Homeschooling Multiple Ages with Help from SPARKBOX Toys

I received compensation for this review. I only share what I really think. All opinions are my own.

Homeschooling can be really fun. At other times, it can be really exhausting trying to come up with ways to entertain the kids while hopefully entertaining them at the same time. And buying entertaining, educational toys can suck your budget dry, not to mention clutter your house. A friend introduced me to SPARKBOX Toys, a monthly toy subscription box. They kindly sent me a free box to review. My first impression on opening the box was wow! The toys are pretty darn good quality! For my kids, they sent a variety of toys covering their age range (from 1 to 7). Here are my reasons for why you should consider a monthly subscription to SPARKBOX Toys:

They are educational.

These toys have been curated by a group of extremely varied experts. These ladies have experience ranging from education to health and wellness. They are purposely selected for your child’s developmental stage.

The toys are only there temporarily, so you do not have to worry about what to do with them when your kids lose interest.

Have you bought a toy that you thought your child would love, only to have it end up collecting dust or sitting at the bottom of the toy box? Yeah, me too. Whether your kids play with these or not, you just send them back with the prepaid shipping labels (can I mention that shipping is free?). They inspect, clean, and sanitize each toy before sending it out.

They can be saved for special occasions.

If you homeschool like I do, you can save these toys for when you need to distract your little one. Uninterrupted time to work with your student on math? Yes, please! Want to pee or poop alone? Here you go, kids! I’m not so sure that these would distract long enough for a shower though.

Something new every month.

Each time you get a box (either every four weeks or eight weeks, they have two plans, you can check those out along with pricing here), it’s like Christmas. I had to fend my kids off to get this picture of what we got in our box. They were very excited that I finally got a package with something for them to play with.

Able to cancel when you need to, keep the toys as long as you want.

If you (I mean, your kids) really end up loving a particular toy, you have the option to buy it at a discounted price from retail. Yay! If you happen to lose a piece (guilty! Puzzle pieces end up strewn all over the place around here), you might have to pay a couple of dollars to replace it. They do include a mesh bag to keep all the pieces together.

You can check out their FAQ page for any other questions you might have.

 

What is our experience with SPARKBOX Toys?

If you have the  money in your budget for a monthly or bi-monthly subscription, I really recommend it, based off the box I received. Since I have kids ranging in ages from one year old to eight years old, our box shows that. We received a rolly caterpillar, a wood puzzle, electronic book, and the Jammin’ Gym. The kids have enjoyed playing with all of them, though Little Man (my one year old) has really enjoyed chasing the caterpillar around the longest. The puzzle and the book don’t get much playtime. Big Brother (eight year old) enjoys going nuts with the Jammin’ Gym. I really should record him playing with it, it’s pretty funny and cute. They have been nice to hand to my two younger kids while I’m working with Big Brother on lessons. As you can see in the picture, I had to fight them off in order to get a picture. lol Little Man loves chasing the caterpillar. It’s very easy for him to push it down and get it going. Sister enjoys the puzzle. She’s my puzzle lover. Like I mentioned, Big Brother jams with the Jammin’ Gym. The Leap Frog book doesn’t get much love, though the kids really love regular books. If we have the money for this in our budget, I would love to get a subscription, even just for a couple of months, just to have some new toys to distract the kids with when I need to.

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Thinking about Homeschooling?

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Thinking about homeschooling? | Retro Modern Melissa

We’re going into our first whole year of homeschooling this month. I’m pretty excited about it. I’m hoping my boy is too. lol He’s more excited about  it some days than others. Since I’m over the “I want to homeschool, what do I need to know?” phase, and into the “Crap, what have I gotten myself into?!” phase, I wanted to share the resources that have been invaluable to me along our journey. I’m sharing them here with the hopes that they’ll help you as well, whether you decide to homeschool or just help your child along with public/private/whatever school.

Google

Honestly, I think Google is the bee’s knees when it comes to researching things. Admittedly, it can be kind of a pain when you’re not quite sure what you’re looking for. Google is how I started our homeschooling journey, simply by looking up what homeschooling is all about.

Blogs

There are a couple of blogs that I subscribe to by email (I prefer getting everything in my inbox instead of hopping around to different readers or sites) that are about homeschooling. They’ve been so helpful with inspiration and information. There are quite a few more homeschooling blogs, these are just a few of my favorite.

Simple Homeschool– This is one of my favorites. I read pretty much every single email. It’s very inspirational.

1+1+1=1– Another favorite. I’m using their Raising Rockstars Preschool curriculum for Sister. Well, at least that’s the plan. I don’t think she’s quite ready yet.

Free Homeschool Deals– The name is pretty self explanatory.

Stores

Educents– They have lots of deals for a variety of things. These are daily deals, so check back often!

CurrClick– There is so much material on here. Lapbooks, mini unit studies, printables, notebooking pages, you name it, you’ll find it here. They also have free clubs, such as a Lego Club and Magic Treehouse Club. CurrClick also offers classes.

Homeschool Buyers Co-op– This is a co-op for educational resources. There’s a huge variety.

Rainbow Resource Center– They have TONS of products, ranging from full curriculums to games, school supplies, whatever you need to homeschool successfully. I’ll warn you, I ordered a copy of their catalog, and it is HUGE. Like over a thousand pages. They don’t have everything, but they have a great variety.

Books

There are lots of books about homeschooling out there. There is one in particular that I would recommend to anyone who was thinking about homeschooling and that is Cathy Duffy’s 101 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum. It is chock full of good information about homeschooling in general and her top curriculum picks.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. There are so many resources out there that it’s enough to make your head spin. These are just the resources I used/am using that have been the most helpful.

Is there a resource I didn’t mention that you found helpful getting started homeschooling or supplementing your child’s education?