Just Being Us

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

Thursday, October 29, 2020


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

     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 


     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



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 👇👇👇👇

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

Friday, October 23, 2020


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 😊 

     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 

Thinkwell Instructor-Led Algebra 1 / Algebra 2 / Geometry {Thinkwell Homeschool Reviews}

Friday, October 9, 2020



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 our home, Math and Science have always been the two subjects that my children either enjoy or dislike. Personally, they are my favorite subjects and I have always liked teaching them.  I know some people are intimidated by them and worry they won't be able to teach them correctly or will get to a point that they become too difficult.  Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses.  It's what makes us unique!  If you are a parent that struggles in this area, or you have a student that learns more easily with a curriculum that is more hands-on/nature-based, I may have a perfect fit for your family! Let's talk about NatureGlo's eScience !!

     The Review Crew was given access to a year's membership of NatureGlo's eScience MathArt & Science Course Bundle. This bundle was created for the Homeschool Review Crew so we could tell you about some great courses that NatureGlo's eScience has to offer!  When you purchase a course from this site, you get access for all the students in your family.  The courses can be used for just one individual or a few of your kiddos.  You can print out the study guides for each course, so if you want more than one child to study a certain class together, you just print more. It is very versatile. 

     These classes are geared for students ages 10 and up, but honestly, I think some younger kids could take the course if they have a parent nearby or an older sibling taking the class as well.  This can be used as a stand-alone curriculum, an elective, or supplemental. You can go at your own pace. I love how easy it is to adapt! Gloria, the creator of these courses and teacher, has done a wonderful job.  She makes learning fun and inspires creativity.  She encourages your child's curiosity and natural wonder. 

     We have been using one of the Marine Biology courses.  This particular course focuses on Cephlepods, Marine Turtles, Snakes, and Mammals.  Our daughter Hope is taking this class and is loving it.  She has always had a natural curiosity about marine life.   This course has 6 lessons. Each lesson is then broken down into 4 to 5 sections.  You could do a lesson a week or a lesson a day depending on how you are using the program. We like to handwrite all our worksheets so we chose to print out our lesson study guides.  They reinforce what is being taught in the video lessons.  

     Another great class that we took a couple of years ago that was included in our bundle this time as well, was the MathArt in Ancient Cultures.  We had a blast going through those lessons.  Here are a few images of what we accomplished during those classes....

     There are so many wonderful courses in this bundle! From The Geometric Beauty of Snowflakes to The Komodo Dragon Unit Study, they are all excellent!!!   I can't begin to tell you how much we enjoy them and look forward to taking more as the school year goes on.  

     Would you like to know more about these amazing courses?  I encourage you to check out their website and social media pages listed below: 

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

NatureGlo's eScience MathArt & Science Course Bundle { NatureGlo's eScience Reviews}

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Let's Get Real About Clutter

     Do you have trouble with clutter?  I think all homeschooling families have to deal with clutter at one point. With a family spending most of their time at home, it is bound to get messy.  So how do you keep clutter from taking over?  It's all about learning to let go. 

     I use to hoard every homeschooling book we had.  Even when they were out of date or the kids had outgrown them, I thought we needed to hold on to them.  It became a huge issue.  We didn't have the storage room to keep so many books.  So one day I decided it was time to let go. We went through each and every book we owned and if it was not being used or could be used in the future, it went to the local thrift store.  This was so freeing that I decided to do this in every room of our house.  From the kitchen to the bedrooms, if we didn't need it, it had to go. 

      This was the beginning of my divorce with clutter.  I knew it was a problem but didn't realize how awesome it would be to clear away all the mess.  What I realized most is that you don't just clear clutter one day a year, you have to constantly be aware that you have to let go of things that are no longer useful to you. It isn't always easy, but worth it in the end.

        My rules for keeping clutter at bay are:
  •  If we haven't used it within 3 months (unless it is for holidays) we donate it or throw it away depending on what it is.
  •  When we buy a new item for our home, we discard two others.  Like if we buy a new book for our homeschool library, we donate two of our books we no longer use to our local thrift store or book mobile.
  •  We have a place for everything.  If there isn't room for it, we let it go.
  •  We go through our closets and dressers at least once every 3 months and donate/throw away what doesn't fit or isn't a regularly used item. 
  •   If an item is broken, torn, or stained, we dispose of it.  I use to keep things thinking we could repair it, but it usually sat on a shelf or in a drawer collecting dust.
  •  We have a time of clean up every day!  Staying on top of our chores will help us keep organized.
  •   We have a basket that I use for clutter I find around the house that didn't get picked up during clean up time. I call it our clutter jail basket.  In order for the owner to get their item back, they must complete a task from our chore jar. It is very effective :)

     How do you conquer clutter in your homes? I would like to hear your ideas!


Friday, October 2, 2020

What If.....


     Yesterday I read a sign that said, “What if we only woke up with what we thanked God for yesterday?”  I know I have seen this quote before, but this time when I read it, it hit me like a ton of bricks.  It was almost immediately convicted of the way I complain about blessings that the Lord has given to us.  Instead of being thankful for what He has provided, I grumble because I must take care of these things. 

     For instance, when I complain about washing dishes, I am taking for granted the fact we have food to eat on them.  When I complain about washing our clothes, I am forgetting that there are many who would love to have our clothing to wear.  When I moan about doing errands, I am saying that I am not thankful for the van we drive and the money to purchase items we need.  Have you ever really thought about that?

     Next month is Thanksgiving. I have decided to take the rest of this month and next to write out things I am thankful for.  Even the little things like a hot cup of tea to warm me when it's cold outside is something to be grateful for.  What if we decided to express our gratitude instead of complaining?  How do you think that would change our days... weeks... months?  I think it would be life changing.

     So the next time you feel like grumbling, speak life instead.  Look around you.  Find something to be thankful for.  Stop and pray and show God how incredibly grateful you are for the things He has given to you.  Stop dwelling on what you don't have and begin praising God for what you do have. There are so many people who would love to have the blessings we have and yet we still gripe and moan about caring for the things we are fortunate to have.  

     I am going to focus on being positive and thankful.  Won't you join me? 

This is the verse I will think on every time
I am tempted to complain.


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.

     Technology has been playing a huge part in our homeschool for the past few years.  We have been taking online courses and using the internet more and more for research purposes.  When we were chosen to receive and review the Coding for Kids Annual Membership from Simply Coding, I was excited.  Our son already has taken coding classes in the past, but our daughter Hope, who is 13, has not and I wanted her to learn some basic coding skills to see if she enjoyed it like her brother.  

     Simply Coding is a homeschool coding program for kids ages 11-18.  The annual membership is set up in two ways.  A single membership or family membership.  Right now they are offering deals on their memberships and a 10 free trial.  In this membership, your child will be able to choose from :  

  • Introduction to Websites
  • JavaScript Game Design
  • Minecraft Mods in Java
     These are basic classes at first but as your child advances, so will the classes. You will need to download some sources for these online classes. I found it to be uncomplicated.  My daughter doesn't use the internet much at all and was able to follow the basic classes with ease. Her brother sat in on a few classes with her to see what he thought of the course and he was impressed.  He said it was easy to understand and the terms were broken down so a beginner could easily understand them.  He said the instructions were clear and simple to follow.  That is a huge compliment coming from a young man who is certified in many areas of coding. 

     Hope said she was apprehensive at first, but once she got started, she quickly caught on to what was being taught.  She wanted to start with JavaScript Game Design, so that is where she began her endeavor to learn about coding. Each step was fully explained and at the end of the lesson, your student will be given a quiz to complete to see if they understood what they were taught.  

Let's take a look at some of the screenshots we took during her lessons.  You will see how trouble-free each instruction is to follow. There are little Knowledge Tests throughout the lessons to keep your student focused and to make sure they comprehend the lessons.  I think the video reviews are a nice addition to the lessons as they explain what they will be learning and doing! 

Here is one of her finished activities.  She can't wait to do more!

     As a parent, I liked that I am able to see what she has completed on the Parent Dashboard.  She has her own login and Dashboard to see what lessons she has done and what is coming up next.  This program is set up nicely. I am excited to see what Hope learns next. 

 So you are probably asking why should I invest in a coding program for my children.... Simply coding puts is best when they state this on their website....

    "Don't let your child get left behind..." 

     It is important for our children to have skills in many areas before they graduate. If they are able to try many things during their young adult years, it will make choosing a career much easier for them.  Coding is one of those skills that kids in the year 2020 will benefit from. 
      Would you like to learn more about this program and company?  I encourage you to check out their website and social media pages listed below: 

We also have more reviews over on the Homeschool Review Crew website.  Just click on the image below to see how other families reviewed this program.

Coding for Kids Annual Membership {Simply Coding Reviews}