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Just Being Us
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Friday, August 20, 2021

HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW: OUR REVIEW OF It's NOT Greek to Me!

I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew

     I love spelling, vocabulary, and writing, but not all my children have. I was always concerned that they wouldn't do well in these subjects when they did their yearly achievement testing. I tried using a few different curriculums with my hesitant learners, and eventually, we found something for each one. That is why when I see amazing programs like this for homeschooling families, I get excited.  It's NOT Greek to Me! from Ready to Teach is a Greek vocabulary program that will help strengthen your child's vocabulary skills.  When they have better vocabulary skills, they will excel in other subjects as well.  I would have loved to have this resource years ago.  I am happy to use it with my 14-year-old daughter now. 


     
     It's NOT Greek to Me! is different because of the way they teach. They use Greek morphemes to teach vocabulary in a new way.  Greek morphemes are parts of a word originating from the Greek language. The program involves over 200 small word parts that eventually help to construct word meanings. This way is more challenging and a more fun way to learn vocabulary words. When things are learned in this way, your child will have an easier time remembering them long term.  Our children are capable of learning and retaining more vocabulary words than they realize. We just need to help them unlock a way to do it. 




     This set includes:
  • A softback Student Book
  • A softback Instructor's Manual
  • A flash drive
  • A hole punch 
  • A binder ring
     The Student Book is a single-use workbook that is about 112 pages long. It has 12 lessons, a Greek morpheme index, and color paper for study cards. I like that after every 2 lessons there is a review as well. 



     The Instructor's Manual is about 126 pages and includes:
  1. Introduction, background, and lesson plans
  2. Greek Morphemes, Lessons 1-12, and Words Worked Keys
  3. Review activities, keys, and a Serial Mystery Story
  4. Lessons tests, review tests, and all test keys 
  5. Greek morpheme index and a section all about the author Dr. Alene Harris



     The flash drive has a PowerPoint for each lesson. They are very informative and make learning more fun for your student.  The hole punch and binder ring will help your student keep their lesson cards organized and together.  




     The best part of this program is that your student gets to work at their own pace.  I think that is a great plus to learning for many students. They don't feel like they are being rushed. They can take their time with each lesson and really allow it to sink in. 

     We have been working through the lessons together.  I actually thought it would be fun to learn alongside my daughter. We are learning some new words along with the meanings of root words that will enhance our knowledge of vocabulary.  Our favorite part of the lessons is the PowerPoints.  They are very creative and help reinforce what is being taught in the workbook. The study cards make it simple to go over the words we are learning. I asked Hope what her favorite word was so far and she said eumegalobibliomaniac. You may be wondering why this is her favorite word.  It is because she is one.  She is a eumegalobibliomaniac.  It is someone who enjoys reading long books. She has a library of over 300 books in her bedroom.  Needless to say, most are over 300 pages long and yes she has read most of them. 









   
     Would you like to learn more about It's NOT Greek to Me! I would encourage you to go check out their website or read the reviews over on the Homeschool Review Crew site.  Just click on the image below 👇👇


 

                              Learn Greek Vocabulary with Ready to Teach

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW: OUR REVIEW OF The Fallacy Detective


 I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew

      I believe it is important for our children to be able to logically think through things. They need us to help guide them through ways to make good decisions. Books like The Fallacy Detective can help parents in this endeavor.  I was more than happy to receive and review  The Fallacy Detective by Nathaniel Bluedorn and Hans Bluedorn.  

     

     In this 262-page softback book, your child will learn all about how to recognize bad reasoning. This book is geared towards students age 12 and up. I believe it is a good fit for adults as well.  A fallacy is an error in logic. This book will allow your child or you to spot bad reasoning, put a higher value on good reasoning, and learn how to avoid errors in their own logical thinking or reasoning. 

     

     The book is broken down into 5 parts including:
  • The Inquiring Mind
  • Avoiding the Question
  • Making Assumptions
  • Statistical Fallacies
  • Propaganda
It concludes with the Fallacy Detective Game.... we haven't gotten there yet as we are working through the book first. In the game, you will be making up your own fallacies. Points are given for different things like writing the best fallacy and such. The one with the most points at the end of the game wins. It will help you strengthen your skills in recognizing bad reasoning. 

     When my daughter first opened the book, she saw all the little cartoons throughout.  She said, "Hey this is going to be a fun book."  I giggled and we read the introduction together.  I asked if she thought it was still going to be fun and she said "Yep, I love learning how people think."  She is a very logical thinker.  I knew she would enjoy learning more on the subject. 

     Together we would read through the lessons. Then she would do the questions on her own and we would discuss them. I think my favorite chapter so far has been chapter 3. It discusses the importance of reading or asking other people's viewpoints on subjects.  I do think it is crucial to see things from all sides. We don't want to have tunnel vision.  We want to see the entire picture.  It also discussed why it's valuable to ask wise people their viewpoints and get their advice when making a decision.  


     Hope's favorite chapter so far is chapter 7.  Here they talk about the Ad Hominem. This is an attack on an opponent's character or motives based on what they believe about something instead of disproving their argument.  Hope said she learned we should never discount someone's argument solely based on a certain character flaw or another belief they may have.  You need to focus on the subject at hand and do your own research. 

Would you like to learn more about this book and other resources like The Fallacy Detective? I would suggest checking out their website or social media pages below: 



We also have more reviews of this book and Archer and Zowie over on the Homeschool Review Crew site. Just click on the image below 👇👇👇👇👇

                                   Hans Bluedorn Brings us Fallacy Detective and Archer & Zowie

10 Ways to Encourage Your Child To Learn {Free Printables}


     After having six kiddos and homeschooling for 24 years, I have found ways to encourage learning in our home.  It was by trial and error, but we have a system that works for us now.  We still tweak things here and there, but for the most part, these are the ten things we have found that help us most:   

1. Pray before you begin your school day. Everything is better when we give our day to the Lord.   

2. Speak words of affirmation over them.  Show them that you are happy with their hard work.  If they feel that you appreciate their effort, they will continue to try hard.  

3. Turn off the television and/or game consoles during school hours.  Most children do not learn well with distractions.  

4. Read... read....read!  We have found that reading aloud or listening to audiobooks is conducive to the atmosphere of learning. 

5. Take breaks throughout the day.  Sitting too long can cause our children to get antsy.  They need to run off steam so they can concentrate better when they are doing their schoolwork. 




6. Allow your children time to focus on things they enjoy learning. We all have subjects that interest us and when they can learn what they love, it inspires them to study it.

7. Give incentives.  If your child does 30 minutes of math that he is struggling in, reward him with 30 minutes of video/computer time. It helps encourage them when they see that hard work pays off.  

8. Visit your local library frequently.  Our kids love being surrounded by books as they learn. It also gives them a different venue and that can be inspiring in itself.  

9. Play soft classical music.  It actually stimulates your brain and relieves stress which is very helpful when studying. 

10. Talk with your children weekly.  Make sure they are not having any issues.  If they are having difficulties with certain subjects or other things outside of school/home, it can affect their learning ability. Stay in tune with your kiddos!  




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     When my kiddos were little they loved to have little charts to help them remember what they were supposed to do when they woke up and before bed. I had fun making these little printables for you to use in your home to help your children learn how to take care of themselves and stay on track in their morning and evening routines.






To download and print these, just right-click on each image and choose "save image as..."





  




Friday, August 13, 2021

HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW: OUR REVIEW OF The HomeScholar LLC

I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew


     As a mom, I remember being so frightened by the idea of homeschooling all the way through high school when we started homeschooling 24 years ago.  Now that we have 4 of our 6 children graduated, I look back and wish I would have had a program like the High School Solution from The HomeScholar LLC to help guide me through those years of angst.  I still have 2 children in high school now so when I was chosen to receive and review the  High School Solution I was more than happy to try it out. 


    The minute I saw the site, I was happy.  Such pretty colors and easy to navigate.  I was intrigued to see how this site can help homeschooling mamas and papas feel better about the high school years.  Once I logged on with my username and password I was taken to a dashboard.  You then will see the program that you will be working through.  In my case, this was the High School Solution part of the site.  They have a few other courses for parents but we will be focusing on this one. 



    High School Solution is an online training tool for parents to become more confident as they homeschool their older children. It will help you educate with the assurance that you are capable of doing it with excellence.  You won't have to be anxious anymore. You will have videos, audio, pdfs, and much more at your disposal.  



     At first, you may feel a little overwhelmed with all the information available to you in this tool kit.  The first thing you need to watch is the Preparing to Homeschool High School Online Conference.  Here you will see why you don't need to fear these upper grades and how to do it effectively.  Lee Binz will walk you through all you need to know.  She is an excellent speaker and will encourage you as she speaks of her family and how she was able to homeschool her children all the way through to graduation. 




     There is so much to tell you about this resource.  It is broken down into 4 sections for you to work through. The 4 Core Modules are: 
  • How-To: an overview of what it takes to homeschool high school
  • Ages: information for each grade starting in middle school
  • Stages: instructions on key stages of high school
  • Curriculum: how to choose the best curriculum for your child's needs
     
     So far I have gotten through the first Core Module and let me tell you... if you plan to homeschool your child until they graduate, you need this resource on your list of must-haves for homeschooling. I wish I would have had this about  14 years ago.  It would have saved me from many nights of crying and wondering if what I was doing was going to help my children get the best education they could. I remember praying and praying for guidance and the Lord helped me through it all, but with a resource like this, I would have had more confidence and less stress.  

     Along with the Core Modules, you will also receive Resource Packs. These will serve to help guide you more through information on how to motivate your child, planning guides, teaching the spiritual side of your teen, and much more. We also got bonus packs that I haven't even gotten to really peruse yet.  I really can't wait to see what they all have to offer.  The e-books alone will keep me busy for a while.  

     So are you ready to feel less stressed about the high school years?  I would encourage you to check out this amazing online resource today!  Along with their website, you can also connect with them on their social media pages listed below: 





We also have more reviews of this program along with a few others over on the Homeschool Review Crew site. Just click on the image below 👇👇👇👇👇     
 

                                   Homeschool High School to College with The HomeScholar

Friday, August 6, 2021

HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW: OUR REVIEW OF Dyslexia Gold

I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew

     As a parent of a child who learned to read late, I know how frustrating and upsetting it can be. The good news is that there are more programs out there now to help parents in this area.  One of those programs is Dyslexia Gold.  They not only help your child learn to read, but they also help those with dyslexia learn powerful new ways to learn to read. There is a dyslexia screener to help you assess your child. 

     I was given this program to do an informational review as all my children are too old and excellent readers at this point. I wish I would have had this program when a couple of my kids were younger.  It would have made life a bit easier during reading classes. 

     Right from the start, you are given a reading test to see where you are.  Then you begin the program.  The program I was given had 4 parts.  Engaging Eyes, Fluency Builder, Spelling Tutor, and Times Table Tutor.  Each is an online program that is designed to help your child learn to focus better. This program stands out because it goes beyond phonics and tries to address and resolve underlying problems that keep pupils from reading fluently. 

     The first one I tried is the vision training one called Engaging Eyes.  You will need 3-D glasses for this program and I was sent a pair from the company. However, I had some issues when using the glasses due to migraines, so I didn't get to really test that part of the vision training as much as I would have liked to.  I did get to play some of the games like Whack an Alien and Speed Fix.  These games are designed to help teach kids how to keep both of their eyes focused on the same object.  I can see where this would be very helpful for most children who are learning to read. 






 
     The second program is called Fluency Builder.  I played this game a lot to get a feel for how it was working. I thought it was well put together and even had my daughter play around with it for a few minutes.  She said it would have been a great tool for when she was trying to learn to read.  This section teaches with Phonological Awareness.  Your child will learn to hear different individual sounds that make up words such as C-A-T.  There are little games you play throughout this program that make it fun.  It will keep your child engaged and focused. The little stories were educational and fun to read.  The only thing that bothered me was the changing volume of the different voices that were used to say the words. 





     Spelling tutor is a great tool! It teaches with repetition and uses over 1000 words.  You will need a pencil and paper for this section or a dry erase board.  You will be reading through some stories one page at a time.  You will be paying attention to grammar and spelling.  After you read through them, you will go through it again only this time someone will be reading to you and you will write out what is being said. After each little section of the story is read, you will assess what you wrote and see how well you did.  I think this is a great way to teach some spelling skills along with some punctuation and capitalization rules.  












       Last but not least I tried the Times Table Tutor.  It is pretty self-explanatory.  It helps your child to learn their times tables in a fun way.  You will go through each number one at a time. There are several ways they teach fluency in learning the times tables.  They keep things moving as you play and the faster you are the faster the game goes. So if your child knows one number better than the rest, they will be able to move on quickly to the numbers they don't know well.  





     The program keeps records of your students progress and times they log on.  It is great for parents who need to document things like time or grades.  Each section only takes about 10 minutes a day to complete so an average of 30-40 minutes total a day for your child to learn not only reading but focus and multiplication. 


     Like I said this is an informational review, but I feel like I got to know the program pretty well and would encourage parents of children struggling to read or having issues focusing to check out this program.  I would highly recommend looking over their website Dyslexia Gold  or their Facebook page. 


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

 

                                  Dyslexia Gold

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW: OUR REVIEW OF Help Your Kids Learn and Love the Bible

I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew

     I am always looking for great books to read. I try to read 4-5 a month. I especially enjoy books that focus on Christian parenting.  You can imagine my excitement when I was chosen to receive and review Help Your Kids Learn and Love the Bible written by Danika Cooley and published by Bethany House Publishers

     Danika Cooley is a fellow homeschool mom of 4. She is also an award-winning author whose passion for Christ is shown in her life and anything she writes.  Alongside her husband, they teach their children about God, and as a family, they enjoy memorizing scripture.  She writes an amazing Bible curriculum for families to use as they too nurture their children and teach them to follow God in all they do and say. 



     In this book, Help Your Kids Learn and Love the Bible, you will see Danika's love for teaching children how to live in the world today.  She will give you tools to lead your children as well as encouragement when you feel you are lacking. Her words will help you see how you and your family can become closer to God by reading His word and seeking Him as you do so.  Having a family Bible study will be your goal and she will give you ways to prepare your children for this life.  

     The softback book is about 199 pages long and is broken down into 3 parts:
  • Part One - You're the Leader
  • Part Two - Faithful Reading
  • Part Three - A Daily Walk
     Each section will help you in your journey to becoming a family that loves and serves God.  In Part One she will give you ways to teach the Bible in a way your children will understand. She also gives you ways to find time for you and them to sit down together and learn as a unit.

     Part Two will be your guide in how to teach the Bible. You will be able to talk about who wrote the Bible and why. The discussion will be your best way to impart facts and knowledge about the scriptures.  Let your kids be inquisitive and be willing to answer questions that they have. My personal favorite part of this section is when she talks about not making the Bible allegorical.  We need to present it as it is. Our children need to know the Bible is clear and we don't need to change it in any way to make it understandable.  

     The final part will teach you how to bring the Bible to life for your children.  You can do this by adding fun activities to your Bible time.  Making these activities age-appropriate will be key. Your children will be excited to learn about God's word and will come to family Bible study with joy.  





     I really wish I would have had this book at my disposal when all my kids were little.  I struggled some days to get our family together for Bible time.  This book would have been a great asset for me and I am sure it will help you as well.  I did learn much from reading this and it will help me with my teens as we have a few more years with them.  I am encouraged to keep teaching them and spending time with them discussing the scriptures.  

     Would you like to learn more about Bethany House Publishers ? Here are their social media pages: 
     To learn more about the author of Help Your Kids Learn and Love the Bible, here are her social media page links:

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

Bethany House Publishers

Friday, July 30, 2021

HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW: OUR REVIEW OF Fermentools


I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew
 

     Last year our family was able to start fermenting cabbage to make delicious sauerkraut for our dinners when we tried the starter kit from Fermentools, so you can imagine when we were given the opportunity to receive and review another amazing starter kit, we were thrilled. My kiddos love helping me in the process.  

    The company is passionate about helping families be able to ferment their own veggies and such.  They also make sure each kit is made with quality and in the USA.  They want your experience with them to be the best.  Their kits are inexpensive and their site with recipes makes fermenting easy to do. I have been more than satisfied with their products and ease of use.


     



The Starter Kit includes:
    1 Stainless Steel Lid 
      1 Glass Fermentation Weight
        1 Air Lock.
          1 Rubber Stopper
            1 Rubber Canning Gasket
              Himalayan Powdered Salt
              Instruction Guide and Basic Sauerkraut recipe

                   Last time we made sauerkraut and it was delicious so this time around we wanted to try fermenting carrots.  I followed the recipe on the site and we are just days away from trying them as it takes 4 weeks to ferment for the best taste.  I know my husband is going to love them. Carrots are one of the few veggies he enjoys eating.  

                   It was simple to do. First, we made our brine. We mixed 2 tbsp of the salt provided in the kit with a quart of water.  We then washed our carrots and garlic.  I only used half the garlic require in the recipe because it seemed like a lot for our family. After I placed the garlic in the bottom and the carrots on top of them we added our brine. We then put the glass fermentation weight on top of the carrots and assembled our top.  You place the rubber gasket on first, then the stainless steel lid.  You then add the original lid from your mason jar and screw it on tightly.  We added the rubber stopper and airlock system.  It is easy and doesn't take much time at all.  You will find all the directions you need on the insert that arrives with your kit. 




                   We placed our carrots in a dry sunless part of our pantry and are waiting patiently to eat them :)  

                   The health benefits of these fermented veggies are incredible.  I have been reading many books on the subject and I was just blown away. The greatest benefit is that they are rich in probiotic bacteria.  It is so important to eat foods that aid our body in keeping healthy and happy. I know I want to eat more foods that keep me feeling well especially when we need extra immune support.




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


              We also have more reviews of this product and company over on the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW site. Just click on the link below 👇👇👇👇👇
                                      Fermenting Food Made Easy with Fermentools