Online Animation and Drawing Classes Taught by a Homeschool Dad

animation class
Chad Stewart, former Disney animator and homeschool Dad is offering online animation and drawing classes.

Chad has been a professional animator for the past 26 years, working in the traditional hand-drawn style to animate Tarzan, The Emperor’s New Groove and Fantasia 2000, and animating on the computer for Polar Express, Open Season and Surf’s Up.

Now he teaches students online, offering a 12 week online animation course for 11-18 year olds and an online drawing class for multiple ages.

Sessions start in the Spring, Summer, and Fall with each session running 12 weeks.

Weekly classes are one hour long and the cost is $300 for the full 12 weeks.

Each class meets live for one hour a week in an Adobe Connect virtual classroom where the students interact directly with the teacher. For each assignment there is a You Tube video to walk you through the drawing process. Homework can range from 2-6 hours depending on the complexity of your animation projects. Students get a custom critique on projects with technical pointers and encouragement.

Through the 4 levels in the course, your student will learn the 12 principals of animation, dive into physical locomotion and acting, learn storyboarding and make a movie!

The next session starts January 25, 2016.

Enrollment is limited to 20 students per class, so they tend to fill up very quickly, but you can hold your child’s spot with a non-refundable $50 registration fee.

No special software is needed for the weekly classes.

Students will need an animation program for assignments in The Animation Course.  Students can use one of the suggested software programs (2 are free and the other is a professional level program which you can buy at a  50% discount) or another one.

No software is needed for the assignments with the Drawing Course.

Animation LEVEL 1 Covers:

  • The Principles of Animation
  • Traditional Hand Drawn Animation
  • Computer Generated Animation
  • Joint Critiques of Student Work
  • Animation History
  • “How did they do that?” – Explanation of Visual Effects

Drawing LEVEL 1 Covers:

  • Perspective & How to “See”
  • Texture & Line and Shape
  • Design
  • Light, Shadow & Silhouette
  • introduction to “Creating a Character”
  • and much more


Chad animation class small logoand Kayla Stewart

Tri-State Homeschool Drama Troupe Presents ‘Seussical Jr.’

Tri-State Homeschool Drama Troupe
Presents ‘Seussical Jr.’

TriState Suessical Nov2015

Jacob Tuecke (from left), Clarissa Sexton and Bevan Meissner will perform in the Tri-State Homeschool Drama Troupe’s production of “Seussical Jr.” Photo Credit: Nicki Kohl, Telegraph Herald Media, Dubuque IA.

November 5,6,7 at 7pm and November 7 at 2 pm

Platteville Municipal Auditorium
75 N. Bonson St.

Imagine the magical world of Dr. Seuss…

Seussical is fantastical, magical, musical extravaganzical,  bringing to life all of our favorite Dr. Seuss characters, including Horton the Elephant, The Cat in the Hat, Gertrude McFuzz, lazy Mayzie, and more colorful characters that will transport you from the Jungle of Nool to the Circus McGurkus to the invisible world of the Whos.

You’ve met them, I’m sure, in a story or two.
Remember the time Horton heard a Who?

Or how about this? Have you heard this one?
There’s a Cat at the door, and he says we’ll have fun.

Well, you’ll just have to come and see for yourself as your favorite Dr. Seuss characters come alive, when 61 homeschool students from 4th to 12th grade present “Seussical Jr.”

“A lot of good tricks. I will show them to you.” ~  The Cat in the Hat

The timeless, movingeve_re_acr_ame_photo, and irrepressible rhymes of Dr. Seuss have  helped teach young readers the values of kindness, fairness, and perseverance.

Watch the show as the homeschool student performers let loose with some of your favorite Seuss stories like “Horton Hears a Who” and “Horton Hatches an Egg.”

“Seussical Jr.” engages anyone who loves Dr. Seuss and is fun for the whole family!

Purchase tickets at Driftless Market, 95 W. Main St., Platteville; or at the door before each performance. Or reserve them in advance by emailing!
General admission: $5 for students, $10 for adults.

The Dubuque Telegraph Herald has a cute video clip from a rehearsal of the show.

To get you in the mood, go ahead and check out the resources, games, and more at

“If you never did you should. These things are fun, and fun is good.” ~ One Fish, Two Fish

The Tri-State Homeschool Drama Troupe is a group of students who are homeschooled in Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois. The troupe is open to all children.

Seussical Jr. is presented through special arrangement with Musical Theatre International

Kohl Scholarship for Homeschooled High School Seniors

Kohl Scholarship – Wisconsin Homeschoolers

The Herb Kohl Educational Foundation provides graduating high school seniors with scholarships each year through the Kohl Excellence Scholarship Program. The Foundation awards $3,000 Excellence Scholarships to 100 Wisconsin high school graduates annually.
Since 1990, the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation Excellence Scholarship Program has awarded $2,800,000 to 2,600 students.

The 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.

In 2015, one of the homeschooled student winners was from the Southwest Wisconsin area.

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.

Homeschooled Wisconsin students receive a proportionate number of the total scholarships awarded each year. Wisconsin Parents Association (WPA) has been designated by the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation to coordinate and administer applications for two Kohl Excellence Scholarships of $3,000 each for homeschoolers.

A WPA selection committee will review the applications and submit finalists to the Foundation, just as Wisconsin’s 12 CESAs will submit finalists from public schools and the Wisconsin Council of Religious and Independent Schools (WCRIS) will submit finalists from private schools that are not homeschools. Winners will be chosen by a state selection committee from CESAs, WCRIS, the Wisconsin Newspaper Association, the Kohl Educational Foundation, and statewide education-related associations.

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. It requires several short essays, one 300-500 word essay, three letters of recommendation, and a high school transcript. The application must be typed. Completed applications must be mailed by November 25, 2015.

Selection of homeschool finalists will be made by a committee named by the WPA Board of Directors. On or before December 21, 2015, WPA will advance the finalists to the state level. The state selection committee will convene on February 2-3, 2016 to score applications. Recipients will be notified of their selection in early March, 2016. The state selection committee will consist of representatives of the cooperative educational service agencies, Wisconsin Council of Religious and Independent Schools, Wisconsin Newspaper Association Foundation, Herb Kohl Educational Foundation, education-related associations, and the community. Kohl Scholarship rules, application form, selection criteria, etc. are all determined by the Kohl Foundation.

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

Please tell other homeschoolers about this opportunity. It is not necessary to be a WPA member to apply for the scholarships.

600 Years Ago: The Battle of Agincourt

The date was October 25th in 1415. The place was a field outside a small village in Picardy, France.

In August 1415, King Henry V claimed the throne of France and landed an army in Normandy. Two months later, outside the small village of Agincourt in Picardy, he was preparing for certain defeat. On 25 October his exhausted, starving and ailing troops faced a far larger French army, whose soldiers were fresh for combat and determined to destory their opponents. But what was to take place in the following 24 hours, it seemed only the miraculous intervention of God could explain.  “24 Hours at Agincourt” by Michael Jones

This month marks the 600th anniversary of the pivotal battle in the Hundred Years War when King Henry V and the English army whipped the French thereby changing the course of English history.

“The English army had walked 200 miles and was totally exhausted. Henry’s thousand knights had virtually no food left; his 5,000 archers were living off foraged berries. They were two days from Calais, but a French army of (a best-guessed) 25,000 men had camped ahead of them on the road. That night, Henry confessed his sins and heard Mass. The next morning — October 25, 1415 — he and his men lined up for battle a thousand yards in front of the French.”
Read more.

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers

For many of us, we can credit (or blame) Shakespeare’s History of Henry V (1598) for our knowledge of this historical battle.

“Henry was not only marching to one of the most important battles in European history, he was marching toward one of the defining moments in the English language: the Battle of Agincourt, and the Band of Brothers speech.”

Inspired Commemorative for #Agincourt600

First City Shakespeare worked with U.S. veterans to record Shakespeare’s famous “band of brothers” speech for the 600th anniversary of the battle of Agincourt. Some of the vets have acting experience, some do not. The backdrops are military and historic sites in Pensacola, Florida.

It’s humbling to hear retired and active military folk speak the lines beside the chosen location shots. Give it a look. You can watch it here.

Battle of Agincourt Remembered

More to the story than Shakespeare?

Shakespeare wrote his play almost 200 years after the real events. So, although the historical significance and character of King Henry are part of Shakespeare’s dramatization some of the facts are a bit inaccurate.

The good news is that regardless of your love (or hate) of Shakespeare, there’s much that has been unearthed in the 600 years since the famous battle.

*Agincourt* – pronounced “ADGE in court” (English) or “azh een CORE”

Image of the battle of Agincourt is taken from Wikipedia and is in the Public Domain

The Battle of Agincourt is one of the most famous battles in history and one of the most important English victories.

With much ado on the 600th anniversary you may use all sorts of free resources available on the Agincourt 600 website to learn more about the historical context,  medieval army strategies and weaponry, background on the Crown Jewels and the crystal scepter, geography, battle re-enactments, facts – and secrets!

The Battle of Agincourt still captures the imagination today, but why are stories still told about Agincourt? And do these stories represent what really happened on the battlefield?

Agincourt 1415

Starting Oct. 19th, 2015, you can learn more about the Battle of Agincourt, exploring its history and legacy, with this free online course.  The two week course will be led by the foremost academic expert on the battle, Professor Anne Curry.  The course will coincide with the anniversary of the battle and will feature contributions from a range of experts on Agincourt.

The course content is aimed at both early undergraduate-level students and those with an interest in the Battle of Agincourt, medieval history in general, and medieval guns and other weaponry. It does not require any previous knowledge of the subject and is offered at your own pace.

Course Highlights


    We asked some researchers into the battle why found Agincourt interesting. This video shows some of their answers. How would you answer the question?


    Original muster rolls & indentures are primary sources of information about past events. Watch Professor Anne Curry talk about how historians use them


    In this article, researcher Dan Spencer describes the types of people who comprised a medieval army.

    To culminate the 600 anniversary festivities…

    On the weekend of October 25th, 2015 if you happen to actually be in England, you are in for a special series of events to commemorate the 600th anniversary of this battle.

    The rest of us will await media coverage. (sigh)

“We Band of Brothers” by Josh Gelernter, National Review, October 17, 2015
History of Henry V (1598)
The long road to Agincourt

The Battle of Agincourt: A Vivid History
AGINCOURT 1415 University of Southampton
Agincourt 600
600th Anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt Conference Recordings

100+ of The World’s Great Novels as Radio Programs

Since 2005, Learn Out Loud has curated an online catalog of over 40,000 of the best audio books, podcasts, free downloads, and videos you can learn from.

Learn Out Loud’s popular Free Audio & Video Directory section features over 5,000 audio books, courses, lectures, interviews, speeches, and more to choose that will help you turn your  time spent commuting, exercising, doing chores, etc. into ‘learning time’.

Three times a week, they send an email to subscribers offering a free audio or video learning title that has been added to the site.  Learn Out Loud’s “Free Resource of the Day Email” is a great way to discover new audio & video educational content.

The World’s Great Novels

by NBC University Theatre 

Today, Learn Out Loud is featuring “The World’s Great Novels” radio series put on by The NBC University of the Air in 1940s.

These dramatized radio novels generally ran an hour long and serve as great introductions to these works of literature.

Everything from Voltaire’s Candide to George Orwell’s 1984 with a full cast along with a narrator…

For you to download – for free!

The books can be streamed on audio from or downloaded as a whole or individually. To download the individual episodes on click “SHOW ALL” under “DOWNLOAD OPTIONS” and you’ll be able to select the MP3s of the titles you want to download.

Please note, that although these are billed as classic literature, it is always recommended that parents preview all selections for appropriateness.

Here are some of the works featured along with their running times:

A Farewell To Arms – 59:28
Candide – 29:45
Peter Ibbertson – 29:46
The Purloined Letter – 29:44
Lord Jim – 59:29
They Stooped to Folly – 59:29
Of Human Bondage – 59:29
A Passage to India – 59:28
Three Soldiers – 59:29
After Many a Summer Dies the Swan – 59:32
Alice in Wonderland – 59:29
The Grapes of Wrath – 59:32
Tom Jones – 59:30
Pride and Prejudice – 59:30
Tales of Edgar Allen Poe – 59:32
The Pickwick Papers – 59:32
Jane Eyre – 59:29
Moby Dick – 59:29
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – 49:59
The Red Badge of Courage – 59:29
The Ides of March – 59:32
Point of No Return – 59:29
The Crusaders – 59:29
1984 – 55:02
For Whom the Bells Toll – 59:32
Point of No Return – 59:29
Great Expectations – 59:32
After Many a Summer Dies the Swan – 54:58
The Doctor in Spite of Himself – 59:32
Hedda Gabler – 59:31
Lost Horizon – 59:30
Don Quixote – 59:29
Northanger Abby – 29:46

Introduce yourself to one of these great books today!

The World’s Great Novels


Back to School: 8 Things to Change the Way We Look at School

Good Morning Boys and Girls.

Did you bring your No. 2 pencil?

As we hstop stealing dreams what is school for  seth godinead back to school, here’s a little video to start the conversation and look at what school is for.

In less than 17 minutes, Seth Godin gives you a brief history of the institution of education in America, and then suggests 8 things that can change how we look at school.

This won’t be on the test.

It’s more important than that.

Because if we don’t get excited about what school is for, we could lose our future and our kids.

“Learning is not done to you, it is something you choose to do.”
Seth Godin, Stop Stealing Dreams

Since Seth Godin first published Stop Stealing Dreams to the web, it’s been shared millions of times.

If you are passionate about learning, forward the video and the manifesto (screen edition) to every parent and teacher you know. (Here’s a printable edition if you want to print it out and hand copies out).

“We need students who can learn how to learn, who can discover how to push themselves and are generous enough and honest enough to engage with the outside world to make those dreams happen.” ― Seth Godin, Stop Stealing Dreams

SWisC Not Back to SchoolAs an aside (this is a homeschool blog after all), home education is a rising trend: According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the population grew by 61.8% from 2003 to 2012.

It doesn’t matter if you’re one of the 2.2. million kids homeschooled across the country, or however else you are learning, quit holding back and go build something interesting!

Gloria Homeschool Choir seeking new members

Gloria Home-School Choir
2015 Christmas Concert Season
The Gloria Home School Choir is an organization of home-schooled singers ranging in age from 12 years and up.  (Home school graduates are welcome and appreciated!) Our purpose is to glorify God through skillful and artistic music presentations while teaching our students the art of proper singing and musicianship.  The director is Dennis Baldridge; accompanist, Jane Baldridge.
Our repertoire consists of a variety of classical, sacred, patriotic and folk songs, and spirituals, performed with piano accompaniment in a manner that reflects the order, design and glory of our Creator.  Performance opportunities include a variety of venues such as retirement homes, community events, and on local radio stations.
The rehearsal and performance schedules are still being confirmed, but here is the initial plan.
Rehearsals —
Thursday Evenings except where noted!
6:30 – 8:30 in Hillsboro, WI
September 17, 24
October 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
November 5, 12, 19
December 3, 10
Concerts: (*tentative dates)
December 04, 2015 9am WRCO morning show with Ron Fruit
December 11, 2015 7pm Faith Independence Baptist Church, Ontario, WI
December 12, 2015 7pm First Baptist Church, Richland Center, WI*
December 15, 2015 3pm, VA Hospital, Tomah, WI*
December 15, 2015 7pm, United Methodist church, Tomah, WI*
December 17, 2015 6:30 pm, Hillsboro Library
We are now accepting applications for our 2015-2016 concert season. To express your interest, or for more information, you may e-mail or call Dennis or Jane at or 608-489-3999
*                    *                    *                    *                    *                    *

August 2015 Letter from Dennis and Jane Baldridge

August 14, 2015

Dear Gloria Choir members and parents,

It’s still summer, but we are beginning to plan our 2015 Christmas Concert Season. Please take a moment to look at the dates at the end of this letter for rehearsal and performance dates. Attendance ateveryrehearsal is important and expected unless you are ill or extenuating circumstances exist. Please consider your commitment to the choir and let us know as soon as possible if you are planning to participateagain this fall. We need to know in advance if we will have enough students on each part, and how much music to order.

We are now accepting new applications for the 2015-2016 Gloria Choir. Feel free to forward this letter to friends who may be interested in joining. The applications are available here. New students will need to do an audition, which as you know can be more fun than scary. :)

One new and exciting addition to our choir rehearsals this fall is instruction in music reading. Beginning September 17, 2015, the first two rehearsals will be devoted exclusively to this training. The lessons will include rhythm training in the Kodaly method, note reading, and musical terms. We will begin regular choralrehearsals October 1, while the continuing reading lessons for a few weeks. Parents wishing to learn along with the students are encouraged to join the choir for this portion of the rehearsals. This music reading instruction is required for all members. Students who already read music well may “test out” of the first two sessions by taking a written exam. They will be provided with a hand-out outlining the basics of the Kodaly method to review at home so they will be able to participate in rhythm drills when the regular rehearsals begin. We hope this addition to our choir program will help all choir members to learn the music more efficiently, and provided them with a life-long skill.

We are looking forward to a wonderful Christmas concert Season.

Dennis & Jane Baldridge

Gloria Homeschool Choir

Free Outdoor Art Event: Plein-Air & Mosaic Making at Wegner Grotto

A day of fun through art making.

Art Outdoors at the Wegner Grotto County Park, Sat., August 22nd 2015

Plein_air_flyerThis event includes exploring one of Wisconsin’s fascinating art environments, the Wegner Grotto, and creating art in the out-doors.

Wegner Grotto County Park is located on Hwy 71, ¼ mile west of Hwy 27, Cataract (9 miles north of Sparta)

Bring yourself lots of water and some snacks as the Grotto is a bit removed from town. Looks like wonderful fun!

Two art activities will be available to visitors: outdoor painting and mosaic making.

Visitors can learn to paint in the Plein-Air style on a postcard-size canvas.

All skill and age levels are encouraged to make-and-take home their own painting or mosaic. This event will take place rain or shine, so come prepared.

Plein-Air” means “painting in the open air,” which in this case means painting pictures of the sculptures you see at the Wegner Grotto park. Visitors may also choose to make mosaics using materials similar to those used to create the Wegner Grotto sculptures.

Cash prizes will be awarded for all age levels and abilities creating Plein-Air paintings, from young children through professional adult artists. All art supplies will be provided but supplies will be limited. Judging for the Plein Air painting event will take place from 4:00-5:00 pm. For beginners, there will be instruction on Plein Air painting and mosaic creation throughout the day.

For more information:

Contact Monroe County Local History Museum and Research Room. Jarrod Roll, (608) 269-8680 or


Viterbo University Arts for Young America Series – Reservations for Homeschoolers

aya_school_series_bannerThe 2015-2016 performance schedule for Viterbo University’s Ronald McDonald Arts for Young America School Series has been published and we are ready to place an order.

We are fortunate to have this relationship with The Viterbo Fine Arts Center in La Crosse to see these high-quality performances.

This is a great season of plays.  Take a look!

2015-2016 Performances

To learn more about our performances, click on the age levels below.

All Ages

La Crosse Dance Centre presents The Nutcracker

Peking Acrobats®

Lower Elementary

Junie B.’s Essential Guide to School

The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales

Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny

Skippyjon Jones Snow What

The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Eric Carle Tales

Are You My Mother?

Upper Elementary and Middle School

Crow and Weasel

Walk On: The Story of Rosa Parks

My Heart in a Suitcase


Homeschoolers are invited to attend professional productions at a group rate for as little as $5 a ticket. Please note that some plays are $6.

In the past, homeschool families have purchased more than 700 tickets as a group.

To ensure good seats, a tentative order was placed at the beginning of May.  The more homeschoolers grouped under this order, the easier it is for Viterbo staff and ushers.  If your group has ordered a smaller number of tickets on your own in the past, please consider purchasing through this group for best seats and best prices.

PLEASE pass this information to other families that would enjoy the shows.

Please contact Jenny Fisher about your reservation questions!


** The date of The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales has been changed to Wednesday, January 27th.  Performance times remain the same.
Crow and Weasel will be performed at the Weber Center for the Performing Arts.
** The 9:30 am performance of The Peking Acrobats® is full. There are seats in the 12:30 pm performance.

Parking Information, Theatre Etiquette, and Study Guides


Email by Monday, September 14th to place your order.

All orders must be submitted by email.  Each family should submit its own order.

In your email, please include the following:

Your name
Your phone number
The title, time preference, and # of tickets you would like for each performance

Please contact Jenny Fisher about your reservation questions!


All payment is due in full from each family on Monday, September 14th. All checks will be held until September 14th.


Orders are filled by the date your email is received in the inbox.

The earlier you submit your order, the more likely you are to receive seats for the performances you desire.

You get to pick and choose your shows, show times, and number of tickets.

The deadline to order tickets with the initial group is September 14th.

You can almost always purchase additional tickets up to the day before a show, but might not be seated with the group or receive the discounted rate.

All tickets cost the same regardless of the age of the attendee.

Everyone needs a ticket, even babies.

You don’t need to specify the number of kids/adults, just the total number coming from your group.

Families who do not order and submit payment by September 14th to Jenny Fisher and still wish to attend a performance(s) may still place an order with Jenny.

Seats ordered after the deadline aren’t guaranteed to be with the rest of the group, and the discounted price does not apply unless your order is for ten or more tickets per performance.

All sales are final.

No refunds will be issued.

Please contact Jenny Fisher about your reservation questions at


Please arrive approximately 20 minutes before the performance time to allow for parking and use of the bathroom.

Homeschool families must find street parking, as Viterbo lots require permits. (Please see attached map).

The bus lane is only for schools who arrive in buses.

No unattended children are allowed in the lobby area or the theatre before, during, and after a show.

Upon arrival, enter the Fine Arts Center through the west lobby doors near the bus lane. Please check in at the table in the main lobby—if no one is at the table, wait until someone arrives to check you in and escort you to your seats.

Use of cell phones for talking, texting, or photo or video recording is not permitted during a performance.

We are unable to guarantee seating next to another desired group due to limited seating and the size of each group.

If a baby or young child is disruptive, we ask that a parent/guardian remove the child from the theatre until he/she has calmed down.

If you arrive with a stroller or car seat, you will be able to keep these just outside the theatre doors as fire codes state they cannot be placed on the floor in the seating rows.

If you have questions about the above policies, please contact:
Beth Franklin, Arts Education Coordinator Viterbo Fine Arts Center  |  608-796-3735

Please contact Jenny Fisher about your reservation questions!

Doors Open Milwaukee Project, Sept. 19 & 20, 2015

This is an incredible opportunity for a fascinating historical and architectural tour of buildings in Milwaukee.

It’s a really long list so take a look and plan your itinerary.You really need to go to the site to see all the options, but here’s a brief introduction.

DOORS OPEN MILWAUKEE is Historic Milwaukee’s most ambitious project. As a nonprofit organization, Historic Milwaukee, Inc. has been dedicated to increasing awareness of and commitment to Milwaukee’s history, architecture, and the preservation of our built environment through education and advocacy since 1974.


The fifth annual DOORS OPEN MILWAUKEE event will open the doors to over 150 wonderful buildings free-of-charge to the public. These buildings hold hidden treasures and special stories – from churches to office buildings, theaters to work sites, museums to hotels, clubs to universities; all sites of historic, architectural, cultural, or commercial interest.


The event has two major components: 1) design your own itinerary to visit over 150 buildings that will open their doors (often with guided tours, no tickets necessary); 2) join one or more in-depth tours that are ticketed.

Over 150 Buildings
In-Depth Tours
Public Tours

Make your own itinerary. Start when and where you like. No tickets necessary. Visits to any of the buildings and sites below are free of charge. Free guided tours are often available. Many buildings…