Friday, February 28, 2020

Strengthening My Faith with The Unbreakable Faith Course from Pilgrim's Rock {A Homeschool Review Crew Review}

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

When the opportunity arose to review The Unbreakable Faith Course from Pilgrim's Rock, LLC, I was quite interested. Even though my children aren't old enough for this course yet, I decided to go through it myself.  I thought taking the course would help strengthen my faith, plus help me to be able to share and defend it. 

The Unbreakable Faith Course is an online course that we received two years of access to. Additionally there are two textbooks that are to be read alongside the video lessons. I received physical copies, because I prefer having a physical book in my hand; however, PDF versions are available if you prefer. 

The Box by Craig Biehl is to be read during Part 1 of the course, and God the Reason, also by Craig Biehl, is to be read throughout the study.

The Box: Answering the Faith of Unbelief is a great little book that shares a dialogue between two men, Mr. A and Mr. C. In the first section of the book, Mr. A is Mr.  Atheist. However, after his conversations with Mr. C, or Mr. Christian, he "sees the errors of his ways" and becomes Mr. Agnostic. Of course, this really isn't any better. I admit, I appreciated the author's explanation that being an agnostic is just as bad as being an atheist, because I always felt that being an agnostic was at least a step in the right direction.

I really enjoyed reading the dialogue between the two neighbors and appreciated how cordial they were to each other, though of course, in real life, that might not be the case. But Mr. C shows true Christian humility and love. He helps Mr. A to see an important truth. If a person can't know what is inside someone's locked box or garage, how can they say that they know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God does not exist.

And the conversation goes on from there to include such things as miracles, and the Trinity, and evil. For some reason my thoughts stayed focused on the miracles section. I think it is important to realize, that if God is the one who is in charge of the universe, who is to say he can't change the "laws" of nature (or Divine laws) if he so desires in order to make miracles happen.

I found the conversation sections to be quite interesting, informative, and even entertaining at times. Though, I admit, I struggled to read through the parts of the book between the dialogue sections and found parts to be a bit repetitive and the thoughts hard to follow. However, all-in-all, I did enjoy the book and was thankful to have been able to have read it as a part of this course.

God the Reason: How Infinite Excellence Gives Unbreakable Faith is the second book that we are to be reading alongside the videos in the course. This book is longer and definitely meatier. After the introduction, it is divided into 15 chapters, all of which discuss the "Implications for Living and Defending the Faith."

  • Chapter 1: God is Eternal
  • Chapter 2: God Needs Nothing
  • Chapter 3: God Cannot Be Known Unless He Reveals Himself.
  • Chapter 4: God is Boundless Perfection
  • Chapter 5: God Does Not Change
  • Chapter 6: God is Undivided 
  • Chapter 7: God is Spirit
  • Chapter 8: God Knows Everything
  • Chapter 9: God is Wise
  • Chapter 10: God is True and Truthful
  • Chapter 11: God is Good and Love
  • Chapter 12: God is Holy
  • Chapter 13: God is Righteous
  • Chapter 14: God is Infinitely Powerful
  • Chapter 15: God Rules Over All
The chapters are divided into several sub-sections, and the author helps us look at different aspects of God that show that there is no excuse for unbelief. For instance, in the first chapter, the author discusses how God created and sustains everything, and how everything depends on God and we owe Him everything. And then in chapter two, the author discusses how we are not and never will be God, God exists regardless of what we perceive or believe, God's creation exists regardless of what we perceive or believe, God must exist, he does not probably exist, and because God needs nothing He can give us everything.

The book ends with a Conclusion, two Appendices, Acknowledgments, Works Cited, General Index, Scripture Index, and information about the Unbreakable Faith course that we are taking. 

Now, let's take a look at the video part of the Unbreakable Faith course. 

When I log into the site I come to the home page where the course materials are listed. There is a downloadable syllabus, and the books we received are listed. 

The course is divided into six parts, five of which are the lessons with the videos and reading assignments, the sixth is the final exam.

When I click on "Part 1," it lists the videos that are to be watched, the assigned readings, and the quiz. Then there are links (in blue) to the actual video lesson. You have to go in order with this course. When I first started, only the first video was unlocked. As you watch the videos, the box to the right becomes checked and the next video unlocks.

You can also view the course calendar in the syllabus to see the topics in each part and a listing of the readings, videos, and quizzes. This screenshot shows half of the course:

I wanted to mention, at first I thought I was supposed to completely read The Box before starting the video lessons, as the syllabus states we are to read it, but doesn't state exactly when. I admit, I wish the course schedule was a bit clearer on this point, because all it says is that The Box should be read during Part 1. When I realized it was taking me awhile to get through the book, I decided I better get into the videos and the first two chapters of the second book in order to stay on track for this review. So, I started watching the videos in the evening, while continuing to read The Box when we went somewhere in the van. Unfortunately, I had gotten through several of the videos before I had a chance to pick up God the Reason. It was then that I became aware of the fact that the chapters in the book correspond to the video sections. 

However, while some of the information follows the same thoughts, and some is actually word for word, there is unique information in both the book and the videos. Which of course is why both are assigned. I just wish it was listed out in more detail. For instance, because I did take and figure this out, "read pages 1-9 then watch video segment 1, read pages 9-17, then watch video segment 2, etc." 

I'm still debating how I'm going to schedule my time going forward. I would like to make sure I am reading the same information that I will be learning about in the video section. 

Even though I had some confusion with the proper way to schedule the course, I am really appreciating what I am learning. The videos are very well done. Craig Biehl does a wonderful job teaching in the videos. The slides and videos shared are well done and eye-catching. 

The course starts with a look at why we should study theology and a definition of theology. He also looks at the wrong approaches to theology and the problems it brings. The importance of a changed life showing God's character in us, and having the right attitude, humility and not arrogance (like Mr. C) are brought up. And here is the proper approach to theology.

I appreciated the section that discussed why we want to learn how to answer attacks to our faith.

In the past I had learned about the importance of focusing on the foundation of worldviews. So, when Mr. Biehl showed a series of slides that demonstrated the futility of having an answer for a question, and answers for more specific questions, and so on and so forth, I knew what he was going to be getting at.

 We can't fight the specific arguments, we have to focus on the faith assumptions at the foundations.

I also appreciated how he focused on the fact that randomness (as in evolution) can not bring about order. All of the things in the following image can not work in a random world.

There is such a plethora of information in this course. I needed to go through the information more than once in order to feel ready to take the quiz. Just a warning, you can only have one attempt at the quiz, so make sure you are ready. I guess I was ready:

The quiz had both True/False and Multiple Choice questions. It was timed (for 25 minutes), and the program makes sure you are definitely ready before you click and it starts the countdown. 

With all of the information in the reading and the videos, I was a bit concerned I wouldn't do well in the quiz. However, thankfully, most of the questions focused more on the general knowledge gleaned from the information, not specific details. 

Here are some points that have stuck with me from taking the course so far:
  • If you can't know the details of the contents in a locked box, you can't know all the knowledge in the vast universe, so you can't say that there is no God. 
  • When you take out the faith assumptions of unbelief those questions are resting on thin air.
  • Truth is whatever God says it is!
  • God MUST exist.
  • God gives assurance.
I can't wait to move forward and learn more from this course. I think it is a very informative course and very helpful in building up an arsenal toward battles against unbelievers. Because we are in a battle. I prefer watching the videos because I have always struggled with reading non-fiction. And it is especially hard these days with constant distractions of four children. Though I do realize I have to read the book as well to get the full benefit. 

You can find Pilgrim's Rock on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube.

Don't forget to click on the banner below to see what my fellow Crew Mates had to say about The Unbreakable Faith Course from Pilgrim's Rock.

The Unbreakable Faith Course {Pilgrim's Rock, LLC Reviews}

Throwback Thursday Blog-Style #296: February 28, 2020

Welcome back to... 

Yes, I'm a day late, so let's call this Throwback Thursday on Flashback Friday.

I know, I know, Throwback Thursday seems to be all about sharing pictures from the past, great memories that mean something to you, that you would like to share with others. At least that is how it appears to me. Throwback Thursday wasn't something I was participating in, and then I came up with an idea.

I thought it would be great fun and a help to my blog to share old content, but not just any old content. Each week I will share an old blog post from a previous year, any year, BUT it has to be from the current week (for example, something I've posted around February 28th, from any previous year)  I will go in, edit the post if needed, add a pinnable image if I don't already have one, and share it on Facebook.

Would you like to join in? You do not need to edit your past post in any way, you don't need to create a pinnable image, though it couldn't hurt, in fact it will help your blog traffic to add quality pinnable images to your posts.

Just go into your archives, choose a favorite post from this current week from any previous year, and link it up below. (If you don't have anything from this current week, it is still okay to link up with a post from a previous year around this time. And if you haven't been blogging for a full year, feel free to share any earlier post.)

Please make sure to share from the past as instructed above.  The spirit of Throwback Thursday Blog-Style is to share posts from the past. Please follow the guidelines. I would hate to have to delete your link.
Thank you

I will be pinning posts to my appropriate Pinterest boards and will be randomly selecting a Featured Throwback Thursday post to share next week. Just a note, I will be sharing a picture from your post if you are selected as the featured post, but I will link back to your post. I will ALWAYS give credit and link back. By linking up you are giving me permission to use your picture in the post. 

Here is my Throwback Thursday post

Here is this week's randomly selected
Featured Throwback Thursday post:

Gale from Waco Mom shared

To participate, link up below. It would be great if you could visit several of the other posts that have linked up. Stop by, comment, and pin images so we can help each other.

No button currently, and there won't be one until I can figure it out seeing as Photobucket has changed things. Feel free to still share the picture in place of the button. Just link it to my Throwback Thursday Blog-Style permalink please.

Happy Throwback Thursday!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Wordless Wednesday: February 26, 2020 (w/linky) - Happy Birthday Harold, 8 years old

Traditional banner

Traditional top of stairs picture

Not traditional breakfast 
(we had already had pancakes the night before, and he requested breakfast burritos)

Krystal came over to help celebrate.

The children are suddenly into prank gifts. This is one of his cars in a plastic bag full of water.

Yes, they think they are hilarious.

Cake time.

Yes, my son has a pink cake. He wanted a neapolitan cake.


Looking forward to seeing your Wordless (or not so wordless) Wednesday posts this week.

No button currently, and there won't be one until I can figure it out seeing as Photobucket has changed things. Feel free to still share the picture in place of the button on your Wordless Wednesday post or in a list of Wordless Wednesday linkies. Just link it to my Wordless Wednesday permalink please.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Studying Countries of the World with Let's Go Geography {A Homeschool Review Crew Review}

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

Two and a half years ago, the children and I had the privilege of using the first year of the curriculum from Let's Go Geography. We really enjoyed our time with this program and I appreciated the way it supplemented our core curriculum. So, when I learned that we were going to get the opportunity to try out Let's Go Geography, Year 2, I was thrilled. And, to my delight, I discovered that several of the countries we had recently been learning about, or were going to learn about, were included in Year 2. Perfect timing. 

We received two years of access to both semesters of Year 2. These digital lessons are provided in the format of PDF files. Each semester contains 16 lessons that focus on countries spanning the globe. 

As you can see from the screenshot above, each year focuses on countries throughout the world. Students move from North America, to South America, then to Europe, Africa, and Asia. Year One ends with New Zealand and a review, and Year Two ends with Australia. The program's final continent is Antarctica. 

As we did 2 1/2 years ago, we skipped around to match up with our history curriculum. We had been learning about Japan, India, and Russia during America's colonial times and earlier, so those are the countries we started with. And then, because of the influence that England had in colonial times, we moved on to England. 

Once we had access to the program it was simple to log in and find our lessons.

After clicking on the Year 2: Semester 2 image, we come to the page were we can click to download the lesson.

This opens up the PDF file which begins with a cover page.

All of the lessons follow the same format. There is a note from the author, which includes a reminder that we don't have to do every activity and can choose to work with what is appropriate for our child(ren). Though the curriculum is designed for children in grades K-5, I did have  Amelia and Tabitha working in the program as well. 

After the Table of Contents, there is an "Are You Ready?" page which gives tidbits of information about the country, such as what continent you will find it on, the nickname, capital, largest city, and the national language.

I print these pages out as the introduction to each country and we read through the information.

There is also an itinerary, or a checklist, which I do not print out due to trying to save my ink. However, it is a great resource for those who need a list to check off to make sure they have completed everything.

Before we get into the actual lesson, there is also a section titled, "Other Things You May Need." This includes the call number of the books that would fit the lessons and the supplies needed for the craft. 

There are then six chapters for the students to work through. I liked being able to work on Chapters 1 and 2 with the children before they got into the other information; though sometimes we didn't get to them exactly when I wanted to.

Chapter 1 is called, "Map It!" and it contains maps to print out along with instructions on how to color the country and label it while answering questions. We found such things as borders, water forms, and mountain ranges. 

Chapter 2 is called, "The Flag." There are little flags to print and cut out, then the children are to color them (and they even have color guidelines), and glue them into one of two places. The program has a passport that we could  use; however, I like using the "Flags of (continent)" page. I love that this continent page helps the child to see the countries we have worked on in relation to one another. 

I am using those pages as the first page of each continent's section in their "Travel Journal" binders.

After the introduction to the county, the children are to watch the videos that can be found in the next two chapters. They usually do this during their individual computer time, though sometimes we end up watching them together.

Chapter 3 is called, "The Music." I love listening to the national anthems of the different countries, along with folk music and other musical aspects of the culture. In fact, my favorite so far, was watching a man in Russia begin to sing their national anthem, and more and more people joining in right there on the street. It was kind of concerning, though ultimately funny, to see a police officer stop by and keep walking around. 

One of Tabitha's favorites was listening to some traditional music on a Japanese harp called a koto.

Chapter 4 is called, "Let's Explore." This section contains lots of pictures with captions full of information, along with more videos to go "sightseeing" with. There are video tours, and videos of food, culture, and transportation. 

A couple of the children's favorite videos came from Russia. The enjoyed the information about the ballet and the Russian nesting dolls. In fact, Amelia now wants a set for her birthday.

Harold surprised me when he said one of his favorite videos was the one where they learned more about the Taj Mahal.

As you can see, there are lots of different kinds of videos to watch to help the children learn about the country, and to appreciate another culture. 

Next, with Chapter 5: Create!, the children get ready to color a coloring page and create a project. Information is given regarding the image chosen for the coloring sheet, and instructions are given for the craft. 

Then, in Chapter 6: Printables, we find a classroom page of flags, lined notebooking sheets, coloring pages, and the printable portion of the craft. 

Harold wanted to make sure I shared a picture of his tiger from India.

Here are a couple of the crafts they completed.

When we were all done with each country, I had the children write down some important tidbits that had stuck with them. Harold and Hannah used the notebooking pages that were included in the printables section, while Amelia typed up her information on the computer.

I had planned to conclude each unit with a flag snack, but there was just too much sugar going on at times, so we have only made two so far.

This Japanese flag is actually made out of Rice Krispies treats covered in frosting.

And this Russian flag is a frosted cake.

As you can see, the children and I have had a lot of fun learning more about these countries. I love the varied activities. There are hands-on opportunities, reading and writing, plus videos to watch. I appreciate that the format is consistent so we know what to expect when we move from country to country. I also love that the author will include substitute suggestions for craft supplies, such as coloring salt for the India craft if you don't have colored sand.

All in all, I think this is a great geography curriculum, and I am so glad to have had the opportunity to use it again.

You can check out Let's Go Geography on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube.

Don't forget to click the banner below to see what my fellow Crew Mates had to say about Let's Go Geography, Year 2.

Geography for Kids - Year 2 {Let's Go Geography Reviews}
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