Thursday, September 28, 2017

Unauthorized {Crew Review}

Chara Games is a Christian based game company that provides great games like Unauthorized for gaming fun.  Chara Games encourages a strong relationship with God through their wonderful games.  They create an opportunity for Christians to learn and to grow in their faith through their great games.

Every day Underground Churches are formed in places where God's word is NOT welcome.  People must keep their faith hidden so they are not persecuted for their personal beliefs.  These "unauthorized" church parishioners face the challenge of being caught, yet their faith is more important to them than anything else.

Through Unauthorized you can experience the challenges that these folks face daily in believing in something that others do not support.  Through your choices in the game you can grow your church or you can stamp it out.  Your choices make the decision as to what happens, just like in real life.  The outcome is always based on what the players choose.

This game is not an easy one to play.  It takes about 30 minutes and you need at the least 6 to 12 players to play it but it can be adapted and played with just 5 people if that's all you have.  However, it's not made for less than 5 people at all.

Every player in this game has a role to play.  They use their unique powers to sway the other players to one side or the other: to build the church or stamp it out.  However, players can change sides during the game so you can never be sure who is one your side and who isn't.  Much like every day life.

Because the other players positions can change and sway each other as well, the game can really go in any direction.  Those who you think are on your side, are not.  Those who you may question their support may very well be on your side.  It's all in the cards.

Some of the roles included in the game are the Police, the Pastor, the Merchant, the Thief, among many others.  Each of these roles hold a significant part to the game and each part effects how it's played.

There are also Experience Cards which help influence the choices made in the game.  Experiences like disease and sickness.  And Experiences of the exact opposite: Joy.  These can either make or break the game.

How We Played It:

Originally, I had planned to play this game with my kids and my best friend's niece and nephew.  I also planned to play with my husband and I and the kids.  But because we needed to move during the review period, the original plans changed.  So instead we have allowed our children to play the game with their cousins.  That's a total of 8 kids and they really enjoyed it.  There are so many scenarios that can happen.  The game really never gets boring.  It was interesting to see the differences in choices between our public schooled nieces and nephews and our own children as well.   In the end, the game has worked out well for us to play.

Here is an instructional video on How to Play:

Where You Can Buy It:

Unauthorized is available for purchase on Amazon for $16.66.  It is a card game requiring at least 5 players but 6 to 12 is preferred.

Social Media Links:

  • Facebook: 
  • Twitter: @Charagames   

  • Read More Reviews:

    Unauthorized {Chara Games Reviews}


    Crew Disclaimer

    Imagine... The Great Flood {Crew Review}

    Have you ever sat down and thought about the various stories from the Bible?  Have you ever imagined you were really there in the moment the stories happened?  Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be swallowed by a fish, to feel the flame from the burning bush or to be engulfed by a huge wave as the Earth flooded?  Barbour Publishing presents IMAGINE... The Great Flood.  

    Matt Koceich has written a tale like none I've read before.  A first person account of the greatest flood ever known to man.  Corey, a ten year old boy, is completely engulfed by a huge wave of water.  He can't breath, can't fight against the waves, can't pull himself free of the waves.  Suddenly, he feels unseen hands grabbing him.  And that's all he really remembers.

    When Corey awakens he is finds not one, but TWO lions in front of him!  Can you imagine his fear, shock and surprise?!  I know I would have been.

    In Imagine... The Great Flood the story of Noah and his Ark comes to life.  You get to experience Corey's adventure first hand in this short, yet exciting novel.  Part one of a new series, bringing the Bible to life for readers ages 8-12.  Helping you to understand what life would really be like if you were to live through a monumental event like those that only God could create.

    How We Used It:

    We read this one aloud together, though since we were moving I allowed Emmalee to read it to the Littles more than I read.  They really enjoyed the story, how it was written and how it came to life thanks to the wonderful author.  We can hardly wait to read the next book in the series when it releases in 2018.

    Where You Can Buy:

    You can buy Imagine... The Great Flood from Barbour Publishing for $4.49.  This is an awesome deal for this great little book.

    Read Our Review for Diary of a Real Payne from Barbour Publishing!

    Social Media Links:

    Read More Reviews:

    Imagine. . .The Great Flood by Matt Koceich {Barbour Publishing}


    Crew Disclaimer

    Progeny Press: Charlotte's Web E-Guide {Crew Review}

    Progeny Press creates absolutely wonderful Study Guides for Literature.  These guides are written from a Christian perspective allowing God's light to shine even in Literature where he may not always be seen right away.  For this review, we were sent a PDF copy of their Charlotte's Web E-Guide for grades 4-6.

    Most people know the story of Charlotte's Web as it's a common childhood story taught in schools all over.  Charlotte is a spider.  She forms an unlikely friendship with a pig, Wilbur, who is to being kept in a barn and fattened up for Christmas dinner.  Charlotte's Web is the story of Charlotte, Wilbur and the girl named Fern, who loves Wilbur and has begged for his life.  It is a beautiful, yet sad story written by E.B. White.

    The Progeny Press Charlotte's Web Study Guide is interactive.  This allows you to have your student answer right on the PDF file as they learn.  Or you can simply print this file and use it with multiple students in your homeschool if more than one child is reading this book at the same time.

    The Study Guide begins by providing a Table of Contents followed by a note to the Instructor.  The Table of Contents of course made it easy to find each section as we covered the guide.  The Instructor's note explains that your child will need a few things to work through this guide, such as the book Charlotte's Web, a dictionary, a Bible and a few other things.  Nothing major though.

    Next the guide provides a Synopsis of the book.  This is a brief description of the story and story line.  This was great for me, as it's been quite a while since I've personally read this story.  It was a great reminder of the details within the book.

    Next the guide covers first the book's author and then the illustrator.  Information about each of these important contributors to the book is provided for your student to learn about in detail.  Interesting facts are explored here.

    The next section discusses pre-reading activities to do for the book.  Perhaps a study on pigs or spiders would be good.  Or maybe taking a field trip to a local barn to really bring this story to life for your student.  We personally viewed the spiders outside up close to see how they work and took a trip over to the hog house our family has to see the piglets first hand.

    The next section of the guide begins the good stuff: the actual questions about the book.  The first questions are multiple choice.  They are pretty simple and easy to answer.  After these are some more challenging questions that require written answers.  A descriptive writing activity is also included to build on writing and language skills.   This same format continues for all chapters of the book to help your student better understand the content of the book.

    Now the great thing about this guide is that it not only links Charlotte's Web to the book and breaks down what your child is learning through the story.  It also provides Biblical verse to teach your child how the Bible relates to the story.  It helps to teach good Character to your student as they read and learn through the story.  This is a wonderful way to cover Literature in a way that relates to God.

    At the end of the guide, there are some suggested Art Projects that can be completed.  These are simple things to put together for your child.  There is also a letter writing activity which your child can send off to a friend or family member if you choose.

    The last page of the guide provides suggested resources which can be used in addition to expand what this guide is teaching your child.  Related books and field guides are suggested here, as well as other books by E.B. White like Stuart Little.  It's a great extra bit of info to make the lessons into more.

    How We Used This Guide:

    I used this study guide with Laycie.  We read through this book together and I chose to have her verbally answer the questions in the guide as we went through the book.  She loved it.  She's really into farm animals right now though she's a little scared of spiders.  Still this story quickly became a favorite for her.  When we finished the story and guide, we watched the movie which she loved as well.

    Where You Can Find This Study Guide:

    Charlotte's Web E-Guide is available from Progeny Press for $17.99.  This is an downloadable, interactive PDF file.  It is reproducible as well with permission.

    You Can Find Progeny Press Online:



    Read More Reviews: 
    Study Guides for Literature {Progeny Press Reviews}


    Crew Disclaimer

    Thursday, September 21, 2017

    Let's Go Geography {Crew Review}

    When you Homeschool, there are some subjects that come up which are sometimes hard to figure  out how to teach.  For me, Geography has been one of those.  (Am I the only one who wants to spell it Georgraphy??)  Sometimes it's included with other programs and then sometimes you just need a separate program to help expand what you're learning.  But many of those can be dry and boring.  Let's Go Geography makes Geography fun!  Their Let's Go Geography program is made to be thorough yet easy to use.

    Let's Go Geography was created for kids in grades K through 4th.  It was designed to make Geography easy to learn and easy to teach.  After purchasing the curriculum, you get sent weekly links to help guide you through the lessons and remember to complete them.  One hour long lesson a week is all that's needed to be able to complete this curriculum, so it doesn't take a lot of time or require a daily plan to do.

    So the first email we received was introductory and included covers for the 30 different countries you'll get to explore.  36 weeks of lessons are included with this curriculum, each covering individual information for each country you explore.  You're child learns details about that country, about the plants and people who inhabit the country and more.

    The first country covered is the United States.  When you log in to the website, you're brought to the Member Page where all the information is linked.  There's a button that say's Start Here and there's another place that says How To Use This Curriculum.  This explains all about Let's Go Geography and how it can be used.

    The curriculum offers many activities which you can complete or you can skip if you feel it's too much to do.  As I mentioned above, you're sent a reminder link for each week.  This takes you to the section of the curriculum you're currently working through.

    It is suggested you create a Travel Journal for the trip you take from country to country through this curriculum.  This can be done with a simple 3 ring binder.  Add in dividers for the continents so you can easily go back to the information later on.  As you visit each continent, you'll print out the maps and flags for that continent and place them right behind their divider so they are ready for you to use with your students.  Then you'll add in the information sheets for each country you're learning about on that particular continent.  Doing these simple things really helps you to stay on track with what you're learning, making it easy to locate, easy to learn and easy to teach as well.

    Now this curriculum is completely adaptable.  You can skip things as you need or see fit.  You can do a little research on your own and add in activities you may find through other sources.  It's really easy to make it work for you and your child.

    For this review, we received a full year or two semesters of the curriculum to use.  We've only been using it a few weeks but so far it's really enjoyable.  The very first is the US, the Northeast.  Each lesson is able to be downloaded so that you can print the PDF file and use it easily with multiple students or however you need to within reason.

    The PDF file lessons include many options for differing grade levels.  The itinerary for the trip covers coloring the map of the country you're learning about.  You cut, color and glue the flag for that country.  Learn about the Music from that country through links provided in the curriculum.  Go "sightseeing" and see the world as you learn.  Color and make a craft from the suggestions provided.

    You'll also need some additional books to learn more about the country you're learning about.  These can be easily found at the library or online if you'd rather have them remain in your collection.  (I prefer the latter.)  Either way, they are helpful in learning more.

    Next you'll find the other suggested materials for crafts and other things needed for the lessons.  The exercises are really simple to complete.  Color the US in Blue.  Color each state in the North East Region a different color of your choice.  Color the US Map.  Discuss the waters in the region.  Discuss landforms and other things.  Note what countries border the US.

    I really liked how this curriculum pretty much laid everything out for me.  I liked that I could do one lesson a week and it only took around an hour.  The activities and crafts were easy to do.  The lessons were short but taught a lot.  The kids greatly enjoyed learning through them, traveling the world through the program.  It made life easy for learning during a kind of stressful time in our life.

    You can get Let's Go Geography to use with your students for a full year at $21.99.  There are other plans available as well and a few additional products which can be purchased like a Passport to use for your travels for an additional low fee.

    Here is the 3 year plan for this program:

    Because we were moving at the time of this review, I was unable to take pics for the lessons but they were really easy to discuss and work on as we moved.

    You can find Let's Go Geography online at:

    Read more reviews:

    Let’s Go Geography {Reviews}

    Crew Disclaimer

    Internet Struggles... {Thoughts From Me}

    For the last month, I've had the worst time with the internet.  Between moving, Hurricane Irma and an update on my laptop, my connectivity has been extremely limited.  When you're a Blogger and Reviewer this becomes super frustrating.

    So now I have a lot of catching up to do: late reviews, updating information, new blog posts to plan.  Windows 10 and my internet connection didn't like each other.  I had to bypass the issue so I could get back on track.

    So now that I've gotten the issue fixed, you'll be seeing several new reviews here on the blog.  I'm so happy to be able to share with all of you again and share these wonderful items.  Bare with me as I get back on track.

    Until next time...


    Thursday, September 14, 2017

    Irma {Thoughts From Me}

    And speaking of whirlwinds, in spun another... Irma.

    Hurricane Irma hit Florida full force and came straight on up over us, leaving us without Internet for several days and with a whole lotta rain.  It's funny.  I lived in Horry County, South Carolina for most of my life and I've faced many hurricanes.  I've never feared them.  Even Matthew last year didn't scare me.  But I never expected we'd move and still have a hurricane find us!

    Thankfully, we experienced more of a Tropical Storm than a hurricane but it still held a lot of wind, a lot of rain and a lot of stress in the experience.  We had tin on the roof lifting because the wind was so strong.  We had branches fall from our trees.  And we had issues from the load of rain that was dumped upon us.  The rain caused issues with our septic and with our internet and cable lines.  So it's taken a little over week for us to dry back out.

    But we made it.  And thankfully, those we love in Florida made it, as well as good friends in lower Georgia, in South Carolina and in North Carolina.  We are slowly getting back on track - work was also slow for Don with the rain.  Construction and rain do not go together at all.  But life keeps going and so do we!

    Friday, September 8, 2017

    Still Whirling Around... {Thoughts From Me}

    Sometimes life path takes unexpected turns and you find yourself in places you never in your whole life expected that you'd be.  They aren't terrible places, nor are they permanent.  Sometimes it's just a holding point until you get to the next stop in life.  Sometimes it's an adventure you never expected would happen.

    I never thought I'd be married to Donald.  I never thought I'd be married a second time.  I never thought I'd meet someone who I would follow to the ends of the Earth.  But I did.

    I never thought I'd be in a place that showed me 5 states at once.  I never thought I would be able to reach three states within 30 minutes of leaving where I live.  I never expected it would be somewhere that would make me smile.

    I'll be the first to admit that life is still a whirlwind and that things are far from perfect but that's life.  We live day to day.  We fall back.  We pick ourselves up and start again.  We fail, we struggle and we keep trying.

    Life is what it is and as long as it keeps bringing up great adventures in places we never expected, I'm more than happy to follow this Whirlwind wherever it takes me.

    For now, we're just spinning along...

    Let The Little Children Come {Crew Review}

    Let The Little Children Come is such a fun company for spreading the Gospel among children.  This company provides various child evangelism tools for your children to share with others, or for you to share with the children in your life.  There Is There Anything Better Than Candy? Box-Tract for Halloween is an awesome alternative to just simply passing out candy.

    The Is There Anything Better Than Candy? Box-Tract comes in a flat sheet with 20 sheets per pack.  You or your child, your Sunday School class, your counseling group, etc. can take time to remove these sheets from their precut pages and create the adorable little pumpkins above which you can then fill with candy, bracelets, or other small objects.

    The great thing about Let The Little Children Come products is that they all feature verses from the Bible to help you spread Christ's word with others.  Each leaf of the Pumpkin shares the Word of the Bible for others to gain knowledge and grow.  It's a simple and reassuring way to share God's Word with others.

    These are super easy to assemble and can be done with even young children.  You simply punch out the pumpkin shape and follow the instructions to fold and make the pumpkins which you will later share with others.  Almost any age can do this activity.  It would also be great for nursing homes who need simple activities for their residents to do and share with one another.

    As you can see by the image above, these are designed to be super simple to use and put together quickly so that you can share them with others.  The instructions are simple, the design is simple, the impact of God's Word is Amazing.  Such a simple and easy way to share the Gospel with one another.

    How We Used These:

    I had the kids set down and take apart the pumpkin boxes.  I let them fold them and before closing them, I allowed them to stick a piece of candy inside.  Candy is always a winner, right?!  And when you mix Candy and Christ, you cannot lose!

    The kids then shared these with their cousins, who enjoy church and also enjoy candy.  Their parents loved them.  I know several people who are planning to place an order just because they thought these were completely adorable and a great way to share with others!

    Where to Order:

    You can get your Let The Little Children Come Is There Anything Better Than Candy? Box-Tract for $15.95 per pack.  There are discounts for ordering more packs.  Each pack in this Box-Tract contains 20 sheets per pack for you to put together.

    You Can Find Let The Little Children Come Online At:

    Read More Reviews:

    Is There Anything Better Than Candy?  {Let The Little Children Come Reviews}

    Crew Disclaimer

    Thursday, September 7, 2017

    Apologia Marine Biology {Crew Review}

    Apologia Educational Ministries is one of my absolute favorite curriculum companies ever.  When I began homeschooling around 12 years ago, Apologia came highly recommended for their wonderful science curriculum to be used with my young ones.  It took a while before I could afford to invest in their wonderfully designed curriculum but as soon as I was able, I jumped right in and I've never had a regret.  So when the Marine Biology 2nd Edition Advantage Set along with the Marine Biology 2nd Edition Audio CD came up on the Vendor List, I knew this was a curriculum I did not want to miss.  Plus Miss Emmalee had specifically asked for a Marine Biology Course and what better course to do than one from Apologia Educational Ministries!

    Marine Biology is the study marine life or animals and plants who live in the ocean.  Animals like dolphins, sharks, turtles, and many others.  Seaweed and other plants are included as well.  Through marine biology, you will learn just how things thrive and survive in the ocean.

    Our curriculum set came with our main, colorful textbook called Exploriing Creation with Marine Biology.  This beautifully designed textbook is packed full of interesting facts and lessons on life in the salty waters of our world.  Even Jackson (5) enjoyed looking at the pages of bright animals and marine life provided in the pages of this large textbook.

    Additionally, we were given a full color Student Notebook, created to be used along with the textbook for lessons.  The Student Notebook is the workbook for the curriculum, though they are never 100% necessary to use Apologia science curriculums, they are a wonderful accessory that tends to make life and lessons easier for you and your students.  The Student Notebook has questions and fun activities to keep your student intrigued with their lessons.

    We were also gifted the tests and solutions for this curriculum, none of which we honestly used since I almost never test on our lessons.  But for those who enjoy giving tests for various reasons these are absolutely perfect!  They are simple black and white tests and answer sets that allow you to see where your students are at in the curriculum and what they are learning.

    Last, as a part of this curriculum, we were sent the Marine Biology Second Edition MP3 Audio Book CD.  I could not survive without the Audio for my curriculum.  There are just days when you don't feel like talking or when I have other things to do and just can't get these lessons done without the audio CD.  There are days when we have doctors appointments that keep us on the go and our only option is to listen on the go.  The audio CD makes that possible to do.  There are days when I have a little one down with seizures or other health issues and the audio CD makes it easy to get our work done.  I, honestly, couldn't make it through homeschooling without the audio CD.

    Another bonus for me with having the Audio CD is that I can hand it over to my teens and tell them what to do and they can listen along.  This is awesome and allows me to allow them to have independence in their education.  I know they can plug in and listen along to their lessons or read along to what they are hearing and it will help them really "get" what they are learning in the course.  My teens appreciate this as well.

    Marine Biology is designed to be used by highschoolers following a prerequisite course of Biology.  Biology gives a good foundation for learning more specific biology courses afterwards.  It helps your student better prepare for a second biology course and the things they learn about in it.

    Marine Biology does require a few specifics that we were able to work around: specific slides for Marine Biology to be viewed through a microscope, which we were able to look up online to see.  Dissection is also a requirement.  Emma wasn't so sure about that part of her assignments but after seeing a different mammal dissected by a family member recently, she found it wasn't so bad and was actually kind of interesting.  So now she's ready to do some dissecting for herself.  So though we also worked around this requirement by looking up things online, we will be going back to complete these assignments in person very soon.

    Apologia Educational Ministries has Marine Biology 2nd Edition Advantage Set available to purchase for $115.   This includes the textbook, student notebook and the tests and solutions manual as well.  You can purchase the Marine Biology 2nd Edition Audio CD for an additional $29.

    Apologia on Social Media:

    Instagram:   @apologiaworld
    Twitter:   @apologiaworld

    Read more Reviews:

    Marine Biology 2nd Edition Advantage Set {Apologia Educational Ministries Review}

    Crew Disclaimer


    Related Posts with Thumbnails