Train Your Kid's Brain with Zaniac

This is a sponsored post by Zaniac via Mom it Forward. All opinions are entirely my own.

My daughter is your typical third grader. She loves chatting…all the time. Her favorite subject in school is lunch. Oh, and she hates math. When I was approached about a fun, unique program that helps students learn math and science concepts, I knew my daughter had to be involved.

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We were able to visit the Zaniac location in Sugar House where they provide after-school camps and activities for children in kindergarten through eighth grade. The children rotated through a few of the classes they offer so we could get an idea of what they do.

My daughter started in the Lego Robotics class. All the kids were enthralled with the Lego car actually driving where they programmed it to go. This class taught them to use math, technology, and the scientific method to bring their ideas to life.

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It's amazing when kids are playing and having fun and don't even realize they're learning.

The next stop for my daughter was Minecraft—the game she would play nonstop if we'd let her.

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She loves the creativity Minecraft provides. I love that it's scientifically educational. It builds critical reasoning while teaching about gravity and biomes. She builds buildings so complex, they rival architect's ideas. It's nice that she can play it with multiple players so her brother can get involved. He loves it as much as she does!

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I'm thrilled that Zaniac is willing to share their classes with a lucky local reader! They're giving away a gift certificate for one free 6-week Zaniac Technology Enrichment Program of your choice. A $299 value! Choose from:

  • Computer Programming
  • Lego Robotics
  • Minecraft Exploration
  • Chess
  • Touch Typing

I know your child will grow to love learning in this environment. Even the parents had fun! Just enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. The giveaway ends Friday, April 11.

You can find Zaniac on their website, Facebook, and Twitter.

Keeping it Real — The Price of Perfection

I'm a self-proclaimed perfectionist, but you'd never know it by looking at me. I'm overweight. My house is often filled with "organized" piles. My laundry isn't folded. My makeup and hair aren't done. I'm sure you're asking yourself, "Self? If she's really keeping it real, how in the world can she claim to be a perfectionist?"

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Years ago I read a book about cleaning and clutter. I can't for the life of me remember what it's called, but I remember exactly what I learned. It taught me just how much of a perfectionist I am. Not because my house looks like a museum, but because it's the complete opposite.

If I don't have time to give my all to something, I don't start. This goes for anything. Cases in point.

Cleaning

I have three young children. Of course I could have a hospital-disinfected clean home, but there is no possible way it will stay that way for more than 5 minutes. I would have to either follow my children around all day, cleaning up after them with Clorox and microfiber cloths, or duct tape them to the wall. Either option isn't exactly ideal, and the latter would likely have Child Protective Services at my door.

Weight

Burn more calories than you take in. I get it. But my perfectionist tendencies lead me to eating disorders. I count every calorie and berate myself for everything I put in my mouth. Basically it leads me to chewing gum for every meal and as the old saying goes, man cannot live by gum alone. Oh, it's bread alone? Well that's even worse because it's full of carbs! I also despise sweating, which is requisite for losing weight, but that's a whole other story.

Everything Else

It takes a fair amount of time to slap spackle on this mug. Even more to tame the mane. These incidentals take my time away from my kiddos and I'm not okay with that. Because, honestly, if I'm going to practice perfection in any aspect of my life, it's going to be in my role as mother.

So here we go, folks. I'm setting a goal right here, right now. From now on, I will spend 80% of my time being a mother. Being present in my children's lives, loving, and caring for their emotional and physical needs. The other 20% can be spend on my quest for perfection. But if that 20% is spent and I'm still not perfect, it's okay. Because, in the words of a famous meme, ain't nobody got time for that.

Knit Chevron Baby Blanket

My sweet friend just had a baby and wanted a knit or crocheted chevron blanket to match her nursery bedding. I knew the perfect pattern. Whit's Knits Chevron Baby Blanket from Purl Bee.

This blanket is super warm. It's knit on large needles using two strands at once, so it also knits fairly quick. If you can increase and decrease, this blanket will be a breeze. I really like how it turned out. I used Lion Brand Vanna's Choice yarn for all the colors but the mint. It's Bernat.

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What do you think of this pattern? Does it work or does it remind you of a '70s afghan?