Category Archives: Freebie

The Hour of Code™

Try an Hour of Code™ with Khan Academy

In a galaxy far, far away, programming droids is something everyone can do…

“The ‘Hour of Code™’ is a nationwide initiative by Computer Science Education Week[] and[] to introduce millions of students to one hour of computer science and computer programming.”

The Hour of Code is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries. Anyone, anywhere can organize an Hour of Code event. One-hour tutorials are available in over 45 languages. No experience needed. Ages 4 to 104.

Are you ready to master the digital domain?

Learn about algorithms, how to make an app, or how the internet works with The Hour of Code

Computer programming can be learned early on and is considered by many as fundamental as reading and writing.

Teaching kids to code opens up logic and reasoning, and can give them the experience of creating fun and helpful applications.

“Your child doesn’t have to be computer science engineer. Maybe they want to do something else. But in our world today this is going to be basis for everything we do.”  ~ Math & Science Teacher


Try a one-hour tutorial designed for all ages in over 45 languages. Join millions of students and teachers in over 180 countries starting with an Hour of Code. Over 200 tutorials and lesson plans. Try this year’s new tutorials!

Khan Academy has 3 areas of tutorials for the Hour of Code.

Khan Academy offers several tutorials for the Hour of Code for your child (and you!) that don’t require any coding experience:

  • Drawing with code: Learn to program using JavaScript, one of the world’s most popular programming languages (ages 8+).
  • Creating webpages: Learn to make your own webpages using the basics of HTML and CSS (ages 10+).
  • Creating SQL databases: Learn the fundamentals of databases using SQL to create data tables and query the data (ages 12+).


Algorithms? Loops? Conditionals?

Think computer programming is too hard?

Giving commands to a computer, which is what programming is all about, is just like giving commands to a dog. CodeHS lets you learn how to code with Karel the Dog — a fun, accessible, and visual introduction to text-based programming that teaches fundamental concepts like commands and functions to absolute beginners.

Codecademy is an interactive, student-guided introduction to the basics of CS through JavaScript that’s used by tens of millions of students around the world. We’ve prepared a no-hassle Hour of Code experience with accompanying quizzes, slides, and a completed project for students at the end.

Code Combat lets you defeat ogres to learn Python or JavaScript in Code Combat, an epic programming game!

There’s a whole lot more listed at Computer Science Education Week

Want to keep learning? Go beyond an hour

No device or internet? Try ‘unplugged’ computer science

Thinkersmith has lessons that use paper and pen, decks of cards, and simple materials to teach children the connection between symbols and actions, as well as the invaluable skill of debugging.

Got PCs with slow (or non-existent) internet access? Download the Blockly tutorials that were the precursor of the tutorials – a single 3MB ZIP file can be loaded onto any computer or used off a memory stick

Kodable designed the fuzzFamily Frenzy to use plain paper as an introduction to programming logic for kids 5 and up.

Project Guts has this “unplugged” activity that helps students learn how modeling and simulation works by having a group of students play different versions of the Rock / Paper / Scissors game, and see the results as different modeling experiments.

So, there you have it.

Now get out there and code!

The ‘Hour of Code’ is a nationwide initiative by Computer Science Education Week to introduce millions of students to one hour of computer science and computer programming.



Chemistry Magic Show – Free Online Teleclass


Ooze, bubble, fizz:
The Chemistry Magic Show!


I just wanted to let you know that Aurora of SuperCharged Science is teaching a FREE online teleclass on Weds., May 14th at 2 pm CST.
It’s called the Chemistry Magic Show, and she’ll teach you the science behind the experiments as you

learn how to coagulate slime, crystallize candy, and shake up confections in your own chemistry magic show!

The class is totally free! Go ahead and sign up for it.

{Free, Online} Moms Conference – Starts Mon., Apr. 7th

The Moms Conference – Free & Online all this week…

Here’s a Freebie Alert for all you moms out there!

The Mom Conference is happening online – all week long – and right now, you can register for free.

The conference is happening from April 7th through the 14th and features 30+ Amazing Speakers – on all different topics related to being a mom!

For Moms by Moms
Laugh, Learn, Be Inspired, & Share…

Join us for The Mom Conference
Created By Moms For Moms

Each day of the conference, a new set of 4 presentation videos will be made available on The Mom Conference site for a FREE 24-hour viewing/listening period.

Are you coming?

Register here.

Art Freebie: First Art for Toddlers and Twos

First Art – Art Exploration for Toddlers and Twos

by MaryAnn F. Kohl
with Renee Ramsey & Dana Bowman

I saw this post from the author on an art education board and thought I’d share it with you:

If anyone wants to take advantage of this, chapter six of my book, First Art for Toddlers and Twos, is available in a free download.  It’s the chapter that gives directions for adults to make cool stuff for
kids to use for art, like a pizza box easel and a ziplock art baggie book to save art.  Great ideas and fun for the kids.
This is from a book I wrote and the publisher is sharing a chapter.
MaryAnn F. Kohl

Try this activity from First Art: Bubble Wrap Print
Bubble wrap is fun to explore!
*BONUS GIVEAWAY: Chapter Six Download


The book is available from Bright Ring Publishing

Go here to get the free download of Chapter 6.

Freebie for Friday – Music Curriculum

Free Family Music Curriculum

You’ll never get a better deal than FREE! For the next three days only, download Marcia Washburn’s music appreciation course for free.  A $29.99 value.

Don’t know Beethoven from Brahms? Can’t read music? No problem! Beethoven Who from Marcia Washburn shows you how to unlock the mysteries of musical notation with your whole family. Enjoy hands-on activities with your children as you explore songs together and grow comfortable using the vocabulary of music. Discover classical, traditional, folk, patriotic, and sacred music, and tie in this curriculum with other subjects and interests. Beethoven Who will guide you and your family into the wonders of music reading, music listening, and music making!

Who is it for?

  • People who don’t read music (or who need a refresher)
  • People who don’t know much about classical music (or who need a refresher)
  • Private music instructors who want to supplement their students’ lessons
  • Homeschoolers who are looking for a quality, inexpensive music appreciation course
  • Anyone who enjoys music and wants to expand their understanding

What is included?

Beethoven Who Musical Curriculum includes:

  • The Elements of Music
  • Classical Music Your Child Will Love-teaching tips and links for listening
  • Activities to teach pitch, rhythm, form, dynamics, temp, and musical terms, etc.
  • Heritage Music Every Child Should Know-folk, patriotic, sacred & more
  • Making Music Together
  • Sharing Music with Others
  • Hundreds of external and internal links
  • Glossary of Musical Terms
  • Five appendices
  • Complete Index
  • 332 pages

Why buy?

  • It’s 100% FREE to download!
  • Most parents want their children to be exposed to great music. But even those who read music often don’t know where to start.
  • A visit to the classical music section of a store or website is daunting and expensive. Parents wonder, “Which music will my children like? What if I buy something and we hate it?”
  • Field-tested to ensure that even musically illiterate adults can confidently use it with their children

How does the deal work?

This deal is available only through clicking on the Educents link above.

Marcia Washburn holds a master’s in music education and has enjoyed connecting people of all ages with music for many years. She and her husband homeschooled their five sons for nineteen years. She writes and speaks on parenting, home education, and music topics. to view her resources or find her on Facebook at

Kids Bowl Free Summer Bowling Program Starting Soon….

kids bowl free all summer long
The Kids Bowl Free Summer Bowling Program is available in our community and we thought that your family might enjoy this great deal.  Each child (up through 16 years old) receives 2 FREE Games of Bowling Every Day All Summer and last summer nearly 2,000,000 kids enjoyed this great program.

Here’s How You Can Register Your Children/Family

1.    Go to
2.    Click on the State and then select the bowling center that you’d like to participate at.
3.    Register your children to receive Free Bowling all summer long
4.    Sign up the adults and/or older children for the optional Family Pass which allows up to 4 adult family members including parents, grandparents, older siblings or an adult babysitter to join in the bowling fun.

Southwest Wisconsin Homeschools

PS…Forward this on to friends and/or family members that may be interested in participating in this FUN Family Deal!

FREE Online class: Rocketry and Spaceflight

Aurora Lipper of Supercharged Science has a free online class that’s perfect for homeschoolers on Wednesday, May 8th at noon (Pacific Time).

Blast yourself skyward with this hands-on class which will investigate the world of rocketry.

Aurora says, “If your kids are interested in science (or you wish they were) but science isn’t your forte or you often don’t have time to teach it, then this class is definitely for you and your children.” She’s teaching it LIVE and it’s on one of her favorite topics:

Rocketry and Spaceflight!

If you want to register now, go here to reserve a spot (it’s free). In case you don’t know, Aurora Lipper is a homeschool mom and actually a real rocket scientist.  She used to work for NASA, experimented with supersonic and hypersonic flight and did PhD work at Stanford University on jet propulsion engines. You are invited on an adventure where your kids will learn about rocket engines, fin design, and how to make their own working rockets.  During the class, you’ll even get to build and launch a simple rocket (don’t worry, it’s completely safe for all ages).

You can register for this FREE class here.

P.S. She’s going to give away hundreds of dollars of free science kits to people who join in on this class, plus EVERYONE who participates will get a special free bonus.

Register here to save a spot

PLUS: In case you haven’t heard, Supercharged Science has donated the following PRIZES that will be given away at the Home Educators Book Fair in Viroqua this Friday, May 10th.

1 set of the “Ultimate Science Curriculum” on DVD-ROM in Astronomy, Magnetism, and Electricity. These are comprehensive teacher-student worksheets with videos of over 150 science experiments. (Retail: $197)

20 “Ultimate Science Activity Series” DVD which has a guidebook and videos of Aurora’s favorite science experiments. (Retail: $7)

Cooking Up American History Freebie

Educents is offering a free eBook version of Cooking Up Some American History Cookbook.  This cookbook has 50 recipes geared for Pre K through 6th grade and is valued at $14.95.

You’ll have to sign up with Educents first (which is free) and get your voucher from them. You then get a link to download the free eBook.  The offer expires May 6th, so act fast!

Description from the site:

Taste your way through history! The “Cooking up Some American History” Cookbook by Sunflower Education is a unique learning tool that includes 50 authentic, easy-to-make recipes from all periods of American history. Want to know what George Washington’s favorite breakfast was? Or what wealthy Spanish colonists ate for a treat? The answers and actual recipes are right here!”



Home Educators Cooperative Book Fair May 10th in Viroqua

The Home Educators Cooperative Annual Book Fair has become the largest homeschool book sale in the La Crosse, Monroe, Vernon, Richland,
and Crawford Counties area.

SW Wisconsin Homeschoolers come from miles around to the Book Fair looking for educational resources (classes, camps, coursework, supplies, books, curriculum, etc.) and family oriented group opportunities
(outdoor activities, sports, music, theater, arts, etc.)

2013 Book Fair

The Book Fair is organized and coordinated every year
by homeschool moms, solely for the benefit of other homeschoolers.

The area’s largest homeschool book sale continues to grow.

Starting in Sparta several years ago and moving to Westby last year, locating the 2013 Book Fair to a larger venue in Viroqua, we’ve added mini-seminars and demonstrations.

Allowing families the opportunity to sell their own homeschool resources, and providing homeschool parents and others the chance to see and look through materials – and ask questions, increases knowledge and awareness
— and strengthens the viability of Homeschooling.

You can be part of a growing homeschool community by being part of the 2013 Home Educators Cooperative Book Fair


Vendor Space Registrations will be closed after April 20th.

2013 Home Educators Cooperative
Book  Fair
Friday, May 10th      4 – 8 pm

Viroqua Church of Christ
825 Nelson Parkway (behind the Vernon County Fairgrounds)
Viroqua WI 54665

 Open To The Public

Free Admission

Prizes  (lots of them just for attending)

Demonstrations & Information

2 Mini Sessions:
“To Tablet Or Not To Tablet” ~ BlueZonePC  

“Your Library Or Mine” ~ Winding Rivers Library System

More than 35 Individual Sellers /Vendors featuring
Educational Resources
Games, Toys, Puzzles
Used & New Books
Homeschool Curriculum
Teacher Materials

Questions/Info: onlyhim @ gmail . com

(Please Note: No Child Care Will Be Available.)

Visit the website:

{Newsletter} SW Wisc Homeschools March 22, 2013

Southwest Wisconsin Homeschool Community Communiqué

March 22, 2013

1.  Homeschool Family Camps
2.  Booksales & Conferences
3.  Deals and Freebies
4.  Classes, Field Trips, Groups, Clubs
5.  Music, Faith, and Community – WCNP FM 89.5

Happy First Days of Spring!  There’s still a good cover of white stuff on the ground where I sit, so it’s hard to tell – and it’s cold and feels nothing like spring yet.  At least the sun is shining beautifully into my window, which always makes me happy.  (You, too?) 

Maple syrupping (is that a word?) is happening and farmers are working in their greenhouses.  Word is out that some Homeschoolers may even be “plotting” together on the community garden in Westby

March in Wisconsin is known to be a fickle month.  We can have weather that’s meant for sledding and cross-country skiing or bike riding and canoeing.  Remember last year ‘s record 82 degrees in mid-March?   Some say that’s climate manipulation. Maybe it’s God’s way of telling us that He is not “mother nature.”  

Change in the weather is as constant as just about everything else.  So, let’s stay in touch – check the Calendar Page, facebook, Pinterest (!) .  Stuff has been getting posted in various places.  While my plan is to have this out bi-monthly, sometimes life happens instead.   You can always give me a little push by providing publishable information and content.   Go ahead and give me a holler.  Until next time, Cat

1. Homeschool Family Camps – 2 choices!

Homeschool Family Camp, Wyalusing State Park,  April 29th – May 1st

Campfires – potluck dinners – make new friends – hiking – talent show – volleyball – informal sharing and support for moms and dads – educational programs – ball games – crafts.  This event is open to all homeschoolers willing to travel to the location!

If you’ve been tempted to give Home School Family Camp a try this year now’s the time to make the commitment.  Cost is $12 per person for the 2-night stay.  Payment due upon reservation.  Space is limited. (Max occupancy 108.)  Email for more info.

Here is what others have had to say…

  • Family camp is a great time to bond with other families!
  • I have to say it was one of the highlights of my year!  Maegen – Platteville
  • My kids really enjoyed the “sleepover”, playing games, scavenger hunts and of course “Talent Night”!
  • It was a joy to watch our stage shy daughter get up and try out her guitar skills during the talent show, and to see our kids totally at ease with a variety of age groups. Theresa – Brodhead

homeschool family camp living waters westby
Homeschool Family Camp, Living Waters Bible Camp, April 29th – May 3rd

Parent Sessions, Group activities, Horseback riding, Creation training, Thematic programs, Creation museum, Climbing tower, Zip line, Hiking, Team building, Nature center, Family games, and Crafts.

Take this week to step out of the busy world and refocus on God’s purpose for you and your family. By exploring God’s Word and God’s Creation we will discover how God has called each of us to be His “Mighty Servants.”

Rates include meals, lodging for 4 Nights and program activities. Part-time options and large family (4 or more children ) discounts available.  If possible, please register online. Brochure.

2.  Booksales & Conferences

Are you in need of new curriculum for next year?

March, April, and May is prime time to get yourself to a convention, conference, or book fair.  We’ve got them all listed here and will be adding updates as more info becomes available.

Homeschool used book sales are a GREAT way to pick up inexpensive curricula and expand your library of educational materials.

Homeschool conventions can help you solve particular challenges, research curriculum, network with other Homeschoolers, soak up knowledge from workshops , listen to speakers, and recharge yourself.  Before you go, make a list of your top priority sessions and vendors, so you don’t miss them while you try to compact everything offered into your time.

Check out the full listing of  Book Fairs and Conferences.

Don’t have the time or funds to travel to a conference?  Healthy Life Summit is a free virtual online conference happening March 24-30, 2013.  Sign Up here.

The Healthy Life Summit features 35 presenters, including: Joel Salatin, Sally Fallon Morell, author of Nourishing Traditions, Sarah Pope (The Healthy Home Economist), Heather Dessinger (Mommypotamus), Jenny McGruther (Nourished Kitchen), Birke Baehr (14-year-old Future Organic Farmer), Robyn O’Brien (The Unhealthy Truth and founder of, Dr. Kaayla Daniel (The Whole Soy Story), Jeffrey Smith (Seeds of Deception), and many more!  * Each day’s presentations will only be streaming for 24 hours.

3. Deals and Freebies

4.  Classes, Field Trips, Groups, Clubs

*Please make contact with each as listed for more information.   In the interest of privacy, some contact information is not published in the newsletter. “Email for more info” means that your request will be forwarded to the person or group.  

  • Homeschool Family Gym Sessions have been scheduled at The G.Y.M. in Viroqua through the end of April. Contact.
  • Homeschool Parent Meeting on Monday, March 25th in Westby.  The topic will be “Spirit-filled Home Schooling,” what it is and isn’t.  All home educating parents are welcome.  Light refreshments will be provided.  Email for more info.  Annual Vernon County Homeschool Showcase (Show ‘N Tell/Talent Show) will be Sat., April 13th in Viroqua.
  • Minutes in Motion – Team Driftless Homeschool
    It’s said that if you make exercise and activity part of your day, just 30 minutes is all you need to do something good for yourself.  Minutes in Motion is a six-week physical activity challenge that begins Monday, March 25 to encourage you to Improve your health and your attitude by getting 30 minutes of exercise a day.
    It’s pretty simple, just keep track of the minutes of activity and exercise you do for 6 weeks.  There is an activity log that you can use.  Also, there are prize drawings when you register and submit at least 1,260 total minutes.
    Sign-up is online and kids can be included. It’s just name, gender, age range, zip code, and an email contact. The team registration code is: 23281 – search for which should come up on your confirmation when you plug in  DRIFTLESS HOMESCHOOL GROUP as the team on the drop down menu under Employer/Company team.
    Which looks sort of like this: Employer * (Search for Driftless Homeschool Group)
    Let’s keep each other moving!
  • Speech and Debate Presentation Day, March 28th, 9:30 am – 1pm (lunch will be provided) in Hillsboro. Hosted by the Cognito Speech & Debate Club.  You will see: several platform speeches presented by students,  an Apologetics speech activity,  a nearly full length debate, as presented by debate class, on a new and timely debate topic.  RSVP to inform us of your plans to attend.

5.  Music, Faith, and Community – WCNP FM 89.5

Turn your radio on . . .” April 5!  That is the projected date for the commencement of the new local Christian radio station—WCNP  FM 89.5—being founded by one of the Hillsboro Area Homeschoolers, Dennis Baldridge.  WCNP 89.5 is an independent, community-supported, non-commercial, educational radio station serving central and southern Wisconsin. Located in Baraboo, WI, WCNP will broadcast with a transmitter output of 6.5kW serving Baraboo, Madison, Reedsburg, Wisconsin Dells and surrounding vicinities. (Thanks for the tip, Mary Jo!) Find the vision for the station here.  Read about the final preparations for broadcasting here.

You may freely share this newsletter (in part or in entirety), as long as you include this note:
Reprinted from “Southwest Wisconsin Homeschool Community Communiqué.”
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This little communiqué is an attempt to aggregate some things that hopefully are of interest to you, without loading up your inbox.  Newsletters will be archived, so you don’t have to keep track of a bunch of separate emails; and you can use the “search” box to find what you’re looking for.

To be added to an email list for the Communiqué, send an email to

Southwest Wisconsin Homeschool Community Communiqué
March 22, 2013