Kickapoo Valley Reserve Fall and Winter Workshops for Homeschoolers

Here’s an outstanding opportunity for area homeschoolers.

Kickapoo Valley Reserve’s Fall and Winter Workshops!

These interactive hands-on programs are taught by experienced instructor/naturalists.

Workshop sessions are geared foe K – 3rd graders and 4th grade and up.

Two programs for each age level (K-3 and 4th and up) will run twice each afternoon.  Each child will participate imageget (2)in both afternoon sessions offered for their age level.  You may register your children for any or all Fridays.

You choose the workshops by date – based on what works for your schedule or the interest of your child. Each date can accommodate approximately 35 K-3rd grade children and 35 4th grade and up.  Programs will be filled on a first-come-first-served basis.

Most programs will have an inside and outside component so please make sure that children dress for being outside in winter weather.

Homeschool Fridays are a great way to experience hands-on science, nature and other cultural programs, receive help on projects and research, and network with other homeschooling families!

You may register your children for any or all Fridays. 12:15 pm – 3:45 pm.
Fee: $8/Child/Afternoon.

Please be sure to read this Parent Letter before your programs begin.

New this Year!  Natural Play Areas:  Parents and children under 5 years of age can also join KVR staff each Friday for guided exploration of natural play areas  which provide interest-led, inquiry-based play opportunities.  Children use their imaginations, creativity, hand-eye coordination, balance, and physical strength to build tiny elfin towns, bake in the mud kitchen, play nature music, climb over logs, swing on ropes and balance on stumps.

REGISTRATION DEADLINE:  September 26 (for October programs) and January 23 (for February programs).

Class descriptions and fee details are HERE.

Please click here to print a registration form.  Mail the completed form along with payment to Kickapoo Valley Reserve.

Scholarships available; contact the Reserve.

Homeschooling: A Growing Option For Many in Wisconsin – One Family’s Story

1.5 million students across the country are homeschooled



“After completing second grade at a traditional school, Bronwyn asked her parents if she could be homeschooled because she didn’t feel challenged in class and was bullied outside of class.”

Homeschooling isn’t on the fringe of education choices any longer. In fact, it seems to be growing in popularity across the country. The Department of Education estimates the number of homeschooled students has grown at about 7% a year for the past 10 years. Almost 20,000 students were homeschooled in Wisconsin last year.

A few weeks ago, SW Wisconsin Community of Homeschools was contacted by Lisa Klein of WKBT-TV Channel 8 in La Crosse, to help her find a family to interview for a news story about homeschooling.  We surveyed local homeschool families and gave Lisa our nominees.  Here’s the story that ran on the La Crosse News last night…

Assignment: Education – Home Schooling
Author: Lisa Klein,

After five years, homeschooling is still working out well for the Hicks family.

How’s it going for your family?

“Go Slow”: How Does Net Neutrality Affect Your Homeschool?

Would it make a difference to you if your homeschool day was interrupted by slow internet?

We’ve all been frustrated by trying to load something and instead getting the spinning wheel of death. But what if the reason for the delay wasn’t just a crummy Wi-Fi or DSL and was instead the issue of net neutrality!

Ever wonder what would happen if everyday websites, like this blog for instance, were forced by deep pocketed mega communication companies to run in the “slow lane” of the internet?

Now, I’m not saying this blog makes any great difference to your daily life, but it makes me positively cranky when I can’t get a simple recipe or check the weather forecast quickly.

“Net neutrality— the idea that Internet service providers (ISPs) should treat all data that travels over their networks equally—got major attention this Spring when the FCC released proposed regulatory guidelines that left Internet users and companies alike deeply concerned. The proposal included new language giving ISPs leeway to create a “fast lane” for certain websites (i.e. websites with deep pockets that were willing to shell out more money for faster access to users).

But you can’t have a fast lane without also having a slower lane. And that means everyday websites—including journalistic websites and start-up companies that could compete with established web services—could be slow to load, even as our expectations for loading speed leap ahead in the coming years.” Source

What about all the online curriculum that you use for daily homeschool purposes?

Many of us use free online content for regular homeschooling, like Khan Academy, Homeschool Freebie of the Day for instance.


And I can’t help wonder how this idea could change the educational courses and curricula we purchase from homeschool companies that are delivered by the internet…

At best I think, it’s going to make a difference in the price we will all have to pay down the road.

Have you checked into any of this? What are your thoughts?

Back to School – Union Grove Wisc. Teachers Welcome Students with Music Video

Don’t you wish your high school teachers were this cool?

Mr. Jordan Hein and Mr. Mitchell Brachmann have teamed up again this year to create a fun welcome back for students at Union Grove High School in Wisconsin.

Mr. Hein teaches health and physical education and coaches football and wrestling. Mr. Brachmann teaches science.

They started in 2012 with a their first music video called “In My Class” and followed it up in 2013 with “That’s What Makes School Beautiful.”

This year’s video, based on the old 1984 Kenny Loggins hit, “Footloose” is sure to get the kids pumped up to be in class.

Oh, you’ve gotta love school!

Brachmann and Hein also have set up a crowd funding site for classroom projects and learning opportunities. If you like the video, consider supporting them here:


HTML 101 for Kids: Basics of Web Programming Free 14 Lesson Course starts September 08

 “Everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer…because it teaches you how to think.”  ~ Steve Jobs, Founder, Apple

Imagine the power of taking a blank computer page and being able to create whatever you want out of it.

Scary, Intimidating, or Awesome?

In this online class, Frazier O’Leary, a former Northern Virginia High School teacher, computer consultant, and father to two children in Alexandria, VA  will introduce your children to the basics of the HTML, using HTML “tags” to create and design Basic Web Pages.

The course is open to any students 9 years old and up.

Parents can sign up to take the classes too! (Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?)

All you need to do is to pre-register here.

The class will go live on Monday, September 08, 2014.  A new lesson will be available each day after that for the next 3 weeks; students can catch up and review missed lessons on their own schedule.

Interested?  Here’s the link to pre-register.

* Thanks Colleen M. of the Richland County Home Educators for posting the information about this course. My son (and I) had started the classes last spring but didn’t finish. Who knows what tricks I’ll be able to use on this blog!

Here Goes! New Regional Homeschool Community Website

You are invited to come along…
We’re creating a new regional community website for homeschoolers hosted on 
This will be a private members only website with a wide REGIONAL reach to keep homeschool families informed.

The site‘s abilities include: Forums, Calendar, Classifieds, sign ups for activities/events, archive capabilities, and much more.

Homeschool families can become members individually. Also, separate sections will be setup to place information within individual homeschool groups.

We’ll have multiple web administrators to share the load and maximize the capabilities. 

The cost for membership is $7 per family for the year which is the fee to Only those families that have paid for annual membership will have site access.  This year’s fees are due in October.

Membership Terms of Agreement: To allow a free exchange of information, families joining SW Wisconsin Community of Homeschools regional homeschool-life website agree to keep all personal details shared within the website private. No SPAMMING of other members, or using contact information for personal or business purposes. 

Registration is easy, go to the group web site address: and click on the link to select “Click here to signup.”  The web administrators will personally verify and approve each and every registration.

Lending a hand

Organizations contact us looking for ways to connect with area homeschoolers. Here’s 2 from the email bag.

Looking for Parent’s Perspectives on Teaching about the “Birds and Bees”

Lori Reichel, Ph.D at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse is conducting a research study in the southwest area of Wisconsin where she is interviewing parents of 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade children regarding the teaching about the “birds and the bees.”

“The reason from my research is because when looking for past data collection done with parents, a gap is found with parents of elementary school aged children. In addition, I did not find any reference to parents who homeschool their children.

The purpose of my study is to collect data from parents to explore their perspectives and gain recommendations, specifically for teaching about human sexuality.My perspective is that there is a need for professionals to hear the voices of homeschooling parents regarding the experiences and needs/wants for sexuality education.”

Research Study on Birds & Bees

The research is being conducted through September.

Dr. Reichel is looking to speak with homeschool parents, an “often overlooked group.”

If you are living in the overall southwest area of Wisconsin, and are a homeschool parent of a 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade student, Dr. Reichel would appreciate your help in the study.  Here’s her contact information:

Lori Reichel, Ph. D.
Assistant Professor
Health Education & Health Promotion Department
200 Mitchell Hall
University of Wisconsin- La Crosse
email:  or
Office phone number: 608-785-6786

Volunteers Needed for Richland County Nutrition Program

The Richland County Nutrition Program is hoping to increase the number of volunteers for the Senior Nutrition Program.

The Nutrition Program Coordinator, Tanya Webster, herself a past homeschool mom, said she “thought maybe your group would be another way to reach out to our homebound elderly. They really love seeing different people.”

They are looking for community members who may have an hour a day, week, or month to deliver meals to our elderly population who are home bound. There are meal sites in the Germantown, Richland Center, Rockbridge, and Viola.

RC Nutrition Program Volunteer

Here’s the flyer pdf to download if you wish.

If you are able to lend a helping hand, please contact:

Tanya Van Risseghem – Webster
Community Health Educator
Nutrition Program Coordinator
Richland County Health & Human Services
221 W. Seminary Street
Richland Center, WI 53581
Phone: (608) 649-5937
Visit us on the web at


HUGE Homeschool Curriculum SALE! 92% off!

The Build Your Bundle Homeschool edition Sale is here – for just one week (July 21-28,2014) you can save up to 92% on some bestselling materials, including some from Cathy Duffy’s top 100 list.
The Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition is ending soon!  Sale Ends at 11:59PM EST on 7-28-14!

Take a look:

Charlotte Mason Bundle has copywork pages, nature study, geography, art, poetry, and lots of extras. And includes Write From History, Sheldon’s New Language Lessons, Handwriting Lessons Through Literature, Fine Art Pages, Grapevine Bible Study, and more!

Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale - Up to 92% Off!
The High School Bundle is enough material for a full year’s worth of curriculum — including Intro to Psychology, World History & Geography, Home Economics, Creative Writing, and Anatomy!
Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale - Up to 92% Off!
The Tot & Pre-K Bundle gives you a complete Christ-centered preschool program, including age-appropriate character-building tools, a stick-figure Bible study, a creation-based coloring book, a handwriting curriculum, and an independent activity guide.
Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale - Up to 92% Off!

There are also bundles for K-3rd, 4th-6th, Middle School, and even a bundle just for Moms!

And you can bundle your bundles to get one free when you buy two.
Buy More & Save More at the Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale - Up to 92% Off!
Check it out while you can, because it’s be gone soon…
Click here to Shop the Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale when it starts!

Notebooks For Students: Discount Laptops for Homeschoolers

Microsoft Education Product Policy allows nonprofit Notebooks For Students (NFS) to offer in-classroom technologies (previously reserved for traditional public school facilities) to Homeschool families.

Based on Microsoft Education Product guidelines, the NFS Board voted to categorize homeschool families as schools and to implement Homeschool Group Purchasing to facilitate access of in- classroom technologies for individual Homeschool families.

This means that homeschool families are now able to purchase computers and software at the same wholesale pricing available to public schools!!

David Puzo stated, “Our organization is only three years old. In that time we have stressed moving forward to meet the technology needs of all education providers. First we addressed colleges and individual students. In 2012/13 we moved on to k-12 public schools and off-campus learning centers in all settings (daycare, church, Title 1 funding, etc). In 2014 NFS is implementing a program which will greatly increases access to in-classroom technologies for individual Homeschooling families.”

Homeschool families can purchase from Notebooks For Students as individual families or order as part of the SW Wisconsin Homeschool Community Group Order. Contact SW Wisconsin Homeschools for details. Additional discounts are available through the group order.

Families ordering will have to provide homeschool affidavit, notice of intent or other form (depending on the State of residence), to be able to receive the discounts on full laptop packages and software.

To see the items available and pricing, please visit;

*About Notebooks for Students*
Notebooks for Students is a nonprofit private operating foundation located in Carlsbad, Ca. Incorporated in 2011, our mission is to address the ever-growing Digital Divide within the national student body by increasing the availability of computers to all education providers and their students.

Let us know if you would like to get an extra discount by purchasing your family’s next computers as part of SW Wisconsin Homeschool Community Group Order. Contact SW Wisconsin Homeschools for details.

Henty US History CDs + Free Study Guides

Jim Hodges Audio Books

Educational. Entertaining. Edifying.

You’re going to love this. (Especially if you use Classical Conversations!)
This month only, July 2014, get all five U. S. History related Henty audio books on MP3 file format CDs for $75 (Convention Special Pricing) AND get the accompanying Study Guides – FREE!  (This set would cost you $185 if purchased separately on the website.)
I know…$75 is a lot of money no matter how good a deal it is.  So, if that’s a little rich for you, how about this instead?
Those same 5 titles are available this month as downloads for only $10 each!  Buy one or all of them!

 Here’s the link!

 Henty Books on Tape

The 5 titles included in this month’s sale are:

WolfeWith Wolfe in Canada:
A Tale of the French and Indian War

FlagTrue to the Old Flag:

A Tale of the Revolutionary War

Bayley'sCaptain Bayley’s Heir:
A Tale of the California Gold Rush

RockiesIn The Heart of the Rockies:
A Tale of Adventure in Colorado
LeeWith Lee in Virginia:
A Tale of the American Civil War
If you are using Classical Conversations and studying United States history this year, then this sale would be perfect for you!
In any case, this is a sale you will want to tell your friends about, so please forward this to them.
They will thank you!Here’s the link again.Henty Books on Tape


Or just forward this post by email to your friends to let them know about it.