Tri-State Homeschool Drama, The Wizard of Oz, in Platteville

Tri-State Homeschool Drama Troupe’s
production of
“The Wizard of Oz”

Oct 27, 28, 29, and Nov 4 at 7:00 pm
Oct 29 and Nov 5 at 1:00 pm

City Municipal building, 75 N. Bronson St., Platteville WI

General admission at the door:
$10 / Adults,   $5 / Students

The Tri-State Homeschool Drama Troupe under the direction of Susan Cramer is proud to present the musical “The Wizard of Oz” based on the beloved classic film of the same name. The cast of more than 70 Tri-state area students consisting of homeschoolers 4th grade to 2016 high school graduates will appear on-stage at the Platteville Municipal Auditorium for six performances during the last weekend of October and first weekend of November. Concessions will be sold before the shows and at intermission. Come and support live theater!

Andrew Arevalo (from left), Seth Enz, Shannon Doan and Peter Humphries, of the Tri-State Homeschool Drama Troupe, will present “The Wizard of Oz.” (Contributed Photo)

A message from Director Susan Cramer:

“We have been having a wonderful time working in Oz this fall! There are 64 area homeschoolers, over 180 costumes, and hundreds and hundreds of hours of work in this production. The kids look great!”


Herb Kohl Excellence Scholarship Program

2017 Kohl Excellence Scholarship for graduating homeschoolers in Wisconsin 

The Herb Kohl Educational Foundation provides graduating high school seniors with scholarships each year through the Kohl Excellence Scholarship Program.

The Excellence Scholarship is a one time only $5,000 award that is paid directly to the recipient’s chosen college. One hundred scholarships are awarded annually. Since 1990, the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation Excellence Scholarship Program has awarded $3,300,000 to 2,700 students.

In 2015, a homeschooled student from Hillsboro was a winner of the Kohl Excellence Scholarship.

pic2_homeThe program searches for students that excel in leadership, academics, and giving back to the community. The goal is to encourage Wisconsin youth to pursue post-secondary education in a public or non-public university, college or vocational/technical college.

The application process is divided between public school students, religious and independent school students, and homeschooled students.


This is a competitive scholarship. Students will be evaluated on their leadership, citizenship, school and community involvement, and academic achievement. In addition, students will be evaluated on their ability to clearly articulate goals in each of four areas: future educational goals, personal life goals, community/society service goals, and career goals. See How Your Application Will Be Scored for details.

Wisconsin Parents Association (
WPA) has been designated by the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation to coordinate and administer applications for homeschoolers. A WPA selection committee will review the applications and submit finalists to the Foundation.

The application form for homeschoolers is almost the same as that for other students with only minor changes because of the way homeschools are constituted. Neither Herb Kohl nor anyone in the Kohl Family plays any role in the evaluation and selection of the candidates or recipients. It requires several short essays, one 300-500 word essay, three letters of recommendation, and a high school transcript. Completed applications must be mailed by November 23, 2016.

Application forms for homeschoolers can be found on the WPA website here.

Please tell other homeschoolers about this opportunity.
Although we recommend that homeschool families become members of WPA, it is not necessary to be a WPA member to apply for the scholarships.



Wisconsin Science Festival

wiscifestWisconsin Science Festival
Celebrate curiosity and creativity!

Science festivals can introduce you to people, places and programs you can tap into year-round to discover how science is changing the way we look at and lead our lives.
Wisconsin Science Fest includes activities for all ages and interests and features nearly 250 events at more thaan 90 venues in over 30 communities across the state during October 20-23, 2016.

Free! Some activities may have a nominal charge for materials or meals, and some partner locations charge their regular admission fees.

What can you do at the festival? All kinds of fun stuff! From games to gadgets, robots to researchers, storytelling to stargazing, the festival has something for everyone.


Check out the variety of events taking place at locations throughout Wisconsin at the 2016 festival. Use the filters to find events that match your interests, are in a city near you, take place on the day you plan to attend the festival and more. Or Download the 2016 program guide in PDF form.


Here are a few highlights for #WiSciFest 2016:

Snapshot Wisconsin is a partnership to monitor wildlife year-round, using a statewide network of trail cameras. The project is a great way to get students outdoors and learn about local wildlife!  This workshop provides educators with all the information and equipment needed to deploy and monitor a trail camera, as well as resources to help teachers use Snapshot Wisconsin in the classroom.

The Artistry of Innovation: WARF Patent Drawings Through Time With WARF’s help, hundreds of professors, researchers and students have transformed their discoveries, napkin sketches and prototypes into real-world innovations. These patents, and thousands like them, contain drawings or figures to illustrate the invention. This exhibition shares some of the visual gems buried in the WARF patent collection and introduces a breathtaking array of inventions. In one sweep, visitors will be exposed to nine decades of genius.

UW–Madison Geology Museum
Explore the geology museum and take a peek into Wisconsin’s deep history! On your visit you can touch rocks from a time when there were volcanoes in Wisconsin; see corals, jellyfish and other sea creatures that used to live and swim where we now walk; and stand under the tusks of a mastodon while imagining yourself in the ice age. Also on display are rocks and minerals that glow, a model of a Wisconsin cave, dinosaurs and meteorites. The mineral, rock and fossil collections have the power to educate and inspire visitors of all ages. See for yourself!

Birds in Art 2016
Since 1976, the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum has organized “Birds in Art,” the museum’s internationally renowned, flagship exhibition. The 41st annual fall exhibition will be on view September 10 through November 27 and features fresh interpretations of avian marvels by 112 worldwide artists, including 2016 Master Artist Karen Bondarchuk.

Building with Biology
Celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Madison Science Museum! Daily hands-on activities will allow you to get messy and ask real scientists your questions about synthetic biology. Become a “Bio Bistro” in a card-based personal choice activity, where you decide what synthetic biology-based food products you would or would not eat.
Or, practice creative engineering by first designing a superhero to rescue a person falling from a tall building. Then, design a single-celled organism to clean up an oil spill. See how designing a superhero is similar to or different from designing a microorganism. And much, much more!


Discovery Expo 
features more than 20 interactive hands-on stations with science, technology, engineering, arts and math activities that you can explore at your own pace, as well as other UW–Madison activities. See some of the groups and organizations that will be at the Discovery Expo


D.C. Smith Greenhouse
Take a self-guided tour through D.C. Smith Greenhouse and explore the fascinating world of plan…

Flight Simulation Demonstrations 
Experience the thrill of flight in the UW Flight Simulation Laboratory! Guests of all ages are welcome to try their hand at flying both rotary-wing and fixed wing aircraft simulators, including an FAA-approved, motion simulator! Walk-in groups are welcome. This event is located in room 3014 of the Mechanical Engineering Building (Flight Laboratory). Visit website

Help share the excitement about the 2016 science festival, happening on October 20-23. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and tag events you’d like to share with #WiSciFest.

“I took my daughters to the festival on the first day. They had so much fun we went back the next day, and the next day, and the next. My favorite moment was hearing my daughter sing out, “Yay! More science!” — A 2014 Wisconsin Science Festival attendee

Science Arcade is a hands-on science event that connects all ages to the science, technology, engineering, math and, of course, the fun behind games! The evening will showcase vintage arcade games, virtual reality with the Living Environments Laboratory’s Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, augmented reality, DIY cardboard games, multiplayer games, place-based games, board games and so much more! 
This event is family-friendly and open to the public, but best of all, it’s FREE!  Fri, October 21: 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
UW–Madison Discovery Building, Madison WI

Science Storytellers Jam!
An evening of science storytelling supported by Nerd Nite Madison and Moth storytelling. The stories will intertwine science with more personal experiences and will definitely prove to be both educational and entertaining. Expect to laugh, cheer and learn! The event will feature a mix of presentations by both Nerd Nite all-stars and local science storytellers providing stories about journeys through their field from campus researchers. And while you’re at this laid-back event, we encourage you to participate by asking questions and submitting ideas. Attendance at this event is free. A cash bar will be available throughout the night.
Learn more about Nerd Nite Madison and The Moth in Madison.
Sat, October 22: 8:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
UW–Madison Discovery Building, Madison WI


Big Ideas for Busy People – Madison
Back by popular demand for a third year at the Wisconsin Science Festival, Big Ideas for Busy People is a one-of-a-kind event that is also a centerpiece of the Cambridge (MA) Science Festival. Featuring five of the best and brightest in their respective fields, the event includes five minute talks by each with five minutes of Q&A. To keep the event moving, anyone going over five minutes will be gonged. Join us for the fun and hear from this year’s lineup of world-renowned speakers.
Sat, October 22: 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
UW–Madison Discovery Building, Madison WI


Follow Wisconsin Science Festival @WiSciFest

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The mission of the Wisconsin Science Festival is to inspire and engage us all in the enterprise of science and discovery; to cultivate curiosity and communicate the power of knowledge and creativity to change our world view; to promote innovation and to cultivate the next generation of global citizens. The Wisconsin Science Festival is presented by a growing coalition of the science and arts community from across Wisconsin.

Learn more about science festivals all across the country at

The Wisconsin Science Festival is made possible without taxpayer dollars due to private funding and corporate support.

Home School Legal Defense Association

Southwest Wisconsin Community of Homeschools is now part of HSLDA’s Discount Group Program!  Individual families who belong to our SW Wisconsin Community of Homeschools membership group save $20 on their HSLDA membership fee, paying $100 instead of $120.

What does joining HSLDA do for me?

  • Protects your right to homeschool and defends your family. A lawyer is on call 24/7.
  • Provides fast help by phone or email: Get direct answers to your specific questions about home education. Veteran homeschooling parents are available to answer your questions and help you find resources for teaching your children:
    • Toddlers to Tweens (PreK-8th grade)
    • High school (including preparing for college or career paths)
    • Struggling learners (special needs/gifted and talented)
  • Preserves homeschool freedom for all families by promoting homeschooling nationwide, as well as by working with state homeschooling groups to pass homeschool-friendly legislation and stop unfavorable bills at the state and federal levels.
  • Partners you with the cause: Although homeschooling is recognized in every state, HSLDA receives phone calls each day from families whose right to homeschool is being challenged or discriminated against by school officials, social workers, employers, colleges, armed services recruitment officers, and government bureaucrats. The customizable nature of homeschooling defies the educational elite’s ideal of mandatory, uniform indoctrination—making parental choice in education a target for elimination. By joining HSLDA, you are supporting families who are fighting for their right to homeschool today and standing together to preserve homeschooling freedom for tomorrow.

SW Wisconsin Community of Homeschools recommends that homeschooling families join HSLDA.

Even if you never experience legal trouble yourself, your HSLDA membership will help enable other homeschooling families to get the legal help they need and will help defend our right to homeschool here in southwest Wisconsin.

Membership in HSLDA also gives you personal access to the legal staff; HSLDA’s experienced high school, struggling learners, and early years consultants; selling privileges at the HSLDA Curriculum Market; and discounts through HSLDA’s PerX program. (For more information about HSLDA’s many benefits, see

SW Wisconsin Community of Homeschools members SAVE $20 off the HSLDA membership price when you enter our Discount Group code on the HSLDA membership form!

Building a Community of Homeschools

Southwest Wisconsin Community of Homeschools
egional Membership Group

We’re building a community to help and support home education in southwest Wisconsin! Membership is open now in the Southwest Wisconsin Community of Homeschools regional group. The group is open to any home educating family in the general area of southwest Wisconsin whose children are-will be-have been learning at home through any method of homeschooling.

Here’s what you get as a member:

  • Email notifications and reminders
  • Forums (searchable and archived)
  • Registration sign ups
  • Printable Membership Cards
  • Classified ads
  • Calendar listings
  • Shareable links and resources
  • Discount on WPA Membership
  • Discount on HSLDA Membership

Our membership year runs from October through October. Membership fee is $8.50 per family. You may join at any time, however the fee is not prorated and late charges may apply.

Are you part of a local homeschool support group?
The SW Wisc Community can
include local support groups within our regional network membership. Your local group maintains its own identity and image, and controls its own forums and event sign ups. Imagine how this could streamline your field trips and coop classes! Plus each individual can access the complete membership site.

Let’s find answers, help each other and build friendships.

The more of us banded together can make an impact for all of us.

Southwest Wisconsin Community of Homeschools


Programming and Robotics Classes in Janesville

Engineering, Programming and Robotics in Madison and Southern Wisconsin for Elementary and Middle School Students

STEM For Kids provides a fun learning environment for program participants.
Brain research shows that fun is an important ingredient for learning and memory. LEARN MORE

WHY homeschoolers love STEM for Kids 

Multi-age programs
Innovative curricula
Real-world based problem solving
Leadership opportunities
Open ended possibilities
Flexible delivery
4 C’s Focus:  collaboration,
creativity, communication, critical thinking
Intrinsically motivating – low stress- high challenge
Relevant topics
Activity based
Happy- relaxed environment
Celebrate all successes big and small;
learn from all mistakes, big and small
Learning to learn, not test
It is FUN!


Janesville Offerings

Computer Programming for Kids ages 7-11
Wednesday: 10:30– 12:00
Oct. 26– Dec 14, 2016

Robotics for Kids ages 7-11
Fridays: 10:30-12:00
Oct 28– Dec 16, 2016

NO Classes Thanksgiving Week

Orchard View Alliance Church
2707 Bond Place, Janesville, WI

COST: ONLY $12/Week with Discount Code

Use Code HOMESCHOOL to save 20%

See attachment for more information about STEM for Kids!

Request programming here📆

I would be happy to meet with the group any time to better explain STEM for Kids and answer questions.  Just give me a call at your convenience and we can schedule a time.  If interested, I could bring a class out to whatever location is most convenient for the members of your group.
Take Care, Donna

Donna Curtis, M.Ed
Owner and Instructor
Stem for Kids: Wisconsin-Madison

Wisconsin Parents Association

We’re building a community to help and support home education in southwest Wisconsin! Through October 15th, 2016 membership is open in SW Wisconsin Community of Homeschools for all families that are/were/will be educating their children at home (virtual or traditional). The more of us that join together makes an important statement for all of us!

Southwest Wisconsin Community of Homeschools recommends that Wisconsin homeschool families join and support Wisconsin Parents Association (WPA).

Bundle your SW Wisconsin Homeschool Community membership with WPA – both groups benefit and you’ll save money!

  • WPA is the only organization that exists to serve all homeschoolers in Wisconsin.
  • WPA’s primary mission in Wisconsin is legislative watch and advocacy.  Influencing our legislature is more effective with a large membership.
  • WPA is a grassroots organization that has been providing accurate information about Wisconsin’s homeschool statutes since 1984.
  • WPA is available to help individual homeschool families when issues arise.

Wisconsin Parents Association is a state-wide, inclusive, grassroots organization dedicated to protecting the right of homeschooling families to provide an education to their children according to their own principles and beliefs.

WPA provides accurate, up-to-date information about Wisconsin homeschooling laws and actively monitors state and national legislation regarding homeschooling, allowing you to advocate for yourself.

Wisconsin Parents Association watches legislation so you can spend your time homeschooling.

Join SW Wisconsin Community of Homeschools and WPA at the same time – both groups benefit and you’ll save money through the discount bundle program. Email us for details!

WPA has put their new web site online! You’ll find the you need more easily. Take a look and see what you think!

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Every Kid in a Park

Hey fourth graders!
See America’s natural wonders
and historic sites for free. All year!

From the forests in Alaska to the marine sanctuaries in the Florida Keys. There is so much to see and do.

Every Kid in a Park is a nation-wide endeavor to provide free access to any fourth grader to more than 2000 federal land and water sites.

There are 7 federal agencies involved: Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, Forest Service, National Park Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.Every Kid In A Park Logo

That means there are more than 2000 federal land and water sites to be visited!

Better still, your fourth grader can take his or her siblings and up to three adults when visiting these great places.

Some states, like Wyoming, New York and Indiana, also honor the pass. Check your state parks to see if they are participating.

In Wisconsin, 2 park trails and areas are accessible with a Every Kid in a Park pass. These trails are the North Country National Scenic Trail and the Ice Age National Scenic Trail.

State Parks in Wisconsin

National Parks in Wisconsin

Go to after Sept. 1st, 2016. There are instructions for the fourth grader (must be in in fourth grade or age equivalent during school year 2016-2017) to follow steps to download and print-out their own pass. Passes are good through August 31st, 2017.

There also is a link for educators — teachers and youth group leaders — to download for their group in preparation for a field trip.

Why fourth graders? Because research shows that kids ages nine to 11 are beginning to learn about the world around them. They’re open to new ideas, and they are likely to connect to nature and our history. The pass will be for fourth graders every year. Over time, every new fourth grader can get a free pass to explore our country.

Your child can take you amazing places! With the pass, fourth graders can bring family and friends on adventures free for a full year.

Let the year of fun and learning begin!

PARTICIPATING AGENCIES: These agencies support Every Kid in a Park. Learn more about their conservation work and find activities by visiting their websites.

The National Park Service turns 100 in 2016.
Happy Birthday, National Park Service!

As a proud partner of the National Park Service Centennial, Humana is encouraging Americans to get out and enjoy nature this summer. Take a 360° tour of Joshua Tree National Park as part of the “Bring the Parks to You” program.

Learn more at

Gloria Homeschool Choir 2016 Auditions and Concert Schedule


The Gloria Home-School Choir is an organization of home-schooled singers ranging in age from 12 years and up. Their purpose is to glorify God through skillful and artistic music presentations while teaching students the art of proper singing and musicianship. The director is Dennis Baldridge; accompanist, Jane Baldridge.

Learn more about the Gloria Choir.

Gloria Choir is now accepting new applications for the 2016 Christmas concert season!

Invite your friends to audition for the choir! Share this post!

Below you will find a link to the application, a tentative schedule with potential dates to save for the rehearsals and performances.

The typical age is 12 and up, but younger students with exceptional music abilities will be considered on a case by case basis.

It is expected that choir members will be able to sing on pitch.

Dues will be the same for 2016 ($15/student, $40 maximum per family).

What to expect at your audition:

  1. Sing the melody of a well-known hymn (your choice) with piano accompaniment.
  2. You will be asked to vocalize on “la” from low to high to verify your singing range.
  3. You will be asked to sing back several short melodic phrases to test your vocal matching and tonal memory.

(Yes, you may practice before you come!)

Tentative Choir Schedule:

Rehearsals – Thursday evenings, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm, starting October 13th through Dec. 8th


December 9, 2016 Friday Gloria Choir Concert Location TBA 7 pm & 9:00 am ? (WRCO)

December 10, 2016 Saturday Gloria Choir Concert Location TBA 6:30 pm

December 13, 2016 Friday Gloria Choir Concert Location TBA 7 pm

December 15, 2016 Friday Gloria Choir Concert Location TBA 6 pm

Please let Dennis and Jane Baldridge know by September 8th, 2016 if you are planning to participate.

Applications are available at this link:

All potential new members will be contacted to schedule their audition before rehearsals begin so mail/e-mail your application soon.

Dennis and Jane Baldridge

Invite your friends to audition for the Gloria Choir – Share this post!

Driftless United Athletics Soccer Opportunities – Viroqua

Join Driftless United Athletics for the following soccer opportunities in Viroqua!


Click the image for the link to DUA’s summer soccer page!


Hosted by Driftless United Athletics
5, 2016
am to noon for ages 13-18
Polo and Ebbetts Baseball Fields
Ben Lawton Dr.
and Johnson St., Viroqua

TetraBrazil Soccer Camps offer American players the opportunity to experience first-hand the kind of soccer training that has made Brazil the most successful soccer nation in the world. The TetraBrazil Soccer Academy will teach your child more than just techniques and tactics. Each member of the TetraBrazil coaching staff will bring an authentic taste of the flair, passion, and creativity of Brazilian soccer to our camps. Typical sessions include: Brazilian Warm Ups, Fast Footwork, Individual Skills, Combination Plays, Brazilian Moves, 1 v 1 Attacking, Speed Training, Crossing & Shooting.
Or, print a registration form here:


(also led by TetraBrazil Coaches, along with local coaches!)
12, 2016
9:00 to 11:00 am, ages 5-9
9:00 to 12:00 noon, ages 10-13
8:00 to 9:00 a
m, additional optional skills intensive for ages 10-13
Registration Form


*NEW in Fall 2016–U8 Teams for ages 6-7
U8 to U14 (ages 6-13) Registration Forms

High School Registration Forms ***Register by August 1st to SAVE $15.

Contact DUA’s new administrator, Sofya Hundt, at

See you on the field!

Driftless United Athletics