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.



Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Snapshots ~ 365 days of us…{8/98}

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Wednesday is library day for us. The girls look forward to going. Micah is usually asleep when we go so I don’t have to worry about him climbing the stools or being too noisy while we are browsing. McKenzie and Montana are super excited to start the Pizza Hut reading program tomorrow. I am going to let the older girls fill out a reading chart too and purchase them a pizza if they meet the goal too.

Do you participate in the Pizza Hut reading program?

 

Snapshots 365

©2008- 2015 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.

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USAopoly: Wonky & Tapple ~ a TOS review

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We love playing games here at our house. I love when we get to play games that reinforce learning at the same time. So you can bet that I jumped at the chance to review two exciting games from USAopoly called Wonky: The Crazy Cubes Card Game and Tapple: Fast Word Fun for Everyone.

USAopoly, has been a leading developer and manufacturer of board games and puzzles since 1994. They have been creating the world’s most beloved games “with a twist,” and they are serious about fun and games!

The main goal for each of the games they create is to bring people together to make memories through gameplay. USAopoly strives to live and breathe their company values:

~ bring a smile

~ play fair

~ do it right

~ honor your word

~ and give it your best

into all of their products.

 

USAopoly Review

Wonky is a fun-filled card game. The object of this game is to build wobbly towers with odd-shaped blocks without making your tower fall. Which is easier said than done!

This game includes:

9 Custom Wonky Blocks

54 Strategy Cards

Storage Bag

Rules

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As you stack your blocks on top of each other the tower will wiggle and wobble, and hopefully not fall down on your turn. Otherwise you have to draw three more cards from the deck. Be the first player to get rid of all your cards from you hand without toppling the tower and you win!

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We love this game! Even though it is meant for ages 8+, McKenzie, who is 6, can play her hand at stacking too. Stacking the blocks seems like a simple task but since they are odd shaped, it makes even more fun when it is your turn.

 USAopoly Review

Tapple is an award-winning word game with a IMG_1019race to beat the timer. The game revolves around a wheel with all the letters of the alphabet except Q, U, V, X, Y, and  Z with a handprint timer is built into the center. There are also 36 cards containing 144 categories. The red and yellow sided cards have categories a bit harder than the blue and white side.

To play the game, first you need to install 2 AA batteries {not included} into the back of the wheel for the timer. The player whose middle name is closet to A, goes first and then play proceeds IMG_0979clockwise. In our family we all have “M” middle names so we used first names. Simple decide which color you will play and the first player draws a card. This same player then taps the timer button and says a word beginning with one of the letters placed around the wheel. Tap the timer again, and the next person goes until they say a word or the timer buzzes them.

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With so many fun categories it really does give you a rush of excitement while trying to think of a word. The timer makes it fun and challenging at the same time. This game is also meant for 8+ and 2-8 players and the best part is that younger kids can play because no spelling is required.

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These games brought many hours of joy and game play to our house! These are the perfect games for game night and would make a great gift for Christmas or birthdays! Be sure to check out what my CrewMates thought of these two games by clicking the banner below.

 USAopoly Review

Company ~ USAopoly

Product ~ Wonky: The Crazy Cubes Card Game and Tapple: Fast Word Fun for Everyone

Price ~ $19.95 each

Ages ~ 8+

 

 USAopoly Review
 

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©2008- 2015 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.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Snapshots ~ 365 days of us…{7/98}

Each week that is not a review week in our spelling program the younger 3 girls complete spelling choice activities four days a week. The choices vary each week and range from rainbow words/trains, spelling your words on a telephone keypad, to sidewalk chalking your words. I found the spelling choice activity pack on my favorite teacher resource site, Teachers Pay Teachers.

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Today for Montana’s spelling activity she picked to play the game Scrabble. I told her if she could use any of her spelling words in the game from this weeks list she would get double points. She did use one word, OPEN, in the game. I gave her 1/2 of her double points since the spelling word was OPENED. Since this was her first time playing Scrabble, we only played to 70 points. But you know what? She beat me 67-71, spelling the word POOF on a double word spot! I think I want a re-match!

Snapshots 365

©2008- 2015 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.

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Monday, September 28, 2015

Snapshots ~ 365 days of us…{6/98}

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Micah is such an eager learner, just like McKenzie. Today while McKenzie was learning how to count pennies, Micah climbed up in the chair and demanded a coin of his own, a quarter. He wanted to put his coin on a number just like big sister. He does his own rendition of counting to three, which is the cutest ever.

Snapshots 365

©2008- 2015 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.

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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Snapshots ~ 365 days of us…{5/98}

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Mikayla and I were being silly during our planning meeting tonight for week 7. We do our weekly meeting on Sunday evening so everyone is on the same page with what is expected for the week. Madison was trying not to laugh, but she finally broke down and cracked up Smile 

Snapshots 365

©2008- 2015 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

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Snapshots ~ 365 days of us…{4/98}

 

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I never have a shortage of willing participants to pose for the camera. These three were hamming it up this evening, I think I captured a great shot of them.

Snapshots 365

©2008- 2015 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.

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Friday, September 25, 2015

Snapshots ~ 365 days of us… Girl Scout Silver Award {3/98}

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Since early June of this year Madison has been working on earning her Girl Scout Silver Award, the highest award achievable as a Cadette Girl Scout. For her project she decided to put together 25 shoes boxes filled with outdoor toys and flash cards for the kids at the local homeless kids shelter in our town. Today she was able to deliver her project. Inside each box she collected:

IMG_0780[1]~ jump ropes

~ bubbles

~ flashcards

~ sidewalk chalk

~ post-it notes & pens

~ and a bouncy ball

Madison loves being outside and she realized that a lot of children do not get to spend quality time enjoying outside playing games and just being a kid. During these past 3 months she has worked hard through adversity to finish her task, even when her selected donors choose not to donate at this time. She was able to secure donations from family and friends in our community to help meet her goal.

Good job Madison, way to finish strong!

Snapshots 365

 

 

©2008- 2015 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, September 24, 2015

Snapshots ~ 365 days of us…{2/98}

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Montana had a game tonight against the other SYAA U10 team. Her team, The Crushers, we able to sneak out a win in the last inning!

So glad that Montana was able to get back on the field after missing her last game and practice from the mosquito bite reactions. I would post a picture of her ankles but they are pretty bad still. The bigger blister popped last night, so now we are just trying to keep the areas clean so there is no infection. Fun times my friends… I will say that tonight a mosquito would not come within 5 feet of her after I slathered her in spray.  Something I don’t like doing, but she needs it right now to keep her safe.

 

Snapshots 365

 

©2008- 2015 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.

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YWAM Publishing: George Washington: True Patriot ~ a TOS review

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I know you probably already know that our family likes to read, but I am going to tell you again Smile History is a favorite subject right after science. And since we use a literature based curriculum we get to read a lot.

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Recently, Montana and I have been reading and studying all about George Washington: True Patriot and using the Unit Study Curriculum Guide with the help of YWAM Publishing.

YWAM, who? I know that’s probably what your thinking. YWAM Publishing is the publishing division to the Youth With A Mission organization and is headquartered in Seattle, WA. There mission is to provide quality Christian materials to help fund children and adults around the world through vital missions programs.

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We received a hardcopy of both the book and study guide for the purpose of this review. The book retails for $7.50. The book is also available in either Audiobook CD or MP3, Direct e-book, Kindle, or Nook versions. The corresponding study guide retails for just $7.49.

YWAM Publishing Review

When I first read the title when this vendor was offered for review I quickly realized that I was already familiar with the YWAM Publishing company because the history curriculum we use uses several of the books.

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George Washington: True Patriot is a biography of our country’s first president. The book is divided into 19 chapters and it begins with him as a child in the colonies and continues through his death. All throughout the book you find out about interesting facts about George Washington. Like did you know that he loved ice cream? Did you even know that ice cream existed back then? I did not so that was a great fact to know. Montana and I speculated if George Washington would enjoy her favorite flavor of ice cream, Mint Chocolate Chip? Montana thinks he would have Smile 

The unit study guide is a gem of a book with 63 pages. It contains a set of comprehension questions for each chapter to get you thinking. With just four questions for each chapter  you cover topics including:

  1. Vocabulary
  2. Factual Details
  3. Comprehension
  4. Opinion or interpretation.

The study guide includes many projects and writing assignments to keep you busy and engaged with what you are learning. There is so much in this guide including:

~ Creative writing prompts

~ Dramas

~ Reading comprehension questions

~ Essay writing assignments

~Geography

~ Timeline project

~ Movie critiquing

~ Hands on projects, audio visual projects, arts & crafts projects

~ Games

~ Many additional resource ideas

All in all we have enjoyed this book and study of George Washington! I love that we have been able to go in depth with our learning with the accompanying study guide. This year we are studying the Presidents, I hope to have Montana put together a lapbook for each President we study. With this book and Unit Study guide it takes the guess work out of what to cover and include.

Be sure to check out what my CrewMates thought of this book and the other titles offered for review from the Heroes of History and Christian Heroes: Then & Now series by clicking the banner below.

YWAM Publishing Review

 

Company ~ YWAM Publishing

Product ~ George Washington: True Patriot and Unit Study Curriculum Guide 

Price ~ $7.50

Ages ~ 10 +

YWAM Publishing Review
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©2008- 2015 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.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Snapshots ~ 365 days of us… {1/98}

It’s been a little while since I have picked up my big camera and shot something. Sure I have been behind the lens some, because I took pictures of Montana and McKenzie on their recent birthdays. But I haven’t really been behind the lens capturing the beauty of our everyday lives. I want to change that. I want to capture the simple everyday Snapshots to help preserve the memories we have. Whether it be the tantrums of the baby or the 6 year old, to achievements and missteps there is beauty in all of those. So, from this day forth I am going to be taking a simple Snapshot on my big camera and post it here on the blog for the rest of the year. There are 98 days left of 2015, my goal is to post a Snapshot each of those days.

Here’s my first Snapshot

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McKenzie missed her friend, Miss M’s, birthday this past weekend because of an allergic reaction she had to mosquito bites on Friday evening. Miss M’s mom brought her painting canvas to Girl Scouts yesterday, so McKenzie had a blast painting this afternoon with the help of little brother.

Snapshots 365

©2008- 2015 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

Fascinating Biology ~ a TOS review

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So, you have reached the high school years and now it’s time to start thinking about high school science. With so many options out there it is easy to get overwhelmed, and quickly. Madison, my 9th grader, and I have had the privilege to review an online high school science curriculum from Fascinating Education called Fascinating Biology.

Fascinating Education is the brain child of Dr. Margulies, a neurologist who understands how the brain works, who created this program to teach middle and high school students. Because of his extensive study of the brain, Dr. Margulies knows the ins and outs of how the brain works, including the way we learn, how we retrieve stored information, how we focus our attention, and how motivation and emotion affect our learning.

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Instead of using a written text as the primary teaching tool, Dr. Margulies teaches science by using the right hemisphere of the brain with colorful illustrations and audio files to supplement written text. We received Fascinating Biology to try out for 6 weeks, let me tell you a little more about it.

In this self paced online course your student will learn the basic principles of biology including:

~ the components of life

~ cell membranes

~ taking in nutrients

~ creating chemical energy

~ growing and repairing

~reproducing

~ maintaining a stable internal environment

~ adapting to a changing external environment

~plants

There are a total of 19 course lessons that can be done over the course of a school year. Course lessons are presented in a table format to access to lessons, text scripts, and tests that correlate with each lesson. I really liked that each topic is broken down into bite-sized chunks so you are not having to digest a lot of information all at once. Dr. Margulies understands the importance of reviewing the material, so there are several opportunities to do so before moving on to the next lesson.

Madison and I are using this program as a supplement in our homeschool to our current science curriculum. However, with that said, this is a stand alone course that is choke full of information. It does not have to be a supplement as it can stand alone! The sheer amount of information presented is very thorough manner and I love the built in review, especially since there is so much vocabulary involved in Biology.

Fascinating Education Review

We have enjoyed our time with this program over the last six weeks and will continue to use it in our homeschool each week. I know this program will be especially helpful when my current 7th grader, Mikayla, is ready for Biology since she is such a visual learner. Be sure to check out the links and see if you think this would be a good fit for your family. Also be sure to click the banner below and read what my CrewMates thought of Fascinating Biology and the other two programs, Fascinating Chemistry, and Fascinating Physics, being reviewed.

Fascinating Education Review


Company ~ Fascinating Education

Product ~ Fascinating Biology

Price ~ $79.00 per year

Ages ~ high school

Format ~ online, self-paced

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©2008- 2015 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, September 18, 2015

Super Teacher Worksheets ~ a TOS review

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Have you ever needed just the right worksheet to fit the bill for a concept or idea you are teaching your child? Does you child need a little bit of extra practice on a certain skill? Well, today I am glad to share with you a super supplement from Super Teacher Worksheets. We received full year Individual Membership access to the site which allows unlimited access to all printable resources on the site for one user for just $19.95 per year.

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Super Teacher Worksheets has created a plethora of worksheets to give your student just a little more time and practice. The website is chock-full of printable worksheets that are not only helpful but useful for homeschoolers, parents, and teachers alike to use with their students. There are literally thousands of worksheets to choose from so there is sure to be something you can find helpful too!

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From preschool through middle school there are worksheets all neatly organized by subject area, concept and theme on the following topics:

Math
Reading & Writing
Phonics & Early Literacy
Handwriting
Grammar
Spellings Lists & Worksheets (Gr. 1-5)
Science
Social Studies
Holiday
Puzzles & Brain Teasers
Teacher Helpers
Pre-K and Kindergarten
Make Your Own Worksheets

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There are also seasonal and holiday worksheets for every subject along  with:

card games

mazes

coloring pages

mini-books

I was able to use this with my three youngest daughters ages 12, 9, and 6. My youngest daughter, McKenzie, just turned 6 and school is fun for her! She loves to do worksheets, especially math ones that challenge her thinking. For my other two girls I used the worksheets to supplement their learning on topics that they may have needed a little bit extra time to master.

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The worksheets do not feel like busy work at all so don’t let that turn you away thinking that they will. This site is a tool and you can use it just as that. We especially loved solving the Penelope Peabody mysteries and the Logic puzzles. It was so easy for me to print one out and send it with Mikayla to work on while she was on a training break at the gym.

I L-O-V-E Super Teacher Worksheets! This is a resource that definitely will be renewed when my year is up. There is so much that the site offers, its hard not to find something to use. If you are looking for quality homeschool pintables to supplement your learning, look no further that Super Teacher Worksheets!

Be sure to check out what my Crewmates thought of this product by clicking the banner below.

Super Teacher Worksheets Review

Company ~ Super Teacher Worksheets

Product ~ Individual Membership

Price ~ $19.95

Ages ~ preschool through middle school

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