Creative Writing Assignments via StoryJumper

The boys recently completed a Creative Writing Workshop and published their finished product on  StoryJumper, a free site where children can write, illustrate and publish their own books.

Zakron’s Adventure by Logan

A boy learns to treat others how you’d like to be treated after a surprise trip to space!

zakrons adventure










The Magic Within by Garrett

Luke is summoned to fight in the King’s army. Thinking he needs magic, Luke goes on a quest to find magical items to help him win the battle, but then Luke has to learn the hard way that magic is not real.

the magic within










Homeschoolers and Teachers can also set up a Classroom account (also free) to manage multiple student’s writings.


FETC 2014 Highlights & Tips

I attended the Florida Educational Technology Conference  (FETC) in Orlando, Florida for the first time this year.

FETC  is one of the largest, conferences in the United States devoted to educational technology.   The purpose of the conference is to to provide an opportunity for educators to learn more about the latest technologies available in education and how they can implement them effectively across the curriculum.  The conference covers K- College!

With over 200 concurrent sessions, 150 professional development workshops, keynotes and over 275,000 square feet of exhibit space, the conference is at first glance a little intimidating for a newbie.  However, I found the staff, speakers, & exhibitors to be friendly and professional.  Everyone who attends this conference is serious about changing education through technology.  I didn’t want the conference to end.


Tips for attending FETC


Download the App.  Most conference apps are hardly worth the time and effort it takes to download and set up the app. Not so with the FETC app.  I found myself referring to it constantly and saw many others doing the same.  Everything you need is on the app, and it even sends you alert messages throughout the conference.

Stay in a hotel that is directly connected to the Orange County Convention Center.   It makes getting to/from the conference that much easier and if you need a break it’s a simple walk back to your room.  I stayed at the Orlando Hilton and had a great experience.



 What to pack for FETC

Bring Snacks.  While there are a lot of various food and beverage options inside the exhibit hall, it’s slim pickings in the conference area.  So bring something to snack on in-between sessions.

BYOD.  Bring your own devices.  Some of the workshops require you to BYOD.  My suggestion is to bring an iPad and a laptop (along with all your charging accessories) as some presenters had presentations using Flash (so not accessible on iPad) while others gave presentations that utilized apps from an iPad.  Be prepared for both and you’ll do great.

Don’t forget your Smart Phone.  You’ll want to scan QR Codes, snap pictures/video of interesting things in the exhibit hall, access the FETC App and of course connect with others at the conference, or at home, during breaks.

Bring a Backpack or Rolling cart.  During the conference you’ll get handouts, catalogs, and giveaways that you’ll need to stash along with your electronic devices and snacks.

Cash.  Bring Cash for the vending machines and food stations in the exhibit hall.  There are ATM’s conveniently located throughout the Orange County Convention Center for your convenience.


6 (non) Homeschool Conferences to attend in 2014


My goal for the 2013-2014 school year was to stop thinking of myself as a homeschooler and to start thinking of myself as an educator who chooses to teach my own children.

Thinking outside of the box

While I have enjoyed being a member of the homeschooling community I have also have come to realize that it can be as limiting as some  criticize the traditional school system of being.

I want to think outside of the ‘homeschool box’ (and you know there is one).  I don’t want to limit my education or my children’s education to just what can be found inside the curriculum halls or conference rooms of a homeschool convention.  I want to open my mind and my homeschool classroom to new innovative ways of thinking, teaching and learning.

I want to challenge myself to be the best teacher I can be, so that I can provide the best education I can to my children.

This means I want to network, collaborate and learn from others who are doing the same thing, even if they are doing it in a traditional classroom.

Unlike traditional educators I don’t have to follow Common Core or answer to a school administrator.  I can adopt practices that work best for my students and drop those that don’t.

Educating the Educator

In homeschooling circles we give a lot of lip service to the idea of  ‘creating a lifestyle of learning’  or  “developing a love of learning’ but do we actually model that for our children?

Do our children see us learning new skills or hobbies?

More than just buying the latest curriculum, do we invest in the education of our children by investing in the education of the person that is teaching them?

Do we have a desire to learn and grow as educators?

I want to consider everything that is available and choose the best for our family with our resources.

I want to learn about the resources that are available to educators, not just homeschoolers.

I want to learn from some of the  leading educators in the US, and not just those who have homeschooled their kids.

6 (non) Homeschool conferences to attend in 2014


Florida Educational Technology Conference


National Conference on Science Education

NCTM (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics) Annual Meeting and Exposition


2014 STEM forum and Expo


ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education)


SDE (Staff Development for Educations) Singapore Math National Conference


How do you feel about homeschool conferences?  Are you ready to think outside of the homeschool box?

Not Back to School Blog Hop 2013-2014


One of my favorite homeschooling blogging traditions is to participate in the Not Back -to-School Blog Hop.  This year, I’ll admit that it kinda snuck up on me and here I am in Philadelphia on a business trip with my husband and kids where we are enjoying jam packed days of fun and field trips.

I will post our curriculum choices here on August 9th when I update this post.  In the meantime I didn’t want you to miss out about knowing about the Back-to-School Blog Hop.

You can participate by linking up to Curriculum Week or just reading about what other homeschoolers are using.

Because it’s always fun to gather and dish curriculum, isn’t it?



Children’s Book Week 2013


I’m over at the Homeschool Classroom this week with a post on: How to Celebrate Children’s Book Week May 13-19th with your children.

I’ll be posting a Linky during Children’s Book Week if you’d like to link up your own posts on how you celebrated with your kids.