Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Our Time4Learning Experience

My daughter (6 years old and in 1st grade) loves to learn! But, she also loves to be "self-taught," which can bring up some issues if we are not using the right curriculum in our homeschooling. We are a part of our local counties' homeschool program, which means we still have testing, field trips, and criteria that the rest of our county has, we just get to do our lessons from home. This has been great, but the curriculum they use is basically tons of book work for me, the mom/teacher, that I have to in turn teach her. This became a problem since my daughter doesn't like to be "taught at." She enjoys one on one time, but really thrives when she is able to lead herself in lessons and reading. When the opportunity came about for my family to try, we jumped at the chance! 

We were able to set her up for 1st grade in math, which is one of her more difficult subjects, but the areas where she thrives and is advanced in, like reading, we could let her do lessons in 2nd grade. This was great for us because we were able to really customize her schooling experience. She loved the animated and interactive lessons. They drew her in and really made learning fun! I loved the fact that in order for her to play games on the site (still semi-educational games) she had to really work on her lessons for at least 15 minutes. This gave her incentive to finish her lessons, and that made us both happy. I loved being able to see her progress and how she was doing in the parent's section. This type of learning really worked well for her independent nature.

I was also able to sign my son (4 years old) up for pre-k. He loved the games and songs, and they really helped him to retain what he was learning. The pre-k area is much more animated and silly, but at 4 years of age, it was perfect for him! He loved being able to go onto his "big boy school" just like big sis!

The system for Time4Learning is easy to navigate. I like that it keeps all the progress for you, so when it comes time for the yearly assessments, you simply print off what is needed. This experience was an eye-opening one for our family, and we can't wait to see where else Time4Learning takes us!

I was able to try out Time4Learning at no charge to bring you this review, but all the opinions are my own and completely honest. Thanks for learning.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Super Hero Party

Here is a breakdown of our Super Hero Training Party!

The Decor:
I wrote all about the decor and crafting I did over here!

The Costume:
I was so excited to throw my son and his cousins and friends one of the best "Super Hero Training" parties ever! I spent months crafting and creating fun decor and games, but wasn't sure exactly what we were going to do about his costume. While I love to sew and craft, I felt that he would want the "real deal" costume. I was able to work with and get my son an awesome Superman costume! I was worried because some of the reviews of this costume were less than favorable, but we were pleasantly surprised! The chest was a hard type plastic chest molded to look like muscles, and since it is the "Man of Steel," I thought this was perfect. My son enjoyed having his buddies punch his chest just to say "That didn't hurt at all!"  The costume also had lights around the "S" symbol, and this was a nice extra. The cape had velcro to attach it, but there was no part to actually velcro it to the suit, we solved this issue with safety pins.

Costumes4less was a pleasure to work with. We ordered my son the size we thought was going to work for him, since he is a bigger 4 year old, but quickly realized it was way to big! With only a week until the big party, I was worried we wouldn't get the new one in time. I was wrong! We were issued a refund to order the correct size as soon as we generated a return label for the one that was too big, and the new one arrived well before the party. Costumer service was a joy to work with, even when I was having a "crazy mommy moment!"

My son still enjoys dressing up and running around the house like Superman!

The Food:
My sister and I love to have good food at any party we throw, so this was no exception! We wanted to combine our children's favorite foods, while still offering healthy options. AND meanwhile, keeping with the hero theme.

*Hero Cupcakes- Cupcakes with candy melt symbols (I made them)  on top
*Thor's Hammers- sharp white cheddar cubes with pretzel rods
*Wolverine's Kabobs- pineapple and grape skewers
*Wonder Dogs- hotdogs
*"CRUNCH!"- chips
*"POP!"- popcorn
*Apple Crisps- Brothers-All-Natural bags of apple chips
*Apple Slices- Crunch Pak Apples
*Iron Man Punch- fruit punch and pineapple juice
*Captain America Energy Drink- fruit punch and blue Mnt. Dew

We were honored to have Brothers-All-Natural send us some goodies for our boys! The adults loved these!! They also offered a 15% discount coupon code for you guys! Just use DisneyParty15 and get free shipping anywhere in the Continental US!!

Crunch Pak was also gracious enough to send us some awesome coupons to pick up some healthy superhero snacks!!! The boys and moms loved having this sweet and healthy treat! We love the caramel that comes in the apple packs, it makes you feel like you are indulging while still being healthy!

This party was a thrill to throw, and the boys are still talking about it! :)