This blog is my attempt to document our busy but BLESSED lives. A child of God, wife to one, and mom to 6 fabulous kids. We are in our 8th year of homeschooling using a Classical approach.

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



Thursday, August 25, 2016

Can Do Cubes ~ a TOS review


Spelling and Phonics practice just got 10 x’s better since we have been using our Can Do Cubes from jollyliteracy.com {just2ducks LLC} to learn letter sounds, digraphs, and blending. Earlier this week I shared about the new phonics program, Jolly Phonics, that I am using to teach McKenzie and Micah the 42 sounds that make up the English language. Let me tell you a little more about the Can Do Cubes.


Just what are Can Do Cubes? Well, for starters they are super cool, 6-sided, finely polished wooden blocks that are laser engraved with the letters of the alphabet along with the alphabetic code. The Can Do Cubes are separated into two stages and focus on hands-on, multi-sensory learning of the alphabetic code that goes along with the Jolly Phonics program and help children decode the phonemes, or sounds, of the English language.


You can use these cubes with any phonics or spelling program but they are especially packaged to be used to teach a small group of sounds in specific order, like in the photo above.


 Is that confusing? I hope not! It’s really quite simple. Think for example, when you say the word “they” you are not taught to spell it “t-h-e-y” in this program. Rather, you are asked to think of the sounds that the letters make together as a whole and spell the word as “th-ey”, because “ey” says “a”. The blocks give you the ability to literally build words.

Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar Review

For this review we were blessed to receive: 
~ 1 Tray of 27 Cubes in Stage 1 which present the simple alphabetic code 
~ 1 Tray of 30 Cubes plus 2 cubes connected with a string to represent split digraph sounds in Stage 2 Cubes which present the more complex alphabetic code 
~ Handbooks for Stage 1 and Stage 2
 ~ DVD with Interactive Demonstration of Sounding Out of Letter/Sounds Presented by Debbie Hepplewhite, who is a synthetic phonics consultant
 ~ Phonics Chart 
~ Word Chart
 ~ Online Templates and Worksheets in PDF Format for printing


Can Do Cubes are perfect for preschool prep through elementary students. The complete set of Can Do Cubes that we received retails for $95.00 and shipping is always free for US schools.


Micah (2) and McKenzie (6) love, love, love using these hands-on cubes during school time. We have been using the cubes alongside our reading/phonics and spelling programs with McKenzie and just for teaching Micah his letter sounds. A few times blocks have been everywhere because of busy two-year old hands, but luckily they have a little number on the bottom so I know just where they belong in the set in the nice box set.


I can’t say enough good things about these cubes! For such a tiny product, they pack a big punch in helping to take the stress out of learning phonics. If your children are hands-on learners, then definitely check out these cubes if your budget allows. We wholeheartedly give these 2 thumbs up and they will get many, many years of usage in our homeschool.

 Be sure to check out what my CrewMates thought of these cubes too by clicking the banner below!

Can Do Cubes

Company ~ jollyliteracy.com {just2ducks LLC} 
Product ~ Can Do Cubes 
Format ~ physical product
 Price ~ $95.00 complete set, includes shipping
 Ages ~ Preschool - elementary
Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar Review
Social Media Links:
 Hashtags: #hsreviews #literacy #reading #phonics #interactivelearning

Crew Disclaimer
©2008 - 2016 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, August 24, 2016

Wordless Wednesday




©2008 - 2016 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, August 23, 2016

Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar ~ a TOS review



Did you know that there are 42 sounds in the English language that make up the 26 letters? Isn’t that fascinating? To be a fluent reader one must be fluent in recognizing and saying the sounds that go with each corresponding letter. Over the summer I had the opportunity to use the Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar program from jollyliteracy.com {just2ducks LLC}.
Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar Review
Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar has been used in many schools and homeschooling families throughout America since Sue Lloyd developed the program in 1977 to help the students in her class learn to read. It is a multi-sensory, hands-on program that teaches reading and grammar in a fun and exciting way.

 We received the following components in our Jolly package:

Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar Review
• Jolly Phonics Teacher's Book in print letters: The Teacher’s Book is designed to use with each of the corresponding Jolly Phonics Student Books, 1,2, and 3. Detailed plans for each lesson are included in this guide and the books are separated into color-coded pages for easy reference.

Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar Review
• Jolly Phonics Student Book 1, 2 and 3 In books 1-3 students are introduced to all 43 letter sounds. {There are actually 42 letter sounds if you count that “C” and ‘K” make the same sound}. Ideally, new readers should be taught one letter a day but not in alphabetical order. Instead, this program groups the letter sounds in this order:


Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar Review
• Jolly Grammar 1 Teacher's Book in print letters The grammar program equips you with material in order to introduce grammar, teach spelling systematically, improve covabulary and comprehension, as well as extend phonics knowledge. It is meant to follow on from the Jolly Phonics program. Detailed lesson plans are also included in the guide for each of the sections presented.

Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar Review
• Jolly Grammar 1 Student Book: With the grammar book your student will learn the parts of speech through actions and colors, punctuation, plurals, and tenses. It also teaches the spelling rules and consonant blends.
Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar Review
• Jolly Songs in print letters: This is a gem of a CD! It includes 40 tacks that teach all the phonemes in the program with the songs sung to well known songs like Jingle Bells or The Farmer in the Dell. A colorful picture goes along with each letter song and is perfect for active learning and getting the wiggles out.


I was able to use this program with McKenzie (6) and Micah (2) over the last month during our lite summer schooling session. Both are eager learner so getting them to sit down and work on the colorful, kid friendly pages was easy as pie. The lessons are super short too, so it really did not feel like school work for them or me either. I started McKenzie, my 1st grader, on the latter half of the Jolly Phonics Student Book 1 in the blends section. She knows her letter sounds but needs a little bit of help with blending so it was great review before we moved onto Jolly book 2.



McKenzie prefers this phonics program over a very popular code program that we have used in our homeschooling for years. I really wish I had the Jolly Phonics program when my now 4th grader was learning phonics!


For Micah I did not have him do any of the handwriting work. I just introduced the sounds and used letter flashcards and danced, a lot, to the letter songs. I love that he is getting a head start on learning his sounds just from playing this CD at home or while on the road.


My older children don’t mind listening to the CD either because the songs are that fun. Be sure to check back later this week for an additional Jolly Phonics product, Can Do Cubes, that we have been using in conjunction with our Jolly Phonics. We love this phonics set and give it 2 thumbs up!.

Be sure to check out what my CrewMates thought of this program by clicking the banner below!

Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar Review

Company ~ Jolly Literacy 
Product ~ Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar 
Format ~ physical books and CD 
Price ~ Jolly Phonics Teacher's Book is $12.95, Student Books are $4.50 each. Jolly Grammar 1 Teacher's Book is $8.50, Jolly Student Book 1 in print is $7.50. Songs book with CD is $17.50. 
 Ages ~ preschool and up
Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar Review
Social Media Links 


 #hsreviews #literacy #reading #phonics #interactivelearning

Crew Disclaimer
©2008 - 2016 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, August 18, 2016

Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids ~ a TOS review

Beginner Spanish Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids Review

These days it’s almost essential that you know another language. Maybe not fluently, but enough to communicate basically. In our family we choose to learn to speak Spanish after we learn Latin, normally around upper middle school, 8th grade. However, we had the opportunity to introduce Spanish in a fun and exciting way with the Starter Set 1 from Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids.

Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids was founded by Kit Strauss who was looking for a quality program for her three sons. Her program offers children aged 3 and up and adults alike the chance to learn Spanish in a short period of time in a fun and exciting way through immersion videos. The videos provide a positive way to learn Spanish with a dose of good humor and laughs throughout without having to rely on painful memorization that doesn’t work for everyone.

The complete program was designed so that your students will:
 • succeed in discovering another language 
• become enthusiastic about learning Spanish 
• have positive feelings about Spanish
 • have a good experience that will last a lifetime!
Beginner Spanish Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids Review
We received the complete Starter Set 1 which includes: 
~ DVD videos for Levels 1-3 
~ Parent – Teacher Guides which include detailed lesson plans and fun, hands-on supplemental activities for reinforcement
 ~ Flashcards and card games for each level 
~ Workbooks for each level 
~ Stickers for each level 

***I want to mention right of the bat that we are currently on vacation and I mistakingly forgot to bring the camera cord to load my pictures. So bear with me for right now and I will upload our pictures early next week when we return home.*** 

Over the last several weeks I have used this program with my three youngest children aged 9,6, and 2. I have a background in Spanish, so this was a fun refresher for me.

The concept of the DVD portion of the program is that of an in-flight movie as you start your journey traveling from Washington, D.C. to Lima(flight 101), Peru on the first leg, then from Peru to Bogota, Columbia (flight 102), and finally from Columbia to San Jose, Costa Rica (flight 103).

The Teacher’s Guide includes everything you need to complete all three levels of flight in roughly 20 weeks. The detailed lesson plans tells you where to start and stop the DVD and which workbook pages to complete when.

Your in-flight entertainment is found in the student workbooks that includes helpful information on the geography and culture of the countries and are designed like a magazine for kids in 3rd grade and up. There is a corresponding workbook for each journey of the flight that includes several activities such as fill in the blank, matching exercises, crossword puzzles, and more. Helpful answer keys are included in the back of each book.

The included color-coded flashcards are great for drilling words or playing games and included both pictures and words. Also included in our set was a set of vocabulary stickers that could be stuck on different objects around the house. The kids especially liked this and helped them relate to the word and put it into context. The stickers are not so sticky that they don’t come off, so that is great for moving the stickers to multiple objects if necessary.

We have all thoroughly enjoyed using this program and working through Flight 101. Now that our school year has started I plan to continue working our way through the rest of the Flights until completion. Having a background in a foreign language helps tremendously in other areas of schooling and life in general. I love that this curriculum gives me the opportunity to provide that for my children at such a young age.

Be sure to check out what my CrewMates thought of this program by clicking the banner below and reading their reviews.

Beginner Spanish Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids Review

Product ~ Starter Set 1 
Format ~ We received the Physical Product, digital product also available
Price ~ $140.25 
Ages ~ ages 3 - adult

Beginner Spanish Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids Review


 #hsreviews #foreignlanguage #homeschoolspanish

Crew Disclaimer




©2008 - 2016 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, August 17, 2016

Wordless Wednesday




©2008 - 2016 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