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 15th year of homeschooling using a Classical ~ Literature based approach.

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

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Apologia: Exploring Creation with Health and Nutrition ~ a TOS Review

Are you looking for a high school health and nutrition course?  Well, then let me introduce you to Exploring Creation with Health and Nutrition by Dr. Laura Chase published by Apologia Educational Ministries who sent me the Health and Nutrition Basic Set.

I am sure you have heard of Apologia Educational Ministries if you are a homeschooler. If you are not, let me tell you a little about them. Apologia is one of those companies that everybody talks about and for good reason too! Apologia publishes K-12 Creation-based science and worldview curriculum for children K-12, inspirational books about homeschooling, and hosts online classes through Apologia Academy. And now, they have added to their curriculum line up with their High School Health program.

For this review we were blessed to be able to receive the hardcover book and a copy of the Student Notebook. The textbook is 441 pages filled with high quality photographs and illustrations. The Student Notebook is a 366 page spiral-bound, consumable notebook that compliments the textbook. Both items are needed to complete the course and the Student Notebook is consumable, so you will need to purchase each student their own copy. 

With 15 Modules this is a meaty course that grants a full high school health credit. Depending on your needs you can break the course into one or two semesters. We choose the two semester option for Mikayla, my 10th grader, since she already has a full course load and I it wanted her to no rush.

The Student Notebook also contains a 34-week suggested weekly schedule for completing the lessons. I love this! It helps me see the big picture for the overall course and keeps me and Mikayla on track too. Three days a week are suggested and that is just the tactic we choose for Mikayla. This means she works on health on Tuesday, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. These are the days that she will be home during the day and training in the evening so we can really buckle down.

Apologia Exploring Health and Nutrition
The 15 Modules cover the following topics: 

Module 1 ~ Who Am I and Why Does Heath Matter 
Module 2 ~ Physical Influences on Thoughts and Feelings 
Module 3 ~ Mental and Emotional Stability 
Module 4 ~ Interpersonal Harmony 
Module 5 ~ Treasuring Your Senses 
Module 6 ~ Processing Nourishment and Hydration 
Module 7 ~ Food Science I - Macronutrients 
Module 8 ~ Food Science II - Micronutrients 
Module 9 ~ Let's Look At What You Eat 
Module 10 ~Delivering the Oxygen 
Module 11 ~ Let's Move 
Module 12 ~ You're Stronger Than You Look 
Module 13 ~ At War With Infection 
Module 14 ~ Peace in Difficult Times 
Module 15 ~ The Gift of Reproduction

As with with other Apologia products, the textbook is written directly to the student in a friendly and engaging tone. This course is meant for the student to be fully engaged and completing the work “On Your Own”. Comprehension questions are sprinkled throughout the module and are intended to help the student test their knowledge of the material. The course also contains fun, hands-on projects that are scheduled into the coursework. Three of the bigger projects are graded and take the place of the Module test.

The Health and Nutrition Basic Set from Apologia Educational Ministries has answered my prayer for a thorough high school health and nutrition course! When I first heard about this course coming out I was super excited because I wanted/needed something more for Mikayla’s health requirement. You see, she is a potential NCAA Collegiate Student Athlete. With that distinction comes going through the process of passing the NCAA Clearinghouse so that she can compete in college.

Having a “textbook” will make having this course pass the Clearinghouse certification a little bit easier than my piecemeal program I used with Marie and Madison when they completed high school health. Having this course means it’s one less thing I have to worry about because the quality is already there within the course.

Mikayla thinks this health curriculum is “fun and easy to complete. The lessons are short and to the point which makes it easy for me to complete. I really like that the textbook is written to the student. Having the Student Notebook is a lifesaver for me. I have been known to misplace school papers, and the Student Notebook keeps everything together and in its place. The Module activities are fun. I am excited to get to my first Project in Module 9 in a few short weeks. I am interested in really honing in on what I am putting in my body to fuel me during my workouts and meets. I am hoping to make some changes to my eating so I can see the results in my competition performances. Plus, I think I want to study nutrition in college, especially since my favorite subject is lunch”.

Apologia Exploring Health and Nutrition
Overall, we have both really enjoyed this high school health course! Mikayla and I both give it two thumbs up! This course has my daughter excited to study health and nutrition and possibly major in those areas when she goes off to college in a few short years.

Health and Nutrition Basic Set {Apologia Educational Ministries Reviews}
I can’t say enough about this course! We have found the perfect curriculum for teaching all about the necessary topics in high school health and nutrition. But don’t just take my word for it. Check out what 24 of my CrewMates thought of this health curriculum by clicking the banner below.

And guess what! Apologia has a FREE eBook they want to share with you right now. Its called Whole-Health: God’s Design for Your Body, Mind, and Soul Activity eBook.

Health and Nutrition Basic Set {Apologia Educational Ministries Reviews}

  Ages ~ 8th-12th grades

Social Media Links:

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Wednesday, August 29, 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.

Wednesday, August 22, 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.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

2018 ~ 2019 Weekly Wrap Up ~ Week ONE

Good Sunday evening!

I am just sitting down to write our very first weekly wrap up for the 2018 - 2019 school year. Ten years guys I have been deep in the trenches schooling my kiddos and each year gets better and better! This year we are schooling 12th, 10th, 6th, 3rd, and JrK. Marie is also a Senior at University. Yes, you read that right! I have a Senior in college and a Senior in High School! Its going to be a busy Spring for sure!

We had a pretty great week first week! We started Monday morning full of smiles from everyone. That is always a good way to start off the week in my book. We are still juggling summer practice schedules for Mikayla and McKenzie with gymnastics and Montana with cheerleading, but I was pleased that the girls were able to get their scheduled lessons done.

Madison is taking 6.5 credits this year and her course load is set up like a college students. She doesn't have lessons each day much to the dismay of her siblings. Especially since two of her online classes have not started yet. It's not all relaxing for her though since she is knee deep in college applications and studying to raise her SAT/ACT scores just a tad bit since every point counts in merit scholarship money.

Mikayla is diving into the world of calling and speaking to college coaches. So far she has spoken to or left a message with 3 coaches.  Because of her age, the college coaches can not call her back. Each time she gets a little bit more comfortable. It's an exciting time for her to have this opportunity. She has quite the course load this year as a 10th grader including honors Chemistry but I know she can buckle down and push through strong. AND she understands Significant Figures guys! It just clicked for her...I was prepared and prepped to have days of explanation and working problems. But she gets it, PTL!

Montana has entered into the world of middle school. Her course load has increased just a tad but I know she will rise to the occasion. She is especially excited for all the great literature she is going to be reading this year.  Fall cheerleading has started again and she has moved up to the JV level. Many of the same girls from last year also moved up so there are some familiar faces. However, over the summer some of the girls have seem to become cliquish. Its tough to see your child being left out, whether intentionally or not. She has however, made a new friend with one of the new girls.

McKenzie is a 3rd grader this year. This past week I found it difficult to get her lessons done. We did get the work done but it was later than I had liked. She and Micah spent most of each morning playing while I worked with the older girls. Around 130, I would start working with McKenzie since the majority of their lessons would be done. This next week I want to try and get a better routine and get her lessons taught in the morning, especially before she leaves for the gym on the days she has afternoon training.

My last baby is in's truly bittersweet. I love seeing the world through a preschoolers eyes. So much joy and wonder in discovering new things. Micah loves school and he loves playing games. He is such a sponge right now. Soaking up everything. He decided this week that he is left-handed when writing. That lasted for a day and now he is back to being a righty. Like his sisters he has a mathematical mind and numbers come easy for him.

Over the summer we may the decision to return to co-op. We are all super excited about it especially Micah would can't wait to meet new friends in his preschool class. I am going to be teaching two classes and aiding in two others. The classes I am teaching are science classes. One Logic stage Chemistry and  a Preschool/Kindergarten level science class. For both I will be using curriculum from Elemental Science. Classes start the first week in September and this coming Thursday it's Meet the Teacher Night at this co-op as well as our history co-op Meet & Greet on Tuesday morning.

So that was our week. For week two we are adding in Grammar and Latin to the schedules. Everyone is preparing to work hard and diligently to once again complete our lessons. Hope you have had a great week, until next time!

Weekly Wrap-Up

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Thursday, August 16, 2018

Julie Polanco: God Schooling: How God Intended Children to Learn ~ a TOS review

This year we are beginning our tenth year as a homeschooling family. I’m far from an expert but in some circles I am considered a veteran. I, like you, sometimes struggle with the daily task of home educating my children, so it’s always nice to get some encouragement from time to time. As such I was excited to read God Schooling: How God Intended Children to Learn written by Julie Polanco because the title was so catchy. Let me tell you more about my thoughts.

Julie Polanco Books

Julie Polanco is a homeschooling mom of 4 who has been schooling at home for the past 15 years. Like all of us home educating moms she desired to provide the best education for her children. Through thorough research she sought answers from the Bible as well as many studies on child development. After trying several different methods of homeschooling styles she was led by God to God Schooling.

God Schooling book

Julie shares her thoughts on the subject in her book, God Schooling: How God Intended Children to Learn. With 163 pages and nine chapters the book is divided into two parts:

Part 1: Dispelling Myths ~ in this section Julie speaks of the Biblical support for natural learning.
Part 2: Practice ~ in this section Julie breaks down how to put her principles into action for children under 8, 8 years - 12 years, and for teens.

I kept this book in my purse and read it in bits and pieces as I was waiting at the gym or ball field. Essentially, I found this book to be a guide to exploring Christian Unschooling or child-led educating. Once I figured that out I kept reading because many of the topics interested me including the section about learning through play and the parts in Chapter Two that discussed giving your teens their wings through expectations and responsibility.

In our home, my daughters who are 12 and up know how to care for the house in my absence. By the time they are 14/15 years old, they can cook a complete meal, clean, and take care of younger siblings if needed. This happened recently when my flight home from Michigan was canceled unexpectedly due to weather. My 17 year old and I had to stay an extra night in Michigan because we could not get home until late the next day. My daughters, 21, 15, and even my 11 year old rose to the occasion and stepped up without being told and helped Dad out in running the house in my absence. So I agree with Julie in treating your teens like young adults at an early, yet acceptable age. They will rise to the expectations you ask of them.

God Schooling: How God Intended Children to Learn {Julie Polanco Reviews}
I did enjoy many parts of this book. We are, however, Classical homeschoolers, because that style of learning works best for our family. My husband and I have high expectations of myself and our children, yet we fail in one fashion or another every single day. I know what they are individually capable of and the push and pull is a grace filled one. I plan big each year and through relationships, disciplining, and investing into each of my children individually we are on this journey of homeschooling. Make no mistake, I call upon God each and every day for His guidance because honestly home educating my children is a full time job that I can not do without Him!

79 of my CrewMates also read and reviewed this book. Be sure to click the banner below to read their thoughts and opinions. You can also read the first Chapter on the Julie's website and until August 22nd you can get the e-book version for half off.

God Schooling: How God Intended Children to Learn {Julie Polanco Reviews}

Company ~ Julie Polanco 
Format ~ paperback book 
Audience ~ homeschooling families

Julie Polanco Books
Social Media Links: 

Facebook @juliepolancobooks ~ 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, August 15, 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, August 14, 2018

Branch Out World: Paddington Bear ~ a TOS review

McKenzie and Micah have been learning and having so much while having fun with the Picture Book Explorer Pack Paddington Bear from Branch Out World. If your family enjoys unit studies then you have got to check out this literature unit study that is based off the book Paddington, by Michael Bond.

For the last few weeks we have been enjoying our virtual tour of London, England and Peru with the study of the classic tale of Paddington Bear. Branch Out World is a British company started by a home educating mom in West Yorkshire. The Paddington Bear unit study is apart of the Picture Book Explorers series.

This is a meaty unit study with nearly 50 printable pages and is written for children ages 5-10. Within the pages you will find opportunity to complete notebooking pages, mini books, coloring pages, math, timelines, and science activities.

The whole study is intended to take five days. Over the course of the study you will learn about
Setting, Words, Pictures, Science, and Math & Crafts. Your child will also discuss and have hands-on learning opportunities about: Migration, Geography, Design and Architecture, Grammar Skills,  Literature,  Critical thinking and more!

McKenzie (8) and Micah (4) have enjoyed reading the Paddington story as well as doing the activities. They both love to paint so I had them paint the flags of Peru and England. We also looked up England and Peru on our globe so they could see first hand where they were located.

Hands down their favorite part was packing a red suitcase just like Paddington’s for a trip. I printed out some articles of clothing from the internet for them to pack in their bag. We travel a lot so they both know about packing and I love how they both thought about what they would bring for the trip.

There are a few activities that we haven’t gotten to because we have been traveling ourselves. However, I made mention that they will be able to make foam and they are both looking forward to it, as well as my big kids because who doesn’t like playing with foam! We will also tie in making strawberry tarts and marmalade within the next few weeks as we study Europe in-depth.

With easy to follow instructions and an included supply list this is my type of Unit Study! We have enjoyed the Paddington story many times over these last few weeks as well as the accompanying activities in this Unit Study from Branch Out World. We are on our 3rd renewal of the library book so we will have to return it soon but not before enjoying the story and activities within this unit study a few more times. Be sure to check out all the products that Branch Out World offers to see if this would be a good fit for your family.

Paddington Bear {Branch Out World Reviews}
Also, check out what my CrewMates thought of this study by clicking the banner below to see their thoughts.

Paddington Bear {Branch Out World Reviews}

Company ~ Branch Out World 
 Product ~ Paddington Bear 
 Format ~ PDF download 
 Price ~ 9.00 Pounds or $11.43 
 Ages ~ 5-10 years
Branch Out World
Social Media Links: 

Facebook:    @BranchOutWorld
Pinterest:   @belzibow
Instagram:   @belzibow
Twitter:  @belzibow
Crew Disclaimer

© 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.