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, July 30, 2021

Easy Fermenting with Fermentools ~ a TOS review

Disclaimer: I received a Complimentary copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.
I was so excited to try our hand at fermenting again with our Starter Kit from Fermentools after our last try last May. Madison loves experimenting in the kitchen and was also eager to try to ferment something else, especially since we didn’t have the best results. Keep reading to see how things went this time around, but first let me tell you a little about Fermentools.
Fermentools
 
Fermentools is a US based family owned small business. I really appreciate that all of their products are made and sourced within the USA too. The Fermentools Starter Kit includes:

 ~ Directions for using the product, including a basic sauerkraut recipe 
~ Ancient Himalayan fine grain (this includes high amounts of important trace minerals) 
~ Surgical grade stainless steel lid 
~ Airlock system 
~ Rubber stoppers, 1 with a hole to use with the airlock system and one without 
~ Rubber gasket 
~ Glass fermenting weight 
 
Our package arrived right before Madison left for Officer Field Training. Initially we had planned for her to take control of this fermenting process but she did not have enough time because she was busy prepping to leave. Since we had all the ingredients to try our hands at fermenting pickles, I pressed on and prepared them.
After washing and slicing our cucumber into spears I prepared the 2% brine solution and poured it inside the mason jar leaving about an inch of space at the top. Then I put the glass stopper onto of the cucumbers to help keep them submerged in the brine solution. After sealing the jar I placed it in a cool, dark space on my hutch for 5-7 days and waited for the magic to happen.
Typically, fermented food is best after 6 months, but if you can’t wait that long you definitely can dive in sooner than that. Just check it after 4 days to see what’s happening but its best to let it sit and do its magic for awhile. You can also place your ferment into the refrigerator or store in a cool basement. The cold improves the taste as well as the time it is allowed to sit.
So, I must have had user error on my part! It looks like the weight that was to keep the cucumbers submerged didn’t stay in place and fell to the bottom of the jar. The now pickles that were exposed at the top have a mold colony on top.
The good thing is that we fermented our cucumbers and made pickles! I just don’t feel it’s safe for us to try them with the mold present. Super frustrating, but I am willing to try again before Madison leaves for University in a few weeks.
So, if you are interested in fermenting foods definitely check out the starter kit from Fermtools! And be sure to stay tuned for us to try again at fermenting some veggies. Be sure to check out what my CrewMates made by clicking the banner below. A lot of them had great results.
Fermenting Food Made Easy with Fermentools
   


 Company ~ Fermentools 
 Product ~ Starter Kit 
 Price ~ $21.49 
 Ages ~ adults
Fermentools
© 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, July 28, 2021

Greg Landry Homeschool Science ~ a TOS review

Disclaimer: I received a Complimentary copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. Greg Landry's Homeschool Science 

Morning friends! I’ve been busy these last few weeks prepping for our upcoming school year. I have just two more weeks until we leave to take the University girls back to school so I need to have everything done before we leave. A huge task, yes, but I am so close and excited to start our new year on August 23rd.

Today, I am pleased to share with you about the self-paced, half-semester course, Study Skills / Measurement / Lab Reports / Graphing, from Greg Landry's Homeschool Science. With my younger girls, Montana (9th) and McKenzie (6th), entering high school and middle school I wanted to give them a jump start this summer with study skills. For this review, I choose to work with McKenzie through this course as Montana was already enrolled in another study skills course at the time we were offered this review. Let me tell you more about it. 

First, do you know Mr. Greg Landry? He is an experienced science teacher who is also a homeschool dad. He has not only taught homeschoolers, but also university students as a former college professor. He has brought his love of teaching science to the internet through the Canvas learning platform. Since Mr. Landry is a follower of Christ he begins each lesson with prayer. 
The Study Skills / Measurement / Lab Reports / Graphing course McKenzie is enrolled in is a pre-recorded course. We received 12 months of access so it’s perfect for McKenzie and I to take our time through this half-semester course. The course also comes with a PDF study guide that you can either download and print or just read it from your computer. I printed our and stored it in a 3-ring binder. 
The Study Skills / Measurement / Lab Reports / Graphing course includes 20-30 minutes worth of video instruction in seven classes that cover: 

 Class Intro - Instructions and Introduction for Parents and Students 
 Class #1 - Taking Notes, Note-Sketching, & Studying 
 Class #2 - Test Taking 
 Class #3 - Measurement & the Metric (SI) System 
 Class #4 - Temperature & Graphing 
 Class #5 - The Scientific Method & Lab Reports 
 Class #6 - Scientific Notation & Magnitude Perspective 
Class #7 - Statistics, Probability, Accuracy, and Precision
McKenzie used this course as part of her summer revision learning. She is a rising 6th grader, so on the low end for this course but I felt like this course can offer her study skills needed as she progresses through middle school and onto high school. We took two weeks for each class and this schedule has been working well for the both of us. We watched the lessons together with her sitting at the desk and me in the room. The videos were short and did not take that long to watch. She is currently finishing up class #3 on Measurement & the Metric System.
McKenzie is starting her college prep science series a year early by taking General Science in 6th grade. Because of this I was really looking forward to her taking this course to prepare for the step up in learning. My goal is to have her finished with Class #5 before her class starts in September. 

  Overall, we are pleased with this course and I recommend that you check it out as well! McKenzie has learned a lot already and I know she will be heading into Middle School prepared and ahead of the game because of this course. Also be sure to check out the other courses that were reviewed by my fellow CrewMates, including: 

1.Virtual, interactive homeschool laboratory 
 - self paced online - start any time - biology / anatomy and physiology - chemistry - physics

  2. Self-paced 4th-7th grade one-semester classes... 
- Young Scientist Anatomy & Physiology - Young Scientist Biology - Young Scientist Chemistry - Young Scientist Physics - Young Scientist Earth & Space Science 

3. Self-paced 7th-12th grade half-semester classes
- Exercise & Sports Physiology - Biochemistry / Microbiology - Embryology / Endocrinology - Earth & Space Science - Study Skills / Measurement / Lab Reports / Graphing 

  Click on the banner below to read my CrewMates thoughts! Online College Prep Science Classes with Greg Landry 
 



 Format ~ online, self-paced course 
 Price ~ $120.00 
 Ages ~ 7th – 12th grade

  Greg Landry's Homeschool Science 
 © 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

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

Wednesday, July 21, 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


 

Wednesday, July 14, 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

Friday, July 9, 2021

Online homeschool math from CTCMath ~ a TOS review

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

 It’s the middle of the summer and what’s a Mom to do to help ward off the dreaded summer slide? Maybe you already received your end of the year testing results back and your child is not quite where you thought or expected them to be. No need to pay for a personal tutor or wrack your brain worrying about “falling behind”, just use the online homeschool math program created just for families from CTCMath. 
CTCMath is the most complete online math tutor covering kindergarten math through Calculus. World – renowned Australian math teacher, Pat Murray, presents math concepts in a visual step-by-step process. If your child didn’t quite get the concept, just stop and rewind or repeat a concept until mastery is achieved. With over 1300 video tutorials CTC Math is there to help your child conquer their math studies and help them excel. Math might just become your child’s favorite subject!


We received a 12-month family subscription. Pricing is just right for families with multiple children or with those just needing a single student. For just $148.50 a year, the 12 Month Family Plan allows up to 10 students to have unlimited access to all of the levels the program provides. An excellent value for those with larger families! One student access is just $98.50 per year. 

To get started with the program, there is a short diagnostic test for placement. However, you don’t need to start with the placement if your child is in Kindergarten or you know their current math level. Each section is divided into subsections so you can focus on the topic at hand. Since I focused on this for a summer review with Micah I chose not to do the diagnostic test and to just work with the 1st grade level revision sets. As the parent, I am able to set the minimum passing standard, I choose 90% for our family. 

What I like most about this homeschooling math curriculum is that it is traditional based math. No Common Core math is found here! I also like that you can move to any grade level and/or any section you would like to pinpoint where you need instruction. Each section includes video instruction which are typically 10 minutes in length. Once the lecture is complete the student then tests his or her knowledge by answering 10 questions. At the younger grade levels, the students answer questions online. Older, more advanced students print out a worksheet to work the problems, then enter the answer online for scoring. At the end of the question portion, the student is awarded a certificate of completion.
CTCMath is a great program and we are 100% pleased. I love the progress that has been made with Micah over the last six weeks. I did find that when I sat with him in the room he did a lot better on the revision sets as I would not allow him to rush. He missed several of the beginning questions just because he rushed and did not read what it was asking him. I am looking forward to continuing with this homeschool math curriculum for the rest of the summer and as a supplement to our regular curriculum during the school year. I know it will come in handy for Montana, who is not strong at math as she enters Algebra 1. 


Be sure to check out what 42 of my CrewMates think of CTCMath by clicking the banner to read their reviews too. 
Online Homeschool Math with CTCMath

 Company ~ CTCMath 
 Product ~ CTCMath 
 Format ~ online math program 
 Price ~ $148.50 family subscription 
 Ages ~ Kindergarten through Calculus 

CTCMath
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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

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Ancient Rome: Project Passport World History Studies ~ a TOS review

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


Hello friends! Are you gearing up for your new school year? We are finishing up our summer revision studies before we take a little break before beginning our 13th year of homeschooling! What time period are you studying in history? Will you be learning about the Ancient Romans? Do your children like hands-on learning? If so, the products like the Project Passport World History Studies: Ancient Rome from Homeschool in the Woods makes it easy to provide fun, hands-on learning opportunities and make history come alive! 

You probably already know that history is a favorite subject of mine. I love to teach and re-learn with my children. I grew up learning history from a boring textbook so I am so happy that now I can teach my children history with awesome hands-on, project based learning. Amy Pak, a talented graphic designer and experienced homeschooler, has created this fun history product along with many other homeschool curriculum including timeline figures, mapping, lapbooking and more.
We have used the Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, Middle Ages, and the Renaissance & Reformation Project Passport so I was so excited to complete our set and work through the Ancient Rome Study.


As I said, we received the Ancient Rome set from the Project Passport World History Studies series as a ZIP download. Getting the files downloaded was really simple, even for me who sometimes struggles with technology. With the ZIP download the files are separated into different folder categories instead of one large PDF in order of usage. Since the Digital edition is browser based you can click on the “Start.html” file and it will pull up the entire program on a webpage if you prefer to view the program that way. Navigation from here is simpler and more like the Project Passports that I have physical CDs for. It’s very visual, which I like for ease of use. You can also just work through the individual folders that you saved if you don’t want a webpage look.

Like the other Project Passport programs you will be fully immersed into your selected time period and explore a wide variety of “stops”. Through games, projects, recipes, lessons and more your child will be transported back in time and discover just what the Roman time period was all about. This is a print heavy program but that is no problem for me! In fact I like that feature so that I can print as many files and activities as I choose on the type of media I choose, whether that be colored card stock or plain white paper. Make a mistake cutting or coloring, just print another copy! 



A detailed itinerary is included for each of the 25 stops on this trip through Rome. The whole program can be spread out over 6-12 weeks. Each stop has several activities or projects to complete to aide in learning. These include:
 ~ Scrapbook of Sights 
 ~ Lap Book 
 ~ Snapshot moments 
 ~ Postcard 
~ Audio tour 
 ~ Newspaper 
 ~ games 
 ~ Edible projects 
 ~ 3- dimensional projects 
Homeschool in the Woods
McKenzie and I have been using this curriculum during our summer revision with great success! I really have enjoyed this time with her as we review about Rome before heading into the Middle Ages period. We will be using the Project Passport: Middle Ages study starting in August as we start our new year.

Be sure to click the banner below to check out the variety of other items that are being reviewed including:  

Individual Timeline Set (Grades K-12) 
 • Timeline Set: Creation to Christ (Beginning - 100 AD) 
• Timeline Set: Resurrection to Revolution (0 -1799 AD)
 • Timeline Set: Napoleon to Now (1750 AD - Modern Day) 
• Timeline Set: America's History (Explorers to 21st Century) 

 Project Passport World History Studies (Grades 3-8) 
 • Ancient Egypt 
• Ancient Greece 
• The Middle Ages 
• Renaissance & Reformation 

 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 

 Maps Combo-Pak (US & World Maps)

 Lap-Pak: Wonders of the World 

 Activity-Pak: The Old Testament 

 Activity-Pak: The New Testament

Hands On History with Homeschool in the Woods
   



 Format ~ ZIP download 
 Price ~ $33.95 
Ages ~ 3rd – 8th grade 
Homeschool in the Woods
  
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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