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 12th year of homeschooling using a Classical ~ Literature based approach.

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



Friday, August 28, 2020

Happy 11th Birthday McKenzie



 Happy 11th birthday McKenzie!!!


 © 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, August 27, 2020

ThemeVille Math: Grade 2 ~ 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. 


Morning friends! Another week down in our homeschooling year. Have you started back to school yet? Are you a new homeschooler feeling kind of lost and confused about what curriculum to use? Because there are so many quality curriculum out there it is easy to do.

Today I want to share with you a math curriculum. If you are looking for a straight forward homeschool math program, check out the options from ThemeVille Math. We received a copy of the 2nd grade program for our review, let me tell you about it.

 

ThemeVille Math is a complete homeschool math curriculum that is workbook based and it is based on the Common Core standards. There are manipulative for the program, they can be purchased separately. However, you might already have these items on hand. There are also videos if you or your child needs extra help understanding the concepts presented. I checked out the videos initially, but found them to not be needed for my son or I.



The curriculum is divided into daily lessons and also a daily review. With 120 lessons and 10 tests the format for completing the work each day. 
Pre-Lesson ~ this is a review warm up of previous topics studied. 
Daily Lesson ~ the main concepts are taught here including problem solving


The workbook is a thick, three hole punched, softcover worktext. Inside the pages are black and white without much illustration. I personally like this because there is not much distraction as some programs have with lots of colors or illustrations. I would prefer to have the pages be perforated for easy removal because the book is so big. Being able to remove the pages to be stored inside our weekly binder would be a huge plus, especially since it would make it easier to write on the pages.


The Scope and Sequence of this curriculum is aligned with the Second grade Common Core standards. The following topics will be covered in this curriculum:

Review of the Level 1  
Place values of 100s, 10s, 1s
 Multiplication/division within 100 
Even – odd numbers 
Long addition/subtraction 
Operations with arrays, number line, money 
Numerals – words 
Comparison/rounding of numbers 
Plane/solid figures, perimeter 
Clock reading, calendar 
Graph reading/plotting 
Word problems


A Solutions Guide is also included. It is set up as a visual solution guide and is quick and easy to use.

 



While we have been plowing through this curriculum over the summer, it is not the best fit for Micah. Not any fault of his own, but I think we would have done better with the Grade 1 set. I think he would have had a better experience starting mid way through the Grade 1 book. Another thing is that we don’t follow Common Core Standards. Having to solve a problem using several different ways was tiresome for Micah and me at times. Most days he could get through a lesson in 20-25 minutes.

Be sure to check out what my CrewMates thought of this homeschool math curriculum by clicking the banner below to read the thoughts on grades 1-4.

 Company ~ ThemeVille Math 
 Product ~ Grade 2 
 Format ~ Softcover workbook 
 Price ~ Worktext, $29.85, Solution, $14.85 
 Ages ~ 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

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Homeschool Easy ~ 1st Grade Entire School Year Curriculum ~ 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.  

Howdy friends! If you are new to homeschooling, today I have a great homeschool curriculum to share with you. Are you looking for a complete packaged curriculum that doesn’t implement the Common Core? If so, be sure to check out or need a complete package, you'll want to check out the Entire School Year Curriculum sets from Homeschool Easy.
We received the 1st Grade Entire School Year Curriculum and I have been using it with my son, Micah who is 6. This easy-to-use curriculum gets the job done without the extra fluff! Your children will learn all subjects including math the way you were taught, straight forward and to the point.

Through daily worksheets your child with work through the 32 weeks of curriculum material covering the 6 core subjects of: ~ Grammar: focuses on beginning English grammar ~ History: includes links to videos with a focus on basic American history and geography, art projects included too
 ~ Math: Common Core free. Includes flash cards to focus on traditional number sense ~ Reading: daily reading lists, books with corresponding comprehension sheets, flash cards, puzzle games, word search, and other materials to learn 1st grade level words. ~ Science: hands-on science related art projects and videos to cover basic science knowledge ~ Writing: beginning writing process Internet access is needed to access the curriculum materials and video lessons. You will also need access to a printer to print out the worksheets.

I love how organized this curriculum is! Every subject is tucked away into folders and subfolders. Finding exactly what you need is easy because everything is clearly labeled by week.

 

During this unprecedented time when parents are faced with what to do for their children education this year, Homeschool Easy is here to provide an affordable solution. For just $100.00 you can gain access to this consumable curriculum. You get access to an entire year of curriculum that not only is comprehensive but will save you the parent time and undue stress of what exactly you are supposed to teach your child.

 

For our review period I have spent time focusing on Micah’s reading. He, like his sisters excels in math, so while we did look over it, we didn’t spend too much time on this component. His reading has come a long way and he is reading even more fluently within the past 6 weeks. While he is not a huge worksheet fan I have tried to remedy that by printing the reading lists on vibrant colorful paper.

 

Overall, this program has been a great fit for us and we will continue to use it throughout the year. It is engaging and complete if you are looking for an all in one curriculum. Homeschool Easy also has complete grade level curriculum up through 5th grade so be sure to check out the other levels offered too. And don’t just take my word for it! Click the banner below to read some of the review of my 45 CrewMates and see what they thought of the 1st Grade Entire School Year curriculum and the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, an 5th grade programs as well.

 
Homeschool Curriculum for Grades 1 to 5 {Homeschool Easy Reviews}

Company ~ Homeschool Easy
 Format ~ online, PDF files
 Price ~ $100.00 
 Ages ~ 1st 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

Friday, August 21, 2020

Our week in pictures ~ Week 1



We have had a great first week of school! We are not at full schedule yet. Next week we will be adding in Latin for all (well, except Mikayla ~ her Latin studies are done) and writing for Montana. We have some tweaking to do with our schedule, however, I am holding out for the girls training schedule to make anything permanent just yet. But other than that it has been a great week, enjoy our week in pictures!

goggles make school better


now McKenzie has the goggles :-)



dinner out on our first day of school

meeting with our new history co-op
















 © 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, August 20, 2020

Learn to write with Structure and Style from Institute for Excellence in Writing {IEW} ~ 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. 

Morning! Have you narrowed down what you will use to teach your children to write this year? Writing…I know! The thought of teaching writing can either strike fear into you or make you giddy. Honestly, I have been hovering between the two camps since earlier this year as I have been searching for a writing program to use for my 5th grader. Typically, I don’t teach writing until the latter years of middle school, but this year I wanted to give McKenzie a gentle start as she has shown interest. We have dabbled with many middle and high school writing programs before over the course of our 12 years homeschooling so you can best believe I was supper happy when the opportunity to try Structure and Style® for Students Year 1 Level A from Institute for Excellence in Writing® (IEW) with McKenzie over the course of the summer.

If you are a new homeschooler I am pretty sure you have heard the buzz about IEW. If you don’t know, IEW was founded by Andrew Pudewa who sought to provide a better way to teaching children the skill of writing. Because we were knee deep in life I didn’t even track my box after we received our shipping notice. So when my box arrived, I did a little happy dance as I unpacked the contents.
Everything you need to start the writing program is inside the box, including:

 ~ Student Binder and Packet ~ Teacher’s Manual ~ DVD or Streaming instructional videos

 *you get to choose your format, we received the Streaming option for this review which means we can reuse the program with multiple students.
 

The Structure and Style for students program comes in three levels A, B, & C and provides instruction for children in grades 3-12. The students are instructed in writing by Mr. Pudewa who is teaching in a small group setting and directly to your child as if they were sitting inside the classroom as well. Mr. Pudewa injects his sense of witty humor into the program through his assignments etc.

This course covers covers 24-weeks of instruction using IEW’s structural models and stylistic techniques and lays a solid foundation in writing. If you need/want to stretch out the course there is a 30 week schedule available as well.

So, McKenzie my 5th grader, was my tester for this review. As I said above she has just started showing interest in learning to write so I want to take advantage of her eagerness and willingness to learn. I am so happy to report that McKenzie has flourished with using this program! I love that she has taken the initiative to want to do her writing each week.

Watching her find her keyword outlines and then retelling the story to me has been great! For about 1 hour, three times a week McKenzie has been able to work somewhat independently on the program. She is able to pause the video when needed to write her Key Word Outline and I am never more than an arms reach away though in case she needs help.
This is not our first time using IEW. Years ago I owned IEW and used it with Marie. I will admit, I failed at that time and the program was overwhelming to me and it just did not “click” with the girls so I sold my SWI-C set. A few years later we were given the opportunity to give IEW another shot to use SWI-B with Mikayla and I am so incredibly thankful for that chance because it clicked for her. From that point forth we have moved forward full steam ahead with IEW’s approach to writing. While we have been taking our writing slowly, I have seen great improvement in McKenzie’s writing and the ability to pick out the key word outlines and putting her thoughts on paper.

Our experience with IEW has been fantastic and I recommend this program hands down! This is one of the few programs out there where you have to look past the price and just go for it! Think of it as an investment in your child’s future especially if you have more than one! 
My 8th grader is also using IEW for writing, utilizing our SWI-B set that we already have. It's going to be a great year of writing! Be sure to check out my CrewMates thought of this product as well as the other two writing programs reviewed. Click on the banner below to read all the review.

 Format ~ Forever Streaming 
 Price ~ $149.00 
 Ages ~3rd-5th 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

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Wordless Wednesday ~ First day of School edition



 





 © 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