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 12th year of homeschooling using a Classical ~ Literature based approach.

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



Monday, November 23, 2020

2020 Blue Ribbon Awards ~ Our Favorite curriculum reviews

Morning friends! Today marks the end of another year on the Homeschool Review Crew for us. Can you believe we have been a part of this amazing Crew testing and reviewing curriculum and fun products for 10 years! Over the last ten years I have met so many new friends, online and in person, and used curriculum that we never knew existed and needed.

This year we were blessed to review 55 products with my four remaining students at home. As in previous years, the Crew votes for their favorites and the results are in. You can see all the 2020 BLUE RIBBON WINNERS by clicking the link.

 


 

This year I am excited to tell you our favorites products below, let’s dig in!

 

Micah’s (1st grade) favorite:


The Boxcar Children Early Reader Set  from Albert Whitman & Company 

 

 

McKenzie’s (5th grade) favorite:


 The Adventures of Rooney Cruz RINGLEADERS from Truth Becomes Her

 

 

Montana’s (8th grade) favorite:


Bible Unearthed from Drive Thru History® Adventures

 


Mikayla’s (12th grade) favorite:



MathandAlgebra.com


 

My personal favorite:


Young Scholars from Wisdom Wonder Project

 

Each year I strive to write my best reviews to showcase the products we receive. This year, we were blessed to make The Homeschool Review Crew's  2020 Top Ten on Pinterest for eleven products (*there are a few reviews still out so this list is current as of posting. If I end up on the outstanding reviews I will update this post). 























 

I hope to be on the Crew again next year bringing you as many reviews as possible. Click on the hyperlinks if you are interested in learning more about the Homeschool Review Crew or you are interested in signing up for the 2021 Crew year


Have a great week and Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 20, 2020

Meaningful, personalized gifts from CrossTimber ~ 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. 

 

It’s Friday friends! How was your week? I hope well. Today I am excited to share with you another exciting product from the folks at CrossTimber. The holidays are fast approaching and it’s time to start thinking about gifts for your loved ones. Personalized gifts are always so meaningful and the Bookmarks and AmazingName Print Activity Sheets are just perfect for a stocking stuffer or gift.
CrossTimber is a family owned small business based out of Ohio and owned by John and Katie Dehart who create personalized name gifts. The Denhart’s put countless hours into researching the meaning of every name they come across and create customized gifts that you will treasure for years to come. Do you know the meaning behind your name? Each of our children have unique names and are called by a pseudonym online. Because each has a unique name its nice to be able to have a personalizied gift with their real names on it. CrossTimber offers a huge selection of personalized gifts that highlight the meaning behind your name including:

~ 8x10 or 5x7 framed name meaning plaques 
 ~ Music boxes 
 ~ Coffee mugs 
 ~ The Names of God Plaques 
 
~ Bookmarks 
~ Name cards


For this review I chose the five Name Bookmarks for my son. There are over two hundred designs to choose from including sports, meaningful symbols, animals, oceans, Boy Scouts, and more. The bookmarks are printed on laminated, heavy, cardstock with a glossy finish. Selecting your design is a simple process too. After selecting your design, you get to chose from a presidential or famous author quote, a Bible verse, character quality, or even a customized text to include on your bookmark. Customizing our bookmarks was really easy!

We both love the way these bookmarks turned out! We use the bookmarks in Micah’s daily reading book. Another bookmark is kept in his Bible devotion book, and I am trying to figure out a way to include one for his school planner as well. I really wish that I knew that I could select 5 different names for this review, but I am excited to purchase a bookmark for each of my daughters to place in their stocking this year.

We also reveiced The Amazing Name Activity set with this review. This set includes 25 pages of personalized name activities like mazes, coloring pages, and word searches. For this set I chose to use my youngest daughter’s name who enjoyed completing the activities.

If you are looking for a special gift for someone during this upcoming holiday season then look no further than a set of Personalized Bookmarks and AmazingName Print Activity Sheets from CrossTimber. Be sure to check out what my CrewMates thought of these personalized NameCards, or the 8x10 Plaque print that were also reviewed by clicking the banner below.

 
Name Cards, Bookcards, Activity Sheets & Plaque Personalised Gifts {CrossTimber Reviews}

Company ~ CrossTimber 
Price ~ $3.99 each 
Ages ~ all ages
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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, November 18, 2020

Wordless Wednesday ~ 3 down, 3 to go


 


 © 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, November 17, 2020

Bible Study for women from Julie Naturally ~ 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.

 


Hi there! Can you believe it is already mid-November!? Time has surely picked up and we are in the final weeks of this crazy year. As we finish out this year I am excited to bring you a little bit of encouragement from a resource that directs you to the ultimate healer and source of Hope, Jesus Christ. For the past few weeks, I have been using Faith Journeys Bible Study Series: Romans bundle by Julie Polanco from Julie Naturally.
Julie Polanco, the creator of Julie Naturally is a homeschooling mom of 4 who has been schooling at home for the past 17 years. For this review she provided us with two of her downloads Faith Journeys Bible Study Series: Romans Bundle and the Faith Journeys Bible study Series: Philippians, from her Bible study series.

The Faith Journeys Bible Study Series: Romans Bundle ($14.99) is an eight week study that covers two chapters of Romans a week. The Faith Journey Study Series: Philippians ($8.49) is a shorter four week study that covers just one chapter of Philippians each week. Each of these studies are available as a Printable PDF and both contain:

 ~ daily Bible reading 
~ printable memory verse cards
 ~ four to five short answer questions 
~ as well as a weekly coloring page


Completing the weekly lessons is short and sweet and normally takes just 15-20 minutes of my quiet time. The Romans study also include a video series to watch before digging into the lesson. These videos are also short, just 10-12 minutes long. All of the scripture in both of these series is taken from the 1984 NIV.

I chose to work with the study on Romans for this review period. Of course I had to buy a new planner/journal to use with my Bible study. You don’t have to do this, the pages print neatly and you can 3-hole punch and place in a binder or you can spiral bind the pages for a notebook as well. I ended up printing the pages I needed for each week and punched them to fit inside my planner.
 

I really like that the questions after the scripture reading point the reader to God. They are thought provoking and makes you examine your daily living. I also like the structure of this study, there is no question of what should be read each day. However, it would be nice to have an answer key for the questions just to make sure you are grasping all that needs to be for each question. Having something to bounce off of would give me a different perspective to the questions and let me know if I need to dig a little deeper or if I am right on track with my thinking. I especially liked the added coloring pages for the 7th day of the week. I started out coloring these pages on the 7th day, but found it was easier for me to color while listening to the video on day one.

Overall, I found this study on Romans to be excellent and I highly recommend you checking it out! For a busy mom or teen who is looking for an easy to complete Bible Study either of these would fit the bill. I plan on saving the Philippians study until January since Advent is coming soon. Be sure to check out what my 39 CrewMates thought of the Romans and Philippians Bible Study Series by clicking the banner below!



 
***

 Format ~ Printable PDF files, video lessons for Romans Study 
 Price ~ $14.99 and $8.49 respectively 
 Ages ~ teens through adults

 

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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, November 12, 2020

Bible heroes for girls with The Adventures of Rooney Cruz RINGLEADERS ~ 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 Thursday friends! It’s a soggy, fall day in our neck of the woods, but I am not complaining because this type of weather is perfect for snuggling up with a good book. Today I am excited to share with you a book all about bible heroes for girls called The Adventures of Rooney Cruz RINGLEADERS, from Truth Becomes Her. Let’s dig in!

 

In this newest installment we get to tag along on the continuing adventures with the Bible Belles. The main character, Rooney Cruz, has just learned that she has five superpowers that include prayer, bravery, patience, leadership, and loyalty. As you weave your way throughout the story you will go on an unforgettable journey as Rooney discovers how to use her voice to deliver God’s message.
  

With the help of, The Ringleaders, six women from the New Testament, Elizabeth, Mary, The Samaritan Woman, Mary and Martha, and Mary Magdalene, who help Rooney share the good news of the gospel. This book is a hardcover, 9x9 book filled with beautiful illustrations and written by Erin Weidemann. The glossy pages are easy to read and the font is appealing to the eye. Throughout the 199 pages and nine chapters are scripture versus that help to proclaim the hope of Jesus to generations to come.



This series is written for early readers (6-8 years old) through independent readers (9-11 years old). My reviewer for this series is McKenzie, my newly turned 11 year old. We were both pleasantly surprised that in addition to The Ringleaders book we received a Devotional, Coloring Book, and Journal. These were unexpected additions and McKenzie loves them! She has been working through the devotional each day, reading the daily devotion and writing the scripture reference in her planner each morning.


The Devotional shows your daughter that her voice has the power to change the world. With 40 days of devotions it will inspire your daughter to live her life sharing God’s love.


The Coloring Book is a paperback book filled with black and white pages just waiting to be colored.


The Journal for Mother’s and Daughters is a great resource to connect with your daughter. I love that it has pages to share your thoughts and feelings together in a safe space. 




We love everything about this book and series! McKenzie has loved reading the story and going on adventures with Rooney! She especially enjoys doing the devotion each morning. This is the first thing she does before starting the rest of her independent school work. I also love that in this book my daughter gets to see representation of strong girls who look like her! 


I highly recommend that you check out this Ringleaders Bundle for a special little girl in your life. This would make an excellent birthday or Christmas gift. Don’t just take my word for it, be sure to click on the banner below to read the reviews of 39 of my CrewMates.

 
The Adventures of Rooney Cruz RINGLEADERS {Truth Becomes Her Reviews}

 Format ~ 9x9 Hardcover book 
 Price ~ $29.99 
 Ages ~ 6-11 year old girls

 

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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