There’s No Place Like HOME….

I can’t believe the last 2 weeks have flown by so quickly.† Last week was Show Week and it was spectacular.† Yes it was hard work for both of us [I worked back stage 9 of the 10 shows], yes it was crack of dawn early mornings and late nights but we had a blast.

There were 88 kids in this show.† Some of them as young as 3 and they did a wonderful job.† Many of them had never done plays before.† All of our awesome Homeschool friends were in the play which made it more special.

Keilee did a really good job.† This role wasn’t as many lines as Scout, but it was a lot more ‘physical’ acting.† She pulled it off magnificently.† Her makeup took about 1 1/2 hours to apply and was horrible to remove.† There were TEN shows which is more than we have ever done before.

Here is the ‘Getting Into Character’ Shots.


Here are some ‘behind the scenes’ shots.† iPhone and dark.† My favorite is the Wicked Witch and Dorothy ballroom dancing.† FYI, Dorothy is homeschooled too!† We had about 15 homeschoolers in this play!Keilee kept the munchkins occupied playing games like “Keilee Says”. 🙂

Here are a few from the actual show.† I think Esther made most of these.† Between Esther, Heather and I taking pictures I kinda forgot who was whose.† The really good ones are Esther’s and Heather’s.† The blurry ones are mine. 😉

More show…

One of the sweetest things was that all the Poppies that Keilee called up to put Dorothy, Toto and the Lion to sleep just LOVED Keilee.† They hung all over her and made her cards and got their parents to take pictures with her.† They were adorable.

And here are some of her favorite things.† She got flowers from our neighbor ladies, cards from her Poppies, 3 articles in the newspaper!, and she got to keep the banner they used for decoration at the theater.†

Keilee also had a knitting class in between shows.† Now Mom’s are contacting me and want to meet up at Hobby Lobby so Kei can show them what to buy.† Kei was almost as excited about that as the play!


Ok I edited these just for Keilee’s scenes.† She was in one more scene where she called up the Poppies but it was only about a minute.† And for some reason I have the curtain call in both videos.† And I don’t feel like fixing it so there!† Hope you enjoy. 🙂

And these are MY favorite pictures.† All from backstage. :)†

My Little Witch

Unfortunately almost everyone got sick.† The rooms backstage are very small and everyone was coughing and sneezing and running a temperature and there was almost no way that we weren’t going to get sick.† I got sick Friday night.† I woke up during the night with a 100.8 fever and just prayed that I would feel well enough to make it through Saturday.† We had cast call at 10:30 and wouldn’t be finished until at least 9:30 that night.† I had friends that could have taken Keilee but there was NO way I wouldn’t be there.† I hadn’t even seen the show from the audience.†† So I sucked it up and made it through.† I was fine until about 7:30 and then I just felt so bad.† Then Keilee woke up with it Sunday. Kei went to the doctor and she had the flu.† I am sure I had it too but I didn’t go to the doc.† Thankfully we are both feeling better now.

Sick Witch

WHEW!† What a 2 weeks.† First one amazing and fun, second one not so much.

Happily linking up with

Mary at “Collage Friday”

and Susan for “Favorite Resources”

Since Spring is in the air, here is one of our favorite Natures Sites:

Nature Detectives This is our favorite of all time Nature sites.† It is from the United Kingdom and has TONS AND TONS of great ideas, games, worksheets, activities and more.† Also be sure to sign up for their newsletter!

AND GUESS WHERE WE ARE GOING SUNDAY!!????????????† TO SEE WICKED!† How perfect is that?


Homeschooling Rocks!


Wicked Witch of the West: Going so soon? I wouldn’t hear of it. Why my little party’s just beginning.

Wicked Witch of the West: You cursed brat! Look what you’ve done! I’m melting! melting! Oh, what a world! What a world!

We Interrupt This Broadcast….

Missed me?

I have so much to write about.† Oz and Witches and Flying Monkeys, oh My!

Last week was Show Week.† We had to be at the theater at 7:00 AM every morning which is way too early for these homeschooling girls.

This week we both have either the Flu or Strep.† Kei has a doctor’s appointment this afternoon.† She feels so bad my poor baby.† She is tired and coughing and running a fever.

Me too, all of the above.

Color us sick and exhausted.

A picture to whet the appetite.


I have missed everyone.† I can’t wait to catch up.

Now I am going back to bed.

Homeschooling Rocks,


ìI’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.î† ~ Fannie Lou Hamer


Love and Wicked Witches Are In the Air…

‘Learning from a lesson plan’ was pretty sketchy this week but learning was done all the same.† Life is funny like that† doncha’ think?

Yes there was a bit of the ole’ lesson plans.† She did 3 lessons in Teaching Textbooks and worked on a Note Pack from Hands of A Child.† While I always loved the idea of lapbooking, Keilee never loved them.† The Note Packs are perfect for her.† She is working on one about “Owls”.†

She is also reading a biography on John F. Kennedy.† For some reason she has always been fascinated with him and his story.† She also wanted to know more about Marilyn Monroe† because we are watching a new TV show called “Smash” which is about a group of† people who are making a Broadway musical about Marilyn Monroe.† So we talked about her and watched “Some Like It Hot”.†

Valentine’s Day was wonderful.† I made Kei heart shaped French Toast for breakfast.† She had made red velvet cupcakes for her Play friends and a heart shaped cake for the two older ladies next door.† I got her 2 Webkinz, some candy, and bubble gum [see it in her mouth? ::rolls eyes::]† for Valentine’s Day.† She made me the MOST AWESOME GIFT EVER.

We also found this and loved looking at all the “Hearts in Nature”.† These are a few of our favorites but the entire article is here.† Beautiful pictures!† Seriously this link is worth looking at.† We oohee and ahhed all over it.

1.††† Heart-shaped Tupai Island in French Polynesia

2.†††† Heart-shaped tree in a wheat field in the English countryside, UK.

3.†††† The Heart Nebula lies some 7,500 light years away in the constellation Cassiopeia

4.†††† Heart-shaped rock on Palm Beach, Preveli, Rethymno, Crete, Greece.

5.†††† The 130,000 square yard islet of Galesnjak

6.†††† The Heart Reef, in the Great Barrier Reef of the Whitsundays, Australia

Next week is Play Week and it is going wonderfully.† This week Keilee tried on her green makeup and wig for the first time.† The director told her she just couldn’t make her ugly enough for this role. :)†

Keilee getting her Witch Makeup, standing in front of her ‘castle’, getting her Webkinz together for a stop animation and playing our new game, “10 Days In The USA”.† We want to get the Europe version next.† We have played this hours this week.

Here is my favorite resource this week:


My friend Esther sent this link out and we finally got a chance of watching it.† It is EXCELLENT and there are going to be 40 videos; one a week.† It may not be for your younger child.† I would advise watching first.† Only YOU know your child.† Keilee LOVES it and kept wanting to watch more.† She remembered so many things from our History studies. 🙂We discussed so many things after watching this.


My child who never ceases to amaze and delight me.† Some of you know our remarkable story.† I thank God for her every day.

This was her Valentine’s gift to me.† THIS VIDEO BELOW.

She worked on it for a week.† At first she didn’t want me to post it because she said, “I sound horrible singing”.† [And she sings beautifully] She was trying to sing very quietly because I was in the other room.† I told her it was up to her and finally she agreed.† I cried when I watched it and still cry every time.† All of these things in the video she made me; a card, model of Pluto, roses made from pipe cleaners and a bracelet she made;† and gave them to me after I watched.†

NOTE: Kei and I’s ‘saying’ for as long as she could talk has been, “I love you to Pluto and Back”.

PS.† I don’t think she understands that “FINE” isn’t really something you call your Momma. ;)† God love her.

Happily linking up with

Theresa with Thankful Thursdays

Susan with “Favorite Resource This Week

Mary with “Collage Friday

and Kris at “Weekly Wrap-Up

Happy Weekend!

Homeschooling Rocks,


“I Love you to Pluto and Back” ~ Mommy to Keilee and Keilee to Mommy

Dissection, Glasses and Year of the Dragon….

There seems to be such a trend on the blogs I read to explore “Interest Led Learning”.† I am so excited where this has led us.† Thank you to all who inspire me in blogland; Christina, Susan, Jenn, and more.†

1.††††††††††† Keilee at the eye doctor.† She is farsighted and needed glasses only for close up work.† Since she has had them her headaches have completely gone!

2.††††††††††† Kei, Chan and Jake at our Chinese New Year party!† We had such a great time with all the Moms and kids.† Great food and great friends.† Keilee is the “Year of the Dragon” so this is her year!

3.††††††††††† 2 Ingredient Strawberry Fudge.† Kei made this to take to the Chinese New Year party.† Very easy and very yummy!


  • 1 (16 oz) can of strawberry frosting
  • 1 12 oz bag of white chocolate chips

How to Make

  1. Prepare a 9×9 pan by spray lightly with cooking spray.
  2. Over a double boiler, or in the microwave, melt your white chocolate chips.
  3. When chips are melted, remove from heat and stir in your strawberry frosting, evenly.
  4. Spread in your prepared pan and place in fridge to set for 30 minutes.
  5. Cut into squares to serve.


Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

4.††††††††††† This is candy that my brother got when they cleaned out a Fallout Shelter on the Arsenal.† It came in a 55 pound can.† The label said, ìCarbohydrate Supplementî.† It was from 1963!† He looked it up and they said it was fine as long as the can was still whole and sealed.† Which it was. We shared it with our friends at the Chinese New Years Party.† So everyone ate 49 year old candy!

5.††††††††††† Keilee at Wizard of Oz practice.† With the Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion and a Winged Monkey

6.††††††††††† Keilee with her new glasses playing a Critical Thinking game on iPad.

7.††††††††††† Working on a craft in our cleaned up Homeschool Room.† Keilee cleaned off this table and it is now her ëCraft Tableî.

8.††††††††††† At Sci Quest exploring ìLightî

Keilee took 2 Science classes this week at Sci Quest.† Each class was 2 hours long so she got tons of good Science instructions.† Which is great because I am a little lacking in the whole ‘hands on science stuff’.† The first one was on Newton’s Laws.† They talked about the 3 laws and did lots of experiments.

All of these pictures are ones Keilee took during class on her iPhone.† She kept texting me pictures showing what they were doing! 🙂 I trained her well.

Newton's Laws Experiment

The second class was on Arthropods.† It was a dissection class.† Kei has never shown any interest in dissection but decided she would like this one because they dissected a crayfish.† She did not stop talking about it for 24 hours.† She learned so much.† They examined several Arthropods, did worksheets and then dissected a crayfish.† She got her own one to do all by herself.† She loved everything about it but the smell.† Remember that smell? I do!

Grasshopper and Cockroach w/o Wings
Before and After Crayfish

†While Keilee was doing her 4 hours of science I got to sit in the break room and talk to Moms.† That place was full of HS Moms.† You could almost feel the ideas and resources bouncing around!† One of my great friends Stacey and her daughter Makalia [who decided not to take a class this time] brought this game called “10 Days In the USA”† We played it for about an hour and I loved it.† I mean loved it so much I ordered it from Amazon yesterday.

This game is my Resource of the Week.† Another Resource I found this week and LOVED is K12 Open Ed.† There are FREE ebooks for most subjects.

Happily linking up with Mary at “Collage Fridays

and Susan at “Favorite Resources

This has been an amazing week.† Tonight Keilee is going to a spend the night party so I expect to do a lot of reading on the couch with my doggie.† Keilee has made me promise she can Face Time me before she goes to bed.† Isn’t technology wonderful?

Homeschooling ROCKS!


“Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science.” ~Edwin Powell Hubble, The Nature of Science, 1954

“Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.”† ~Wernher Von Braun

February Missing….

I want to live fully. I don’t want to take things for granted. I want to enjoy moments, those amazing little moments, with Keilee. Because really..isn’t that what it is all about?

Today is my Daddy’s birthday. He is in Florida for 2 months, enjoying the weather. I am sitting here on this unseasonably warm February day horribly missing my Mother. Missing her voice, her laugh, her smell, her hugs, her presence. I am in her house, the house she made into a home hoping, praying, that I am doing the same for Keilee.

She has been gone for almost 4 years.

It seems like yesterday…

It seems like forever ago…

Every day I was safe in the knowledge that she loved me. Adored me. Ours was the house where the neighborhood kids hung out.  No one left my Mother’s house without a “Jean Goodie Bag”. †She would take a baggie and fill it with candy and Little Debbies and gum.  Every child that visited us left with a goodie bag grasped tightly in their hand.

Kids would get measured on our laundry room wall.  There are years and years of measurements there….almost 40 years… She measured Keilee up until she was 7, then was unable to do it again. I carefully mark her height and feel such a connection to my Mother. I know she is watching me, smiling that I am carrying on her tradition.  The wall needs painting so badly and I wouldnít paint over it for $20,000.

This is only 1/2 of it. I can’t back up enough in the tiny laundry room to get the entire wall…

Momma’s Wall

She loved me unconditionally.† I never really understood that until I had Keilee.  How many times I would say to her, “Mom I love those earrings, bowl, picture” and she would answer, “It’s yours”. Keilee says to me, “Mom I love those earrings” and I say, “They’re yours” and I smile.

Her joke was to kiss something when I borrowed it.† She was “kissing it goodbye”.  I smile as I type that and my eyes tear up “missing” does it ever really leave us?

She called me every single morning I lived in California to make sure I was up for work. We watched the airplane crash into the 2nd tower together; her in Alabama, me in California.

She would call me every night to tell me “Goodnight my babe”.† After she got Caller ID, she answered the phone when I called †”Hello sweetie”. What I wouldnít give for one more of those calls.

She loved me, drove me crazy at times, taught me to be a better woman, slipped me her credit card to buy clothes, kissed boo boos, sacrificed, loved fiercely, called to tell me it was raining outside, woke me up every morning of my school life whispering, “Good morning sunshine”, cheered my successes, cried with me for my mistakes.† †She was a great Mother.

Picture I Keep by My Computer…

4 years ago this month she began getting really sick.  Did I fight enough for her? Keilee and I spent February through May either at the hospital, rehabilitation, or at her house.  I talked, sang, brushed her hair, brought her favorite things, made her food she loved, kissed her, stroked her face, read to her, laughed with her, talked to doctors, did research, asked a million questions

and she still died….

They never knew exactly what was wrong with her.† They called it “Failure to Thrive”.  I was appalled at that.† No one ever wanted to live like my Mother did.†

I miss you Mother.† Every day.†




I wish Keilee and I could spend one more day, week, month, year, decade with you.

One day we will…


“Your absence has gone through me
Like thread through a needle
Everything I do is stitched with its color.”

~W.S. Merwin, “Separation”

“When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.” ~Kahlil Gibran


The Final Frontier…

We had a week full of Space….and it all happened just by chance.† Don’t you love weeks like that?

We were reading “100 Greatest Science Discoveries” and started following rabbit holes.† We ran across a mention of Voyager and the Golden Record.† I didn’t have a clue what this was so we started reading about it.††

Voyager 1 was launched in 1977, passed the orbit of Pluto in 1990, and left the solar system in November 2004. In about 40,000 years, it and Voyager 2 will each come to within about 1.7 light-years of two separate stars. †40,000 YEARS!!

What is so cool about this is that they both had phonograph records aboard.†† This was a huge project led by Carl Sagan.† They were made for “any intelligent extraterrestrial life or future humans. There are greetings in 55 languages, 116 images, natural sounds and more.† I was blown away by this.† How cool is this?† You have to read more about here.We also watched some YouTube videos about it.† This is my favorite resource of the week. †

The Golden Record has instructions on how to play it written in binary and diagrams.

Golden Record

Then we watched a 6 episode show on Netflix streaming called “When We Left the Earth”. †

On Wednesday night, we heard that they were trying to get a homeschool group together to see Orion which was on a 3 city tour.† Huntsville was one of the stops.†† They were offering a 5 hour class, complete with movies, a discussion with Rex Walheim one of the last astronauts to fly the Space Shuttle, lunch, museum tour and more.† We signed up immediately.†

We had a blast Thursday.† It was one of the best things we have done in a long time.† Our favorite part was the interview with Rex Walheim.† He was awesome and he brought tons of his photos.† They were amazing.

They talked about each of the space programs, what each cost and how that was in today’s money.† They discussed in great detail plans for Orion.

†1.††††††††† The route of Orion

2.††††††††† The PYRAMIDS from space.

3.†††††††††† Keilee asking a question during the question/answer phase.† She wanted to know if he saw The Great Wall of China.† He didn’t because of cloud cover.

4.††††††††† Rex Walheim during a space walk.

5.††††††††† Rex Walheim in the 360∞ view area of space shuttle.

6.†††††††† Their mission was to take a year’s worth of supplies to The Space Station.† Here is the Space Shuttle crew on board with Russian and Japan astronauts!

We did so many cool things!† Here are a few of my favorite shots.† Including one of Keilee at The Wizard of Oz practice.† She is a very convincing Wicked Witch.† Some of the smaller kids are scared of her!!

†1.††††††††† Exploring the Museum

2.††††††††† Riding the Space Shot!

3.††††††††† Keilee and Hope checking out the astronaut suits

4.††††††††† Wall of Fame

5.†††††††† Lunch a la cafeteria style.† Honestly so many of our kids had no clue what to do.† It was too funny.† Keilee was appalled that she was expected to eat off the tray.† She ate probably 2 bites.† She never bought her lunch in K and 1st grade.† I always made it.

6.††††††† The WICKED WITCH

7.††††††† Ringing the bell on the rock wall.

We also got to sign the Orion!†

Keilee and Karen in Space...

†We were tired when we finally made it home but it was so worth it.

Here is a video of Kei and her friends riding the Space Shot.† YES it is sideways.† Please tell me if you know how to ‘straighten’ it!

Keilee wanted me to let† you know that she was NOT screaming like a girl thankyouverymuch!

Just an almost perfect week!† Gotta love when that happens.

Linking up with Susan for “Favorite Resources”

and Mary for “Collage Friday”

Happy weekend,

Homeschooling Rocks!


“Our only chance of long-term survival is not to remain lurking on planet Earth, but to spread out into space.”† ~ Stephen Hawking

“There are a thousand things that can happen when you go light a rocket engine, and only one of them is good.”† ~ Tom Mueller, SpaceX propulsion chief


Drumming to OUR Beat….

The more I read the book “Free Range Learning” and visit unschooling/interest led blogs the more I am drawn to this.† This past week we haven’t had a lot of ‘written down plans’ but we have learned so much.

I downloaded this free book on iBooks “100 Greatest Science Discoveries of All Time”† You can get it as a pdf or in iBooks.† I just randomly read it to Keilee.† It’s awesome.† We always explore in greater detail from the initial article.

Friday Collage via Mary at Homegrown Learners.

is made up of things we learned about instead of pictures of Kei ;)† Well except for the center one which shows HOW she learned all these amazing things.

Kei dictated this to me about each picture. † ††††††

1. † † † † † † Knights:† We read about the Code of Chivalry and watched several movies and documentaries about knights.† “In Search of History: The Knights Templar ” on Netflix instant was good and we also watched “King Arthur”.†

2.†††††††††††† We read about Nicholas Copernicus and how he first showed that the Sun was the center of the universe.† Until then they believed, because of Ptolemy that the Earth was the center.† We talked about this, looked up graphics and drew for an hour.

3.††††††††††† Andreas Vesalius: 1515 AD † He had the first accurate guide to human anatomy.† Before that doctors believed the teachings of Galen from 50 BC.† His published book was used in Human Anatomy for the next 300 years.

4.††††††††† “The Inch High Samuri”† We read this after reading about Samurai’s in SOTW.†

5.††††††††††† Me [Kei] on the iPad.

6.††††††††††† Galen’s drawings of the human body.† We loved learning about how people assumed the human body was for over 2000 years.†

7.†††††††††† “The Dragon Dance”† We have been reading about the Chinese New Year this week.† Lots of video watching from parts of the world.† I [Keilee] is the Year of the Dragon and we researched what each symbol represented and tried to find people we knew were born in that year to see how closely they matched.

8.†††††††††† Archimedes discovering buoyancy.† The King Hieron gave him an order to find out whether a goldsmith had cheated the king.† We loved reading this story about how he discovered buoyancy.† [*Yes he discovered it in the bathtub but I don’t think HE was bathing at the time ;)]

And MORE:†† Keilee wanted to learn about the difference in human and dog bones.† She told me that while the Femur is the longest bone in the human body, the tibia is the longest in a dog’s body.We watched the musical, “Memphis”† and “Les Miserables” which led to discussion about the Paris Uprising.† It was a 25th Anniversary copy of the musical and it was wonderful.† She has been making Stop Animation movies like crazy.† Britney spent the night Wednesday and they made several.† She is making another one as I type.† Plus we had “Wizard of Oz” practice.† We also did 3 lessons in Teaching Textbooks and she read 4 chapters in “Midwife’s Apprentice”.† We do SO much more without television it isn’t funny!

Just to smile and see something breathtaking and beautiful, go here and check out this video….

Favorite Resource of the Week:† via Susan at Learning All The Time

This favorite resource is a GREAT one.† It is free DVD’s and teachers resources for “Teaching Tolerance”.† I found this a few months ago.† I have received all SIX of these and while I haven’t used all of them the ones I did use are awesome.

We watched “Bullied: A Student, a School and a Case That Made History” which led Keilee to do a report on Public Schools and bullying.† She also researched the “No Child Left Behind” bill and wrote about that.† All on her own, I did not ask her to do this.

The Kit entitled “One Survivor Remembers” would go along wonderfully with Theresa’s favorite resource this week; “Number the Stars”.†

Whew…what a week.† Was that a lot of yummy learning or what?† The best part of it is Keilee remembers things better when we ‘discuss’ it as opposed to me or her dry reading it.† This is what learning at home is all about.

Happy Weekend to my friends in blog land,

Homeschooling Rocks!


“Youth is the time to go flashing from one end of the world to the other in both mind and body; to try the manners of different nations; to hear the chimes at midnight; to see sunrise in town and country; to be converted at a revival; to circumnavigate the metaphysics, write halting verses, run a mile to see a fire, and wait all day in the theatre to applaud ‘Hernani’.” -Robert Louis Stevenson



Little Things Mean A Lot…

Thankful ThursdayÖ.

*Early morning conversations in bed discussing the dayís plans…

*Doggy kisses…

*Chocolate cake, made from scratch by Keilee for the neighbor ladies…

*Reading aloudÖthe current book, ìThe Hobbitî…

*My Dutch OvenÖwhy is it I feel such a sense of satisfaction when something is cooking in it….

*Naps on the couch….

*An amazing post that touched my heart….

*H-Mamaís post that introduced us to ìStopAnimationî for the iPad/iPhone, that has led to HOURS and HOURS working on videos the last couple of days.† This is her first effort and she took 519 pictures for a 44 second video… More patience than I my child has… †See if you can see how she spelled out her name 😉

*Laughter, silliness, rainy days, music and dancing….

*Keilee doing ballet with a heavy metal song as inspiration….

*This amazing child who has shown me the world in an entirely new way…..

Linking up with my awesome friend Theresa at Red Oak Lane!

Homeschooling Rocks!


“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.“† ~Oprah Winfrey

iPadÆ ?

I never wanted an iPhone.† I had a perfectly good cell phone.† No bells and whistles but it rang and I could answer it.† I wasnít the kind of cell phone user who had my phone 24/7.† However my boss sent me an iPhone in 2007.† It was cool and everyone ëoohed and ahhedí over it.† I liked itÖbut I wasnít at the ëcanít live without ití phase.

Then I got an iPhone 4 and BOOM!† Everything was different.† I loved it. I used it every day.† I watched Netflix in bed, I read books on it, I googled from all over Alabama.†

When the †iPad came out I thought, ëCool but basically a larger iPhoneí and I knew I could never afford one anyway.† Then I started hearing all these cool things they could do, how helpful they were for homeschooling Mamaís like me!† At the first of December when my boss asked me what I wanted for Christmas I told him there was nothing I really wanted.† [He gives the BEST gifts EVER]† He kept on and on and I finally told him I would like a gift certificate to Apple.† He asked what for and I told him Kei and I would like to save up for an iPad.† Never did I expect him to BUY THE DANG THING FOR US!

Guess what he got us for Christmas?† Not the lowest priced iPad that I would have picked out but a super duper iPad 2 with 3G!!!

The point of this rambling post is to let you know





We use it every day.† EVERY STINKING DAY.† Not for gamesÖalthough there are some great ones out there, but for LEARNING!

I am considering doing an iPad weekly linkup.† There are just so many good apps out there.† Letís start with these.† These are apps we ACTUALLY use.† We have tons of Apps that look good but we havenít actually gotten around to using them.

Without further ado here are some of our favorite apps.† [Keep in mind I have had my iPad less than a month] A lot of these are also available on the iPhone.†


Old favs: Brain Pop, Stack the States, Stack the Countries

This Day in History:† FREE Nuff said…. We check this every day.

Geo Walk HD† $2.99 Around 500 objects with up-to-date descriptions are available for your edutainment. Learn about interesting historical places, great people, unusual animals and plants all around the world.

NYPL Biblion FREE†

ìEnter the World of Tomorrow and experience the 1939ñ40 New York Worldís Fair through the collections of The New York Public Library! Biblion: The Boundless Library is designed to take you ó all but literally ó into the Library’s legendary stacks, opening up hidden parts of the collections and the myriad story lines they hold and preserve. In this free app you will hold documents, images, films, audio, and essays directly from the collections right in your hands.î


STAR WALK $4.99 This is another awesome app.† Well worth the price.† Star Walk enables you to point your iPad at the sky and see what stars, constellations, and satellites you are looking at in real-time.† But it does so much more than that.† Check out this video.†

NASA† FREE†††††††††††††††††††††††††

ìThis is the NASA Visualization Explorer, the coolest way to get stories about advanced space-based research delivered right to your iPad. A direct connection to NASAís extraordinary fleet of research spacecraft, this app presents cutting edge research stories in an engaging and exciting format. See the Earth as youíve never seen it before; travel to places otherwise unavailable to even the most intrepid explorers! Download it now, tap into the power of NASAís cutting-edge research today and check for new stories every week!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

Video Science† FREE

A growing library of over 80 hands-on Science lessons that are great for home and the classroom. These short videos demonstrate inexpensive and easy to recreate experiments that are designed to inspire and excite kids of all ages.

Color Uncovered† FREE

How is Monet like a honeybee? What color is a whisper? Why is it so hard to find your car in a lamp-lit parking lot?
Color Uncovered features a wide spectrum of cool color-related topics to explore. Learn why friends shouldnít let men buy bananas. Try your own color experiments on the iPad using simple items you have at home: a CD case, a drop of water, and a piece of paper. Discover how the iPad and other devices create color. Find out what causes afterimagesóand more


ANYTHING by Khan Academy! FREE


Learn Chess†† FREE

Kunumdrum $.99 There is a lite version to try it out first.†

ìGuide your spark flinging orbs to their colourful goals to unlock stage after stage of brain boggling fun! Make your way through 150 levels of intense strategy using mind warping logic encountering Teleporters, Direction Changers, Blockers, Gates and Switches that alter your path as you try to complete the puzzles in as few moves as possible. And when you’re done there, try out one of the upcoming Map Packs with fresh new mechanics adding to the addictive game play, the possibilities are endless!î

Machinarium†† 4.99 It was a little expensive but it is a beautifully done game.† Tons of critical thinking.


Educreations † FREE Interactive Whiteboard.† Also has a playback feature.† We use this for LOTS of things.† When Kei learns some Latin prefixes or suffixes I make a quick little quiz on this.† She likes doing it better on the whiteboard than a paper.

Colorful Day††† $.99 There is also a FREE version.†† This is just a cute little journal.† You can record about 5 seconds each day.† It has several cool little functions that Kei likes.† Password protected


Google Earth†† FREE Hold the Earth in the palm of your hand.† At Keiís birthday party the girls played with this for over an hour.† They ëwentí EVERYWHERE.

HSW HD††† “How Stuff Works”† FREE† They have Audio and Video podcasts!

ITunesU††† FREE

The iTunes U app gives you access to complete courses from leading universities and other schools ó plus†the worldís largest digital catalog of free education content ó right on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch.†Whether youíre majoring in molecular biology at a university, taking Spanish in high school, or just interested†in European history, you now have a valuable tool to help you learn anytime, anywhere


PuppetPals HD††† FREE but we did unlock the entire package.† $2.99† Kei uses this after a Chapter in SOTW.† She makes a little short play on what she has learned.† It doesnít have all the right characters but she makes do and remembers the material MUCH more than if we just read it and do questions.

ìSimply pick out your actors and backdrops, drag them on to the stage, and tap record. Your movements and audio will be recorded in real time for playback later.
This app is as fun as your own creativity. Act out a story of Pirates on the high seas, fight as scary monsters, or play the part of a Wild West bandit on the loose. You can even combine any characters however you want!î

Art Authority††† This was our most expensive app.† $7.99† I am sure it is worth it but we havenít done a lot with this app.† It is BEAUTIFULY done.† †I really like to find art from the era we are studying in History.

ìA comprehensive collection of works by over 1,000 of the western world’s major artists, from ancient times to today. In your pocket! Organized by period and artist, Art Authority’s 40,000+ paintings and sculptures are downloaded as needed and displayed chronologically for each artist, with detailed captioning. In-depth information about the periods and artists is also available.
From the earliest creative pieces to the latest modern and contemporary works, Art Authority provides an impressively displayed, carefully selected, well organized view of the western art world that is both broad and deep.î


Flipboard † AWESOME app.† FREE This is something we just sit around and look at and read.† I may tell Keilee to go find one story that interests her on Flipboard and then tell me about it.†

Discovery HD† FREE† This has all the things Discovery Channel has but one thing extra that we LOVE.† Cinepuzzle; For all ages and interests CinePuzzle is an award-winning video puzzle innovation that is deceptively simple, totally addictive, and visually stunning. †A Cinepuzzle is a moving puzzle challenge: tap and drag the scrambled and rotated tiles from a moving video to realign the pieces while the video plays! Featuring exclusive puzzle content from hit Discovery shows! It amazes me how much faster Keilee is at these puzzles than I am.† She sees things visually much quicker than I do.

Also grab “Apps Gone Free” App.† They have around 5-7 apps free every day!† We have gotten some really good ones.† Some days I don’t get any, but one “FREE” makes it worth my time.

So thatís all for my first APP post.† I hope you can find something that will enrich your learning experience.† I can not wait to see where APPS are going.† I am sure they will only get more and more astonishing.† I wish I was rich and I could buy everyone I know an iPad.† I seriously think they are the educational wave of the futureÖnot just iPadís but tablets in general.

Homeschooling Rocks.


Disclaimer: No iPads were injured in the making of this post.† I was not compensated in any way, however if anyone from ye ole’ Apple is reading this; iTunes cards would be mostly appreciated.

ìThe last few decades have belonged to a certain kind of person with a certain kind of mindócomputer programmers who could crank code, lawyers who could craft contracts, MBAs who could crunch numbers. But the keys to the kingdom are changing hands. The future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mindócreators and empathizers, pattern recognizers, and meaning makers. These peopleóartists, inventors, designers, storytellers, caregivers, consolers, big picture thinkersówill now reap societyís richest rewards and share its greatest joys.î ~Daniel H. Pink

ìThe illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.î ~Alvin Toffler


AppleÆ, Dr Pepper Pork, Witches and Doggie Scarves..

Collage #1

We did a class at the Apple Store.† [This is something FREE they offer for homeschoolers so check if you have a store in your area].† The class was for Middle/High School kids and they taught them how to make movies in iMovie.† They discussed plots and story-lines for their movie.† He asked for actors and Keilee decided to be the director and camera person.† She also got to go up and do the editing.† She had a blast and has been making iMovies ever since.


1.††††††††††† Keilee and Nomad doing Teaching Textbooks.† He is such a help.† I think Kei said he drooled on her laptop.† Good timesÖ

2.††††††††††† We played a game with her Eyeclops.††† She got this cool thing a few years ago and it has been stuck on a shelf.† I took it out and plugged it into our television so she has easy access.† She took 6 or so things and had them one at a time on the TV and then took pictures of them.† I had to guess what was what.† This is a quilt of my Grandmothers.† I would have NEVER guessed it. The Eyeclops makes things HUGE.† So cool.

3.††††††††††† Keilee has knitted 3 scarves for Nomad.† He loves them.† He will go get one and bring to us to put on him.† We ëoohí and ëahhí and tell him how handsome he is. ††

4.††††††††††† After the great class at the APPLE store, Kei has been making iMovies.† This was a stop animation one she did with her 167 WebKinz!!!† She also has made one of Nomad. Then she got her flash drive and grabbed over 100 photos off my computer.† She transferred them to her PowerBook and made the most adorable iMovie complete with songs.† I helped her ZERO with this.

5.††††††††††† Keilee got Banagrams for Christmas and we have loved playing it.† This is something she made with words from ìHunger Gamesî trilogy and ìEnderís Gameî our current audio book.

6.††††††††† Dr. Pepper Shredded Pork from Pioneer Woman.† It was SOOOOOOOOoooo† good!††† I mean anything with Dr. Pepper in it, I am in like Flynn!† Cooked it in my Red Dutch Oven I got for Christmas.† I am seriously in love with that thing!

My resource of the week is a couple of my favorite sites.† Check them both out if you haven’t.† So worth it!

The first is a site I found when Keilee was 8.† We have used it so many times.† The Brain Hat is just one of the cool things she has!† She has tons of free printables.†

The second site, The Toymaker, we have also loved forever.† It has the most beautiful paper projects in the world.† All free.† I just so admire people who offer their talents free for all to enjoy.††


Places weíre going and people weíre seeingÖ

Keilee has had play practice which of course she loves.† She is a very believable Wicked Witch!

My favorite thing this week wasÖ

Watching Keilee get so excited about making iMovies. She made 4 movies in 1 1/2 days!

Iím readingÖ

ìRange Free Learningî on my Kindle.† I LOVE this book.† It is making me rethink some things.I just love how I can still get so excited about homeschooling!

Whatís working for us:

Very little television.† I am seriously loving this.† Today I was going through my Netflix queue and I realized I do not hate TV, I hate mindless TV.† I have some amazing things in our instant queueÖartists bios, science and history documentaries, and much more.†

Itís not that I think all TV is horrible, I was tired of turning the TV on every night and just zombieing [ok I know that isnít a word but it sounds cool] in front of it.† We watch less than 2 hours a week now.†

I am praying for:

My Daddy.† He and Marlene are in Florida for a couple of months and he has been to the doctor once and the ER once.† They think he has bronchitis but it is scary to me because I canít go check on him.

Linking up with Susan’s ìFavorite Resources”

Favorite Resource This Week
and Mary’s ìCollage Fridayî


Happy Weekend to all !


ìWe have a cultural notion that if children were not engineered, if we did not manipulate them, they would grow up as beasts in the field. This is the wildest fallacy in the world.î ~ Joseph Chilton Pearce From “Range Free Learning”


Jesus, a Mother, a Daughter and a Dog….