Saturday, March 29, 2014

Disney on Ice and a Day at the Circus

I think this month has been a whole lot of fun for our homeschooling family. We were blessed with free tickets to Disney on Ice on March 21st and free admission to the Detroit Shrine Circus on March 26th!

As a blogger for Homeschooling in Detroit and my own blog; Michigan Mom Living, I get blessed with opportunities where I earn free admission to events with my family in exchange for a campaign or blog promotion.  It works out nicely as this stuff is so expensive, there is no way I could do this without the perks.



Disney on Ice; Let's Celebrate was super fun.  They had all the favorites such as Mickey and Minne, Donald and Daisy, Goofy, Pluto, and more!  They also featured all of the Disney princesses.  They pretty much just went through different celebration themes like birthday parties, holidays, etc.  It was super cute and it was worth seeing the girls faces beaming with delight.



I think our favorite event so far has been the Detroit Shrine Circus.  I was invited as a marketing blogger for this event.  The girls and I received backstage access and a tour with the Ringmaster.  It was so awesome.  I had a press pass, it was great.  I went to town taking pictures, but of course some just did not turn out because of crazy circus lighting.  It's okay, it's the memories that matter the most.


The girls favored the acrobats and animals.  It was so intriguing and exciting.  Again, it was worth seeing the smiles and excitement on my sweet girls' faces.  Here are some more fun circus memories....


The flash whited out Bethany's face.  Sorry Bethany Bean. =)   







Monday, March 24, 2014

Miss Humblebee's Academy {Review}

I received free access into Miss Humblebee's Academy in exchange for this review.  All opinions expressed here are honest and my own.
CLICK HERE

Are you looking for creative ways to get your preschooler ready for Kindergarten?  Whether you homeschool or send your child to preschool, Miss Humblebee's Academy is a good place to start.  They offer printable reports on how well your child is doing along with printable activities.

I love how the curriculum for Miss Humblebee's Academy is delivered 3 ways:
  1. By clicking on the white board which will take your child through a guided step-by-step approach to learning presented in sequential developmental progression.
  2. Choose your own path. This process empowers teachers and parents to present the curriculum in the order that matches their preference. This is a great tool to be used in a Blended Learning environment and/or a Flipped Classroom setting.
  3.   Or a combination of both 1 and 2.
As you choose your child's learning path, while they are learning, they also get to earn points and stickers which makes learning even more fun.

Upon signing up and logging in, you will enter what appears to be Miss Humblebee's classroom.  A friendly teacher bee flapping here bee wings ready to start the lessons.

You get to choose from a variety of learning activities.  When you click "Choose a Lesson" it will take you into a learning calendar with all the subjects and what your child has completed along with date and time.  Here are the subjects you can expect your child will engage with:
  • Math-Matching and Sorting, Number Recognition, Shapes, Patters, etc.
  • Science and Social Studies-Inquiry Skills, Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, Earth, Space, Weather, etc.
  • Reading- Alphabet knowledge, Upper and Lowercase Letter Recognition, Rhyming, Blends, and more.
  • Art-Drawing and Tracing activities, etc.
  • Music--60 Songs also available for purchase.
and more.

There is also a music room, art box, and avatar room where your child can customize their avatar to their liking.  Bethany thoroughly enjoyed that along with earning points and stickers.  This helped keep her motivated to keep moving forward.

Children will also enjoy a puzzle room where they put together a virtual puzzle, rewards and sticker room where they can see all of their achievements.  I personally think this is adorable. 

There is also a shop where kiddies can spend their coins and points earned on fun little scene they create.

When you sign up, you get your first week free!  Subscription pricing is as follows:
  • $12.95 a month for first child.
  • $129.00 Yearly
The greatest thing about Miss Humblebee's Academy is that it is a safe and secure online environment with no pop-up ads, etc.  Gotta protect those little minds as preschoolers are like sponges. It is also easy to take on the go with a Tablet, which is a plus.

Miss Humblebee's Academy is aligned with Common Core State Standards. I am not one to support Common Core State Standards as a homeschooler, but I feel it's not that big of deal when it comes to preschoolers as they have to learn the basics at one point.

I want to thank everyone over at Miss Humblebee's Academy for allowing me this opportunity to review your program with my preschooler, it was a pleasure and I hope to help spread the word about your amazing program!




 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

K5 Learning Online Reading and Math Enrichment {Review}

I received free access to K5 Learning Reading and Math in exchange for this review.  All opinions expressed here are honest and my own.

Online Reading & Math Program for K-5

Are you looking for ways to enhance your homeschool's reading and math skills, especially if they are in K-5th grade?  K5 Learning Reading and Math Enrichment was created to help your child become more successful in these areas.

Believe it or not, K5 Learning was founded by parents to better their children's learning experiences.  It's pretty easy to get started.  Parents sign up for an account and receive their own login.  It's then you can add a child and create their own login for the independent learning experience.

In the beginning, I requested the free Math and Reading Assessments to see the status of Kelly and Lyssa's skills in those areas.  They were pretty simple to navigate as they were taken all online.  I was skeptical of this in the beginning, but it seemed to work to their advantage.

Both girls tested at or above skill levels in math and reading which was very encouraging to me as a homeschooling parent.  It shows their strengths and weaknesses in a printable report which was also very beneficial.  Lyssa ended up scoring two grades above her grade level in reading.  I was quite shocked with that outcome, but again very pleased.  I am very happy with the results of these assessments which are tucked neatly in their homeschool portfolios.

They also offer online math and reading lessons.  When you log into your parent dashboard, you can assign your child their lessons so that when they login, it is there for them to complete.  Very nice!  You also get to review reports on how well your child is doing or what they need improvement on.

There is a worksheet center to reinforce what they are learning online.  This is also very helpful.  If you feel you need to change your child's level, whether up or down, K5 Learning makes it very easy to request a change in level, and they will set that up for you and your child.

When you sign up, you receive a free 14 day trial to see what you think. No credit card needed and no obligation!  After that there are two payment options.   Here is the pricing options for K5 Learning:

Monthly Subscription:
  • $25 First Child
  • Additional Children $15
Annual Subscription:
  • First Child $199
  • Additional Children $129
They also have a really neat referral program if you have a blog or website to help promote the program. Every time someone signs up through your affiliate link, you can earn $25.  Very nice incentive!

I highly recommend K5 Learning for any homeschooling family looking to enhance their child's reading and math skills or even use as a supplement.  K5 Reading and Math is on my list as a possibility for the next school year.

I want to personally thank everyone over at K5 Learning for allowing me the opportunity to review the program with my homeschool.  I was able to identify my 5th and 2nd graders abilities in specific areas of math and reading.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Special Reader for Reading Month



To celebrate reading month, we have a few fun activities lined up to honor this special time.  Reading is so very important and it's my goal to encourage it on a daily basis.  It definitely expands the mind.

Little Bethany is in a private preschool program 2 mornings a week and they had a sign up for special readers for the month of March.  Kelly signed up to be the second special reader of the month.  Bethany was so thrilled and proud to have her there.

Kelly was slightly apprehensive as she wasn't sure if the little ones would even pay attention. I told her to read with a lot of expression as to keep their eyes on the colorful pictures, (former preschool teacher speaking, haha).  She did a great job and they all listened pretty well. 

As you can see in the pic, Bethany got to sit right next to her big sister to share in the reading fun.  Bethany was more excited to sit in front of the class and didn't really care about the book anymore.  So typical, love it.

Prior to Kelly, another little girl's sister read to the class.  She was only 5.  She did a great job, though the kids stared into space.  I so love the preschool age though it can be a challenge at times.  It's a joy to see their little faces shine with wonder and excitement at anything that is presented before them.  Such a bittersweet time that sweet Bethany will be turning 5 this May.  Where has the time gone?

Happy Reading Month!

My Three Blessings

My Three Blessings
Photo by Emily Haapala Photography

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