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.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

A Trip to the State Fair

We visited the State Fair for the very first time on Friday and the kids and I had a blast! 

We left early in the morning so that we would be there right when they opened the gates at 10AM. The weather forecast had called for a 60% chance of rain. Of course, on the way there, I realized that I had forgotten to grab the littles jackets. So we made a quick detour to our nearest Walmart and I grabbed two light jackets for them. Turns out we only needed them for a few hours. By noon, the weather was warm enough for them to shed their jackets.

As soon as we pulled into site of the fair there were squeals of delight as we had our first glimpse of the rides. Getting our stuff out of the van as quickly as we could, we raced to the entry gates. Soon after we got through the gates we headed towards the cows that were baying loudly. But first we were stopped by the people in the big Geico exhibit.

 Cows and a baby bull taking a bath before the show.

Did you know I cow produces 90 glasses a milk a day!

Next we visited the cows. I learned some new things about cows that I never knew before. Like did you know that before cows are shown in a show they are shaved? First of all, I get that cows are mammals but I never put two and two together that they had hair. Plus, cows are huge! Have you ever been next to a cow?

Next we made our way to the rides but we had to stop by and check out the tractors and ride-on lawn mower.

Finally we made it to the rides! The kids were so excited and wanted to ride everything, which they did. McKenzie and Micah were not tall enough for all the rides in the big kid section so made our way over to the little kid rides and everyone enjoyed these rides.

I must say though, I am too old for these jerky, spinning rides. My back and neck hurt so bad the next day from the Tilt-a-Whirl. A little too much tilt for me.

All in all we had a blast at the fair and can't wait to go back next year! 

©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, September 26, 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, September 25, 2018

I Know It ~ a TOS review

I Know It Interactive Math Lessons K - 5 grade

Math is one of the subjects that has to be done daily, especially in the early years. It requires a lot of practice of basic math facts to acquire the solid foundation needed for upper level math down the road. Some of our weeks get extremely busy when we are on the go more than we are home. For those types of days I am especially glad to be able to take our math with us using a program called I Know It, the new program from the makers behind We have been using the I Know It program to add supplementary online math lessons to our schedule when we cannot get to our regular math program.

I Know It is a comprehensive, interactive, online math practice site for K-5th graders. The program allows the student to work at their own level to gain mastery in skills that they may need to shore up. Students are free to work at their own pace and there are helpful hints that are just a click away if needed.

We received a home/family membership that is good for one parent and four children for a years term. Setting up my parent account was easy. I choose the main level for my children to work at, however, they are free to jump around to work in other levels as well. This worked especially well with my 3rd grader, McKenzie.

Assigning specific lessons or topics to complete is really simple in this program. Similarly, so is designating how much time you want your student to dedicate to practicing. The student is also free to choose topics they want to study if you are comfortable letting an older student have more control over their learning.

Instant feedback is given once the student submits the answer. If the problem is wrong, information about how to fix it is given to help the student be successful. When the answer is correct the student will see a dancing little robot guy in the bottom corner doing a happy dance. My student enjoyed seeing this dancing robot.

I Know It Interactive Math Lessons K - 5 grade

I mainly used this program with McKenzie, my 3rd grader. We are still in the process of figuring out how to get everything done during the day for school after she comes home from gymnastics training. Some days, when we just don’t get to our regularly scheduled math lessons I have no issue in assigning her 20 minutes of time on I Know It to work on math topics. Normally, McKenzie has been working with the program 2-3 days a week. More specifically on Monday and Wednesdays as those are our two busiest days of the week as a family.

Interactive Math Lessons K - 5 grade {I Know It Reviews}

Overall, McKenzie and I have enjoyed her usage of this program. I should mention that the lessons are aligned with the Common Core but we just ignore that and focus on what we need to get out of the program. The lessons are short and too the point without too much fluff. I appreciate that. She enjoys it because the graphics make the program fun without being too babyish. She excels in math, so having her do these lessons was not a chore for her. We will continue using the I Know It program as we finish up this school year because I know she is getting quality math instruction on the days that we can’t hit the books in her regular math curriculum. In the next few weeks, I plan to get my son using the Kindergarten portion of the program.

I definitely think you should check out this program for your family! In fact, I Know It offers a free 60 day trial to interested homeschoolers and teachers.  The free trial page can be found HERE. Also, click the banner below and see what my 54 CrewMates thought of this program too.

Interactive Math Lessons K - 5 grade {I Know It Reviews}

Company ~ 
 Product ~ I Know It 
 Format ~ online 
 Ages ~ K-5th grade math
I Know It Interactive Math Lessons K - 5 grade

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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, September 19, 2018

Wordless Wednesdays

©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.  

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Roman Roads Media: Picta Dicta Vocabulary Builder ~ a TOS review

Roman Roads Media Picta Dicta Vocabulary Builder

So you already know that in our family we study Latin through 11th grade. Why, you ask? Quite simply because I have seen the benefits of learning this beautiful language in our other subjects and in our testing. For us learning Latin has so many benefits that I was thrilled at the opportunity for my girls, Mikayla (10th grade) and Montana (6th grade) and I to try Picta Dicta Vocabulary Builder from Roman Roads Media.
Roman Roads Media
You many have heard of Roman Roads Media before from other curricula they publish, like Visual Latin or Old Western Culture. As a company they are renowned for publishing Classical, Christian curriculum for homeschoolers. All of their products combine technology and resources with high quality instruction to help foster a love of learning in your child.

The Picta Dicta Vocabulary Builder is geared towards the middle school through college age students. The classical curriculum focuses on teaching over 1,000 nouns, verbs, adjectives, and propositions used in everyday speaking through pictures, audio pronunciations, definitions and more to help your student learn this thrilling language called Latin.

Roman Roads Media

The full course includes two different tracks, Normal or Easy. The first three learning sections are exactly the same. The difference comes with two additional exercises in the Normal version.You the parent are able to put your child into the appropriate level that is both challenging yet achievable.

Roman Roads Media

The complete program contains 31 chapters that each cover a separate topic. 

 1 The Map 
 2 Basic School 
 3 Basic People and Family
 4 Numbers and Useful Adjectives 
 5 Basic Actions 
 6 Basic Food and Money 
 7 Miscellaneous Verbs and Adjectives 
 8 Basic Travel and Home 
 9 Basic Prepositions 
 10 Travel and Transportation 
 11 Basic Body and Beauty 
 12 Jewelry and Clothing 
 13 Shopping 
 14 The Herdsman 
 15 More Animals and Outdoors 
 16 Life and Death 
 17 Animal and Tree Parts 
 18 Size 
 19 Complementary Infinitive 
 20 Play 
 21 Anatomy 
 22 Sickness
 23 More Geography 
 24 War 
 25 Arms and Battle 
 26 Time 
 27 Weather 
 28 Light 
 29 More Useful Adjectives 
 30 More Clothing 
 31 Washing
Roman Roads Media
Through repetition of audio and visual clues your student will learn between 25-30 vocabulary words through the course of a lesson. Each Chapter has exercises where the student LEARN, CHOOSE, SPELL, FORMS, and TEST FORMS to present the material to be learned. Each of the sections is given a star grade based system with 5 starts being an excellent score. The program has a See it, Hear it, Understand it philosophy.

See it ~ colorful, hand-drawn illustrations present and teach the Latin vocabulary words. The pictures are simple yet interesting enough to aid in memorization of the word. Perfect for the visual learner. 

Hear it ~ For the audio learners out there, the program pronounces the word for each picture as well as using the word in a sentence.

Understand it ~ A helpful dictionary is just a click away if you need the definition of a word. It also includes possible English translations to help you further.

We have been using this with both Mikayla and Montana with great starting results. We’ve had our woes with Latin over the last few years. To the point where it just was not getting done. We have jumped back and forth from one curriculum provider to the next, taking online classes and so forth searching for the right one. The addition of using Picta Dicta Vocabulary Builder with our Latin curriculum has been the missing piece I have been searching for!

The girls have been using the program for 20-30 minutes a day, three times a week on their iPads in addition to their Latin study. At first Montana was on the Normal setting, but we found that to be too challenging for her, especially in the spelling portion, so I bumped her down to the Easy level while Mikayla continued on the Normal level.

I really like that this is such a visual and audio program which suits Mikayla so well. She still struggles at times with comprehension and retention, but this program has been helping her memorize and expand not just her Latin vocabulary but her English one as well. We definitely will be telling all our friends about this curriculum and finishing the complete program for both girls. I plan to have Montana cycle back through the program on the Normal level next school year.

But why study Latin you ask? I’m sure you have heard it said that Latin is a “dead” or “forgotten” language. I think it’s important because Latin helps

 “1. Latin teaches English better than English teaches English.  
 2. The mental discipline Latin instills in students makes it the ideal foreign language to study.
  3. Latin is the ideal tool for the transmission of cultural literacy”. 
PictaDicta Natural World
If your goals is a classical education, then studying Latin is a must and Roman Roads Media's Picta Dicta Vocabulary Builder will help you meet that goal. I have enjoyed this Latin classical curriculum so much that I have decided to purchase my 3rd grader a subscription to the Picta Dicta Natural World program. I know that this program will be just as fabulous as the Picta Dicta Vocabulary Builder and money well spent.

Classical Rhetoric and Picta Dicta {Roman Roads Media Reviews}

But don’t just take my word for it, check out what my CrewMates thought of this program and the other two Classical education curriculum, Fitting Words Classical Rhetoric (complete program) and Picta Dicta Natural World reviewed by clicking the banner below.

Classical Rhetoric and Picta Dicta {Roman Roads Media Reviews}

 Format ~ online 
 Price ~ $79.00, 14 month subscription. Each additional user license $15.00 
 Ages ~ middle school through college-age

Roman Roads Media
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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.