Sweet Critique: Groovy Planet

I am SO excited to bring you guys this review and giveaway!!  I’m not a super-crunchy tree hugger, but I do enjoy purchasing and using products {when possible} that are recycled, recyclable, or fair trade.  Teaching kids the importance of this and having fun at the same time is a super bonus!

What is Groovy Planet?

 

Groovy Planet is a monthly membership program for kids that teaches them all about the world around them, recycling, and fair trade.

Your child starts out with a welcome kit containing a passport, a sticker, an activity sheet, a map, and a fun round box to keep everything in.

Each month after that, your child receives a new kit with a sticker, an activity sheet, and a recyclable or fair trade item.  I so want to tell you what we got in our second kit, but I don’t want to spoil it.  Suffice it to say that it was something totally unexpected and totally cool, with information I even learned from.

The welcome kit is now available for free!!  Each month’s kit is $14.94, and that includes shipping.  Discounts are available for purchasing six or 12 months at a time.

How Can Homeschoolers Use This?

 

Oh man, the possibilities are endless!!!  You can use this as a study of world geography, world cultures, the environment, science, recycling, and fair trade.

This could lead to cooking, nature studies, history, and many other things.  I just love how many ways you can use this product.

It’s unique, fun, and fresh; it’s not the same old thing we’ve seen time and again, just repackaged and rebranded.

Guess what?  Groovy Planet is giving one of you two months free!!

Simply use the Rafflecopter form below to enter to win!

True Confessions:  I was provided with two free months of Groovy Planet in order to facilitate my review.  All opinions are my own.

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Sweet Sponsor: Time4Learning

Time4Learning.com – This online curriculum provider is one that I have been able to try myself with much success. You can read my review here. The interactive program includes math and language arts for students in prek-eighth grade, as well as science and social studies for most grades.

The program is diverse since it can be used for homeschool, afterschool , summer learning or even as test prep.  And it’s flexible enough that your child can use it any time (24/7) from any computer with an Internet connection.

Students have access to multiple grades and you can select different levels for different subjects if need be.  This way, your child can work ahead in some subjects and review others by going back a grade if they need extra practice.

If you homeschool like I do, Time4Learning takes care of the administrative part thanks to an automated system that grades lessons and even keeps records that you can print. Parents have access to progress reports, lessons plans and a slew of other helpful resources.

Here are some of the things that make Time4Learning rock:

  • Over 1,000 multimedia-based lessons – Imagine funny characters teaching your child the material..and yes, they actually learn!
  • Standards based language arts and math – In other words, it correlates to all state standards.
  • Access to one grade above and one below – Great for students who work at different levels.
  • Flexible, web-based program – Kids can access it anytime, day or night, from any computer with an Internet connection.
  • Green Business Certified – Paperless curriculum= less clutter.
  • Automated record-keeping – This means less work on our part. And you can access student records and print them any time.
  • Promotes a can-do attitude and makes learning fun – Kids will want to do their school work! How great is that?

Time4Learning requires no downloads, CDs, or additional purchases. It has a low monthly price, requires no contracts, and offers a 14-day money-back guarantee. Read other parent reviews or check out the curriculum overview to see what’s available.

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True Confessions:  This post has been sponsored by Time4Learning; honest opinions are present.

October Sweet Sponsors

Yes, I know October is almost over.

I’ve gotten a few more awesome sponsors throughout the month, though, so I wanted to be sure to get them settled so they could get the credit they deserve!

On to the Sponsors!

 

Genuine Work at Home Advice – Katie has worked to put together some great legitimate work at home resources.  She’s got some great opportunities listed that I’ve never heard of!  She’s going through a move right now, but she’s got some stuff in the works!  Be sure to check her out!

My Groovy Planet – Staci has put together a subscription for kids to teach them about recycling and fair trade.  I love fair trade and all that entails, and the kits are so cool!  Babydoll loves getting the packages!  She now offers the Welcome Kit for free; go sign up!

Sunshine and Sippy Cups – Meagan blogs about all sorts of awesome stuff:  reviews and giveaways, frugal living, blogging resources and more!  She was one of the first “deal” bloggers I ever followed!

Time4Writing – Time4Writing provides writing classes taught by teachers as well as free writing resources.  I’ve found that even just the free resources provide great reinforcement for a child that doesn’t like to write…

Time4Learning – Time4Learning provides all sorts of great curriculum resources in areas such as math, science, and language arts.  It also contains great parent resources.

My Job Chart – My Job Chart provides parents with an easy-to-use free technology-based way to implement chore routines.  We love it!

Sweet Feature: Time4Learning

Time4Learning is an online education program that can be used as a homeschool curriculum, afterschool tutorial, and for summer learning.  The interactive program combines over 1,000 multimedia lessons, printable worksheets and graded activities for students in preschool through eighth grade.

For a low monthly fee, Time4learning members receive math and language arts, which correlate to all state standards; as well as science and social studies as a bonus for most grades.

Students have access to the program 24/7 from any computer with an Internet connection. Parents have access to a parent administration page to help with planning and record-keeping –especially useful for homeschooling.

There are no contracts, so members can cancel at any time and there is a 2-week money back guarantee.  Check out the curriculum overview to see what’s available.

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True Confessions:  This sponsored feature has been provided by Time4Learning and I was compensated for its placement.  That said, I heart T4L and recommend them anyway, so it’s all good!

TOS Sweet Critique: Always Icecream

Always Ice Cream2

What:  Always Icecream

Contact

Cost:  $4.99 per month to $29.99 per year or $99.99 lifetime membership

Recommended Ages:  Girls 7 to 12

Always Icecream is a play and learn site exclusively for girls!  Through educational games and videos, girls learn about a vast array of things from geography to math!

Girls are rewarded with Always Icecream currency {scoops} and are able to use that currency to buy things from the store, expand their house, feed their pets, and many other things.  There is also quite a bit of just-for-fun stuff to do like create artwork and other items to sell in the store, watch fun {pre-approved} videos, and play games.

The Educational Stuff

Babydoll loves this type of stuff, but she absolutely LOVES Always Icecream.  She enjoys playing educational games and watching educational videos {we had to endure days of the School House Rock Interjection song…}, and having it all pink and girly is a super plus.

The website covers a vast array of educational topics including language arts, basic math, advanced math, science, geography, history, music, art, foreign languages, and computer skills.  I really like the fact that there is religious education on the site, but you can completely avoid it if you want.

Always Icecream has helped Babydoll learn and practice so many things that she really didn’t like doing otherwise, like multiplication and grammar.

Here are a few screenshots of the fun:

I liked the new member challenge:  it gave Babydoll a series of educational games and other stuff to complete and enticed her to do so by awarding scoops upon completion.

Rewards

As mentioned, Always Icecream uses ice cream scoops as rewards and currency.  One of Babydoll’s favorite ways to use these is in Pet World.

Also, as a parent, you can award points for a variety of things.

Parental Controls

I love the parental controls in Always Icecream; you have uber control over everything.  I also like the fact that I get an email once a week, letting me know what she’s been up to, what her and her friends have been chatting about, and what educational stuff she’s working on and how she did.  I hate getting those types of email every time she does something, so this way is much nicer.

Final Thoughts

We love, love, love Always Icecream!!!  Love it!  Babydoll is on there every day she can, and I don’t feel bad about it!  There’s even a boys-only version coming soon!!!  You can try it for free, so be sure to go take a look!

Also, check out what the rest of the TOS Crew thinks about it!

True Confessions:  I was provided a subscription to Always Icecream for review purpose; all opinions are honest and my own.