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.



Thursday, May 27, 2021

Caldecott Medal picture books with One More Story ~ a TOS review

Disclaimer: I received a Complimentary 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! Today I am excited to share with you a product that will change the way you share picture books with your children. We have a lot of picture books on our bookshelves and utilize them frequently in our daily learning. Reading aloud is so important when your children are young. Honestly, I still have my older children coming to listen to stories as I read aloud. Picture books are key educational tools for young children and One More Story with their online subscription takes this tool to the next level. 
With our one-year subscription to the One More Story library I have been able to rest voice and allow the iOS app to read some of the best loved stories from books we love. The whole system is similar to an audio book but with the corresponding illustrations that go with it. So it is an audio and visual delight for your child! With over 87 books currently in the library you will find a variety of books to read including several Caldecott medal winners like The Snowy Day and Stellaluna.


The app is really simple to navigate! I simply downloaded the One More Story iOS app to our school iPad and my son, Micah (newly 7), took off to enjoying the stories. He especially likes to listen to the stories during his lunch time.


There are two options for reading including I Can Read It mode which allows older children to read the book to themselves or the Read Along mode which reads the book aloud to your child. In the Read Aloud mode each word is highlighted as it is read. This feature helps the developing reader connect the spoken word to the written word. I also like that there are different voices that read the books so it’s not the same voice over and over.

For the I Can Read It mode the child focuses on the words on the screen. If they come across a word they don’t know, simply clicking on it will allow the program to read it aloud. This is a great feature for children who are reading independently but may need a little help from time to time.
One More Story has earned several distinguished awards for their educational reading program. There are three different subscription pricing available for access to this digital library for home use. 

Overall, this is an excellent program that Micah has been enjoying tremendously. He uses it several times a week and frequently listens or reads the same story over and over again. I think a subscription to the One More Story digital library would make a perfect birthday, Christmas, or anytime gift for your favorite reader. Be sure to check out what my CrewMates think of this program by clicking the banner below to read their thoughts.
  One More Story Online Library Reviews 

 Company ~ One More Story
 Product ~ One More Story 
 Format ~ online subscription 
 Price ~ monthly subscription, see above 
 Ages ~ elementary aged
One More Story

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 © 2008 - 2021 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, May 26, 2021

Wordless Wednesday ~ going to Field Training

© 2008 - 2021 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. 

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Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Creative Writing for the Christian homeschool from Creative Word Studio ~ a TOS review

Disclaimer: I received a Complimentary 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.

Hooray! We have made it to the official last week of the 2020-2021 school year! Today I am excited to tell you about a new company called Creative Word Studio. McKenzie (rising 6th) and I have been working on the creative and fun process of writing with their book Sparkling Bits of Writing Book 1 instead of focusing on the traditional mechanics or grammar part of writing. 
Creative Word Studio was developed by Jennifer Yoder of western Ohio. They created this creative writing curriculum to make the creative writing process easier to teach in Christian homes and schools. Creative Word Studio has two books available and we were blessed to receive Book 1 of the series. 
Our book is a spiral bound workbook printed on heavy paper. Not cardstock, but heavy paper so that there is not too much shadowing or bleeding through onto the back. The front and back covers are also printed on a thick paper but are laminated to keep the workbook sturdy. Within the 75 lessons you will find black and white artwork sprinkled throughout the workbook. I like this feature because it does not detract from the lesson with brightly colored pictures.
Skills are broken down into easy to learn and understand lessons and there are no blank pages to scare the student out of writing. The book is broken down into three different types of writing lessons including:

Free writing ~ helps you get comfortable with writing on whatever subject you would like. The lessons typically have a writing prompt but you could write on any subject you choose. 

Reading Responses ~ help you analyze other people’s wiring while thinking critically. It’s a great way to help develop the important critical thinking skills in middle school. 

Mini-Writing ~ these are the fun writing lessons where you get to think out of the box and try something new. Some of the mini-writing pieces have a gold piece near the lesson number. These lessons are meant for the student to edit and polish to include a final draft. These can be graded if the parent chooses to do so.
   
This creative writing curriculum can be completed individually or in a class setting. A great feature of this curriculum is that grading is not necessary, however, it is suggested that the parent check the writing and offer feedback and encouragement throughout the writing process. A grading rubric is included as well as a list of writing tips in the back of the book to help the parent.
McKenzie had a great time working through this creative writing book! I think this is a great creative writing program that includes a variety of creative prompts and activities. She enjoyed many of the lessons she completed and is eager to continue using it. This is the perfect addition to our summer learning! 
Be sure to check out what my CrewMates thought of this Book and Sparkling Bits of Writing Book 2 that was also reviewed by clicking the banner below! Creative Word Studio Reviews 


 

 Format ~ spiral bound worktext 
 Price ~ $15.00 *free standard shipping until June 30th 
 Ages ~ 5th – 6th grade 


 © 2008 - 2021 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, May 21, 2021

Homeschool Memory Work with Cross Seven Ventures- Homeschool Musical Memory Tool ~ a TOS review

Disclaimer: I received a Complimentary 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! Whohoo! Another week down and 1 week closer to finishing out our school year. As you know, we follow the classical teaching method in our homeschool and part of that is memory work for my grammar aged students. For the last few weeks, McKenzie (5th grader) and Micah (1st grader) have been using Cross Seven Ventures - Homeschool Musical Memory Tool from Cross Seven to memorize skip counting, continents and oceans, and grammar definitions. 

Cross Seven was created by Laura as a way to support her own child auditory learning style with the materials from Claritas Publishing. The program is geared towards kids in the grammar stage of learning and in grades K-6th. Using audiovisual presentations and slides helps those visual and audio learners solidify the memory concepts.
We received yearly access to all four cycles of the Homeschool Musical Memory Tool that is based around the four cycles of classical education. The program covers 28 weeks of memory work in the following subject areas: 
~ Scripture 
~ Hymns 
~ Math 
~ History 
~ Science 
~ English Grammar 
~ Latin 
~ Geography
 ~ Timeline 
~ Timeline song 
Each subject is broken down into weekly lessons and include a corresponding video. Simply click on the subject you are reviewing for that week and the corresponding video will play. The videos are short and sweet. The tunes are catchy though so the kids will remember. If you want to test your child’s knowledge of the weekly material there are weekly quizzes built into the program. The quiz is graded as soon as it is finished and if you want to retake it for mastery learning you can. The Parent Dashboard feature tracks each of your student’s memory work progress. 
The Homeschool Musical Memory Tool program works on your PC or tablet. You can also stream on your TV through a few different streaming apps such as FireTV, AppleTV, and Roku. For this review period we watched our lesson videos on either the school iPad or the desktop computer. 
My kids learn best when information can be set to music or sang in a song and because of this I try an incorporate as much learning in this style as possible. We are not strangers to the Cross Seven Ventures LLC as we have already been using the Cycle 1 memory work guides created by Claritas Publishing this school year.
Having access to the information set to music is a huge plus in our homeschool and Micah and McKenzie’s retention! One of their favorite videos is from week 23 in Math. The video is teaching about the Types of Angles. The video is cute and it has them full of laughs each time we watched it. And guess what!? They can remember the different types of angles. We have also been working on memorizing Psalm 23. McKenzie is further along than Micah but both are making tremendous progress and will have the whole verse completely memorized in the next few weeks.
Overall, I truly love the homeschooling memory work program from Cross Seven! Incorporating Homeschooling memory work into our daily routine using Cross Seven Ventures - Homeschool Musical Memory Tool from Cross Seven has made it so much easier for me to include the classical education memory foundation in our daily studies.
I am so excited to continue using the Homeschool Musical Memory Tool next school year in Cycle 2. I wholeheartedly recommend you check out the Cross Seven company if you are looking to add memory work to your homeschool. Be sure to check out what 21 of my CrewMates think of this homeschool memory work program by clicking the banner below!   

Cross Seven Musical Memory Reviews




 Company ~ Cross Seven 
 Format ~ online 
 Price ~ $14.99/month or $149.99 per year *FREE 1-day trial 
 Ages ~ K-6th grade
Cross Seven
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 © 2008 - 2021 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, May 19, 2021

Wordless Wednesday

 


 © 2008 - 2021 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, May 18, 2021

Everybody Always, for Kids by Bob Goff ~ a TOS review

Disclaimer: I received a Complimentary 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. 
For the last few weeks, we have been reading through Everybody, Always for Kids by Bob Goff and Lindsey Goff Viducich by Tommy Nelson Publishing. The forty stories within this gem of a book are written from a Christian point of view. The authors do a great job with these short stories showing you the reader how through biblical concepts and life lessons how to teach children to love everybody. 



Bob Goff, a New York Times best-selling author and his daughter Lindsey Goff Viducich penned this book as a way for children aged 6-10 to show kindness to all people they come across in their lives. Through real-life experiences, readers of this book can see first-hand how the simple act of “loving everybody, always, can change the world”.
  
Everybody, Always for Kids is a small, hardcover book filled with 195 pages. Inside the pages you will find forty stories printed on thick, glossy pages. With beautiful splashes of color and vibrant illustrations to match what is happening in the story you will become drawn in. I especially appreciate the fact that there is a built in blue ribbon bookmark to mark your place. 
I read this book aloud to my youngest two children, McKenzie (11) and Micah (6) right before bed. One of our favorite stories was number 15, “The Pizza Place”. The setting reminded my kids of one of the places we liked to visit pre-pandemic, and who doesn’t love pizza. In actuality the story has very little to do with pizza or one of their favorite games to play, Skee-Ball, but about God’s endless supply of love that doesn’t require any tickets to redeem.
  


If you want to add discussion questions or some fun crafts to build further upon the ideas presented in the stories do be sure to check out the lesson plan. It’s a PDF file and a great resource with a five-day lesson plan. Everybody, Always for Kids is priced just right so it does not break the budget. At just $10.27 it can fit everyone’s book budget and make a great addition to your family home library. I know it has earned a spot on our overflowing bookshelves! I think it would make the perfect gift for any family looking to put love into action.




Thomas Nelson Publishing
   
 Be sure to check out what my CrewMates think of this book by Bob Goff by clicking the banner below!  

Everybody Always for Kids Reviews

 

 Format ~ hardcover book 
 Price ~ $10.27 
 Ages ~ 6-10 year olds 
Thomas Nelson Publishing
   

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 © 2008 - 2021 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