Just Being Us

Just Being Us
Family, where we can be real, and feel unconditional love!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Homeschool Review Crew: Our Review of Let's Go Geography



     Do your children enjoy geography?  I know mine was a little apprehensive when I told them we would be reviewing a world geography curriculum, but once we started using Let’s Go Geography, they were pleasantly surprised how much fun it can be.  
     

     Let's Go Geography is best for grades K-4th, but we adapted it to be used for our 8th grader as well. Giving him little extra reading assignments to go along with what we were studying made it more of a challenge for him.  I feel both of my children are enjoying it. 

      We were given one year of the three-year curriculum to review and so far, I am loving how it works. The picture above is the suggested 3-year plan for you to study with your children.  We have completed the first 5 lessons and it has been a wonderful experience.  I haven't had one complaint.  I was happy to learn that a teacher can use the curriculum with one or more students. That makes it much easier if you would like to use it for a co-op class. 

      Each lesson begins with a section called "Are you ready?"  This section explains a little bit about the region you are going to be studying. 



     Each lesson consists of 6 chapters that include:
  • Chapter 1 - Map It: In this chapter you print a map, color what you are told to color, label areas and bodies of water, and explore the map.
  • Chapter 2 - The Flag: You will print and color the flag, and cut and paste onto the correct continent map.  You can also place your flag into your Passport (available here as you scroll down the page:https://www.letsgogeography.com/find-out-more/) if you have chosen to use it for your lessons.   
  • Chapter 3 - The Music: Here you will learn the anthem of the country you're studying.
  • Chapter 4 - Let's Explore: This section lets you explore the region you are learning about.
  • Chapter 5 - Create: In this chapter, you will do a fun coloring page and some great activities.
  • Chapter 6 - Printables: This is where you find any printables you will need for your lesson. 


     There are links throughout the online curriculum that you can use for your lessons.  My children loved to follow the links in the "Let's Explore" chapters.  They enjoyed getting a quick tour of the country or region they were learning about.  It was very informative and allowed them to see for themselves what the country or region looked like and gave them a look at the people who live there. We had a lot of fun exploring.

     I can say that this geography curriculum is unlike any we have done before in the past.  We will continue to use it throughout our school year and will be purchasing year 2 and 3.  I couldn't believe how much fun my children were having as we studied each lesson.  I like how you can either follow the lesson plan or you can adapt it to study certain areas you are interested in.  It can be used alongside other classes or lessons. This is a wonderful homeschooling resource!

     If you would like to learn more about Let’s Go Geography, I would encourage you to visit their website or their social media pages: 

      
    If you like reading reviews from other homeschooling families, you can find some great ones for this product here ⇓⇓⇓
     
Let’s Go Geography {Reviews}
Have a blessed day!!!!


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Homeschool Review Crew: Our Review of Imagine. . .The Great Flood



     My children love books that take them on an adventure in their imaginations. That is why we were excited to receive and review Imagine. . .The Great Flood by Matt Koceich from Barbour Publishing. We couldn't wait to read it. Just from the cover alone, we knew it was going to be a good book.  

     This is book one of a series that will take children on an imaginational trip through Biblical events. The author Matt Koceich is a schoolteacher and missionary that wants to bring the Bible stories to life through these fictional books. Children will be taught Biblical facts as they read. This book is best suited for ages 8-12. I think this series will be a great addition to any homeschool library.  We can't wait for book 2 coming in 2018. 

     Our adventure begins with 10-year-old Corey Max contemplating what moving to Florida was going to be like.  Corey was not thrilled to move from his home in Texas and was trying to find any excuse to talk his mother out of it.   As they stood there discussing how God was in control of their lives and that they needed to trust Him as they made this big move, a large Texas storm was approaching. 

     Molly, Corey's German shepherd, gets lose and runs off into the woods. Corey chases after her. As he is running he trips and falls.  Little did he know this would be the beginning of an adventure he would never forget. 

     As Corey opens his eyes. He realizes he is not in Texas anymore.  His mom and dog are not there with him. He soon sees a lion near to him and becomes frightened.  Then a man in a robe tells him not to fear the lion for he is gentle.  Corey doesn't understand what is going on right away but is relieved that he is not going to be eaten.  

    The man standing there with Corey is Shem, the son of Noah.  Shem asks Corey to help him gather animals for Noah's ark. Corey was blown away as he realized he was in the time of Noah.

    As Corey's adventure continues he and his new friend Noah must battle the Nephilim who want to stop Noah from building the ark.  Corey comes to realize that faith in God is what will see him through. He must learn to trust God and his plans.  
     As we read through this wonderful book,  my children saw how God uses situations to build our faith.  They enjoyed seeing this Bible story from a new perspective. We feel it was well written and we are looking forward to seeing where we will be whisked off to in the next book of the series.   

    For more information about Barbour Publishing, I would encourage you to check out their social media pages: 

     Come on over to see more reviews of this book here  ⇓⇓⇓


Imagine. . .The Great Flood by Matt Koceich {Barbour Publishing}


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Homeschool Review Crew: Our Review of Unauthorized



     Our family loves to play games together.  We try to do it at least once a week if time allows. When we were chosen to receive & review  Unauthorized from Chara Games we were so excited to try it out.  It's so hard to find good wholesome games these days. We love to see companies upholding godly principles while giving us entertainment that the entire family can enjoy. 

     Chara Games is a company that seeks to bring people together through playing table games. The word Chara is the ancient Greek word for enduring joy and that is what they want to bring to the people playing.  Their games help build relationships. They are fun and educational. These games are unlike what we have ever seen before. 

     

     After sitting down together and watching the instructional YouTube video, we were ready to play. At first, it was a little difficult to understand, but as you play you begin to see exactly what is going on.  The game is created for 6 to 12 players, but if you only have 5, one player can take on playing two characters.  The only downfall to playing this way, is they will have the upper hand right from the beginning.  A typical game takes about 30 minutes to play.  I like games that don't take up too much time so we can play more than once. It also leaves room to play other games during family game night.  

     This game gives us a look into what the underground church endures. Will they be faithful to the "church" or will they give into the "state"? Each person is given a "role" to play in the game. At least one will play the role of the state or police. No one wanted that role, but it is needed for the game 😉 The object is for the person playing the role of the pastor or the police to get the other players to their side. The winner is the one {either church or state} with the most on their side at the end of the game. 

      The game includes detailed instructions to help guide you as you play the game.  Our son Ryan is the best at understanding strategy or deduction games so we handed him the directions. He is good at explaining new games to us.  He said he liked how the directions take you step by step through the process of each round and phase of the game. Once we played through the game a few times it got easier to remember what you are supposed to do on each turn. 








      After we were finished playing, {and I am proud to say the church won} we all talked about the pros and cons of the game.  There were many pros like the fact it brought up topics we wouldn't have discussed during any of our other games. The only con was that it does have a lot of steps and until you play the game a few times, they were hard to remember.  

     Personally, I was impressed with how well this game was thought out and put together.  This is one we will be playing on our family game nights at least once a month.  

      If you would like to learn more about this game and others, I would encourage you to go to their website Chara Games or visit their social media pages: 
 
     Would you like to read more reviews of this game?  Come on over to the Homeschool Review Crew website to see what other families are saying

👇
     
Unauthorized {Chara Games Reviews}
Have a wonderful day!
May God Bless You!




Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Homeschool Review Crew: Our Review of Children's Books by Carole P. Roman


     As a homeschooling mom, I love getting new books to add to our home library. When we received Oh Susannah: Things That Go BumpIf You Were Me and Lived in... Colonial AmericaCaptain No Beard: An Imaginary Tale of a Pirate's Life, and Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis by author Carole P. Roman, I was excited.  We love reviewing books!

     Carole P. Roman is an award winning author of children's books.  She has quite a few to select from with different age levels and genre. We were given one book from her Historical Series, one from her O Susannah series, and two from her  A Captain No Beard Story - The Series.  Some of her other books include her Cultural series and Bedtime stories. She has so many great options to choose from! 

     I love that her books, except for the early chapter readers, are illustrated beautifully in bright and vibrant colors.  Younger children and older ones alike love to see pages that bring the story to life. These books do just that. I was impressed with how durable the books are also. We received the paperback versions, and they seem to be made very well. That is always a plus for families with many little hands who will be reading them over and over again. 

     Our favorite book was If You Were Me and Lived in...Colonial America: An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time. Children of all ages can enjoy this series. 


     We enjoy looking at different time periods of history. This book tells you all about the experiences you would have had if you had been born in this time period.  From what your parents would have named you to how you would have been educated, this book explains it all.  My daughter was excited to see that they were homeschooled just like her. She couldn't believe how much work the children were expected to complete each day.  She said "I guess I won't complain about my chores anymore Mom".  She was also amazed to see what the clothing looked like and what foods they ate. It left an impression on her. I can honestly say she seems more appreciative of what she has.  This was an excellent book. Not only did it teach about Colonial America, it gave my daughter a new perspective of her life today.  


      We enjoyed reading through Oh Susannah: Things That Go Bump: An Oh Susannah Story

     This is an early chapter reading book best for readers aged 7-12.  In this book, you will see a little girl named Susannah who is dealing with fear.  She doesn't want to go to her best friend Lola's house for a sleepover because she has been told a ghost lives there.  Susannah soon learns that almost everyone has a fear of something, and she needs to conquer her fears.  She decides to go to the sleepover and finds out that Lola's big brother has been telling her stories that simply were not true.  Lola and Susannah have a good plan to give him a dose of his own medicine.  He soon realizes it's not fun to be scared.   Susannah gets a wonderful surprise at the end of the book... I will let you read it for yourself to see what that surprise is.  



 These books are for young readers, ages 3-8, but we enjoyed reading them.  This series takes you on adventures through your imagination, that teaches you lessons like stealing is wrong.  I think younger children would benefit from reading this series.  

     If you would like to learn more about these books from Carole P. Roman, I would suggest checking out her website and her social media pages: 

     Come on over to the Homeschool Review Crew site for more reviews of these books and many more ⇊

Oh Susannah, Bedtime Stories, Captain No Beard, If you were Me ... {Carole P. Roman Reviews}
HAVE A BLESSED DAY!!!!


Monday, September 11, 2017

Homeschool Review Crew: Our Review of Charlotte’s Web E-Guide



     Just one year ago, our youngest daughter was struggling with reading. She was determined to learn so she could read all the wonderful stories on our bookshelf. One book that she always wanted to read on her own was Charlotte's Web by E.B. White.  When she found out we were receiving and reviewing the Charlotte’s Web E-Guide from Progeny Press, she was delighted. I was thrilled to see her so excited.

   

   As I was looking around the website of Progeny Press, I was amazed to see their mission statement: "To teach our children to think clearly, to understand literature, and to rely on the scripture for truth and values, and enjoy themselves while they do it!" This company wants to help our children learn literature from a Christian perspective. I appreciate a company that stands firm on their beliefs and are open about what they believe and will incorporate into their resources.  

   The site is very simple to navigate and we had no issues downloading the E-guide once we logged in with the information that we were given. As a new customer, you will need to register in order to buy from the store. That is also located at the top right side of the main web page. 

   
   Once you register, you will be ready to buy from the store. After you register once, you will have a sign in and password that will make it easier for you the next time you want to shop the store or download items you have just purchased.  It is very convenient. 


   We couldn't wait to begin our Charlotte's Web E-Guide. You can choose to print it out and use it as a normal study guide, or you can use it on your computer so your child will be able to enter their answers right there on the computer. It will save their work as they go along.  We chose to print it out since our daughter does better when she writes out her answers by hand. 

   We already had the book Charlotte's Web on our shelf, but if you don't have it you will need to purchase or borrow it in order to use this E-Guide. 

   This guide is for grades 4 to 6 and I think that is a perfect fit.  Our daughter is 10 and in the 5th grade and she didn't have any problems completing the work. There were just a few times she needed my help, but that is to be expected. 

   As your child works through the E-Guide, they will be taught subjects like:
  • Vocabulary
  • Character Development
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Descriptive Writing
  • Thinking Skills






   The guide has you reading about 3 or 4 chapters at a time, then you stop and work in the study guide.  You will need to have a dictionary, thesaurus, and Bible on hand when working through your questions in the guide. We used the internet for some of the activities.  I liked the way they incorporated the Bible into the study. It gave this book a new perspective for me and my daughter.

   Towards the back of the study guide, you will find ideas for post-reading activities and a list of additional resources. They really put a lot of effort into making this study guide for Charlotte's Web stand out from all the rest. 

   I would encourage you to go to the Progeny Press website and look at all the wonderful resources they have to offer. They also have social media pages for you to learn more about them here:
   I always love to read what other families think of products before I buy them. If you would like to read more reviews of this E-Guide and a few others, come on over to the Homeschool Review Crew site ⇓

Study Guides for Literature {Progeny Press Reviews}
HAVE A BLESSED WEEK!


Friday, September 8, 2017

How Do You Begin Your Homeschool Day?



     How do you begin your day? Do you have a morning routine?  In our home, I have noticed that our days go much better if we begin with good habits right from the start of our day.  I think it's important to stay on track so we don't waste a lot of precious time.  

     Normally I get up around 5 or 5:30 so I can spend time with the Lord, see my husband off to work, and get some work done before getting the kids up.  I use to get my kids up early, but that wasn't working for them or for me.  They are night owls and I am an early bird. They would be grumpy when woken up too early and that would make me grouchy as well, so waiting to get them up while I get some quiet time is best for our family.  

     When I wake my kiddos up at 8, they head downstairs to eat breakfast.  After eating they begin their morning checklists.  These checklists consist of personal devotions, making beds, cleaning up their bedrooms, feeding pets, and getting ready for the day by brushing their teeth, combing their hair, and getting dressed.  After they complete these tasks we head back downstairs to start school.  It's a system that works well for our family. 



      Beginning next Monday, we are going to be changing things a bit.  Typically we begin school with Bible class, but I want to make it more than just a class.  I want to really focus on studying God's Word and praying together as a family.  I want to spend more time seeking Him and not letting it become just a part of our routine.  I believe our time with Jesus sets the atmosphere for our entire school day.  If we allow Him to lead us, everything else will fall into place.  

     Once our Bible time is finished we begin working on the rest of our agenda for the day.  It's not a rigid schedule, but instead a list of things we want to finish before the end of the school day. We try to finish before 3 or so.  

     I love being able to homeschool and spend time with my kids, but if we didn't find a groove that worked for us, our days would be very hectic. Finding a good routine is key to having a peaceful home when you are together day in and day out. Be flexible yet consistent.  

     I would love to hear from you.  How do you do things in your home?  

     

      

   

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Homeschool Review Crew: Is There Anything Better Than Candy? Box-Tract



     We are so excited to be able to share the gospel this Halloween by using the Is There Anything Better Than Candy? Box-Tract from Let the Little Children Come.  We were given some of these wonderful Halloween tracts to review and I have to say that we love them and can't wait to give them out to the children in our neighborhood.  

     My daughter couldn't wait to open the package and see how they looked when assembled.  She was amazed how easily it went together and how cute the finished product was. It comes as one piece. The pumpkin is perforated so it can be punched out with ease.  They are made of durable thick coated paper. The ink used in printing is vibrant. I love the beautiful colors.   


   We decided to make a little video showing you how easy it is to put together.  

Here is Hope's Tutorial ↓






     When assembled this little pumpkin about 2 inches high and about 3 inches wide.  We wanted to give you an approximate amount of candy it held, so we got some candy kisses and we could easily fit about 6 or 7 pieces in it.  The box is able to hold the candy without it falling out and doesn't collapse under the weight of the candy. These boxes are so unique.   What a wonderful way to share the Good News!!! I am really impressed with the quality of the message and the box itself.  The only negative thing I would say is that they are a bit pricey, but we are considering buying more to give out this year so no child will be without one.   

      The children receiving these cute boxes will have more than a candy surprise inside.  As you open the pumpkin, it has a special note for you to read.  These notes are numbered and will explain the Gospel message in a way that is easily understood by children.  I love how it begins by explaining Christ's love for each of us and concludes with a prayer of salvation. This box-tract is a wonderful way to share Jesus with children and the parents of the children who get them.  








      
     If you do not pass out candy on Halloween, you can use these adorable box-tracts in other settings such as a youth group gathering, Sunday School, or when visiting hospitals or nursing homes.  Who doesn't like getting a treat? I love how versatile they are.  

     Would you like to know more about this company and their products?  I would encourage you to visit their website Let the Little Children Come or their Facebook page.  They have so much to offer. 

     We also have some more reviews of Is There Anything Better Than Candy? Box-Tract over on the Homeschool Review Crew website. Come on over and see what others are saying about this resource. 


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