Just Being Us

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

Thursday, April 8, 2021



I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

     We were very thrilled to be chosen to receive and review Mastering the TI-30Xa Scientific Calculator: Augmented Intelligence for all 21st Century Students Worktext from Triad Math, Inc.  Our youngest daughter Hope, hasn't worked with scientific calculators much so this was a great addition to her curriculum.  I especially liked that we already had this calculator on hand but if you need to get one,  it is very inexpensive to buy.  


     This workbook is geared towards post-elementary students who have a good grasp of the decimal number system. It includes 25 lessons that will take about 25 hours to complete. The lessons include:
  • Lessons 1-13 are Pre-Algebra
  • Lessons 14 -15 are Algebra
  • Lessons 16 - 20 are Trigonometry 
  • Lessons 21- 25 are Stem

     There are also online tutorial videos to help your student to really understand what they are being taught in the workbook. The online part is called Moodle for Triad Math Inc.  It is very easy to log into and as a parent, you will be able to keep an eye on your student's online grades and progress through the lessons.  

     Hope said she has really enjoyed the program so far and is learning so much.  She said that she didn't realize how easy it is to use a scientific calculator until she started the course.  She said they seemed very intimidating, but with the lessons, she is using it like a pro.  Right now she has completed the first 15 lessons.  In those lessons, she has learned that this calculator is the "PowerTool" of math.  The exercises were simple to follow and the videos helped to reinforce each lesson.  She said she is no longer afraid of using a calculator with so many buttons.  The online quizzes at the end of each lesson allowed me to see if she was understanding what was being taught.  Such a huge plus for a teacher/parent.  From simple addition and subtraction to exponents, each section is remarkable in how it takes on the task of teaching what the student needs to learn.  I wish my other children would have had this resource before taking on using a Scientific calculator.  

     I have been looking over other next lessons that will be quite more difficult, but I am confident that they will be taught in a way that will help Hope understand how to go about using the calculator for these more demanding math classes.  "Dr. Del", the teacher in the videos,  will certainly make it a good experience for his students and Hope is excited to go on to the new lessons soon.  

Would you like to learn more about this product? I would encourage you to check out their website and social media pages listed below:

We also have more reviews for you to read over on the Homeschool Review Crew website.  Just click the image below๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡

Mastering the TI-30Xa Scientific Calculator {Triad Math, Inc. Reviews}

Monday, March 29, 2021

Come Grab Your FREE Daily Planner Pages

     Today I have a freebie for you to help you get organized in the new year.  These daily planner pages will help you stay focused on your goals and plan for your days. 

     I have found that finding balance in being organized and flexible is the key to happy living. We can plan our lives, but leave room for unexpected things that God would have us do.  One example of this is we do school 5 days a week for 6 hours a day, but if a friend is in need of help or support, I am okay with leaving our agenda behind for the day and loving on them.  I won't allow our schedule to keep us from God's plans. 

     I hope these planner pages are a blessing to you and your family.  Have a great day!!!!

Monday, March 15, 2021

God Cares For You! {Free Printable Included}

     There have been times in my life when I have felt like no one really cared for me.  I have felt alone. I have felt disappointed.  I have felt unworthy.  Have you ever felt this way? I think we have all been through these feelings at one point in our lives. 

     Before I walked with my Savior, these feelings were frequent.  I never felt unconditional love until I really knew the love of the Father.  Even when man fails to love me, He is there to show me a love that is never failing.  Even when I fail Him, He is there to remind me that He loves and cares for me.  I don't have to do anything but receive His love.  It is not based on my works or good deeds. It isn't taken away because I mess up.  It is truly unconditional and everlasting.  
     Many people expect us to do things for them, then they give us affection.  God is not like that. He doesn't make us perform.  He just loves us freely.  How awesome is that?!?!  He loves us so much that He was willing to give His only Son to die for us. He wanted to make a way of salvation so that if we believe, we can spend eternity with Him.  He just wants a real relationship with us.  

      I am filled with joy when I think of God's amazing love and grace.  If I didn't have His love, I would be a very sad woman.  See, things of this world will never bring us true joy.  Even the love we receive from people is not enough for our soul, but the love of Christ is enough.  It fills the empty places in our hearts.  It gives us hope.   

     Even though I still have days where I feel like some people do not care for me, I have the promise of God's never ending love.  He cares for me!  He cares for YOU!  He will always be there. All we need to do is love Him, spend time with Him, and accept His infinite love.

     Here is a free image for you to save and print to help remind you that God cares for you ❤

Just right click on the image and choose save image as... 
You can then print it from your computer ๐Ÿ˜Š

Friday, March 12, 2021

HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW: OUR REVIEW OF Excellence in Literature Handbook for Writers

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.

     Writing has always been an important subject in our homeschool.  I love to write and I enjoy teaching grammar and literature.  Teaching someone to write has been a bumpy road for me, but I have managed to get through it.  It would have been much easier if I would have had this wonderful resource from Everyday Education.  The PDF version of Excellence in Literature Handbook for Writers, which was given to us to review,  is an amazing curriculum to teach writing skills to middle and high school students.  Even some college students would benefit from this handbook. 

     This 420-page book is written by Janice Campbell, an incredible homeschooling mom who is influenced by the classical education method and Charlotte Mason method, and Ian Johnston, a retired college professor. Campbell was able to use Johnston's handbooks to come up with this curriculum that will help you and your child learn how to write with excellence.  

     This book is broken into 2 sections.  The first section will provide samples and instructions on how to create arguments and essays.  The second section will cover the mechanics of writing. Your student will learn skills such as: 

1. How to create essays, debates, and research papers that will stand out.
2. How to structure essays paragraph by paragraph
3. How to use deductive reasoning along with inductive reasoning. 
4. How to read and comprehend writings so you can tell about them in your own words you write. 
5. How to create well-thought-out outlines. 
6. How to write a great topic sentence.
7. Uses of punctuation
8. Capitalization
9. Abbreviations 
10. How to know which frequently misused words, such as accept and except, are correct to use in your writing.


     In our homeschool, we decided to dig right into the handbook.  We printed out the handbook section by section as we completed them. The Table of Contents alone is 22 pages.  You see there is so much packed into this handbook, it takes that many pages to tell you about it.  

     Our 13-year-old daughter is the one working through the handbook right now and she said it is teaching her a lot of new skills she hadn't been taught in previous writing classes. The first exercise after reading many pages/samples on argument writing was to figure out if some scenarios were deductive or inductive reasoning.  Some of the examples were pretty deep for her mind, but she got through them. 
     I had her write an argument of her own on a separate sheet of paper to see if she was understanding the curriculum well and I feel she did very well for her grade level.  That is another thing this resource will teach you as a parent.  You will learn how to grade your student more efficiently.  I love that!!  I learned that as the "teacher" I was being a little too critical and I have now learned to be more encouraging as she writes.  

     There are so many ways you can use this resource in your homeschool.  I encourage you to check it out for yourself on their website Excellence in Literature Handbook for Writers or you can connect with them on their social media pages listed below:

     We also have more reviews of this handbook over on the Homeschool Review Crew site.  Just click on the image below. 

Excellence in Literature Handbook for Writers {Everyday Education Reviews}

Friday, March 5, 2021

The Do's & Don'ts of Homeschooling

    I have been homeschooling since 1997.  Our oldest son was just three years old when we started preschool classes with him.  We were young parents and thought the earlier we started the better.  We wanted what was best for our children and we did what we felt was going to help them. 

  After 24 years, I feel I can safely say I know some do's and don'ts of homeschooling.  We have tried and failed in many areas and I would like to share my knowledge with you. 

  I always like to begin with the positives!  Here we go.....

1.  Always begin your day with a word of prayer together.  I feel if we give our days to the Lord, things go better.  We are more at peace.

2. Plan your day.  Have an agenda to follow. We don't want to have a rigid schedule, but we do need a tentative list of things we would like to accomplish by the end of the day.

3. Try to get the more difficult courses finished earlier in the day when everyone is fresh and alert. 

4.   Be patient.  Don't push your children too hard with subjects they are having difficulties in.  Gently guide them and look for new ways to teach the areas they are struggling in.  Be sure they know that you will do anything to help them to learn and that with hard work, they can accomplish any task. 
     {I want to stop here and add if you feel your child has a 
      learning disability, please seek help for them.  Sometimes
      we do not have the knowledge to help our children if they
      are struggling in areas out of our expertise} 

5.   Have fun while learning together.  Make it an experience they will not soon forget.  There are many games and wonderful teaching techniques that make studying more enjoyable for them and you.  


1.   Don't fill your calendars with too many activities.  We have been so busy before that we failed to get any school finished during some days.  I use to feel the children had to have their calendars full, but that only made for frustrated kiddos and one exhausted mama.  BALANCE IS THE KEY when scheduling activities, play dates, and other outside functions. 

2.   Don't worry about what other homeschooling families are doing. Your family is unique.  You know what is best for your household.

3.   Don't allow pressure from family and friends to affect you. Some people do not understand what homeschooling is about.  They may question your abilities to teach your children or say your children need more socializing, but you are in charge of your family.  God has called you to this task and He will equip you with what is needed to accomplish this goal. 

4.   Don't be upset if you do not finish all your curriculum by the end of your school year.  It's not about racing through a book to get it done, it's about learning in such a way that the knowledge is soaked up and remembered.  

5.   Don't fight the fact that all children are different. They will learn at different paces and in many different ways.  It's your job to find out what works best for your child and stick to it. 


     I think the most important book we can study each day is the Word of God.  We should put God first in all we do and then we can finish the race that the Lord has given us to run.  We will accomplish His goals for our lives and isn't that what we want most for ourselves and our children?  When we lean on and trust in Him, we have nothing to fear.  He will direct our paths as long as we surrender our lives to him. 

May God bless you as you seek Him 
in all, you do and say!

Trust in Him as you teach your 
children each day!

Thursday, March 4, 2021



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.

    We have been using resources from Byron's Games for a couple of years.  They have always been made to last and fun for our family. The Family Journal by Byron's Games, did not disappoint. We were so happy to be able to receive it and review it over the last few weeks.  We have had a great time talking through the workpages and re-visiting our family mission statement.  

     This beautiful book is a hardback. It is so shiny and pretty. It has 3 bookmarks inside to help you mark your places each day.  It is 289 pages and each section is different and many are thought-provoking.  You will be visiting multiple pages each day or week.  You will want to keep the planner open to see what is on your schedule and each week you will be meeting together to go over the Meeting Workpages. It will last an entire year!  The contents include:
  • Introduction Guide
  • Missing Statement Guide
  • Mission Statement Workpages
  • Yearly Goals Guide
  • Monthly Planning Guide
  • Monthly Planning Workpages
  • Weekly Meeting Guide
  • Weekly Meeting Workpages
  • Congratulations
  • End of the Year Review
  • Thank You
  • Additional Pages
     Years ago we made a family mission statement, but we haven't really looked at it much over the last few years.  You know how things keep you busy and sometimes even will distract you from what you should be doing on a daily basis. It was good to get that out and go over it again as we talked through the Mission Statement Workpages. 

          We also enjoyed making out our monthly planning pages together.  We had some fun with my planner stickers and got to plan some family days for the month of March.  This Family Journal is just so versatile.  You will be encouraged as you work through it together as a family.  Conversations will happen.  You will be able to discuss how you can be better as a family.  You will be reminded to be grateful.  The talking points will spark some new topics and the activities will bring you closer.  

     I think my favorite Talking Point so far was week 4.  During that week we were prompted to talk about our Family History.  My parents have both passed away, so it was nice to reminisce about them. I was able to tell my younger kids some stories they may not have heard before.  They are now interested in learning more through an ancestry site.  They are 13 and 16, so it is becoming more and more interesting to them to learn more about where they came from.  If it wasn't for this book, we may not have even discussed it.  The activity for that week was a Family Tree which we will be working on more in the future. 

     Would you like to learn more about this lovely book? I encourage you to check out their website and social media pages listed below ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡


     We have more reviews of The Family Journal and Maestro Mastery - Explore the Composers over on the Homeschool Review Crew site. Just click on the image below 

The Family Journal / Maestro Mastery - Explore the Composers {Byron's Games Reviews}

Thursday, February 25, 2021


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.

     Teaching our children to manage their finances is a huge part of their high school years in our homeschool.  We have always just relied on budgeting books, fun fake checkbooks, and fake money, but things are changing so we were excited to be able to teach our son in a different way this year.  We were excited to be able to receive and review  PersonalFinanceLab Budgeting Game, Stock Market Game and integrated curriculum from PersonalFinanceLab.com.  

      When I first opened the program, I felt a little intimidated by the setup, but once I went through the tutorial videos, I felt more at ease.  It looked like a very interesting way to teach budgeting and financial responsibility. As I watched my son play with it, I knew I was right.  They are fun but educational programs. 

     First, let's talk about the Budget Game. In this amazing game, your student will be given a job, salary, and bills that need to be paid.  They will learn how to budget their money and how to be financially responsible by having a savings account and keeping their credit cards in check.  They will learn that overspending will only lead to heartache.  You can set it up for up to 18 months of living, with each month taking about 20 minutes to complete.  It is set up with questions that will get your student involved in real-life scenarios that will benefit them when they are grown and on their own.  They will have to make decisions on when to use their debit card or credit card.  They will have to pay their bills on time.  They will want to build their credit by being responsible.  


   They will receive a weekly paycheck that will show them about paying taxes.  My son was surprised to see how much taxes were taken out each week.  

     Josh has recently become interested in the stock market so this resource couldn't have come at a better time. He was thrilled to be able to learn more about the stock market and even "play" around with it in the Stock Market Game.  During this game, your student will be able to trade stocks.  His first big buy was stocks from Game Stop.  There has been so much about this company on the news, he thought it would be fun to 'invest' in them during his game.  He is having a blast making money as he learns all about how the stock market works.  There are so many wonderful research tools on this subject in the program that your teen will keep busy for hours and hours reading about how things work and what is needed to be a good investor.  

     The only negative thing my son had to say was they he wished they had an app to follow his investments :)   To me, that means he really loves the game and wants there to be more to it.

There are so many ways to learn on this site, I can't possibly talk about them all.  I would encourage you to check them out for yourself on their website.  You can also connect with them on their social media pages listed below. I would highly recommend their YouTube videos!!!

     We also have more reviews for you over on the Homeschool Review Crew page.  Just click the image below ๐Ÿ˜€

PersonalFinanceLab Budgeting Game, Stock Market Game and integrated curriculum {PersonalFinanceLab.com  Reviews}