Journey Through Time in Prairie du Chien

“Journey Through Time” May 14 – A one day open house / showcase of Prairie du Chien, WI historical sites.13174095_500503733472278_1405808408854247970_n
More than a dozen historical venues in Prairie du Chien, many not usually open to the public, will open their doors for free or reduced admission as part of the Wisconsin Historical Downtown Open House event.
Historic and Interesting Site Tours include: Fort Crawford Hotel; Fort Crawford Cemetery; Old Crawford County Jail / The Dungeon; Old Firehouse at the Local Oven; The Knowlton House, Fort Crawford Museum; City Hall artworks, Zion Evangelical Church, Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Saint Gabriel’s Holy Family Parish Catholic Church and the former Saint Mary’s Academy grounds (now known as Wyalusing Academy) will all offer free tours. The Villa Louis will be open for a discounted admission. Some sites may have limited tour hours.13164440_500466256809359_1571293694188394019_n
Other activities include: Horse drawn carriage rides from 11 a.m. till 4 p.m. starting at Peoples State Bank parking lot, Salsa Saturday demos at Nelson True Value, tulip lollipop children’s craft station at the Pickett Fence, 200th anniversary commemorative cannon firing at The Fort Crawford Museum every ½ hour (11 am-4 pm), food vendors, demos and live music at Driftless Edibles, popcorn sampling and souvenir photo ops at The Local Oven, period displays and Gordon Peckham historic photos at The Knowlton House, “Wind in the Barley” live band on the corner of Blackhawk Avenue and Beaumont road, vintage postcards and 1818 root beer at Check’s Antiques and more.
Saturday evening will include a special showcase of Mark Twain and “The Laughing River” at the Dousman House. Jim Post, a well known Mark Twain impersonator, will take the stage for one showcase of his Mark Twain show at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 in advance, $10 at the door and the historic Dousman House will open at 6 p.m. that evening. Seats are limited. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the following downtown merchants: The Pickett Fence, Driftless Edibles, The Planted Tree and Peoples State Bank.
Tour site maps and other activity information for the event can be picked up at The Knowlton House on May 14. Also the event activities will continue to be promoted online at For more information, please call 608.412.1995 or email

Great Teachers Sale April 6-13, 2016

Compass Great Teachers Apr2016

Compass Classroom is having their big Spring Sale until April 13th.

They call it the Great Teachers Sale!

There are significant discounts on homeschool curriculum.


Compass Course Subscriptions

  • Four NEW Free Resources!

Mr. President

Mr. President

Historical dramatizations of an episode in a particular President’s life or administration, without using his name. Each is about 30 minutes long. You are given a chance to guess the president at the end of the show!

Democracy in AmericaDemocracy in America

Fourteen, 30-minute historical dramatizations bring to life important sections of Alexis de Tocqueville’s examination of American liberty as he observed it firsthand. The book upon which these dramatic excerpts are based was published in 1835 and 1840.

The Great Teachers Sale only lasts until April 13th.

Go grab some deals now!
(DISCLOSURE: This post does contain affiliate links. I appreciate your support.)

Dance Concert brings Words from Seuss to Gatsby to Life

Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts Dance Repertory Company (DRC) has delighted the Winona community with quality dance productions, featuring local dancers in classical and contemporary works for more than four decades.

The DRC is the pre-professional performance group of the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts (MCA). Company members participate in rehearsals, technique classes, and stage performances.

For the annual spring concert this year, the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts Dance Repertory Company presents a production inspired by literature, entitled Words in Motion.  Inspiration for this year’s program includes:

  • Dr. Seuss’s Oh, the Places You’ll Go, The Butter Battle, and The Sneetches
  • A quote by Ludwig van Beethoven
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby
  • Minnesota author Peg Meier’s book Wishing for a Snow Day

Words in Motion, 
will feature pieces from numerous genres of dance including hip hop, modern, jazz, tap, contemporary ballet and pointe. 

The concert promises delightful choreography performed by an equally delightful company of student dancers.

As a special treat for audience members, Winona’s independent bookseller, The Bookshelf will have a variety of books related to the dance concert available for purchase.

A portion of book purchase proceeds will be donated to MCA to support the dancers and production costs.

Words in Motion will be held 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 15, and 3 p.m. Saturday, April 16, in Saint Mary’s University’s Page Theatre.

Read on to learn more about the pieces and what their choreographer has to say about their inspiration and creative process.

Continue reading

Homeschool Family Camp


Step out of your busy world: Living Waters Homeschool Family Camp is April 25 – 29, 2016

Explore! Discover! Wonder! Worship! Experience hands-on, Christ centered, outdoor education designed especially with the homeschooling family in mind.

It is our goal to provide training and equipping for your family in the fun and relaxing setting of camp.

Take this week to step out of the busy world and refocus on God’s purpose for you and your family.

Remember your creator in the days of your youth… Ecc. 12:1

By exploring God’s Word and God’s Creation you will pause to “Remember Your Creator”.

Your week will include; Meals, Housing, Family Worship, Dynamic speakers for the whole family, Creation based nature programs, Horseback riding, Visit to the farm, Group activities, Free-time, Games, Snacks, and most importantly time together as a family.

Our theme for 2016 will remind campers that we worship the God of all creation. Our God is the Alpha and Omega. The same God who laid the foundations of the earth is the one who knit you together in the womb! The same God chose you before all creation and loved you enough to send His only Son to die on the cross for your sins and mine! We invite you to come to Living Waters, to witness God’s power and glory, and to Remember Your Creator as a family!

Activities Offered

  • Horseback Riding
  • Zip Line
  • Nature Programs
  • Archery
  • Rock Climbing
  • Canoeing
  • Team Sports
  • Board Games
  • Campfire
  • Bible Study

Download or share the brochure.

Nature Programs
Fossil Dig
Explore what fossils reveal to us, we will consider what impressions our lives leave behind on other people.
Evidence for a Creator
An eye-opening hike revealing the intricacy of God’s creation as you explore design and beauty in the woods.
Waters of the World
Discover the amazing water events of earth’s history and how they reveal a loving Creator.
Become a paleontologist as you piece together the evidence to uncover the true story of dinosaurs.
Creeping Things
On the sixth day of creation God made the animals, including the ones that creep along the ground. We’ll enjoy interacting with some of these amazing creatures including some reptiles and amphibians

2016 Costs: Per person rate depending on ages starts at $115 includes meals, lodging for 4 nights and program activities. Ages 3 and under attend for free.

Large Family Scholarships: For families with 4 or more children, call the office for large family scholarships.


Living Waters Bible Camp is a scenic yearround Christian camp nestled in a beautiful valley in southwestern Wisconsin, which displays the wonders of the Lord’s creation. At Living Waters Bible Camp, we are committed to salvation through Jesus Christ, God’s Son, and making everyone complete in Christ from children to adults.

Join us for our next quality training event!

Living Waters Bible Camp
E8932 Reo Ave.
Westby, WI 54667
Phone: 608-634-4373

Nation-wide Homeschool Art Contest Announced by Philadelphia Homeschool

Homeschool Art Contest

Philadelphia Homeschool Art ContestThird Annual Nation-wide Homeschool Art Contest sponsored by Philadelphia Homeschool has just been announced and we are excited to share this opportunity with all home educated students in the southwest Wisconsin area!

The PHB Homeschool Art Contest is open to any child currently being homeschooled (either traditional or virtual charter school) in the continental U.S. in grades K through 8.

Here are a few details:

The theme for this year’s contest is: “SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY”


All art work must be created from the student’s imagination or through direct observation.  (No copying!  See contest rules for details.)

Entry forms and further information is listed at the PHB Homeschool Blog on this post.

Entries will be judged based on the following criteria:

  1. Artwork portrays the theme
  2. Design/Composition
  3. Craftmanship/Skill
  4. Creativity
  5. Aesthetically Pleasing

Entries will be separated into 3 categories:

  • Grades K – 2
  • Grades 3 – 5
  • Grades 6 – 8

Artwork must be on 8.5 by 11 inch paper and can be done in any medium.

Art Contest participants must abide by the Rules.

Deadline:  All entries must be post-marked by Saturday, April 30th, 2016.


Prizes:  1st, 2nd, & 3rd prizes will be given for each category.

Sponsors who are donating some fantastic prizes include free Subscriptions to, free curriculum from Berean Builders, and free magazine subscriptions and videos from Answers in Genesis.

One of the winners from the PHB Homeschool Art Contest 2015. 

Further information about the
Homeschool Art Contest is listed at the
PHB Homeschool Blog on this post.

Go check it out and get your artwork ready!

P.S. Look for the PHB Homeschool Writing Contest later in the year.

If you’d like to check out past year’s winning artwork, please click on the following links:

Give Me Twenty Reading Readiness Challenge for Pre-schoolers

Book It!
shines a spotlight on establishing a reading routine for young readers and families by issuing the Give Me Twenty Challenge each spring and fall.

The goal of the challenge is to build reading-readiness skills and develop an at-home reading routine over an eight-week period.

The Give Me Twenty challenge is open to anyone who has a preschooler.

Parents can do this with their own children or it can be done in classrooms or child care facilities.



Click to Enlarge

How does it work?

1. Read to your child(ren) for at least 20 minutes a day, 5 days a week during the 8 weeks of the challenge.

2. Keep track of how much reading is completed. You may use the reading activities included in the challenge.

3. Prizes! When you complete the challenge you can enter to win prize packages.


Here’s the link for the information you need to register and get started:
Spring Give Me Twenty Challenge


The Kissing Hand, written by Audrey Penn is the featured partner for the Book It! Spring Give Me Twenty Reading Challenge.

Winter Fest at Kickapoo Valley Reserve

We are in the land of ice and snow, so let’s celebrate WINTER!

KVR Winter Festival

The KVR Winter Festival is a wonderful family community event that highlights fun winter activities.  Snow much fun for the whole family — and most of it is Free!

Enjoy outside fun skating, sledding, skiing, and snow-shoeing!

Play winter games, crawl through the snow tube, hunt for hidden treasure.

Watch the chain saw carving demonstration and the Tri-state Malamute Club Sled Dog Race.

Listen to great Storyteller, get your face painted, get warm by a cozy fire.

Learn about winter ecology and animals and take a planet walk.


Ice Cave Hikes,
Horse-drawn bobsled rides,
Mutt Race (you bring the child and dog – they provide the sled and harness!)
La Farge Lions Club chili and bread contest,
Kickapoo Quick Auction.

KVR Winter Festival 2016

Click to enlarge.

Free and open to the public.

Activities are subject to change due to weather conditions.

Kickapoo Valley Reserve Visitor Center
S3661 State Hwy 131
La Farge, WI

KVR Winter Festival 2016

New Leadership for Wisconsin Parents Association


Wisconsin Parents Association (WPA) is a statewide, inclusive, grassroots organization to work with homeschoolers to maintain educational freedom.  Since 1984 WPA has worked to help homeschool families.

News from WPA — new leadership will begin January 1, 2016.

Larry and Susan Kaseman are retiring from their WPA staff positions

Larry and Susan Kaseman have had a long and rewarding experience serving WPA for the past 32 years; Susan as Senior Program Specialist and Larry as Executive Director.

Over the past two years, Larry and Susan have worked with the WPA Board to ensure a successful transfer of the work they have been doing, and are pleased that this effort has been fruitful.

Beginning January 1, 2016, Pamela Roland will be WPA’s President. In
addition to her overall leadership and oversight of WPA, she will have
primary responsibility in the areas of WPA’s public policy, work with
Regional Contacts, legislative work, and conference workshop coordination.
Pamela has been deeply involved with WPA for many years, working closely
with Susan in planning and conducting WPA conferences; doing workshops;
speaking before homeschool support groups; working with WPA’s Regional
Contacts; serving on WPA’s Board; and working with Larry on legislative issues.
Also beginning on January 1, Jen Lynch will be WPA’s Executive Director.
Jen will have primary responsibility for the day-to-day managerial,
administrative, and fiscal operations of WPA. In addition, she will be
taking responsibility for the WPA newsletter, Facebook page, and
fundraising. Jen has been a homeschool support group leader for many years,
presented workshops at WPA conferences, and attended recent WPA Board
meetings. She also brings a wealth of experience in founding and running
small businesses; working with non-profit organizations; and using
sophisticated software programs for databases, accounting, emails,
websites, and page layouts to carry out this work.

2016 finds WPA on solid ground 

Membership has grown, the annual conference has increased to over 800 attendees, donations are up, and more homeschoolers are sharing their time and talents with WPA. WPA will continue to work with a level of moral and ethical commitment to the principles established over the years.
Wisconsin homeschoolers are committed to their families and to homeschooling, which gives a grassroots organization like WPA strength, energy and joy.


Support WPA — they support all of us in so many ways!

Most popular posts of 2015

Our Southwest Wisconsin Homeschool Community is having an impact.

This blog was viewed about 33,000 times in 2015. Thank you!

There are posts on this blog, on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and on our member group that show we are filling a need and helping support our homeschool community.

Our  most popular post has a seasonal flavor and consistently brings viewers from all across the Internet:

The Polar Express – Free Online Read Aloud AND Study Links.

Here are three other examples that have gained a wider influence:

Surf’s Up at Noah’s Ark Waterpark : Report Card Days This Weekend!

5 Ways Homeschoolers Can Learn from Star Wars 
Local Homeschool Groups & Resources

Thank you for being a part of SW Wisconsin Homeschool Community!

Winter edit

Wonders of Physics: Battling the War on Science Illiteracy

Studies have shown time and time again a general lack of interest in science and an overall decline in science literacy in the United States.

Since 1984, the University of Wisconsin – Madison has been active in combating this problem of science illiteracy with their annual Wonders of Physics program. WOP logo

Wonders of Physics covers motion, heat, sound, electricity, magnetism, and light in a fast paced, entertaining  show  suitable for people of all ages and backgrounds.

The show has been presented by Professor Clint Sprott, Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of Wisconsin, on the Madison campus over 200 times to a total audience of about 70,000.

Physics can be fun…

The Wonders of Physics presentations are held each February in Madison, Wisconsin.  DIRECTIONS

Free tickets are be available after the first of the year.

Better hurry — shows fill up fast and tickets are gone right away!

Nurture your inner Einstein!

Scroll down for a ton of resource links, experiments to try, and videos with Prof. Sprott!!



To check on availability and order your free WOP tickets, click here.

The theme of the program changes from year to year – so even if you’ve been there before, you’ll still find something amazing!

The Wonders of Physics program inspires interest in physics among people of all ages and backgrounds.

Shows fill up fast, order your free tickets now!

If you have attended the show, you can give them feedback so that they can continually improve the shows.

UW-Madison Physics department is also hosting their annual Physics Fair on February 20th from 11 am to 4 pm. It’s free! No ticket required!

More resources courtesy of the Wonders of Physics program are listed below.  Check them out!

Videos are available for purchase or free online streaming here.

Wonders of Physics, Prof. Sprott, UW-Madison - video streaming

You can stream the videos directly to your computer for free by clicking on the links on

Here’s Professor Sprott in action at the 2011 Cairo Science Festival as he talks about sound waves and explains how electricity works by using a Tesla coil to generate very high voltage to create electromagnetic waves in the air.

Resource Links

Just For Kids — Here are some Experiments you can try at home.

Motion Build your own Roller CoasterSpin like an Ice SkaterReaction TimeRandom Walk
Heat Home MeteorologyVortex in a BottleSmoke RingsCollapse a Can
Sound The Doppler EffectBuild a String Telephone
Light Make a Pinhole CameraScience of BubblesMeasure the Speed of Light
Electricity Plasma Ball ExperimentsStatic Electricity
Magnetism Build an ElectromagnetFusion Cookies

Experiments You Can Do At Home from Professor Clint Sprott and the Wonders of Physics
Download a PDF with many different experiments that you can do at home exploring motion, heat, sound, electricity, magnetism and light. You may have heard of Newton’s Cradle, but have you ever heard of Newton’s Beads?
Check out this video of Mike uncovering the science behind this demo.  

More Science Links and Physics Resources from the Wonders of Physics Program:

Home Experiments (pdf)
Download printable version 
UW Space Place: Education and public outreach center of the UW-Madison Astronomy Department
Science is Fun: Educational website for Chemistry from the mind of UW-Madison Chemistry professor Bassam Z. Shakhashiri
Geology Museum: Explore the Geology Museum and take a peek into Wisconsin’s deep history
Institute for Biology Education: Raising the next generation of Biology Scientists
Science Alliance: UW-Madison Science Outreach on Campus
Synchrotron Radiation Center: UW-Madison SRC aiding researchers in their discoveries
Science Friday (SciFri): Weekly science radio show hosted by NPR, Fridays 1-3pm
Wonders of Physics Demonstrations – more information on the physics behind the show
Teacher’s Guide (pdf)- printable information on the physics behind the show
Physics Demonstrations book by Clint Sprott
Database of Physics Demonstrations – from the UW Physics Department
Books of Science Experiments from the University of Maryland Physics Departmenpwtqodfq_400x400t
How Stuff Works
Science Links for other UW Science Outreach Programs

Videos are available for free online streaming here. 

For more information, performance schedule, and tickets visit: Wonders of Physics Home Page

You can also access more information on their Facebook page or subsc
ribe to their 
YouTube page. 

The Wonders of Physics program is made possible by grants from the Office of Fusion Energy Sciences of the United States Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation.