Are you ready for Spring? I know I am, but it seems like every time it starts to feel nice outside it’s cold again by the next day. Thankfully, at Castaway Bay you can enjoy a Castaway Bay getaway where it is always a nice 82 degrees. It’s the perfect staycation to recover from the winter “blahs” and fun for the whole family!
Having lived in Ohio most of my life you would think the unpredictable weather this time of year would’t surprise me anymore. But the constant change between feeling so much like spring followed by a period of snow and ice has left me scratching my head. Regardless of the weather, we were definitely in need of a little winter weekend getaway. Since Castaway Bay is always a perfect 82 degrees it’s definitely an ideal place for a winter weekend getaway! The timing ended up being perfect because it was quite cold the weekend we went!
Disclosure: I received complimentary accommodations and other promotional items to facilitate my review. Regardless, all opinions are my own and those of my family. Please see my Disclosure Policy for more information.
The kids were more than just a little excited to head up to Castaway Bay for the weekend. I was definitely in need of a bit of a break as well! Although it was a little snowy the day we drove up there, nothing was going to stop us from going! We couldn’t wait to enjoy the 38,000-square-foot indoor waterpark and fun activities.
The Fun Begins
When we arrived we piled out of our car with our bags eager to drop them off in our room and go have some fun! Castaway Bay not only has an indoor waterpark, arcade and fitness center, but they also have a variety of kid-friendly activities as well! All the day’s activities can be found on the Island Times which can be picked up at the front desk and is displayed in the elevators as well.
We arrived just before 3pm which was the perfect time because cookie decorating was about to begin! So we dropped off our bags and headed to Club Castaway to decorate some cookies as well as souvenir bags and t-shirts. The movie Zootopia was playing on the big screen while we enjoyed the cookies and coloring. Then we had personalized souvenirs to take home!
After making our souvenirs we were ready for dinner. The Quaker Steak & Lube is actually connected to Castaway Bay which means we didn’t even have to go back out into the cold. It has such a fun atmosphere! We really enjoy eating there. My chicken tenders and fried pickles were so good! Plus we had food left over to take back to our room.
A Beautiful Bay View
Our room was on the first floor, but we still had a balcony with a breathtaking view of the Sandusky Bay. If you haven’t seen the bay in the winter with snow and ice on it, you definitely should! It’s beautiful!
We were in a Starfish Bay-View Room which includes two double beds, a single sleeper chair, fridge and microwave, coffee maker and the private screened balcony. Like all rooms, free WIFI and waterpark passes for the day of check-in and check-out are included. In order to do more this year, I brought my mom with us to help with the kids. The Starfish room can accommodate up to 5 people, but it was a little snug. I think it would be perfect for families with smaller children.
The door has multiple lock options from the inside. This is something you may not give much thought to, but I was definitely grateful for them as my sleep walking child tried to walk out the door around midnight!
Castaway Bay Indoor Waterpark Fun
After dinner on Saturday we were ready for some fun at the waterpark! The Wave Pool is always a favorite, and we all enjoyed some time in it. Because I had help this year I was able to do more with the kids including riding Rendezvous Run (also known as the “water rollercoaster”) with my oldest, go down some slides, play on the animal rafts with my youngest two and enjoy the hot tub with my daughter. This was all in one day!
Something neat I discovered this year was that the hot tub actually goes outdoors. We went out there, and it’s a really neat experience to be in a hot tub in freezing cold weather, but we didn’t stay out there long! I was convinced my hair was going to freeze!
As always, we felt safe with plenty of lifeguards on duty and looking out for everyone’s safety. They even checked up on my daughter to make sure she was over the height requirements for wear a life jacket in the Wave Pool. She was, but I appreciate that they check.
Our Winter Weekend Getaway
We had a great time at Castaway Bay, and the timing was fantastic! There is nothing better for cabin fever than having fun at an indoor waterpark. With multiple activities both in and out of the waterpark, beautiful views, good food and a fun arcade (which we surprisingly didn’t spend time in this year), Castaway Bay is a great place for families looking to beat those winter blues!
If you just want waterpark fun without the stay, day passes are available (and you could win some as well below!).
Connect with Castaway Bay
Would you like to enjoy some family fun at Castaway Bay? You could win 4 Day Passes to the Indoor Waterpark! This giveaway runs through 3/14/18 and is open to US residents ages 18+. *Please note travel and accommodations are not included.*
I have growing kids with various (and ever changing) needs. Sometimes I’m not sure I’m equipped to tackle certain topics/subjects but finding multiple resources can be tricky and time consuming. I was excited to learn about the Homeschool Special health education resources offered by MarshMedia so I could tackle some of those more complicated topics!
MarshMedia has been offering health education resources since 1969. Their resources cover a variety of topics suited for children in grades K-8. Each specific resource notes which ages/grade levels are ideal for that resource. Some of the topics covered includes: hygiene, health, puberty education, safety, immune system disorders, head lice, nutrition and more. As a special needs parent I was also excite to see educational programs for children with special needs as well!
MarshMedia offers DVD’s, books, and teaching guides. They also offer streaming options online which we have been using for our review. Currently 54 of the programs are available for streaming on their website. The programs are around 15 minutes long.
One of MarshMedia’s key health education resources is their puberty education series. There are six different puberty education series to choose from. This topic has been on my mind because I have a preteen son that already has physical signs of puberty. As a single mom (and a woman that didn’t grow up with any brothers to boot!) I wasn’t sure how to approach the topic. Surely he doesn’t want to talk to mom about it anyway!
Although I assume my daughter will take after me and won’t need to learn about the changes that take place for a while, she is also coming up the age where she’ll need to learn about it soon as well. One thing I’ve heard multiple times is it’s better they learn it from you than a friend!
When it comes to the topic of puberty, though, I think we often fear it will go into deeper topics our kids aren’t yet ready to learn. The MarshMedia puberty education resources are not “sex education.” They are factual resources for puberty education.
I, personally, watched the videos myself first to determine what would be appropriate for the kids. Even with the less private topics I still had the kids watch the videos on their own. I love that there are a variety of options, especially for puberty education, because I could find what was ideal for each child. After they’ve watched the videos I will ask if they have any questions. Sometimes they do, most times they don’t.
Health Education Resource
MarshMedia really does cover a variety of topics. I love that I can not only teach the kids about health topics but also things like social skills as well. It has definitely been a great health education resource for our homeschool.
In the past, MarshMedia has been available for schools, but they wanted to be able to offer these same resources to homeschoolers at an affordable price. If you wish to take advantage of the opportunity to introduce the MarshMedia curriculum to your home schooler(s) click on the link below for more information:
Connect with MarshMedia
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure Policy for more information.
I don’t know about you, but I think extra practice in math and reading is always a good thing. We have been using the online program from K5 Learning to not only practice math and reading but spelling as well! They’ve been learning a few extra things as well!
For our K5 Learning review all three children (ages 11, 9, 7) have been using the online program. We access it on both a laptop and Nextbook running Windows 10 and using the Google Chrome browser. We have not had any issues accessing it.
What is K5 Learning?
The K5 online program is a supplemental program for not only homeschoolers but any child in Kindergarten-5th grade who needs extra practice! It is an account based program easily accessible online. It can be used for up to four children, and each child has their own log in. So there is nothing to download, and progress is saved online. It includes K5 Math, K5 Reading and K5 Spelling.
Although it is a supplemental program, it’s not simply a “sit down and practice” program. It definitely helps foster a sense of independence because it actually offers instruction as well. Lessons are short and interactive. They are fun, interesting and engaging.
Additionally, K5 Learning includes customized worksheets to take the learning offline. The worksheets are produced based on what your child is learning. It further reinforces key lessons and offers learning without the screen. This reduces arguing about who gets to use the computer right now as well!
One of my favorite aspects of K5 Learning are the Assessments. I am generally not one to focus on grade level as much as having the kids work wherever they are in each subject. That is what the K5 Learning Assessments are all about. How kids progress through K5 is based on the assessments. Children start right where they are rather than where their age or grade says they should be.
I am so glad they offer this option because, otherwise, my kids wouldn’t have started the program where they need to. Because of my kids’ special needs, they do have some learning challenges. My oldest (Autism spectrum) has a moderate reading delay but does very well in math. In fact, he tested a grade above in math! So he was able to start at a lower level in reading, but a higher level in math. My youngest son (Sensory Processing Disorder) has a slight reading delay but is on target for math, so he was able to start where needed as well.
My daughter’s assessment suggested she’s at a 5th Grade level for both subjects. So in her case, I’m glad she has been able to learn at a higher level. By “school age” she would be in 3rd Grade, but for curricula that is based on grade level she does 4th Grade work. I love that she doesn’t have to be held back.
Our K5 Learning Review
My kids have been enjoying K5 Learning. The short, interactive lessons keep their attention, and they have been both practicing as well as learning things. Spelling has been great for my older kids because it’s something I just don’t do enough of as it is. It’s really challenged them in a good way! This is one of those programs that I don’t have to beg them to do. They get online and do it independently.
What they are learning and practicing goes beyond just the basics. It’s not just reading. It’s inferences and comprehension as well. Math isn’t just numbers. It’s shapes and money as well. Even doing the worksheets has encouraged the kids to do more.
We did come across a couple of challenges, though. For example, my oldest (who has the moderate reading delay) does well in comprehension. So, the comprehension portion of reading would be at a higher level. It required reading at that level, though. So I would have to read with (or to) him so he could answer the questions. For math, the older two kids were working on things they’ve never learned. There was no way to go back or skip it from what I’ve seen. I’m not sure if this was a case of problems associated with Common Core because I try to avoid Common Core so it would make sense that they didn’t learn it if that is the case. Otherwise, it might just be above their level.
Regardless, we like K5 Learning and definitely plan to continue using it to supplement our homeschool.
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Members of the Homeschool Review Crew have been using the K5 Learning online program with their children of various ages/grade levels. See what they thought in their K5 Learning review by clicking on the banner below!