Just Being Us

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

Friday, August 24, 2018

Friday Favorites!


      Today is our final day for the Homeschool Review Crew Blog Hop.  I want to finish by sharing our favorite school supplies.  Let's talk about these amazing things we can not homeschool without. 

     Our Bibles are the most important thing we have in our homeschool.  I can't imagine going one day without reading God's Word and applying it to our lives.  We have found that His Word is the lifeline of our homeschooling days.


     There is one website we use each and every day.  It is SchoolhouseTeachers.com.  This site is full of so much curriculum for grades K-12. From math to science to electives like foreign languages and drama/speech,   I can't possibly tell you how awesome it is.  I would highly encourage you to follow the link above and see for yourself.  It is worth every penny and then some 😊

     
     Our homemade chalkboard is a great asset to our homeschool.  We mainly use it for Latin, Math, and Bible classes.  We have also used it to help remind us of important dates or events.  It hangs on our living room wall and looks amazing since we made it ourselves with a beautiful picture frame.  We just painted the glass in the frame with chalkboard paint, let it dry for 24 hours and now we use it on a daily basis.  It cleans up really easily and is not chipping at all.  

     Our learning games make school fun.  We try to take a few hours a week to play games.  They can teach logic, math skills, reading and much more.  When your kids are having fun, they don't even realize they are learning.  It's a great way to teach good sportsmanship and character as well.  

     If you ask our youngest what school supplies she can't do without she will immediately say her art/craft supplies.  She uses her markers, colored pencils, gel pens, and paints almost every day.  She loves being creative and I love watching her create.  
     Here we have two things we use.  Our kitchen table and our science equipment.  We love experimenting and we love doing it as a family.  That is why we love the kitchen table so much.  It allows us to gather together and learn as a family.  I think I learn just as much as the kids some days. 
     We love our essential oils. They help to keep us alert and focused.  Our home always smells so good.  

     We have recently added a letter-board to our homeschool. We enjoy changing the message a few times a week and it helps remind us of quotes or Bible verses that build our character.  It's a lot of fun to use and gives us an outlet to be creative. 
     Last, but not least, we have our morning basket.  This little basket helps us start our mornings on the right foot.  We have our daily devotional in there along with our planner, things we are memorizing, and sometimes a little activity.  Mornings really do set the mood for the entire day.  It's important to start them out with a good attitude.  

     I hope you have enjoyed seeing some of the things that help our school run smoothly.  We have seen our list change many times over the years.  What are your must haves?  We would enjoy reading your list 😉

     Would you like to read some wonderful blogs about homeschooling and family life?  Here are a few to get you started.  

Wendy @ Life at Rossmont 
Yvie @ Gypsy Road


Please join us for the final day of the Homeschool Review Crew Blog Hop!!!

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Thankful Thursday


     Today on day 4 of the Homeschool Review Crew Blog Hop, we are focusing on being THANKFUL!

     First I would like to thank you for taking time to read my posts.  I love being able to share my heart with you. I pray for those who read my blog everyday.  I hope that I can encourage and support you in this journey called life.  

     I would also like to thank my family for allowing me to share our stories with you all.  They are so sweet when I ask them to help me with a post or when they let me take countless photos of them.  I appreciate them so much.  They never let me down.  

     My final thank you for today is to my Lord and Savior.  He has given me so much.  He guides me, gives me wisdom and strength, and reminds me each day why I do what I do.  Thank you Jesus for your love, grace and mercy.  I know that without You, I am nothing.  You are my Rock and my Protector.  I can do all things through YOU! 

     What are you thankful for today?  Please share in the comments today.  I would love to hear what you are grateful for.  

     If you have time, head on over to these amazing blogs and read some great posts on family, homeschooling, and parenting.   




Come on over and join us for the blog hop :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Work It In Wednesday!



     On day 3 of the Homeschool Review Crew Blog Hop, we are going to be discussing how to work things into our homeschooling day.  As a mom who is very serious about almost everything she does, I didn't need to work more subjects or electives into our days.  Instead I have always had to work hard to add fun to our schedules.  

     When I first started homeschooling in 1998, I felt like I needed to be stern not fun.  I wanted my kids to be learning all they could.  There was no time for fun and games.  We only had so many hours in a day and I was determined to fit all the learning I could into each of those minutes.  Well, as you can imagine, school was not a fun time for my kids.  As a matter of fact, I am sure they felt like they were pinned down for 8 hours a day with no time for play.  THAT HAD TO CHANGE! 

     One day I looked at some photos I had taken of my children during school time.  They were not happy.  I missed seeing those smiles that they had before school got in the way.  I had to make some adjustments.  There had to be time for FUN!  I began researching and found that kids learn much better when they are allowed to have plenty of time for play.  I had to add some time for fun during our school day.  It didn't take long for those smiles to return.  They no longer dreaded school time.  We could learn and have fun too.  

     Here are some ways I added fun to our days:

  • We would have Bible challenges to see who could answer the most questions about our lesson first.  
  • We would play games... lots and lots of learning games.  They have so many that teach math, phonics, geography and spelling.  
  • We would go outside for class.  The fresh air and impromptu races would make them happy. They never knew what would be happening next and loved it. 
  • We loved to take nature walks. Instead of learning about God's creation from a book, we took long hikes and found that we would learn more from experiencing God's wonderful world instead of just looking at facts in a book.  
  • We would take surprise field trips.  Heading to a museum or park for the day sure made learning more exciting for them. 
  •  We would take days where we would learn tasks like sewing, cooking, mechanics, and much more. It was great! 
     These are just  a few of the many ideas we implemented and school became something the kids looked forward to.  They were thrilled to be learning.  I was happy that they were enjoying life.

     How do you fit fun into your school schedule? I would love to hear ideas from you 😊

       Would you like to read some great blogs from homeschooling families just like you and I?  Head on over to these wonderful blogs and see what they are doing in their homeschools. 

Jennifer @ Dear Homeschooler
Kellyann @ Walking Home ...


We would love for you to join us for this blog hop!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Take A Look Tuesday!


     Our 2018/2019 school year began on August 6th.  This year we only have two kiddos that we are homeschooling.  Our other four children have graduated.  It's sort of weird only having two, but at the same time it is very relaxed. Josh is a Freshman this year and Hope is in 6th grade, so technically we have no more elementary aged kids.  That makes me a little sad, but at the same time I am so happy they are thriving and growing. 











     We are trying a few new things this year.  All our math classes on are online as well as Joshua's science class.  He is also taking some wonderful classes from CodeWizardsHQ.  He has been given a scholarship from them and is doing great!  

     I love our new schedule.  We have been doing some wonderful electives like Latin and Logic together.  It's more fun to work as a family to learn new things like these.  We have our agendas posted on our school cabinet and it can be changed whenever we need to change it because of the wonderful world of post-its. We can switch classes around or add/remove classes when needed.  It gives us freedom, but with structure.  I don't like to follow a strict time schedule but it's good to see what you would like to accomplish for each day. We try to get everything done before my hubby comes home from work so we can spend the evenings together as a family. 


     Another fun addition to our home is my little office nook.  I have always wanted a little place to be able to write where it is quiet and peaceful.  I was able to obtain that this weekend.  We turned our little laundry nook into my "office".  It is very nice and I love it!  I love my hubby for making it happen for me.  I have my blogging calendar, a shelf for my essential oils, my diffuser, a dry erase board, a cork board, a lamp that hooks up to my phone to play audio books or music and a cool blue office chair (thanks IKEA).  It's not big, but it's mine :) 


     So far the year is going well.  Two weeks in and we have gotten a lot done already.  We are looking forward to learning much more together.  I love watching my children grow physically, emotionally and spiritually .  They are such a blessing to me.  

     I pray you have a great school year. I hope you also enjoy reading other blogs that share about their homeschooling journeys like the ones listed below:
Christine @ Christine Howard 
Dawn @ Schoolin' Swag 
Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning




We would love to have you join us over at the Homeschool Review Crew Blog Hop!


Monday, August 20, 2018

Motivation Monday!!!!!


     Good morning! I hope you had a wonderful weekend with your beautiful family. Today is Day One of the Homeschool Review Crew Blog Hop. On Motivation Monday,  I want to spend a few moments reminding you how important it is to lean on the Lord as a parent and homeschooling teacher.  

     I have been homeschooling now for over 20 years, and believe me when I say there have been many days I felt like quitting.  The devil would lie to me and say "You are not enough for these kids... You can't teach them what they need to know."  I would feel defeated and overwhelmed... BUT GOD.... He would then remind me that even when I wasn't enough HE WAS ENOUGH.  He would give me the knowledge and wisdom I needed to be the mom and teacher for my children.  He would bring dear ones to help fill in the gaps.  I wasn't alone in this endeavor.  

     All that was required of me was a willing heart. I would have to listen to the Holy Spirit for guidance and be willing to ask for help when I felt I wasn't able to do something.  I would have to be humble yet confident in my homeschooling abilities. I would have to lean on Him.  He would never leave me.  I just needed to trust that He would give me all I needed to do what He called me to do.  

     So, today I want to encourage you to lean on Him.  You've Got This!  With God all things are possible!  No matter what comes our way, He will help us see it through.  When we feel overwhelmed and anxious it may be because we are not leaning on Him, but instead trying to do it alone.  That will always frustrate us.  We have to know that alone we are incapable of being the parent and teacher our children need, but with Christ we can accomplish what we need to do.

     Each morning, try to get up a little before your kiddos and have a time with the Lord.  Pray and ask Him to give you the patience, strength, and wisdom you need.  Read the Bible and find verses that will encourage you along the way.  Don't try to do this alone.  Allow others to help you when you feel frustrated or overwhelmed.  Be willing to let the schedule go on some days and just be with your kids.  You are mom first and teacher second 😊

Here are a couple my favorite verses to help encourage you today.
  
    What words of encouragement do you have for other homeschooling families?  We would love to hear from you.  


Each day I will be featuring some of the wonderful Homeschool Review Crew Blogs along with the ones linking up to the Blog Hop. I hope you enjoy reading these amazing blogs and posts that will encourage you on your homeschooling journey. 


 Amanda @ Hopkins Homeschool
Annette @ A Net in Time 
Ashley @ Gift of Chaos

Come on over and join the Blog Hop fun
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Friday, August 17, 2018

Homeschool Review Crew: Our Review of God Schooling


     Have you ever asked the question "Am I doing this right?"  I know I have more times than I can remember.  Homeschooling is such a blessing, but it can be quite intimidating as well.  I was so thrilled to be able to review the book God Schooling: How God Intended Children to Learn from author Julie Polanco.  I knew this book would be full of encouragement and wisdom from this wonderful homeschooling mama. 


     Julie Polanco is a mother of 4 and has homeschooled them from the time they started school.  She had her first graduate in 2016, so you can be confident she has seen it all.  Her knowledge and honesty comes shining through as you read how she has struggled and thrived in her endeavor to school her children at home.  She is real.  I love how open she is and how she doesn't pretend to have it all together.  She leans on Christ daily in order to have the strength it takes to homeschool her kiddos. I absolutely love the articles I have read of hers in The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, and my son loved taking her botany class on SchoolhouseTeachers.com. She is a blessing in many ways! 

     When I opened the book, I saw it was divided into two sections. Part one is about dispelling myths.  She gives Biblical references on how we should be teaching our children through natural learning and shares how to motivate your children to learn on their own.  It's important for them to be self-motivated to learn and develop their talents that the Lord has given to them. Part two is putting the words of wisdom found in part one into practice as your child grows.  

     I have read many other books on homeschooling, but this one is unique.  I found it to be inspirational.  Each chapter ends with study questions for you to think over.  I felt like she really wants to help families to have a peaceful homeschool where children can learn and explore the talents God has given to them.  We are not an unschooling ( an educational method and philosophy that advocates learner-chosen activities as a primary means for learning) family, but I will implementing some of the wonderful ideas I learned in this book.  I believe we can all learn from each other and this book is an example of that. We may not want to do things just like another family does it, but we can learn new ways to do things that may be a good fit for our family as well.  

    As a mom of six, I can tell you that each stage our children go through is a challenge.  From preschool to elementary years to high school, there are always new issues that can arise.  This book helps guide you through those changes and gives practical advice.  I am excited for a few friends to be able to purchase this book next month.  I know they will appreciate the words of wisdom that Julie shares with us.  

     I would encourage you to check out this book and other things Julie does on her website or by visiting her social media pages below: 

     We have more reviews of this book over here 
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God Schooling: How God Intended Children to Learn {Julie Polanco Reviews}
Go grab a cup of tea or coffee and a few little treats and relax as you read through them 😉

Have a great weekend!!!


Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Starting Your Day Out on the Right Foot



     Each day is a new beginning.  We have choices to make every morning we wake up.  We can choose to be positive or negative.  We can see each day as a blessing or we can complain about everything.  We can be a calming influence in our homes or we can be a grumpy Gus.  

      So how do we start our day out on the right foot?  You set the tone of your entire household by your attitude and outlook on life. I believe if you can do these five things each day, you will have a more peaceful home.  

  1.  Get plenty of rest.  This may mean going to bed a bit earlier than you already do.   If you have little ones keeping you up at night, this is even more reason to head to bed as soon as you can.  Don't stay up to complete chores and tasks, instead put them on your to do list for the following day, and allow yourself to rest so you will feel better and be able to have a more positive outlook.  
  2.   Give yourself a few moments to spend with the Lord each morning.  This may be just a few minutes or so, but you won't regret beginning your day reading/listening to God's Word, praying, or even just listening to a worship song as you get dressed or prepare breakfast for your family.  When we put God first, everything else seems so much easier throughout our day.
  3.   Make your bed.  I know this doesn't seem important, but it can set the pace to your entire day.  I always feel better knowing my bed is neat and tidy and ready for me to snuggle into at bedtime.  
  4.   Get dressed.  Don't lounge around in your pajamas all morning or you may never get out of them.  Set a few minutes aside to get dressed, brush your teeth and hair, and maybe even put a little make up on.  You will feel better about yourself if you do these little things for YOU!
  5.   Eat!!!  Eating a healthy breakfast will help you have more energy and will help your mood as well.  When we are hungry, we get grumpy.  Our bodies need fuel to function.  Grabbing a bowl of cereal or a protein bar may make your day go much better than if you forget to eat.  
    
     I realize that this list isn't really new to anyone, but we need to hear it often as moms, so we can remember to follow it.  

     I also know what life is like with small children.  I have 6 kiddos, and the first three are only one year apart from each other.   I remember what life was like during those first years.  I wish someone would have told me to do follow a list like this when I was a young mom. Maybe things would have gone more smoothly for me.  I may have had a better attitude.  I might have been more positive.  Grumpy Gus may have taken a backseat to Happy Harriet.  I didn't realize that I was setting the mood of our home. Now that I am 42 years old, I see how important it is for me to take care of myself in  order for me to be able to take care of my family. 

    Our youngest 3 have a more calm home to grow up in because I have chosen to be more positive and to take care of myself better. They enjoy the fact that mom isn't as grumpy as she use to be. I have made it a priority to be a good example for them and to give them a peaceful atmosphere to learn in.  It's all about your attitude and outlook each morning.... TRUST ME!  

    So how will you begin your day?  Give these things a try and let me know how it goes.  




Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Homeschool Review Crew: Our Review of Home School in the Woods


     Our youngest daughter loves to learn with hands-on activities.  That is why we love Home School in the Woods and were so excited to be able to review one of their Hands-on History Activity-Paks.  We got to review The New Testament activity-pak and love it!  

     Home School in the Woods is a hands-on history company that brings history to life for students.  Their activities reinforce what is being taught.  Our daughter has never been excited to learn about history until we found these amazing products.  Now, it is a breeze getting her to sit down and do her history lesson.  


     In this particular activity-pak, we were able to sit down and discuss Biblical history.  From the birth of Jesus to the journeys that Paul took during his life, this resource is filled with knowledge and wisdom of the New Testament scriptures.  

     As we sat down to begin this pak, we saw right away that it included making a lap book (which Hope has always loved making) an armor of God activity, postcards from Paul, and New Testament News activities.  She couldn't wait to get started. Recently she has shown more interest in learning more about the Bible and all that it has to teach her in her own personal study time, so this was great timing!  

     Before we did anything, we built our lap book.  This is where we will be including our projects that we work on weekly.  




     When we received this wonderful resource, we were technically on Summer break, but we were happy to work on this.  These projects are not like normal schoolwork.  They are so much fun that you forget you are learning.  

     



     When you complete each activity, you place your cutouts into baggies, so they can be placed on to the lap book when you are ready to put it together.  We are almost ready to begin assembling our lap book and will post pictures when we are done in a couple of weeks 😊  We didn't want to rush through any part of this amazing curriculum.  So much to absorb and learn!!

     Do you have a child who loves hands-on activities?  If you said yes, this may be a great fit for your family.  No more whining when it's time to learn about history.  Lots of fun but educational activities to keep them busy as they learn. 

     Would you like to learn more about Home School in the Woods? Just visit their website or their social media pages listed below: 

     We also have more reviews of this product along with others like Hands-on History Lap-PaksProject Passport World History Studies, and a few more over on the Homeschool Review Crew site.  Just follow the link below 
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Hands-on-History, Project Passport, À La Carte Timelines and Time Travelers {Home School in the Woods Reviews}
Have a wonderful day!
God bless you!!!