5 Reasons Why we are Considering Franklin Virtual High School

This post is prompted by Activation ReACT’s Prefill the Response Trailer Fund for Environmental Disasters such as hurricanes, floods, landslides ect…..! Because a lot of their volunteer based involvement is with HighSchool aged students, Franklin Online School reached out to creatively work with Activation ReACT. I was not compensated to write this post but am deeply involved with Activation ReACT and their rebuilding efforts.


I never planned on homeschooling. It wasn’t on my list of things to do as a mom. But, if you are a parent you probably know that things rarely go as planned when raising your children. My oldest, Paul John, well officially be a teen in 3 months. #Wow He is in 7th grade. We do normal things (Meaning don’t worry he has plenty of friends and is socialized) He rides his horse and occasionally sings on stage. He loves his siblings but there is no doubt he is growing up. With growing up comes many decisions, High School from Home is one of them. It’s a group decision between his parents and I. We live in a no bus district so we are still investigating transportation options but while we do that we are also considering many online schools. Here are 5 of our favorite advantages to homeschooling.

1. Flexibility: Each household is run differently and ours is no different, in fact I would venture to say it is very different. We school Friday-Tues and Wednesday and Thursday is our weekend. I am a Marketing and Wedding Planner (which mainly means I work on the weekends) and my husband also works Friday-Tuesday so we get to share the weekends together.

2. More then Mom: Franklin Virtual School provides real, live, teachers! Paul John has an advisor, a homeroom teacher and core + elective subject matter teachers. I was delighted to find out he also has tutors that can be available to help at any time. This is huge to me. Some of what He is learning is beyond me and I do work 40 hours a week plus homeschool 2 other homeschool. Having tutors talk him through this.

3. Fully Accredited: One of my biggest fears is that my children will struggle getting into college or another school if we decide not to homeschool. Their is a peace of mind with Franklin Virtual School because life throws you curve balls. He could end up graduating from a brick and mortar school. We plan year to year and sometimes our schedules are different and Paul John can go to a physical building. When he gets his own car maybe he will be able and want to drive himself back and forth to school. When you work with a fully accredited program this will be an easier transition.

4. Open 24 hours a day: Mornings are crazy in this house. We have a toddler, an elementary kid, and a soon to be high schooler(insert tears here)! Routine is hard for us to get started and anything can throw the whole day off but having a school being open 24 hours seems like a bonus.

5. Big Dreams: My kids have big goals and big dreams. With their option of summer school Paul John is excited to finish high school early, relax for a little bit, and then dive into a 6 year school program to get his dream career into action.

We still have one year to decide if High School from Home is the right option for us. For now, I am just going to enjoy the moment. The moments where we are all reading the same books and have book club with our friends. I will enjoy teaching the colors of the rainbow. I will enjoy math problems that I can compute in my head and not on paper. (the easy ones). I will enjoy us all on the same schedule. I know these days will change when Paul John is in high school. For now I will just enjoy where we are but that won’t stop me from thinking ahead and considering Franklin High School and their Highschool from Home program.

Join us for a Twitter party on February 2nd at 9am PT! We’ll be chatting about online schooling + giving out prizes! Follow @Franklin_VHS so you won’t miss a thing! See you there!

5 (Not-so-Amazing) Things You Need to Discuss with your Family for National Preparedness Month

My husband and I just sat my boys down and had a conversation with them that was needed. We live in NJ, smack in between Philly, NYC, and Washington D.C. I love where we live but when it comes to crisis and natural disasters my husband and I have come to terms with the fact we are grid locked. I love Cape May, NJ. I love calling it home so we aren’t leaving anytime soon. We will take Cape May, in beautiful weather and bad. But I am a realist and I want to be prepared and my family be prepared if a disaster was to hit.

Get prepared

The conversation started with just my husband and I and then we invited the kids in. These kind of situations can be scary for kiddos but being prepared can ease a lot of fear.

5 ways to Plan

We came up with a plan. I am very happy to share it with you. I encourage you to make a plan no matter where you live. I love my kids and cannot imagine a moment of not knowing where they are, but those occasional times happen. Cell phone towers do go down in bad weather and chaos ensues.

-Start with holding a family meeting to discuss and make a plan. Remember everyone needs to be on the same page. Although disasters can be scary, remaining calm and knowing you have a plan is important. It is in those times I want to have a family communication plan.

– I sat down with my husband and we discussed every scary scenario that we have ever held in our nightmares from tornadoes, hurricanes and beyond.
– We brought in the kids and announced our plan. We designated a relative that lives far away as our person to contact if we can’t reach each other. We discussed phones being out of service and discourage tying up phone lines and freeing them for emergency workers. We encouraged a texting communication plan.

– We focused the next week on memorizing phone numbers. In times of chaos, phones batteries die out. We memorized numbers so we do not rely on our cell phone contact list.
– We created a mutual place to meet that is out of the neighborhood in case we are unable to get to our home. We created a time table on when to check in and discussed ways to save our phone batteries. We considered email as an option if for some reason that is possible.

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Overall, I walked away from the conversation relieved and feeling prepared. I remind everyone to remain calm and stick to the plan and ,as a mom, I walked away knowing we are a more connected family as ever. We will always think positive and if we ever are in need I know we have a plan. That, makes me feel more prepared. I hope you take the time to be prepared too. For more information visit Ready.gov!

5 Fun Ideas to Teach Kids About Money

Teaching kids about money should be a fun task and not daunting at all. You want your kids to grow up to love money, not to hate it. When used correctly, money can be a positive tool to help kids reach successful heights in life. Here are five fun ideas to teach your kids about money.

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#1. Always Use Cash
Using cash is a fun way to teach your kids about money. You don’t understand how important it is for kids to see their parents use cash when purchasing items. You can make it fun by showing them how to use cash when making a purchase. It’s okay to discuss what a credit card is with your children, but they must know that it’s not ‘real money.’ You get to decide when you explain credit to your children.#2. Earning Cash
You know you’re raising your kids up right when they ask to do chores to earn some money. This concept comes by teaching kids that you get money by earning it. If you are constantly handing cash over to your kids, then they probably won’t learn the value of cash anytime soon.

#3. Start a Business
What a fun way to teach your child about money. Starting a small business with your child is one way they can learn about the value of money. It can be something as simple as a lemonade stand or helping a neighbor with something. Small children don’t need to earn a lot of money, so they will think it’s awesome that their own little “business” can bring in some cash.
#4. Have Your Kids Teach Others
Some kids are naturally born to teach others. Allow your child to teach a younger sibling or friend about money. Set up a “money” play date where it’s all about money, all the time. It’ll be fun for your child to teach someone else about all of the wisdom you have bestowed upon them. Of course, you’ll want to keep this lighthearted and fun.

#5. Utilize the Internet
You’ll want to be side by side your child when you’re teaching them about money via the Internet. There are a lot of fun websites out there that will help teach your kids about money. Not only should kids know how to earn and spend their own money, they should also learn the value of money. Whenever the time is right, you can also teach your child about the value of saving money.

Teaching your kids about money, should always be fun. If you and your spouse are having financial issues, it’s best to not discuss this around your child. Your children should not have fears of money because of you. Make their childhood fun by getting them excited about money.

BONUS activity:

Create saving, spend, and give envelopes for your kids. After they have earned money, show them how to split up their money into these three categories. Let the kids lead this part, but it’s okay if you guide them. They should get to decide how much goes into each envelope. After time, they will learn how important it is to give to each envelope accordingly.

5 Steps to a True #DisneySide Healthy Snack

Do you like Mickey’s Bow Tie? I was flipping through Pinterest and saw an image similar to this. I could not find a tutorial anywhere. So, I was inspired and then had to share with you. They were a crowd favorite. You can serve these Disney inspired snack at any party and it is extra awesome that they are healthy Disney snacks too.

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Purchase these ingredients:

  • toothpicks
  • blueberries
  • strawberries
  • Dipping Chocolate(optional)
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    1. My berries were huge. Since I was planning for little kids I decided to cut these strawberries in half. It was an extra step but in the long run it saved money for portion control.

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    2. Get toothpicks. Start to assemble.

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    3. Place 1/2 of your strawberry to the end of the tooth pick bottom of strawberry side facing inwards.

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    4. Place blueberry in center of toothpick.

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    5. Place another 1/2 strawberry on opposite end of toothpick. Use bottom side down towards inside!

    Enjoy!