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.



Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Page a Day Math: Addition Starter Kit ~ 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 Wednesday friends! I not sure about your home, but we are officially done with our 2019-2020 school year! Beginning this week we have transitioned to our summer learning studies. I always like the kids to keep their minds active in reading and math over the summer to prevent the “Summer Slide” and because Math fact fluency is such an important skill for laying the foundation for higher math, I was excited to try the Addition Starter Kit from Page a Day Math with my son, Micah.

Page a Day Math is a Math Fact Fluency System designed to help learners, young and old, memorize the all important math facts. Physical kits sell for $79.95, while digital kits sell for $29.95. This program provides a solid foundation with step-by-step practice and is supplemental to any math curriculum. Learning math facts becomes a fun task when you get to learn with the Math Squad… a fun loving group of dogs who offer encouragement throughout the 10 books in the kit. We received a physical Addition & Counting math kit as well as access to the digital files of the other sets.
Our Math kit contains 10 practice books, each with 14 days of daily practice dedicated to one math operation per book. Each of your children will need their own physical kit, or you can opt to choose the digital edition which can be used multiple times. The size is perfect for little hands as they are learning to navigate proper pencil usage. The format of the page is easy, just three simple steps:

 Complete ~ Correct ~ Repeat 

 After completing just one lesson, your little learner will be able to work independently each day.



In addition, each of the math kits includes a set of bonuses: 

Flash Cards – available in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. 
Assessments – assessments give you an idea where to start. 
Progress Tracker – a visual tracker 
Handwriting Books – Mix and match with all sorts of handwriting options
I was so excited to see this vendor on the list at the beginning of the year! As I suspected this is a great program for my newly turned 6 year old boy! It’s short and sweet and he knows exactly what he needs to do to complete the page. I like that this program includes copyworb exercises also. Your child will be physically writing the math facts out in addition to using flashcards. For Micah, I had him say the problem out loud as he was writing it to further submit the concept.
Micah enjoys using this math fluency program! He doesn’t complain and his addition fact fluency has sky-rocketed over the course of the last few weeks. I am excited to add in the subtraction facts in the next few weeks in addition to his addition facts. During the summer, we will most likely alternate weeks of finishing up addition while adding in subtraction.


My son loves practicing his addition facts with the Addition Starter Kit from Page a Day Math! Don’t just take my word for it, be sure to check out what 51 of my CrewMates thought of this supplemental math fluency program by clicking the banner below!
Daily Math & Handwriting (Print + Cursive) {Page a Day Math Reviews}
Company ~ Page a Day Math
 Format ~ physical box and digital downloads
 Price ~ $79.95 physical kit w/ bonuses, $29.95 digital download
Ages ~ elementary and up
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 © 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, May 29, 2020

Reading Kingdom ~ 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. 
Over the course of the last few weeks my son Micah has been plugging away at his online reading lessons from Reading Kingdom. This reading program developed by world renowned reading expert, Dr. Marion Blank, has been around for several years now and has helped many children to become stronger readers.
The Reading Kingdom program is targeted to teach children ages 4-10 how to read and write to a third grade level. Through interactive and easy-to-use components, the program offers customized online reading instruction for your child.
To begin your child needs to take the Reading Skills Survey which customizes the program and places your child in their correcting reading level. With this program instead of your child having to learn complicated rules Reading Kingdom utilizes a process that targets your child’s reading weaknesses while at the same time keeping them confident in their strengths. The six skills method for reading include:

~ sequencing 
~ motor skills 
~ phonemic awareness 
~ meaning
~ grammar 
 ~ and reading comprehension


The Reading Kingdom program is an online program so you will need internet access. We had no issues logging into the program with Google Chrome. After Micah, who just turned 6, completed his assessment the program suggested that he start at the Sequence / Letter Land. I will say that the assessment is quite detailed and takes a bit of time to complete. Micah was not familiar with the keyboard so he was a bit slow in answering some of the time and the program marked him wrong. However, I know it is because he needed more time to answer and find the key, not because he didn’t know the concept.
Micah has used this program with great success when he was younger. This time around he struggled with it. The repetitiveness of the program left him frustrated at times but we will continue to use the program because I do like that he is getting typing practice/familiarity with the computer keyboard.
If you want to try Reading Kingdom out for your family, you can sign up for 30 Day Free Trial. After the trial period has ended and you would like to continue, a subscription costs $19.99/month (with no monthly minimum), or $199.99 per year. Additional children on your account get 50% off ($9.99/month or $99.99/year) and you can cancel your subscriptions at any time. In addition, because Reading Kingdom is so passionate about everyone getting to enjoy the joy of reading there is a scholarship program available for those who qualify. 
Be sure to check out what my 34 CrewMates thought of this program by clicking the banner below.!
Reading Kingdom & ASD Reading {Reviews}
Company ~ Reading Kingdom
 Product ~ Reading Kingdom
 Format ~ online, internet needed
Ages ~ 4-10 year olds

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 © 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

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Everything You Need to Ace Computer Science and Coding in One Big Fat Notebook ~ 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 13 year old daughter, Montana has recently become interested in computer science. This subject is not something I am fully versed in so we were both thrilled when we found out we were going to receive the Everything You Need to Ace Computer Science and Coding in One Big Fat Notebook from Workman Publishing.
The Big Fat Notebooks are a favorite here at A Stable Beginning so I was glad to add this one to our set so my children can learn more about computer science. Back in the day when I was in school I remember having to take a typing class. I went at night, I can’t remember why, but I already new how to type and may have skipped class once in a while to hang out in the parking lot with my now hubby…but I digress. Now days computers are a very important part of our daily lives and I am glad my children have the chance to learn all about them.
Everything You Need to Ace Computer Science and Coding in One Big Fat Notebook was written by Grant Smith, an expert in the field of computer science. Most everything has become digitalized from calendars to the way we communicate through email. To keep up in this digital world even the youngest students need to know how to operate a computer {many already do}. This book focuses on the middle school student and gives them the basic foundation in computer science. Students will learn the fundamentals needed to understand the how and why behind computer science and programs like HTML, Scratch, and Python through the use of:

 key concepts ~ diagrams ~ mnemonic devices ~ definitions ~ doodles

The book contains eight units to dive into. They include:
Unit 1 ~ Computing Systems
Unit 2 ~ Data and Anaysis
Unit 3 ~ Software Engineering
Unit 4 ~ Algorithms and Programming
Unit 5 ~ Universal Programming Principles
Unit 6 ~ Programming with Scratch
Unit 7 ~ Programming with Python
Unit 8 ~ Web Development

Within the eight units of study your student will learn a multitude of topics including binary code, Loops, Boolean expressions, cybersecurity and more!

When our book arrived on a Friday afternoon my oldest, Marie, who is actually a software engineer with a degree in graphic design, took the book and read through it for several hours. In fact, when Sunday came along and I was planning out Montana’s schedule for the upcoming school week I could not find the book. Low and behold, Marie had it in her bedroom all weekend! She likes how easy it is to read and understand the concepts.
Montana loves it too! She worked in the book three days a week and as a fellow doodler, she loves the doodles that go along with the ideas presented. Montana worked from the beginning of the book through each section. Like our other Big Fat Notebooks, I did not have Montana write directly inside the book because I have younger children behind her who can utilize it when they are older. McKenzie, my 5th grader has already expressed interest in working through this book as well.
I personally love the format of this book! The illustrations included are not overwhelming and fit the theme of the book and topic. I also like that the book is set up like a real notebook page complete with color-coded notes for easy understanding. The text is easy to read and understand as well and all the unfamiliar vocabulary words are highlighted and defined. This Big Fat Notebook gives my daughter and I just what she was looking for into learning computer science.
But don’t just take my word for it, check out what 24 of my CrewMates thought of this Big Fat Notebook and see what they have to say. I know I am glad to have this on our bookshelf!
Everything You Need to Ace Computer Science and Coding in One Big Fat Notebook {Workman Publishing Reviews}

 Product ~ Everything You Need to Ace Computer Science and Coding in One Big Fat Notebook, ISBN: 978-1-5235-0277-6 Format ~ softcover book 
 Price ~ $14.95 
 Ages ~ Middle schoolers


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 © 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, May 27, 2020

Wordless Wednesday

Finally! Madison’s planner arrived after a 24 day detour in NC.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Math Refresher for Adults ~ 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 friends! Now that I am a seasoned homeschool mom with two graduates I often have my friends who are homeschool moms tell me about how they feel intimidated by teaching math to their children. But guess what! You can teach your children math. From basic math to algebra, the Math Refresher for Adults, will give you the confidence you need. So, I was super excited when the book showed up in my mailbox from Math Essentials.
The Math Refresher for Adults is just like the title says. For adults who need to brush up on general math and algebra. The lessons in this book will help you master the foundational math you need to know in short, concise lessons.

The softcover book contains 270 pages arranged by topic. The table of contents is detailed. If you are looking for a specific math topic, just flip to the Table of Contents and search for the content. There are sub topics within each of the following main topics:

~ Whole Numbers 
~ Fractions 
~ Decimals 
~ Percents 
~ Geometry 
~ Intergers 
~ Charts and Graphs 
~ Word Problems 
~ Twenty topics within Pre-Algebra and Algebra

The lessons are taught with video lessons by America’s Math Teacher, Richard W. Fisher. This workbook includes practice exercises, answer keys, review test, a glossary of key terms, as well as a few reference guides. The format of the lessons is simple and not distracting. I love that the pages are black and white and don’t have any distracting graphics.


Review exercises are included with each lesson. It contains between 4 - 6 problems and plenty of space to solve them. It is recommended to use a separate piece of paper to solve the problems. A notes section is also included for when you watch the video lessons. A Helpful Hints section is also included for each lesson. The actual lesson section includes ten problems and a place for answers. Again, there is space to solve the problems but it is suggested to use a separate piece of paper to work the problems.


I am now one year out from graduating my third high schooler, Mikayla, next spring. She is knee deep in studying for her ACT test and this book has come in handy for me. For example we were going over the answers for her math practice test and for the life of me I could not remember how to explain how to find the slope of a line. So, I called a time out and I searched the Table of Contents and sure enough it told me to look on page 176. I quickly checked out the video and shared it with Mikayla as well. We both worked through a few of the problems in the book then proceeded to finish our ACT corrections.

I love that this book is like a personal tutor when I need it. Right on the spot, if I have questions then I flip to the take of contents and find the topic needed. Overall, this is a fantastic book and I recommend it for everyone, whether you are a homeschool teacher or not. I am sure it will stave off frustration when helping your child complete their math assignments.
If you need to brush up on your Math skills, I recommend checking out Math Refresher for Adults from Math Essentials. Click on the banner below to see what my CrewMates thought of this book and the other two books been reviewed, No-Nonsense Algebra and Mastering Essential Math Skills Book 2 Middle Grades/High School.

No-Nonsense Algebra, Math Refresher for Adults &  Mastering Essential Math Skills Book 2 Middle Grades/High School {Math Essentials Reviews}

Format ~ online videos and softcover book 
Price ~ $28.95


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 © 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