Just Being Us

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

Thursday, August 20, 2020


Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

     Over the last few weeks, we have had the opportunity to improve Hope's writing skills by using Structure and Style® for Students Year 1 Level B. This amazing curriculum comes to us from the Institute for Excellence in Writing®. Structure and Style® for Students is a program that brings a successful solution to your writing lessons.  It is guaranteed!!!!  Our family has used their curriculum in the past and we were thrilled to be chosen to receive and review this set. 

     This basic writing package includes:
  • Student Packet
  • Binder
  • Teacher's Manual
  • 24 videos with subtitles

     Structure and Style® for Students Year 1 Level B  is geared for students in the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade  It consists of 9 units that will take about 24 weeks to complete. The 9 units in the book consist of: 
  • Note Making and Outlines
  • Writing from Notes
  • Retelling Narrative Stories 
  • Summarizing a Reference
  • Writing from Pictures
  • Summarizing Multiple References
  • Inventive Writing
  • Formal Essay Models
  • Formal Critique

     The Teacher's Manual is a great addition to this set. This book consists of an introduction, scope & sequence, a schedule that is adaptable, and an outline of the units you will be studying.  As you go through the manual you will see what is expected each day.  It gives answers to questions and ways to prepare for each unit of study.  You have everything you need to help teach this course.  They do give suggestions on how to add grammar to your program, but it is not necessary.  The videos that go with the program will do most of the work for you.  It will be up to you and your child's learning level to determine how much you will be involved in each unit study.

     Hope has been doing most of her work independently, but I have been checking in on her once a week while she is listening to the videos.  She also brings me her work each day so I can look over it. When I asked her if she liked the program she said yes.  Her comments were all positive.  She said she feels like it is done well and doesn't rush her through each lesson.  She likes the teacher and said he is very good at teaching how to enjoy writing. 

      I have seen her working and taking notes as she watches the videos.  She seems very interested and focused.  When it comes to writing she usually doesn't care for it, but I believe this course will give her a new love for writing and she will be able to do it well when she finishes the course.  I love how they teach writing skills in a way that makes students excited to try.  They encourage creativity along with skills. 

     This program has lived up to the others we have completed in the past and we look forward to using more of their courses in the future!!!  

     Would you like to know more about the  Institute for Excellence in Writing®? I encourage you to check out their website and social media pages listed below: 

     We also have more reviews of this course and others over on the Homeschool Review Crew site.... Just click the link below 👇👇👇👇

Structure and Style® for Students Year 1 Level A, B & C {Institute for Excellence in Writing® Reviews}

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!!!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2020


Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

     With the Presidential Elections just around the corner, I was so happy to be able to receive and review U.S. Elections Lap-Pak from Home School in the Woods. This will most likely be the last study we will be able to use from this amazing company as our youngest is growing up quickly and getting too old for their wonderful hands-on studies.  

      The hands-on activities in these projects are a great way to keep your child focused on the subject you are learning about.  I love how you can adapt these studies for many age ranges.  This particular study could be done by doing a lap-book, a booklet format, or a full-size binder format.  We chose the last one.  We still were able to do the hands-on projects, but we display them in a different way. 

    The  U.S. Elections Lap-Pak is very unique. It is geared towards grades 3-8.  You will learn all about the election process and how the government works.  There are 21 Project Masters.  Each has an audio lesson for you to listen to or you can read it for yourself.  We decided to listen to the audios as we read along.  The projects are fun but educational.  Here is the list of sections you will be learning about:
  • Definition of election
  • Different forms of Government
  • The American experiment
  • The 3 Branches of Government
  • Suffrage
  • Who do we vote for?
  • Terms of office
  • A handful of political parties
  • Caucuses and primaries 
  • National conventions
  • The Presidential Campaign
       - Platform
       - Stump Speaking
       - Media
       - Campaign Advertising
  • Raising Money
  • Statistics
  • Election day
  • The Electoral College
  • Inauguration day
  • The Electoral Race
  • The Vocabinet

     I feel that Hope learned quite a bit about the election process that she didn't know before.  The lessons are detailed but also fun because you get to be creative as you go along.  She loves to color, draw, and put things together, so anytime you can bring those things into other subjects, she is a happy girl.  

     I asked her what her favorite part of making this notebook was and she said learning about how the presidential candidates campaign for the elections.  She had no idea that so much thought and energy went into getting votes.  She said it seemed like a lot of hard work for many people especially the candidates who had to give endless speeches.  I asked her if she would ever want to do something like this and she said "No, I am too afraid of speaking to lots of people like they have to do".  

    If you have a student who enjoys learning with hands-on activities that bring out their creative side, then Home School in the Woods would be a great tool for your homeschool.  Would you like to know more about them? I would encourage you to check out their website and social media pages listed below:

We also have more reviews of this resource and many others over on the Homeschool Review Crew website. Just click the link below:

Election Lap-Pak, Benjamin Franklin, Timeline Collection, Time Travelers U.S.History and Make-A-State Activity-Pak {Home School in the Woods Reviews}

Homeschool in the Woods is running a giveaway until the end of August 2020.  Giveaway: A free copy of our Greek Life! File Folder Game when you use the code TOSGameNight at checkout. No purchase necessary.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Letterboard Fun!

     Recently we have bought a letterboard.  I saw so many people having fun with them on many different social media pages, I had to find out why they were so popular.  It didn't take long for me to see what was so intriguing about them.  They are fun and a great way to get creative while you remind your family and friends about favorite quotes or just leave little notes for them to read. In fact, our youngest daughter loved mine so much she asked for one of her own as an early birthday present.  I couldn't say no 😉  

     What is awesome is that her and I can share our letters, numbers, and icons.  It has been a fun experience as we change our boards and enjoy talking as we come up with what we want our boards to say for the day.  She is so creative and she inspires me to be creative as well.  

     I want to share some of our creations with you today so you can see how these can be used on a daily basis.  I am thinking of getting one more that is a little bigger to post our weekly Bible verse for our homeschool Bible class.  They are so versatile! 

     If you are like me and you love to share little quotes with loved ones, this is a great purchase.  They can also be used for little reminders, schedules, or menus. The list goes on and on.  

     It is relaxing for me to put ours together each day and gives me a creative outlet.  I love to find things that help me to de-stress and this is working out great.  I never thought I would enjoy something like this, but I am really loving it.  

     I encourage you to check out one for your family.  They have many different sizes and colors to choose from.  There are also different icons and letters that you can buy to add your own little flair.  It's a great way to show your creative side.  

      Have a great weekend!!!! May God bless you and your family!