Just Being Us

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

Friday, May 31, 2019

Do They Need Limits?


     There are many reasons why we should limit our children's screen time.  I think our main reason in our home is family time.  If we are all engrossed in looking at a monitor, we won't have time to talk with one another, play games,  and just enjoy each other's company.  

      I also believe that we should restrict device usage because it can keep our children from exploring other things.  They need to use their imaginations.  Their bodies need to move and play.  They can get so absorbed in watching TV or playing video games that they sit in one spot for hours and hours.  That is not healthy.  

       Do you have any behavior problems in your home?  Do you know that the games they play or not moving around can cause some issues in our kiddos? Do you know it can cause them not to sleep well at night?   I had no idea that using these devices too much could cause so many difficulties for kids. Now we have implemented limits so we can resolve  some problems we were having and it has worked for us. 
       
       I think there is balance in everything, so device usage is just another issue we need to fine tune until we feel comfortable with our choices for our family.   We should never push our opinions onto others.  We need to realize every family has different needs and they should make these choices for themselves.   

      In our household, our children earn screen time.  They have to complete tasks in order to get "tickets" to play on their gadgets.  It was not a popular idea at first, but they have fun with it now.  Mom and dad just had to resolve not to back down.  We do have special allowances for family movie nights or family game nights where we need to use the TV or video games.   Our new van also has a DVD player that they enjoy so we don't have restrictions on it.  

       I wanted to share our plan of attack to reduce the usage of devices in our home and give you an idea of how you can do it too if you feel this would be right for your clan.  We have our list of  ways to earn tech tickets. These are not difficult jobs, just ways to reinforce good behavior and manners.  They know if they do what they are suppose to do, it will be easy to acquire their tickets. They can earn up to  3 1/2 hours daily.  The tickets have to be used the day they are earned.  You may be thinking that is a lot of time, but being homeschoolers, 3 1/2 hours is only a small part of their day at home.  They usually spend an hour watching TV and then they have video games or computer time to use up the rest of their time.  Our daughter also has a tablet that she uses to play videos for her DIY projects so she loves having time on it. 
  
Our list!
limit

We have fun tickets we print and laminate so we can reuse them daily. 


      You can also take away tickets throughout the day if your child behaves improperly.  They need to realize that screen time is a privilege not a right.  We never want to allow our children to have an attitude of entitlement.  That is why this system works well for us in many ways.  

        I hope this has been helpful for you.   I would also like to share a PDF copy of our system for you to use in your homes if you think it would be a good fit for your family.  To save and print, just click on the link below the image 😊





      

       



Wednesday, May 29, 2019

HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW: Our Review of Supercharged Science


     For years my family and I have enjoyed the free online classes offered by Supercharged Science, so you can imagine my excitement when we were chosen to receive a year subscription of e-Science Homeschool Science Curriculum to review.  I couldn't wait to dive into all the fun but educational classes that Aurora Lipper, the founder of Supercharged Science, had put together for us to learn from.  I knew my kids would have fun with the hands on experiments while gaining knowledge of basic science.  

     Aurora Lipper is a former Mechanical Engineer and NASA scientist.  Her love for science and teaching is what urged her to begin these classes.  It was upsetting to her that kids were not enjoying learning in their science classes.  She wanted to make it so kids were excited to learn again.  These classes are an excellent tool to teach basic science but in a way that kids don't even realize they are learning.  It is enjoyable.  Your kids will be giggling and learning at the same time as they endeavor to complete the hands on science activities.  No more complaints of being bored 😉

        Once you log on to e-Science Homeschool Science Curriculum, you will be able to choose how you would like to navigate the classes.  You can navigate by topic or grade level.  We chose to navigate with grade levels, but looked over the topic section as well.  




     There are 20 units available to choose from on the topics page and these topics will range for grades K-12. If you are unsure what topic is best for your student, you can navigate through the grade level page so there is less guessing if the topic and activity is age appropriate.  

     Let's look at the topics this site  includes:  
  • Mechanics 
  • Motion
  • Matter 
  • Energy 1
  • Energy 2
  • Sound
  • Astrophysics
  • Chemistry 1 
  • Light
  • Electricity
  • Magnetism
  • Alternative Energy
  • Thermodynamics
  • Electronics
  • Chemistry 2
  • Life Science 1
  • Life Science 2
  • Biology 1
  • Biology 2
  • Earth Science

     So many great topics to choose from aren't there?  We want to share a few of our activities we did during our review time.  They were so much fun!!!

     Our favorite activity was from our Earth Science class.  We were trying to see if salt could be used for heating and cooling.  With a few household supplies, we learned all about endothermic and exothermic reactions. We took epsom salts and heated them in a 450 degree oven for 30 minutes.  After pulling them out, we placed the salt into a cup and added water.  Almost immediately we felt the cup heat up considerably that was our exothermic reaction.  We used the same amount of non heated epsom salt and water in a different cup and it began to feel cool within seconds.  That was our endothermic reaction.  I was very impressed with this little experiment and the kids were talking about it for hours. I don't want to say anymore about it, because Aurora explains it so well in her class. 


OUR SUPPLIES



OUR HEATED EPSOM SALTS



Our finished projects.
The one on the left is COLD
The one on the right is HOT
     We also will share a little experiment about inclined planes, but we don't want to give the "magic" away so you won't see our finished product.  This activity taught us about energy and my kids had a blast doing it.  

     We watched a video and read a sheet on energy then answered some questions to help us understand energy better. It was very informative just like all of the topics here on Supercharged Science.  








     I can't say enough good things about this science curriculum.  If you have children who enjoy hands on activities or who are bored with their current science curriculum, I would highly encourage you to check out these classes!!! Aurora is an amazing teacher who keeps your child's attention while teaching them all they need to know about the topic at hand.  

     You can check out these classes on their site or you can follow them on their social media pages listed below: 






We also have more reviews of this online resource over here
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e-Science Homeschool Science Curriculum {Supercharged Science Reviews}

HAVE A BLESSED DAY!!!


Thursday, May 23, 2019

HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW: Our Review of Typing Tournament Online



     In a world where technology is all around us, I feel it is important to give our children the tools they need to be able to use it well.  Part of that is learning to type, so I was pleased to find out we were chosen to review Typing Tournament Online from EdAlive.  We were given a year subscription, so I know our daughter will be able to learn all she can with this program. In addition to the Typing Tournament Online, we were also given a year subscription to their program Maths Invaders Online, but our review will mainly focus on the typing program. 








     EdAlive is trying to make learning fun for students.  Through games and fun themes, they are able to keep your child's attention in both of these programs.  They have no idea they are learning along the way.  My daughter has tried other typing programs in the past but got bored too quickly and would quit.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that she would sit and play these typing games for at least 30 minutes at a time.  She is just beginning to play around with the math program so I may be doing another review for it in the future. 

     The typing program is geared towards children 6 and up, but I have to admit I tried it myself and had some fun with it too.  Hope is doing great!  She is learning good posture and hand placement as she types.  She is getting faster every time she uses it.  She was frustrated at first because she hates to make mistakes, but this program is teaching her it's okay to make a mistake, just fix it and go on.  







     Typing Tournament Online has a medieval theme and it is very colorful.  I love that it keeps track of her progress.  If you have already mastered a level, it does allow you to move ahead.  That is a huge plus in my book.  If you  know how to type, but just want to get improve your skills, this program allows for that.  You don't have to go through all the basics again if you already know them. This program is accessible 24/7 so your student can work on it anytime they want. Hope loves getting certificates, so you can imagine how happy she was when she completed a lesson and was awarded a certificate that she could even print out.  I am looking forward to seeing how fast and accurate Hope will get over the next few months.  We have already seen a lot of improvements.   





     Would you like to learn more about these programs?  I would urge you to check out their website and follow their social media pages listed below: 




    We also have more reviews for these programs from real homeschooling families over here
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Typing Tournament & Maths Invaders Online {EdAlive Reviews}
HAVE A GREAT HOLIDAY WEEKEND!


Tuesday, May 21, 2019

HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW: Our Review of Big Bible Science



     My kids have always enjoyed learning Science through experiments.  They like hands on activities and it helps them to remember what concept they are going over.  Recently we were given the opportunity to receive and review Big Bible Science from Christian Focus and the kids have been having a lot of fun learning while experimenting.  

     This book is full of many learning activities for ages 7-11, but my 14 year old enjoyed many of them also. You will begin reading with an introduction to let you know what will be taught and how this book will stir your child's imagination as you go.  This is designed for homeschoolers, but I feel anyone could use this book.  The experiments are not difficult and gathering the items you need is easy.  Most of the things needed were right here in our home.

     After the intro, you will read how to make the most out of each lesson and what the chapter components are. Next there is a page of safety rules that will keep your children safe while the experiments are completed.  I enjoyed the section that talked about Notebooking.  So beneficial for students learning science concepts.  I also love that is is based on the BIBLE!  Each chapter focuses on the Biblical Science.  Your kids will learn God's Word right along side of scientific laws and theories. 

     There are 21 chapters and each include a few activities to reinforce what is being taught.  At the end of the book you will get to read through quite a few mini biographies of Scientist such as Benjamin Franklin and Isaac Newton.   This book is packed full of so much learning in just 95 pages. 

     I want to share a few of the experiments my kids did. 

     This one focused on Newton's Second Law of Motion.  In this experiment they were learning about acceleration and mass.  They found that the more mass something has the more destruction they cause on the other end.





     The next one they did was on Newton's Third Law of Motion.  They proved that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction by doing the balloon launch experiment.  





     The final one I want to share is their experiment with the Water Cycle.  Here they learned that a dish with two teaspoons of water left in a warm light will evaporate much quicker than one left in shade.  



     Let's just say we have a lot fun with this book so far and we will continue to use it this summer.  I am excited to get to the chapters on the body.  Those have some great little activities to do. 

     Would you like to learn more about this resource and others from Christian Focus?  I would encourage you to check out their website and social media pages listed below: 





We also have more reviews for this product and a few others over here
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Big Bible Science, Elizabeth Prentiss, God is Better than Princesses,  God is Better than Trucks. {Christian Focus Reviews}
HAVE A GREAT WEEK!!


Thursday, May 9, 2019

HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW: Our Review of Vocabulary Virtuoso PSAT-SAT Book 2


     I can't believe our son Josh will be finishing the 9th grade in just a few short weeks.  Soon he will be taking his SAT test and I was worried if he would be ready for the Verbal section.  I was happy to hear we were chosen to receive and review Vocabulary Virtuoso PSAT-SAT Book 2 (Grades 8-12+) from The Critical Thinking Co.  We have used their resources before and I knew this would be a book to help him get ready for his upcoming test.

     The author of Vocabulary Virtuoso PSAT-SAT Book 2 is Nancy Forderer.  She is a retired teacher who enjoys tutoring, writing, reading and traveling. She use to teach Language Arts to young people and has a degree from the University of Toledo.  I feel she did a great job with these lists of words found in this vocabulary book.  Josh was challenged but not overwhelmed. He has been reading since he was three years old, so it is a bit difficult to find reading or spelling resources that are not boring for him.  This book was a great fit! 




     This book consists of 20 vocabulary lists along with 5 review pages.  Each list has 9 words and 85% of all the words included are on the PSAT or SAT lists.   As you read through the words you will find that each list emphasizes one part of speech.  Each lesson comes with a pronunciation key, the definition of the word, other word forms, and a sentence showing how the word can be used.

     After you go over your list of words, activities will follow that reinforce learning the words in context.  I especially enjoyed the fictional stories that are included in the activities.  Your student will learn 3 concepts as they interact with you.  These concepts are Literary, Rhetorical, and Historical.  The review lessons ensure mastery of the words and are placed after every 4 lessons.  

     I asked Josh if he felt he was learning new words and definitions while working through the book and he said yes.  He also said that he is improving on his writing skills.  The more words you know, the better your writing will be he says. I couldn't agree more.  

     Here are a few examples of the pages he has completed.  He has also received  a perfect score of  100% on all of his vocabulary tests on Fridays, where we have used the words from each lesson. 




     If you have a son or daughter who are planning to take their PSAT or SAT tests, or who would like to brush up on their vocabulary skills, I would encourage you to check out this resource and the many others from The Critical Thinking Co.  You can also follow them on their social media pages listed below: 







*****SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT*****
     Between now and 12/31/19 The Critical Thinking Co. is offering you a special deal.  Look at this great offer 
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We also have more great reviews for this resource and many others over here
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Critical Thinking, Math, Vocabulary & Writing Skills {The Critical Thinking Co. Reviews}

HAVE A BLESSED WEEKEND!