Time4Learning Review

Heather —  April 14, 2010

Time4Learning

Summary & Rating: 3.5 This is an online curriculum which is available for ages pre-k through 8th grade. Today, I am reviewing the newly added preschool section on Time4Learning. It is pretty amazing how many educational programs are now available through the internet. My kids seem to engage pretty easily with a colorful screen and catchy characters giving them lessons and Time4Learning does just that.

The preschool curriculum seems like a great idea to me. However, we do have so many sites that we like, such as Starfall and PBS, that are free. So, I  have to admit I was a little skeptical of what Time4Learning could do that we do not already get elsewhere online.

The preschool option has two levels, with over 40 topics for children to explore. In watching my daughter play, I noticed that they do have a lot of the things I like to have when my daughter plays or works online.

For example, the lessons, or topics are designed so that she can move easily from topic to topic, game to game without extra help from Mom. The information is read to her, so pre-readers can also participate and work independently.

While she can click around and make many choices, the parameters are also well defined, so that no matter where she goes, she is learning something. Some of the topics did seem pretty elementary to me, but my child is almost five, so I probably could have looked at moving up a level or two. I do see that the curriculum, overall, is correlated with state standards.

I liked that Time4Learning has a “playground” section–so that when children do their “work” (which is also pretty fun) they can earn some free play time with straight up games and links to some good preschool sites.

Time4Learning can be used as a complete or supplementary curriculum. Based on how I teach, I would use this as a supplementary curriculum.

Time 4 Learning offers access to their pre-K to 8th grade programs on a month-to-month basis. The first child is $19.95 per month and each additional child is $14.95 per month.

You can check out a demonstration of the program, here.

To see what my TOS crewmates have to say, click here!

A 30 day subscription to Time4Learning was provided to me for my review and I have given my unbiased opinion.

SwifferSweeperVacLogo

Enter to Win a Swiffer Sweeper Vac!

As y’all know, I have a bunch of kids. A dog. A cat…a lot of messes. I would hire a cleaning service, but I …um, do not work and some of this is supposed to be my job!

I really love a clean house, but it is an ongoing battle to get the clean house.

When I heard about the Swiffer SweeperVac, I was curious. There are a lot of products out there now. I had used a Swiffer wet thing before. I liked that. But what did this one do? Would it be complicated? Weak? I really wanted to try it—because IF it worked, it sounded useful.

SweeperPkgShotWell, when mine came, I got the the NEW and improved Swiffer SweeperVac with Double-Action Clean. The vacuum picks up the big stuff while the electrostatic pad traps and locks in dust and smaller grit. Mine came in a fancy case with…stuff to do a double action challenge.

I was laughing and trying to figure it out. My two teen boys thought the little containers full of trash and debris for the challenge were great and proceeded to dump them all over my floor.

To be honest, I yelled at them and said there was no way the SweeperVac would pick it all up, and they were going to ruin the SweeperVac trying. I told them to figure it out since they dumped the stuff. And I went to bed.

About 30 minutes later they came in to show me the video they made of my new SwifferSweeperVac getting all the junk up. It totally worked! See it below:)


The next day, I used the SweeperVac throughout the house. Yeah. I actually did it for fun! I got a big kick using the SweeperVac in my room, under the kids dressers and under the couches (places I usually only do for major cleaning)

I like this SweeperVac– it is simple to use and refill the swiffer cloths. You do not need a vacuum bag. It is so light and much easier than messing with a broom and dustpan or trying to lug the heavy vacuum around. This really works for our family with our wood floors and in the kitchen and bathroom. It does need to be charged and the filter kept clean, etc to get the best result.

I have a $40 Walmart gift card to give away so that you can buy a SweeperVac for your house!

For your main entry, leave me a comment telling me which rooms you’d like to tackle first with your SweeperVac! I will draw a winner on 4/23.

Additional Entries: (please leave a separate entry for each)

My Swiffer SweeperVac, refills, information and the Walmart gift card to give away were all provided to me by P&G through MyBlogSpark.

Great Book for teaching about God

Enter to win a copy of This Little Prayer of Mine!

Are you looking for ways to increase your child’s understanding and knowledge of who God is? A way to reinforce your child’s desire to pray? This sweet hardback book shows children that God loves them and wants them to trust in him no matter what the situation–and that any moment is a good moment for a little prayer!

The words are simple and easy to read for little ones…but the content is very profound. I enjoyed listening to my youngest read the book to me and we  liked the bold, realistic illustrations that have a bit of a three dimensional feel to them.

The Official Word: Anthony DeStefano’s adult books, The Prayers God Always Says Yes To and A Travel Guide to Heaven, have sold a quarter-million copies. Illustrator Mark Elliott’s cherished artwork has appeared in popular picture books and novels for young readers, including Gail Carson Levine’s ever-popular Princess Tales series.

Now, these acclaimed inspirational experts have come together to create This Little Prayer of Mine, a beautiful and alluring book designed to guide children into a very simple, real and expressive relationship with God.

Through engaging rhymes and alluring illustrations, This Little Prayer of Mine shows children—and their parents and grandparents—that complete dependence on God is what brings peace and fulfillment. It invites children to know and believe that God is always just a simple prayer away and that He longs to respond to them with a resounding, “Yes!”

Easy-reader format allows children to read alone, or with someone older, and encourages them to openly express their fears, thanks, and needs directly to God.

This Little Prayer of Mine is available on the Random House Website.

Or, you can win a Copy from Faith, Family and Fun!

To enter, please leave a comment. I will choose a winner 4/19.

Thanks to the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for providing this book for my review. I have given my unbiased opinion.

Big Helps for Little Readers

Heather —  April 12, 2010

All About Spelling

Summary & Rating: 5 I am really impressed and intrigued by the products used with the All About Spelling (AAS) and the All About Reading (AAR) curriculum. While I have not used the entire program we are enjoying the two readers we have and many of my crewmates have a very high regard for the whole All About Spelling program.

Now, the All About Reading is a component of the entire reading and spelling program, and the book I am reviewing today is the second book in the AAR library. This What Am I? collection of short stories follows up where the first Beehive Reader (now titled Cobweb the Cat) left off. (You can see my review of Cobweb the Cat, here)

And, thank goodness this second reader came quickly, because my brand new reader, Em, has been waiting expectedly for this next book! She loves these and is very proud of her “readers.”

As with the first reader, I was impressed with the quality of the book. This reader also has a nice, sturdy hardbound cover and is a perfect size for small hands. The paper quality is good and the binding is tight–all things I want for a book my little one will be carrying everywhere.

The stories within the book are delightfully illustrated and the reader contains quite a few short tales that definitely appeal to my child! Many of the same characters appear from the first book, which is nice for continuity for the kids.

Now, with these readers, while they are useful and fun on their own, they are also designed to meet a certain reading level…a reading need. So, for example, What Am I? coordinates with the first 14 steps in All About Spelling Level Two.

You can currently purchase the readers on the All About Spelling website and soon, there will be an entire All About Reading program that will include more decoding skills, fluency, comprehension, vocabulary, and reading practice. I am hoping to review that!

To see what my TOS crewmates have to say, click here!

The All About Reading, What Am I? Book was provided to me for my review and I have given my unbiased opinion.

Spring Notes…

Heather —  April 12, 2010

So far, April has been a whirlwind of…Spring Breaking and  Easter Celebrating! Sports Starting Up. Spring Cleaning. Getting review products that make me totally change my household…(going organic is on the menu)

I am sitting here watching as my mountains turn green almost overnight. This is my first Spring here in the Blueridge Mountains….and …WOW! I am in a tank top,  sunburned (whoops) wishing I was one of those people who actually can function on lack of sleep–because there are soooo many good things to do!

Well, today I am taking a deep breath and getting some planning and reviewing done…but missing family–thanks, Mom & Dad for a fun Easter!

I have several reviews and giveaways to do…a ballerina birthday coming up…

What good things do y’all have on your agenda?

emmaeasterpr

Congrats to Susan! Susan blogs over at Homeschooling Hearts and Minds. Check out Susan’s blog for some great teaching ideas. I hope you guys enjoy the fruit pouches!

Thank to everyone who commented, and thanks to Peter Rabbit Organics for sponsoring the giveaway!

What a treat! These Peter Rabbit Organic Fruit Pouches are absolutely marvelous–and PERFECT to put into Easter Baskets!

In our family, we are now trying to make the shift to using mainly organic products. I expected this change to be difficult, but instead I am finding there are many great options out there and feeding your children organic food is MUCH easier than I anticipated!

The Peter Rabbit Pouches are 100% organic, 100% fruit snack fruit pouches that can be eaten on the go…or relaxing at home. They are being sold for babies six months and up and children, but…shhhh… I love these also! A quick healthy sweet snack:) My 4 year old says the Strawberry and Banana is the best.

so cute, so healthy!

so cute, so healthy!

Right now they come in three fruit varieties, Strawberry and Banana, Mango, Banana and Orange and Apple and Grape.

To me, they taste like a fruit puree. They have an anti-swallow cap and you can also re-close the cap—if your child needs just a bit, reclose and save for later—I think that is genius…you do not need a spoon or anything and can stick them in your purse or baby bag.

And, using them saves me a lot of worry about sugar and preservatives.

I recently saw some in my local Starbucks. You can also get them at select Whole Foods Markets and independent natural food stores in a number of regions across the country. All three flavors are also on Amazon.com. See their website for lots more information on where to buy.

One lucky reader will win a Sampler Pack of Peter Rabbit Organic Snack Pouches! (10 pouch case of mixed flavors).

How to Enter:

Visit Peter Rabbit Organics and tell me what you think of their site.

Additional Entries: (please leave a separate entry for each)

I will draw a winner on 4/4. Good Luck:)

Thanks to Peter Rabbit Organics for providing the organic fruit pouches for my review. I have received no monetary compensation and have given my unbiased opinion.

More: PR Organics is a small, privately owned company based in London, England. Company employees, inspired by their own families, work to make it easier for parents to give their children healthy, organic food with no added salt, sugar or artificial ingredients. Founded in 2004, PR Organics makes a range of 20 organic products including juice, pasta and pasta sauce in the UK, and introduced its popular, award-winning fruit pouches in the U.S. in 2009.

Winner of Easter Bouquet

Heather —  March 30, 2010

325789Congratulations to Kama, who said…I love tulips… Teleflora’s Two-Lips Bouquet Flowers. Kama blogs over at Quilteroo. I hope She, her husband and baby D enjoy the bouquet!

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Thank you to everyone who entered. I wish I had more! Do check in for a few more giveaways this week though:)

Kama, I am sending an email–please respond with your info:)