Just Being Us

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

Friday, April 21, 2017

Let's Talk About Attentiveness

     


     Today we are going to be talking about Attentiveness.  Before we can teach our children to be attentive to our voice, we need to be sure that we are listening to our Father's voice.  There are many ways to listen to our Savior's voice.  We can do it by reading God's Word, praying and just taking the time to hear from Him.  In order to be good parents, we must be continually asking our Father for his guidance and support.  He is the ultimate example of an awesome father.

     Children need to learn to be attentive to our voices so they can learn to be attentive to the Lord's voice as well.  Our kiddos need to know that when we talk, it is very important for them to listen and really hear what we are saying.  As you start attentive training, it is good to have your children repeat what you have said to them to be sure they were listening with an attentive ear.  Do you want to know a little secret of mine....When I really want my kids to hear me... I whisper.  It gets their attention very quickly.  They know that if mommy is whispering, she wants them to listen very carefully.

     A fun way to start teaching in this area is to play a game of Simon Says.  It is a game that makes them listen with intent.  They need to know when to do something and when not to in order to win.  Have fun with it.  You can even use Simon Says during clean up time or during bedtime routines.  They will enjoy spending time with you that is relaxed and fun instead all about getting something accomplished.  You will feel better too.  No yelling :)

Attentiveness begins by asking God for a hearing heart.

Here are some great FREE PRINTABLES on Attentiveness!














Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Homeschool Review Crew: Our Review of Readers In Residence Volume 1 (Sleuth)


     For a couple of years, my precious little girl struggled with reading.  We tried many different avenues to help her learn to read.  I was frustrated. She was upset.  It wasn't an easy time for us. 

     THEN, one day it was like a light bulb went off.  She finally understood all the things we had been going over. All those phonics lessons and memorizing sight words paid off.  She was a READER!!!!  I think I cried a dozen times that day.  They were tears of joy.  My girl was no longer struggling in this area.  She went from reading stage 1 books to reading full chapter books in a short 6 months.  

      You can imagine how excited we were to be picked to receive and review Apologia Educational Ministries new homeschool reading curriculum Readers in Residence Volume 1 (Sleuth) by Debra Bell.  We love learning fun and educational ways to study books. 



      This curriculum teaches our children how to really dive into the books they read.  They are taught how to comprehend and understand what they are reading. It has a very unique way of guiding them through the process.  

      The All-In-One Student Text and Workbook is a great resource to walk you through how to examine a book from cover to cover.  The six units include:
  • Unit 1: Sarah, Plain and Tall
  • Unit 2: On Your Own Historical Fiction
  • Unit 3: Charlotte's Web
  • Unit 4: On Your Own Animal Fantasy
  • Unit 5: Because of Winn-Dixie
  • Unit 6: On Your Own Your Choice
      You will have to purchase the three books mentioned above in order to have them on hand for the unit studies.  We already had two of them so that worked out well for us.  

     Right away, my daughter loved this study.  She loves a good mystery and looking for "clues" to find out how to tell what a book is about was fun for her.  I loved how excited she was to learn how to become an expert reader.  

     


     As a planner, I really appreciated the daily schedule that came included with the student text. The schedule is for 32 weeks total, and I think it works out just perfect for the amount of work that needs to be completed.  During our review time, we were able to get through the first 6 weeks of the schedule as we worked for 5 days a week instead of the four that are recommended. The student work is broken up into modules then sections, and as you can see from the schedule above, you usually complete 1 to 3 sections each day. After you complete an entire module you will go through a checklist and you will be giving points based on how well your child completed each item on the checklist. This will help you see areas that may need more work before moving on. My daughter, who is in fourth grade, didn't have any problem finishing her daily schedule and didn't feel overwhelmed at all.  



     I asked Hope what her favorite part has been so far, and she said it was making the cover of her own book that she will be writing. She looks so happy with her idea.

     This curriculum is good for kids who need help with reading comprehension or children who would like to be able to better understand books they will be reading throughout their lives. It will help them build larger vocabularies.  I feel this will help Hope be able to get a better grasp on what she reads in God's Word, as it teaches ways to study the text, characters, and meanings behind the words on the page.  I feel teaching how to study is an important part of educating our kids.
   
     If you would like to read some more great reviews of this product, please come over to the Homeschool Review Crew website and see what others have to say.

     Have a blessed day!!!!

     


Friday, April 14, 2017

Help For Your Child That Fidgets


    We have a very active twelve-year-old son.  He has a hard time sitting still and is constantly fidgeting with everything within his grasp.  It can be very trying for us to get him to focus.  

     Recently we had been looking into getting him a cube that is good for children who fidget. They can be pricey, but it seemed like a good fit for him. We were so blessed to find one at our local $5 & Below store.  

     The minute he took it out of the box, we knew he was going to enjoy having it.  What really impressed me was the fact that he didn't touch anything at the grocery store that day.  Instead, he focused his attention on the cube.  He keeps it in his pocket and when he feels the need to fidget, he pulls it out and it keeps his mind and hands busy.

     The cube has 6 different sides with different activities.  


 
     The Pros of this little toy:
  • Keeps his hands busy when we are out and about
  • Keeps him focused as I teach or as he is listening to online classes
  • Seems very durable and well built
  • Small enough to place into his pocket
  • He can use it anywhere 
   
    The Cons:
  • Can get a bit noisy when he clicks it over and over
  • Will irritate siblings if they are in earshot of it all day long


     


     I was happy to see this have such a positive effect on him.  I am glad that we found something that is helping him to concentrate.  There are days that I see him struggling and it hurts to see him like that.  I feel anything we can do for him is worth any price or effort on our part.  

     Do you have a child that fidgets?  How do you help them to focus and keep their hands to themselves?  I would love to hear from you. 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Do This In Remembrance of Me


     During my morning devotions, I read through Luke 22. This chapter of the Bible talks about the Last Supper.  During this meal, Jesus tells the disciples what He is going to do. He talks about the sacrifice that He will make. Even though they do not fully understand it, they know He is teaching them something very important.

     I always tear up when I think of the sacrifice that Jesus made for me.  As Easter approaches, I tend to get more emotional. Just imagining what my Savior did for me makes me want to do everything I can to serve and obey Him.  

     In our churches today, we remember what Christ did for us by taking communion.  It helps to remind us of the tremendous things that He endured in order to make a way of salvation for all those who believe on Him. I don't think I have ever taken communion without tears streaming down my face.  I can't help but think about what He went through that day.  The pain, humiliation, and separation he must have felt. I have to stop right now to say;  "Oh Lord, thank you for Your body that was broken for me.  Thank you for Your blood that was spilled out for me."  

     As I sit here writing this, I am crying.  I am also reminded of the song by Steve Green called Broken and Spilled Out.   

     Jesus gave his own life that we might one day live in eternity with Him.  All we have to do is BELIEVE.  


      Do you know He loves us even though we fail Him?  The grace and mercy that He pours out on us every day are so great. How can we show our gratitude for His amazing grace?  We can show it by obeying His Word. We can show our gratefulness by turning from our sins and living lives that are pleasing to Him. We can share Him with others. We can love on others just as He does. He is so good to us.  

      

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Homeschool Review Crew: Our Review of Web Design {CompuScholar, Inc.}


     My son, who is a Junior in high school,  was excited when he heard we were chosen to review the  Web Design course from CompuScholar, Inc. CompuScholar was previously known as Homeschool Programming. 

      He loves to learn all he can about computers. Web design was one aspect he had not studied before.  I knew this would be a good fit for him. 

     


     So what is required to begin this study:
  • A student that can:
          1. Use a keyboard and mouse to select and run programs 
          2. Navigate application menu systems
          3. Can interact with their operating systems
          4. Should be able to load and save files on hard disk
          5. Should be able to use built-in operating systems.
  • A computer that has internet access


      Right from the start, my son told me he liked the ease of use.  It was not difficult to sign in and the website was easy to navigate.  This is important for students.  They need to be able to log on and go right to the lesson they are on for the day. 

     The course covers these topics: 

     For a complete course syllabus and planner, you can visit the link posted on the web page Web Design.

      Before doing this review, I sat down with my son who is doing this course and asked him to give me a list of pros and cons.  I was pleasantly surprised to see his list.  There were many pros, but not one con.  Here is what he listed on his list:

  • The course is very informative
  • Everything is explained step by step
  • It is simple to use.  You don't need an extensive background in computer to use this course
  • The tests and work are easy to complete as long as you read the text and watch the videos.
  • You don't need a high-powered computer to run the program
  • He loved how they taught you to file exploring and organization
  • He liked the fact that they frequently reminded you to backup your data
  • He said this course was much better than any other ones he had checked out before
     As I went over the website, I too found it easy to navigate. I liked the fact that you can pick exactly what chapter of the course you want to study for the day.  If you are already proficient in one area you can choose another chapter.

  

     Along with Web Design, CompuScholar also offers other courses like Digital Savvy and Java Programming.  These are just a few of their wonderful online classes.  If you would like a full course overview and more information on how this works,  you can visit their site CompuScholar, Inc.  

   Each course has a list of prices with two types of subscription plans being self-led or teacher-led. They also allow you to choose the monthly or yearly plan. My son, because of his grade and age is following the self-led option.  I like the fact this site offers two options for families. I love the flexibility!

    CompuScholar has a wonderful and informative website, but they also offer some great knowledge on their Facebook page CompuScholar Homeschool and on their Twitter account HSProgramming.  I also enjoyed watching some of their videos on their You Tube Channel Homeschool Programming, Inc.


    I encourage you to check out this site if you want to obtain better computer skills or if your child is interested in Computer Science. These courses are great for junior high or senior high students, but if you are an adult that would like to learn more about these subjects it is wonderful for you too.  I know I have learned quite a bit from watching my son take his classes.  

     If you would like to read some other reviews on this product and others from CompuScholar, Inc., please come on over and check out the Homeschool Review Crew website.  




     

Friday, April 7, 2017

Our Homeschool Calendar


     When we began homeschooling 19 years ago, I was very rigid with our schedule.  I would try to follow the calendar of the local school district.  I didn't realize how much frustration it was bringing to our home until I read an article on being more flexible with your homeschooling calendar.  

     It was like someone took the blinders off. Could we really have a more relaxed agenda? Could we take days off to do family activities? The answer was YES!!!!  That day was a turning point in our homeschool.  

      I was excited to read about the 6 weeks on, 1 week off schedule.  It was a perfect fit for our family.  It took the pressure off of me and the children.  Our homeschooling days became more peaceful. We had something to look forward to and it made our household less stressed.  

      Here are our reasons we loved this set up:
  •  During our week off, I would have time to catch up on household chores.
  •  We could schedule family outings around our week off. 
  •  It gave us time to relax after working hard for 6 weeks. That 1 week off, made a huge difference in attitudes.
  •  It gave me a week to make out our assignment sheets for the next 6 weeks. 
  •  We felt more in control of our schedule.

     The only negative to this schedule is a shorter summer break, but honestly, summer breaks were always too long anyway.  After 7 or 8 weeks off, my kids were bored and looking for things to do. This new schedule gave them intermittent time off during the entire school year where they could have fun and not have time to get bored with their toys/games.  

     Lately, I have been reading about some new schedules families are trying like 4 weeks on, 1 week off, or 6 weeks on, 2 weeks off.  I am happy to see homeschoolers finding what works best for their family and not worrying about what others are doing.  It's important to find your niche.  I feel it makes for a happy home.  



     What schedule works best for your family?  I would love to hear some different ideas.  
 

     

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Purposing To Honor Your Marriage



      Lately, I have been seeing more and more people becoming very selfish.  They do not want to serve others. They want to please themselves first and foremost.  This way of thinking can be detrimental to a marriage.  If we only think of ourselves, our marriages will more than likely fail.  

     The dictionary defines honor as highly valuing something or someone, or to regard with great respect. Our spouses should feel the honor we have for them. They need to know how much we value and cherish them. We must show them with our words and actions. 

     One of my favorite verses that Paul writes about marriage is this: 


     In these verses found in Hebrews 13, Paul is talking about the sacrifices that please God.  So that tells me that God is happy when we honor our marriages.  He will bless us for being obedient to His Word.  

     So what does honor in a marriage look like on a daily basis? I think it is all about priorities.  We must set out to put our spouse's needs above our own.  Our mates desire to know how much they are loved and cared for.  It's up to us to figure out how to show them.  

      Do you know your husband or wife's love language?  Do you know how to fill their love tank?  If you can not say yes to both of these questions, I encourage you to get The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman.  This book will help you to identify what your spouse needs from you in order to feel loved, honored, and respected.  

     I feel the most important way to show honor to our marriages is to recognize that you entered into a covenant. This covenant is intended to be a lifelong relationship.  When you took your vows, you promised before God, your spouse, family, and friends to always be together and to love each other unconditionally.  If we place a high value on these promises, we will be able to withstand the storms of life.  

    How will you purpose to honor your marriage today?