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If you're like most of my readers, you're committed to your family and creating the best home life possible. But the truth is, if you've given up one income to homeschool your kids, you may be struggling to make ends meet. That's why I wrote this special report, The 9 Best Business Ideas for Homeschool Moms, in which I help you design the best business to complement your family's goals. There's only one way to get it—by subscribing to my weekly blog updates here:
 
 

Homeschooling

We are very excited about our newest app – TimelineBuilder for iPad – and hope that if you have an iPad that you will give it a try! TimelineBuilder allows you to create the timeline YOU want. TimelineBuilder is a unique and robust app that allows the user to create custom timelines with beginning and ending dates of their choosing, adding events where they want with the ability to manipulate image size and placement. TimelineBuilder is a flexible tool, allowing the user to edit timelines; add, edit and delete events; add or swap images; resize and reposition images and timeline events. TimelineBuilder is ideal for children, teens and families studying any time period in history, science or literature. It is ideal for genealogists to record family lines and progression; for project managers, marketers or any other professional that needs to keep a running timeline of events. KQ TimelineBuilder is THE timeline resource tool that will organize and display chronological events the way YOU want to see them.

For additional screenshots of timelines in progress, please visit our webpage here.

Timelines built in TimelineBuilder are saved automatically and can be shared to your image library, via email or with other users of TimelineBuilder. Customize your timeline with a choice of 9 backgrounds. Now Available.

Early Bird Special!! – Purchase TimelineBuilder at the introductory price of $4.99. Here’s the link – https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/timelinebuilder/id572520921. Then rate and review it in the App Store and get a free book of historical biographies ($12.95 value)! So, in this order… buy the app, play with it and review it in the App Store; Then, fill in the 2 questions below for your free ebook:

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Press Release!

Knowledge Quest, publisher of history and geography books and mobile apps, is on the brink of a new app release, which they hope will make its debut later this month. While they wait, they have decided to release one of their popular ipad apps as a free download for one day only on Tuesday, October 9, 2012.

Today only, you can download KQ TimeTraveler for iPad free, regularly a $2.99 value. Transport yourself to another time and another place through KQ TimeTraveler. Ideal for grade-school and middle-school students, KQ TimeTraveler is a unique app that provides educational content in an entertainment setting. Using your ipad’s camera and/or photo library, users can transpose their face into a scene from history and become one of twenty-five historical heroes.

Some kids love history; others hate it. This app is ideal for both types of students. Whether they love or loathe history, kids can express their creativity with this app. They can get social and challenge each other to play “Guess who I am?” Quizzes reinforce their history knowledge or add to it. Facebook and email integration allow kids, parents and teachers alike to share the fun with their friends and family, challenging their knowledge of history too.

Here’s the link to the app in the App Store:

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/kq-timetraveler/id521889566?ls=1&mt=8

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ipad-checklist

We’ve talked about why it makes sense to use mobile apps to enhance our children’s education and how to keep them safe online.  Now it’s time to talk about how to practically incorporate these fun educational apps into a typical school day.

This can be done whether you homeschool your child, or work on homework with him after school, or are looking for some beneficial distractions for her while you run errands or attend after-school events and lessons.

Educational apps can enhance your child’s education no matter your particular circumstances!

Here are 5 ways to begin using mobile apps to further your child’s education:

1. Move games and other fluff into folders on your device (or remove them altogether) so that your child can focus on the fun apps that actually serve a purpose – engaging his mind and furthering his education.

2. Bring your smartphone or ipad with you when you run errands, go to doctor’s appointments, music lessons, and sports practice.  Let your child know which apps she may play with.  Load up your ipad with a good amount of apps available on topics such as math, science, language arts, etc.  You may even want to keep a nice selection of picture books available.  Check our website for apps in all of the above categories and more.  Your child will not get bored with these.

3. Start, or break-up, your day with a fun educational video, such as BrainPop.  This is a good way to learn something new in an entertaining way.

4. Use apps for reference, such as WordBook to look up the definition of a word; WorldBook: This Day in History to find out what important events happened on this day in history; MyCalculator to figure out a difficult problem (if calculators are acceptable for your child’s math level); or GeoWalk to find a particular location on the globe.

5. Use your mobile device to read books and listen to audiobooks.  We are reading through the Bible this year using Bible Is and use the Kindle and iBooks apps for other books we are reading-aloud.  This way, we can take several books with us on one small portable device.

And finally, here is a great tip for classroom teachers!  Some apps, such as TimelineBuilder can be connected to a VGA adapter and projected to a screen so that you can use it for your entire class and everyone will be on the same page (so to speak).

Alternatively, if you have more than one iPad available for your classroom, you may want to check into the volume discounts (up to 50%) available through Apple’s Volume Purchase program.

You can check out all of our apps here, including our new history magazine – Quest:

http://www.knowledgequestmaps.com/Apps.html

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add some spring into your homeschool

5  Ideas for mixing it up this spring.

I love this time of year as the many flowering trees bloom in succession.  We are now enjoying the dogwood explosion and it is a beautiful sight to see in the Northwest.

I am the first to admit that it gets really hard to “do school” at this time of year.  When the sun comes out and warms up our porch, we just naturally gravitate to the outdoors.  That is also one of the reasons why I love homeschooling… we don’t have to sit at desks and tables in order to learn.  So, let’s think outside of the box!

This is a great time to do something new and/or different.  I’ll provide a list of fun spring activities in just a moment, but first let me share some of the things that we have been doing at the Johnson house.

Last Friday, we enjoyed a wonderful Colonial feast.  We have been studying the colonial time period, so we wanted to celebrate with an historical feast that will go down in the memory banks.  Here are a couple of pictures:

(Please note: the original photos disappeared, so I am uploading some different ones from a Civil War feast that just goes to show that we have done this more than once. We love celebrating with a historical feast every spring as we wrap up the school year.)
 

(Please note: the original photos disappeared, so I have uploaded some different ones from a Civil War feast that just goes to show that we have done this more than once. We love celebrating with a historical feast every spring as we wrap up the school year.)

As you can see from the pictures, we like to dress up!  It just makes the occasion so fun.  Even the grandparents come in costume!  We had grand amusement making the “powdered wigs” for the event.  Our girls looked like little statesmen!In the bottom picture, we are enjoying our first course of New England Clam Chowder and Maple Wheaten Bread.  Later, we served up some hasty pudding, rosemary potato cakes and pumpkin pie for dessert.  Of course, we washed it all down with “Liberty Tea”.

Other activities that we are enjoying this spring are building a weather station, watching caterpillars transform into butterflies and planting a garden.

What can you do to liven up your spring studies?

Here are some ideas for you:

  1. Start a nature notebook. Kids naturally love to draw.  Buy your children individual notebooks – even if just at the dollar store – that can be designated for a nature journal.  Then, spend some time outdoors – taking hikes, going to the park, playing in the yard – and bring the journals along with you.  Encourage them to draw the interesting things that they discover – a bird’s nest, a caterpillar on a leaf, a wildflower…
  2. Build a weather station. We’ve been studying the colonial time period and found out that Benjamin Franklin had a fascination for all kinds of weather – not just lightning storms. 🙂  You can build a homemade rain gauge, barometer, hygrometer, weather vane, anemometer and compass.  Here’s a site with instructions – http://www.fi.edu/weather/todo/todo.html.
  3. Plant a garden. Even if you do not have a large plot for a garden, you can buy or build raised garden boxes and plant some herbs and vegetables for your family’s summertime eating pleasure.  We actually have plenty of room of a large garden, but still prefer raised beds because it cuts down on the weeding that we have to do. 🙂  Alternately, you can plant a flower garden that your family will enjoy all summer long.
  4. Build a chicken coop. More and more families are choosing to grow and raise their own food.  Friends of mine that raise chickens say that they are a good first farm animal and don’t require a great deal of effort – that is, after the coop is built.  Do you have teenage boys?  This might be a good project for them.
  5. Buy Painted Lady caterpillars online and watch them form their chrysalis and become beautiful butterflies that you can release out into your yard. We purchased ours here – http://earthsbirthday.org/good-green-butterflies/.

That’s it.  Enjoy your week!  Get out there and enjoy nature and maybe I’ll see you online at the Homeschool Expo this week.  I hope so!

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