Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Radical Book for Kids *Review #Christmas2016

The Radical Book for Kids (New Growth Press, October 2016)
A kid-sized explorer’s guide to faith and life

The Radical Book for Kids is a fun-filled explorer’s guide to the Bible, church history, and life for boys and girls age 8 and up. Along with examining some of the most exciting realities in the universe, the handbook is vibrantly illustrated and chock-full of fun facts and ideas. Deep truths are communicated to elementary and middle-school aged kids while stimulating their curiosity and sense of adventure within a gospel-centered framework.

This power-packed book is “radical” in more ways than you might think! It is “radical” in the sense of the original meaning of the word, “going to the root or origin.” The Radical Book for Kids will take children on a fascinating journey into the ancient roots of the Christian faith. But it’s also “radical” in the more modern sense of being revolutionary. Kids read about men and women who learned to trust Jesus and stand for him—displaying radical faith—even when everything seemed against them.

But The Radical Book for Kids is also “radical”—meaning fun or cool—in the eyes of a child. Kids read about ancient weapons (and how to make one), learn about jewels, create pottery, discover ancient languages, use secret codes, locate stars, tell time using the sun, play a board game that’s 3,000 years old—and more.

My Thoughts
What an excellent book! This for sure needs to be on your Christmas list.
This is a great hard back book, perfect for kids devotions. 67 unique chapters, two-five pages each. This is geared for ages 8-14 and is meant for them to read on their own. I always encourage my kids to do individual devotions along with the Bible study time we do as a family. This is the perfect size for them to read and get some radical information from.
Radical means "Going to the root" of something. This book takes them to the root of who God is and how Jesus is our root.

Great chapter titles include;
Finding the Center of the Universe
Hard Work? No Sweat!
How to make Pottery
Grasping the Gospels
What church was like for the first Christians.

The book is written to the kids on their level. It includes great graphics and word pictures for them to understand the concepts even better.

Check out the table of contents, skip around, or read straight through. However a child chooses to explore it, The Radical Book for Kids will open new vistas for their imagination and help to make straight paths for their feet.
Learn more and purchase a copy.

See what other reviewers thought HERE

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Monday, November 28, 2016

A Time to Triumph How to Win the War Ahead *Review

How to Win the War Ahead
Chuck D. Pierce

We are living in one of the most violent, chaotic and permissive times in history--and each year the darkness looms larger. In the face of such overwhelming evil, what can we do?

In this empowering and practical book, Chuck D. Pierce--one of the most accurate prophets ministering today--shows how you can be part of God's Kingdom army, and identifies the supernatural weapons you have at your fingertips. Offering a glimpse into what lies ahead, specifically the years 2016-2026, he explains
· how the Antichrist system is aligning with existing government structures
· Israel's, China's and Russia's crucial roles in world events and the end times
· prophecies fulfilled through the blood moons
· the coming harvest in the Church
· and much more!

Many kingdoms are vying to rule. As believers in Jesus Christ, we must stand strong and know the spiritual forces we are facing. The war will intensify, but the best for God's children lies on the road ahead. We can enjoy peace in the midst of confusion and be part of God's redemptive plan for the world.

I do attend an 'end times' church that is well aware that our days are getting shorter, and we look at the Word and compare to things happening in the world today to see prophesy be fulfilled.
This book went right along with some of the prophesies that my pastor has spoken about lately, and it was a good confirmation for me to continue to learn and study, yet at the same time, to have the peace of knowing that God wins.

Chapter titles include;
A Prophetic Portal into the Future
Shifting into the War Ahead
A New Mindskin for a New Wineskin
Why Christians must Learn War
Authority to Overthrow Iniquitous Thrones
A Triumphant Army Arising
Overcomers of the Covenant War
The War over One New Man
The War of Religion
What Will Come of Me?

The author asks "As you read this book, I ask you to ponder what you are reading and what is happening in your environment and in the world." This book helps you to gather the information about what is happening in the world and is very helpful. We are in a battle, and though I didn't agree with everything in the book, I did appreciate the challenges to dig deeper into a few aspects. The author does quote a couple of his other works quite a bit, but does include quotes from other authors I did recognize such as Dutch Sheets.

Any book other than the Bible needs to be questioned and prayed about. I really found this book insightful and it opened my eyes and gave confirmation to many things I have been praying and thinking about.

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Christmas Love Letters from God *Review

Glenys Nellist
Illustrated by Rachel Clowes

This heartwarming lift the flap picture book leads the listener through seven stories leading up to Christmas.
Isaiah's Good News
Mary's Song
Joseph's Dream
Jesus Joy!
Shepherd's Surprise
Wise Men's Wonder

Each story is the perfect length for a bedtime or devotional story. At the end of each story is Your Love Letter from God. This is a lift the flap with a letter underneath.

I am not real keen on putting words into God's mouth, so I am really not sure I care for the love letter from God. I find that the book would have been just as meaningful without. There is also a perfect promise from God after each story.

I absolutely loved how the Wise Men story was illustrated, with the Wise Men coming when Jesus was a toddler. Loved the accuracy of this, though I do understand how for sake of the length of the book, and timing that they put the wise men with the manger. I just really appreciate the small details to put them with Jesus as a youngster instead of newborn.

Keep the true meaning of Christmas with this beautiful book!

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Monday, November 21, 2016

Where Jesus Slept

Written by Norma Lewis
Illustrated by Katy Hudson

In a sing song, repetition style, Norma Lewis tells the Christmas story through the bed where Jesus slept. The story begins with "This is the Bed where Jesus slept". Added to it are Straw in his bed, a cow eating the straw, the cow living in the stable, Mary in the stable.. the story goes on. Connecting each of the elements back to Jesus being in his straw lined manger. With the repetition, an older child will start to see the pattern and be able to 'read along' with the story teller. My toddlers main interest was in finding all of the animals and letting me know the sounds they made.

Of course she would look for the baby as well. The baby for which we celebrate the season.
I loved the repetitious nature of this book, with the building upon itself. It felt like it could even be in a song form. The illustrations were bright and colorful.
I really prefer for my kids to have Christmas books that reflect the true meaning. This book is definitely one of those. The shepherds and Wise men come to visit and by the last page you have the well known Nativity Scene.
Great book for reading along with a play nativity as you have your toddler recreate the story.
Be sure to pick up a copy for your little ones this Christmas season!

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Commissioned a Cooperative Board Game from Chara Games *Review

Commissioned {Chara Games}

Chara Games is "Building games that create joy by developing relationships with God and people", and we enjoyed developing ours through the game Commissioned.
Geared for 2-6 players, ages 14 and up, this cooperative game takes about an hour to play.

Commissioned {Chara Games}

Let me first say, that the first time you sit down to play, you will spend a fair amount of time learning how to play first. We read through the directions and were clueless. I was so thankful that Chara Games has a video on their website that helps explain how to play the game. We set up the scene just as they had in the video so that we could play along with that until the point the 24 minute video was finished.

Being that it is geared for ages 14 and up, there is a bit of a challenge to figuring out this game, but we learned as we went and after the first game was done we had a pretty good idea what we were doing. There is a quick reference guide on the back of the instructions that we referred to often for help.

Because this is a cooperative game, we are working as a team, and the entire team either wins or loses the scenario. My kind of game with competitive boys!

There are 2 sides of the board, A and B. A being easier to start with. There are 5 scenario cards which set up the various rules and victory conditions. There are 6 apostles you choose from to be your character, each player being a different apostle. Paul, Barnabas, James, John, Andrew and Peter all have specific strengths in the game as well. The apostles, along with missionaries and church members are trying to church plant in all of the cities. There are some optional features in the game, to make it more difficult, which we opted out of.

Knowledge of church history or Christianity isn't necessary to play. It is a strategic game to try to get all of your cities filled, despite trials that come each round.

I really loved how it was based on New Testament times and trying to spread Christianity. I haven't seen a game with a concept like that before.
Yes it was a bit harder to learn to play, and there was an occasion my son said he wanted to go back to playing Chutes and Ladders.. but I think after we had a couple games under our belt, and he had the hang of it, he much preferred it to some of the easy games.
It did take us more than an hour to play. Maybe we take too long making decisions or strategize a bit much. It was a nice, couple hours to get it done each time. My 17 year old and myself had much  more longevity to play the game than the 14 year old.

In playing the 'easiest' version we managed to win the game with just 2 trial cards left. (Once the trial cards are gone, the game is over). As we used different apostles and had different strategies cards, we would lose a game, and win another. We never just slammed through and won easily. We did learn to not heavily fortify cities where there wasn't many other cities to move from.

There are many other variants in the game which can add to the difficulty level. You will be able to play this game dozens of times without playing the same version twice. That gives a great opportunity to play with friends.

Commissioned {Chara Games}

Check out Chara Games latest game 3 Seeds where you learn to reap what  and where you sow.

Commissioned {Chara Games}

Find Charra Games on these social media sites

Twitter: @Charagames

See how much fun other families had with Commissioned by clicking on the banner below.

Commissioned {Chara Games}

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Thursday, November 10, 2016

Scripture Snippets

Church was hectic last week. Hubby and several of the kids were off on an adventure to Michigan so I was flying solo with the baby. Didn't get to write as many notes as I like, but thankfully we were able to stay in service the entire time by coloring and keeping the little one distracted.
Trying to catch up on laundry and school when they got back, and all thoughts of posting scripture left my mind.

Just the other morning though I was reading about King Hezekiah and it really spoke to me. Hezekiah was very sick and told he was going to die. He prayed and asked God for an extension on his life, and God granted it. What an amazing story of how prayer works! I am writing down Hezekiah's words to pray specifically over friends who are suffering.
There seems to be so many lately with cancer and other life threatening illnesses. Moms with young kids still at home, that truly desire to be here for them.

Isaiah 38:2-5

Then Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the LORD, and said, "Remember now, O LORD, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth and with a loyal heart, and have done what is good in Your sight." And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
And the word of the LORD came to Isaiah, saying, "Go and tell Hezekiah, 'Thus says the LORD, the God of David your father: "I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears: surely I will add to your days fifteen years.

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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Alphabet Song Game by Critical Thinking Co. *Review

Language Arts {The Critical Thinking Co.™}

When you have a house full of school age children, the toddler wants to get in on the action. This is where the "Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic Before Kindergarten!™" has been great in working with my preschooler. This is the first time we have reviewed a product from
The Critical Thinking Co.™ at a younger age level.
The Alphabet Song Game™ Software - 2-PCs Win Download was a perfect way for us to get started.

Language Arts {The Critical Thinking Co.™}

Besides wanting to be just like her siblings, there is an importance in preschool academics. She is a little sponge right now and seriously picks up so much in the way of learning. Her attention span is not long at this age, but with a small 20 minutes a day she can really be on her way to knowledge.
I can't believe how much 2 year olds love the computer too!

First we sing the ABC song. The singing is computerized so a little bit more choppy than a CD would be. It didn't seem to bother her one bit as she sang and danced along in her own way. We just watched it right before her nap and she was singing letters as she fell asleep.

Because my little one is not yet 2, all we worked on was her learning the upper case letters and the song. She was quite content to hit that red button to play the ABC song, over and over again.
In the Uppercase Letters there are 6 games to play. The first game has them look at 2 letters and figure out which is next in the song. Game 2 has three choices instead of 2. Game 3 works with hearing the letter and choosing the correct one. Game 4 has the first half of the letters, all mixed up and need to be put in order.

Of course this is too hard for my daughter now, but the beauty of this game is we now own it, so it will be available to her as she learns, rather than having to renew each year.

Game 5 has all of the letters on the screen and you have to put them in order. Game 6 has different letters, with some mirrored. You have to choose the correct letters that you hear.

Each of these games are repeated with the Lowercase Letters in games 7-12. Games 13-16 use Mixed Case Letters.
Game 13 has you recognize the uppercase letters in alphabetical order while Game 14 has you recognizing the lower case. Games 15 and 16 have several letters, some mirrored and you have to choose the uppercase, and lowercase respectively. I just looked over these levels myself as my toddler isn't to that point yet.

My toddler didn't grow weary of the alphabet song, unlike her siblings (smile). I think we need to get her some headphones, though she sings nice and loud along with it each time. It is precious really. I haven't seen her take to a song like she has this one.

I love that Critical Thinking is looking at preschool academics in helping our youngest be successful.

Find Critical Thinking on these social media sites


See what my Crew members thought of this and other programs by clicking on the banner below.

Language Arts {The Critical Thinking Co.™}

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Friday, November 4, 2016

Homeschool Legacy Once-a-week Unit Study *Review

Once-a-Week Studies {Homeschool Legacy}

We were excited to work with Homeschool Legacy this holiday season with their Once-A-Week Unit Study Christmas Comes to America . I desired to go more indepth into the history of Christmas with the kids this year, and we really love doing unit studies. With our other school work, and obligations right now, it worked out wonderfully to use the Once-A-Week Unit Study so we could get through some of our prior engagements. I wasn't ready to tackle setting everything aside and jumping into Christmas full throttle in October.

A perfect Once-A-Week Micro Study to jump into now is the Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims  study.
Using a unit study for Thanksgiving really helps your students get the most out of the holiday.

Christmas Comes to America is a digital download with actual links within that you can click on. I did print out the book lists and activities for us to do, but didn't have to print the entire 45 page book. It is geared for grades 2-12 which worked perfectly for my crew ages 2nd grade through 12th grade! They had no qualms about jumping into a study on Christmas as they are actually in a play at the community theater called Elf Jr, and we have been in the Christmas mood since early October around here.

This study looks at four different countries and some of their traditions that we have adopted in America. It includes the Dutch, The English, The German an American Christmas.

The beauty of this unit study is that you can participate in a unit study without having to clear the rest of your schedule. Typically when we do unit studies, everything other than Math, all centers around the topic. Homeschool Legacy lets you have the best of both worlds.

Homeschool Legacy is a bible based curriculum and incorporates it into each week with family devotional. It also includes science, geography, music, history, language arts and life skills. You choose one day a week as your unit study day. The other days of the week you keep your normal schedule, just add in some read aloud time from one of the books that go with the study. For us, we typically have a more relaxed day on Fridays, so this worked great for us to use as our unit study time.

I was able to easily find the books that were recommended for the study at my local library. I was actually surprised that they had a majority of them being we live in a smaller town. There I also a list of choices for read alouds as well.

Another option if you don't want to do it all in one day, is to take an hour each day and do a portion of the unit study. Because it is all laid out for you, and organized, it would not add any burden to your current schedule. My kids love to jump in with the unit studies so for us, Fridays worked just perfect.

Through the different countries we were able to learn about St.Nicholas, Christmas Carols, Christmas Cards, Handel's Messiah, and other Christmas traditions. Much of what we learned springboarded from the unit study into the book suggestions. The Unit Study is a great basic, organized schedule for your to work with, and can always add more to it with the variety of books.

We did have activities we chose to wait on, simply because we were reviewing it so early in the season. We plan to go and make the hot cocoa and give it out to friends, soon after Thanksgiving.

One unique component of the Homeschool Legacy study is that corresponds with the Boy Scout and American Heritage Girls work toward merit badges. The suggestions for each is indicated with an symbol.

Once-a-Week Studies {Homeschool Legacy}
See what the others on the Crew thought of these Unit Studies by clicking on the picture below.

Once-a-Week Studies {Homeschool Legacy}

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