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.



Friday, March 5, 2021

Enjoy family game night with Maestro Mastery - Explore the Composers from Byron's Games ~ 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 guys! Today I am excited to share with you a fun boardgame from Byron’s Games. As a game-loving, music-loving family, we have enjoyed playing Maestro Mastery - Explore the Composers over the last few weeks. Let me tell you more about it.

Bryon’s Games is a company that was created by a 6 year old boy, Bryon, when he found himself hospitalized in the Children’s Hospital of Chicago for six months. During his hospital stay he was inspired to create something fun and educational for kids like himself during their hospital stay. From that stay his first game, Continent Race, was created. Like with his other games that Byron created, Maestro Mastery shows you that learning doesn’t have to be boring!



Maestro Mastery – Explore the Composers is the third game that Byron has created. While playing it your students will learn all about 52 classical music composers and discover the way each of them contributed during the Medieval to Contemporary era. Inside your game box you receive the following game play items:
 > Instructions 
> 104 color-coded matching composer cards (separated into two decks) 
> 1 music timeline card
 > 1 fold-out poster of all the composers * A link to listen to musical samples from each of the composers is also included. 
 To play the game use just one of the decks unless you have a large crowd of people playing. Set the game up just as you would like classic game of memory. Proceed to playing just like the game of memory, except with Maestro Mastery you want to try to match your matches by musical era.

The winner of the game is determined in one of two ways. You can either have an: 

Overall winner ~ the player with the most pairs of composers 

Era winner ~ the player with the greatest number of pairs from a specific era.

 *there can be multiple Era winners.

 
Maestro Mastery also has a built in challenge to the game to make it more challenging. To take advantage of this portion of the game the players would click a link and be taken to a YouTube video to listen to musical compositions to try to match the card. Or you can match the cards by laying the cards out face up and try to identify the person who composed the musical selection.

I have played this game several times with Montana (8th), McKenzie (5th), and Micah (1st) over the last several weeks. Each time we play the kids are getting better and better at identifying the composer and eras. We always choose the winner by the one who gets the most pairs of composers. I think this game is an excellent supplement to any music/composer curriculum. I am excited to continue to use this game as we learn about the great classical composers of the Medieval to Contemporary era.

 

Check out what my CrewMates think of this boardgame or The Family Journal that was also reviewed by clicking the banner below. 

 Our personal rating:




The Family Journal / Maestro Mastery - Explore the Composers {Byron's Games Reviews}
 Format ~ Physical board game 
 Price ~ $24.97 
 Ages ~ 5 years old and up
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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

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Wordless Wednesday




 © 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, March 2, 2021

Failure Free Reading: online reading program to help your struggling reader ~ 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.
Failure Free Reading Home Edition Logo
Sometimes learning to read can be hard. When the child struggles the mom/teacher may begin to feel as if they are failing their child. I have been there with one of my children. It was so hard to watch this child of mine struggle and for it not to click as easy as reading had for my other children. If you have a child struggling to read, I recommend checking out Failure Free Reading Home Edition. I wish I would have had this program to utilize nine years ago.

 

Failure Free Reading Home Edition is an online program that is geared for students who are having difficulties with learning to read. The Failure Free Reading company has received national recognition for helping to turn struggling readers into confident readers by changing the approach to learning to read. Specifically, this program focuses on reading comprehension. They believe that by improving your student’s reading comprehension is the most helpful way to improve reading skills.

 


The program is suitable to use with students who have cognitive disabilities, autism, dyslexia, or a hearing imparement. Since the program does not include any cartoons or illustrations that would make an older student hesitant to use the program it is perfect for any and all students who are developmentally six years-old and older.


We received a six-month subscription to try with my son Micah, who is currently 6. While Micah does not specifically struggle with reading, I wanted to take advantage of the other features of this program to help increase his reading vocabulary. Each lesson takes just 20-30 minutes to complete and you the teacher can choose whether the student learns in the self-paced program or the parent-led program.




When you first set up your account, the student needs to take a diagnostic test for level placement. Micah tested into the Red level for reading. Once I had his profile set up with an easy password and picture verification, he is able to log into the program all by himself. The self-paced program is geared for more independent use by the student. The computer reads the material to the student as they progress through the lessons. The parent-led lessons allow the parent to interact and work with the student in a one-on-one setting.


Failure Free Reading Home Edition Logo
Overall, Micah and I have found that this is a great reading program that will help any struggling reader feel confident in their reading ability. At first we found the programs reading voice to be a distraction, but once we got used to it it has been no big deal. I really like that his reading and spelling has improved dramatically! He now tells me how to spell words. Seventeen other members of the Review Crew also reviewed Failure Free Reading Home Edition, I highly recommend that you click the banner below to read their thoughts.
Failure Free Reading Home Edition {Failure Free Reading Home Edition Reviews}

Our personal rating: 





 Format ~ online 
 Price ~ $150.00 includes access to all four levels of the program 
 Ages ~ Students developmentally 6 years-old and up
Failure Free Reading Home Edition Logo
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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

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Personal Finance Lab: Interactive Budget Game and Stock Market Game for Financial Literacy ~ 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. 


My oldest daughter at home right now is in her Senior year and as she heads off to University in August I hope that I have prepared her how to create and stick to a monthly budget. Last year we did a paper simulation of a budget game but I am so glad we have had the chance to use the PersonalFinanceLab Budgeting Game for a more real life simulation. Let me tell you a little more about it.
Personal Finance Lab Logo
PersonalFinanceLab.com is an online budgeting and stock market game that is geared for high school students to help promote and encourage financial literacy. The program includes integrated curriculum to teach students about important key concepts like your credit score and interest. We received a nine month subscription (for a school year) to the PersonalFinanceLab Budgeting Game, Stock Market Game and integrated curriculum from PersonalFinanceLab.com.




Getting started was easy. Once we got our log in information it was easy to set up our account. I will admit I was a little intimidated at setup, but once we started playing around within the game it was quick and easy to catch on. Initially, I set up student accounts for Mikayla (12th), Montana (8th), and McKenzie (5th). In the end we just ended up using one account to play the game together. We collectively decided to start with the Budgeting Game and had great fun working through the life-like bill situations a college student may encounter. Bills such as rent, groceries, utilities, and a car loan. I love how the game throws in unexpected expenses such as speeding tickets or having to pay for pest control extermination because you were not so tidy in your apartment.




Playing the game was a fun activity for us to look forward to each day as we progressed through the simulated calendar months. Each month takes roughly 20 minutes to play through and includes life-like situations and consequences. With each purchase or expense the student must decide if they want to use debit or credit to pay. Students will also need to learn to budget their weekly paycheck and to pay their bills on time. My kids were all shocked by the amount of money that Uncle Sam takes for his cut of their paycheck.

 
We actually had a really good time playing the Budgeting Game! They eagerly looked forward to the time we would spend playing the simulations and making the game decisions. The only thing we wished we could have done within this game is to pay a little more on our bills. If we had extra money in our account we could not pay more on our utilities or rent to get ahead. Not a huge distractor but a useful feature that would help simulate a more real life experience.



     












We also received access to the Stock Market Game. While, we didn’t really get much into this game we did dabble in it to know that it is jam-packed with knowledge to help you become an excellent stock trader. During the game you get to research and buy and sell stocks just like the real stock market. Everything you need to research about the stocks and keep your portfolio up to date is within the game so you can make informed decisions to be a great investor. Be sure to check out what my fellow reviewers had to say about the Stock Market Game.




Overall, this game has been a great success as a personal finance curriculum for us! I love that it teaches real life budgeting scenarios in real-time with real like consequences. Forget to pay your cable bill, well you will get a late fee. Forget to spend time on your studies in college and you may end up failing the class and need to pay more money to retake it. 


I love how my children really thought out about how they would spend the weekly paycheck and what to do when unexpected expenses happened. They learned a lot and are looking forward to completed the last six months of game play we have in the game. We also plan to take more time and dive fully into the Stock Market Game. Be sure to click the banner below and check out the reviews from 24 of my CrewMates and be sure to check out the Budget Game and/or the Stock Market Game for your family!

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

Our personal rating: 




 Format ~ online learning
 Price ~ $15.00 both games, per student
 Ages ~ high school, adaptable to middle schoolers
Personal Finance Lab Logo
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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

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Wordless Wednesday


  



© 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

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Wordless Wednesday


 



 © 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