TOS Review: Bytes of Learning

UltraKey Bytes of LearningAs my kids get older, I realize the need for them to become more and more proficient with technology. While my son, a high school junior, is quite comfortable with computers one area that needs work is his typing skills. At this point his style is still more “hunt-and-peck” than anything else. So, I was excited to give the UltraKey Online Family Subscription from Bytes of Learning a try.

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This program is completely web-based, which is nice because we can access it from anywhere. It offers pretty personalized lessons, allowing you to set your own goals or choosing to allow the program to set goals for you. It also offers reports for parents on skill checks, games and more. You can easily track your child’s progress, seeing which skill checks they have passed complete with errors. This allows me to know if I need my son to go back and redo something.

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Lessons are a mixture of videos and slides, and the narrator speaks in a pleasant, even tone. As students type, a picture of the keyboard is on the screen with a model of where their hands are supposed to be. This was helpful for my son as he became comfortable with the proper positioning. Lessons begin with an introduction and some initial activities with specific keys, then move on to typing words and sentences. Students are given plenty of opportunities to practice before moving on to the Skills assessment. In addition to lessons on keyboarding, there are also very helpful videos on proper posture, finger placement, and even stretches you can use between lessons.

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Since Bytes of Learning is a self-paced program it is very easy for kids to complete on their own. They simply log in and start. My son spent about 15-20 minutes a day working on lessons, which was the perfect amount of time, keeping him from getting bored or losing interest. It was also really easy to fit into our already hectic days.

UltraKey Online also offers games which allow students to practice their skills while having fun. I appreciate the fact that the games also allow students to practice other important skills like spelling and even state capitals. My son enjoyed the games and you can get reports on those too and students earn printable merit awards as they complete levels. He liked challenging himself to improve his score each time he played. The rhyming game was his favorite.

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The UltraKey family subscription allows you to add three, five, or eight students at a time for a cost of $29.95-$49.95. I think this program is appropriate for all ages, even younger students. As a parent, I appreciate how easy Bytes of Learning is to manage, the interface is very well set up and it’s really easy to review your child’s progress. I would definitely recommend this program if you are looking for an easy typing program to get your kids comfortable with keyboarding.

UltraKey Online Family Edition 

To learn more about the UltraKey Online Family Subscription, connect with Bytes of Learning on Facebook:

Bytes of Learning

To see what other members of the crew thought of this program, click here:

UltraKey {Bytes of Learning Reviews}Crew Disclaimer 

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Simple Chicken Parm

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I love Italian food and my Nana used to make some awesome Chicken Parm. However, I remember her recipe was a lot more involved than what I’m used to so I decided to switch things up to make them a little easier.

Ingredients:

4 chicken breast cutlets

1 egg

1/2 cup flour

2 cups Italian style bread crumbs

1/2 cup chopped parsley

1/2 cup grated Parmesan

1 cup marinara sauce

some mozzarella to top it off

Directions:

  1. Lightly beat the egg in a shallow bowl.
  2. Place the flour in another shallow bowl.
  3. In a third bowl, combine the bread crumbs, parsley, and about 1/4 cup of the cheese.
  4. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  5. Dip each cutlet into the egg first, then coat with flour. Finally dredge in the bread crumb mixture.
  6. Place the cutlets on the baking sheet and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan.
  7. Bake at 450 for about 15 minutes, until cooked through.
  8. Remove the cutlets from the oven and sprinkle with mozzarella. Return to the oven and bake until cheese melts.

That’s it! I love that I can make this quickly, even on a busy night. Enjoy and thanks for stopping by.

Menu Plan Monday 2/12/18

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February is in full swing! We had an exciting week last week with family in town, but I didn’t get to do a lot of cooking. This week, we are back to normal, although a little sad missing the extra family members. Here is the menu for this week:

Monday: Stuffed Squash

Tuesday: Chicken Quesadillas

Wednesday: Spaghetti

Thursday: Pork and Pepper Stir Fry

Friday: Dinner out

Thanks for stopping by for Menu Plan Monday! Have a great week.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

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So my husband recently told me that he ate some acorn squash at work and really liked it, and I decided to capitalize on that and try making this stuffed squash. It came out really well!

Ingredients:

2-3 medium acorn squash, cut in half

1 lb. chicken sausage

1 onion

1 red bell pepper

1 tomato

shredded Italian cheese

Directions:

  1. Halve the squash and scoop out the seeds.
  2. Heat oven to 400 degrees
  3. Chop the onion, bell pepper, and tomato.
  4. Rub the inside of the squash with a little olive oil and bake, face down, for about 20 minutes.
  5. While squash is cooking, brown the sausage and drain.
  6. Return the sausage to the pan and add the chopped onion, tomato, and bell pepper. Cook until vegetables are tender.
  7. Season with salt/pepper to taste (I also added some garlic powder and Italian seasoning).
  8. Add the sausage mixture to the center of the squash and top with some shredded cheese.
  9. Bake an additional 15 minutes until cheese is melted.

We had leftovers and these were still good the next day when I had one for lunch! Enjoy!

Menu Plan Monday 1/29/17

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Have you had those weeks where you set goals and then everything got turned upside down? That’s kind of how my week is going. Between the flu/parents in the hospital/car problems I’ve had to adjust on the fly a lot lately. So, this week I am focusing on cooking meals that make large batches, allowing us to eat leftovers and reducing how much time I have to spend in the kitchen. Here’s our menu for this week:

Monday: Chicken Lime Soup

Tuesday: Leftovers

Wednesday: Leftovers

Thursday: Pork and Black Bean Soup

Friday: leftovers

Hopefully next week things will calm down a bit! thanks for stopping by!

Menu Plan Monday 1/22/18

I am so excited! My hubby will be celebrating his birthday this week so we have a family day at Disney planned along with dinner out with friends. As much as I love to cook, I also enjoy dining out every once and a while. At Disney, we have reservation at the Canadian restaurant at Epcot, and then we are going to a local place with friends on Wednesday. So, this is the (limited) menu of what I will be cooking this week:

Monday: Chicken with Rice and Beans

Tuesday: Dinner at Disney

Wednesday: Dinner with friends

Thursday: Pork and Pepper Stir Fry

Friday: Tacos

Thanks for stopping by for Menu Plan Monday! Have a great week.

Menu Plan Monday 1/15/18

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How’s your New Year going? Honestly, 2018 seems to be off to a better start than 2017 was at this point, so I guess that’s a good thing. Florida is moving into the second week of actual winter this year (in case you didn’t know, there was actual snow the first week of the year!) which is unusual, but I am actually enjoying the change in temperature. It allows me to cook all my soups/casseroles/comfort foods that go with cold weather. So, with that in mind, here is my menu for the week:

Monday: Corn Chowder

Tuesday: Tomato and Red Pepper soup with baked grilled cheese

Wednesday: Stewed Pork with Beans

Thursday: Mushroom Soup with a side salad

Friday: Kielbasa Winter Stew

Thanks for stopping by for Menu Plan Monday! Have a great week.