Just Being Us

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

Friday, June 29, 2018

Feeling Overwhelmed? What To Do When You Feel Like Giving Up



     "Mom, I lost my workbook."
     "Honey, where are my keys?"
"Friend, will you babysit my kids all weekend?"
"Mrs. Daley, can you cook 48 cupcakes for the church bake sale?"


     From running errands, paying bills, answering emails, responding to texts,  to cooking for our families and cleaning our homes, our lives can get very hectic at times. Then as homeschooling moms, we get to add teaching, scheduling, and grading into the mix.  Day in and day out, we are bombarded with things that can overwhelm us.  So what do we do when we feel so overwhelmed that we want to give up?  You know that feeling in the pit of your stomach that says "I CAN'T DO THIS FOR ONE MORE DAY".  I have been there a few times in our 21 years of homeschooling.  

     When I sit down feeling stressed, I think what can I do to make my life a little less nerve racking and the first thing that comes to mind in those wee hours of the morning is I could send the kids to school.  It sure would take a lot of pressure off of me and I could have 6 to 7 hours of quiet everyday where I could get things accomplished without distraction.  It isn't long before God brings to mind that He has called me to homeschool my children. It is my ministry in this season of life and if anything else is  keeping me from doing it with excellence, those are the things I have to give up. 

     I have had to give up a lot over the years, and I don't regret one thing.  When I felt like our homeschool was suffering due to my outside activities, I had a choice to make.  I could keep trying to do it all and get burned out or I could choose to let things go that were causing my anxiety. 

      I had to say no at times.  I couldn't let anyone take advantage of me just because I was home all day " just doing school".  I had to put our family first. I had to be obedient to the Lord and make sure that my kids were getting the best of me and not what was left over.  

     So, my advice to you is to sit back and look at your day to day life.  Are there things you could give up so that your homeschooling days are not so hectic?  Do you set time aside to take care of you, so you can take care of your family?  Are you able to say no when something may conflict with your homeschooling schedule?  

     Now don't get me wrong.  We still need to be hospitable.  We need to love on others.  We just need to do it as the Lord calls us to.  We need to follow the Holy Spirit's promptings.  If God is in it, we won't feel overwhelmed.  He will give us peace and strength to do what He has called us to do.  It is when we step out and aren't listening to Him that we get into trouble.  Make sure you pray about everything before you say "yes".  

     I hope this post encourages you.  I will be praying for you everyday! Remember to let God have control and make sure you are taking time to spend with Him each day.  He will always be there for you and will never fail you.  



Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Homeschool Review Crew: Our Review of The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective



     My daughter, who is in 6th grade,  absolutely loves art and art history.  She loves to look at paintings when we visit museums. I was thrilled when I found out we would be reviewing The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective from The Master and His Apprentices.  I knew this curriculum would be a good supplemental class for her.  Even though this program is geared towards high school students and can earn them a full art credit, I felt that she would enjoy it also.  




   

   We were given the digital copy of The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective textbook and teacher's guide.  The textbook includes 372 pages of wonderful information about art, artist, Christian history and so much more. I love that it is all taught from a Christian perspective.  There are no nude images and I appreciate that in an art program.  The textbook is broken down for your student by periods of time such as Creation, Ancient Cultures, Middle Ages, Renaissance and so on. It has 19 chapters and an appendix in the back.  This can be used as a full year curriculum or as a supplemental art class. 

    Personally,  I love the timelines that are included in the textbook.  My daughter loved the beautiful paintings throughout the curriculum.  I feel that we learned science along with Art History as we studied the Chapter on Creation, and the historical facts in the next few chapters were so interesting. It's like a Bible study along with historical facts.  I can't wait to see what more they have to offer as we go on.  

     The Teacher's Guide has worksheets, discussion questions and tests that help you to see what your student is learning from the text.  Since we are using this as a supplemental class for a younger student, I felt we could just go over the worksheets together and talk over the discussion questions.  I want to make art exciting for her so we didn't want to push the tests as of right now, but when she is older, we may use this textbook again and the tests will be a good way of finding out how much she has retained.  

     This curriculum sparked many discussions and we both learned many wonderful facts about the works of art and artist.  I loved the way they incorporated the Bible throughout the curriculum. God's creation is amazing and is the greatest work of art.  Many of the paintings inspired our daughter to paint pictures of her own.  

 Here are a couple of examples of her work: 


Psalm 8:3-4 :When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?


Psalm 19:1  : To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.



     I was also inspired to look at the world around me in a new way.  I can't draw or paint very well, so I took pictures of God's amazing handiwork.


     This program will inspire and encourage you to look at things in a new way.  It will help you see works of art and artist from a different perspective. 

     So I have to ask.... Have you had trouble finding a good Art History curriculum?  Are you a parent who would like a modest and Christian based Art History curriculum?  I think this would be a good fit for you.  I would encourage you to head on over to The Master and His Apprentices website and check out their wonderful curriculum.  I was so pleased with each and every page.  


     They also have a couple of social media pages for you to take a look at so you can get to know them better: 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/The-Master-and-His-Apprentices-245504999349223/
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/themasterandhisapprentices/boards/



        You may also want to join us over on the Homeschool Review Crew site and read other reviews of this program.  Just click the link below 
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The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective {The Master and His Apprentices Reviews}
HAVE A BLESSED DAY!!!


Sunday, June 24, 2018

Staying Connected With Our Lifeline

   


  As I sit here in the quiet of the morning, I think about everything I need to get done.  It didn't take long for me to feel overwhelmed.  It was then I realized that I was leaving one important thing out this morning.  My time with Jesus.  How can I expect to complete anything without the strength He gives me?  How can I share Him with others if I have not made time to read His Word, pray and worship Him?  

     I wish I could say that I never miss my time with Him, but honestly I have days that I fail in this area.  Those are the days I feel so frustrated that I want to quit.  Those are the times when I just want to crawl into bed so I don't have to deal with the world around me. Those are the moments that I lose patience with my kids.

    If I forget to spend time with my Lifeline, I can't function.  So why do I do this to myself.  Only one reason comes to mind...... I'm human.  I think I can accomplish things without His help.  I assume that I am able, when the truth is I am NOT able to do one single thing on my to-do list without Him.  He gives me the ability to do what He has called me to do.  

     Do you have days you just feel like you can't go on?  Are you dealing with feelings of being in over you head?  I encourage you to begin to put God number one priority in your life.  Give Him the first fruits of your day. Pray before you even get out of bed. Spend a few minutes reading His Word.  Put worship music on while you are getting ready for your day.  I won't say that your day will be perfect if you do this, but it will be better.  You will find yourself not feeling so overwhelmed and worried.  He will empower you to get through your agenda without feeling like you are drowning.  Let the Holy Spirit lead you. 

      I am not only writing this for you to read.  I am posting this as a reminder to myself.  I want to always be reminded that I can do all things through Christ.  He is my LIFELINE!!!!

Friday, June 22, 2018

Finding Time For Your Spouse


    I know after having children, I was completely uninterested in dating my husband.  I was tired by evening and the last thing on my mind was getting dressed up and going out on a date night with him.  Well, that attitude brought problems to my marriage.  My husband felt like I didn't want to be with him.  He felt that the kids meant more to me than he did.  It was a huge issue.  It was something that I needed to deal with immediately.

      Dating your husband or wife has to be a conscience decision on both your parts.  You have to set a date in stone once or twice a month (more if you can)  and not allow anything to interfere with it.  Children are great, but if you don't tend to your marriage, they will suffer as well.  You must make your spouse a top priority.  They should be second only to God.  A good marriage needs maintenance.  In order to keep the lines of communication open, you both have to have time to express yourselves.  That requires you both making time for one another.  Time to really pay close attention to each others needs.

      Date nights do not have to be a huge ordeal.  Simply going out for a cup of coffee and a walk will suffice.  If you don't have money in your budget for dinner and a movie, just go on a moonlight picnic and sit and talk about your hopes and dreams for your family and marriage.  Just make time for each other.  Sit and listen.... really listen to what your lover has to say.

   Wives, I am speaking to you here for a moment.  You need to be sure you are meeting your husbands needs.  They need you to love on them and care for them.  They want your attention just as much as your children do.  They need to know that they mean as much to you now as they did on your wedding day.

     Husbands, you need to put that phone away, turn off the TV, and really listen to what your wives need from you.  Give them your undivided attention.  Watch her love for you bloom in ways you never expected.

      Go have some fun with the one God gave to you!!!!



Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Homeschool Review Crew: Our Review of Persuasive Writing and Classical Rhetoric


     Our 18 year old son has been interested in writing for a couple of years now. When he heard that we would be reviewing Persuasive Writing & Classical Rhetoric: Practicing the Habits of Great Writers from Silverdale Press LLC, he was intrigued.  He asked if he could be the one to review it.  I was excited that he wanted to be the one to use the curriculum and would be giving you all an honest review.  

     This program takes approximately 36 weeks to complete.  It's perfect to use for a school year Language Arts curriculum.  It is geared towards 14-18 year old students.  The digital program includes a 235 page lesson book, a 202 page student workbook, an 111 page reader, and an answer key for parents/teachers.  

     Here is a look at the table of contents in the lesson book: 





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      Here is my son's review of this curriculum:

     When I started the lessons in the Persuasive Writing and Classical Rhetoric book, I was expecting it to be like other classes I have taken in the past, but this time it was different.  This program has a lot to offer.  They explain everything very well. I had no problem following each lesson.  There are 3 books that correspond with each other.  Each day I would read the lesson and do what it asked.  You may have a speech to read and then a page or so in the workbook along with writing assignments at the end of the lessons.  

     I particularly loved the speeches they had us read because I love history.  The speeches were by important individuals from history and it was cool seeing what they had spoken about.  

     The writing assignments asked us to use no less than 500 words.  This was easy to do with the topics we were given to write about.  The lessons explained was was needed in order to do the writing correctly.  

     Each lesson added something new to learn and new material to read over.  There was no repetition and that was what I liked most.  The questions in the workbook were easy to do as long as you did the lesson and comprehended what was being taught.  I have to say that I don't have anything negative to say about this curriculum. I am enjoying it still today.  
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      Would you like to learn more about this company and their products?  Come on over to see their social media pages here: 

     You can also head on over and read the Homeschool Review Crew reviews of this program and the White House Holidays Unit Studies over here 👇


Persuasive Writing & Classical Rhetoric: Practicing the Habits of Great Writers & White House Holidays Unit Studies {Silverdale Press LLC Reviews}

Enjoy your day!!!


Homeschool Review Crew: Our Review of MaxScholar


     Our youngest daughter use to struggle with reading. She just couldn't grasp phonics rules or sight words for the longest time.  I would have loved having the Reading Intervention Programs from MaxScholar for her back then.  When we were given the opportunity to review this program, I was excited to see how it could improve on her skills.  Our review team was given a year subscription and we will continue to use this program throughout our next school year.  

     So, you are probably wondering what sets this reading program apart from all the others.  Let me tell you that it is different! They use a multi sensory method that is sure to help your child learn to read or improve their reading skills.  This program is geared to help children with dyslexia, ADHD, auditory processing disorders, or children who are just struggling with learning to read.  Even though our daughter can read quite well now, I feel this program is improving her skills in the area of comprehension, fluency, and vocabulary.  



     Setting up our account was easy.  I have a parent dashboard where I can assess how well Hope is doing.  I love being able to see her progress.  Her dashboard is easy for her to use all by herself.  At first she took a placement test for each level.  She tested out of the MAXPHONICS level, so most of her time was spent doing MAXREADING and MAXWORDS.   



     Maxreading has stories that your children will read through.  Once they choose a story to read they open it up and see that certain words are already highlighted for them. They can click on the highlighted words they do not know to get the definition or how the word is being used in this context.  Once they are ready to move on they click next.  They then read through the story on their own. 
  
     After reading through the story, they are asked to highlight the topic, main ideas and the important details of the story.  This helps them to better comprehend what is being conveyed in the story.  When they complete this, they are then asked to write an outline and are given a writing exercise to go along with the lesson.  There are then questions and games to help reinforce what has been taught.  

     There are also four sublevels that can encourage your children to learn more and more. They are MAXMUSIC, MAXVOCAB, MAXPLACES, AND MAXBIOS.  Each of these are fun and education.  They have games to play as you learn about different musicians, places, and important people.  Hope's favorite sections was Maxvocab.  She loved playing hangman as she learned new words.  



      I've never seen a reading program that is so in depth.  They go the extra mile to make sure our children are really grasping all they need to know in order to be fluent readers.  


     Hope just started working with the Maxwords level of the program and we are already seeing her learning all about syllables.  I have never seen this approach and I will be reviewing this part of the program more at a later date.  

     

     Would you like to learn more about this amazing program?  I encourage you to check out their site or their social media pages listed below:

     We also have more reviews for MaxScholar over here
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Reading Intervention Programs {MaxScholar Reviews}
Have a great day!!!!


Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Let's Have Fun Learning!!!!



     During our summer breaks, we still like to set aside some time for educational activities like reading, math games, and journaling.  I think it is important not to let our brains go to mush during the summer months.  Now don't get me wrong, I love to veg out and just relax during this time, but if we do this every day during our time off this summer, beginning school in August will be hard on all of us.   

       Learning doesn't have to be at a desk or table. You can teach your children so much by taking nature hikes, going to parks, camping, or just taking an evening ride on your bicycles.  Take time to enjoy the warm weather and all the beauty that God has surrounded us with during this season.  

       Here are some fun ideas I think may help you make learning fun this summer:

  • You can buy/borrow a book on bugs, flowers, or rocks and head out the door to find some new ones that you can study. 
  •  Plant a garden as a family. You can teach photosynthesis, the parts of a plant and how to grow your own food during this process.  
  • Join a summer reading program
  • Start a family journal of your summer adventures and take turns writing in it.
  • Buy some fun educational games to do as a family on those hot summer afternoons when no one wants to be outside.
  • Make frequent trips to the library. 
  • Visit some museums that have both indoor and outdoor exhibits. You can soak up some sun while learning.
  • Begin learning a new instrument.  You have some extra time to focus on lessons and practice, so why not take advantage of it. 
  • Go on a scavenger hunt. 
  • Work on cooking some new recipes. Be creative and allow the kids to help prepare and cook the meal. Cooking is a great tool for teaching math, reading, and critical thinking skills.  

     Remember to have fun as you learn together and not to take one moment for granted.  In the blink of an eye, your children will be grown. Enjoy them!!!! 


Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Homeschool Review Crew : Our Review of Traditional Logic I


     Recently we were given the opportunity to receive and review Traditional Logic I Complete Set from Memoria Press.  I knew this class was going to be an in depth study into how to think logically and this was one area I felt we were needing to add to our homeschool agenda.  I was so excited to get my package and open it.  Any resources from Memoria Press are always a huge hit in our home.  This one did not disappoint.
    Right away I unpacked the wonderful books that came in the set.  This set included an instructional DVD, workbook, student text, quizzes and tests, and a teacher manual with all the answers and text.  As I opened up the student text to take a peak at what was going to be taught, I became a little apprehensive that our daughter who is now is 7th grade, would have issues understanding it all, but as usual, she did fine.  It took a little more time for her to do each lesson than I thought it would take, but that it because she wanted to be sure she took in all she could from each lesson.  This set is geared for grades 7-12, so if you have a child who struggles a little with reading comprehension you may want to wait until they are a little older to begin this class.  

     The DVD is great!  It is all you need to help your child understand what is being taught in the text.  As a very busy parent, this DVD is such a blessing.  I can let her watch it and she is ready to read through the text and do her workbook.  I love that Memoria Press puts so much thought into their sets.  You can see they have quality materials and really want to help your child learn. 

     Let me give you an idea of what is being studied in the Student Text: 

  • Introduction: What is Logic?
  • Chapters 1-3 will focus on Simple Apprehension
  • Chapters 4-9 will focus on Judgment (Proposition)
  • Chapters 10-13 have you studying Deductive Inference (Syllogism)
  • Chapter 14 is a review chapter
  • In the back you will find a glossary and important people to remember





     Hope loves to sit outside to do her schoolwork, so on days the weather is good here, we do just that. I think it helps her learn.  She is more focused when she is in an environment that she loves.  The workbook and textbook are easy to take with you anywhere you want to study and the DVD plays well on our laptop computer so she enjoyed doing her logic lessons on our back patio table most days.  

     This class will prepare our children to think through things better.  I love the definition of logic by Raymond McCall that states "Logic in general is the science of right thinking".  It brings order to our thoughts and reasoning.  I believe it will help our children to better debate their beliefs with others who do not hold the same beliefs.  I wish I would have had this study for my older children who are now graduated.  I think it would have helped them be better prepared for certain situations they have encountered so far in their lives.  

     I highly encourage you to check out this set on the Memoria Press website and you can learn more about this along with other resources on their social media pages listed below: 


     
     We also have more reviews for you for this set along with some others over here
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New American Cursive & Traditional Logic {Memoria Press Reviews}
Have a great day!!!!


Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Homeschool Review Crew: Our Review of The Critical Thinking Co.™


     I believe that teaching critical thinking skills should be one of the top priorities on our list as we educate our children. I was thrilled to see that The Critical Thinking Co.™ has some wonderful resources to help with this.  Recently we were given an opportunity to review Critical Thinking Detective: Vocabulary   from this company and I was very impressed with it. 


    It didn't take our son long to pick up the book and begin doing the lessons.  He loves to solve puzzles and this book had some wonderful little mysteries to solve.  After each lesson he would ask his big brother to read it and see if he could solve it also.  It was like a game for him.  He was learning critical thinking skills and didn't even know it. 


  
   Critical Thinking Detective Vocabulary can be purchased as an e-book or you can get a paperback version.  My kids like to hold their textbooks in their hands, so we were glad we got to review the paperback version. This particular resource is recommended for grades 5-12.  Our son is in 8th grade and it was a perfect fit for his mind.  I felt it was challenging for him, but not too hard.  He didn't fly through the lessons, but he didn't struggle either.  It did work his mind and improve his skills in this area.  

     This book has 12 cases for your young person to solve.  We did 3 lessons a week, so it only took him 4 weeks to finish the book.  Each lesson consists of  an activity that features 18-25 vocabulary words.  Each of the vocabulary words are important to aid your child in solving the mystery. The reader must analyze each work carefully and determine which suspect is guilty.  It really makes them think through the problems to get the correct answer.  What a wonderful way to exercise their brains! 


     At the back of the book, you will find the answer keys to each case.  It makes going over the lesson simple and grading a breeze.  I always rip out our answer keys before giving the books to my kiddos.  I keep them in a folder so I can keep track of them. 

     Would you like to learn more about The Critical Thinking Co.™, I encourage you to check out their website or their social media pages listed below: 


  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheCriticalThinkingCo



  • Google+: https://plus.google.com/+TheCriticalThinkingCo
  • Twitter: https://twitter.com/criticalthinks
  • Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/criticalthinks/


  •        We also have more reviews of this product along with others including: Understanding Pre-Algebra Something Fishy at Lake Iwannafisha Critical Thinking Detective Book 1 Dare to Compare Level 1 , and Vocabulary Riddles Book 1 over on the Homeschool Review Crew website.  Just follow the link below 
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    Critical Thinking, Understanding Math & Vocabulary {The Critical Thinking Co.™ Reviews}
         
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    Have a blessed day!!!!