Kwik Sticks from The Pencil Grip

Almost a year ago I was introduced to Kwik Stix Solid Tempera Paint Sticks from The Pencil Grip. You can see that review here.

They are tempera paint sticks that dry super fast. They kind of remind me of glue sticks only in paint form. My kids love them! I do too, they are mess free and easy. It makes art time fun instead of dreading it because of the huge mess left behind.

The original Kwik Stixs come in a variety of colors such as; classic, neon, and metalix. A varying range of package selections also. Find all Kwik Stix buying options here.

NEW to KWIK STIX are the Thin Stix.

These are the same great product only now in a new slimmer form. That makes them easier to use for more detailed projects. My older girls FLIPPED when they arrived. They have always liked the Kwik Stixs but with the size of the originals it made them hard to use for more “grown up” projects. My littles still love and use the heck out of the originals. My olders like having the thins all to themselves!

Even more exciting…. Kwik Stix are now available on and Target. They are also super affordable!!!!!

They would make a fantastic addition to an Easter basket for a candy free treat! Or, buy them now before all you Easter crafting projects begin! Help make your Easter mess-free and fun!!!!

Commissioned by Chara Games ~ Review

Commissioned {Chara Games}
We love playing games here, so I was excited to add Commissioned from Chara Games to our family game night selection.

If you are like me you have never heard of Chara Games before. They are a Husband and Wife team that have worked together to build a business centered around Christ. They are developing games for teens and adults that will help build relationships with each other and God. Fun Fact: Chara is actually the Biblical Greek word for unshakable joy!

You can find Chara Games on Facebook and Twitter.

Twitter: @Charagames

Their first game is entitled Commissioned. This game puts the players in the shoes of the early day Christians and Apostles. The game takes approximately  hour to play. During the game, the players act as the Apostles of the early church and work together as a team to strengthen their faith, grow the early church, build the New Testament, and over come the trials that the early believers faced. The game is designed to be played with 2-6 players ages 14 and up.

Commissioned is designed with five different scenarios and two difficulty levels so that your family can enjoy playing the game again and again without it getting boring or routine. The story line is provided by the Bible it’s self! The early church had it rough! Each trial or persecution is taken directly from the gospels. The game approaches each of the historical events from a history view point. The scenarios cover the first 150 years of church history. Through this game players learn about the faith the early church had while at the same time strengthening their own faith in God and his Word. They learn to ARM themselves with the Word, LIVE through the trials and tribulations of the early church, and Mature their faith just as the apostles did. The game is a cooperative game which means that all the players either win or lose together. That is a nice change of pace from the ultra competitive games and teaches us to work as a team to further the kingdom of God.

Commissioned {Chara Games}
Commissioned is played in rounds. Players take turns as the group’s elder, where they make decisions affecting the team. Players draw Faith Cards (ARM), face trials (LIVE), and expand their Faith decks (MATURE).  Together, they must achieve the scenario victory conditions before the Trial Deck runs out without losing 5 churches. Watch the demo video below!

To be honest, the game is a little difficult to play until you get the hang of it. There are lots of cards and pieces to keep track of. There is the main board plus each player has a personal board to work on. My kids are under the recommended age and found it quit difficult and long. But, I can say that teens, young adults and older would have fun with it. It does really bring the story of the early church to life. I learned a lot of details and it sparked a lot of discussion about what it might have been like to be in that faithful first few.

The game itself is high quality and durable. The pieces are well crafted and the boards are laminated and sturdy.

We will be keeping this game around for our family game nights and I look forward to my children growing into it!

Commissioned {Chara Games}

Their second game, 3 Seeds is also in the works and projected to be released in June.

See what other crew members thought of Commissioned and 3 Seeds from Chara Games…

Commissioned {Chara Games}

Sentence Diagramming: Beginning from The Critical Thinking Co.

Language Arts {The Critical Thinking Co.™}
When I was growing up I never liked Sentence Diagramming. Apparently, that has transferred to my girls too. But I do know how important it is to be able to recognize the parts of sentences and sentence ordering so that you can effectively communicate in written word. Thanks to  The Critical Thinking Co.™ and their program Sentence Diagramming: Beginning things just got a little easier!

Language Arts {The Critical Thinking Co.™}
We have used The Critical Thinking Co.™ before to help with The Basics of Critical Thinking. That was our first experience with the company and we have enjoyed using them. It is a company that offers some really fun and cool products. The products are all geared to help kids gain tools to succeed not just in school or on tests, but in challenges of life. By using their products, kids can learn to identify and evaluate the problem and then analyze it to come up with a solution. The bonus is that because of how the products teach, better test scores, grades, and problem solving are bonuses.

Some of the products offered include: Test Prep, Phonics, Science, History Detectives, Practical Critical Thinking, Critical Thinking Basics, and much more!

Their products aren’t just limited to older students either. They also offer lots of preschool and Kindergarten helps like Alphabet Song Games, Letter Sounds, Vowel Songs, and Fun-Time with Phonics.

You can find The Critical Thinking Co.™ on social media at:


We received Sentence Diagramming: Beginning for this round of reviews. This is a paper back work book with 12 Lessons and a Review. It is geared toward grades 3-12+. My older girls are both at a 5th grade level. Some of the beginning Simple Subject activities were easy for them. But once they got into the meat of the workbook it was challenging. It was nice ,however, that they were able to start with a concept that they already had a good grasp on. Then work up into the harder material such as Prepositional Phrases and Compound Subjects.

The lessons covered in this workbook are:

  • Simple Subject and Main Verb
  • Direct Object
  • Adjectives
  • Adverbs Modifying Verbs
  • Predicate Adjectives
  • Predicate Nouns
  • Prepositional Phrases (Adjectival)
  • Prepositional Phrases (Adverbial)
  • Compound Subjects
  • Compound Predicates
  • Compound Direct Objects
  • Compound Predicate Adjectives and Nouns

I really liked is how the book helps you visually diagram the sentence. It was really helpful for my daughter that struggles with reading to visually separate out the sentence using the provided lines. I even learned some new ways of looking at sentences and sentence structure! It has improved my girls understanding of writing and their grades have improved. It has also helped them have the confidence to complete their work without much extra help from me and they have had to spend less time on their reading/writing assignments while improving the quality of their work.


The cost of the book is also a winner! It is only $12.99 for the 72 page paperback version. The quality of printing and the laminated cover will help it be durable and usable throughout the year.

Find out what other Homeschool Review Crew members thought of The Critical Thinking Co.™ and the products they received:

Language Arts {The Critical Thinking Co.™}