Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Time4Learning Review

As a Homeschooling Mama, I am always looking for quality material to supplement our curriculum.  If you homeschool you can understand how nice it is to have someone else create a curriculum every once in a while.  I had the pleasure of taking a few weeks off from lesson planning to try an online program called Time4Learning.

Time4Learning is a student-paced online educational tool covering preschool through high school. It can be used as a homeschool curriculum or supplement, an after school alternative to tutoring, or for summer skill building.  Their lessons cover all major subject for PreK all the way through High School.  Not everything has to be done online, they also provide printable worksheets and answer keys.

Before trying this program M was doing Kindergarten studies.  However, the Kindergarten LA and science material offered through Time4Learning was not challenging enough and the First grade math was just a tad advanced. The grades may not have totally matched up but I easily changed them from the Parent Dashboard.  It is great that Parents can set the grade level independently for each subject.

What's so great about it?
  • Interactive, Project-Based Activities
  • Detailed Reporting for Easy Record-Keeping
  • Lesson Plans & Teaching Tools for Parents
  • Lessons Correlated to State Standards
  • Detailed lesson plans available for parents who wish to review lesson contents
  • Gives students access to an online playground that rewards and motivates
  • An automated system grades lessons and keeps reports

M absolutely loved the playground and I loved it too because she did not even realize that she is still learning.  And although you can set limits to the time spent in both the lessons and playground, as long as she was learning, I gave her no limits.   I would like to see this program compatible with our Android Samsung Tablet in the future, but for now we may invest in an inexpensive Notebook so I can regain control of my laptop :) .  
My daughter and I noticed a few hiccups regarding some test answers, but they became great teachable moments.  Not necessarily a hiccups but more of questions that were open to interpretation.  One example was a science question.  The question was, “Do non-living things move?”  My daughter answered yes which was marked wrong.  Technically some non-living things do move.  Her 5-year-old response “Cars are non-living and they move, right Mama?”  She was 100% correct.  

As a parent, Time4Learning offers so many helpful tools.  I found the parent community and forum especially helpful.  It was nice to be able to ask for advice, share success stories, and bounce ideas with other parents using this program. 

Overall, we both enjoyed this program and plan on purchasing  a monthly subscription in the near future. What' not to love? The price is right, the content is great, and the program is fairly easy to use. I appreciate that this program allows for academic freedom and builds confidence by allowing you to create and customize the lessons.  Being able to customize each lesson to complement each student’s individual learning is my favorite thing about Time4Learning.  

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Halloween is near: Charizard Costume Review

Its nearly "Trick or Treat" time and we all know what that means...costumes, candy, and cold rainy Michigan weather. Candy and weather aside, finding the perfect costume for your little one can be a pain in the neck (not to mention costly)!   Worrying about price, size, and shipping is enough to drive any parent mad.  With the Costume Supercenter you will find the perfect reasonably priced, true to size costume.  And they carry something for everyone!

This year it took Miss M less than 10 minutes to find her costume. Once she found the Pokemon section she quit looking.  She did have a hard time choosing between the characters but she eventually settled on Charizard.  She has been wearing her costume around the house since it arrived and is counting down the days until Halloween.  If you have a Pokemon fan like we do, make sure to stop by Costume Supercenter and check out their Pokemon Costumes.  If not they have hundreds of other costumes for the whole family!

The Costume
When it arrived I immediately notice and was pleasantly surprised as to the quality.  Unlike most Halloween costumes under $100 this one was nicely made with quality fabric.  I was happy to find a costume that came with everything (understandably with the exception of shoes). I love that it is true to size so it fits her perfectly and its super adorable!  Now M looks and feels like she's part of Ash's Pokemon.

The Charizard costume came complete with a beautiful orange dress, attached character hood, and detachable wings, tail, and belt.  No need to purchase additional parts/accessories

Perfect for Everday wear
I love that you can remove the wings and tail are because the dress is cute enough for everyday wear, so we will definitely be getting our monies worth.

Made with quality polyester, this costume is soft, stretchy, and comfortable.

Reasonably Priced
For under $40 (w/o coupons or promos) your child can sport this officially licensed costume for Halloween!

  Overall, I am super happy with my order, have had no issues and recommend Costume Supercenter for all of your costume needs.

 To learn more and take advantage of current discounts,
 I invite you to Like Costume SuperCenter on Facebook

Disclosure of  Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Family Fun At the Festival!

Last week Sunday, we packed the family, pushed the Onstar button, and we were off to Holly, Michigan.  The Michigan Renaissance Festival is a great place for the whole family!  This was actually my first time to the festival as an adult and the kids first time ever!  We had a blast!  For those of you planning a trip, make sure to arrive early.  We arrived 20 minutes before it opened to beat traffic and still had to park in overflow parking.  Though parking went smoothly, expect to walk a bit (since the festival is in the woods).  Dressing up is super fun but not required.  I dressed as a wench, hubby wore a kilt, and we dressed M and baby A up as fairies.  The atmosphere was super welcoming and everyone was very kind (with the exception of verbal mercenary and comedian Christophe the Insultor). This was definitely a judgement free zone.   

 From peasants to royalty, the people of the village of Hollygrove visit entertain guests and provide a day to remember! Highlights include the thrilling full contact joust with armored knights and horses, the intensity of the Human Combat Chess Match and the hilarity of acts like the Washing Well Wenches. Music fills the air with Tartanic, Crannog and other talented bands. 
Not all of the music was good music. These trolls were terrible singers, lol.  We definitely gave them some "hush" money. :)  
The Realm is filled with amazing artisans who offer their unique wares and often share their skills in craft demonstrations. Beautiful glassware, crafted leather, exotic jewelry and Renaissance clothing are just a few examples of the masterpieces that can be found in the marketplace.  We purchased a wooden sword and shield for M.  Next time she said she would like a necklace filled fairy dust, 

Visitors are advised to skip breakfast and save their appetite for the fresh baked goods, soup in a bread bowl, Scotch eggs, apple dumplings and of course, the famous turkey legs that are cooked over an open flame. The array of foods is overwhelming and sure to satisfy any cravings! It is truly fun for the whole family since the Renaissance Festival also offers games, human-powered rides, and a Children’s Realm that features a castle playscape as well as free activities for younger visitors.

 The Children's Realm was a blast.  There are so many activities for little ones, a lot of which are free!!  The have human-powered rides, face-painting, fairy dust station, and so much more.  From the fairies to the Queen everyone treated M like a fairy princess.  She has already asked to go back.  Her favorite parts were the mermaids and the children's river-dancing.   Although when we first saw the mermaids, M was a bit thrown off because they only spoke "mermaid/dolphin".  As a matter of fact no one that worked the festival broke character!! 
Mermaid admiring M's wings
Watching river dancing 
Petting farm
Making magic wands
 Overall we had a really nice time and will definitely go again!
If you are in Michigan this Fall (or any Fall for that matter), you have to be sure to check out the Michigan Renaissance Festival! They have various theme weekends and it's open every weekend til October 4th. 10am - 7pm rain or shine!

You can find any information you need on the Michigan Renaissance Festival website

All photos on this blog post belong to me and may not be used without my permission. I received compensated tickets this event for blogging about my experience. Many thanks to the Michigan Renaissance Festival for hosting my family and I at this special event!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Take a time-travel adventure into the 16th century at the 37th annual Michigan Renaissance Festival! Join our Queen Elizabeth in a jubilee! Inside our turreted gates, visitors enjoy the sights and sounds of a 17-acre village, complete with building reproductions of Renaissance shops, taverns and a magnificent castle. Continuous entertainment takes place on the streets and on 17 themed stages; featuring full-contact armored jousting, comedy and theater shows, music, games, people-powered rides and so much more! Fabulous food and more than 300 artisans displaying their gallery-quality works complete the experience! Join us weekends and Labor day August 22nd thru October 4th! Plus Festival Friday on October 2nd. 
My readers save $3 Off Gate Admission! With this Coupon, receive $3 off an Adult Admission or a FREE child ticket with the purchase of an Adult Ticket. Not Valid with any other offers. 
August 22nd thru October 4th, 10am - 7pm, Rain or Shine! FREE Parking @usfg

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Daddy & Co. just keeps getting better!!!

Daddy & Co.  has hit another home run with their totally adorable Daddy/Toddler matching T-shirts!  They currently carry 5 different design sets and they are all equally adorable!  Our favorites are the Giant Oak Tree and Little Acorn designs.  Daddy and his acorns...How cute, right?! We ordered one for both of our girls and one for the Hubby.  These shirts, along with all of Daddy & Co shirts are printed on a super soft cotton poly blend.  The printing technique used provides outstanding comfort, and very breathable tees.
Are these not adorable?! 

My husband and girls absolutely love these shirts!   They are super soft, breathable, and are true to size.  For adults the sizes range from M to 2XL and for kids 3 month all the way up to size 7T.  I am so thankful that they carry such big sizes for kids because we were able to order for both girls who are almost 5 years apart.  The screen-print is also ultra soft. Unlike other screens prints I've seen, these are completely flawless. We also like that they wash well. As with any screen print if you do not follow the washing/drying instructions you can ruin the print and or fit.  The tee I received was impeccable- light, soft with clean stitching and a perfect soft print.  If this is the standard you won’t be disappointed by the quality.  We have actually scheduled to have a Daddy/Daughter photo professionally taken! I can't wait and I will definitely post some photos when they come in!

Would I recommend? Absolutely 

Since I own the Daddy Diaper PackCertified New Daddy Set, and a few other products with the Daddy & Co. label, I can assure you that you are receiving quality merchandise.
Daddy & Company also offers 3 really nice neckties.  All of their ties are made with 100% printed silk and come packaged in a nice little keepsake box with a special message inside.  The ties are reasonably priced at $29.95 making them a great gift for that special Daddy!

Daddy & Co. doesn't stop there.  They also offer "Daddy" scrubspicture frames, gift setsteeshoodies, and hats; all the swag you need to show off your new title. They also make perfect Daddy to be gifts.  They even have a daddy themed bookstore that has children's books featuring Daddies of all kinds.  So basically a one stop shop for expectant father gifts.

So whether you are shopping for an expectant, new, or expert Daddy, Daddy & Co. is the place to go!

You can find Daddy & Co on FacebookTwitterPinterest, Instagram, YouTube, &Tumblr!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015