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 11th year of homeschooling using a Classical ~ Literature based approach.

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



Friday, April 3, 2020

Accelerated Individualized Mastery (AIM) for Addition and Subtraction from Math-U-See ~ a TOS review

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

 Happy Friday friends! Another week has passed and I have another math review for you today. When I saw that Math-U-See is now offering Accelerated Individualized Mastery (AIM) for Addition and Subtraction, I knew I wanted to try it with my two youngest daughters, Montana (7th) and McKenzie (4th)!
Math can strike fear within a person like nobody’s business, whether it be on the account of the parent or the student. Many people struggle or don’t feel as confident with teaching math. Learning and memorizing your math facts makes life so much easier. Unfortunately, many students including my own final to do so for whatever reason. So, I was super excited to be able to use this program with my 7th grader to help her finally grasp the facts.
So, just what is Accelerated Individualized Mastery (AIM)? AIM was specifically designed for kids who have yet to have mastered single digit addition and subtraction facts. Because the student lacks the math fact knowledge it then effects the progression in upper level math. It can be best described as this:

Accelerated ~ The opportunity for Students to move quickly through a skill set they have not yet mastered, without extra distractions.

Individualized ~ Each Student is different, and so are their learning preferences. Using multi approaches, the program creates and encouraging environment for the student to master the skills they need at their own pace.

Mastery ~ means that a student can quickly recall all the math facts using little mental energy while still staying engaged in the problem solving. process.



To begin the program you child is supposed to take the placement test so you know which facts they do not know and which ones they do. The test was easy to administer to both girls and it gave me a focus for Montana especially. McKenzie is pretty good, speed and fluency wise, with all her facts except her upper 8’s and 9’s give her slight hesitation.
Everything you need to teach single-digital math mastery with AIM is included and packaged nicely in a sturdy box. Inside you find: 
~ a resource guide with lesson instruction, susses tips, and activities 
~ Math-U-See integer blocks 
~ colored pencils to math the integer blocks 
~ fact check cards 
~ math fact strategy posters 
~ online you will find access to the digital toolbox that includes the lesson videos and printable resources and activities.
Overall, I find this to be an excellent math fact mastery program. It’s interactive and hands-on something my children prefer in their learning. Math is not Montana’s thing, she is more of a reader. But with the help of the AIM program she is gaining even more confidence each day, and THAT fact alone makes this a great program in my book!
It’s nice to have a helping hand! But don’t just take my word for it, check out what 44 of my CrewMates think of this program by clicking the banner below. And if you have a student who is struggling to learn the addition and subtraction math facts, definitely check out the AIM program first!
Accelerated Individualized Mastery (AIM) for Addition and Subtraction {Math-U-See Reviews}

Company ~ Math-U-See 
 Format ~ online and physical products 
 Price ~ $39.00 
 Ages ~ struggling math fact learners
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 © 2008 - 2020 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

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Wordless Wednesday




© 2008 - 2020 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, March 31, 2020

Prepare for Easter with The Easter Storybook ~ a TOS review

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

During this time of Lent as we prepare for Easter, my littles and I have enjoyed reading through the The Easter Storybook from David C Cook. This is a beautiful hardcover book written by Laura Richie and illustrated by Ian Dale. Instead of focusing on Jesus’ last days this 40-page book gives us 40 different stories that tell of His whole life by revealing the big picture of God’s love for us.
Inside this book you will discover just who Jesus is, what He did, and why His death and resurrection matter. Each of the 40 stories presented in a two-page spread where you are given Bible scripture, the focus scripture, the story, and a question on the left hand side. To the right you are given a beautifully illustrated picture that corresponds to the story. You will be able to read stories from when Jesus was in the temple as a child, from when He healed the men with leprosy, the last supper, as well as his crucifixion and when he made his appearance after He had risen from the dead just as He said He would.
This book is written for children aged 4-8 years old, but I think it is perfect for children aged 10 to read independently as my daughter, McKenzie, has. McKenzie has been reading through The Easter Storybook each morning as apart of her quiet time. After she reads aloud we look up the scripture references before going over the question together. 
My son, Micah, who is 5 has also been listening in to the stories and taking part of the discussion. It’s been a great time to prepare our hearts for Easter and really focus on Jesus, especially because during the Corona virus quarantine we will be unable to go to our Church to worship.
"We may think that darkness and death and evil will last forever. But they won’t! Let’s remember to look for the Light and live in the hope that Jesus brings to us. Jesus is alive! One day, He will wipe aways our tears and fears forever. And then we will have peace."
 ~ The Easter Storybook, pg. 84
We have throughly enjoyed this book and look forward to April 12th this year when we can sing the praises of His victory on the cross! The author of the Easter Storybook also wrote The Advent Storybook, so you can be sure that is on my list to obtain come November.
Be sure to check out what my CrewMates thought of this book by clicking the banner below and be sure to grab your own copy of this book, it’s not too late to enjoy the goodness of these stories!
The Easter Storybook {David C Cook Reviews}
Company ~ David C Cook 
 Format ~ hardcover book, ISBN: 978-0-8307-7860-7 
 Price ~ $13.59
 Ages ~ Recommenced for 4-8 years old
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© 2008 - 2020 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, March 27, 2020

Hands-on learning with the Knights Lap-Pak from Home School in the Woods ~ a TOS review

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

Happy Friday friends! We’ve made it to the end of another week! I hope your week was as fantastic as ours was, even with the quarantine. So, today I am excited to tell you about another fabulous product from one of my favorite hands-on homeschool curriculum provider, Home School in the Woods.

For this review my Kindergarten son, Micah, and I were blessed to work through the Knights K-2 Lap-Pak. Our family is no stranger to the Home School in the Woods company. I tell you it was love at first sight when I happened upon their booth at my local homeschool convention way back in 2011. I hit the jackpot that day with this company and it has transformed our way of schooling ever since.
The Knights Lap-Pak is one of the fabulous products that Home School in the Woods has to offer. However, don't think for a minute that this Lap-Pak is a cookie cutter, run of the mill Lap Book, because it is not! The detail of this Lap-Pak is second to none as your child dives deep into the Middle Ages to discover just what it took to become a knight.

Everything you need to complete the Lap-Pak (minus supplies) including all texts, master pages, and directions are included. Through coloring, researching, drawing & writing, and gluing your child will take a journey through the The Middle Ages and discover how to become a knight. You will need to supply some basic everyday arts and crafts supplies that you probably already have at home, including:
~Paper {colored and white} 
~ Cardstock {colored and white} 
~ Colored Pencils 
~ Scissors 
~ Glue sticks 
~ Stapler 
~ Double-sided tape 
~ Paper fasteners
My son Micah is a Kindergartener and we have been working our way through this Lap-Pak together. Some days I just read from the text while he plays with his knight set, other times we work through the Lap-Pak coloring and putting together pieces. Overall, he enjoys it as do I! While we have not completely finished our study we are making steady progress. Micah’s attention span is not that long for sit down work but short bursts of learning that can be done with this Lap-Pak are great for him.

Be especially sure to check out the U.S. Elections Lap-Pak now that we are in election season! We used this product several years ago durning the last election cycle with Madison, my now college Freshman. Mikayla, my 11th grader is working her way through it now as part of her Government class. I love that the U.S. Elections Lap-Pak can serve as a complete history unit study since it includes 21 exciting, hands-on projects to complete.
If you have hands-on learners like I do, I wholeheartedly recommend you check out this Knights Lap-Pak or anything else that Home School in the Woods offers. They have many great products that we use in our homeschool for hands-on learning along with our regular History curriculum. We personally own everything they have created except the Benjamin Franklin Lap-Pak which we will be adding for next school year. Trust me this curriculum is money well spent! The Hands-on History Knights Lap-Pak is a fantastic way to bring History to life for even the youngest learners!
Be sure to check out the other products from Home School in the Woods that was reviewed by 79 of my CrewMates. Products reviewed include:

Benjamin Franklin K-2 Lap-Pak  (grades K-2) 
Timeline Collection: A Collection of Historical Timeline Figures  (grades K -12) 

Project Passport World History Studies grades 3-8:
~ Ancient Egypt 
~ Ancient Greece 
~ Ancient Rome 
~ The Middle Ages 
~ Renaissance & Reformation 
~ The Industrial Revolution through the Great Depression 

Time Travelers U.S. History Studies (grades 3- 8 ): 
~ New World Explorers 
~ Colonial Life 
~ The American Revolution 
~ The Early 19th Century 
~ The Civil War 
~ The Industrial Revolution through the Great Depression 
~World War II 

Make-A-State Activity-Pak (grades 3-8) 
Artists Activity-Pak (grades 3-8) 
Composers Activity-Pak (grades 3-8) 

 Click the banner below to read the reviews!
Home School in the Woods Collections - Lap-pak, Timeline Figures, History Studies & Activity-Pak {Home School in the Woods Reviews}

 Product ~ Knights Lap-Pak
 Format ~ Digital PDF copy
Price ~ $9.95
Ages ~ K-2nd graders

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 © 2008 - 2020 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

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Homeschool Math Games from Math Galaxy ~ a TOS review

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

Math…it’s not my favorite subject but we get it done each day because it’s a necessity of life. I am always on the lookout for extra math practice for my kids for while we are on the go. Lately we have been using a few of the Math Galaxy Time and Money Riddles eBook and the Whole Numbers Balloon Pop App from Math Galaxy.


When we received access to these products we were still in our gymnastics travel season so it was excellent for learning on the go! Math Galaxy provides math games through apps and math worksheets. The eBooks were sent to us in an email that contains the zip files. Opening them up to extract and save the files to my computer was easy. I do like the fact that the worksheets are in color! You can however print them grayscale if you want to save ink. We were blessed to receive several of the eBooks including:

Whole Numbers Riddles eBook which covers time and money, 1-3 digit addition, subtraction, and multiplication, division, order of operations and number patterns as well as estimating whole numbers.

Fractions Riddles eBook covers all things fractions like how to identify them, equivalent fractions, how to reduce fractions, as well as adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing fractions. Everything you could possibly want to know about fractions is included.

 Pre-Algebra eBooks includes decimals, proportions, and percents. You will also find worksheets on lengths, volumes, and area.

 Algebra Riddles eBooks contains exponents, scientific notations and solving algebraic equations as well as word problems.
We also received several of the Math Galaxy apps including: 
4th Grade Math, 7th Grade Math, Pre-Algebra Fundamentals, Algebra Fundamentals, Fraction & Decimal Riddles, Whole Number Riddles, Times Tables Balloon Pop, and Zombie Numbers
There are so many apps to choose from, the creator has everything from PreK to SAT Math and are available through the App Store for iPhone or iPad usage. I loaded our apps onto our school iPad mini for the kids to use. The user can choose which topic to work on as well as if they want the Traditional way of learning, Common Core, or an Alternative method. Immediate feedback is given if you get the answer correct. If you get the answer wrong there is video feedback available too.

My kids have enjoyed these apps for on the go learning. I like them as well because they can instantly see how to do a problem if they need a different video instruction for a concept. My son, who is in Kindergarten, likes to challenge himself with the Zoombie game. He has already taught himself how to count by 2’s, to ten, and now he is working on his 5’s.
But don’t just take our word for it. Check out what 53 of my CrewMates think of the Apps and eBooks from Math Galaxy by clicking the banner below.

3rd Grade -Algebra Fundametals Math Apps {Math Galaxy Reviews}

Company ~ Math Galaxy 
 Product ~ Math apps and eBooks 
 Format ~ Apps for the iPad or iPhone 
 Ages ~ Pre-K through 12th

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© 2008 - 2020 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

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Wordless Wednesday ~ What the WHAT!?!

Day 11 of Corona Virus Quarantine and the vultures are scavenging for food.

© 2008 - 2020 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