(Not Quite) Wordless Wednesday!

Working on an order of cards for our beautiful hair stylist Jody Muniz, with help from “The Artist” and “The Puzzler,” during my recovery from a major crash a couple weeks ago (more on that in a future post).

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And tomorrow, ASSEMBLY!🙂

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Linked up at:
Wordless Wednesday at Life at Rossmont

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Commissioned: My Review

My kids love to play games, and were very disappointed when we let go of all of ours during our moving sale before going across the country to our new home. To be fair, I gave up a lot of stuff too. After all, when the moving truck company values your life at fifty-seven cents per pound, you get ruthless pretty fast! Every since, I’ve been slowly rebuilding our supply of games, but now I am concentrating on (as much as possible, anyway) educational (but fun!) games, and games that are faith-based. This brings me to the game we have been reviewing! We received the game Commissioned for the purpose of this review.

This game was provided to us by its designers from Chara Games, which is a start-up company devoted to publishing high quality, fun board games and card games with Christian themes for teens and up.

Chara is the Biblical Greek name for unshakeable joy. To read more about the Chara team, check them out here.

Commissioned is Chara’s first game, funded on Kickstarter. Here, you can see a short video of the official “unboxing” of the very first game after production.

I thought it was so fun to watch how excited they were to see the completed version after all of their hard work!

Commissioned made of very high quality, sturdy materials! The elder staff feels and looks like actual wood, and although I really cannot tell what the apostle pieces, the missionary pieces, or the church member pieces are made of, they are thick and sturdy. The two-sided board (which side you use is dependent upon which game scenario you play) is thick and sturdy, as are all of the punch out tokens. All of the cards used in play are very nice, not cheaply made at all. They feel like they are coated with a protective surface, to me.

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Full disclosure, I think this game would be pretty difficult for even adults without some real help in learning how to play it. Well guess what? Chara Games has given us exactly that! Here is a how to play video, produced by Chara Games!

My kids really like this game so far, mostly “The Artist.” I do feel that as they become more comfortable with it and learn more, the others will find it easier to play, as well.

Setting up our Commissioned game for three players:

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Some other things I really like, besides the quality of the board, the playing pieces and the cards, is the full color, approximately 10″ x 10″ 12 page instruction book, and the 10″ x 10″ 12 page Commissioned Theme Appendix. Within this index, there is a lot of the New Testament history, with the Bible verses to correspond.

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Because the creators of Commissioned understand that religious themes can be difficult, given that there are so many doctrines being taught within different denominations, they have chosen to present the material we learn in this game from a historical viewpoint, rather than a doctrinal viewpoint. The scenarios in the game cover the first 150 years of church history, and the theme index (did I mention how much I like that it was included?) explores church history even more deeply for those players who are interested.

You can keep informed about Chara Games on Facebook and Twitter.

The second game coming out from Chara Games is a card game called 3 Seeds.

We received one of the very first run of fourteen games for review, and I will be posting a full review very soon!🙂

To read 69 other honest and fair reviews from members of the Homeschool Review Crew, please click the banner just below.

Commissioned {Chara Games}Crew Disclaimer
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My Craft Room . . .

Before . . .

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And after!

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As always, I would just love it if you would join me in all of “My Journeys Through Life.” Just go to the subscription box at the top of the blog and enter your email information. After that, you will always know when there is something new happening. I hope to see you here very soon! -)

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Sentence Diagramming: Beginning – My Review

I quite honestly do not remember ever having lessons in sentence diagramming when I went through school, so I was interested in reviewing the book Sentence  Diagramming: Beginning, written by Angela Carter.

This book was provided to us for the purpose of this review by The Critical Thinking Co.™.

I am currently using Sentence Diagramming: Beginning with “The Artist,” because he really enjoys writing stories. Right off the bat, I can tell you that I am not getting any complaints from him at all when we work in this book, he is actually enjoying it!

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Sentence Diagramming: Beginning is a 72 page work-text which teaches your child how to diagram sentences so they see the underlying structure of English grammar. This is more important than I had thought it to be, and I am kind of re-learning right along with him.

Beginning with very simple subject/verb sentences, this work-text builds in each lesson on what has been taught in previous lessons. There are twelve lessons in Sentence Diagramming: Beginning, which teach the following lessons:

  1. Simple Subject and Main Verb
  2. Direct Object
  3. Adjectives
  4. Adverbs Modifying Verbs
  5. Predicate Adjectives
  6. Predicate Nouns
  7. Prepositional Phrases (Adjectival)
  8. Prepositional Phrases (Adverbial)
  9. Compound Subjects
  10. Compound Predicates
  11. Compound Direct Objects
  12. Compound Predicate Adjectives and Nouns

Each lesson is four pages long, and adds in another concept, so that the child is not only doing what he or she has already learned and practiced, but is adding a new concept right in with it, so beginning with very simple sentences at the beginning as I said above, and ending up by lesson twelve doing much more complex diagramming and longer sentences.

There is a review section at the end which covers all the things your child will have learned.

One of the things I really love about The Critical Thinking Co.™ is their generous copyright policy! You may copy the pages for use within your own family, or if you are a teacher it may be copies for use in your own classroom.

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For more about the copyright, please look here.

I like their copyright policy because I have four special needs kids with various levels of abilities. Because of this policy, I will be able to use it with all of them at different times! Any product which allows me to use it multiple times for multiple children will ALWAYS earn a second look from me!🙂

Other products being reviewed from The Critical Thinking Co.™ by members of the Homeschool Review Crew are:

Language Smarts™ Level E
Grade: 4

And for the importance of Preschool Academics:

Alphabet Song Game™ Software – 2-PCs Win Download
Grades: Toddler-1 | New Version 2.0

Letter Sounds Song and Game™ Software – 2-PCs Win Download
Grades: Prek-1

Vowel Sounds Song and Game™ Software – 2-PCs Win Download
Grades: Prek-2

Fun-Time Phonics!™ Software – 2-PCs Win Download
Grades: Prek-2

To read 84 other fair and honest reviews about this and other products from The Critical Thinking Co.™, Please click on the banner below to find out what other Homeschool Review Crew members had to say!

Language Arts {The Critical Thinking Co.™}Crew DisclaimerAs always, I would just love it if you would join me in all of “My Journeys Through Life.” Just go to the subscription box at the top of the blog and enter your email information. After that, you will always know when there is something new happening. I hope to see you here very soon! -)

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Homeschool Legacy: Christmas Comes to America . . . My Review

For the second time during my wonderful life with the Homeschool Review Crew, I have been fortunate enough to be allowed the task of reviewing a Unit Study from a company called Homeschool Legacy.

in 2015, I reviewed Westward Ho! Parts one and Two, and we had a really fun time learning about that time in our country!

This time however, and in an extremely timely manner, we were chosen to review one of Homeschool Legacy’s Once a Week Unit Studies. We were given for purpose of this review the digital version of Christmas Comes to America.

I received a letter from the author of Once a Week Unit Studies, Sharon Gibson. In her letter, she said that Christmas Comes to America is one of Homeschool Legacy’s least intensive unit studies. The reason she gave for this is that she knows how overwhelming the holidays can become, and wants to help draw families together as they celebrate the birth of Christ while having fun learning about some of our various customs, symbols and traditions came to us by way of the Dutch, German and English early settlers.

Once a Week Unit Studies all have components that your Boy Scout or American Heritage Girl can use to qualify for various badges, and some even have components that can be used toward 4H projects. In Christmas Comes to America, your Boy Scout can earn his Music Badge, and your American Heritage girl can earn her Music Appreciation Badge. No other product on the homeschool market offers this wonderful opportunity!

Homeschool Legacy Unit Studies are Biblically based something that by now, all of you who read my blog already are aware is a huge plus for me.

Also, as usual, Mrs. Gibson has done everything for me! This study is laid out completely, right down to listing potential read alouds by name AND Dewey Decimal system numbers to make it easier to find them in your library. The suggested movies and Christmas music are also listed by Dewey Decimal System. Talk about making it simple for us!

a suggested schedule for using a Homeschool Legacy Once a Week Unit Study would be as follows:

  1. Monday: Your regular daily studies Unit Study reading and Family Read-Aloud
  2. Tuesday: Your regular daily studies Unit Study reading and Family Read-Aloud
  3. Wednesday: Once-a-Week Unit Study Day: Eliminate regular daily studies Unit study Family Devotional Unit study reading and Family Read-Aloud Unit study activities
  4. Thursday: Your regular daily studies Unit Study reading and Family Read-Aloud
  5.  Friday: The 3 R’s (including your unit study reading) Your Family Read-Aloud Unit Study Field Trip Family Movie and/or Game Night

Mrs. Gibson does, however, point out that it is never her intention that we schedule exactly as she suggests, but rather to juggle it around as necessary to fit our family’s needs. I really like that, because when a curriculum or unit study is strictly scheduled, and can only be done one way, it makes me anxious when I can’t keep up.

So, Christmas Comes to America is laid out so as to study the customs, symbols and traditions that came to America by way of the early settlers who were Dutch, German and English, as I told you above. Each week begins with a list of books and CD’s or DVD’s for that week’s study. in the Dutch section, for example, when giving this list the author has made sure to tell us that only one of the first three books listed is needed to cover that week’s history of Christmas traditions.

From the Dutch, we learned about the legend of Santa Claus and the history of the real St. Nicholas. There is also a project to make home-made hot cocoa mix and home-made marshmallows, something my kids and I are planning to do as gifts, if we can find vegetarian  gelatin (one family we would be giving this to is vegetarian.)

In week two, we moved on to the English settlers, and traditions, etc that they brought with them. As in each week, a library list is given at the beginning. We learned about the custom of Christmas caroling, making Christmas cards, and more!

In week three we focused on the German settlers, and what THEY contributed to our Christmas traditions here in America. We learned about amazing music created by German composers, including a favorite of mine, MESSIAH! by George Frederic Handel. As before, there are suggested field trips and crafts, as well.

Wrapping up our unit study is week four, An American Christmas, in which we learned that right here in America, there was actually a time when laws were passed making it illegal to celebrate Christmas! We discovered how much later it was that Christmas was openly celebrated in America, and talked a lot about this particular section.

There are so many options in this unit study, and so many ways to work it into your homeschool during the four weeks it covers. You will have Language Arts, History, Geography, and Science, just to name some of the topics. There is a game as part of week four, and crafts and life skills activities sprinkled throughout the entire Unit study. There are family devotionals for each week, scripture to study and ponder, and just things that cause discussions to spring up between you and your children.

According to Mrs. Gibson:

“Any four combined Once-a-Week Unit Studies will easily satisfy a full course study of history or science, if you choose to use Once-a-Week Unit Studies as your main source of history or science. All Once-a-Week Unit Studies are appropriate for Grades 2-12, though upper levels will still need their lab sciences.”

I think this would be a fun way to do a year of history and science, myself, and the cost is very reasonable! Christmas Comes to America is just $14.00 for the digital Grab and Go version, and in paperback for $18.95. While wandering around the Homeschool Legacy site, I discovered that they also have money-saving Bundled Unit Studies, which would be great when you are using the option of choosing go-together studies to cover history or science.

I really, really recommend this company. It was created by a homeschool mom because she wanted the best, most engaging form of learning for her family. Now, it can be just that for the rest of us, too!🙂

To read 99 other fair and honest reviews of this and other unit studies from Homeschool Legacy, please click the banner right below!

Once-a-Week Studies {Homeschool Legacy}

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Remember, Voting is More Than a Right!

It is also a privilege. If we don’t exercise it, it could well be taken away sometime in the future. I also believe quite strongly that if you do NOT exercise this right, in EVERY election, you (at least morally) forfeit any right to complain about those who are elected, or what they do with their leadership.

Here in New Mexico, we have early voting, something we did not have when we lived in Michigan. A couple of days ago, “The Batman,” “The Artist” & I went to our closest polling place, our local library. We exercised our right and our privilege, with “The Artist” voting for his very first time. He and his brother were both very excited, which tells us we are doing something right in teaching them how important this is. It was windy that day (hence my messy hair) and the sun was shining into “The artist’s” eyes (the reason he looks like he’s frowning, but it was a very good feeling!

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As always, I would just love it if you would join me in all of “My Journeys Through Life.” Just go to the subscription box at the top of the blog and enter your email information. After that, you will always know when there is something new happening. I hope to see you here very soon! -)

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CrossTimber: Name Meaning Gifts . . . My Review

As I am sure you know, generally my reviews are homeschool related, of educational products to use with my children. This time, however, I was fortunate enough to be chosen as part of team to review a wonderful product, one which I freely admit to you that I had never even heard of! This is one of the reasons I was glad to have been chosen, because now I get to tell all of YOU about this company!🙂

CrossTimber is a company which specializes in beautiful name plaques with the name meaning and a Bible verse which goes well with the meaning.

Besides the beautiful framed plaques, they have full color coffee mugs, music boxes, and many different styles of pictures and themes to choose from.

As a reviewer, I was allowed to choose my own Personalized Framed Plaque with Name Meaning and Bible Verse.

My very first email was from John Dehnart, who with the support of  his wife Katie and their children, owns and operate CrossTimber. He asked me to hit reply so that they would know I had received my notification of being on the review. Little did I know that the REAL reason was so that he could right away send an email back with MY name meaning and Bible verse! This is what I was told about my first name:

Lori – Honor and Fame. She who is crowned in victory.

1 Chronicles 19:13

“Be of good courage, and let us behave ourselves valiantly for our people, and for the cities of our God: and let the LORD do that which is good in His sight.”

I wrote back and told him that my REAL name is Laurel, and asked if that made a difference. He said the meaning and verse would be the same, but gave me the following additional information:

The name Laurel come from the Greek word for the Laurel Plant. The laurel is a fragrant evergreen plant. In Roman Times, its leaves and young branches were woven into a crown to be awarded to the champion of the first Olympic games. A similar crown was given to the victor of military battles, and as a special sign of honor. The laurel itself is not mentioned in the Bible, but much is written about crowns of honor, and that God rewards His children with “the crown of glory that fadeth not away.” (1 Peter 5:4)

When I told John that my mother had told me all of my life that she named me after the flowering laurel, he wrote back and said “victorious flower!”

I have four children, so I went outside of the family for this one. I had a baby shower coming up for a wonderful young woman in our church family, and I knew what name she and her husband had chosen for their soon to be born daughter, so I chose my Personalized Framed Plaque with Name Meaning and Bible Verse to give as part of my baby shower gift.

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I was very happy to find out that the verse the company had already chosen for this name and meaning was from the King James Version of the Bible, as that is the only version we use, but when I asked, I was told they will customize that for a minimal ($2.00) charge.

My friend was so happy with this beautiful plaque with her baby’s name, what it means, and an accompanying verse! I chose this design with my friend in mind specifically. She loves color, and I thought that the varying colors would appeal to her. Besides, I think the owls are so cute!

Here she is opening her gift:

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I think she loves it, what do YOU think?🙂

CrossTimber also has discounts and free extras:

And they are holding a wonderful giveaway. Click the banner below to enter!

 

CrossTimber 2016 giveawayTo read 89 other honest and fair reviews from my fellow Homeschool Review Crew members, please click on the banner below!

Personalized Framed Plaque with Name Meaning and Bible Verse {CrossTimber} ReviewsCrew Disclaimer

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