Just Being Us

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

Monday, December 14, 2020

Let's Have Fun With Our Christmas Themed Tracing Pages!!!

     
     During this time of year, it can be a chore to get our kids to settle down to learn. It's important to keep them focused and using fun but educational little worksheets are the best way to keep their attention. 
     I have made a cute little PDF for you download and print for free.  I hope it is a blessing to you as we begin celebrating Christmas.  

     To download this PDF, just click on the link below the image.  Have fun and enjoy this time with your kiddos.  
      




Friday, December 4, 2020

Preparing Our Hearts {Free Mini-Workbook for Christmas}

     

 It is so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, but I believe we need to take time out to focus on the real reason for this time.   Jesus came to earth as a tiny baby and we need to remember that is why we rejoice at Christmas, but that is only part of the good news.  The rest of the story is the fact that He came to die for our sins.  He chose to enter our world, live among us, and then He chose to die on the cross so that our sins could be forgiven. His sacrifice took the penalty for our transgressions.  He conquered death so that we might have eternal life with Him and He only asks that we believe on Him.

      His amazing grace brings both joy and sorrow to my life.  I am so thankful that He pours out His grace on me everyday, but I am sad that I have trouble extending this same grace to others.  I want so much to be more like our Savior.  My prayer is that I can love on others like He does  I want to show His love through the way I live my daily life.

     As this wonderful holiday approaches, I find myself wanting more and more of Him.  I love spending time with my family and watching them enjoy the joy that this season brings, but I don't want to lose sight of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  I want Him to be at the center of our home and our main focus this month.



     I have some great activities planned for the kiddos this month to remind them of His love and wonderful gift of salvation that began with the day He was born.
 


    We are doing an Advent study with a different theme each week.  The first week we focused on hope. We will also be studying love, joy and peace. It keeps our hearts centered on Christ.  


    We also love our going through our names of Jesus ornaments. We look up the verses where these names are found.  It is all about keeping our eyes on Him.
 





    What are you doing to proclaim Him?  How will you show Him glory and laud this month? Do you have family traditions that keep you focused on Christ? 


           I have made a mini-workbook for you to download and print for use in your homes this season.  I hope it blesses you!  




To download this study, just click the link below the image.


Wednesday, November 11, 2020

HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW: OUR REVIEW OF Homeschool Code Academy

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.

     In the past couple of years, I have really been trying to incorporate more computer skills into our homeschooling days.  I believe our children will need these skills rather they go into computer programming or not.  At first, I was just overwhelmed with all the classes out there but soon found out there are a few that are better than others.  I was thrilled to be able to receive and review Python for Beginners: Learn Coding at Home by Homeschool Code Academy.  These online classes are a great way to begin teaching your student about coding. 





      This class is taught by a man named Matt Bohn.  He is a programmer of 18 years.  He was self-taught until he went to college and got his bachelor's degree in Computer Science.  He has worked for IBM and has built software for Microsoft and sports programs. He uses this course to teach his own children how to code.  He is passionate about what he is teaching and you can see that he wants to help students learn with ease.  

     This program teaches students coding and it can be done at your own pace.  The videos range from one to several minutes each. You will see that it is required to do the videos in order and complete the lesson you are on before continuing to the next lesson. This way you are not missing what is being taught in order to do well in your class.  They are designed to keep your students focused on one task at a time and will keep them engaged.  Some students will be able to complete this course in just one semester, but you can also take your time and complete the classes in 2 semesters.  

     I wanted to review this program from the eyes of a student who has already taken some coding courses in order to let you know how this program stands out from others.  Our son Josh has been going through these classes and is very impressed.  He said he would have loved to have these classes when he first started using Python.  So what is Python you are wondering.... here is the definition .... Python is an interpreted, high-level and general-purpose programming language. Josh says it like this "Python is a coding language that is a great starting point for beginners due to its simple-design while also being very powerful for more advanced users. It keeps things simple by requiring clear indentation making even bad code easy to read."  Josh said this class is just perfect for kids who want a taste of what coding is and the teacher is amazing.  He makes sure his students have a firm grasp on each lesson before going on.  This is important when learning how to code. 

     When you begin the classes you will have to download a program called Thonny.  This is where your student will be doing their coding.  


     It is simple to log on every day and to follow the classes set up for you.  Your student should be able to work independently. The classes are simple and easy to understand. There are videos to watch and challenges to meet.  Each is designed to help your student learn how to code yet not feel overwhelmed.  Here are some screenshots of the classes and Josh's work.  











     These classes are great for beginners and will be a great learning tool for your homeschool.  I think it's important to at least know the basics of coding in the world we live in today. Homeschool Code Academy makes it easy and affordable to learn these skills.  Their payment plan is a great way to pay for this course and others like it.  Many companies want a huge chunk upfront for their coding classes.  This particular class is just 9 monthly payments of $15!!!  A great deal!!!  

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




     You can also read more reviews of this company over on the Homeschool Review Crew site.  Just click on the image below
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Python for Beginners: Learn Coding at Home {Homeschool Code Academy Reviews}

Friday, November 6, 2020

HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW: OUR REVIEW OF Drive Thru History® Adventures

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.

     Our family has been huge fans of Drive Thru History for years.  I can't tell you how excited my kids were when they discovered we would be reviewing lifetime access to  Bible Unearthed from Drive Thru History® Adventures.  This course has not yet been released so we were thrilled to be able to view it before its release.  As always it did not disappoint!!!





     Not only does this course come with 12 episodes to watch, but it also includes printable worksheets, answer guides, and a course guide for parents to use.  You don't have to use these amazing extras, but to get the most out of the course, it is recommended.  We enjoyed watching the episodes, reading the course material, and answering the questions on the worksheets together.  The questions really brought up some wonderful discussions and that is always a great way to connect as a family.  I had no clue how much was involved in archeology before going through this course. 




     The 12 episodes include: 
  • What is Archeology
  • The Impact of Archeology
  • Locating Archeological Sites
  • The Life of an Archeologist
  • What's Being Discovered Today
  • Archeological Mysteries
  • Top Discoveries in Bible Archeology
  • Getting Involved in Archeology
  • Trends in Archeology
  • Weird Archeology
  • Accidental Discoveries in Archeology
  • What's Left to be Discovered







      In this course Bible Unearthed, you may have guessed what the subject is.... ARCHEOLOGY!!  Dave Stotts and Randall Niles, and  Dr. Titus Kennedy are hosting these videos and giving real insight into exactly what Archeology is. The videos last about 15-17 minutes each and are full of amazing details about Archeology.   From how an Archeologist lives to weird findings, your children will not want the adventure to end.   

     I asked my teens, Josh and Hope, what they liked most about this course and they both said that until they watched these videos, they didn't really understand why Archeology was so important how it can help others to view the Bible as truth. As we went through the Top 25 Biblical finds, we were astonished.  It was so intriguing to see actual artifacts that were from Biblical times. Josh also loved the episode on Weird Archeology.  He said it was so cool to see the strange and unusual things they find on digs.  He even said he might want to go on a dig someday himself.  I told him that would be really awesome!!!

    If you are interested in this course or the many other Drive Thru History® Adventures sets, I would encourage you to check out their website or their social media pages listed below: 




We also have more reviews for you to read over on the Homeschool Review Crew site. Just click on the image below
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Bible Unearthed {Drive Thru Historyยฎ Adventures Reviews}

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW: OUR REVIEW OF PEM LIFE


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.

     Do you ever worry about your child's financial future?  Are you concerned with how they will handle their finances?  Will they be able to be stable financially?  Well if you answered yes to any of the questions above, I would encourage you to check out PEM LIFE.  Our family was given 6-month access to the Personal Finance Illustrated® Homeschool Edition and we have been working through it over the past month or so. 
 
 
     This program is designed for high school students and as a parent, you can be involved in this learning course or just let them work through it independently. If you are a parent that likes to be more hands-on with your child's curriculum, they have lesson plans and guides to help you schedule what your child will be doing each day.  I like that I could let my son work alone on and at his own pace.  He is motivated to work independently and that gives me time to work on other classes where I need to have a more hands-on approach.  

     The goal of PEM LIFE is to equip our young people with an understanding of finances that will help them now and into the future.  They want them to be able to make well-informed decisions when it comes to money.  If they are educated in this area now, they will be able to make solid investments and determine to be financially stable throughout their lives.  

     Finances are an important part of adult life, and I believe it is our job as parents to give our kids a foundation that they can build upon when it comes to money.  They should know the basics and be able to make sound financial decisions as they enter into the world on their own.  PEM LIFE gives them a great start! The lessons include:
  • PDF's to read 
  • Videos to watch
  • Interactive Resource Library
  • Written assignments
  • Vocabulary Lessons and more....








    As a parent, you decide how in-depth you want your child to go.  I think it's important to use what you can in each lesson so your child can get the most out of the program.  We use this as a supplementary program for our son, so we work on it a couple days a week, and so far he said he has learned quite a bit about budgeting and financial vocabulary and feels he will get more from the classes as he finishes them over the next few months.  He hopes to get a firm grasp on how he should invest money and how to save for his future.  He said there were a lot of vocabulary terms that he hadn't heard before and is happy to know what these financial words mean now. 

     Would you like to know more about this company and their pursuit to help young people learn about finances?  You can check out their website or visit their social media pages listed below: 

     
      We also have more reviews for you.  Just click on the image below ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡

Personal Finance Illustratedยฎ Homeschool Edition {PEM LIFE Reviews}

Thursday, October 29, 2020

HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW: OUR REVIEW OF Smart Kidz Radio


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 always enjoyed listening to music as a family. My kids love playing instruments and listening to different instruments being played.  We were excited when we were chosen to receive and review a 6-month access to Smart Kidz Radio: Member's On-Demand Radio Program Library from







     This site has online subscriptions for you to purchase. You will have access to hours and hours of music to enjoy. This company's goal is to introduce your children/family to different types of music and to show the cultural and historical aspects of music. They also have amazing music to inspire a Celebration of America. The Storytime files are great, especially for younger kids. There are many different categories on the site that teach children subjects/skills such as: 
  • Life and Behavioral Skills
  • Inspirational/Biblical
  • Historical
  • Cultural
  • Science
  • Reading
  • Math
  • Relaxation
  • Music Education
  • Spanish
AND MUCH MORE

     We have been listening to music from different cultures during our review time.  We have really come to appreciate the different instruments and sounds as we listened.  I think our favorite was Music from Italy.  It was so upbeat and relaxing at the same time.  The sound quality of all the music is wonderful.  

     As we did our schoolwork, we would listen to music from many different classical composers such as Mozart, Chopin, and Beethoven.  I have always enjoyed having soft music on as we study or read.  They also have music to study by and it was great!  We really have enjoyed everything from the site, and look forward to listening to more and more especially the special Holiday section.  

     
     Personally, I liked to listen to the golden oldies that are on the site. They have music from the 50's era and that is my favorite secular music period.  I grew up with parents who were older, so they would listen to songs from that time period and I always enjoyed listening to them as well.  It brought back some great old memories.  

     This site has so much to offer and if your family loves music and stories as much as mine does, I think you will want to check it out for yourself.  You can learn more about them on their site or follow them on their social media pages listed below: 





I would also like to tell you about 

SMART KIDZ RADIO FOUNDATION 


     For every subscription that they receive to their site, 20% of that money goes to their foundation. This foundation helps young people to make a difference in their own lives and in the lives of others.  This non-profit pours into the lives of kids to help them build self-confidence and compassion for others. I think it is a great way to give back.  

     Would you like to read more reviews?  Just click the image below to see what other families like yours are saying.
 
    Smart Kidz Radio: Member's On-Demand Radio Program Library {Smart Kidz Radio Reviews}

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW: OUR REVIEW OF Byron's Games

 

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.

     Our family loves playing board games.  I have always liked it when companies come up with games that are not only fun but educational.  Byron's Games has managed to do that with their game Math Sprint - The Mental Math Game.  I wish that I would have had this game years ago as my kids are older now, but we still have fun playing it so we could tell you all about it.  





     Our youngest daughter has never really cared for Math. She would rather be drawing or playing her guitar, so we have had to get creative over the years.  This game would have made my job so much easier.  It is geared for children 7 and up, but if you have younger ones that love math, you can use this for them as well.  It is very versatile and can be adapted for your family's needs. 

     There are three different ways to play.  You can do the 100m dash, the 200m dash or the 400m dash.  Depending on the focus level of your child or time you have to play, this is a huge plus!  You are in charge! 




      The game comes with:
  • Instructions
  • 1 Running Track Gameboard
  • 258 Cards
  • 10 dry erase cards ( for you to make up your own math problems) 
  • Dry erase marker
  • 8 Runner Playing Pieces
     
     The cards that are included are broken down into 4 card types:
  1. 92 Addition & Subtraction Cards
  2. 106 Multiplication & Division Cards
  3. 30 Wild Cards
  4. 30 Challenge Cards
 
     You choose what cards to put into your playing deck.  It will all depend on who is playing and their age or level in Math.  We used all the cards and had a blast.  My kids are very competitive so this was very enjoyable for them.  If you have a large family you can even play in teams.  







      The game is simple to play.  You pick the race you want to do (100m, 200m, or 400m)  and begin to play. Whoever is in the first position will go first. They will be the "coach" and will draw a card for the other racers to answer. They will choose who gets to answer.   They may choose only two racers if they want to compete during their time as coach. It's all up to the coach at that time.  Everyone gets to be the coach on their turn so it's very fair.  If the "coach" chooses a wild card he or she will move their racer however the card tells them to do so. The racers will move ahead as your child gets answers to the math questions correct   You keep playing until one makes it to the finish line and that is your winner! 

      I am not great at explaining how games play out, but I sure love playing them.  This was no exception.  Even though my kids were a little advanced Math wise for this game, it gave us some laughs and review of our Math facts.  Everyone can use a review!  Even us adults!!! 

     Byron's Games has social media pages you can follow to learn more about them.  They have FACEBOOK,  INSTAGRAM, and YouTube.  You can also read more reviews for this game and company over on the Homeschool Review Crew page.  Just click on the image below ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡


Math Sprint  - The Mental Math Game {Byron's Games Reviews}

Friday, October 23, 2020

HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW: OUR REVIEW OF THINKWELL HOMESCHOOL


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.

     Throughout my school years, I loved Math so much.  It wasn't until high school that I found one Math course that I didn't care for.  It was Geometry.  When our first son wanted to take Geometry his 10th-grade year, I was nervous, but we eventually got through it.  I wish we would have had a site like Thinkwell Homeschool back then.  I was thrilled when we were given access to THINKWELL'S INSTRUCTOR-LED GEOMETRY a few weeks ago.  



     Thinkwell Homeschool is a site geared for students in grades 6 and up.  They have classes such as Algebra 1, Algebra 2, and Geometry. They also have honors classes for students gifted in this area. These online courses are set up in semester sessions.  The videos for each class last about 10-15 minutes each.  You will be doing these classes daily if you follow their schedule, but you can also go at your own pace as well.  

     Before you choose the class you want to purchase, you can take a placement test to see where your child is.  It takes the guessing out of picking what class will be the best fit.  If you choose to purchase their classes you will be given 12 months to finish the class, but if you need an extension for any reason at all, you can purchase 1, 3, or 6-month extensions. They make it easy for you!!!  

  We were given the Geometry class to review.  My daughter who is 13, decided she wanted to give it a try.  We found it easy to log in, and we liked that they keep track of everything including grades and such.  The videos included in the course kept her focused and were not boring.  Usually, Math videos leave her feeling aggravated, but she liked these.  










      During the videos, they are given illustrations of what is being done, artwork, key ideas, and the definition of key terms used throughout the lesson.  Each day they are given exercises online to complete.  They are graded automatically for you.  The printed worksheets that they offer have an answer key for the parents to use to grade them.  I personally love the printed worksheets so I can put them in her portfolio we keep each year. They are also given quizzes and tests periodically to see if they are learning what is being taught.  Those grades are online for the parents to see.  It's really nice!  After your child has completed the course you can ask for a certificate of completion.  Cool huh?  Some students thrive on seeing their accomplishments on paper ๐Ÿ˜Š 

     Overall, I have to say this course is great!  Especially for those parents who dread teaching Math or certain courses.  

     Would you like to learn more about Thinkwell Homeschool ?  I would encourage you to head over to their site or visit their social media pages listed below:




We also have more reviews for you read over on the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW site.  Just click the image below 
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Thinkwell Instructor-Led Algebra 1 / Algebra 2 / Geometry {Thinkwell Homeschool Reviews}