Book Sales, Fairs, and Conferences – This Week!

All of these have free admission and are open to the public. We have more information listed on our Book Sales, Fairs, and Conferences page.

Hillsboro Area Homeschoolers First

Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Open to the public
Hills Manor – Community Room (next to Dollar General)
in Hillsboro

Home Educators Cooperative is hosting the
Annual Homeschool Book Fair and Used Curriculum Sale

Friday, May 8th, 2015
pm – 8 pm
The G.Y.M. (next to Cornerstone Academy, S3655 Duncan Lane, Viroqua WI 54665)
just off Highway 14 & County Road Y, between Westby and Viroqua

Discounted seller registration ends March 23rd.
Please email to request selling space.

Chippewa Valley Annual Book Sale & Kid’s Craft Sale
Sponsored by HomeStars (Homeschool Ministry of Bethesda Lutheran Church)

Sat., March 28th
9 am to noon
Bethesda Lutheran Church, 123 W Hamilton Ave., Eau Claire, WI 54701

Spring Book Sale
Sponsored by Friends of Bekkum Library

Sat., March 28
9 am to 1 pm
Bekkum Memorial Library, 206 North Main Street, Westby, WI 54667 (in the Westby Community Room downstairs)

Teen Car Control Clinic in La Crosse

Gundersen Teen Car Control Clinic

If you were driving your vehicle and suddenly lost control, would you know what to do?

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for United States teenagers, accounting for more than one in three deaths. Young people are at a greater risk for traffic accidents due to one major reason—lack of experience. While teenagers represent only 5% of the total licensed population, they account for over 12% of motor vehicle crashes.

Gundersen’s Division of Trauma is committed to keeping teens safe by offering a Teen Car Control Clinic. This free program teaches teen drivers vehicle control techniques in a controlled environment. Considering 67% of teenage motor vehicle crashes in the Gundersen service area are due to loss of control, the clinic provides young drivers a chance to hone their skills and prepare themselves for dangerous situations that may arise on the road. The clinic will not only teach the fundamentals of vehicle control during the classroom session, but it will also offer invaluable behind-the-wheel exercises with one-on-one instruction.

During the in-car portion of the clinic, instructors will familiarize students with proper braking concepts, vehicle weight transfer and cornering, and unexpected lane changes. The session is designed to heighten students’ awareness and responsiveness to real-world situations and boost confidence in their own skills.

Registration for the spring session of the teen car control clinic is now open.
The dates are Saturday April 25 or Sunday April 26 from 7:45-4:30 each day.
You only attend one day. This course is offered in the spring and the fall and has been attended by many homeschooled teens in the area.

“This was so amazing. My son learned so much last fall and greatly improved his driving skills. I can’t recommend this more highly.”

The class fills up quickly!  Pre-registration is required by April 17th for this session.  See details below to register.

Saturday, April 25 or Sunday, April 26, 2015
7:45 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Gundersen La Crosse Campus, south parking lot.
Breakfast and lunch will be provided.

The clinic teaches fundamentals of vehicle control during classroom sessions and behind the wheel exercises. Teens will leave with an increased sense of confidence in their ability to handle their vehicle as well as increased awareness of hazards on the road. A parent/guardian must attend the course with the licensed teen (16-19 years of age).

You must use your own vehicle for the driving portion of the course.

This is a free clinic but a $50 deposit is required at registration which will be refunded in full after completion of the program. To register, go to Information about payment options can be found on the web-site.

Pre-registration is required by April 17th for the April 2015 session.

The fall dates for 2015 are October 17 and 18 and will be in Winona at the Technical College.

For more information about this program call (608) 775-2011.


This event is not sponsored or endorsed by the School District.

You must use your own vehicle for the driving portion of the course. It is recommended to use the vehicle the teen typically drives. Course requirements include:

  • Teen must be between the ages 16-19 years old
  • Participants are required to have a valid driver’s license to participate (no permit drivers)
  • A parent or guardian must attend the course with the teen
  • Car must be in good mechanical condition and safe in the opinion of the instructor. All cars will need to pass a brief safety inspection. No visible leaks of any kind.
  • The car must be legally registered, licensed and insured to participant or their parent/legal guardian.
  • No race cars or special-use vehicles. The use of Nitrous Oxide will not be allowed.
  • Tires must have visible tread.
  • The car and trunk must be cleaned of all loose items.
  • The battery and spare tire must be secure.
  • Have plenty of gas in the car for the day’s event.

Dress comfortably and according to the weather. Closed toed shoes are required. Much of the course is outdoors.

Register for a Teen Car Control Clinic
Saturday, April 25 | REGISTER
Sunday, April 26 | REGISTER

Contact Brenda Miller
(608) 775-3054

Teen Car Control Clinic Flier
Add your name to the waiting list
Inquire about future Teen Car Control Clinic courses

Clinics are typically held in the spring and fall.
Contact (608) 775-3054 for more information.

Logo Contest Announced

7 Rivers Recycling Logo Contest

High School students from the 7 Rivers Region are invited to create a logo for
7 Rivers Recycling, LLC and potentially receive an award and/or recognition.

Entrants must read the entirety of the contest rules before submitting a logo.

7rivers logo contest rules

Deadline for entries is Earth Day – April 22, 2015

7 Rivers Recycling (7RR) is a local recycler focusing on less traditional materials such as old mattresses, computers, light bulbs and more.


We are looking for a digital image logo that is a simple, creative and memorable. The logo must not infringe on protected trademarks or protected artistic license. The logo must be substantially created by an individual high school student of the 7 Rivers Region.

7rivers logo contest area


One logo each will be selected for 1st Place, 2nd Place, and 3rd Place by a panel of judges. Also, 7 Honorable Mention logos will be selection by a panel of judges. The aforementioned 10 logos, with the names of associated Entrants, will be recognized on the websites of 7RR, Hilltopper Refuse & Recycling and D&M Recycling. Regardless of the judges’ selection, 7RR may adopt any submitted logo as its business logo. In the event 7RR does adopt a logo from this Contest, there will be an additional award for that logo. In the event one or more logos are determined to be too similar to readily distinguish one from another, then the logo(s) submitted later will be removed from consideration.

7rivers logo contest rules pg2


Logos must be submitted using jpeg, pdf, eps, png, tiff, or ai file types.  No more than two logos may be submitted by a student.  More than two submittals by a student may cause all of that student’s submittals to be rejected.

​​​​​​​​​​The following required information must be submitted with the logo:

~ Entrant’s name
~ If under 18, name and contact information of parent(s)/guardian(s), including phone number and  email. If over 18, Entrant’s contact information, including phone number and email.
~ Entrant’s High School Name and physical address.
~ Name & contact information of a teacher in Entrant’s high school who we may contact.
Logo and above required information must be sent to with “Logo Contest” in the subject line of the email.

Contest is open to all public, private, and home school high school students in the following Wisconsin counties:La Crosse, Juneau, Vernon, Buffalo, Monroe, Trempealeau,  Jackson — except those students who have an immediate family member who is an employee of Hilltopper Refuse & Recycling Service Inc. or D&M Recycling LLC

Read over the rules and get creative!

An American poster from World War II (Wikimedia)

Schoolhouse Teachers

Point, Click, Teach!

Schoolhouse Teachers
the curriculum site of
The Old Schoolhouse Magazine
has a NEW look, NEW layout, NEW classes and a Mad March Markdown Special!

Try it for $1 for the first 30 days.

Membership auto-renews every 30 days at $5.95/month.

No coupon required.


ST-Main-1000x400 FINAL



Young Authors Festival


For Who? Any students K-8 in the general Greater La Crosse and surrounding area who love reading and writing and a parent
When? Saturday, April 25, 2015
Where? University of Wisconsin, La Crosse – Cartwright Center
Cost? $10 per student with one parent free
Additional parent pays $10

The annual Young Authors Festival, formerly Young Authors’ Conference, co-sponsored by the Midwest Wisconsin Reading Council, Wisconsin State Reading Association, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, and Viterbo University, draws about 350 elementary and middle school-age students from throughout the Coulee Region. Last year this was the first time the event was open to homeschoolers.

stick dog covers
Tom Watson, creator of the “Stick Dog” series will be the featured author for the 2015 event. 

The Young Authors Festival is an opportunity for students to share their writing. Any piece of writing is welcome! If your student doesn’t have writing to share, there’s writing workshop he/she can attend.

Parents can either join their children in the sharing session or writing workshop – or attend a session for parents on nurturing young readers and writers.

Imagine a giant room filled with inspiring writers — What an encouragement for your young writer to know that there are others like them!

Registration deadline is March 25th, 2015.

Below is the flyer and registration sheet.
Authors Festival 2015 & registration

Schedule: 8:00-8:30 Registration
8:30-8:45 Welcoming session in Valhalla
8:45-9:30 Sharing Session/Writing Workshop/Parent Session
9:30-10:00 Snack
10:00-11:00 Tom Watson!
11:15-? Closing remarks, Evaluations, Autographing by Author

Authors Festival April 2015

Authors Festival April 2015 Registration

The Authors Festival is brought to you by
Midwest Wisconsin Reading Council, Wisconsin State Reading Association
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, and Viterbo University

Click below to register online. 

Teen Video Challenge

Teen Video Challenge Promotes Library Summer Reading Program

unmaskTeens across the country are invited to create a 30 to 90 second video with their unique interpretation of the 2015 teen slogan Unmask in combination with reading and libraries. The idea is to involve teens in summer reading, before and during the summer months, by being part of the process. This is an opportunity for teens to showcase their creativity and have their ideas heard before a national audience. 


Any teen, aged 13 -18, can enter the “2015 Teen Video Challenge” in the state where they reside. Videos can be created individually or as a team.

The deadline for submissions is Monday, March 23rd, 2015

Don’t know where to start?

Check with your local library for more details. Literally.

Librarians can be a source of great inspiration! If you’re near Westby, the Bekkum Memorial Library has software and equipment to help. Come and see Jess to find out more.

Here’s a one page document with suggested links that may help: Wisconsin_TVC_Resources_2015

Curious about what other teens might make?

Watch last year’s winning entry, a moody, Hunger Games‑esque offering from teens at the Hedberg Public Library in Janesville.


Or take a look at the winning submission from the L. E. Phillips Memorial Library in Eau Claire.

All submissions must be received by Monday, March 23, 2015.

Wisconsin Teen Video Challenge Entry Form


Creative Communities Art Canvas Project

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than [one] seeks.”
Canvases are still available for your artistic interpretation…

La Crosse Compassion Project

The Creative Communities Art Canvas Project is an art project involving 350 artists of all ages and talents from area communities.

Participants receive a 6-inch-by-6-inch art canvas to artistically interpret the following nature quote.

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than [one] seeks.”

John Muir

Canvases have been distributed to area schools.
The general public can be picked up canvases at the following locations:

Kickapoo Valley Reserve Visitor Center
Cashton Memorial Library
Gays Mills Public Library
Hillsboro Public Library
La Farge Lawton Memorial Library
Norwalk Public Library
Ontario Public Library
Readstown Public Library
Soldiers Grove Pubic Library
Viola Public Library
Viroqua Chamber Main Street
Westby Bekkum Memorial Library
Wilton Public Library

Canvases must be registered online and returned to the Kickapoo Valley Reserve (KVR) Visitor Center by March 3rd. The canvases will be exhibited at the KVR Visitor Center March 7-28.

The grand opening be will in conjunction with the Creative Communities Art Demo & Sale at the KVR Visitor Center on Saturday, March 7th from 10 am – 4 pm.

The canvas exhibit is a fundraiser for the KVR Education & Events Program. The canvases will ultimately be sold through an online silent auction, which has nice searchable and zoom features. Artists have first right to purchase their canvas for a fee of $10.00 or can allow their canvas to be auctioned with all proceeds going to the KVR Education & Events Program.

Horizontal Line

Creative Communities Art Event
Saturday, March 7th

10:00 am – 4:00 pm

The public is invited to attend a day of viewing and discussing art with a wide range of talented area artists. Ask questions, see work in progress and purchase a gift of artwork for a friend or something special and unique for yourself. The following artists will be in attendance. More artists will be added to the list.

Buzz Balzer, Cashton – Oil Paint
Christine Bengston, De Soto – Mosaics

Gary Bengtson, De Soto – Stained Glass
Daniel Gilbertson, Viroqua – Leather Work
Hans Gill, Seneca – Metal Sculpture
Jack Hill, La Farge – Photography
Barbara Kettner, Viola – Watercolor Paint
Daryl Skrupky, Viroqua – Colored Pencil
Jennifer Terpstra
, La Crosse – Watercolor Paint

Image from Prairie Glass Studio, All Rights Reserved

Image from Daniel Gilbertson – Leatherwork, All Rights Reserved







Jennifer Terpstra, All Rights Reserved


Image from Barbara Kettner Watercolor Art, All Rights Reserved

Image from Jack Hill Photography and Design, All Rights Reserved


UPDATED 3/6/15 – A note from Sadie Urban at the Kickapoo Valley Reserve:

The exhibit is set-up and looks amazing!
The canvases will be exhibited at the KVR Reserve Visitor Center March 7-28, 2015.
The canvases will ultimately be sold through an online silent auction, which has nice searchable and zoom features.
Artists have first right to purchase their canvas for a fee of $10.00 or can allow their canvas to be auctioned with all proceeds going to the KVR Education & Events Program.
Purchased canvases can be picked-up at the KVR Visitor Center after March 28th. Canvases that are not purchased can also be picked-up at the KVR Visitor Center after March 28th.
Thanks again for participating and for producing some amazing art!

Graceful Envelope Contest

There’s No Place Like Home

More than just a dwelling place, home is something special and personal. What means “home” to you?  The smell of your favorite meal being prepared… the laughter of children playing outside… the way your mom decorated the house for the holidays… The Graceful Envelope Contest is your chance to convey that feeling artistically by addressing an envelope to illustrate what home means to you. GracefulEnv-title Educators and Art enthusiasts:
Washington (DC) Calligraphers Guild and the National Association of Letter Carriers, hold the annual Graceful Envelope Contest, open to all ages, with three separate categories for children.

There is no entry fee.
Entries will be accepted in the following categories: Adult, Grades 9-12, Grades 5-8, Grades 1-4.
Entries must be postmarked no later than Monday, March 30, 2015, and addressed artistically by hand to:
The Graceful Envelope 100 Indiana Ave. NW Washington, DC 20001
See for complete rules.
This year’s theme: There’s No Place Like Home

GracefulEnvelope 2011 winning envelope by Julie Gray

Graceful Envelope 2011 winning envelope by Julie Gray

This year’s challenge is to create an envelope to illustrate what HOME means to you and address it artistically. Deadline is March 30. There is no entry fee. You can view winning student envelopes from past contests. Now in its 21st year, the Graceful Envelope Contest expanded in 2005 to include student entries — at the same time that countless school systems were dropping art from the curriculum. Many elementary schools have also discontinued teaching cursive. And, in this era of electronic mail and text messages, rare is the young person who knows how to address an envelope. Perhaps art educators can use the contest to introduce students to addressing an envelope and considering suggested themes in different, creative ways. Lorraine Swerdloff Contest Coordinator for the Washington Calligraphers Guild


The Graceful Envelope Contest – click the image to enlarge it.

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

 “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.

or Awesome?

In this online class, Frazier O’Leary, a former Northern Virginia High School teacher, computer consultant, and homeschooling 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?)

Students will learn:

  • Basic HTML Tags
  • Understanding of fundamentals of Web Design and Internet Pages

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

The class will go live on Monday, March 2nd, 2015.

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.


Here’s the link for more information or to pre-register.

Not Ready For This Class? Want Info about Future Classes?

(Click Here)

(This article originally posted in August. 2014.)

Homeschool Teen Dances Scheduled for Gays Mills

More of those fabulous dances that have been happening in Gays Mills have been scheduled for the coming months!

dancer1 dancer2Here’s the general rundown of the anticipated dates and themes — the rules (dress and conduct) are shown below as well. The schedule shown here is subject to change if need be.

We’ll try to keep you updated, but your best bet is to check with Melanie (the best teen dance organizer in the area) if you have any questions about the dances.

-Formal dress will be required for this dance. Couples are allowed.

*** Important Notice about sending in your prepaid ticket –> Notice about prepaid tickets for Spring Sing & Dance March 2015
-Semi-formal attire is encouraged for this karaoke / dance event.

MAY 23RD “Rock Around the Clock” – 50’S DANCE
-The last 50’s dance was such a hit that we’ve decided to have another. Attire from the 50’s era is encouraged.

-Sing and dance the night away while dressed as your favorite Disney character. A prize will be awarded for the best costume.

OCTOBER 17TH “Down on the Farm” HOEDOWN
-Everybody loves the western theme, so we’re doing it again. Come dressed in your best cowboy/cowgirl attire.

-Come dressed in your best to this formal ball.

General for all the scheduled dances:
Ages 13-20
6 pm to 10 pm.
In the Main St. Community Building
Gays Mills, WI
$5 pre-pay or $8 at the door

General Rules of Conduct and Dress Code:
Appropriate and modest dress is expected of all who attend.
Couples are allowed, but must refrain from any intimate behavior.
Kissing & embracing one another is prohibited.

LADIES… dresses are to be no higher than knee-length. Strapless dresses will require a shrug or shawl. Spaghetti straps will be acceptable. No cleavage is to be exposed.

GENTLEMEN… Jeans and street clothes are discouraged. A suit and tie is not required, but a nice button shirt and dress pants are expected.

Respectable behavior and language is required by all who attend.

Failure to comply to the above rules will be dealt with accordingly.

Parents, please be sure that your teens understand and follow these requirements so as to avoid any embarrassment in the event that they should have to be removed from the dance.

Please email any questions or concerns to iopener -at-wildblue -dot- net.