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 11th year of homeschooling using a Classical ~ Literature based approach.

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



Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Wordless Wednesday




© 2008 - 2019 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, July 24, 2019

Wordless Wednesday



© 2008 - 2019 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, July 23, 2019

Homeschool science for middle school with Apologia's Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd edition ~ a TOS review

We are big fans of the K-12 science curriculum from Apologia Educational Ministries. 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.



This year, I will have a seventh grader as we head into our 11th year of our homeschooling journey! Seventh grade in our homeschool marks the transitional year as we start our college prep studies and our focus on STEM study. If you are looking for middle a school science course, you need to read my review of Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition from Apologia.


For this review Apologia graciously sent us the Basic Set that includes the hardcover Textbook, Spiral bound Student Notebook, and Solutions and Test manuals.


Textbook: a 430 page hardcover textbook written to the student. It includes photographs, charts, and graphs over a wide range of science disciplines to give a broad overview of the sciences. Like other Apologia books, the password to access the book extras are located inside this book. Be sure to check these helpful extras out.


Student Notebook: a spiral bound, consumable notebook that is essential to the transition from elementary to middle school. The notebook helps to teach the all important skill of note taking and writing lab reports. Many of the Labs have been updated for the 3rd edition. Lab materials can be found at the Dollar store or around the house.



Solutions and Test Manuals: these softcover books are provided to aid the teacher in helping the student complete the course. The tests include matching, multiple-choice, and short answer questions like you would find on a nationalized standard test such as the SAT/ACT. The first two tests are meant to be completed as open book tests.


This newest edition of General Science was updated and created to bridge the gap between elementary, teacher-led science, to be a more independent science program starting in 7th grade. This curriculum can be used in 8th grade as well, but it is intended to be the first science course taken in Junior High.


As I said above, our college prep science series starts in 7th grade. Because of this, I chose to purchase the MP3 Audio CD, and Video Instruction Thumb Drive on my own for use with this homeschool science for middle school course.




This General Science curriculum includes 14 modules of learning. Lessons, Labs, and other hands-on activities are scheduled out for you and your student in the Student Notebook. A great feature of the Student Notebook is that the curriculum is scheduled out over 4 days for 33 weeks of the year.


Your student will work through the following topics:

Module 1 ~ The History of Science: Search for the Truth 
Module 2~ Scientific Inquiry and the Scientific Method 
Module 3 ~ Documenting and Interpreting Experimental Results 
Module 4 ~ Scientific Analysis and History 
Module 5 ~ Earth Science: Astronomy 
Module 6 ~ Earth Science: Geology and Paleontology 
Module 7 ~ Earth Science: Meteorology and Oceanography 


Module 8 ~ General Chemistry 
Module 9 ~ General Physics 
Module 10 ~ Life Science 
Module 11 ~ General Biology 
Module 12 ~ Marine Science 
Module 13 ~ Environmental Science 
Module 14 ~ Science and Creation


This course in General Science is Creation based and reinforces principles of the Bible. It will help your child be able to defend what they believe as they learn the facts of the science realm. This is one of the reasons why our family chooses Apologia for our science curriculum from elementary through high school.







Montana has enjoyed this curriculum during our summer learning. The updated 3rd edition is the right amount of rigor for her to begin her college prep series. I like the format of the Student Notebook and the way it guides the student through the learning process.


Having the opportunity to purchase the lecture CD has been a tremendous help for us as well. Montana is able to watch the lecture and get the reinforcement of what she read in the book as well. Since the 3rd edition is a bit different that the 2nd edition that I have used with my three older girls, I also elected to purchase the MP3 audio CD to have the textbook read to me. That way I can help Montana in her weekly learning and we both are on the same page so to speak.

Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition. {Apologia Reviews} 
Hands down, we love this new edition of Apologia’s Exploring Creation with General Science and will be using it as our main 7th grade science curriculum for the 2019-2020 school year! But don’t just take our word for it! Check out what 38 of my CrewMates thought of this set by clicking the link below.

Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition. {Apologia Reviews} 

Company ~ Apologia 
 Format ~ Basic Set: Textbook, Student Notebook, Solutions/Test Manual 
 Price ~ $119.00 
 Ages ~ 7th and 8th grade


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© 2008 - 2019 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, July 19, 2019

The Crafty Classroom: Pattern Block Activity Bundle ~ a TOS review

Happy Friday friends! Today I have the opportunity to share a fantastic bundle called the Pattern Block Activity Bundle from the Crafty Classroom! If you are looking for a great Kindergarten and up activity then definitely keep reading.



I really enjoy the younger years of learning when little learners eyes fill with wonder when they experience something for the first time. It may seem like a simple task or puzzle to us as adults but to them it is truly amazing and awesome. My son, Micah (5), loves hands-on learning. For the past few weeks his has been working his way through the Pattern Block Activity Bundle.


The Crafty Classroom is the brainchild of Valerie McClintick who produces top quality educational resources for math, reading, science, alphabet, Bible, writing, and more! All of her products are priced affordably so you are not going to break the bank getting quality curriculum material. We received a digital download PDF of the curriculum designed for children in preschool to grade 3 that includes hundreds of hands-on learning.


The product is divided into 5 categories including: 
 ~ ABC & 123 
~ Animal Bundle 
~ Holiday Bundle 
 ~ Four Seasons 
~ Transportation 


With over 700+ pages, this bundle is choke full of illustrated full color activities. The entire set is differentiated and includes 3 levels of skill for each category. Plus, you have 8 bonus activity pages that cover counting, tally marks, graphing, addition, subtration, writing, shape identification, inequalities, ordinal numbers, number words, and sequencing. For just $25.00 you get a lot of bang for your buck! And don’t fret if printing in color gives you the willies, there are black and white options too.




Micah loves this set! I love it that instead of buying sets here and there we have so many options. To help organize the bundle I printed out each sections pages at the medium level. I further put each page inside a sheet protector so that he could write on the bottom when counting the shapes and easily erase as well. I then stored them in 1” binders.


With this set up Micah is able to grab a binder and work through whichever set he choses. He typically spent 30+ minutes working on different pages 2-3 days a week. I did not use the bonus pages just yet as the writing is above his level for now. However, I look forward to using these pages when he gets a little more advanced in writing.


 In his words… “this is the best”! 

But don’t just take our word for it! Check out what 49 of my CrewMates thought of this set and the other sets that were up for review from the Crafty Classroom by clicking the link below.
Hands-on, Low-prep and Ready to Go Learning - Tots to 3rd Grade {Crafty Classroom Reviews}

These include: 


Hands-on, Low-prep and Ready to Go Learning - Tots to 3rd Grade {Crafty Classroom Reviews}

 Format ~ PDF copy
 Price ~ $25.00 
 Ages ~ PK- grade 3

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Crew Disclaimer
© 2008 - 2019 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

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Wordless Wednesday



© 2008 - 2019 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, July 16, 2019

Online piano lessons with Music & Creativity - Foundation Course from Simply Music ~ a TOS review


Happy Tuesday friends! If you have ever thought about piano lessons for yourself or your children but are unsure if would be worth the time and investment you'll want to check out the Music & Creativity - Foundation Course from Simply Music.

Years ago my daughter Montana, expressed an interest in playing the piano. We didn’t have the means to get her lessons but were blessed to receive several reviews related to piano lessons. Fast forward a few years and once again we have been offered an opportunity for online piano lessons with the Simply Music 21 lesson course.

Simply Music was created by Neil Moore, a passionate music teacher, he created this program to give everyone access online. Simply Music is a self-study program so you can work as quickly or slowly through the program for mastery. The program is completely free in celebration of their 20th anniversary.

Within the 21 lessons you will learn to get your finger placements down right in the first lesson. Mr. Moore helps teach you this by showing you correct hand movements during the lessons. Through short and easy lessons you and your student will be introduced to classical, contemporary, and blues pieces to play.

To get started you just need access to the internet to watch the videos and to listen to the provided soundtracks. You also need a piano or keyboard with at least 61 keys. It’s helpful if the keyboard has a jack to plug in a set of headphones.


Montana liked the program and we strived to use it at least three times a week for at least 20 minutes. While she does not necessarily have the same desire to play the piano as she did when she was younger, it was still a program that she enjoyed doing.



I think this would be an excellent program for any student who is self motivated to learn. Mr. Moore is a great teacher and he has invested a lot into his program and it shows.

Learn to Play the Piano with Music & Creativity - Foundation Course {Simply Music Reviews}
Be sure to check out what 44 of my CrewMates thought of taking online piano lessons by clicking the banner below.

Learn to Play the Piano with Music & Creativity - Foundation Course {Simply Music Reviews}

Company ~ Simply Music
Product ~ Music & Creativity - Foundation Course 
 Format ~ online lessons 
 Price ~ FREE 
 Ages ~ elementary through adult
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Crew Disclaimer


© 2008 - 2019 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, July 12, 2019

The Heart Changer by Jarm Del Boccio ~ a TOS review

Happy Friday friends! Today I have a book review to share with you. If you are looking for some middle-grade biblical fiction, I suggest you check out the book, The Heart Changer by Jarm Del Boccio, Author. We enjoy reading historical and biblical fiction so I was thrilled to get the chance to review Jarm’s new book!


The author of this book is Jarm Del Boccio (Jarm is pronounced Yarm), and she is a former teacher and librarian. She currently is a teacher at SchoolhouseTeachers.com and has penned her first book The Heart Changer. With a passion for making the Bible and history come alive she expands on the story of the Hebrew slave girl that is found in the book of 2 Kings, Chapter 51 in the Bible.

The story in the Bible is unnamed, but Jarm has given her the name of Miriam. The Heart Changer tells the story of a twelve year of girl named Miriam, who is taken captive from her own country and taken to Siria and ensalved to a Sirian Captain as his wife. Guess who the Sirian Captian is? Namaan from the Bible!

So now, Miriam, with hatred in her heart struggles to serve her captive who took her away from her family. Not only does Miriam have to deal with being captive, she also has to live among people who do not worship her God.

Wow! How would you survive in a situation like this? Would you allow God to change your heart just as he did for Miriam? These are some of the situations that Miriam has lived through.


I received a hard copy of her new book but it is also available in eBook versions as well. I read this book aloud to my two younger daughters, aged 9 and 12 the first week the book arrived. They enjoyed the book and there favorite part was most definitely when we all realized that Miriam’s family was safe and unharmed.


There is also a Teacher’s Guide to accompany the book. You can find it on the webstie. It is twelve pages long and includes a section to get to know Miriam deeper, information about leprosy, and also Sirian recipes to try out.

The Heart Changer {Jarm Del Boccio, Author Reviews}
Overall, I found that this is an excellent book for girls in the middle school age. Good, quality literature is hard to find these days. But this book falls into the good book category. I think you could hand this book to a middle school aged girl without any hesitation. But don’t just take my word for it. Check out what 44 of my CrewMates think of this book by clicking the banner below to read their thoughts.

The Heart Changer {Jarm Del Boccio, Author Reviews}

Company ~  SchoolhouseTeachers.com teacher - 
 Product ~ The Heart Changer
 Genres ~ Children & Young Adult, Fiction, Middle Grade
  ISBN: 9781620208687 
 Price: $12.99 
Ages ~ Middle school aged


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© 2008 - 2019 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