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.



Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Prepare for Easter with The Easter Storybook ~ a TOS review

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC Regulations. 

During this time of Lent as we prepare for Easter, my littles and I have enjoyed reading through the The Easter Storybook from David C Cook. This is a beautiful hardcover book written by Laura Richie and illustrated by Ian Dale. Instead of focusing on Jesus’ last days this 40-page book gives us 40 different stories that tell of His whole life by revealing the big picture of God’s love for us.
Inside this book you will discover just who Jesus is, what He did, and why His death and resurrection matter. Each of the 40 stories presented in a two-page spread where you are given Bible scripture, the focus scripture, the story, and a question on the left hand side. To the right you are given a beautifully illustrated picture that corresponds to the story. You will be able to read stories from when Jesus was in the temple as a child, from when He healed the men with leprosy, the last supper, as well as his crucifixion and when he made his appearance after He had risen from the dead just as He said He would.
This book is written for children aged 4-8 years old, but I think it is perfect for children aged 10 to read independently as my daughter, McKenzie, has. McKenzie has been reading through The Easter Storybook each morning as apart of her quiet time. After she reads aloud we look up the scripture references before going over the question together. 
My son, Micah, who is 5 has also been listening in to the stories and taking part of the discussion. It’s been a great time to prepare our hearts for Easter and really focus on Jesus, especially because during the Corona virus quarantine we will be unable to go to our Church to worship.
"We may think that darkness and death and evil will last forever. But they won’t! Let’s remember to look for the Light and live in the hope that Jesus brings to us. Jesus is alive! One day, He will wipe aways our tears and fears forever. And then we will have peace."
 ~ The Easter Storybook, pg. 84
We have throughly enjoyed this book and look forward to April 12th this year when we can sing the praises of His victory on the cross! The author of the Easter Storybook also wrote The Advent Storybook, so you can be sure that is on my list to obtain come November.
Be sure to check out what my CrewMates thought of this book by clicking the banner below and be sure to grab your own copy of this book, it’s not too late to enjoy the goodness of these stories!
The Easter Storybook {David C Cook Reviews}
Company ~ David C Cook 
 Format ~ hardcover book, ISBN: 978-0-8307-7860-7 
 Price ~ $13.59
 Ages ~ Recommenced for 4-8 years old
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© 2008 - 2020 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, March 27, 2020

Hands-on learning with the Knights Lap-Pak from Home School in the Woods ~ a TOS review

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC Regulations. 

Happy Friday friends! We’ve made it to the end of another week! I hope your week was as fantastic as ours was, even with the quarantine. So, today I am excited to tell you about another fabulous product from one of my favorite hands-on homeschool curriculum provider, Home School in the Woods.

For this review my Kindergarten son, Micah, and I were blessed to work through the Knights K-2 Lap-Pak. Our family is no stranger to the Home School in the Woods company. I tell you it was love at first sight when I happened upon their booth at my local homeschool convention way back in 2011. I hit the jackpot that day with this company and it has transformed our way of schooling ever since.
The Knights Lap-Pak is one of the fabulous products that Home School in the Woods has to offer. However, don't think for a minute that this Lap-Pak is a cookie cutter, run of the mill Lap Book, because it is not! The detail of this Lap-Pak is second to none as your child dives deep into the Middle Ages to discover just what it took to become a knight.

Everything you need to complete the Lap-Pak (minus supplies) including all texts, master pages, and directions are included. Through coloring, researching, drawing & writing, and gluing your child will take a journey through the The Middle Ages and discover how to become a knight. You will need to supply some basic everyday arts and crafts supplies that you probably already have at home, including:
~Paper {colored and white} 
~ Cardstock {colored and white} 
~ Colored Pencils 
~ Scissors 
~ Glue sticks 
~ Stapler 
~ Double-sided tape 
~ Paper fasteners
My son Micah is a Kindergartener and we have been working our way through this Lap-Pak together. Some days I just read from the text while he plays with his knight set, other times we work through the Lap-Pak coloring and putting together pieces. Overall, he enjoys it as do I! While we have not completely finished our study we are making steady progress. Micah’s attention span is not that long for sit down work but short bursts of learning that can be done with this Lap-Pak are great for him.

Be especially sure to check out the U.S. Elections Lap-Pak now that we are in election season! We used this product several years ago durning the last election cycle with Madison, my now college Freshman. Mikayla, my 11th grader is working her way through it now as part of her Government class. I love that the U.S. Elections Lap-Pak can serve as a complete history unit study since it includes 21 exciting, hands-on projects to complete.
If you have hands-on learners like I do, I wholeheartedly recommend you check out this Knights Lap-Pak or anything else that Home School in the Woods offers. They have many great products that we use in our homeschool for hands-on learning along with our regular History curriculum. We personally own everything they have created except the Benjamin Franklin Lap-Pak which we will be adding for next school year. Trust me this curriculum is money well spent! The Hands-on History Knights Lap-Pak is a fantastic way to bring History to life for even the youngest learners!
Be sure to check out the other products from Home School in the Woods that was reviewed by 79 of my CrewMates. Products reviewed include:

Benjamin Franklin K-2 Lap-Pak  (grades K-2) 
Timeline Collection: A Collection of Historical Timeline Figures  (grades K -12) 

Project Passport World History Studies grades 3-8:
~ Ancient Egypt 
~ Ancient Greece 
~ Ancient Rome 
~ The Middle Ages 
~ Renaissance & Reformation 
~ The Industrial Revolution through the Great Depression 

Time Travelers U.S. History Studies (grades 3- 8 ): 
~ New World Explorers 
~ Colonial Life 
~ The American Revolution 
~ The Early 19th Century 
~ The Civil War 
~ The Industrial Revolution through the Great Depression 
~World War II 

Make-A-State Activity-Pak (grades 3-8) 
Artists Activity-Pak (grades 3-8) 
Composers Activity-Pak (grades 3-8) 

 Click the banner below to read the reviews!
Home School in the Woods Collections - Lap-pak, Timeline Figures, History Studies & Activity-Pak {Home School in the Woods Reviews}

 Product ~ Knights Lap-Pak
 Format ~ Digital PDF copy
Price ~ $9.95
Ages ~ K-2nd graders

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 © 2008 - 2020 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, March 26, 2020

Homeschool Math Games from Math Galaxy ~ a TOS review

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC Regulations.  

Math…it’s not my favorite subject but we get it done each day because it’s a necessity of life. I am always on the lookout for extra math practice for my kids for while we are on the go. Lately we have been using a few of the Math Galaxy Time and Money Riddles eBook and the Whole Numbers Balloon Pop App from Math Galaxy.


When we received access to these products we were still in our gymnastics travel season so it was excellent for learning on the go! Math Galaxy provides math games through apps and math worksheets. The eBooks were sent to us in an email that contains the zip files. Opening them up to extract and save the files to my computer was easy. I do like the fact that the worksheets are in color! You can however print them grayscale if you want to save ink. We were blessed to receive several of the eBooks including:

Whole Numbers Riddles eBook which covers time and money, 1-3 digit addition, subtraction, and multiplication, division, order of operations and number patterns as well as estimating whole numbers.

Fractions Riddles eBook covers all things fractions like how to identify them, equivalent fractions, how to reduce fractions, as well as adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing fractions. Everything you could possibly want to know about fractions is included.

 Pre-Algebra eBooks includes decimals, proportions, and percents. You will also find worksheets on lengths, volumes, and area.

 Algebra Riddles eBooks contains exponents, scientific notations and solving algebraic equations as well as word problems.
We also received several of the Math Galaxy apps including: 
4th Grade Math, 7th Grade Math, Pre-Algebra Fundamentals, Algebra Fundamentals, Fraction & Decimal Riddles, Whole Number Riddles, Times Tables Balloon Pop, and Zombie Numbers
There are so many apps to choose from, the creator has everything from PreK to SAT Math and are available through the App Store for iPhone or iPad usage. I loaded our apps onto our school iPad mini for the kids to use. The user can choose which topic to work on as well as if they want the Traditional way of learning, Common Core, or an Alternative method. Immediate feedback is given if you get the answer correct. If you get the answer wrong there is video feedback available too.

My kids have enjoyed these apps for on the go learning. I like them as well because they can instantly see how to do a problem if they need a different video instruction for a concept. My son, who is in Kindergarten, likes to challenge himself with the Zoombie game. He has already taught himself how to count by 2’s, to ten, and now he is working on his 5’s.
But don’t just take our word for it. Check out what 53 of my CrewMates think of the Apps and eBooks from Math Galaxy by clicking the banner below.

3rd Grade -Algebra Fundametals Math Apps {Math Galaxy Reviews}

Company ~ Math Galaxy 
 Product ~ Math apps and eBooks 
 Format ~ Apps for the iPad or iPhone 
 Ages ~ Pre-K through 12th

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© 2008 - 2020 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, March 25, 2020

Wordless Wednesday ~ What the WHAT!?!

Day 11 of Corona Virus Quarantine and the vultures are scavenging for food.

© 2008 - 2020 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

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Harriet Tubman: Freedombound ~ a TOS review

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC Regulations. 

I always like to incorporate fun projects into our everyday learning so I was super excited to have Montana complete a creative book report after reading the Harriet Tubman: Freedombound in February from the Heroes of History series of books from YWAM Publishing. Learning through living books makes learning more memorable for my kids. And because it was Black History Month when we were offered a selection, I knew I wanted to add the Harriet Tubman:Freedombound book to our ever-growing Heroes of History collection.
History is a favorite subject of mine right after science, and since we use a mostly Classical, literature-based approach to homeschooling we get to read a lot. As I said, we have several titles from this collection, as well as the Christian Heroes Then & Now series, as our main history program uses many of these great books. YWAM Publishing is the publishing division to the Youth With A Mission organization and is headquartered in Seattle, WA. Their mission is to provide quality Christian materials to help fund children and adults around the world through vital mission’s programs. We received a physical copy of the book, Harriet Tubman: Freedombound as well as a PDF copy of the study guide for this review. The book retails for $7.50 and is also available in Kindle or Nook versions, along with eBook, or audio book in MP3 or CD formats also for just $7.50.
At the tender age of six Harriet Tubman was taught what it meant to be a slave as she was whipped. From that day forth she determined that one day she would escape to the north to be free. The remarkable Harriet Tubman, also known as Moses, helped hundreds of slaves escape to the north on the Underground Railroad. Until the day she died on March 10, 1913, countless times she risked her own life to see that her people would be free.
The suggested age range for this biography is 10 and up. Montana, who is 13, had no trouble in reading and comprehending this 193 page book. She was tasked to create a poster board depicting the main character in the book and to give us a presentation of the synopsis. Because Montana loves to draw and be creative this was the perfect book report style for her.
YWAM also includes a 61-page Unit Study for this book that is designed for both individual or group learning. this study guide is suitable for a wide variety of learning styles because of the many different types of projects and activities offered. It includes many projects and writing assignments to keep you busy and engaged with what you are learning. There is so much in this guide for all ages including: 
 ~ Creative writing prompts  ~ Dramas  ~ Reading comprehension questions  ~ Essay writing assignments ~ Geography  ~ Timeline project  ~ Movie critiquing  ~ Hands on projects, audio visual projects, arts & crafts projects ~ Games  ~ Many additional resource ideas

Overall, we have truly enjoyed this book selections! I know I can count on the quality of workmanship from the YWAM Publishing company. Many of their books grace our overflowing bookshelves and I would gladly remove another title to make room for one from YWAM Publishing. Be sure to check out what 74 of my CrewMates thought of this book/study guide combination as well as the other titles that were reviewed by clicking the banner below.


 Betty Greene  ~ C.S. Lewis ~ Gladys Aylward ~  Jacob DeShazer ~ Amy Carmichael ~             Corrie Ten Boom



Christopher Columbus ~ William Bradford ~ Cpt. John Smith ~ William Penn ~ Benjamin Rush ~ Benjamin Franklin ~ George Washington ~ John Adams ~ Meriwether Lewis ~ Daniel Boone ~  Davy Crockett ~ Abraham Lincoln ~ Harriet Tubman ~ Clara Barton ~ Thomas Edison ~      Theodore Roosevelt ~ Milton Hershey ~ George Washington Carver ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder ~  Orville Wright ~ Douglas MacArthur ~ Louis Zamperini ~ Alan Shepard ~ Ronald Reagan ~       Billy Graham ~ Ben Carson

32 Heroes of History {YWAM Publishing Reviews}

 Product ~ Heroes of History ~ Harriet Tubman: Freedom-bound
Format ~ paperback book, ISBN: 978-1-883002-90-9
Price ~ $7.50 
Ages ~ 10 and up


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 © 2008 - 2020 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, March 20, 2020

The Action Bible Anytime Devotions ~ a TOS review

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC Regulations. 

 Happy Friday friends!

Like many Christian families we strive to ensure that each of our children has a personal relationship with God. To develop this eternally important relationship we use personal quiet time by spending time in the word through daily devotions. We just recently received a new devotional book, The Action Bible Anytime Devotions from David C Cook and it is a great way book to add to your devotional time.
The Action Bible Anytime Devotions is published by David C. Cook who is well known for the comic-book style The Action Bible. This new book is written for kids aged 8-12. With 195 pages this is a perfect way for this tween group to dive into the world of devotions. Inside the pages of this book you will find 90 ways to help kids connect with God, anytime, anywhere.
The illustrations by Sergio Cariello, a Brazilian comic book artist, make the familiar stories inside this book and draw you into the story. They are amazingly detailed and help show you God in a fresh way.
The Action Bible Anytime Devotions book contains 90 different two-page devotionals that cover lessons on:
~ love
 ~ courage
 ~ faith
 ~ hope
 ~ trust
 ~ kindness
 ~ strength
 ~ service
The beginning of the book there is a helpful Table of Contents that gives the devotion title and it also show which category the devotion falls into. If during these trying times with the Corona Virus quarantine you find that your child is anxious, just turn to page 48 and be encouraged as you read about how God is in control and has a plan. Or if you find yourself full of doubt turn to page 100 and read the hopeful words and let God guide you through this trying time.
Each devotion begins the same way with an everyday problem that a child might encounter in their daily walk. The book will help you to:
~ Learn God’s Word with an action verse
 ~ Apply it to what’s happening in your life
 ~ Relate it to real people for the Bible
 ~ Think about it to help you grow
 ~ Talk to God using quick prayer guides
 ~ Share with others through questions and simple actions
 ~ Take it further by going directly back to the Bible
A scripture verse is given at the top of the page and then a relatable story is provided. Next, there is a section where you can find helpful questions and suggestions to help you through what you are dealing with.
Then an incredibly helpful section that helps you talk to God. I don’t know about you but my kids sometimes need a little help forming the words when they pray and this part gives them a jumping off point. And if you own The Action Bible there are specific scriptures that you can turn to to read. (you can also turn to a regular Bible and read these same messages)
For this review I knew I wanted to have my 13 year old, Montana, to work through this book independently. Since she only schools four days a week, so I had her include this devotional into her normal quiet time two days a week. I let her pick which pages she wanted to read and then we would discuss it later in the day. The best part about this book is that it can be read in any order. It doesn’t have to be read page to page. Just find what you are needing and go from there!
I love this devotional book and so does Montana! The illustrations are excellent and draw you into the familiar Bible story. My son also loves looking at the pictures and asking questions so its a great jumping off point to be able to point out stories that he is familiar with and build upon them. I am definitely going to be purchasing The Action Bible for my son for Easter this year. Yes, he’s not quite in the age range but we can read aloud from it and he can grow into it for the next several years.

Overall, we give this book 2 thumbs up! Definitely check out this book and click the link below and see what 50 of my CrewMates had to say about this devotional.

The Action Bible Anytime Devotions {David C Cook Reviews}
Company ~ David C Cook
 Format ~ softcover book
 Price ~ $13.80 for the book, or $9.99 Kindle edition
 Ages ~ 8-12 year-olds

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© 2008 - 2020 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, March 18, 2020

Wordless Wednesday

 

© 2008 - 2020 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, March 17, 2020

Educational Family Board Games: Continent Race ~ a TOS review

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC Regulations. 

I don’t know about you, but our family loves to play board games. So even if you are cooped up because of the Corona virus quarantine learning fun can still happen. We love playing family board games and it's a plus when they are educational like Continent Race from Byron's Games. Today I am excited to share with you a fun educational game that the whole family can enjoy! 
Continent Race was created by a 6 year old boy, Bryon, who found himself hospitalized for six months. During his hospital stay he was inspired to create something fun and educational for kids like himself during their hospital stay. Learning doesn’t have to be boring and with this game your children will learn the locations of countries in a fun way!
The Continent Race game includes: 
 ~ 1 World Map 
~ 5 Continent Lists with maps 
~ 205 Country Cards 
~ 3 Antarctica Wild cards 
The game included two levels of game play, basic and advanced. The basic level is for beginners while the advanced level is for the geography buffs. The game was created for two or more players who are at least 7 years old. The object of the game is to race to be the first person to collect the most countries from each continent. The first person to collect 3 or 5 continent cards (depending on the game play level) wins! Typical game playing time averages about 30 minutes.
I love that this geography game is constructed of heavy duty material so that it will last. The continent cards also include a detailed map of the area on the back. The Country Cards are also made of a heavy card stock and include the countries flag as well. The Country Cards also include three special cards, the mystery card, the challenge card, and the wild card. And everything is color-coded!

Continent Race has won several awards, including the 2019 Creative Child Award “Game of the Year award! The game is economically priced at $34.38 on Amazon and Bryon’s Games donates a portion of the profits to benefit select children’s charities.
We have been studying different countries this year and learning about all the different cultures our world has. Continent Race has been a great way for us to review the continents as a family. I have played this family board game with my girls who are 17, 13, and 10. My son, who is 5, was also able to play with us as a partner player on my team. Continent Race has been a breath of fresh air as we learn, especially for my younger daughter who thrives with hands-on learning.
Learning about your world can happen whether you are public, private, or homeschooled! And with everyone currently at home, now is a great time to learn about our big great world. We definitely recommend that you check out this fun educational game! But don’t just take my word for it. Fifty-nine of my CrewMates also reviewed this family board game. So be sure to click the banner below and read their thoughts as well. 

Ready, set…GO!

Continent Race & Connections Stationery Kit {Byron's Games}

Company ~ Byron's Games
Product ~ Continent Race
Format ~ family board game, 2+ players
Price ~ $34.48
Ages ~ 7+



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 © 2008 - 2020 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