Just Being Us

Just Being Us
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Thursday, October 24, 2019


     For years I have been looking for a way to teach Spanish that didn't frustrate my children.  I bet I have tried a dozen books and videos, but nothing really fit our family.  So when I looked at Excelerate SPANISH website, I was intrigued.  It looked different from other resources we have tried in the past.  I was thrilled when we were chosen to receive and review a years subscription to Excelerate SPANISH Streaming. We were given Spanish 1 and Spanish 2 to review. 

The website is easy to navigate and I had no issues signing in.

     Excelerate SPANISH Streaming is an online service that will teach Spanish with online videos.  It is family friendly, educational and fun all at the same time.  Each class is pre-recorded and ready for your use at your convenience.  I love that!  The length of each video is about 30 minutes.  These classes are unique because the teacher uses hand gestures, movements and little skits to help your child remember what they are being taught.  I think this approach is one that will be able to reach many more students than just handing them a book and saying "learn this".  This type of teaching is called "TPR".  That stands for Total Physical Response.  

     Each lesson begins with the student going over the vocabulary words that are written on the white board in the video. The words written on the board are pronounce clearly and then a gesture is attached to the definition so your child can retain the knowledge they are being taught in a special way.  It didn't take long for me to see this way of teaching was exactly what my son needed.  He was focused and able to understand and repeat the vocabulary words and he wasn't saying how bored he was. 

     It was a very awesome experience when my daughter, who is 12, wanted to join in the fun and now she is getting a head start on her foreign language classes.  These classes made it easy for her to jump in and start learning!  

     The have this program available to buy if you don't want to join the online subscription program.  You can also purchase workbooks that go along with the online classes, but we didn't feel it was necessary.  We just used notebooks from our homeschooling stash.  

     I love that they have a site called Quizlet that goes along with this program.  There are fun activities and such to reiterate what is being taught in the classes.  The flash cards and games are a plus in our family.  They have always been helpful in our home.  You can use the freebies on there to help drill your children on their new knowledge. 

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

     We have more reviews of this resource over on the Homeschool Review Crew site.  Just click on the link below

Excelerate SPANISH help your students to learn FAST, naturally! (Streaming)  {Excelerate SPANISH Reviews}

Tuesday, October 15, 2019


     Our family has enjoyed playing board games for years.  Chess has always been a fun way to teach strategy and healthy competition.  When we were chosen to receive and review Fun Family Chess from Brain Blox we were very excited.  We couldn't wait to try it out and see what fun and innovative ways this company has come out with to help others learn this educational but also entertaining game.  

     Brain Blox calls Fun Family Chess "Earth's most dandy and delightful, refreshingly refined, easy-peasy way to learn chess."  I have to say I agree.  Board games help to bring families together in a way that digital games can't.  You are more engaged when sitting around a table with no distractions playing a game with your family.  Time and time again we have had many wonderful conversations over a good game of chess.  I feel it brings old fashion fun to your family's game night. 

    The Fun Family Chess set includes:
  • Folding Wooden Chess Board
  • 32 Wooden Chess Pieces
  • 2 Soft Pouches (to keep your chess pieces in)
  • Full Color Chess Book
  • 2 Reference Cards
  • Chess Cube

     So you are probably wondering what sets this game of chess ahead of others?  Well it is the way they teach.  It is taught in such a way that will help you learn the pieces and how they move in a fun way.  You always begin by setting up your pieces and setting out your reference cards and cube.  Right from the start you learn that the "light" side goes first.  That means the pieces that are lighter in color will make the first move. 

     I am not really good at explaining exactly how to use this unique way so I am going to post a video for you to watch explaining it in detail.   I wouldn't want to confuse you in any way or keep you from trying this great game because of my lack of skills to explain how it works.  

     Our family tried this method a few times to get a look into how it worked and they were very impressed.  It was so easy to follow and really did help you learn all about the game of chess.  The Roll, Match, Move method was a simple way to demonstrate how to play chess.  My kids said they wish they would have had this when they were first learning. I know once the grandbabies are old enough, I will be using this with them. 

     You know what is even more wonderful about this set?  Once you have mastered the art of playing chess, this board can also be used for standard games.  You just won't use the reference cards or cube when playing.  This game can be used for years to come and when you have a new player come along, you can teach them with this tried and true method.  

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

     We also have more reviews for Fun Family Chess over on the Homeschool Review Crew site.  Just click on the link below 👇👇👇👇👇👇👇

Fun Family Chess {Brain Blox Reviews}

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW: Our Review of Progeny Press

     Our family loves to read.  We also enjoy listening to audio books.  I always try to ask questions about the books my children are reading to make sure they are comprehending and understanding the stories they read.  I think that is why I love the study guides from Progeny Press, and I was thrilled when we were chosen to receive and review Shadow Spinner Study Guide and Hound of the Baskervilles Study Guide.  The kids were excited to read these books and use the study guides as well.  The ones they have done in the past have always been fun but educational.  

     We don't have a huge budget to buy books so we always look for our books at our local library or on our free e-book app from our library.  I was excited to see both of these books were available for our e-reader and even had audio book editions for my kids.  


     These study guides are amazing. They are reproducible so they can be used for multiple students or just one. The fact you can use them online or print them out make them a good fit for many families. The interactive online version will allow your children to enter their answers and it will be saved as they progress. In our family we go over the study guides together after they have done the worksheets on their own.  I love hearing what they have learned from each chapter and character of the book.  I also love that they come with an answer key for the parents/teacher.  It helps me to know that my kids are getting the most from their reading. 

     The Shadow Spinner Study Guide is geared for grades 5-8 so my daughter worked through this one. You will want to get your study guide out right away so your child can learn the background story of the book they are reading and all about the author before digging in to the book.  This guide is broken down to 3 chapters at a time.  In each section your child may learn vocabulary, or just talk through what is going on in the chapters they are reading.  At the end of this guide you are given opportunities for essay questions and other books your child may like if they loved this book.  

     The Hound of the Baskervilles Study Guide is for grades 9-12 and goes into more detail than the other study guides.  This guide will teach vocabulary, reading comprehension, and logical thinking.  You will want your student to go over the first few pages of the study guide before they start reading the book so they can learn more about the author and Gothic fiction beforehand.  I believe these guides give your student a good understanding of what the books consist of and who wrote them.  I think this is an important aspect of reading the classics.  

     Progeny Press has so many resources to offer for your homeschool. They have many genres and grade levels to choose from.   I would encourage you to check them out over on their website or social media pages listed below:  

Facebook: facebook.com/progenypress

Twitter: twitter.com/progenypress

Pinterest: pinterest.com/progenypress

     The Homeschool Review Crew has more reviews for these resources and others over on our website.  Just click the link below 👇👇👇👇

Study Guides for Literature {Progeny Press Reviews}

Tuesday, October 1, 2019


     Our son, who is 14, has ADHD and we have been using a natural approach to help him with any issues that may arrive.  He has some trouble focusing and it is hard to keep him in his seat most days.  Josh is a very loving and kind young man and he is willing to do whatever it takes to function well.  When I told him that we would be reviewing Sound for Life Ltd from Soundsory, he was thrilled.  He is always ready to try new things that may help him in this journey.  

     Soundsory is a multi-sensory program that you do at home that may help improve motor and cognitive abilities.  I have seen some great changes in our son since he started this program.

     The program includes specially designed music processed with neuro-acoustic modifications as well as a series of movement-based exercises. The program lasts for 40 days and only takes 30 minutes a day to complete.  You listen to music for 25 minutes and do exercises for just 5 minutes a day.  After the 40 days it is best to take 4 weeks off before going through the program again if you would like to.  Soundsory is designed to help anyone over the age of 3 with: 
- Motor delays, Balance and Coordination
- Autism spectrum and Developmental delays
- Sensory and Auditory processing disorders
- ADD and ADHD

Josh using the program at his desk

The exercise videos that are located on
the website for the program 

     So you are probably wondering what makes this program so special.  It uses headphones, that comes with pre-programmed music, are specifically designed to send music through air and bone conduction for amazing auditory stimulation.  This stimulation can help the brain reorganize itself and make new neural connections. The music that is used for this program was chosen for its emphasized rhythm. This type of music along with the exercises, that you will get with the program, help your brain to come into better balance.  I can't explain it as well as the Soundsory website does so I encourage you to check it out for yourself. They have so much information on there!!! 

      The headphones themselves are very comfortable to wear and can be used as just regular Bluetooth headphones at any time. They sound better than any other headphones we have tried. My son loves them and won't let anyone else use them.  They come in a great carrying case as well. This case allows them to be safely taken in the car or to a friends house if needed.   
Josh's time management chart he made for himself

     I asked Josh how he liked this program and he said he feels it has helped him significantly already.  He enjoys the music and said the exercises are easy but fun. He said he does feel different.  He even made himself a time management chart this week.  He wouldn't have ever had the motivation to do this before.  As his mom I feel he is able to focus for longer periods of time now and I do feel he is more calm as he does school.  I am looking forward to seeing more positive things happen as he completes the program. I do feel we will do it again after the suggested 4 week wait.  

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

We also have more reviews for you to read over on the
 Homeschool Review Crew website. 
Just click the link below

Soundsory {Sound for Life Ltd Reviews}