Just Being Us

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

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW: Our Review of Project Passport World History Studies

     As our family is growing up and changing into young adults I am starting to realize that they will be getting to old for these amazing studies from Home School in the Woods soon.  Our youngest is 12 now and while she still loves hands on activities like the Project Passport World History Studies,  I am thrilled they give you room to adapt the studies to your child.  We were given the opportunity to review the Renaissance & Reformation  study this time and it was incredibly educational and fun all at the same time.   

      We have been using Home School in the Woods for over 3 years and not one study has disappointed us.  This company makes learning history exciting for your children. Their approach to teaching this often dry subject is unique and inspirational.  My children and I love them!  

     This particular study has 25 sections or what they call "stops".  This study is intended for grades 3-8, but like I said you can change it to fit your child and their age.  You begin by making your passport and getting your luggage ready for your trip through this special time in history.  From here on you will be reading about this time period, doing activities that help teach more about it, and watching videos that further your knowledge of the time. 

      My kids use to enjoy making lapbooks, but this time around, Hope decided she was a little too old for this particular activity so we adapted it to fit her age and just had her work on the scrapbook and add all her creations to it as she finished them. If you have a younger child I highly encourage you to make the lapbook with them.  They are so entertaining and educational at the same time.

     I asked Hope what her favorite part of the study was and she said she loved learning about Martin Luther and his 95 Theses, but her favorite part was the art projects they were able to do.  She loves drawing so much.  This study let her do something she enjoyed so it made learning history more thrilling for her.


     I personally like the timeline that you put together on your journey through the time period you are studying.  It is neat to put people and things in order.  It gives you a glimpse into each section of time and how these people or things made a contribution to the era.  

      If you have a child who learns well with hands on activities or one who is having a hard time studying history, I encourage you to check out all the wonderful studies from Home School in the Woods.  I would also love to share a post from their blog that will give you more insight about them.  This one is called How to Teach Different Learning Styles.  It is very interesting. 

     Home School in the Woods also has some social media pages you can visit to learn more about them: 

      Would you like to read more reviews of this resource and many others the Homeschool Review Crew has written this week?  Just click on the link below

World History (Project Passport), U.S. History Studies (Time Travelers) and Timeline Collection: A Collection of Historical Timeline Figures  {Home School in the Woods Reviews}

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Methods of Homeschooling

            There are quite a few different methods of homeschooling.  I would like to focus on five of them today.  No method is wrong or right, it is all about what fits your family.  

     The first method is the school at home method.  This type of homeschool is very organized and even has a special room of the house dedicated to schooling.  It follows a schedule much like a school does, with the exception of time limits.  We use to follow this method, but found that we needed more freedom.  The schoolroom limited our space and we didn't like following a schedule that was too rigid to be obedient to the Lord's plans for our days.  

     The Unschooling method is the exact opposite of the school at home method.  In this method you allow your children to explore learning through life.  There is not a schedule to follow and the kids have more free time. Formal textbooks and workbooks are usually not used.  Many families thrive using this type of homeschooling, but you must have self motivated children for this method to work well.  

     Relaxed or Eclectic homeschooling is used by many homeschoolers.  This method incorporates learning with textbooks/workbooks as well as unschooling in certain areas.  We are using this method now with our children.  I do keep records and we do have assignments sheets that help us keep on track, but we are relaxed enough to veer off the agenda if need be.  Our kids do school all over the house.  One day it may be at the kitchen table, and the next day we may be sitting on the couch.  It just depends on our mood and what we are doing for the day. We have children who are very interested in subjects like art, computer science, and web design, and that is why we know this method is best for them. It gives them time to explore what they love.  It allows them to be creative. They are not confined to just reading, writing, and arithmetic.  They enjoy learning!  It seems to be working great for us and that is what you need to look for when choosing a method.  It has to be good for the entire family.   

     Our next method is unit studies. They use your children's interests to teach subjects like math, reading, spelling, science, art, and history.  There have been a few subjects we have used unit studies with and they turned out great.  If you don't want to use a textbook to teach history, I feel unit studies are great.   Many unit studies can be found free on the internet as well, so it is a great economical way to study subjects.   

     The final method I want to talk about is the Charlotte Mason Method.  In this type of homeschooling the children learn from real life experiences along with living books that make things come to life for them.  They are allowed to create and study on their own.  Children learn from exploring the world through many nature walks, trips to museums and being involved in real life situations.  The children are not tested but rather are assessed by talking about the subjects they are learning on a daily basis.   

       What method of homeschooling do you use with your family?  Do you enjoy your days? If not I would pray about trying a new way and see where that takes you.  

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW: Our Review of Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition.

     We have been using Apologia for Science class for a few years now.  I was so excited to be chosen to receive and review their Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition.  We have been so blessed by their curriculum and this one has been even better than we expected. 

     This basic set includes a textbook, the Student Notebook, a Solutions and Test Manual and a test booklet. I love that the textbook is a hardcover book and is very durable and can be used with multiple students.  The Student Notebook is spiral bound and can only be used for one student, but it can be purchased separately for other students to use in conjunction with the textbook later on.  

    The textbook is about 430 pages long.  It is designed to help your middle school student get ready for the high school Science classes.  I can't tell you how much I love the way it is set up.  It is full of so much wonderful knowledge, activities, and hands on experiments. It also has an agenda already set up that is easy to follow. My daughter loves that she knows exactly what she is expected to complete each day. They have the agenda set up to work 4 days a week and each lesson takes about an hour to complete. 

    There are 14 modules to complete in the textbook that include:
  • The History of Science-Search for the Truth
  • Scientific Inquiry and the Scientific Method
  • Documenting and Interpreting Experimental Results
  • Scientific Analysis and History
  • Earth Science-Astronomy
  • Earth Science-Geology and Paleontology
  • Earth Science-Meteorology and Oceanography
  • General Chemistry
  • General Physics
  • Life Science
  • General Biology
  • Marine Science
  • Environmental Science
  • Science and Creation
     This text is Creation based and will reinforce knowledge of the Bible.  That is my favorite part.  I don't have to worry about my middle school student being taught that other theories are fact.  I believe our children should be able to defend what they believe and this curriculum will help them be able to do just that.  They will be able to defend their faith and belief that God created our world and all we see.  

     The Student Notebook is used in conjunction with the textbook.  It has easy to follow instructions for each day.  Your student will have reading, activities and experiments along the way. They will never be bored with this curriculum. 

      The tests are great, but we do not use them in the traditional way.  Instead we use them to review the modules together and discuss what we have learned from each section.

     My daughter loves hands on experiments.  I want to share a few of the ones we have done so far.  She has loved each one and is learning so much.

     Our first experiment we want to share is Density in Nature.  Here we were learning what happens to 2 items with different densities after placing them in a container together.  What would happen to the ping pong ball versus the 3 ounce fishing sinker? 
Oh and by the way.....everything for this experiment was bought at the local dollar store. 


      Our next experiment was testing out a chemical reaction between copper pennies and lemon juice.  We were pleasantly surprised how well it worked.  Hope is now wanting to make all her pennies sparkle again 😉  We had most of the things required to do this experiment right in our kitchen. 

     After we got them to shine again, we got to make them tarnish again with salt and water.....

     The final experiment we want to share is where we were asked to note changes salt water had on an floating egg.  Would it float more or less when you added salt and more salt?  This was a fun but very simple experiment with all the ingredients right there on hand. 

      I believe Exploring Creation with General Science is a great bridge to help your child to transition to high school.  I am thrilled to have it and can't wait to complete it with my daughter in our 2019/2020 school year.  I highly recommend this curriculum for your children who are starting or going through the middle school grades. 

     Would you like to learn more about Apologia? I would suggest checking out their website and social media pages listed below:

     The Homeschool Review Crew have more reviews of this resource.  Just click the link below.
Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition. {Apologia Reviews}

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW: Our Review of Simply Music

     When I was young I took piano lessons.  They were expensive, but my parents knew I wanted to learn the piano so they were more than willing to sacrifice other things so I could achieve my desire to play.  My daughter has been intrigued with instruments this year.  From the guitar to the ukulele to the piano, she is wanting to learn them all.  I was happy to receive and review the Music & Creativity - Foundation Course from Simply Music.  This is a free online course to help you or your child learn the basics of playing the piano.

     So you are probably wondering what makes these lessons differ from others out there.  I have to say it is the approach that Neil Moore takes on teaching the piano.  He is known for the 'playing-based' learning technique. Neil is an Australian music educator who wants everyone to be able to learn and play the piano.  That is one reason he offers these lessons mentioned above for FREE! 

     The Music & Creativity - Foundation Course  includes reference materials, soundtracks and 19 lessons.  The lessons are:
  • The Basics
  •  Learning Strategy -Learn Slowly , Small Doses, & Control the Events
  • "Dreams Come True"
  • Improvising Eliza
  • Learning Strategy- What to Play/How to Play
  • "Christowel"
  • Learning Strategy- Using the Pedal
  • "Black is Blue"
  • Accompaniment - "Dreams Come True"
  • "Night Storm"
  • "Deep Valley" & "Dark Valley"
  • "For Augus"
  • "Ode to Joy"
  • Accompaniment - "Happy Birthday"
  • "Hunter's Blues"
  • Accompaniment - "Honey Dew"
  • "Blue Jay"

     Within just a couple of lessons, you will be playing songs! You will feel such a sense of accomplishment.  My daughter was so excited to sit and play through a song in such a short time. 

    The lessons can run anywhere from 3 minutes to 16 minutes long.  They are informative and Neil Moore keeps your attention.  They also include soundtracks that you can play along with as you advance.  The Reference Book and Practice Pad are very helpful as you endeavor to complete the lessons. 

      I was impressed with the pdf that is included titled Music and the Art of Long -Term Relationships, The Key to Staying Committed. This 84 page book speaks of the importance of follow through.  Once you start something you must remain diligent to complete it and do it well. 

     Simply Music also offers the Foundation Enhancement course for $35.  These lessons will further your knowledge of the piano and how to play it well.  You will see on their website that they are planning many new courses in the future and I will be checking those out from time to time as we want to keep learning with this amazing technique.

     Do you want to learn to play the piano?  Do you have a child that is interested in lessons?  This free online course will help you to decide if the piano is for you.

     I encourage you to check out the  Simply Music website and their social media pages listed below:

      You can also come over to the Homeschool Review Crew site for more reviews of this resource.
Just click on the link below ⇊⇊

Learn to Play the Piano with Music & Creativity - Foundation Course {Simply Music Reviews}


Thursday, July 11, 2019

Homeschool Review Crew: Our Review of The Heart Changer

     I have always enjoyed historical fiction especially when it is Biblical as well.  I was excited to receive and review The Heart Changer by Jarm Del Boccio, Author.  I know it is geared towards 7-12 year olds, but I loved reading it.  

     The Heart Changer is written by a special woman named Jarm Del Boccio.  She is inspired to write by what she encounters along life's journey.  She enjoys traveling around the world watching others and things that happen around her.  She is a teacher and former librarian. She is currently a teacher for SchoolhouseTeachers.com She wants to inspire others with her writing.  She brings the Bible and history to life with her writings.  This is her first novel and I can say it is incredible!!!  

     This novel takes place when the Israelites were being taken captive by the Syrian Army.   Miriam is a young Israelite girl who is captured and taken to serve the wife of Naaman, who is the commander of the Syrian Army at the time.  Her faith is all she has to get through this ordeal.  

     I loved how Jarm portrayed Miriam.  She was real.  You saw her fear and feelings of bitterness and anger.  Who wouldn't be afraid?  These men had taken her from her home and made her a servant girl.  She was torn away from her family and friends and what she knew.  She was thrown into a situation that nothing could have prepared her for.

     You will see raw feelings and emotions from all the characters.  You will see how Jehovah is able to heal and change the hearts of the characters in the story.  I love how Biblical facts were weaved all through the novel.  She brings the Bible to life in this adventure.  I was very impressed with how wonderful the story was written. If you have a tender heart that is easily brought to tears, I would suggest you have a box of tissues handy for this one.  I can't wait for my daughter to read it this Fall for her reading class.  I know it will touch her heart as well.

     I also enjoyed the study guide that you can download to go along with the book.  It helps to talk you through the events of the book while also helping you to see the characters in a new way.  From activities to recipes, she gets you involved in the time period and what life was like then.  

     Would you like to read this book for yourself?  I would encourage you to check out the website for The Heart Changer as well as the social media pages listed below:

     Would you like to read more reviews of this book?  Just click on the link below to read reviews from real homeschooling families.

The Heart Changer {Jarm Del Boccio, Author Reviews}
To purchase a copy now click the link below: