Thursday, August 30, 2012

Uncover Exciting History - And I Mean Exciting!


We have been blessed to be able to review quite a few great books that have historical content in them recently and Uncover Exciting History by Amy Puetz and published by Golden Prairie Press has now joined the ranks as one for the best that we have reviewed. It's byline is: "Revealing America's Christian Heritage in Short Easy-to-Read Nuggets".

I am presently at a fantastic retreat for the mission that we serve with BCM International. We have had some great Bible messages by our special speaker, and some great workshops on evaluating our mission and our ministry. So, since evaluating things is on my mind anyway, I thought  would evaluate this book and see if it really does live up to that claim "Revealing America's Christian Heritage in Short Easy-to-Read Nuggets".


  • Does it Reveal America's Christian heritage?  - Yes! Amy Puetz is excellent at retelling America's history in exciting ways. We have been enthralled at some of the stories that she tells. And, she always seems to insert little bits of information that the regular history books don't always tell. Did you know which hero of American history dressed as a monk by wearing a simple brown robe with a knotted rope as a belt? What about the adventurer who claimed he could block out the moon? You'll find out when you read Uncover Exciting History and, believe it or not, the same person did both of those things! I guarantee you won't be able to guess which one. I would never have guessed it. You'll have to buy the book to find out!
  • Are they short nuggets? - Yes again! Amy Puetz is not only fantastic at retelling stories and inserting interesting bits of unusual information, but she is good at doing it in a concise way. Can you believe that each chapter in Uncover Exciting History is only six pages long? Yep! Six pages is all she takes to tell you about The Lost Colony of Roanoke; The Making of a Republic; Miracle at New Orleans; and The Navajo Code Talkers. And those are just a few of the chapter titles. There are many, many, more, and they all have those bits of interesting information that you can't find elsewhere. This book truly is fascinating. 
  • Are they Easy-to-Read nuggets? They sure are. I've already told you that each the twenty-five regular (and four bonus!) chapters of Uncover Exciting History only has six pages in each, but they are also very easy to read. Even though my high-school age son is fascinated with the unusual information, I am planning on giving this to my forth grader to read, again, on his own. Oh, and, by the way, although there are bits of little known information inserted in each chapter, this isn't like one of those "believe it or not" books that only has weird info. Each chapter is very complete and historically accurate. Those unusual bits of information that I keep talking about are just a bonus. Of course, it doesn't hurt that they also make the reader want to keep reading and not put the book down!
So, how much is this truly exciting book? Believe it or not, you can get all of this for only $11.96 (20% off of the $14.95 regular price) by clicking here or on any one of the hi-lighted links above. Our family has loved this book. It comes in an ebook fashion, but download links are available in formats for Nook, Kindle or PDF Files. We have been reading it aloud and it has become a great core book for my younger children and a great companion book for my older son's studies. I heartily recommend this book.

Amy Puetz has written some other amazing books about history and some of the other TOS Review Crew members have reviewed them as well as the one that we reviewed. You can find out what they had to say by clicking here. Happy Homeschooling!

Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Review Crew I was sent a free download of the ebook "Uncover Exciting History" in order to read and give my honest review on this blog.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Writing an SAT Essay Can Really be "Mission Possible"!

I remember when I was in high school and preparing to go to college. I went to a large and very modern highschool, with a wonderful guidance department, but one thing it lacked was instructions and advice on how to take the college entrance tests that we were required to take. I had no idea what was expected of us. We just blindly went in and took the SAT and ACT without really knowing what we were doing.
I was really thrilled when John Allen and I were chosen to review the eight week online course called Mission Possible: SAT Essay Writing. Now let me tell you, our eight weeks started way back at the end or July, and John Allen was just not ready to start school yet. It was like pulling hen's teeth to get him to sit down and do any work. However, when he saw how thorough this course was then he was even more reluctant to begin the work. What he didn't realize, though, was that, although it was thorough, the course is set up to work step by step on how to write a good SAT Essay.
Now, Mission Possible: SAT Essay Writing is really the best of two worlds. It's an online course that you work through on your own, but it also has a teacher (John Allen's teacher is Mrs. Cevela) who grades the written work and gives advice to the student through online comments. As I mentioned, you have eight weeks to work through the course, but, it can actually been worked through in as little as four weeks if a student does more than one lesson a day.
There is a lot of great information in the Mission Possible: SAT Essay Writing course, but it is broken down into excellent bite sized chunks. The course is laid out in eight parts - one for each week. They are:
  1. What you need to know - Writing for the SAT.
  2. Breaking down the writing prompt.
  3. An important review - writing and excellent essay.
  4. Using your voice in your essays.
  5. Stronger sentences, stronger essays.
  6. Improving paragraph structure.
  7. Identifying and correcting errors for better essays.
  8. The only way to study - Practice, Practice, Practice.
As I mentioned above, each section takes about a week to complete. Not all sections have five lessons in each section. Some might have three or four, but usually when that happens, there is a written assignment that needs to be graded by the teacher. The teacher grades and gets back to you with suggestions within 24 hours unless it is a Friday or weekend day when it is completed. Writing assignments turned in on Friday or the weekend can take a little more than 24 hours. Some assignments, though, may not be writing assignment at all. Some may be just reading about how to do something and then reading examples. All lessons must be done in order, though, for a student to get the complete idea.
John Allen, as I said, got off to a rocky start. The first day, we went over the instructions and watched the very well done and easy to understand introduction video that explains how everything will work for the course. The first few lessons were also easy as all he had to do was read and answer some questions. Then, however, came the writing! John Allen is actually a good writer when he is writing a book review or something like that. SAT essay writing really through him off, however, because it requires a little more of a structure and has a 25 minute time limit for each essay. He isn't used to something like that. The first time he tried to write an SAT essay about a topic that was chosen from a list, he totally flopped! Mrs. Cevela was ever so kind in her comments, but, really, it was pretty bad. She suggested that we move to a more basic essay writing course (Time4Writing has a plethora of writing courses for all ages, grades and writing types to choose from) but, since we were reviewing this course for the TOS Review Crew, it were required to stick with this one. 
He has since warmed up to it and is getting into a bit of a rhythm. The second writing assignment was actually very well received by the teacher! I would, however, recommend that unless your student is well practiced in writing a regular essay, he take a more basic essay writing course as Mrs. Cevela suggested John Allen do. I think that you'll find out that the SAT essay is a whole other "ball game" when it comes to writing. This course explains everything well, though, from what to expect and how to outline and write a 25 min. essay from a given topic to how the SAT is graded and what to do to make sure your essay stands out above the others. This really is an excellent course and I would recommend it being taken before a student takes the SAT. Knowing what to expect and how to write and SAT essay will greatly enhance your SAT score.
I would also recommend the price! Most online courses with a teacher cost in the $100's of dollars. This course, however is just $99! You can find out more about this course and more writing courses from Time4Writing by clicking here or on any one of the hi-lighted links above.  

Other members or the TOS Review Crew reviewed other courses from and you can find what they had to say by clicking here.
Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Review Crew I was given the 8 week course Mission Impossible: SAT Essay Writing from in order to try out and give my honest review on this blog.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

We Love Mr. Pipes!

Who would have thunk it? (Okay, I know "thunk" isn't a word but it just seemed to fit!) Who would have thought that a book about English hymn writers and the hymns that they wrote could be so exciting, fascinating, educational, sobering, thought provoking...oh, I could go on and on, but my exuberations would in no way be as interesting as the book itself, so let me proceed in telling you about it. Hey! I just realized I'm beginning to sound a little like old Mr. Pipes himself!
Let me start by telling you about Mr. Pipes and the British Hymn Makers cast of eccentric characters. They are:
  • Mr. Pipes - The most eccentric of them all, Mr. Pipes is the elderly but spry organist for the village church. Through divine chance, he meets two citified American children who have come to this small English village to spend the summer. He takes the children on many wild adventures while all along educating them on the lives of British hymn writers, the hymns that they wrote and, of course, the God that their famous hymns were written about.
  • The children - Annie - The very sensible, kind, inquisitive, creative sister who takes to village life easily and is friendly to everyone and everything.
  • Drew - The very urban younger brother of Annie who, at the beginning, is bored out of his wits at village life. He would prefer to listen to his CD player but soon forgets his music as he "nonchalantly" learns to love and appreciate Mr. Pipes and the hymns and writers about whom Mr. Pipes teaches.
  • Dr. Dudley - The very caring, but, perhaps, too worrisome and too caring village doctor who is always concerned with Mr. Pipes' health and the seemingly wild and foolish adventures that Mr. Pipes and the children have.
  • Mrs. Beccles - The kind and generous owner of the town bakery. She has taken the children under her wing and makes very sure that they are fed properly.
  • Thomas Ken, Isaac Watts, Charles Wesley, William Williams, John Newton, William Cowper, Augustus Toplady and Thomas Kelly, John Bunyan and a host of other Scottish, Anglican and women hymn writers. Yes, they are all a very important part of this book. You would not believe how fascinating their lives were and how interesting  the history of the hymns that they wrote is.

Now, please don't think that Mr. Pipes and the British Hymn Makers is a book filled with boring biographies of ancient and stuffy composers. It is nothing of the sort! Could you imagine that a book about hymn composers could include adventure? The author, Douglas Bond, is, I'm sure, somehow related to James Bond, because he knows how to make life exciting. Not only do Mr. Pipes, Annie and Drew go on exciting adventures, but so do the ancient musicians that they talk about. In this book you'll find fishing, sailing, train rides, storms, kings, queens, pirates, wars, and, ugh, even beheadings. And that is only in the first few chapters. You'll have to read the book to find what is in the later pages.
This book truly is a fascinating book. If my three boys, even my six year old, can sit and be enthralled, then I'm quite confident that any child would enjoy it. The language and the the larger words may be a bit more than an elementary child can read, this book is recommended for 7th - 10th graders, but any age child would love this book as a read-aloud. In fact, that's how it was used in our household. We opened our school day by me reading from it and the boys loved listening.
Mr. Pipes and the British Hymn Makers really is filled with a lot of adventure had by both the children and Mr. Pipes but also the hymn writers that Mr. Pipes teaches about. However, the interesting autobiographies are just a small part of what makes this book endearing. The cross-generational, cross-cultural and loving relationship that develops between the children and Mr. Pipes as he gently tells them about the one, true God is also a large part of what makes this book special.
I know that your family would enjoy it as well. The suggested retail value for Mr. Pipes and the British Hymn Makers is listed as $10.99, but, Christian Liberty Press, the company that publishes this book, has it listed for $9.89! To find out more about this and other Mr. Pipes books (yes, this is a series and I can't wait to receive the next one), just click here or on any one of the hi-lighted links above. Happy Homeschooling!
Other members of the TOS Review Crew reviewed Mr. Pipes and the British Hymn Makers and you can find what they had to say by clicking here.
Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Review Crew I was sent a free copy of Mr. Pipes and the British Hymn Makers from the publisher Christian Liberty Press in order to read and give my honest review on this blog.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Faces of Good News Mission

This is the new video that my fantastic wife, Sarah, did for our ministry - Good News Mission. Please watch and pray for the faces of the wonderful folks that we minister to in the low income housing areas around us.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

And the Gold Medal Goes to Math Made Easy!


Okay! Okay! I know the title is kind of corny and obvious since the Olympics are going on, but I had to do it. I love the Olympics. I love the Olympics from beginning to ending and everything in between. I love watching the interesting and seldom seen sports. I love it when athletes from the U.S.A. win medals (sorry international readers). I love hearing the life stories of athletes. I love cheering for the underdog (as long as they're not up against the U.S. of course). I love being inspired by those that have worked hard and sacrificed to become the best athlete that they can be. I just love the whole thing!

I think that's why I enjoy teaching. I love those "aha" moments when one of my children finally "get it". I love watching my children succeed after working hard. Unfortunately, one of my children, Joshua, still has a difficult time enjoying "aha" moments with one of his subjects - math. Math is very difficult for him. He just doesn't "get it" as easily as some kids do. For example, although we are past addition, now, he still has difficulty being able to answer simple addition questions easily without using his fingers or some other method of counting objects.

That's one of the reasons why I was excited to find out that the TOS Review Crew was sending us Addition Teaching and Learning Made Easy by Math Made Easy. I had heard good things about it and had high expectations. I was hoping that I wouldn't be disappointed and I wasn't. In keeping with the Olympic theme, I'd like to give you three ways that Math Made Easy wins a Gold Medal at least from the Tinkels.


Math Made Easy wins the Gold Medal for Concept and Philosophy! As soon as I read about their philosophy I was intrigued and excited. Did you know that all of the addition table can be boiled down to 36 problems? Yep! It's true. That's one of the things that I love about this program. The creator of this program, Glenda Brown James, wanted to make learning addition as stress free as possible. She figured that addition of zeros and ones was pretty easy so, when you consider that 2+1 is the same as 1+2 and that 0+3 is the same as 3+0, then that eliminates 36 problems from the 100 problem addition table right away. Then, you apply that same principle to the rest of the table and you eliminate 28 more. After all, if 2+3 is the same as 3+2, then after you know 2+3 you don't have to worry about 3+2. So that boils down to 36 addition problems. If you take six weeks to work on those 36 problems then you only have to work on 6 problems a week. How easy is that!

Math Made Easy wins the Gold Medal for Fun and Easy! Don't you just love it when you finish something fun and you realize that you learned something along the way. That's kind of what Math Made Easy is like. It's not just a bunch of boring fill in the answer worksheets, it's a lot of fun. From their daily (one a day) pages to their review games the kids have just a plain old good time learning their weekly math facts. The pages that they do are really puzzles. One day might be one of those color pages where if the answer to the question inside of a shape is 14 then you color it green If it's 7 then the color is gray. With 8 it's yellow, 6-red, and 12-orange. When you are done coloring in all of the spaces then the picture ends up being a bunch of differently shaped balloons with a ribbon tying the strings together. What fun! Other pages might be secret code pages. Others might be cut and paste, or matching. Only a few pages are actually worksheet type pages with rows of problems but, even then, they are made to look fun. Friday is always the "Math Problem of the Week" page to challenge the kids. Put the fun pages together along with the fun review games and flashcards (all included in the book) and you have a Gold Medal winning program that makes learning so much fun that your kids won't even know they're learning!

Math Made Easy wins the Gold Medal for Effectiveness! It really works! Even after the first week Joshua was saying his math facts without using his fingers which Math Made Easy encourages the child not to do. And, as expected, he loves the different types of pages. He doesn't like regular worksheet type pages, but these pages he loves! When I was talking to him about it earlier, he said to give it "two thumbs up", so Math Made Easy wins two awards - the Two Thumbs Up award from Joshua and the Gold Medal from me!

So, you might be thinking that Math Made Easy would cost the price of a gold medal to buy, but if you did you'd be wrong. It doesn't even cost the price of a bronze medal! All of the things mentioned above - the daily pages, review games, flashcards, instructions, lesson plans, pre-tests/post-tests and more is only $24.95! Yep! Even the price is a winner. It has really helped Joshua and I know it will help your child as well. Just click here or on any one of the hi-lighted links above to find out more about this and all of the Math Made Easy products!

As usual, many other members of the TOS Review Crew reviewed Addition Teaching and Learning Made Easy by Math Made Easy and other Crew members reviewed other programs by Math Made Easy and you can find what they had to say by clicking here. Happy Home Educating!

Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Review Crew I was sent a free copy of Addition Teaching and Learning Made Easy in order to use and and give my honest review on this blog.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Do You Have King Alfred in a Can?


Excuse me, but do you have Prince Albert in a can?

You do?

Well, you'd better let him out or he might suffocate!

I actually thought of that old joke when I first heard the title of a possible book that I might review for the TOS Review Crew. However, when I received my copy of King Alfred's English by Laurie J. White I found out that there was a lot packed in to this little can of a book! (Don't ask me why I thought of Prince Albert when the name of the book is "KING ALFRED's English", but that's just the way my mind works sometimes!)

I have never been much of an English Grammar person. Oh, I enjoy dabbling into other languages, and trying to learn them, but I don't much like studying the English language. Most of you know, though, that I love to read and I love history, so when I found what the full name of this book was - King Alfred's English - A History of the Language We Speak And Why We Should Be Glad We Do, I became a little more interested.

Really, though, what could be interesting about the English language? And, furthermore, what could be interesting about the HISTORY  of the English language? I mean, the history of countries and of people are interesting, but a LANGUAGE? I mean...really...this is doomed to be one of those "good for nights when you have insomnia" books...isn't it?

Not in the least! Without revealing too much of what is in the book, let me "whet your appetite" by asking a few questions:

  • Did you know that English was not the original language spoken by the inhabitants of England?
  • Is "xmas" really a bad thing to write at Christmas time? (I found the answer to that very enlightening)
  • What does Germany have to do with our language?
  • Why do some people call England - England and others call it Britain?
  • Was St. Patrick a real person and what did he have to do with our language?
Those are all questions that will be answered in just Part I of this book! There are several such "parts" to the book - King Alfred's English and I love how easy they are to read. Each Part to the book is divided into several chapters and each chapter has bite sized fascinating stories. You might think that this sounds disjointed, but, actually, everything flows together so well, and connects that you might find it hard to locate a good place to put the book down for the night. That is, if you actually want to put it down at all! It's that good. I'm not even going to mention the other great info in the book. Like:

  • What the Vikings have to do with our word "berserk". Or,
  • What Shakespeare has to do with he book of Psalm in the Bible! Or even, heaven forbid,
  • Our Pagan Days!

Now, when I first signed up for possibly reviewing this book the interest form said that kids didn't necessarily have to review it, that adults could review it as well. I didn't think John Allen would be interested, so I thought I would just read it myself. After all, I was looking for some good summer reading. I have, since then, changed my mind. I think John Allen would be fascinated with much of this book and we could count it for both history and language arts. I mean, what teenage boy doesn't like to read about adventure and inventors and exciting historical figures? People such as:

  • King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table
  • William the Conqueror
  • Johannes Gutenberg
  • Marin Luther - And even...
  • Bert and Bertha (Yes, I said Bert and Bertha!)
Yes, all of those people have something to do with our English language and the author, Laurie J. White, in King Alfred's English makes learning about all of them fun and fascinating.

So, how much does Sir Alfred's English cost and where can you find it? Well, you can find it on Amazon or other online book sellers. The cheapest price can be found at Christian Book Distributors for $14.89. (Quick! If you read my next post which I'll write later today, you can find that Laurie J. White has given five of my blessed readers the chance to purchase King Alfred's English at a much cheaper price!) Just click here or on any on of the links above to find out more about Laurie J. White, King Alfred's English, and some of the other fascinating books that I, now, can't wait to read! You really won't be disappointed. It really is a fun read. Happy Homeschooling.

Many other folks on the TOS Review Crew reviewed King Alfred's English and you can find what they had to say by clicking here.

Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Review Crew I was sent a free download of King Alfred's English in order to read and give my honest review on this blog.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Tinkel Summer Newsletter is here! Finally!

Finally an update about our ministry here at Good News Mission. I know that from time to time I will write a post about what is going on in our ministry, but we try to write an official newsletter three or four times a year as well. This newsletter is way overdue but it's not Sarah's fault. She's the one who usually writes them, but I am the one who sends them out. So, finally, here it is:

There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens:

Ecclesiastes 3:1

Hi everyone! This is Tim. Usually Sarah writes our newsletters and does a wonderful job. This newsletter is going to be a little different in that both Sarah and I are going to be sharing what’s going on with our ministry here at Good News Mission. That’s one of the reasons why there has been so much time between newsletters. Sarah had her portion written a couple of months ago but I have been my usual procrastinating self. Please forgive me. Anyway, Sarah’s portions will be in regular print while mine will be in italics. Thanks for all of your friendship, prayers and support. Tim

Changes!!! Change can be good and it also can be very challenging causing us to be stretched in ways that are out of our comfort zones. Back in March change came in the form of some of my ladies being arrested for selling prescription drugs. With bad choices came time spent in jail and having to move out of the projects. It would have been so easy to judge them  but I was reminded that I make bad choices as well… only mine were not on display and very public.

As I was praying for my ladies God impressed upon me that He wanted me to go to visit them in jail and tell them He loved them. My first response was “You want me to do what?” Then I asked God “There has got to be more that you want me to tell them besides that You love them...a more profound message than that You love them?” With fear and anxiety I went to visit them in jail. How precious it was to sit and talk with each of them. The first thing they said was I can’t believe you came! They told me how embarrassed they were for me to see them that way. I told them that I loved them but that God wanted me to come and tell them that HE loved them as well. Tears flowed and they asked how could He love them after what they had done? I told them because that is just who God is….and we all make mistakes but God loves us despite those bad choices. We still have to pay the consequences of our actions but God LOVES us.

Little did I know that would be the last time I would see one of my ladies as she passed away a week later in jail. One important lesson that I have learned through this is that when God gives you a burden for someone and a message to deliver there needs to be instant obedience. I had the words of life and hope and my lady needed those so badly….I am so thankful that I was able to minister to her in this way before she died…..God was so good and faithful in allowing me the honor and privilege of reassuring her of His love for her.  God wants us to be His hands, feet, and words… the question is are we willing to be used of God to go out and be Jesus to a hurting world? I love Mercy Me’s song “Won’t you be my love?” one of the lines in that song is won’t you be MY voice calling, won’t you be MY hands healing, won’t you be MY feet walking into a broken world….won’t you be MY chain breaker….won’t you be MY peace maker…..won’t you be MY hope and joy….won’t you be MY love? In other words will we be HIS love and lead people to His cross? By going to the jail I was being His love and leading those ladies to His cross…what a beautiful picture of God’s grace and love and what a blessing to be able to be HIS love to them.

This year has been full of changes for me as well - especially the summer.  Before the summer began I had my schedule all laid out. We were going to hold three day camps here at the mission, help with two out of state VBS’s and take John Allen to a big air rifle competition in Arkansas. I thought we could handle it easily. After all, for 20 years we held six or more weeks of camp at the camp ministry we worked with. Five weeks of ministry and a week of air rifle competition in the months of June and July should be easy! There were still two weeks to rest or even to fill with more activity. No problem!

Then Sarah’s sister was diagnosed with a brain tumor.  Thankfully it was not malignant, but the doctors still recommended that it come our right away. Still I thought we could handle it. Sarah didn’t need to be here for everything. Mrs. Lass (our dear friend and fellow missionary from GA) would be here. We could handle it! Sarah, though, cringed at the thought of such a busy summer. She said she was worn out just thinking about it.

It wasn’t until our pastor sat down to lunch with us one day, looked me in the eye (he’s good at doing thatJ) and said “Tim, have you really prayed about this?” UGH! What a slap in the face of reality! No, I hadn’t prayed about it. So, after much prayer and fasting by Sarah and me… I began to realize that our summer was just a bit full. We both agreed that the day camps were a must. Too many kids were depending on them. The VBS’s were another thing. Reluctantly I canceled one and by God’s grace the other fell through.

As always, God knows best! Sarah’s sister had surgery in June and, although she came through the surgery wonderfully, the recovery was a bit more than expected. It was just too much for Sarah’s mom to take care of Granny and Sarah’s sister so Sarah ended up spending nearly four weeks in Oak Ridge helping out.

Still, through all of the confusion of the summer, God still blessed. I had been praying for open doors in some apartments called “the double deckers” that are close to us. They are low income apartments but not run by the state as the apartments are across the street from our house. Many of our children had to move away because of the drug bust that Sarah mentioned above. In the government run low income housing if you are convicted of a felony you have to move out. On our first day of day camp it appeared that our numbers would be very low. Although we don’t try to base our ministry on numbers, it was still disheartening to me. After voicing my disappointment to John Allen he said, “Dad, I know that God is going to bring more kids. I’ve been praying that he would.” Lo and behold, soon after that an old black suburban pulls up to the mission and out pile 15 kids from , yes, the double deckers. God had opened doors and brought new kids to the mission! He also opened doors for me to help out at a local VBS for one week as well to replace one of the out of state VBS’s that I had to cancel. All in all 3 children were saved this summer and one child received assurance of salvation from the ministries that we were involved with. Praise the Lord!

Now back to Sarah and a little update on our family.

In the last few months we were having behavioral problems with our youngest son Jacob. With much prayer and talking with our doctors we opted to put him on medication to help with concentration and focusing. What a huge difference this has made with him. He is now able to sit through children’s church and pay attention and participate by answering questions and singing. God is so good and faithful!!!

 John Allen is doing very well and getting more insistent that Tim and I teach him how to drive. This is such a change in our lives as parents and we are having a hard time with this. It seems just like yesterday he was a baby in my arms and here he is now 16 yrs. old and wanting to drive. Where is the time going? God is shaping John Allen into such a neat young man. He is such a blessing and is growing up to be a young man who has a desire to see his friends come to know Jesus. This touches a mother’s heart whose prayer for all of her children is that God would use her sons for His glory.

Joshua is excited about upward football and getting ready for when that will start. This year we also signed Jacob up…this will be different and should be very entertaining….LOL… adults.

This next month we are praying about attending BCM’s week long North American Missionary Conference in Pennsylvania to touch base with fellow missionaries and see and share what God is doing in different parts of the world. This is always a fun, relaxing and informative time for our family. The boys, especially, enjoy catching up on old friends. The children’s and youth ministry workers that BCM brings in are wonderful. The boys love them and learn so much.  We also plan to take time to visit my sister in New Jersey for a few days.

Unfortunately, although it is a wonderful and relaxing time, it is usually a financial crunch for us to be able to afford the trip. The price to attend is only $500, and that includes meals and housing and all meetings, but it is still $500 extra (not including gas) that we must come up with. Please be in prayer that God would provide extra for us next month to be able to afford to attend. This conference is only scheduled every other year so if we missed this one, we would have to wait another two years to attend. If you would like to help us financially with a one-time gift please make out the check or money order payable to BCM International and on a separate piece of paper put “For the Tinkel’s BCM conference” along with our number #642. Thank you so much ahead of time.

Thank you for all that you do on our behalf…I know we don’t say that enough but we are very blessed that you give of your resources, your time and of yourselves toward our family and our ministry. We are overwhelmed at the goodness of God in blessing us with wonderful co laborers such as you…and we appreciate each of you so much. We pray God’s blessings and favor over you.

Prayer Request:

1.       Increase in support

2.       The people we minister to including the new apartments that God has opened the door to

3.       Upcoming fall ministries (Tuesday afternoon Bible Club, Sunday Afternoon Bible Study and visitation and outreach)

4.       Our children John Allen, Joshua and Jacob

5.       The cost of conference and traveling expenses this summer


1.       Opportunity to share our ministry which resulted in support

2.       Progress of Jacob in his behavior, John Allen’s spiritual growth, Joshua’s sweet spirit

3.       Wonderful church family

4.       Great Bible studies

5.    Our family’s spiritual growth as a whole

In Christ,

Sarah & Tim Tinkel                                                           BCM Intl.
829 Hi Tech Drive                                                              201 Granite Drive #260
Livingston, TN 38570                                                       Lancaster, PA  17601
931-823-9320 (home)                                                     1-888-226-4685
931-319-2551 (Tim)                                                
931-319-3113 (Sarah) (Tim) (Sarah)
Acct. #0642

Zane Education - It's what the Tinkel's are using this year!


Okay. I'm going to admit two things about this interview. Number one...there is so much to Zane Education that there is no way that six weeks of regularly using it would be sufficient to cover it all. Number two...I hate that we reviewed this during the summer, because we are just so busy that we hardly had time to use Zane Education at all but we did use it some and loved it. I'm going to fill you in on what we used and what we thought, and then share what things that we are looking forward to using in the coming school year.

What we used and what we thought about Zane Education:

I am a visual learner. Some of my best memories from my school days were movie times. It was always exciting to see the old reel to reel movie projector set up in our classroom because we knew that something exciting was about to happen. I know that a lot of you homeschool moms and dads are a lot younger than I am so you may not believe this, but when I went to school there was no internet! Yes, you read internet! In fact, we didn't even have any computers. So, any extra stuff that we had in the classroom was in the form of film strips or reel to reel movies. Now, I know that with the invention of the computer and the internet, the world has opened up so much more. Videos of any sort are at our fingertips. The only problem is, you have to search the internet for them and you never know what kind of garbage you might find in them. The searching and previewing is often not worth the time it takes.

That's what I like about Zane Education. You can trust what is on there, so you don't have to preview everything, and everything is easy to find. In school, I loved watching geography movies and learning about other countries. Joshua, our middle, aspergers syndrome child, also loves learning about other countries. He's always looking at geography books and asking me if I'll look up videos of other countries on the internet. Enter Zane Education! Zane education has some wonderful geography videos that Joshua loves. All of the videos that I have seen on their website have been very well done.

And, speaking of the website. Zane Education's website is also very well done. Everything is categorized. After you log in with a user name and password that you choose, you click on the video button at the top of the screen. Then when you get to the video page there will be a list of categories of the different videos. You can find almost any topic from Art to Social Studies and anything in between. They even have a music category! Or, if you want to browse all of the videos for a particular grade, you can do that as well. They have every age group from elementary to adult.

Once you choose a video you'll also notice a few other buttons in the left hand column. Which, brings me to my next section:


What we plan on doing with Zane Education in the coming year:

There is so much that I have not tapped into with this website. As I was saying, there are more buttons in the left hand column once you get to a video. These buttons are all added links that you can use for extra study of the topic that your video is about! There's links to dictionaries, thesaurus, an extensive encyclopedia and even a world fact book with even more of information.

But, that's not all that the Zane Education website has. If you want to make something into a complete study, they have lesson plans and quizzes that go along with the videos. You can access them from your entry page or on each videos page. I plan on using the lesson plans and quizzes for Joshua a lot this next year. Because of his autism, we haven't done a lot of quizzes and test with him in the past, but I think the online quizzes that Zane Education provides with all of it's videos except for the math videos will be perfect for him this year.

Speaking of the math videos. I plan on using those a lot with John Allen this year as well. Last year's algebra was terrible for him. We got to a place where he and I both got stuck. Zane Education has a lot of math videos that will be perfect for him to use. If there is something that he doesn't quite understand or needs a different perspective than what I can give to him, then the math videos will be wonderful for him to use.

There are just so many ways that I can think of for all three of my boys to use Zane Education's website. All of the videos are subtitled which makes it great for Joshua. He can read along with the voices. Jacob will also be able to follow along as he begins to learn to read this year. John Allen can use these videos for science and literature. I could go on and on but I don't have the time! So, how much does all of this cost? Well, if you were sharp, you may have already seen that a monthly subscription to Zane Education's website is just $8.99 a month! I have seen supplemental CD's that go along with different subjects that cost more than what Zane Education costs for a whole year! And, if you subscribed to Zane Education you would have access to more than just the science videos. There would be the math videos and the music videos and the health videos and the library skills videos and the religious studies videos and the...oh just click here or on one of the hi-lighted links above and check Zane Education out yourself. There are other membership plans that you can choose from, both monthly and annual plans, that allow you to access different things. There is even a free basic membership. Whatever you choose, you won't be disappointed. Happy Homeschooling!

As usual other members of the TOS Review Crew reviewed Zane Education and you can find what they had to say by clicking here.

Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Review Crew I was given a free years subscription to Zane Education's website in order to try out and give my honest review on this blog.