Just Being Us

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

Friday, March 5, 2021

The Do's & Don'ts of Homeschooling


    I have been homeschooling since 1997.  Our oldest son was just three years old when we started preschool classes with him.  We were young parents and thought the earlier we started the better.  We wanted what was best for our children and we did what we felt was going to help them. 

  After 24 years, I feel I can safely say I know some do's and don'ts of homeschooling.  We have tried and failed in many areas and I would like to share my knowledge with you. 

  I always like to begin with the positives!  Here we go.....



1.  Always begin your day with a word of prayer together.  I feel if we give our days to the Lord, things go better.  We are more at peace.

2. Plan your day.  Have an agenda to follow. We don't want to have a rigid schedule, but we do need a tentative list of things we would like to accomplish by the end of the day.

3. Try to get the more difficult courses finished earlier in the day when everyone is fresh and alert. 

4.   Be patient.  Don't push your children too hard with subjects they are having difficulties in.  Gently guide them and look for new ways to teach the areas they are struggling in.  Be sure they know that you will do anything to help them to learn and that with hard work, they can accomplish any task. 
     {I want to stop here and add if you feel your child has a 
      learning disability, please seek help for them.  Sometimes
      we do not have the knowledge to help our children if they
      are struggling in areas out of our expertise} 

5.   Have fun while learning together.  Make it an experience they will not soon forget.  There are many games and wonderful teaching techniques that make studying more enjoyable for them and you.  

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1.   Don't fill your calendars with too many activities.  We have been so busy before that we failed to get any school finished during some days.  I use to feel the children had to have their calendars full, but that only made for frustrated kiddos and one exhausted mama.  BALANCE IS THE KEY when scheduling activities, play dates, and other outside functions. 

2.   Don't worry about what other homeschooling families are doing. Your family is unique.  You know what is best for your household.

3.   Don't allow pressure from family and friends to affect you. Some people do not understand what homeschooling is about.  They may question your abilities to teach your children or say your children need more socializing, but you are in charge of your family.  God has called you to this task and He will equip you with what is needed to accomplish this goal. 


4.   Don't be upset if you do not finish all your curriculum by the end of your school year.  It's not about racing through a book to get it done, it's about learning in such a way that the knowledge is soaked up and remembered.  

5.   Don't fight the fact that all children are different. They will learn at different paces and in many different ways.  It's your job to find out what works best for your child and stick to it. 

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     I think the most important book we can study each day is the Word of God.  We should put God first in all we do and then we can finish the race that the Lord has given us to run.  We will accomplish His goals for our lives and isn't that what we want most for ourselves and our children?  When we lean on and trust in Him, we have nothing to fear.  He will direct our paths as long as we surrender our lives to him. 


  
May God bless you as you seek Him 
in all, you do and say!

Trust in Him as you teach your 
children each day!

Thursday, March 4, 2021

HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW: OUR REVIEW OF THE FAMILY JOURNAL

 


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 been using resources from Byron's Games for a couple of years.  They have always been made to last and fun for our family. The Family Journal by Byron's Games, did not disappoint. We were so happy to be able to receive it and review it over the last few weeks.  We have had a great time talking through the workpages and re-visiting our family mission statement.  





     This beautiful book is a hardback. It is so shiny and pretty. It has 3 bookmarks inside to help you mark your places each day.  It is 289 pages and each section is different and many are thought-provoking.  You will be visiting multiple pages each day or week.  You will want to keep the planner open to see what is on your schedule and each week you will be meeting together to go over the Meeting Workpages. It will last an entire year!  The contents include:
  • Introduction Guide
  • Missing Statement Guide
  • Mission Statement Workpages
  • Yearly Goals Guide
  • Monthly Planning Guide
  • Monthly Planning Workpages
  • Weekly Meeting Guide
  • Weekly Meeting Workpages
  • Congratulations
  • End of the Year Review
  • Thank You
  • Additional Pages
     Years ago we made a family mission statement, but we haven't really looked at it much over the last few years.  You know how things keep you busy and sometimes even will distract you from what you should be doing on a daily basis. It was good to get that out and go over it again as we talked through the Mission Statement Workpages. 


          We also enjoyed making out our monthly planning pages together.  We had some fun with my planner stickers and got to plan some family days for the month of March.  This Family Journal is just so versatile.  You will be encouraged as you work through it together as a family.  Conversations will happen.  You will be able to discuss how you can be better as a family.  You will be reminded to be grateful.  The talking points will spark some new topics and the activities will bring you closer.  






     I think my favorite Talking Point so far was week 4.  During that week we were prompted to talk about our Family History.  My parents have both passed away, so it was nice to reminisce about them. I was able to tell my younger kids some stories they may not have heard before.  They are now interested in learning more through an ancestry site.  They are 13 and 16, so it is becoming more and more interesting to them to learn more about where they came from.  If it wasn't for this book, we may not have even discussed it.  The activity for that week was a Family Tree which we will be working on more in the future. 

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


INSTAGRAM



     We have more reviews of The Family Journal and Maestro Mastery - Explore the Composers over on the Homeschool Review Crew site. Just click on the image below 

The Family Journal / Maestro Mastery - Explore the Composers {Byron's Games Reviews}

Thursday, February 25, 2021

HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW: OUR REVIEW OF PERSONAL FINANCE LAB


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.

     Teaching our children to manage their finances is a huge part of their high school years in our homeschool.  We have always just relied on budgeting books, fun fake checkbooks, and fake money, but things are changing so we were excited to be able to teach our son in a different way this year.  We were excited to be able to receive and review  PersonalFinanceLab Budgeting Game, Stock Market Game and integrated curriculum from PersonalFinanceLab.com.  


    
      When I first opened the program, I felt a little intimidated by the setup, but once I went through the tutorial videos, I felt more at ease.  It looked like a very interesting way to teach budgeting and financial responsibility. As I watched my son play with it, I knew I was right.  They are fun but educational programs. 

     First, let's talk about the Budget Game. In this amazing game, your student will be given a job, salary, and bills that need to be paid.  They will learn how to budget their money and how to be financially responsible by having a savings account and keeping their credit cards in check.  They will learn that overspending will only lead to heartache.  You can set it up for up to 18 months of living, with each month taking about 20 minutes to complete.  It is set up with questions that will get your student involved in real-life scenarios that will benefit them when they are grown and on their own.  They will have to make decisions on when to use their debit card or credit card.  They will have to pay their bills on time.  They will want to build their credit by being responsible.  

 







   They will receive a weekly paycheck that will show them about paying taxes.  My son was surprised to see how much taxes were taken out each week.  





     Josh has recently become interested in the stock market so this resource couldn't have come at a better time. He was thrilled to be able to learn more about the stock market and even "play" around with it in the Stock Market Game.  During this game, your student will be able to trade stocks.  His first big buy was stocks from Game Stop.  There has been so much about this company on the news, he thought it would be fun to 'invest' in them during his game.  He is having a blast making money as he learns all about how the stock market works.  There are so many wonderful research tools on this subject in the program that your teen will keep busy for hours and hours reading about how things work and what is needed to be a good investor.  









     The only negative thing my son had to say was they he wished they had an app to follow his investments :)   To me, that means he really loves the game and wants there to be more to it.

There are so many ways to learn on this site, I can't possibly talk about them all.  I would encourage you to check them out for yourself on their website.  You can also connect with them on their social media pages listed below. I would highly recommend their YouTube videos!!!




     We also have more reviews for you over on the Homeschool Review Crew page.  Just click the image below 😀
 

PersonalFinanceLab Budgeting Game, Stock Market Game and integrated curriculum {PersonalFinanceLab.com  Reviews}

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

President's Day Freebie!

     Today, we have a wonderful study pack for you to download and print for use in your home.   

     President's Day is Monday, February 15th this year.  How will you celebrate?

     To download this study pack, click on the link below the image.






Friday, February 5, 2021

Valentine's Day Freebies

  

   Today we have some great free printables for you to use during your Valentine's Day festivities.

   We like to focus on the character quality of love during the month of February. It's important to learn about God's love for us so we will be able to love others. 
  
   Our first printable is a coloring page for your little ones to enjoy. To save these printables, just hover over the image you want to save, right click, and choose save image as.... 😉


         Here we have some great little notecards for you to save and print.  These will help remind us of what love is and how we are to love others.  











    Next we have a free pdf for you download and use with your children.  These are our Valentine's Day copywork printables. Writing out these verses will help us memorize them. Just click on the link below the image to get this free download. 



  






Sunday, January 31, 2021

10 Ways to Show Your Family Love


      With Valentine's Day just around the corner, I want to write a few posts that focus on love.  Today I want to focus on how we can love our families.  As a mom, I know how much I love my husband and children, but do I set out to show them how much they are loved and cared for? 

      Let's talk about 10 ways to show our love to them.
  1.  Get up a little earlier than usual and make a special breakfast for your family. They will enjoy the sweet surprise.
  2.  Take time to sit down and talk with them.  Listen with intent to learn more about them.  Ask them fun little questions so you can get to know them better.  Everyone loves to be heard. 
     
  3.  Smile at your husband and children!  This let's them know that  seeing them makes you so happy. 
  4.  Make a point to ask each family member what their favorite  meal or dessert is and try to cook it for them at least once a  month.  
  5.  Set aside one night a week to just have some fun as a family.  No interruptions!  Turn off the old ringer on the phone, shut  off your computer, and make some memories! 
  6.  Put some post it notes in places your husband or children can  find them.  Tell them how much you love them and what is special about them. Encourage them!
  7.  Curl up on the couch and watch a movie together.  One you know they love.  It's a good time to just sit and relax as a family.  Make it special by having some popcorn and their favorite drink available.  
  8.  Be involved in their lives.  Know their hobbies and favorite things to do.  Try to be active in some of these so you can become closer.  Recently, I have taken up playing some video games to get closer to my hubby and boys.  My daughter and I love to work on our Bible journals together.  
  9.  Give lots of hugs and kisses!  What better way to show your family that you adore them.
  10.  Take care of yourself.  If you are not feeling well, you won't be able to care for your family like you want to.  It's important to take time to keep yourself healthy.  
     I hope these little ideas will help you show your family how much you love and appreciate them.  Have a blessed day! Remember to enjoy the little things! 



Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Free Valentine"s Day Alphabet Tracing Pages

     Today we have a special PDF for toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarten age children.   Valentine's Day is coming up so that is our theme for these upper case alphabet tracing pages.  I hope you enjoy them.  

     To download this adorable PDF, just click on the link below the image.  






Monday, January 25, 2021

Do They Need Limits?


     There are many reasons why we should limit our children's screen time.  I think our main reason in our home is family time.  If we are all engrossed in looking at a monitor, we won't have time to talk with one another, play games,  and just enjoy each other's company.  

      I also believe that we should restrict device usage because it can keep our children from exploring other things.  They need to use their imaginations.  Their bodies need to move and play.  They can get so absorbed in watching TV or playing video games that they sit in one spot for hours and hours.  That is not healthy.  

       Do you have any behavior problems in your home?  Do you know that the games they play or not moving around can cause some issues in our kiddos? Do you know it can cause them not to sleep well at night?   I had no idea that using these devices too much could cause so many difficulties for kids. Now we have implemented limits so we can resolve  some problems we were having and it has worked for us. 
       
       I think there is balance in everything, so device usage is just another issue we need to fine tune until we feel comfortable with our choices for our family.   We should never push our opinions onto others.  We need to realize every family has different needs and they should make these choices for themselves.   

      In our household, our children earn screen time.  They have to complete tasks in order to get "tickets" to play on their gadgets.  It was not a popular idea at first, but they have fun with it now.  Mom and dad just had to resolve not to back down.  We do have special allowances for family movie nights or family game nights where we need to use the TV or video games.   Our new van also has a DVD player that they enjoy so we don't have restrictions on it.  

       I wanted to share our plan of attack to reduce the usage of devices in our home and give you an idea of how you can do it too if you feel this would be right for your clan.  We have our list of  ways to earn tech tickets. These are not difficult jobs, just ways to reinforce good behavior and manners.  They know if they do what they are suppose to do, it will be easy to acquire their tickets. They can earn up to  3 1/2 hours daily.  The tickets have to be used the day they are earned.  You may be thinking that is a lot of time, but being homeschoolers, 3 1/2 hours is only a small part of their day at home.  They usually spend an hour watching TV and then they have video games or computer time to use up the rest of their time.  Our daughter also has a tablet that she uses to play videos for her DIY projects so she loves having time on it. 
  
Our list!
limit

We have fun tickets we print and laminate so we can reuse them daily. 


      You can also take away tickets throughout the day if your child behaves improperly.  They need to realize that screen time is a privilege not a right.  We never want to allow our children to have an attitude of entitlement.  That is why this system works well for us in many ways.  

        I hope this has been helpful for you.   I would also like to share a PDF copy of our system for you to use in your homes if you think it would be a good fit for your family.  To save and print, just click on the link below the image 😊





      

       



Monday, January 18, 2021

It's Monday.... A New Start


       It's Monday and a new day!  Each day we are given can be considered a fresh start.  We can do things better than we did them yesterday.  We can be kinder, listen more attentively, and love more than the day before.  No matter what is in our past, we can start anew with the rising of the sun.  When God wakes us up, it is an opportunity to begin again.  Put the past behind you and allow God to use you for His purpose.  

       Satan will always try to remind us of our past mistakes in order to keep us from growing in the Lord.  He will use man's harsh words or that word of gossip behind our backs to suppress us from doing the work that the Lord has placed before us.  My daddy always said that if the devil is not messing with you, you need to worry, because he only attacks those who he worries is doing good for the kingdom of God.  

I have this little note hanging on my wall next to my bed.  It reminds me to enjoy each day to the fullest!


       This week we have some deep cleaning planned.  I love to organize and refresh our home.  We clean areas that are forgotten week to week.  We let go of things that we no longer use.  We make room for new and exciting things.  When I thought about deep cleaning our home, it reminded me of what we need to do in our spiritual lives everyday.  We need to have a time of refreshment for our souls. We need to spend time in God's Word and praying each and every day.   We must choose to forget what lies behind and press forward to what lies ahead of us.  We must let go of any guilt and condemnation that the devil throws our way.  God has made us new!  We must remind ourselves to "clean" our mind and hearts on a daily basis.  

       Today I want to encourage you to give God your past.  Don't allow Satan to use it against you one more day.  Today is a new beginning!   God has a good plan for you!!!!  Let your children see you live a life of freedom in Christ.  Let them know that they too can be free in Him.  



Thursday, January 14, 2021

Inauguration Day! A Free Study of the Inauguration



Soon we will be welcoming a new President and Vice President into office.  Here is a little study to help you understand the process. 

  To download it, just click on the link below the image.