how much my children learned and how much more excited about missions my children now are. We are full time missionaries ourselves, so they have an understanding and a love for missions already, but this brought it into a whole new realm.
Mary Slessor: Forward into Calabar and Mary Slessor Unit Study Curriculum Guide are two books that I think every family should have. I have a brand new respect for the job the YWAM Publishing is doing with their series of books Christian Heroes: Then and Now and Heroes of History. And speaking of those two series. Many of the other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew reviewed books from both of those series and you can find what they had to say by clicking on the banner below. To go to the YWAM website itself, just click on any of the highlighted links above. You won’t regret it at all! Happy Homeschooling!

YWAM Publishing Review
Crew Disclaimer

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Super Teacher Worksheets are Absolutely Super! A TOS Review Crew Review!


Super Teacher Worksheets 

Kids with high functioning autism are often known as little geniuses. They often become fascinated by a certain topic or thing and want to know all that they can about it. It is almost as if they are obsessed. As a homeschool dad with two such children I am constantly looking for supplemental material to go along with their interest of the moment. Thankfully, we have been blessed with a few wonderful things this year on the TOS Review Crew that have been been an awesome help to our kids. Super Teacher Worksheets and their Individual Membership is one of them.

I have gone to this fantastic site over and over again looking for things that I can use in a particular unit study or to supplement a subject and Super Teacher Worksheets has never failed me. I cannot tell you  how impressed I am with this extensive site. They have absolutely everything that you can think of. There is no way that I could even attempt to describe everything that is included so let me just highlight some of the ways that we have used it so far and some of the ways that I hope to use it in the future.

Super Teacher Worksheets 2

I absolutely love Super Teacher Worksheets because you could actually develop your own curriculum with it or you can use it as a supplement for something you are doing, or even for extra practice on subjects your child is weak in.

We have used it a lot with the unit studies we have been doing. Recently a unit study asked for maps of Africa, so, all I did was head on over to Super Teacher Worksheets and there they were! Ready to print out. They have world maps, regional maps and maps of several countries. They also have geography worksheets, games, flashcards, crafts, and a lot more that cover countries, geographical features, longitude/latitude…you name it. If it has to do with geography they have it.

That’s what Super Teacher Worksheets is all about. Don’t let the name fool you, though. As I mentioned above, it has a lot more than just worksheets, they have over 10,000 worksheets that cover geography, math, spelling, science, grammar, reading and writing, phonics, and more for all ages. They even have “generators” where you can create your own worksheets including, spelling, math, calendars, puzzles, and quizzes just to name a few. Super Teacher Worksheets literally has everything that you can think of.

Super Teacher Worksheets 4

We have also utilized flashcards for geography and math. It has been wonderful! I have so many things saved in the handy dandy on site “file cabinet” that is included where you can store things to be looked at and/or printed at a later time.

I really want to check out their spelling lists for Jacob and perhaps some of their animal cut and pastes and craft activities. Some of the phonics reading books that we can print out would be helpful for him as well. And speaking of reading, Joshua could use some of the reading comprehension sheets and maybe even the book report templates that are included with Super Teacher Worksheets.

And how can I keep everything straight? Well with Super Teacher Worksheets lesson planner and grade sheets of course! There are a lot of really neat teacher resources included in the membership as well.

Oh, and did I mention that they have Spanish translations of many of the worksheets as well! And for those of you who follow common core, most of the worksheets, games, puzzles, crafts, and so on are aligned to common core standards.

I could really go on and on about Super Teacher Worksheets but I could never really cover everything that they have to offer. You really need to check it out yourself. Just click on any of the highlighted links above. Don’t forget that other members of the TOS Review Crew reviewed Super Teacher Worksheets and you can find what they had to say by clicking on the banner below. Happy homeschooling!

Oh, and I really need to print out some math coloring pages for Jacob. And the pages that they have for the different seasons and holidays are really nice as well. Oh, and the…

Super Teacher Worksheets Review
Crew Disclaimer

Friday, September 11, 2015

The Tinkel Times–Post Summer Newsletter!

Tim Hortons 1
Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.Mark 16:16
Recently, I watched a biography of David Livingston with my two youngest Joshua and Jacob. One of the Christian historians mentioned at the end that there is one thing that you can’t do in Heaven. You can’t evangelize and tell others about Christ. That is the one thing that must be done on earth and it is also the “Great Commission”that Jesus gave to his disciples in the gospels. As modern day disciples of Christ, I believe that God has called us to go and reach the world as well.
That is what our entire family endeavors to do – reach those in Livingston and the surrounding areas with the gospel. We believe that God called us to work in Livingston, TN. We can see the hand of God down through the ages leading us to Good News Ministries.
Although recent changes in our ministry have at times been frustrating, we are excited about what God is leading us to do in the future.
A couple of weeks ago we had a Good News Ministry board meeting to discuss finally purchasing insurance for the converted minibus that was given to us to use. I had gotten some very good quotes and was excited to finally make use of the bus to use for Bible Clubs and other ministries. Sometimes my zeal can get in the way of sensible thinking, however. That is why I have a committee of fantastic Christian men and women to keep me on the right path and give me good advice. They pointed out that, although we had a bit of money saved up in our ministry account, and we had a couple of regular donors, the amount of money saved along with the regular donations would only last a year or so. They again emphasized that I need to speak to more churches and individuals not only about supporting our ministry, but our family as well.
As full-time missionaries, Sarah and I have to raise our own personal and ministry support which means that we have to speak to churches and individuals about our needs and ask if they would prayerfully consider pledging a monthly amount to support our ministry and/or family. Although I have written about our need many times before, there is one thing that I have not actually done. I have not specifically asked every one of you to prayerfully consider what you can do to help us financially.
So, I am now asking all of you, my friends, whether you know me personally, or just online, to prayerfully consider if God would like you to partner with our ministry and with our family. Right now we have two immediate needs. We need about $100 more a month in our ministry budget to be able to afford to insure the bus and keep it insured for the long run. Also, my family is in desperate need of financial support. As a family, we need about $1000 a month more coming in to our household. Really we need more but $1000 would immediately help us make ends meet.
If we had 11 churches or individuals that would pledge $100 to the ministry and our support that would cover the immediate needs. Or if we had 22 individuals pledging $50 or 44 individuals pledging $25 then that would cover our costs. Would you prayerfully consider if God is calling you to partner with us for one of these amounts or another amount?
If you would like more information on our ministry or how you can help please contact us. All of our contact information is below. Perhaps we can get together with you or even speak at your church. At the end of this prayer letter, I have put the links to several recent blog posts that I have written that describe what we do and the individuals that we work with on a daily basis.
Thank you to all of you who have supported us over the years whether financially or prayerfully. We could not minister without you. Again, if you want more information or would like to come along side of us with support please give us a call, text us, shoot us an email, or even leave a comment to this blog post. We appreciate all of you.
Tim and Sarah Tinkel – Good News Ministries – 904 Lee Drive, Livingston, TN 38570 – Tim Cell – 931-319-2551
Address to send support for our ministry and bus fund – Good News Ministries - % of Don Maxson – 608 Big Springs Rd., Monroe, TN, 38573
The Tinkels do not receive any money from the above account, it is strictly used for ministry.
Address to send support for the Tinkel family – BCM International, 201 Granite Run Drive, Suite 260, Lancaster, PA, 17601
Please put on the memo line or on a slip of paper that the check is for Tim and Sarah Tinkel account number 642.
Ministry Blog Posts - Just click on the title or, if you are receiving this in the mail, go to my blog and click on the ministry tab in the right hand column.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Overton County Heritage Museum–A Hidden Gem of Middle Tennessee!


PicMonkey Collage

Quiz Time!

1. Who was the first white man to be killed in Overton County and who killed him?

2. What Overton County woman helped build the Atomic Bomb during World War II?

3. Name the only Tennessee state park in Overton County and tell who built it.

Most of you probably have no idea what the answers are to these questions now do you probably care. More than likely only those of you who are from Overton County are even remotely interested in the answers. The answer to those questions and a host of others can be found at the Overton County Heritage Museum in my adopted hometown of Livingston, TN.


Every summer, our family goes on a ministry trip/vacation to Canada, New Jersey and other places between. It’s a time of ministry, relaxation, learning and a time away from video games. We read, talk, listen to books on tape and visit neat places that we otherwise wouldn’t be able to visit. We always have a good time together and learn so much but then, it is a big let down when we get back home. We usually fall back into our same old routines of being couch potatoes.

This year I was determined not to allow that to happen. I decided that we were going to go on a field trip every week and that we were going to try to pick someplace that was within an hour or so drive, something that was fairly inexpensive and that we were going to start off with things that were local. My first choice was the Overton County Heritage Museum.


This small but excellent museum was founded in 2003 and is located in the old Livingston jail located at 318 W Broad St, Livingston, Tennessee 38570. It was amazing the things that we learned about Livingston and Overton County. From the Native Americans that lived in the area before the town and county were founded to it’s early days to present days, this museum has it all.

What was even more amazing were the things we learned about history in general. Remember, even if you go to a small town museum that only talks about that small town, you learn about what life is like in most small towns in that region. However, the Overton County Historical Museum was unique in the fact that when it talked about Overton County’s participation in the Civil War, it also educated my boys on the Civil War in general. And, not just the Civil War, but WWI, WWII, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. The museum has clothing, weapons, musical instruments, tools and other artifacts from all historical eras. Do you know what a “Shaped Note” is? Do you know what years the Civil War was fought? Have you ever heard of Turkey Boots? All of these things apply to people and places out side of Overton County as well and you can find it all at the Overton County Heritage Museum.


I would highly recommend you visiting this “hidden gem” of Middle Tennessee if you live within driving distance. It is open to the public every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 9am – 2pm. The Overton County Heritage Museum’s phone number is 931-403-0909 or 931-498-2551. They have an awesome bookstore as well with many books about the area for sale.

Perhaps you don’t live close to Livingston. Here is my advice to you. Don’t overlook your own area. Look around for small museums, state parks, antique stores, historic attractions, natural attractions, etc. in your neighborhood. Many folks plan the whole year to go to a National Park, major historical area, or major museum but never visit the museums or parks in their own areas. Look around for the unusual and out of the way places in your neck of the woods. You may find a “hidden gem” like we did!


Quiz Answers

1. Robert Crockett – A Long Hunter – was killed by Indians in the area.

2. Lyda Speck (An awesome lady that I personally knew).

3. Standing Stone State Park in Hilham, TN was build by WPA workers (Works Progress Administration) as part of the New Deal during the Great Depression.

And, speaking of Standing Stone State Park. We visited that hidden gem yesterday and I’ll be writing about that next week!