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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:
 
 

Lifestyle

Like many of you, I’m a homeschool mom. We have a schedule we follow and various curricula that we use. We embrace the concept of delayed gratification in our home. After you get your work done, you can play. While we don’t take a radical digression, Fridays are different. Much like the workplace, Fridays are marked with variety and greeted with enthusiasm.

How so?

Fridays are the days that we play spelling games, color historical outline maps, mark our timelines, watch an educational video, and maybe finish up a little early. Sometimes we go on a field trip, enjoy a seasonal activity (like ice skating, sledding or snowshoeing in winter) or just read a little extra around the cozy woodstove. Continue reading Who Else Wants a Casual Friday?

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While I may have sounded down on New Year’s resolutions, I am truly not a negative person at all when it comes to implementing change in our lives. It is one of the cornerstones of being human. We have been created with the ability to control and improve ourselves. This is a powerful force in our lives!

What is the difference between someone with a good attitude and someone with a bad attitude? It’s a state of mind, correct? Do we all have the ability to choose a good attitude vs. a bad attitude? Absolutely! We actually have the ability to control our thoughts (yes, we do!) and use them to create positive change in our moments, our days, our very lives. Continue reading Beautifully and Wonderfully Made!

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While yesterday’s post was rather negative, it is true that 9 out of 10 New Year’s resolutions are doomed to failure. There is a science explaining this phenomena that you can read about here on Buffer. This is a fascinating blog post, so I hope that you will read it.

Am I advocating that we do not attempt change in our lives? No! Certainly not! Striving for improvement is part of being human. We crave success in our work, finances and relationships. We fall prey to sadness or depression when we do not succeed in these areas. Check out this info-graphic on what traits and habits contribute to our success:

However, while odds may be terribly against New Year’s resolutions, the fact remains that 10% of those that resolve to make a change are successful, whether it is intentional or accidental. Let’s examine what makes a resolution stick. Continue reading 3 Keys to Unlocking Real Change

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I hate to break this to you… New Year’s resolutions don’t work. That’s just a fact. Over 90% of New Year’s resolutions will be abandoned in 3 weeks from now. Why is this true? And if it is, where is our hope of making real, lasting changes in our lives? First, let me explain why a typical resolution is doomed to fail. Then, I will give you 3 ways that you can smash through these barriers and create lasting changes in your life.

Why resolutions don’t work: Continue reading 3 Ways to Implement Lasting Change In Your Life, Part 1

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So, the question we get all the time is when will be be developing apps for Android. The simple but incomplete answer is, “Soon, we hope!”

Yes, we realize that Apple’s market share in tablet sales has fallen and hovers around 50%, meaning that our customers who own tablet computers are split down the middle between Apple and Android devices. We certainly don’t want to ignore 50% of our customer’s needs, that’s for sure.

Now, the more complicated answer is this… We have two amazing Apple developers that we work with, neither of which are up to speed on Android programming at this time. So, that means either a learning curve for our developers or finding a new one to translate our current iOS apps into Android. Both of which are possible, but will require additional funds. Plus, it is not as simple to program for Android tablets as their sizing and screen resolutions are not consistent across devices. While Apple keeps their size and dimension ratios consistent so that apps can be programmed for just two sizes – iphone and/or ipad, the open Android market includes devices of all shapes and sizes, which is a graphics and programming nightmare. There are over four standard tablet sizes and many, many phone screen sizes, which makes programming for Android more time-consuming and expensive. Not impossible though!

We are striving to release an app for ipad that hits it out of the park. That would provide the needed funds AND confirmation to expand to additional devices, knowing that the app would be beneficial for Android users as well.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/timelinebuilder/id572520921?mt=8

Hopefully, TimelineBuilder will be that app! So far it is getting fantastic reviews! Here are a few…

“Fantastic! I’m so stinking excited about this App! I LOVE timelines, and even more, I love teaching every subject while using a timeline to make correlations to similar events that when I was younger, never made sense to me. Great idea KQ, thumbs up!”

“Nicely done! My family of 5 live in an RV, hardly the place for a wall timeline. I have attempted to start Books of Centuries with the kids many times over the last 11 years of homeschooling. This little gem just might do the trick.”

“Enjoyed the ease of use and the helpful links to websites that allow for picture insertion of copyright free art! That was a brilliant idea. Having a keyboard for an iPad would be beneficial for anyone using this timeline. Great work, I enjoy the apps you produce. Keep up the good work!”

“Great idea! This is a wonderful way for multiple children to have their own timeline. My children love using the iPad for both fun and school. This will be a great resource.”

“This app is great! I like how it gives a description of the person. The visuals are spectacular!”

“A travel-friendly timeline! We homeschool because of travel. Finally, a timeline that will travel with us. I love the info provided for each person or event. This is a GREAT app. See history in the order it happened.”

“We are beginning round 3 of world history with my eldest son. Although he loves history and has no trouble remembering facts and dates he has not been able to successfully keep a timeline for himself. We have a family timeline that I keep but I have really wanted something that he would do himself. When I showed him this app this morning he was so excited. Immediately he figured it out and it was the first thing he wanted to do at the conclusion of the lesson. Thank you for a fun, educational and easy to use timeline.”

“Just downloaded and tried this out today. I love it! It is great to be able to make a very portable and editable timeline on the iPad. The pre-made timeline apps by Knowledge Quest are very nice, but the ability to make our own is fantastic! Would love to see some basic historical figures included as part of the app, just so one doesn’t have to search for images so much. Looking forward to using this in our history studies.”

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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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