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 10th year of homeschooling using a Classical ~ Charlotte Mason approach.

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



Thursday, April 26, 2018

Planet 316 Story Bible ~ a TOS review

Remember last year about this time that I told you about a cool new Daily Bible Jigsaw app from Planet 316? Well Planet 316 and WorthyKids/Ideals have developed this wonderful interactive Planet 316 Story Bible and the companion Planet 316 Story Bible App. that I am excited to tell you about!


I am of the belief that you can never have too many Bibles so I was especially excited to get a copy of this story Bible with Augmented Reality. Planet 316 seeks to connect people throughout the generations to bring them closer to God. With this new Bible they hope to help spark conversations about God for the youngest ages and to share the love of the gospel.

Planet 316 Story Bible and Bible App
This is not just an ordinary Bible though! The Augmented Reality brings the pages to life right before your eyes! Because your little one will be eager to get started, set up is quick and easy. Just grab your smart phone or tablet and download the App from the App Store or Google play store. Once the App is installed your adventure through 100 beloved Bible stories is set to begin.


Each of the stories included in this Bible Storybook are written and illustrated to introduce your child to the big story of God’s love for all people. They are meant to be read aloud and you will see your child’s faith will grow as they learn of David defeated Goliath, Esther, Daniel and the lions’ den, and the overwhelming love of God through Jesus his only Son. Once you have enjoyed a story, open up the App on your device and hold it over the page for a real treat! The Augmented Reality helps put you within the story and brings it to life with 3D animation and sounds. It is truly a real treat!


Originally, I intended this to be just a Bible for my young son, but my 8 and 11 year olds loves it too! I love that the stories are indexed and I can search and find just the right one I need at a glance. Each story is a two page spread with detailed illustrations. Even when I was not reading a story aloud to my son, he would look through the Bible on his own making comments and asking questions about the story.



This book would make a great gift at Christmas, Easter, a birthday, or just because! Be sure to check out what my CrewMates thought of this book by clicking the banner below to read their reviews.

Planet 316 Story Bible and Bible App {Planet 316 Reviews}

Company ~ Planet 316 and WorthyKids/Ideals 
 Format ~ hard back book, ISBN-13: 978-0-8249-5688-2 , FREE App
 Price ~ $18.99 
 Ages ~ preschool and up

Planet 316

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© 2008 - 2018 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, April 25, 2018

Wordless Wednesday ~ Cardinals #6



© 2008 - 2018 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, April 24, 2018

Adaptive Math Curriculum Online ~ a TOS review

Math! It can strike fear within a person like nobody’s business, whether it be on the account of the parent or the student. Many people struggle or don’t feel as confident with teaching different levels of math so It’s nice to have a helping hand. You get just that with the Adaptive Math Curriculum Online from A+ Interactive Math (by A+ TutorSoft Inc.). Using this Homeschool Math Online program I was able to identify and address the learning gaps in my 5th and 2nd grade daughter's math skills.


McKenzie, who is 8, has always excelled in math. Numbers and number sense comes easy for her. Montana, my 11 year-old, on the other hand does well at math but she has to work at it. We were lucky to receive a full year subscription to the Family Math Package from A+ Interactive Math which is an online Multi-Sensory Interactive Math program. This unique program is a full math curriculum program that teaches grades 1st – 6th, plus Pre-Algebra so there is a program just right for your child.

Adaptive Math

Getting started is quite simple. First, to ensure that your student is placed into the proper level, the program requires the student to take a placement test after you enroll him or her in the “target” grade level. A mini-test is given for each major math concept to gauge the student’s skill level. Since the program is computer based, the program automatically adjusts the difficulty of the questions being asked of the student based on previous responses all the while the program is calculating behind the scenes the learning gaps, if any.


Once the placement test is complete and the learning gaps are found, the program automatically creates an individualized lesson plan for the student. These plans are not the run of the mill, worksheets, etc. Rather they are detailed and included video instruction, interactive review, and online worksheet practice.

 1. Adaptive placement tests identify weak skill areas and identity’s learning gaps.

2. Colorful Flash animation and videos provide real life examples and make learning fun!

3. Master math concepts completely before moving on to the next lesson.

A+ Interactive Math is a skill-based learning program that not only teaches and tracks your students’ progress, but it automatically grades the work too! Parents and instructors have access to this information at any time through the dashboard. One of the best features of the Adaptive Math Curriculum Online is the option to include up to 10 students! So no matter how big or small your homeschool is, they have got you covered!

 Program features include: 

~ supported on both Windows & Mac platforms and most mobile devices for learning on the go 
~ fully automated 
~ fits any learning style 
 ~ real time feedback 
~ promotes independent learning 
~ printable worksheets and exams 
~ instant online grading 
~ makes math fun! 


We used this homeschool math program with McKenzie (2nd grade, 8-years-old) and Montana (5th grade, 11 years-old) a three times a week. Access to the course came just at the right time. I was down with a nasty cold and the kids were going stir crazy from lack of structure. With the easy installation of this program I had them set up to start within minutes of setting up your account. Lessons are short and contain both audio and visual aspects for different learning styles. Normally, we set the timer for 30-45 minutes depending on whether or not they had done a lesson in our current math curriculum. If they had not they would each spend at least 45 minutes online completing sections.


McKenzie enjoys working on math so it was easy to get her to participate in this review. She is a very eager learner and while I do believe we are in a "good" place right now in our current math studies, it is always nice to have a helping hand or another viewpoint. I especially liked the fact that I could say on Wednesday, McKenzie’s busiest schedule day because of a double day of gymnastics training, to jump on the computer or her iPad and complete her time before heading back to the gym. I was happy she got some math learning in for the day and she was happy to have screen time on the computer or her iPad.


Montana is not always so eager to complete her math. While she did do the lessons there was some grumbling at times. However, I saw the most improvement in Montana’s math right away. She has been able to recall those pesky math facts that always seem to slow her down a bit easier. Having her use her iPad made math more fun to her in the sense she was not tied down to the computer. Over the summer months the plan is for both girls to keep plugging away three days a week with the Adaptive Math Curriculum Online program.



Overall, I feel this is a complete and thorough math program that rivals other computer based programs. I am pleased with the instruction that both Montana and McKenzie have had access to as we fill in any learning gaps with our current math curriculum. I think it is always good to have another point of view when learning math concepts and I believe A+ Interactive Math helps us in doing just that.

A+ Interactive Math offers a lot of freebies for homeschool families to try before buying into their program. Below are TWO of the most popular freebies so be sure to check them out!


Be sure to check out what my Crewmates thought of the Adaptive Math Curriculum Online program and the other product being reviewed, Family Math Package by clicking the banner below.

Family & Adaptive Math Online {A+ Interactive Math Reviews}
 Platform ~ online, Windows or Mac platform 
Ages ~ 1st – 6th grade math & Pre-Algebra

A+ Interactive Math

Social Media Links: 

 • Facebook  •  Twitter •  Pinterest


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© 2008 - 2018 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, April 18, 2018

Wordless Wednesday




© 2008 - 2018 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, April 17, 2018

Homeschool Spanish Academy Spring Sale



Have you started thinking about next school year? I know I have, just a little bit. Honestly my plans are in my head at this time. I won't actually start writing them down until early May. One thing that is for sure is that we will continue with Homeschool Spanish Academy for part of our Foreign language component.

Get 5% OFF your first HSA class package!

The flexibility that HSA provides for my busy gymnast is second to none. I can schedule her classes when it is convenient during her training schedule. During competition season we can tailor her learning time that best fits our schedule and all the while she is receiving world class Spanish instruction. Right now you can get 5% off your first order so it is the perfect time to give Homeschool Spanish Academy a try! Just click HERE to sign up.


*post contains affiliate links*

© 2008 - 2018 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.  

Friday, April 13, 2018

Princess Cut ~ a TOS review

Finding quality movies that highlight the type of morals and character we wish to instill in our children are few and far between these days. Recently, we were given a movie, Princess Cut by Watchman Pictures to preview. My four older daughters and I spent Easter Saturday watching and discussing the new movie so let me tell you a little more about it.

Princess Cut The Movie

Princess Cut tells the story of Grace, a Carolina farm girl, that has always dreamed of the fairy tale moment when “Mr. Right” slips a Princess Cut diamond onto her finger and asks for her hand in marriage. After a 15 month relationship with Stewart, Grace thinks her night to love someone forever has finally come. However, things go horribly wrong as Stewart announces his engagement to another young lady. Grace, rightfully so, is devastated! She reaches out to her mother and father for advice and her father shows her through soybeans a key to her finding her true love. Her father tells her that God will send the right man for her, she just needs to exercise some patience.

Throughout the movie we are shown that when God is the focus of your life, the rest of the details just fall into place. I loved being able to watch this with my girls, especially my oldest who is newly 21. In a world where our culture screams that dating at a young age is okay, this movie was refreshing to me to show my girls that it’s okay to wait on God to send you “Mr. Right”.

Princess Cut has received many accolades since being released. The Dove Foundation proclaimed that the movie was “A cut above the rest”, while Larry Elie of Friends Family Theatre say that it is “The Best Romance in Years”. This movie is a great movie to curl up to on the couch to watch as a family and open up open lines of communication about dating etc. I recommend everyone getting their hands on a copy.

Check out what my CrewMates thought of this movie by clicking the banner below!

Princess Cut {Watchman Pictures Reviews}

Company ~ Watchman Pictures 
 Product ~ Princess Cut 
 Format ~ DVD 
 Ages ~ 12+, family friendly

Watchman Pictures

Social Media Links: 

 • Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/PrincessCutMovie  • Twitter:  https://twitter.com/PrincessCutFilm      Tag:   @PrincessCutFilm      • Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/princesscutfilm/pins/ • Instagram:  http://instagram.com/paulmungernc          Tag:   @paulmungernc    • Google+:  https://plus.google.com/+Princesscutmovie    • YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/PrincessCutMovie/videos  
 
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© 2008 - 2018 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, April 5, 2018

Madison's Homeschool Diploma ~ a TOS review

Welcome back friends! Today I have an exciting review to share with you so let’s get started! 


Three years ago we graduated our first graduate, Marie, and now time has flown by and it is Madison’s turn. How can that be!? Well, she does have one more year because she graduates in 2019 but time flies guys so enjoy every moment for sure. I am so excited to share about our Personalized Diploma for Madison from Homeschool Diploma I could have gone with the Standard Diploma they offered but Madison wanted hers to be like Marie’s with a few modifications so we went with the Personalized High School Diploma.


Madison has been homeschooled since the 3rd grade when we moved across country. I tell you bringing the girls (at the time) home has been the best decision for our family. As she heads into her Senior year I love reminiscing about the highs and lows of educating her at home. Next year she will participate in our state’s big Homeschool Graduation ceremony held at the State Homeschool Convention in June, but I am so glad to have the opportunity to have this personalized diploma to showcase all of her hard work.

Homeschool Diploma

Ordering the diploma was so easy and with three different diploma styles to choose from you are sure to find one that suits your family and child! There are many different add-ons available too, like four different seals and awards. You can also personalize the diploma with a favorite scripture verse or saying. They also have “stock” sayings too, so it is not too hard to come up with something special. The ordering system guides you through the whole process and it even has pictures of options for those visual people like myself. So, what exactly did I order?


Here is the info below:
~ Personalized High School Diploma with 8.5” x 11” Deluxe Cover 
~ Seal Design: "Christian Education" Engraved Seal 
 ~ Name of Graduate: XXXX Madison Caffey 
 ~ Gender of Graduate: Female 
 ~ Name of School: A Stable Beginning Christian Academy 
~ Optional City and State of School: XXXXX, VA 
~ School Administrator: Jacquelin Caffey 
 ~ Wording of Diploma: 2B Honors {Honors Course of Study} 
 ~ Verse or Motto: The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr ~ Select the Month: May Day: 31 Year: 2019 
 ~ Left Signature Line: Signature of Mother 
 ~ Right Signature Line: Signature of Father 
 ~ Diploma Paper: Ivory Parchment 
~ Lettering Style: Hand Calligraphy 
 ~ Optional Honors Seal: Summa Cum Laude 
 ~ Diploma Cover: Black with “Classical Education” Crest and School and name stamped on front


After selecting all the options available the final step is to choose your padded cover color and design. Do you want a Seal on it? How about your child’s name? Or your school name? All of these features come exclusive with the Personalized High School Diploma. So, there you have it. Ordering a diploma is as simple as choosing your options and then pushing the order button and waiting for your diploma to arrive. Shipping is super quick, we had our diploma within a week.


We are so pleased with our diploma, I love it! Madison has not actually seen the finished product but she did choose all her selections above. I tell everyone I know with a high schooler to check out HomeschoolDiploma.com for all of their diploma and graduation needs. This is a special time of the year. You have poured everything into your child during their education so reward them and yourself with a beautiful treasure that will last.

I love everything about Homeschool Diploma and the products they provide! And you know what!? They even offer Kindergarten and 8th grade graduation diplomas along with cap and gowns too! I’ll have my last graduating Kindergartener in two years and we will commemorate that special time with his very own Kindergarten diploma.



Also be sure to check out the other special add-ons available, like class rings, apparel, and announcements and envelopes and more! Check out what my CrewMates thought of Homeschool Diploma and the other products being reviewed, 8th Grade Diploma and the Cap, Gown, Tassel and Diploma by clicking the banner below.

Kindergarten Graduation and Junior High Diploma for your Homeschool  {Homeschool Diploma Reviews}

Company ~ Homeschool Diploma 
 Price ~ Starting at $29.99 
 Ages ~ all ages

Homeschool Diploma

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© 2008 - 2018 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, April 4, 2018

Wordless Wednesday





© 2008 - 2018 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, April 3, 2018

Creation Illustrated: Snow and Pine Trees Unit Studies ~ a TOS review

Somedays I spend a lot of time on the go and waiting. Waiting at the gym, waiting at the ball field, waiting at various appointments. I like to use my waiting periods productively when I can so I was really excited when I received two copies of the Creation Illustrated unit studies, Snow Unit Study and Pine Trees, as well access to the digital magazines, Winter '18 Digital Edition and Fall '17 Digital Edition that go with those studies for us to review.


I always have a magazine or book tucked away in my tote bag for those times when I spend waiting. Have you heard of Creation Illustrated? If not, let me tell you a little more about the company. Creation Illustrated is an amazing magazine showcasing God’s creation through pictures and story. For over 25 years  the Ish family has created and put together this wonderful magazine. 

Their purpose is to share the wonders of God’s creation. By revealing fresh insights of His infinite wisdom, gentle touch, undeniable justice, redeeming love, and flawless design, pure truth shall bring renewed peace. Each part of this publication is offered as a reprieve from the daily rigor’s of life so that all can look to the future with unbridled gratitude and hope.

Creation Illustrated Unit Study Pine TreesCreation Illustrated Unit Study Snow

We were given digital copies of two unit studies, the Snow Unit Study and the Pine Trees study along with there corresponding digital magazines to use. 




Each unit study is designed for students in 3rd - 8th grade and are approximately 16-17 pages in length. The file comes as a PDF download and your student will spend quality time learning all about snow and pine trees. 

The Snow unit study came at the perfect time for us. We had another snow storm and my 9th grader had inquired why it was snowing so much and she wanted to know how it was actually formed. While my 9th grader was learning about snow, my 5th grader was learning all about Pine Trees. We have a lot of pine trees in the area surrounding our house. 



Being able to work through this unit study allowed both girls to gain knowledge while completing fun activities. I love when a curriculum provides learning in disguise. Don't feel like you have to know all there is about snow or pine trees to teach your child these lessons. A helpful answer key is included for each question within the study!



The photography in the pages of the magazines are amazing and the content of the articles are just as impressive!  It is no wonder that readers call it “The Christian answer to National Geographic!”. My favorite pictures came from the Fall edition showcasing The Grand Canyon. I have never been to The Grand Canyon but the real life photography made it seem as if I were right there. Each edition is subdivided into 3 sections Creation Illustrated in Nature, in Scripture, and in Living. Each section provides the Spiritual, Mental, and Physical enrichment we all need.  Uplifting spiritual and character building lesson are also included and teach the eternal truths through the things He made.



In the back of each edition includes an instructional guide to help you glean facts or spiritual lessons from the articles with. However, they are just a guide. You can choose to just let Creation Illustrated be for enjoyment and/or informal discussion.



Creation Illustrated is published quarterly in the United States. Subscription are for the following lengths/rate:
  • 1 year $ 14.95  print subscription, 1 year $9.95/yr digital subscription
Want to try a copy before you buy? You are in luck! Request a sample issue of Creation Illustrated before committing to a subscription. I know these magazines and unit studies have been a great addition to our family so be sure to check out what my Crewmates thought by clicking on the button below.


Creation Illustrated Unit Studies {Creation Illustrated Reviews}


Company ~ Creation Illustrated  
 Format ~ digital
 Price ~ 1 year $ 14.95  print subscription, 1 year $9.95/yr digital subscription
 Ages ~ 3rd - 8th graders

Creation Illustrated
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© 2008 - 2018 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.