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Friday, September 15, 2017

New Review! Chara Games!!!


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Review Crew



Chara Games




UNAUTHORIZED


About the product/service: As part of the Homeschool Review Crew, I received a free Unauthorized game from Chara Games. Note: That's the name of the game, it's not that someone sent the game without permission. LOL This game is meant to teach about the struggles of the underground Christian church using a social deduction model. Now, I am not huge into games, so I have no idea what that really means, but I do know that this game pits the pastor/church against the state. I am pretty much the absolute worst at learning and teaching these kinds of games, but my kids are totally adept at it. It seems like many of the other kinds of games they play are set up similarly. I tend to stick to card type games, meaning using regular playing cards. This game does use cards, but they are character and "experience" cards. 

Check out this YouTube video to see how to play: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhOdlch2XZU

Note about the YouTube video: In the video the cards seem to be in some sort of protective sleeve. The cards don't come that way, but are like normal playing cards. 

What are the pros of this product?
We have it so easy here in America and other countries where there is religious freedom. It's not like it used to be, that's for sure, but we can still worship (or not worship) as we see fit. There are many places around the globe where that just isn't a reality. Christians are being persecuted in record numbers. How do we bring awareness to this issue? Playing a game? Well, at first that might seem a little silly. However, anything that brings awareness to an issue can spark a flame of compassion for those suffering. From there we can make others aware, pray, and maybe even find a way to do something about. This game is a great way to bring the subject up with family and friends. Sometimes people don't like to hear about things that might cause them to feel bad, but we can bring out a game and get the conversation started.


What's not to like? 
Since the game is for 6 to 12 players it can be hard to find enough people available to play. Even with nine of us here, it wasn't easy to find six people who were available. I would suggest bringing the game to a church function or Bible study if your family is small, busy, or just never all home at once. 

Also, each of the character cards is two-sided. You can choose either side to represent yourself. The pastor cards happen to have both male and female pastors. If you happen to believe that the pastoral role is reserved for men, this could be an issue. I would simply suggest that you use the other side of the card. Also, the reality is that some pastors in the persecuted church are female, so it simply depicts reality. I just thought I'd throw that out there. (My kids also thought the female pastor was a little too sexy with her colored hair and tight shirt. Check the cards out yourself below. Also, the male cop is overweight and eating a donut. LOL Stereotypes anyone?)


UNAUTHORIZED


The Crazy Mom take:
It definitely took some time to figure out how to play. To be honest, I'm still not sure if we really have it down. This is normal for these kinds of games from my experience, though. If you are taking it to a Bible study or something, it would be very helpful to really get an idea of how it works so you don't have to spend all your time figuring it out. 

It was very interesting to look at all the thought that went into the experience cards. It really made me think! Your character can experience everything from learning spiritual truths, to encountering neverending joy, to being wrongly imprisoned or worse. Of course, if you're a police officer you can go so far as to execute someone! It's also really hard to take the side of the state, but there are times you almost have to. Actually, every move is difficult. Of course, other than whoever played the police officer, we all tended to lean toward making moves that helped gain more Christian cards, but sometimes that wasn't so cut and dry. Helping another player can actually put you in jeopardy. In that sense, it parallels what actually happens in the underground church. It can be a bit confusing, but my kids actually had a lot of fun playing it.  


What's the bottom line? $14.99

I am going to give Unauthorized 5 out of 5 smileys!!! :)  :)  :)  :)  :)

Check it out! http://charagames.com/games/unauthorized/

Social Media:

See what my fellow TOS Crew members have to say @

http://schoolhousereviewcrew.com/unauthorized-chara-games-reviews/


Unauthorized {Chara Games Reviews}

*The Smiley System:

:) I can't really recommend this product.

:)  :) I doubt this product would be helpful to many people.

:)  :)  :) This is a good product, but it isn't right for everyone.

:)  :)  :)  :) Most homeschool moms will find this useful.

:)  :)  :)  :)  :) This is great, and I would recommend it to anyone!!!



Crew Disclaimer

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

New Book(s) Review!!! Carole P. Roman!



Review Crew


Carole P Roman Blog


Books by Carole P Roman



Books by Carole P Roman



About the product/service: As part of the Homeschool Review Crew, I received several books from Carole P. Roman, including If You Were Me and Lived in... Egypt and If You Were Me and Lived in... Greece from the Cultural Series. 


What are the pros of this product?

These are the kind of books I like to have around the house. I have always sought them out to fill my bookshelves. I hated learning about geography in school because it was nothing but boring maps with a few facts and figures thrown in and learning lists of countries and capitals which meant pretty much nothing to me. These types of books are written more like a story which invites the reader to come and see what it would be like to live as a child in another country. Much more interesting! 

What's not to like?
The only thing I can think of is that because the books look like typical picture books, it may turn off an older child. Now, my daughter will read anything, and my son gets intimidated by small print and pages filled with words, so they both were totally okay with the books I read even though they were just a little out of the age range they were written for. (See below.) 


The Crazy Mom take:
First I have to admit, my intention was to ask for books in the Historical Series, but I guess I somehow asked for books in the Cultural Series, which is supposed to be for ages 4-8ish. My kids are 14 and 16. Oops! Being a committed person, I still read the books to my kids in lieu of our usual economics class. They didn't seem to mind at all. I still think they got something out of it, after all, new information is new information, right? They (and I) still learned all about everyday life in each country, such as the common foods, traditions, and sports. We even learned a few new words. (I also got a book about Germany as well as Greece and Egypt which follows the same format.)

As I said earlier, I did intend to get books from the Historical Series which is for kids roughly 8-15, which would have been in the right age range, but I didn't. My reason for wanting the historical books wasn't actually based on age, but based on the fact that it's been quite some time since we studied ancient history and I thought it would be a nice refresher. The nice thing is that the books do briefly mention the Greece and Egypt of old, so it was a win-win. :) Not only that, I did get sent an additional book which actually is from the Historical Series called If You Were Me and Lived in...Renaissance Italy. I found this book to actually be quite similar to the others. The main difference is that these are books about history and do include more detail. The main set up of the book though, giving information about daily life such as foods, traditions, and sports is more or less the same. Each of these four books is basically a picture book and is nicely illustrated. 

I was sent one more book, Oh Susannah: It's in the bag. This is actually a fictional chapter book meant for ages 7-12. It's one of many other fictional books available. This particular book is about a young girl who has a bad day, and somehow each bad moment includes something that adds to the weight in her backpack, such as unfinished homework, a quiz she totally failed, and an invitation to a party she didn't want to attend. By bedtime, both the backpack and Susannah burst under the weight of it all. All in all, I found these to be quality books that I will gladly keep here for my grandchildren to read, or will pass along to one of my kids for their kids. I really wish I could afford the whole set of both the Cultural Series and the Historical Series. I would highly recommend these books. :)

What's the bottom line?
The If You Were Me... books are $11.99 paperback/$24.99 hardcover/$2.99 Kindle (Unless you have Unlimited, then you can read free!) The other books have various prices. 

I am going to give Carole P. Roman books 5 out of 5 smileys!!! :)  :)  :)  :)  :) 

Check it out! http://caroleproman.blogspot.com/ 

See what my fellow TOS Crew members have to say @






*The Smiley System:


:) I can't really recommend this product.

:)  :) I doubt this product would be helpful to many people.

:)  :)  :) This is a good product, but it isn't right for everyone.

:)  :)  :)  :) Most homeschool moms will find this useful.

:)  :)  :)  :)  :) This is great, and I would recommend it to anyone!!!


Crew Disclaimer





Well, hello there!!! I'm so glad you stopped by! :) I bet you'd like to get my posts delivered right to your inbox, now wouldn't you? So why not sign up for Feedburner? Check it out, it's right there in my sidebar! Thanks!!  :)



Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Back in the Swing of Things with a Thankful Heart










All school year long, I wait for summer. That's when I'll have a lot more time to get things done around here, I convince myself. Then summer comes, and we go on vacation. Not only do I things not get done, but I fall even more behind. Finally, I get caught back up to our normal chaos, and I have pretty much the whole month of August to get stuff done. But I don't. Why? Because I have so much time, and it's just way too easy to procrastinate.

So, this year, I actually looked forward to the school year, as I guess I just do better with a more organized schedule. So far, so good. Since last week was Labor day, this is our first full week of school. Yesterday was our first day of co-op. It was by far the most productive day I've had in a long time.

We work up about 7:00 and had family Bible time with my husband.

Then it was off to co-op, for a 50-minute biology class, which is 45 minutes away! It's our first year, so I didn't know the way, and only knew of one person we know who would for sure be there. (Actually, she's the reason we are willing to drive 45 minutes!)

We got within 4 minutes of the church where the co-op is located and we heard a loud, grinding sound. It was our tire. I realize I normally communicate with my friend with facebook messenger, so I don't have her actual number. I turn on my data and it doesn't work. We were literally out in cornfields. I realize that might not be a big deal for some, but I am a suburbanite. Thankfully, I still had an email pulled up from the co-op leader because I needed the church address to put in my GPS. She had given out her number in case we had any questions. I had a question. Can someone rescue us? LOL

The answer was yes, and my friend was there in minutes. We got in her car and got there with time to spare. (No pun intended.) Since she is the teacher, I guess we couldn't have been late, anyway. :)

On my way in, I saw the one other person I realized I knew there. I asked if she could drive me back to my van. She thankfully had nowhere to be the first hour, so she took me. I then called AAA. It seemed like just minutes before the AAA guy arrived and fixed the tire. I hopped in my van and followed my friend back to the church where my kids were still in class for five minutes. Then we uneventfully drove our 45 minutes home, but not without our traditional first day of co-op Taco Bell. I skipped that, and got my free large mocha frappe from McDonald's. We were home at 11:01.

Once home, I made up a menu for the week and Bear and I headed out to Aldi. We came back and put the perishable groceries away and had to run out the door for the orthodontist at 2:30. We left a little early because my son wanted me to drop him off to get his hair cut. (That didn't work out, as the place was closed, so he went to visit his grandma who lives just a few blocks away.) Bear got to her appointment in time and is now sporting some very painful rubber bands. This is the first time she's been in pain, so she really can't complain.

Then we had to get home and get dinner in the oven before heading out to her very first piano lesson at 4:30. After that, we were finally home for the evening, or so I thought. After eating and helping my husband pull together what he needed for his first post-summer men's Bible study, all I could think of was relaxing. That's until my older daughter, Princess, asked if I wanted to go to the gym. Of course, I said yes.

It was a busy day, that didn't start off so great. Honestly, though, I couldn't have orchestrated getting my tire fixed so painlessly if I had tried. I told my kids that I really felt God's protection and provision much greater because of the mini-trial we went through. Had we gone to co-op without a hitch, I might not have appreciated it as much. I was truly thankful, and getting that flat ended up being a blessing because it truly reminded me how much God loves me, and also that, as my mom always says, God is in control.

Blessings!









Thursday, September 7, 2017

New Review! Is There Anything Better Than Candy? Box-Tract

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Review Crew




Let the Little Children Come




Let the Little Children Come Halloween Tract




About the product/service: As part of the Homeschool Review Crew, I received a free 20-box sample of the Is There Anything Better Than Candy? Box-Tract from Let the Little Children Come.  It's basically a Halloween tract that folds into a pumpkin! It's so cute! It's made out of heavy glossy paper that looks like a flower. The six petals that lay out the salvation message. You put candy inside (I'd say it would hold 2-5 pieces depending on the candy) and fold it up. It's really easy to do and only took my son about a minute. 





What are the pros of this product? 
This is a great way to make Halloween an opportunity to share the love of Jesus! The box is sturdy and colorful, and the message is positive. That it holds candy makes it fun! It's a win-win all around! :)

What's not to like? 
I have to say, they are a bit on the expensive side at close to 80 cents a piece. Most people usually don't spend that much per child when handing out Halloween candy. If you think of it as part of your missionary spending, that might make the cost a lot easier to swallow! 

Also, you will have to assemble the boxes and put the candy in them. I don't think that's a problem unless you are a procrastinator. (Raises hand. LOL) Seriously, though, your kids will probably enjoy the task. :)


The Crazy Mom take:
Every single year Halloween is an issue around here. We usually put off deciding what we are going to do until the last minute. While I don't think it's necessarily wrong or a sin to participate, I'm not altogether thrilled with what it's become. When I was a kid, it seemed like it was just a fun holiday for little kids. Sure, some people decorated in scary ways, but that wasn't the focus. It was just fun to go get candy from the neighbors. I used to actually be disciplined enough to stretch out eating my candy until Christmas! 

Now, it just seems different. The focus seems to be less on kids and candy, and more on older kids and adults and scary stuff. When I was young you quit trick-or-treating by junior high. Now kids are going into their 20s! I know, a twenty-something is an adult, but, um, we're talking about trick-or-treaters here. 

So, anyway, we have let the kids go out, we've kept them home and passed out candy, and we've ignored the whole thing and gone out to eat. Every year I wish I had some way to make it a positive thing. I always tell myself we should buy some Halloween tracts or something. I never do. LOL Last year we made something ourselves, but it wasn't great. Now I have a solution! I think these are just great! What a fun way to share the gospel. These will definitely stand out in a kid's trick-or-treat bag. Sure some will take out the candy and toss the cute little pumpkin, but at least the Word of God is out there. You can't beat that!



What's the bottom line? 

Price per Pack:
US$ 15.95 (1 - 10 packs)
US$ 14.95 (11 - 20 packs)
US$ 13.95 (21 packs or more)

20 in each pack

I am going to give Is There Anything Better than Candy? Box-tract 5 out of 5 smileys!  :) :) :) :) :)

Check it out! https://www.letthelittlechildrencome.com/child-evangelism-tools/is-there-anything-better-than-candy-box-tract 

See what my fellow TOS Crew members have to say @
 http://schoolhousereviewcrew.com/is-there-anything-better-than-candy-let-the-little-children-come-reviews/

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


*The Smiley System:


:) I can't really recommend this product.

:)  :) I doubt this product would be helpful to many people.

:)  :)  :) This is a good product, but it isn't right for everyone.

:)  :)  :)  :) Most homeschool moms will find this useful.

:)  :)  :)  :)  :) This is great, and I would recommend it to anyone!!!



Crew Disclaimer

Monday, August 28, 2017

A Surprise from Rush Limbaugh!


I got the mail the other day, and I couldn't figure out why I was getting a package from the Rush Revere folks. I had done a review for them, and it was a thank you gift! As you can see above, it included a nice card, a DVD, a travel cup, a bookmark, a bag, and even a stuffed Liberty! Yes, my 16-year-old daughter loved it all! I thought that was really nice of them. I've never had a vendor do anything like this before! I thought I'd give them a shout out. Thanks, Rush! If you'd like to purchase any of these items (except the card, lol) just go to www.rushrevere.com

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

New Review! The Everyday Family Chore System

Well, hello there!!! I'm so glad you stopped by! :) I bet you'd like to get my posts delivered right to your inbox, now wouldn't you? So why not sign up for Feedburner? Check it out, it's right there in my sidebar! Thanks!!  :)



Review Crew


Everyday Homemaking




The Everyday FAMILY Chore System




About the product/service: 
As part of the Homeschool Review Crew, I received a free pdf copy of The Everyday Chore System from Everyday Homemaking. (The book is also available as a physical product.) The book is written by Vicki Bentley who is not only the mother of eight daughters, but has had something like 50 foster kids in her home! 

The book begins with a discussion about how to lay the foundation for having an organized, clean home. It talks about two main goals. The first is to train the child to see helping out around the house as a way to serve the other family members. (I have exactly one child who really has this attitude.) The second is to teach each child how to do the basic chores that everyone needs to know before reaching adulthood. (At least most of mine have these skills.) There are basic tips for child-training in these areas, although Vicki is clear that the book is not a child-training manual. 


The next part of the book discusses both what each child should be able to do by age and gives ideas about setting up a well-functioning chore system. It's not a one size fits all system, but a basic outline of how to decide what needs to be done and how to create a system that works for you. She details how she has done it with her own family and gives ideas that will work for just about everyone, but with modifications to fit your families own needs. 


Also, I want to mention that Vicki also has written a book called Everyday Cooking. Some of the other members of the TOS Homeschool Review Crew have reviewed that book, so if you click on the link or banner below to see what other crew members think, you'll see reviews for both books. 


What are the pros of this product?
This book is well organized and simple enough for everyone to understand. She has a lot of great ideas but is not one of those people who promise that you will achieve perfection by following her system or puts together a system that is rigid and complicated. She is down to earth and admits that children (and moms!) are a work in progress. However, if you're a mom and have never really had a system, this is a great way to get one together.


What's not to like?
I can't really see any issues here.



The Crazy Mom take:
I have to say that I've already implemented pretty much everything in this book in my own home. (Not sure why it's a total mess right now. LOL) We have done the charts, lists, the zones, etc. I think when you have a big family, you almost have to and you figure it out on your own. LOL My kids are 14 to 26 so we are pretty much past the training stage, so this book wasn't hugely helpful to me, but I do think it would be great for a younger mom whose kids are still small. I mean the fact that she lays out pretty much exactly what I have done is proof that I agree with her system! If you have kids under ten or so, or have older kids but have never worked out a chore system, this book would probably be very helpful. :)




What's the bottom line? $19.99 
SALE! From now until September 5, 2017, you can get 10% off your order of Everyday Family Chore System and/or Everyday Cooking using the code TOS10books. (Please shop first and add the code at the end of the process.) 



I am going to give The Everyday Family Chore System 5 out of 5 smileys!!!

Check it out! http://everydayhomemaking.com/books/

Social Media: 


Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/everydayhomemaking      Tag:   @everydayhomemaking 

See what my fellow TOS Crew members have to say @

http://schoolhousereviewcrew.com/everyday-cooking-and-chores-systems-for-your-family-everyday-homemaking-reviews/



Everyday Cooking and Chores Systems for your Family {Everyday Homemaking Reviews}



*The Smiley System:


:) I can't really recommend this product.

:)  :) I doubt this product would be helpful to many people.

:)  :)  :) This is a good product, but it isn't right for everyone.

:)  :)  :)  :) Most homeschool moms will find this useful.

:)  :)  :)  :)  :) This is great, and I would recommend it to anyone!!!



Crew Disclaimer

Monday, August 14, 2017

Check out Colony House

Hey, so I've been checking out a band Called Colony House. I thought you'd like to check them out, too. Bassist Parke Cotrell was homeschooled through 8th grade.


Monday, August 7, 2017

School Year Plans

Hey, so I'm getting somewhere with my goals. I pretty much have this year's school subjects planned and what I am going to use. Because I'm down to just two kids, I am going to pretty much do the same thing with both of them together, and they will work independently on the rest.

For math, Bear will continue with Khan Academy. She loves it. She is very motivated to work through it and get the points or whatever rewards they offer. Baber will continue with Life of Fred. He's in Beginning Algebra this year.

I ordered the high school grammar review workbook for both students from Queen Homeschool Supply. I love Queen because the books include a fairly short lesson for each day. It's not so much that it's overwhelming, and the kids don't complain. They both have seemed to learn a lot.

In addition to the grammar review, I am going to continue to do read-alouds with them. We do this every year, and I've read quite a few classics over the years. I am also going to have Sarah do the Lightning Lit we reviewed in the spring. Both kids will continue to work on spelling.

They'll be taking Apologia biology at co-op. It's going to be quite a challenge because it starts at 9:00 on Monday morning and is a 45-minute drive. I might hate myself. LOL

I'm still thinking about history. We've done so much I'd like to change it up a bit this year. We'll have to see.

Of course, we'll continue to learn sign language.We've been doing it for years. We use several resources for this from books to DVDs to online classes.

We've done plenty of art over the years, and will continue to do so. I don't really follow a single curriculum because I have so much stuff gathered from over the years. I love when we review art products because it really forces us to do more.

Bear will also be hopefully taking piano classes. The lady we were going to use just told me she may not be taking new students this year. I should find out in a few days.

Of course, life skills around here happens every day. You wouldn't know it to look at my house, though.

Last but not least, we will continue our Bible studies. I really don't like to think of this as school though, as it's part of daily life. I have to admit, however, that we are much more regular with systematic Bible study when we do it together as part of our day.

As much as I love the freedom of summer, I'm glad to get back to a more structured life. I can't believe I am in the final stretch. Only four more years to go. Here's to another school year!




Tuesday, August 1, 2017

I've Got a Secret!

I just got some exciting news! I can't wait to tell you, but it will have to wait. Now that I am only four years out from finishing this homeschool gig, I am looking to change up direction a little bit. I don't plan to completely lose my homeschool focus, but I do plan to change up a few things. Stay tuned!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Oh my goodness! Tomorrow is August!



HELLO AUGUST!



I don't know about you, but I think it's crazy how quickly the summer is going! I mean, I know it happens every year, and every year I try to brace myself for it, but somehow it still amazes me how fast the time flies!

It seems like school starts and then suddenly it's fall, Halloween comes, then Thanksgiving, then Christmas, then it's a new year. I feel like this one just got started!

I have a confession to make. I haven't even started to think about the new school year. I mean, this is my 22nd year, so I'm not exactly a noob or anything, but I might want to get going on that. Oh, and I still haven't done my summer cleaning. I always look forward to summer so I can catch up on housework, and I always fail. We've been on vacation too much this summer. Two one-week vacations are like six weeks of lost work time. Yes, it takes me a whole week to get ready to leave and another to recover. I'm seriously probably the only person to complain about too much vacation. LOL

We keep talking about moving. I really dread the thought. I mean, if packing for vacation seems overwhelming, packing up a whole house really seems overwhelming. I guess it will force me to declutter and get rid of stuff, so maybe I'll just put it all off until then. LOL

So, anyway, even though I never follow through, I am going to post my August goals.

Here they are:

1. Plan for school. (I kinda have to do this one!)
2. Organize school stuff and shelves.
3. Love myself anyway, even though I don't get much done. LOL

There ya go! That sounds doable. I'd love to hear anyone else's grand plans.

Have a great rest of the summer!




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