This blog is my attempt to document our busy but BLESSED lives raising and educating our children for His glory. A child of God, wife to one, and mom to 6 fabulous kids. We are in our 13th year of homeschooling using a Classical ~ Literature based approach.

Come along for the good, the bad & the ugly.



Saturday, November 27, 2021

Advent Christmas book list

A new season of Advent is upon us! I don’t know about you but I am very much looking forward to slowing down and settling into a season of waiting. I really wanted to have this post up earlier last week, but last minute “stuff” derailed that. But what matters most is that we are ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

Reading aloud is a huge part of our day in our homeschool. At Christmas time we add in a family read-aloud to prepare our hearts for Christmas. I love this special time when we sit down and read from our Advent devotional. Several years ago I borrowed Unwrapping the Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp form the library to use for our daily ready. This year instead of borrowing I have added this book to our Christmas book collection.

Unfortunately, I am missing a box of our Christmas books. I am hoping the box is just hidden on the top shelf were I can’t see it. Instead of wrapping the books in wrapping paper or kraft paper, this year I am choosing to keep our books into these  12” x 16” muslin bags that I have individually numbered for each day. We are storing our book basket next to our Jesse / Advent tree. 

 

Each morning as part of our morning Bible time we will read our Greatest Gift devotional. At night after evening chores are done, one of the children will put the Jesse Tree ornament onto our Advent tree in our front library. Since Micah is a proficient reader, I may have each child take turns reading a story each night.

I’m excited to share the Christmas picture books we will be reading for the next 27 days of Advent. The books that we don’t have in our personal collection are marked with an (L) because I found them at our local library. I look forward to adding them to our collection over the next few years). Let’s dive in!


November 28: {1st Sunday of Advent} The Giving Manger

November 29: Christmas Is…

November 30: The Gift of the Magi

December 1: Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree

December 2: Snowflake Bentley

December 3:  Waiting for Christmas

December 4: The Gifts of the Animals



December 5: {2nd Sunday of Advent} The Legend of the Christmas Cookie 

December 6: {St. Nicholas Day} Who is Coming to Our House?

December 7: The Beggar and the Bluebird

December 8: Stephen’s Feast

December 9: Joseph’s Donkey

December 10: The Spider Who Saved Christmas 

December 11: The Nutcracker 



December 12: {3rd Sunday of Advent/Gaudete Sunday} The 12 Days of Christmas

December 13: An orange for Frankie 

December 14: The Last Straw

December 15: Arthur’s Christmas Wish        

December 16: The Greatest Gift of All 

December 17: Nine Days to Christmas (L)   

 December 18: The Stable Where Jesus Was Born                                                                             



December 19: {4th Sunday of Advent / O Adonai} Dasher

December 20: 5 More Sleeps ‘Til Christmas

December 21: The first Christmas stocking (L) 

December 22: The Little Boy’s Christmas Gift

December 23: Silent Night, Holy Night

December 24: There Was No Snow on Christmas Eve


 

Do you have any special plans for Advent this year? I would love to hear about your family traditions. 



© 2008 - 2021 A Stable Beginning. All rights reserved. All photographs, text, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission of the author.

 http://astablebeginning.com

 

Friday, November 12, 2021

Family Advent Traditions with The Giving Manger from WorthyKids ~ a TOS review {Giveaway}

Disclaimer: I received a Complimentary 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. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC Regulations.
Another Friday down friends! I am so glad you have popped on the blog today as I have a special review and giveaway to share today. As you know the Advent season is quickly approaching and I am excited to share with you how we will be celebrating the season this year. We are adding to our family tradition of reading Christmas books each day and we are going to incorporate random acts of kindness with the help of The Giving Manger from WorthyKids.
The Giving Manger is a beautiful hardcover book written by Allison Hottinger and illustrated by Emily King. The whole package comes with the book, a wooden manger, a bushel of straw, and a resin baby Jesus wrapped in white.
The Giving Manger helps to teach kids random acts of kindness all the while putting Christ at the center with the story of Anne and Ben who along with their parents are in the story. The father tells the children that starting on December 1st they family would start a new tradition and that there would be one more gift under the tree. As expected the children, Anne and Ben, were thrilled at the thought. However, come December 1st both children were a bit disappointed to only see a simple wooden manger on the table that Father had carved.
Worhty Kids

And the King will answer and say to them, “‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’” 
~ Matthew 25:40
 
 Father explains to them that this Christmas they will celebrate God’s greatest gift to the world, Jesus Christ, by loving and serving others. Each time they performed a random act of kindness or served someone else a tiny piece of straw would be added to the manger. On Christmas day the children awakened to see a tiny baby Jesus in the manger resting on all their straws of kindness. 
 As we prepare for Advent I love this book and everything that it stands for! Especially now during the time when media outlets are stressing consumerism and pressure to spend now because there may be shipping delays. The Giving Manger puts the focus back on the real meaning of Christmas, Jesus Christ, and serving and giving what you can to others.
Worhty Kids
I also love how the paper piecing illustrations fit this story so well. I love how the images sort of pop off the page! We have our manger set up front near our two most used rooms so we can see it each day as we prepare. My two youngest, McKenzie (12) and Micah (7) are excited and are already thinking of ways to bless others this holiday season. The book even includes service ideas for “Manger Moments” in the back of the book.

Now for the fun part! How would you like to win your very own copy of The Giving Manger? WorthyKids has graciously offered for me to host a giveaway for one of my readers. To enter simply fill out the form below.

Be sure to click on the banner below to read the thoughts of 28 of my CrewMates who also received this set. Some of them are hosting giveaways as well so you’ll increase your chances to win.
Start a New Christmas Advent Tradition with The Giving Manger
 
Company ~ WorthyKids
Product ~ The Giving Manger 
Format ~ Hardcover book set that includes a wooden manger, bundle of straw, and a baby Jesus 
Price ~ $39.99 
Ages ~ all ages
Worhty Kids 
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 © 2008 - 2021 A Stable Beginning. All rights reserved. All photographs, text, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission of the author.

 http://astablebeginning.com

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

MathRider: A fun educational game to master math facts ~ a TOS review

Disclaimer: I received a Complimentary 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. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC Regulations.

Math Rider
Hi friends! Another week of homeschooling is in progress. Micah has been working hard to learn his math facts. It’s a daily part of our homeschooling and he is getting quite good at his active recall. This year he has been learning his math facts with the help of my secret weapon, a computer game called Math Rider that was created by Thomas Brand, founder and director of Sharper Edge International Pty Ltd in Australia.
Do you have a child who is learning math facts? Are they struggling to get those facts down and it is a daily battle? Do they happen to love horses? Then I may have the perfect solution for you. We were given access to the online computer game, Math Rider, to use with Micah my 7-year-old. The program is designed for children aged 6-12 who are in the process of mastering their math facts. Math Rider covers all the basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts necessary to know for higher level math.
Math Rider presents mastering math facts in a fun and innovative way. The student gets to ride on a horse called Shadow to "travel on a quest" in fantasy-type lands while on a mission to find magical flowers and stolen gems. Your mission is to answer the math facts and clear the jumping obstacles in the process. The faster you answer the math fact the faster Shadow rides and jumps.
Pricing is just right in my book! At just $47 you can get lifetime access to the complete program with free system upgrades. A single family purchase is good for access to up to 6 player profiles within the family. Math Rider is available for Windows and Mac and will help your children master all four arithmetic operations—addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division— with 100% mastery. One thing I love about this program is that your child’s math knowledge is stored in the game and they are only practicing facts they don’t know, rather than drilling needlessly the facts already mastered.
I used this program with my 7-year-old son, Micah. He is in the second grade and he mostly focused on mastering his addition and subtraction facts. By mounting your trusty horse, Shadow, your rider moves through the game at varying speeds based off of previously answered questions. The question difficulty is varied to keep balance and to build your child's confidence. Pressing the correct number and pressing enter helps the rider earn animated rewards. Micah played the game at least 4 times a week for about 10-15 minutes without complaint. He frequently asked to do his Math Rider time before starting the rest of his schoolwork.
I highly recommend you checking out this program if your child is working on mastering their math facts! I see many more years of Micah using this math facts game as we continue working on mastery. Don’t just take my word for it! Be sure to check out what my CrewMates think of this program by clicking the banner below to read 23 more reviews. Math Rider Math Facts Game 
 Company ~ MathRider 
 Product ~ MathRider 
 Format ~ Online game that supports PC or Mac *Chromebooks, tablets, or mobile phones are not supported 
Price ~ $47.00 
Ages ~ 6-12 years old
Math Rider
 
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 © 2008 - 2021 A Stable Beginning. All rights reserved. All photographs, text, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission of the author. 

 http://astablebeginning.com

Friday, November 5, 2021

Preparing You for the Future - Money-Lesson Tips from BUCK Academy ~ a TOS review

Disclaimer: I received a Complimentary 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. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC Regulations.  

 Hey friends!
BUCK Academy

I have a great new book to share with you today! A Buck, Single, Bone, Bill, or Greenback are all popular nicknames for the US dollar bill. BUCK Making Cents for ages 5-10 from Buck Academy is a great book from Buck Academy that teaches money lessons to children aged 5-10. Financial literacy is such an important skill to have in life and this book shows us all about the money we use!
For this review we received two books: Buck Making Cents And Quick Cents To A Buck Workbook

Buck Academy is a family-owned business based out of Edmonds, WA and was created by Dustin & Febyolla Goss. They originally started their business as a way to teach their children about money. As a way of paying it forward to the community a portion of each book sale is donated to the education of children in-need and to library systems. I love that!  
This book includes four short chapters and has up close pictures of each of the coins of our currency as well as the dollar bill. The coins are printed with foil and have detail to the touch. Pertinent information about each coin is given such as who’s picture is on the coin and the value. It also includes information found on the front and back of each one.
My son, Micah who is 7, loves this book! He has read this book serval times over after me initially reading it aloud to him. He especially likes the raised detail to the coins. We have been practicing counting money and this book has helped him see the value of each coin. 
Overall, I am fully pleased to make room on our jam-packed bookshelves for Buck Making Cents! I know that we will reference this book many times over as Micah continues to grasp money. Don’t just take my word for it though. Be sure to click the banner below and read the thoughts of my 19 CrewMates who also reviewed this book and the board book version geared towards 0-4 year olds. Baby BUCK, How Much Am I... .
Financial Literacy for Kids with BUCK Academy


Company ~ BUCK Academy
 Format ~ hard cover book 
Price ~ $17.95 
Ages ~ 5 -10 years old BUCK Academy 

 Find BUCK Academy on these Social Media Links: 



 © 2008 - 2021 A Stable Beginning. All rights reserved. All photographs, text, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission of the author.

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Literature Guides from Progeny Press

Disclaimer: I received a Complimentary 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. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC Regulations.
Progeny Press 
Now that you have been in school for a few weeks, are you looking to incorporate literature guides into your homeschool routine? If you have been around the blog for long then you know our family has a fond affection towards good books. I try to fill our bookshelves full of good books as well as check them out from the local library.
  
Have you ever checked out the literature guides from Progeny Press? We love adding Progeny Press guides to our Language Arts studies so we were excited to receive the Wagon Wheels Study Guide this time to review. For this review we received a downloadable interactive PDF copy of the study guide. In our family I have found that literature guides make reading even more enjoyable for my younger students.
   
Progeny Press has been a family owned and operated company since 1992. They produce high quality literature guides from a Christian worldview ranging from lower elementary years through high school. They literally have 100+ guides and add 3-6 new titles each year ranging from lower elementary, upper elementary, middle school, and high school. If you are looking for a literature guide, they have got you covered!
  
We also received the accompanying interactive study guide with our review. It has about 60 pages and includes a separate file with the answer key. The literature guide includes a wealth of information about Jackson, WY, the setting of the book as well as history of the Native Americans that lived in this region. With Bible work, map work, research ideas the guide ties into the story as a whole. 

 Wagon Wheels is an I Can Read, Level 3 Reading Rainbow book and is recommended for kids in grades 2 through 4. My son, Micah who is in 2nd grade, was able to read this book on his own. The Wagon Wheels story tells the true story of Ed Muldie and his three sons who leave Kentucky and live in a dugout home on the Kansas prairie in Nicodemus. The book has 4 chapters and describes their time during the travel and harsh winter where they were saved from starvation by the Osage Indians. Soon afterwards the father, Ed packs up and leaves Nicodemus and the boys in search of a better place to raise his boys. During that time the boys survive on their own and narrowly escape death from a prairie fire. As soon as a letter arrives from their father the boys pack up their belongings and make the 150-mile trip to their new home. Wagon Wheels is such a great story of perseverance and reliance on God during hard times. The suggested length of time for finishing a study guide is 8-10 weeks, however you can adjust this on your reading voracity. The first week is used to read the book and then each study guide takes the reader through two chapters of the novel at a time and focuses on several different literary concepts. Also included are several comprehension questions which ask the student to recall events from the book and analyze them. I love that each guide takes care to draw the student back to the Bible.
Check out the sample of the types of questions and information contained in the guides at the website. To make navigation on the website easier, literature guides are categorized by both genre and grade-level. The guides are extremely user-friendly and are currently available as a print version, CD in PDF format, and email as a PDF attachment.
   
We enjoyed our literature guide and have purchased and/or reviewed several guides in the past and will be purchasing more in the future. The new interactive format allows the student to type in the answers directly on their computer screen which is awesome! I also love that there is no limit on copying pages for use within our homeschool. Progeny Press Guides are economically priced from $10.99 to $27.99, Wagon Wheels sells for $11.99. Be sure to browse the online catalog for individual pricing on all the available guides. 
  
Our family finds that literature guides make reading even more enjoyable! We give this guide 2 thumbs up and I look forward to adding more literature guides to our collection over the course of the school year. Be sure to check out what my Crewmates thought of this guide and the many other guides being reviewed, Cricket in Times Square Study Guide, Redwall Study Guide, and Frankenstein Study Guide.
Progeny Press Literature Study Guides

  Company ~ Progeny Press 
 Format ~ E-guide 
Price ~ $11.99 
Ages ~ 2nd – 4th graders
Progeny Press
   
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 © 2008 - 2021 A Stable Beginning. All rights reserved. All photographs, text, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission of the author.

Friday, October 29, 2021

Biochemistry/Microbiology for 7th - 12th graders with Greg Landry's Homeschool Science

Disclaimer: I received a Complimentary 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. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC Regulations.
Greg Landry Homeschool Science   
Morning friends! Earlier this year I was able to share a review of the half-semester, self-paced Study Skills / Measurement / Lab Reports / Graphing, course from Greg Landry's Homeschool Science. I was so excited when Mr. Landry did another crew run since McKenzie was interested in enrolling in a science course, specifically the Biochemistry / Microbiology - Self-paced 7th-12th grade. 

Mr. Greg Landry is an experienced science teacher who is also a homeschool dad. He has not only taught homeschoolers, but also university students as a former college professor. He has brought his love of teaching science to the internet through the Canvas learning platform.
  
 ~ For 3rd - 12th Grade Homeschooled Students ~

The Biochemistry / Microbiology course is a pre-recorded course. We received 12 months of access so it’s perfect for McKenzie so she can take her time learning over the course of the year, especially since this is an add-on science for her. The course comes with a PDF study guide and contains the reading and reference material that you need to complete the course. You can choose to either download and print the file or just read it from your computer/tablet. For this course I choose to just have the file stored on the computer for easy access.

  ~ Christ-Centered Live & Self-Paced Online Classes ~

Since Mr. Landry is a follower of Christ he begins each video lesson with prayer, which I love. Then you get into the actual lesson. The Biochemistry / Microbiology course includes 20-30 minutes worth of video instruction on a multiple of topics including: 

carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, DNA, vitamins, hormones, viruses, bacteria, epidemics, antibiotics, pathogen cultures, top 10 pathogen diseases. 
 Since McKenzie is already enrolled in an online course for science this year, we have had to take this course slow. She has been working on this course over the weekends about twice a month. The first weekend she will watch the lesson fully. The second time she will watch the video and take notes and complete any work necessary. This is probably not the best way to complete the course but it works for us and her busy training/school schedule. 

 - Christ-Centered Focus
 - See & Hear Teacher
 - "Life Prep" & "College Prep" Options 
- Veteran Science Teacher 
- Community with Other Students 

While I am fully confident in my ability to teach upper level science as well as to complete labs at home, I am grateful for homeschool science labs online such as the Virtual, interactive homeschool laboratory courses from Greg Landry's Homeschool Science. Not only did McKenzie learn a about an interesting topic of Biochemistry, but it has also sparked her interest in the topic more and she thinks she wants to study Chemistry at University down the road. 
Since it is almost time to start thinking about next year’s science course, Greg Landry’s Homeschool Science is at the top of our list! We are thinking that McKenzie will jump into his Live Pre-Anatomy & Physiology and Pre-Biology courses for her 7th grade year. Be sure to check out what my CrewMates thought of this course or the other course options that were reviewed including: 

 self paced online - start any time:
 - biology / anatomy and physiology - chemistry - physics 

- Young Scientist Anatomy & Physiology - Young Scientist Biology - Young Scientist Chemistry - Young Scientist Physics - Young Scientist Earth & Space Science 

 - Exercise & Sports Physiology - Biochemistry / Microbiology - Embryology / Endocrinology - Earth & Space Science - Study Skills / Measurement / Lab Reports / Graphing 

 Click on the banner below to read their thoughts!  
Self Paced Online Homeschool Science Labs
 Product ~ Self-paced 7th-12th grade half-semester classes in Biochemistry / Microbiology 
 Format ~ online, 12 months access 
Price ~ $120.00 
Ages ~ 7th-12th graders
Greg Landry Homeschool Science 
 © 2008 - 2021 A Stable Beginning. All rights reserved. All photographs, text, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission of the author.