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 9th year of homeschooling using a Classical ~ Charlotte Mason approach.

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



Wednesday, November 30, 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. 

Wednesday, November 23, 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. 

Pick up Kwik Stixs at Target

If you are heading out shopping for a little person this weekend I have the perfect gift solution for you! What if I told you there was such a thing as no mess painting? That's right, no cups, smocks, brushes, or a single drop of water needed to paint a masterpiece for your budding Picasso.



This year give the gift of creativity with a set of Kwik Stix paint sticks and watch your little artist bloom. For the last few weeks Micah, my two year old, has been keeping himself busy creating masterpieces and doing art "cool" as he calls it with the help of Kwik Stix Metalix and Kwik Stix Neons from the The Pencil Grip, Inc. . Each of these 6 packs contain colors that are so vibrant and the paint is contained in a tube roughly the size of a glue stick. This size is perfect for little hands to grasp.



Let me tell you these no mess paint sticks have since changed the way we paint! With a fast drying and non-toxic formula, the colors dry in just 90 seconds after coming in contact with your paper, cardboard, wood, or even canvas media. Just pop the cap off, twist the stick to make the paint rise up and you are ready for hours of fun painting. 

They are extremely affordable at just $5.99 a set and they are now availbe at Target! So while you are out shopping this weekend be sure to pick up a set or two! I know we are because they make the perfect gift for Secret Santa/Sisters exchanges.



©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. 

Wednesday, November 16, 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. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Chara Games: Commissioned ~ a TOS review

Do you love playing board games at your house? We sure do! We've been playing the new game Commissioned from Chara Games during a few of our family game nights. Let me tell you a little about it because you are in for a real treat.

Commissioned {Chara Games}

Chara Games LLC was founded by Katherine & Patrick Lysaght in 2014. Together they desired to design and publish innovative and fun tabletop games with Christian themes. Chara is the Biblical Greek word for “unshakeable joy”. They want to help you and your family experience joy through their relationships with God and other people through playing games to help build and foster relationships through shared, joyful experiences.

Commissioned {Chara Games}

Commisioned is a cooperative game for ages 14 and up that focuses on the history of the early Christian church through the eyes of the Apostles. As you play along  while spreading the gospel and planting churches throughout the land you will truely expeirence joy as you learn about the gospel. This was our first experience playing a cooperative game but it was actually quite fun because everything and everyone works together with a common goal of everyone succeeding and winning. With a lot of patience and help my 10 year old was able to play along too, but it did take a bit of learning.

Commissioned {Chara Games}

To begin playing, each player takes on the role as an Apostle who each have different strengths and weaknesses along with special gifts that come in handy as you play. As you use the skills of your Apostle you work as team to help the other Apostiles in the game grow the Church of Christ. Also along the way you collect the books of the New Testament and experience some of the trials had by the true Apostles during this time period.

Commissioned {Chara Games}

This is not a game you just pull off the shelf and play. It is detailed and you will need to read the instructions thoroughly along with watching the helpful instructional video. But don't let that deter you from investing in this game! Once you know how to play it will be a game that you play over and over again! In the game box you receive:

 • 1 double sided game board 
• 5 double sided scenario cards 
• 6 unique player boards
 • 96 faith cards
 • 27 trial cards 
• 4 wood missionary meeples 
• 75 wood church member cubes
 • 1 wood elder's staff 
• 6 wood player pawns
 • 30 double sided stop tokens
 • 5 double sided extinguish tokens 
• 1 converted city leader's token 
• 1 Roman Legion token 
• 1 8-sided die 
• 1 rule book 
• 1 Theme Appendix 


Overall, this is a great game that we have enjoyed! I would love to take the time over Thanksgiving break and play again when my oldest is home from University and play as teams so my younger girls can possibly get in on the action. If you are looking for a quality game to add to your game closet then look no further that Commissioned!

Check out the banner below and read what my CrewMates thought of this game.

Commissioned {Chara Games}
Company ~ Chara Games LLC
 Product ~ Commissioned 
Price ~ $44.00
 Ages ~ 14 and up

Commissioned {Chara Games}

Social Media Links:

Facebook
Twitter  @Charagames

#hsreviews #ChristianBoardGames #StrategyGames

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

Monday, November 14, 2016

Happy 16th birthday Madison!!!



©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. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The Critical Thinking Company: Language Smarts, Level E ~ a TOS review

Just recently I have had the opportunity to work through the brand new curricula Language Smarts™ Level E from The Critical Thinking Co.™ with Montana, who is 10.

Language Arts {The Critical Thinking Co.™}

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. is on a mission to develop the critical thinking skills in all children. The Language Arts book is available in either book form or Windows PC download.

We received a physical copy of the book that is a hefty 390+ pages! This product is also available as an eBook too if you have multiple children to use this. I should note that the copywrite does allow you to make copies for your own personal family, something that as a large family homeschooler I appreciate.

This book is written for children in the 4th grade but it does contain information pertaining to 5th grade material too. It is so through that it can be used either as a supplement to your regular Language Arts curriculum or as a stand-alone complete curriculum. We used it as the latter during our review period.

The book covers a lot of material and you can get an in-depth look at the table of contents on the website, however, these are some of the topics covered:

  •  • Syllables
  •  • Word Parts (prefixes, suffixes, roots)
  •  • Word Relationships (synonyms, antonyms, anagrams, analogies, palindromes, etc)
  •  • Spelling
  •  • Editing (Editor In Chief pages)
  •  • Reference Materials (dictionary, online dictionary, thesaurus, online encyclopedia, searching the Internet, nonfiction)
  •  • Parts of Speech
  •  • Sentences 
  • • Punctuation
  •  • Using Words Correctly (homophones, misused words, homographs)
  •  • Reading and Writing (context clues, similes, metaphors, idioms, proverbs, comprehension, drama, poems, etc.) 
  • • Writing (process, personal narrative, opinions, informative, and Writing Detective pages) 

Working through the book is quite simple. You can start from the first page and go that route or you can choose to skip around topics as we did. Normally Montana completed 2 pages a day, Monday through Friday, but I skipped around in each section to keep the material fresh. The worksheets instructions are explained thoroughly and always include an example of what is being asked to be completed. For the teacher, the answers are included in the back of the book. I especially enjoy the fact that I can use this as a supplement, especially since we are fast approaching our gymnastics travel season. I know that instead of lugging around our current language arts curricula I can turn to Language Smarts™ Level E and know that Montana is getting quality instruction and material to practice on her level. For that I give this product two thumbs up!

Be sure to check out what my CrewMates thought of this product and the other items being reviewed by clicking the banner below to read their thoughts.

Language Arts {The Critical Thinking Co.™}

Price ~ $42.99 physical book or eBook 
Ages ~ 4th grade, suitable for 5th grade too

Language Arts {The Critical Thinking Co.™}

Social Media Links:
 #hsreviews #criticalthinking #languagearts

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

Friday, November 4, 2016

Homeschool Legacy: Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims ~ a TOS review

Can you believe it’s already the 4th of November!? Time is flying by and the holiday season is fast approaching. As a change of pace to our homeschool day we've added a unit study from Homeschool Legacy, all about a Once-a-Week Micro-Studies on Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims . Right now is the perfect time to start a Thanksgiving study and Sharon Gibson has one!

Once-a-Week Unit Studies were created from Sharon Gibson’s passion to help families build a strong, Godly, family legacy. With engaging unit studies families are brought together as they study topics. This precious time spent together focused on one topic will provide your children with a lifetime of memories.

Homeschool Legacy’s Once a Week Studies is a great companion for busy parents like myself. Preparation time is kept to a minimal. You really only need to make a quick stop to the library to pick up books. Unit studies are a great way to learn about any topic you can imagine all the while covering the basics like Bible, reading, writing, history, and/or science.

Once-a-Week Studies {Homeschool Legacy}
Want to know something else? These Once-A-Week Unit Studies correlate to your Boy Scouts or American Heritage Girls merit badges. How great is that! Your Boy Scout or American Heritage Girl will be able to earn merit badges all the while completing their everyday school work. I wish they had badge requirements for my Girl Scouts too! We were able to review the Thanksgiving Unit Study that is spread out over a six week period if you use it about 20-30 minutes a day. It retails for $12.00 and is appropriate for grades 1-8, which is perfect for Montana (4th) and McKenzie (1st).

Topics covered include:
 Week 1: The Scrooby Separatists 
 Week 2: The Voyage 
Week 3: At Home in Plymouth 
Week 4: Happy Thanksgiving 
Week 5: The Puritans 
Week 6: Merry Christmas!

 Preparing for the study was really simple. I just looked at my library for the three recommended books and added them to my library haul for Saturday. Unlike other Unit Studies, this one does not have a list of books or weekly devotions for during the six weeks. We worked on our unit studies for 3 days a week and made Thursdays our Unit Study day to fit our schedule.

Overall, this was a great experience using the Once-A-Day Unit study and being able to connect it with the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. I highly recommend this program! I definitely think you should check this unit study our or one of the many others they offer including:

 • Birds of a Feather
 • Forest for the Trees 
• Horsing Around 
• Weather on the Move 
• Knights & Nobles
 • Native America 
• Early Settlers 
• Revolutionary Ideas
 • We the People: Getting to know your Constitution 
• Lewis & Clark 
• Christmas Comes to America

 Be sure to check out what my Crewmates thought of this Study and the other Unit Studies offered for review by clicking on the banner below.

Once-a-Week Studies {Homeschool Legacy}
Company ~ Homeschool Legacy 
Price ~ $12.00 
Ages ~ 1st-8th grade

Once-a-Week Studies {Homeschool Legacy}
Social Media Links

Facebook

 #hsreviews #unitstudies #historyunitstudies 


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. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Accountable2You ~ a TOS review

You can find just about anything and everything on the internet. Sometimes that’s a good thing, and other times…well let’s just say it’s not at all. Especially when you innocently type in a harmless word, or so you and/or your child think and BAM you have just opened up a whole new can of worms and been exposed to something you were not expecting.

Accountability across all your devices {Accountable2You}

In this technology driven world, Internet accountability is almost a necessity. Six weeks ago Accountable2You offered us the choice of one of their four plans they offer: Family Plan, Group Plan, Individual Plan and Small Business Plan to review. We choose the Family Plan where you can have up to twenty devices linked up. It works especially well with multiple family members having devices -- including the teen away at college.

Accountability across all your devices {Accountable2You}

Accountable2You is a Christian company that offers families and businesses an accountability tool for those who want to be held accountable. They believe that if a person is determined to sin, they will find a way to sin. By developing strong relationships between partners, members and God Almighty, Accountable2You and their internet monitoring and accountability software seeks to develop character through accountability by monitoring internet usage on devices linked up to the software. However, no software will ever prevent a person from sinning, they just provide an outlet to keep you accountable for your actions. Accountable2You is all about building character through accountability and is built on the concept found in Proverbs 27:17 :

 "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." 

 One person holding another accountable for their actions may just be what you need to stay on track.

Accountability across all your devices {Accountable2You}

Features: 
• Up to 20 Devices
 • Unlimited Accountability Partners
 • Create Child User Accounts 
• Set Time Limit Alerts Per Account
 • Real time reporting 
• Accountability partners per device
 • Daily or Weekly email reports 
• Hourly Alert reports
 • Instant Text Alerts 
• Manage Objectionable word list 

This software is easy to install on all types of devices from desktops, laptops, tablets, phones and more. Each device is given an accountability partner who is chosen by the administrator. I chose to be the accountability partner for my children and installed the software on the desktop that the children use as well as on Madison and Mikayla’s laptops, iPhones, and Kindles for Montana and McKenzie.

Accountability across all your devices {Accountable2You}

This review was offered at the right time for us! A situation occurred a few weeks before we were offered this review in which one of my children was led to believe that she needed to focus on something outside of what we teach in our household. For a few days it consumed her thoughts and I found her watching a YouTube video on her iPhone (that is not hooked up to a phone line) when she was supposed to be doing her schoolwork.
Accountability across all your devices {Accountable2You}
She quickly lost all internet usage for a good two weeks and we opened lines of communication between my husband and I with all of our children through a family meeting about what had happened once we spoke privately with the offending child. There was no blame placed on this child, she had been led astray but is now back on the right path and forgiven for her actions. At our meeting, I told the girls that we had installed the accountability software on all of the devices in our household and that we would be able to see what was searched and looked at. No one had a problem with it.
 I especially appreciate the full activity reports function. I receive an email throughout the day with browsing history of each device selected to monitor. Full reports are also available at any time online through your dashboard. Information is stored for 15 days and you have the option to store them in Excel files if you wish to keep them longer. While Mikayla was at the gym, I could keep track of what she was doing on her laptop.
The report told me specifically what she had opened and looked at and for how long. It was refreshing to see that she was focused on her double days in completing her Latin and History homework instead of goofing off. There is also a function to be able to set up child accounts with time limits. The software will notify you if the child tries to access the internet during hours you have indicated they shouldn't be. 
 "Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted." ~ Galatians 6:1b 
 Overall, I am really enjoying this program and plan to keep it after our 12 month subscription is complete. My only complaint is that this program is not fully compatible with iPhones, however, that is no fault of the company as it is Apple’s policy. Browsing history for the internet is not trackable with this program, however, that does not deter me from recommending it to you! The software has so many other great features that is is still beneficial to have overall. 
Be sure to check out what my crewmates thought of this software by clicking the banner below.
Accountability across all your devices {Accountable2You}

Company ~ Accountable2You
 Product ~ Family Plan 
Format ~ online software 
Price ~ $9.99 a month
Accountability across all your devices {Accountable2You}

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.