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 11th year of homeschooling using a Classical ~ Literature based approach.

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



Friday, July 3, 2020

2020-2021 Morning Time Recitations ~ Plan of Study


* I am updating this post for our new school year.*

We start school in 7 weeks!

I've had to push back our traditional first Monday in August start date because we have to get Miss Madison back to University so we will be starting up on Aug 24th. I am not quite ready yet but I have slowly but surely been getting our Plan of Study out of my head and onto paper and ready to post. In fact, it will go live sometime in the next two weeks, I am still finalizing a few more subjects/curricula. 
Today I did have the chance to sit down to write out our plan for our Morning Time Recitations {MTR} which very well might take place in the afternoon/evenings again this year. I prefer mornings but Mikayla and McKenzie train in the mornings and I don't want to do it twice so afternoon/evenings have to work.
Like previous years, we will continue to do school on Saturdays. It is a normal school day for Mikayla and anyone else who does not finish their weekly assignments. Mikayla and McKenzie will both have at least three double days being at the gym for 9 hours, with a 2.5 hour break for lunch/school. Past experience has told us this is not enough time to complete what needs to be done so we will utilize the weekends. Plus, this gives her practice for when she goes away to University next fall and managing her course load.

 Here is our general plan for the next school year…

Daily: *this part is done in the morning
~ prayer *
~ Bible / hymn / memory verse *
~ Recitations (5th and 1st graders) *
~ Journal prompts *
~ Memory work / poetry *
~ Character Traits / Habits * {6 habits per year studied for 6 weeks at a time; obedience, attention, truthfulness, kindness, manners, and cleanliness using Laying Down the Rails.}
~ Read-alouds {see schedule below}

Focus days:

Monday ~ Masterpiece Monday / Fine Arts activities

Tuesday ~ Geography/Map work

Wednesday ~ CoOp

Thursday ~ Show & Tell / Oral Presentations (tell me what you know about any topic for 5th grade and up)

Friday ~ Finish Literature / History questions, fine arts activities

Read-Aloud focus schedule: {my goal is to read up to 45 minutes aloud each evening before bed, however, my voice is not always that strong so I will have the older girls take turns reading aloud too.}

Monday ~ Tapestry of Grace Literature or History

Tuesday ~ read-aloud list (see below)

Thursday ~ Science in the Ancient World

Friday ~ we will work through this list for the year:


A Cry from Egypt

      The Red Pyramid

      The Throne of Fire
      The Serpent's Shadow

Greek Mythology

      God King
      The Bronze Bow
The Greystone Secrets series
      Holes

      A Ring of Endless Light 
      Penny From Heaven
      Belle Prater's Boy
      Shakespeare Secret
      Echo
      Soar
      The Mysterious Benedict Society series

I'd love to hear your morning time plans if you have any! Leave a comment and let me know.



©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.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service 1878-1915: 17 Student Workshops with 120 Activities ~ 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.  

A few weeks ago we were given the chance to review Rebecca Locklear's Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service 1878-1915: 17 Student Workshops with 120 Activities. My children have all been involved with Scouts at some point in their lives and this curriculum has given us a first hand look at the early Coast Guard history.
Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service 1878-1912 is written by fellow homeschool mom, Rebecca Locklear. Her great-grandfather, Skipper Eldredge, was one of the Life Savers for over 15 years so she was able to hear of the harrowing stories from him. With a hands-on approach to learning you will find over 120 activities to keep your 4th-12th graders busy learning.

Personally, I never knew who the U.S. Life-Saving Service was before receiving this book. These hard-working men were the ones out on the waters risking their lives to save ships before the Coast Guard was officially formed.

This 117 page curriculum comes in both print and digital formats. For this review we received the digital copy. Throughout this unit your student will be able to participate in hundreds of English and history activities from post-Civil War to World War I including:
~ Games 
~ Cooking 
~ Music 
~ Drama 
~ Science 
~ Research 
~ Art 
~ Stories

This curriculum focuses on the rescues made in the upper east water ways. The men that joined this Life-Saving group were pushed to the max as far as stamina and abilities. Getting along, trusting your fellow life-savers, and surviving was the main goal and as one of the men put it: “The Blue Book says we have togo out [to rescue people]. It doesn’t say a thing about coming back.”



This curriculum is full of details of just what it was like to be apart of this Life-Saving group. I love all of the black and white photos that are inside that give us a first hand look at daily life. While I read the stories aloud we frequently would stop and go down some rabbit trail and explore a topic more. My son, who is 6, was especially interested in the pictures of all the ships. While my girls enjoyed the sections on the baking. We enjoy seafood in our house so learning just what it took to get a meal during this time was interesting as well. We are not huge fans of Molasses or gingerbread, but learning the way in which it was made back in the day was interesting.
Overall, this curriculum has been a great treasure to explore. I can see us coming back to this curriculum when my son gets older to use apart of his history program or during our summer learning studies. Do yourself a favor and head on over to Rebecca Locklear's website and sign up for her emails so you can stay up to date on all of the happenings. But, don’t just take my word for it. Be sure to take a look at what my CrewMates thought of this book and the other curriculum, The Mayflower at Cape Cod - Stories, activities, and research that connect 1620 with life today, that was also reviewed. I have already placed a digital copy my wish list in Teacher’s Pay Teachers for when we get to that era of history in a few years.
***

Company ~ Rebecca Locklear 
 Format ~ PDF download
 Price ~ $10.95 digital PDF download 
 Ages ~ 4th-12th graders
Social Media Links: 



 © 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, June 17, 2020

Wordless Wednesday

 


© 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

HelpTeaching Pro Subscription ~ 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.  

 Have you ever felt like you need a little helping hand in your school day where you just needed someone else to do the leg work? Are you a new homeschooler diving in because of upcoming Covid-19 restrictions? Whether you are a seasoned homeschooler or a newbie alike, everyone has one of those days where you just need a hand and that’s where HelpTeaching.com comes in!

My two youngest children, McKenzie and Micah, have been using some of the online lessons included in the HelpTeaching Pro subscription from HelpTeaching.com for the last several weeks. The Help Teaching Pro Subscription makes it so easy for me to give them both the extra practice with any subject from art to history.


McKenzie and Micah like to do worksheets. I especially like to have quality worksheets to fill their time, and not just busywork. I have been using the ProSubscription to print fun elementary printables for my two elementary kids, who are officially in 5th and 1st grades.
Help Teaching actually has two parts to their program, a free and a paid service. As I said, we have been reviewing the Pro subscription which includes:  
~ unlimited custom tests and worksheets 
~ up to 100 Questions for custom tests & worksheets 
~ ad-free 
~ access to the library of custom questions and images 
~ downloadable PDF’s for tests and worksheets 
~ self-paced video lessons for Middle and High schoolers 
~ an online test room to administer tests 
~ ELA &Math content aligned to the Common Core 
With unlimited printable drills, quizzes, and tests for elementary through high school levels this is a great tool to you on your homeschool journey. This plan also offers easy to use tools to create custom worksheets and assessments for even more detailed practice.
A neat feature of HelpTeaching is the Test Maker. This part of the program allow you the option to make tests in multiple choice, fill in the blank, true/false, or open ended questions in a variety of subjects. A helpful question library is included or you can come up with your own. I didn’t find that I needed tests for my elementary kids, but I can see how this would be a real asset for is a real help for the middle, and high school years.
I am looking forward to continuing to use this program as we head into our school year especially when we are traveling to take my University girl back to school in August. I plan to print off worksheets for my kids to do while in the car so we can keep up our schooling as we travel. Hopefully it will make traveling by car easier.
Whether you have an elementary student or a high schooler there are plenty of valuable resources on this site to get into. Having the option to make my own lesson worksheets means I am able to focus on just the areas my individual child need for extra attention. Love it! I recommend you check out HelpTeaching.com and see if it would be a good fit for your homeschool. Be sure to click the banner below and check out what 29 of my CrewMates think of this product too.
***
Company ~ HelpTeaching.com
 Format ~ online 
 Price ~ $49.99 a year 
 Ages ~ K-12th graders

Social Media Links: 


 © 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

Friday, June 12, 2020

Who Is This Kid? Colleges Want to Know! from The Critical Thinking Co. ~ 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.  

Do you have a favorite homeschool company that you always seem to navigate back to? I am a huge fan of The Critical Thinking Co.™ so I was thrilled when we were picked to receive one of their newer products, Who Is This Kid? Colleges Want to Know!, that is geared towards your high schoolers. Mikayla has been using curriculum from The Critical Thinking Co.™ since she was in 3rd grade so it’s only fitting that they help us as we navigate her last year as she embarks on her college applications.
The Critical Thinking Co.™ is a family-owned business that has been “empowering the mind” for more than 50 years. They sell critical thinking products/supplements that cover reading, writing, mathematics, science, and history. Instead of rote drilling and memorization, students are encouraged to “carefully analyze what they are learning.” The Critical Thinking Co.™ s on a mission to develop the critical thinking skills in all children. The Who Is This Kid? Colleges Want to Know! book is available in either book form or Windows PC download.
I specifically requested a digital copy of the Who Is This Kid? Colleges Want to Know! book that includes 150 pages! I find that this format works best for our family, especially since I have three younger children who will also be able to utilize this workbook. I especially appreciate the generous copywrite TThe Critical Thinking Co.™provides in letting the purchaser make as many copies of the pages within the eBook as necessary for their family. This is extremely helpful to me as I try to provide quality learning materials for my family. This product is also available as a paperback, and carries the same “family” copywrite provisions if you have multiple children to use this book.
This book helps guide your student to stellar college applications by guiding them through the writing exercise to help them stand out among a sea of applicants. The book is broken down into 5 sections:

 1 ~ Student Self-Assessment : will help your student take a deep look within and find out who they are as a person and a student. 

 2 ~ Searching the Colleges - Building Your College List: offers help to researching different colleges and what they offer. 

3 ~ Communications: this is the section that deals with writing essays and contacting schools 

4 ~ College Admissions Calendar: helps you discover the best time to apply to schools. 

5 ~ Glossary: to help you fully understand the terms within the book.
Mikayla has already been doing many of the steps provided in this book because she has been in the recruiting process for college gymnastics since the 10th grade. I really wish we had this book two years ago as she was beginning this process of contacting schools. However, this book has given us the grounding and the ability to focus on her essay. Even in the midst of Covid-19 and many of the schools she is being recruited by are making the essay optional or waiving it altogether I still plan on having her submit one so they can know her as a person outside of her gymnastics ability.
We have always loved all the curriculum we have used from The Critical Thinking Co.™ so it was a no brainer for me to jump on this review. We both are very pleased with Who Is This Kid? Colleges Want to Know! and highly recommend you check it out. Even though Mikayla is soon to be my third graduate, this book has given us a lot of insight into the whole college process. I am excited to also be able to use this book with my younger children and plan to have Montana start the self-assessment process at the beginning of 10th grade because she has big plans to secure an appointment to West Point or to Army ROTC so she can pursue her dream of being a veterinarian.
Be sure to check out what my CrewMates thought of this book, Who Is This Kid? Colleges Want to Know!, and the other products being reviewed. There are 65 reviewers reviewing the following products:




Creative Problem Solving, Dare to Compare Math, Mastering Logic & Math and Who Is This Kid? Colleges Want to Know! {The Critical Thinking Co.™ Reviews}

Format ~ online eBook (Windows-Only) 
Price ~ $13.99 
Ages ~ 9th-12th graders
Social Media Links: 


 © 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, June 10, 2020

Math Shed and Spelling Shed from Ed Shed ~ 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.  

Do you like to add digital learning to your daily learning in your homeschool? If so, let me tell you about Math Shed and Spelling Shed.
The Educational Shed (Ed Shed) company created Math Shed and Spelling Shed as an online subscription to help 1st-5th graders practice math and spelling skills. The Ed Shed company focuses on helping students have a strong foundation in reading and math skills. We received 12 months of access to both Math Shed and Spelling Shed for McKenzie and Micah, who are rising 5th and 1st graders. Typically the subscription gives you access for up to five students, so it is great for large families. To set the kids up was really simple. I just created and account for each of them with a user name and password and they were set to explore. Let me tell you a little about each program.
Math Shed is an online game to help your student drill math facts. allows your student to practice their math facts in several different game categories. The choices are Number Bonds, Times Tables, Add & Subtract, Powers of 10, and more. When you choose a game you get the choice of three levels of play Easy, Medium, or Hard. During the Times Tables game you get to choose which fact families to focus on and whether or not you want to do multiplication or division.



Spelling Shed covers both spelling and vocabulary instruction in game format with a cute bee theme. You have the ability to choose your own words to study or to utilize the 4,000 words within the program. Spelling Shed is broken into Stages of learning. There are 5 Stages, Stage 1 @ 2, Stage 3, Stage 4& 5. As with the Math Shed you have the option to choose Easy, Medium, Hard, or Extreme level of work. There are also bonus games within Spelling Shed to continue the spelling fun.



Throughout the program your student can earn “honey pots” that can be used to purchase items for their own personal avatar. Both of my kids enjoyed creating their own avatars to use with their login. The Teacher’s Hub is the spot for the teacher to track progress as well as where you will find 36 weeks of spelling curriculum for grades K-5 as well as power point presentations. There are worksheets and other helpful lesson plans to help you the teacher plan out the curriculum. Upon looking these over, I found them to be geared towards a classroom setting, but with a little adaptation they could easily be used within a homeschool setting.
 
I like this program and I can see us continuing to utlitlze it’s content through the end of our subscription. My kids played the games on our school iPad and I like that it is portable for our on the go learning. The set up is not too overly distracting and the theme of each game is appealing to the eye. McKenzie seemed to enjoy it more because she could do more within both programs. Micah had difficulty using the Spelling Shed just because his knowledge of words is not there yet, but he did enjoy the Math Shed and the games.
If you are interested in trying out these products from Ed Shed they have a 30-day free trial period. You do not need to enter credit card information and if you enjoy it, the annual subscription price is just $24.95. 80 of my CrewMates have linked up their thoughts on both programs so be sure to check out what they think of Math Shed and Spelling Shed by clicking the banner below.
Spelling Shed & Math Shed {Education Shed Reviews}

Company ~ Ed Shed 
 Product ~ Math Shed and Spelling Shed 
 Format ~ online 
 Price ~ $24.95 annual subscription 
 Ages ~ 1st - 5th graders
Social Media Links: 



 © 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