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 9th year of homeschooling using a Classical ~ Charlotte Mason approach.

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



Friday, September 15, 2017

Unathorized by Chara Games ~ a TOS review

I am so excited to share with you a new game from Chara Games called Unauthorized. Do you love playing board games at your house? We sure do! We are a board game loving family so it shouldn't surprise you to know that we loved playing Unauthorized during a few of our family game nights. Let me tell you a little about it because you are in for a real treat. 

UNAUTHORIZED
Chara Games LLC was founded by Katherine & Patrick Lysaght in 2014. Together they desired to design and publish innovative and fun tabletop games with Christian themes. Chara is the Biblical Greek word for “unshakeable joy”. They want to help you and your family experience joy through their relationships with God and other people through playing games to help build and foster relationships through shared, joyful experiences.

Like the other games, Commissioned and 3 Seeds that Chara Games has made, Unauthorized is a social deduction or role-playing game designed for 6-12 players. With that number of people playing it may sound like it takes a long time to play, but it just takes 30 minutes. The game is intended for players who are 12 years old through adult.



The game contains:
~ Rule Book
~ Role Cards
~ Dealer Reference Card
~ Player Reference Card
~ Experience Cards


This game takes you into the world of the underground church. Will you help build the church or ruin it without blinking an eye? The game is played by each player being assigned a role that has specific abilities and every game has a Pastor and a Police Officer. Other roles include a Teacher, Merchant, Rebel, Musician, Clerk, Thief Counselor, or Matchmaker.

UNAUTHORIZED
The object of the game is to sway players to your side. Setting up the game includes shuffling the Role cards and dealing one to each player. Game players must pick a side and place the role cards face up in front of themselves. Then Experience Cards are dealt with Police getting 7 red cards and Pastors green cards. The remaining Experience Cards are shuffled and dealt to the other game players.

These cards will tell whether or not a player is loyal to the state or the church. Next, do your job as a player and persuade and convince other game players to be on your side. With four rounds of play the game can get intense at times when you are trying to convince people to join your side. We played this game as a family when my oldest was still home from University. With her, my husband, myself, and older three daughters we had just the minimum of six players needed to play the game. My younger two children just watched even though they really wanted to play.

UNAUTHORIZED

This is a great game and leads to many discussions as to why some people are not free to worship their God freely and how some countries and people are not friendly to Christians or the Gospel. We recommend this game to any family looking for a quality family game to play. Definitely check out the instuctional video, it is very helpful in explaining the game in greater detail. Be sure to check out what my CrewMates thought of this game too by clicking the banner below.

Unauthorized {Chara Games Reviews}
Company ~ Chara Games 
 Product ~ Unauthorized 
 Price ~ $14.99
 Ages ~ 12 to adult

Chara Games

Social Media Links:

 • Facebook    • Twitter @Charagames   

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©2008 - 2017 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. 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Carole P. Roman books ~ a TOS review

Remember when I told you earlier this week that our family has a fond affection towards good books? Well I wasn’t joking! Yes, I try to fill our bookshelves full of good books as well as check them out from the local library, but I get really excited over getting new books in the mail.

Carole P Roman
My bookshelves may be overflowing with books, however, I always welcome more. Some people like shoes or maybe even purses or fancy cars. For me though, give me a quality children’s book any day. I love them! We are so excited to share with you today about four new books we have received from Carole P. Roman. Let me tell you about them. We received:







Books by Carole P Roman

If You Were Me and Lived In…Egypt helps you learn why the Ancient land of Egypt is often called “the cradle of civilization.” As you travel down the Nile River you learn of all of Egypt’s secrets that make her a fascinating time in history.

Books by Carole P Roman

If You Were Me and Lived In… Ancient Greece tells about the lifestyle and mythology of the Ancient Greece people. Like the other books, the main focus is on a family. You learn all about the daily life and my children especially enjoyed the fact that the Ancient Greeks did not use napkins when eating. Instead they wiped their hands on bread and then fed the bread later to their dogs.

Books by Carole P Roman

One to Ten: Squirrel’s Bad Day tells the story of Squirrel who accidently tips and loses all of her acorns while running on a tree limb one day. While she I angry and frustrated, she meets her friend, Rabbit, who gives her solid advice. Simply rate your problem on a scale of one-to-ten. This is a cute story that helps you see the big picture in life.

Books by Carole P Roman

Oh Susannah: It’s in the bag is a new chapter book that tells the story of Susannah Logan who is having a very bad day. Starting with homework trouble and an invitation to a sleepover at a creepy house her day goes from bad to worse. Instead of facing her problems head on, Susannah stuffs them into her backpack to hide them away. But how much can her backpack carry before her troubles come spilling out once again? Carole P. Roman started writing as a dare from one of her sons and has penned a new groundbreaking nonfiction series about living in different cultures around the world. With what started out as a dare has led to more than 35 children’s books, and over 100 book awards for Mrs. Roman. Including turning the fun game she played with her grandson into her first book “Captain No Beard- An Imaginary Tale of a Pirate’s Life”. By combining her teaching past with her love of exploration and interest in the world around us, she has given us the reader a chance to explore "If You Were Me and Lived in..."
The first two books are apart of the If You Were Me and Lived In series. The books in this series are most appropriate for children aged 8-15 and give you a glimpse of what it would be like to live in another country. These two books are perfect for our family because we are currently studying Ancient times. I was able to use these books for my younger two daughters during our history studies.
Each book is choke full of fascinating information of the chosen time period so you get a firsthand look at life. At the end of each book a list of famous people of the time period is provided. There is also a glossary at the end of each book and it provides pronunciation for words that may be unfamiliar. The pictures in the books are bright and eye-catching making you want to know more. We have happily read and re-read all of these books over the last few weeks. My children have been asking me questions and really digging into the books.


We have compared life back then to now and especially enjoyed the name section by brainstorming up what our own names would be in that time period. These books are geared towards young kids and I know that my young ones (and older ones) have enjoyed reading them. I love that they are affordably priced at just $10.99 - $11.99 each. Any of the books in this series would make a wonderful addition to a unit study.

 Once again we have truly enjoyed the books from Carole P Roman! Be sure to check out what my CrewMates thought of all the books being reviewed by clicking the banner below.

Oh Susannah, Bedtime Stories, Captain No Beard, If you were Me ... {Carole P. Roman Reviews}

Company ~ Carole P. Roman




 Format ~  paperback books
Price ~ from $10.99 - $11.99 each
Ages ~ 8-15 years old
Carole P Roman Blog
Social Media Links: 
Facebook  ~ Twitter  ~ Pinterest ~Good Reads 
 
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©2008 - 2017 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, September 12, 2017

Getting Started with Homeschool Spanish Academy


* links in this post are affiliate links*

I am so excited this year to have both my high school girls, Madison (11th) and Mikayla (9th), taking Spanish lessons with Homeschool Spanish Academy {HSA}! We were first introduced to HSA program in the summer of 2012 and have been in love with it since. Our oldest, Marie also took 2 years of Spanish with HSA too before she graduated from our homeschool, so I guess we are veterans to the program.


Homeschool Spanish Academy was founded in 2009 by Ron Fortin. As an online Spanish Academy, the program offers interactive lessons between native Guatemalan speakers/instructors and students. HSA has programs for every age including elementary, middle, and high school students as well as adult learners. 

Getting set up to start lessons is a breeze! First you need to decide what type of lessons you need and how many days a week you want to study. Because my girls are looking to earn 1 High School credit, we choose to go with the 60-class option that meets for 50 minutes each session. This program retails for $560.00 and is the ideal program for a two semester, full year long course. If you are looking for a one semester option to earn .5 credit, there is a 30-class option that retails for $377.00 as well as a 15-class option, .25 credit, when you need just a little bit extra study for $212.00. Now, don't get scared by that price tag! You definitely get what you pay for with HSA and the one-on-one tutoring without having to leave your own home is worth every penny!


Once you have completed the sign-up process you are ready to schedule your classes. On the first day of your scheduled class, you will get a reminder email about an hour before your class session. In that email, it will direct you to the new meeting platform on Google Hangouts. If you don’t already have it Google Hangouts downloaded a link to do so is provided for easy reference. Once you have downloaded it just run Google Hangouts on your computer or mobile device with either an iOS or Android OS.  


While not mandatory, it’s nice to have a pair of high quality headsets to communicate with the teacher. It really cuts down on little brother and sister noise during class time.

Next week I will go into more depth about how exactly we schedule our lessons out to fit our schedule. So far, we have not had any issues with logging into the new platform for classes or getting our classes scheduled. I personally like to schedule out our whole year right up front so we can keep the same teacher. Once we get our gymnastics and softball schedules we adjust the days and times as needed for our family.

That is one of the many reasons while we love using Homeschool Spanish Academy. Their Spanish courses work around our busy schedule, yet I know my children are getting top notch instruction from native speakers. Something that in my book is priceless!

I hope you’ll join me!




Progeny Press ~ Charlotte's Web E-Guide ~ a TOS review

School’s been in session for a few weeks and we are settling into a nice fall routine. Our family has a fond affection towards good books and I try to fill our bookshelves full of good books as well as check them out from the local library. We like to incorporate literature guides into your homeschool as we find that literature guides help us to dig a bit deeper into the story. They also make reading even more enjoyable when you can add hands-on crafts etc.


Have you ever checked out the literature guides from Progeny Press? For this review we received a downloadable interactive PDF copy of the study guide for the lovable novel, Charlotte’s Web E-Guide .

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!


Charlotte’s Web has been enjoyed many times over in our family! It’s a timeless classical story that warms my heart each time we read it. I mean what’s not to love about a loveable pig, named Wilbur! My 5th and 2nd graders, Montana and McKenzie, enjoyed this novel again during the review period. Montana read the book on her own while McKenzie listened to the audio recording. I have read the book to both of them when I read it for my older girls so they are familiar with the story and Mama needed to save her voice for our other read-alouds we are doing.

Charlotte's Web - E-Guide
The Interactive E-Guide is a 55 page downloadable and printable study guide that goes along with the book. It’s called an interactive study guide because you don’t have to print it out. Rather, you can do all of your work directly in the PDF file on the computer. Once the study guide is complete you could then print the whole file and save your students work in a portfolio or binder. The interactive feature is really great if your child is not up to writing that much. I am more of a paper gal, so I choose to print the file bit by bit and store it in Montana’s work binder.


The E-Guide is set up in an easy to follow style. It gives a Synopsis, tells about the author and illustrator, and includes a pre-reading activities section that has helpful information about spiders. I am not a huge spider fan, but I am learning to embrace nature one day at a time. There is also an Overview of the complete story line as well as Post-Reading activities to complete. If your student enjoys this book, additional resources are provided towards the back with other novel suggestions.


Each chapter of the book is broken down in the E-Guide and the student’s knowledge is tested by several different types of learning exercises including:

Vocabulary ~ multi types of exercises including multiple choice, context clues, fill-in-the-blank, and dictionary definitions.

Comprehension questions ~ testing the students’ knowledge of what was read.

Thinking about the story ~ thinking questions and making story connections.

Descriptive writing ~ these fun exercises get kids thinking all the while encouraging writing skills.

Literary devices ~ mood, irony, foreshadowing, and more are presented at grade level.

Digging deeper ~ scripture and life lessons are presented in a Christian worldview.

We enjoyed this literature guide on Charlotte’s Web 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 for older students! 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, the Charlotte’s Web guide sells for $17.99. Be sure to browse the online catalog for individual pricing on all the available guides.


We love adding Progeny Press guides to our Language Arts studies so we were excited to receive the Charlotte’s Web E-Guide this time to review. Our family finds that literature guides make reading even more enjoyable! We give this guide 2 thumbs up and Progeny Press is the first site I look on when searching or a classical literature guide.

So far we have enjoyed these Literature Guides in our homeschool:


I look forward to adding more literature guides to our collection over the course of the school year!

Be sure to click on the banner below to find out what my CrewMates thought of this review on Charlotte’s Web and the other guides being reviewed, including:

 • The Silver Chair E-Guide (Grades 5-7)
 • Macbeth E-Guide (Grades 9-12)

Study Guides for Literature {Progeny Press Reviews}

Company ~ Progeny Press 
Format ~ E-Guide 
Price ~ $17.99 
Ages ~ 4th-6th grade

Progeny Press

Social Media Links: 

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©2008 - 2017 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. 
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Sunday, September 10, 2017

Weekly Check UP ~ week 6


It’s time for another 2 week check-up! We just finished week 6 of our school year and we have finally hit our groove. Everyone has started all the classes we have scheduled for this year too.


Madison and Mikayla both started Spanish with HomeschoolSpanish Academy {affiliate link} this week. Madison also started AP Government and Honors Physics online with Dr. Jay Wile start Wednesday. These online classes are just what she needed this year! She also took the ACT test for the first time this past Saturday.


A few substitutions have been made, nothing major though. I switched McKenzie’s spelling from Sonlight 2 to the spelling program offered from Super Teacher Worksheets


We just were not having the most success with the Sonlight spelling and I don’t quite think she is ready for Rod & Staff Spelling 3 so we are taking a more relaxed approach. I am going to be writing a review of how we are using the spelling program and more from Super Teacher Worksheets come October so be on the lookout for that.


Last week Montana received an “A” on her math test! It was quite the feat because she does not enjoy math at all. It is the one subject that can change her attitude from good to worse in seconds. She can do the work, but she just does not want too. I am hoping it is just a slump and she pulls out of it soon…until then I will be patient and we will just plug away at the lessons one day at a time.




Personally, I need to work on my own time management for the next three weeks until our 1st quarter break. I made the mistake of going into the gym Thursday morning when dropping the girls off for training at 830AM. The thing is I got to talking to my gym mom’s and I ended up not leaving until McKenzie’s practice was over at 11:30AM. I needed that talking time, but it put me behind schedule with the rest of the day. I need to pace myself with my own commitments, sometimes I am just too nice.


God has been blessing me so much these last few weeks in little ways. It is so awesome to see answered prayers literally walk in the door! I have made so many new friendships these last few weeks too, it’s been great.


The next three weeks will fly by I am sure but I am looking forward to our 1st quarter break. Until next time, be blessed!


Reviews posted:








Weekly Wrap-Up



©2008 - 2017 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, September 8, 2017

Edible pillars of clouds and pillars of fire

Do you remember last spring when we did the *Almost* edible 10 plagues study? Well we have come back around to studying Exodus. This week we have been studying about how God led Moses and the Israelites out of Egypt to the promised land.


Like last year, I wanted to try and make the concept memorable to the kids by making it edible. So, I decided to make edible pillars of cloud and pillars of fire. 



To whip these up was really quick and easy. I used pretzel rods, cream cheese frosting, marshmallows, and cherry fire fruit roll ups. I love how they turned out!


Mikayla had a double day today so I brought her’s to the gym so she could eat hers because it would have been eaten by a certain little brother if left home until evening.


These were a big hit in our house!



©2008 - 2017 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.