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 14th year of homeschooling using a Classical ~ Literature based approach.

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



Thursday, November 17, 2022

The Quest for the King's Crown ~ 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

 
Morning friends! I am excited to share with you a new book we received from Tyndale House Publishers and Focus on the Family, called The Quest for the King’s Crown. I've been reading this book aloud to my two youngest, McKenzie (13) and Micah (8) and we are hooked! Let me tell you a little more about it. 
The Quest for the King’s Crown tells the story of four friends, Mike, Winnie, Ben, and Spence, who are known as The Last Chance Detectives. One day, the friends come across an ancient artifact whose treasure could unlock their wildest dreams. However, a mysterious break-in is threatening the dreams of the Last Chance Detectives all the while leaving the local sheriff puzzled as he tries to solve the case. With several twists and turns to the story will the four friends have what it takes to solve this heart-pounding mystery? 
 
The Quest for the King’s Crown is the seventh book in The Last Chance Detectives series that is written for upper elementary-middle school, roughly 8-12 year old students. Don’t let this books position in the series stop you from reading it. The great thing is that you do not have to read the previous books to fully enjoy this story. 
Focus on the Family 
We found this book to be fast paced and filled with drama and excitement! The story easily kept our attention as the plot twisted and turned throughout each chapter. It is well written and Micah has added the previous six books to his Christmas wish list for his “something to read” gift category. Each book is affordable at just $7.99 for a softcover or $9.99 for an ebook. You can purchase the entire seven set series as well for $55.94.
 
I love being able to add quality Christian fiction books to our home library and I am pleased to say that The Quest for the King’s Crown has earned a spot on our jam-packed bookshelves. I definitely recommend The Last Chance Detectives series for anyone looking to provide wholesome fiction stories for their children. Don’t just take my word for it! Check out what twenty of my other CrewMates thought of this book by clicking the banner below. 
family fiction 
 Format ~ softcover book 
Price ~ $7.99 
Ages ~ 8-12 year olds

Focus on the Family



 © 2008 - 2022 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 16, 2022

The Voice Library ~ 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. 

Morning friends! It’s time for another fun review! Are you looking for a way to preserve the sweet little baby voices of your children? Or maybe to keep the stories of the elders in your family? With The Voice Library you can do just that! The Voice Library is a way to preserve and store treasured stories and memories for your family. This is especially helpful since many of our parents and grandparents are getting older.
With The Voice Library - Audio Book Creator you can share and store your voice and photo memories at your fingertips in your own personal library. You can choose to access it anytime or you can choose to keep it private. In three easy steps you can start preserving your memories for years to come.
Getting started is easy. Simply choose whether you will be a Recorder or a Listener for the account. Each type has a different role for the account. If you are the Recorder it means you have access to all the features of the account. As the account holder you decide who can record or listen to content on your account. As the Listener, you are given access to the main account to listen to whatever is stored.

Thepossibilities are endless as to what you decide to store on your account! Some ideas include: ~ Reading your child’s favorite book ~ Having Grandma and Grandpa tell a story ~ Record funny jokes or stories ~ Create an audio family tree ~ Record your journey for any type of activities and/or events The Voice Library 
Being able to share and preserve special moments and memories is priceless, especially if you have aging family members. I wish I had something like this when I was younger so that I could have my own mother’s voice to share with my children. I am in the process of having my Grandmother who is in her late 80’s, my children’s Great-Grandmother, share some of her stories and memories from growing up as an Okie. I think having access to these memories years down the road will be priceless. My Aunts also share many stories of their memories about my mother so having these recorded would be great treasure to have as well. 

Be sure to check out what my CrewMates thought of this digital storyteller program and see if it is a good fit for your family. In the meantime I will continue to plug away at it and record our memories for generations to come.

  create audio books 

 Format ~ online, interactive program 
Ages ~ all ages
  The Voice Library

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© 2008 - 2022 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 11, 2022

Interactive learning with Brilliant ~ 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. Brilliant Premium 
Good morning friends! We’ve made it to the end of another week! I don’t know about you but for me the school year feels like it is flying by. As we approach the holiday season, I am looking to slow down just a little bit while still giving my kiddos an educational experience. To accomplish this we have been dabbling a little bit each morning into the world of STEM skills with our Premium Subscription from Brilliant.
The Brilliant program is just that, brilliant! We received a Premium Subscription for two students and I used it for myself and McKenzie, my 7th grader. Many people, including myself, find it hard to fit in STEM activities in the daily home educating process. However, by using Brilliant’s interactive web and mobile based program your student will learn problem solving, critical thinking, and logical reasoning skills in just 15-20 minutes a day. 
Brilliant’s online learning platform helps your student, aged 10+, master concepts in science, math, engineering, and logic by simply solving challenging problems in a hands-on approach. If you have read this blog for a while or know me in real life, you know I am all for hands-on learning! 
With over 70 online courses geared for everyone in 6th grade and up you can be sure to find something to study including courses on Everyday Math, Pre-Algebra, Geometry Fundamentals, Scientific Thinking. Computer Science Fundamentals, and Logic. 

For this review I focused on the Pre-Algebra course with my 7th grader McKenzie. During the morning I had her use it as a brain warm-up before getting started on her math lesson for the day. Since the Brilliant is an interactive program, it adapts to the user’s knowledge level, so you get the most out of the program. In the next few weeks, I am going to add in the Scientific Thinking course for McKenzie and we will most likely sit and tackle those together with little brother looking in too.

Brilliant Premium 
Brilliant is one of the courses I never knew existed but has found a place in our daily homeschool adventures! I also love that the learning can be on-the-go, especially since we are about to start traveling for gymnastics season. McKenzie and I are going to Puerto Rico for a competition in a few weeks and Brilliant will be coming along so she can continue her schooling on the road. And since I have already started thinking of next year’s courses, I have moved Brilliant’s Logic course to the top of my short list of programs for McKenzie’s 8th grade year as well. I am excited about this program for when Micah is old enough to take part as well.
Brilliant Premium
I wholeheartedly recommend you check out Brilliant for your family. Help spark the natural learning curiosity in the students in your life by gifting them a subscription for their birthday and Christmas. I know we will continue to use this program through the end of our subscription and beyond. Be sure to click the banner below to find out what my CrewMates thought of this program as well. STEM Learning 
 Company ~ Brilliant 
 Format ~ online, interactive program 
Price ~ $149.85 
Ages ~ 6th grade - adult
Brilliant Premium

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© 2008 - 2022 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 8, 2022

Success Skills for Christian Students Video Course and Book Bundle ~ 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. 

Good morning, friends!  Today I am excited to share a book geared towards your high school student. Do you have a high schooler who is looking to be college ready? The Skills 4 Students, LLC offers a course just for high schoolers to help them prepare for the world of college. It’s called the Success Skills for Christian Students Video Course and Book Bundle. I am on my fourth rotation of high school, with two more rounds to go, but I am always eager to learn something new that I didn’t know before. This program offers a physical book for your student as well as an online video component to help them develop the soft skills that will help them be successful in college as well as what future employers will be looking for. Let me tell you a little more about it. 
 This course is written and developed by Mr. Cary Green, PhD, who after teaching and advising university students for twenty years started his own business to help young adults be successful by equipping them with skills for academic success and employability. His course will help your high school or college student deepen their Christian faith, develop leadership and academic skills, as well as build the soft skills that employers are seeking. 
We received the physical paperback book plus the complete online course which is geared to the student. The online component includes video lessons, an eBook download, a download to the application workbook, a Bible study guide download, audio MP3 downloads of the videos, course slides, and a quick start guide student portfolio. As you can see it is a full course to get your students college and career ready. Students are able to work independently through the program and you the parent are just there to office support and guidance as needed. Since there is a lot of meaningful work put into this course a full high school credit can be given on the high school transcript for students who complete the course. 

I really love that this course puts Christ at the front and center even before they start to learn the “soft skills” the book talks about. What exactly are “soft skills” that will be taught? The book identifies 5 of them as being skills that will enhance academic performance and transfer the skills to any future career. They include: 

1. Critical thinking and problem-solving 
2. Written and oral communication 
3. Ability to work effectively on a team 
4. Time management 
5. Professionalism 

My highschooler, Montana (10th), and my middle schooler, McKenzie (7th) both took a look at this course. While it is intended for high schoolers, I think it has important points for my middle schooler to get a head start on as she prepares for high school, especially since she is gearing up to take high school level courses next school year. We have spent quite a deal of time in Chapter 3 which deals with learning to “Balance Your Life and Keep Learning”. We just finished our first busy season of fall softball for Montana and are gearing up for McKenzie’s travel season with gymnastics. This chapter has helped us remember to return our focus to Christ even as we manage the daily requirements of school and life. I especially like that at the end of each chapter it summarizes key take away points. 

There is so much to this course, and we have only brushed the surface. Over the course of this school year, we will continue plugging away with the course and learning new things to help us be successful. These are valuable skills to be learning and I am glad to have them laid out for us to follow as a guidebook as we prepare to launch them into adulthood. Skills 4 Students, LLC offers homeschool students career readiness with their Success Skills for Christian Students Video Course and Book Bundle. Be sure to click the banner below to see what my CrewMates thought of this program. I highly recommend checking out this course! 
Skills for Success

 Format ~ paperback book 
Ages ~ high school through college student 


Find Skills 4 Students, LLC 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. 

 http://astablebeginning.com

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Read to Learn with Reading Eggs ~ 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 and I pray you, the reader, find them helpful on your homeschooling journey. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC Regulations. 
Reading Eggs
 Hello friends! Over the course of the 14 years we have been homeschooling we have used a lot of curriculum when my kids were younger and learning to read. I have learned that what works for one child, may not necessarily work for another, but when it does it is great! We are no stranger to the world of Reading Eggs, the online learning site, having used the program with both Montana and McKenzie when they were younger. We have been working with the program over the last few weeks with Micah, my 8 year old third grader. He loves his morning computer time and logging into his Reading Eggs profile to complete the fun online learning games and activities. 
Since everyone needs to learn to read, why not make the process fun and engaging? With Reading Eggs you can do just that! Reading Eggs offers online learning games and activities with Reading Eggs and Mathseedsto spice up the learning process. Micah is already a strong reader, so we used the program where they assessed him at for the Reading Eggspress program that is geared for 7-13 year olds. I found, that while Micah is a great reader, he sometimes struggled with the reading comprehension of some stories. I am glad that the Reading Eggs program pointed this out to me so that we could make sure we slowed down to get the concept done.

As I mentioned the Reading Eggs program provides a fun and interactive way to get kids to learn how to read and how to practice math with their Mathseeds program. By introducing beginner readers to the world of reading through interactive stories and games with fun characters your child will be soaring off into their reading adventures in no time!


Reading Eggs has five distinct components to the program including:

 ~ Reading Eggs Junior for children aged 2-4 years: Reading Eggs Junior is the perfect amount of stimulation for your young toddler who is just beginning their learning journey. With a huge library of read-aloud books, songs, alphabet games, and the all-important phonemic awareness activities your toddler will be engaged from day one. 

 ~ Reading Eggs for children aged 3-7 years: With Reading Eggs your children aged 4-7 will learn everything from letter recognition, phonics, to reading early readers while using this program. To capture and hold a young child’s attention and make the reading experience multi-sensory there are also puzzles, games, and songs to make the process F-U-N! Not to mention the chance to win golden eggs and rewards to help the child progress toward the end goal and feel proud of themselves. 

 ~ Fast Phonics for children aged 5-10: Most beginning readers need a little bit more practice with phonics when learning to read, so the creators created Fast Phonics to focus on building phonics instruction. The Fast Phonics program helps children to learn the 44 sounds of the English language. The program moves quickly but helps to reinforce reading and spelling skills. 

 ~ Reading Eggspress for children aged 7-13: Do you have an older child or want to continue on the reading journey? No problem! Reading Eggspress {a sister part of the Reading Eggs World} is geared towards older children, aged 7-13, to encourage fluent reading. Using real books for reading this program is jam packed with hundreds of interactive reading activities and games to encourage fluent reading! 

 ~ Mathseeds for children aged 3-9 years: Mathseeds teaches kids 3-9 the core math and problem solving skills needed to be successful. Through highly interactive lessons, Mathseeds keeps kids interested in completing math skills. Mathseeds is also available to play on a tablet so you can take the learning on the go if you have internet connection.
For this review we received a 12- month subscription and Micah has been enjoying it from the start! He has focused all of his time in the Reading Eggspress program. He typically spends 20 minutes each morning while I am working with his older sister. The lessons are engaging and fun so it keeps him interested.

We will definitely continue using the program for the rest of our subscription. All in all, we highly recommend Reading Eggs for anyone looking for a fun and exciting reading or math supplement. Be sure to click the banner below and read what 20 of my CrewMates thought of this program from Reading Eggs.
learn to read 

 Company ~ Reading Eggs 
 Product ~ Reading Eggs 
Format ~ online reading curriculum 
Ages ~ preschool through age 13
Reading Eggs
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 © 2008 - 2022 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.

 https://astablebeginning.com

Friday, October 14, 2022

TabletClass Math Geometry ~ 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 and I pray you, the reader, find them helpful on your homeschooling journey. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC Regulations. 

TabletClass Math 
Hello there friends! Another week of homeschooling is coming to an end and I have another review for you. Do you struggle to teach your children upper level, high school math? Do you need to make the switch to a new curriculum because your current one is just not working for you? Or are you finding that you and your child need a little bit more help and explanation? Well, today I am pleased to tell you about the Geometry course from TabletClass Math that my 10th grader has been working one.



Math doesn’t have to be hard, but I totally understand when it is. Geometry is my nemesis so I was especially excited when the opportunity came up to review this course taught by the mathematical guru, Mr. John Zimmerman. Mr. Zimmerman is more than a qualified math instructor with a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and a Master’s in Educational Technology and a desire to help your student be and feel successful in their math education. When he created TabletClass Math his goal was to give 110% to his students to help them achieve everything possible in their math instruction.

 
TabletClass Math is a self-paced online math curriculum for the upper grades of math, designed for the middle to high school ages as the target group. We received a one-year membership to the Geometry course, however, curriculum is available for the following math courses: 

 ~ Math Foundations 
~ Pre-Algebra 
~ Algebra 1
 ~ Geometry
 ~ Algebra 2
 ~ Pre-Calculus
 ~ Test Prep 
 The courses are accessed through an online course site called, Teachable. Membership to the course is available through yearly or monthly payments. A monthly subscription is just $25.00 on auto-renewal and can be cancelled at any time. While a full year of access is $150.00, the best value at 50% off the cost. Six month’s access is also available for a $95.00 one-time fee if you need this option. All coursework, lessons, worksheets, quizzes etc are found within the Teachable course site.


My 10th grader, Montana needed just a bit of extra Geometry instruction. Math is not her strongest subject but she is a determined, hard worker. We have used this course as a supplement to her main math curriculum two days a week. We kind of got a late start in diving into the program because she had to have oral surgery for her wisdom teeth and and other stuck tooth. The recovery period for this has set us back on schooling a little bit, but now that she is healing we are jumping back into our learning full force. The beauty of this course is we don’t have to feel like she is behind, just jump in and get to learning where we left off. I will say that having access to the course and the video instruction on topics that she needed a little bit extra instruction on has been great! Hearing and seeing a concept explained a different way is sometimes just the thing to make it stick.

TabletClass Math

This course has been awesome for Montana in doing just that! Giving her the confidence that she can tackle Geometry and be a successful math student. We are looking forward to progressing through the course over the course of the school year. I definitely think you should check out this course on Geometry from TabletClass Math and the other courses as well too! It may just be what your student needs to succeed. But don’t just take my word for it ~ check out what 19 of my CrewMates thought of this course and the other ones being offered by clicking on the banner below! 

online math

 Product ~ Geometry 
Format ~ online math curriculum 
Ages ~ middle – high school level math

TabletClass Math

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 © 2008 - 2022 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. 

 https://astablebeginning.com