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 ways to Sharpen Math Skills with the Mouse

Math with the Mouse: The Magical way to Learn at Disney Parks

We love Disney.  My whole family from old to young can come together and explore all the magic together.  We find Disney to be a wonderful investment into memories that will last a lifetime.  We are a homeschool family and also believe learning and adventure are around every corney.  Disney World and DisneyLand is no exception. 

Being a homeschool mom, I am always on an adventure of my own to create awesome learning opportunities. Disney makes this so easy.  I love teaching my kids when they have no idea that they are learning. Here are 5 fantastic ways to  your kids can sharpen their math skills.

Time: It’s time to get old school. By watches for your kiddos and learn how to tell time at Disney.  Use your watches to track Fast-Pass times, Meet up and Check point times, and dinner reservations. Figure out when we can get your next fast pass!  Find out how many hours are till dinner.

Manage Money:  Gift Cards are my favorite form of money management and spending responsibilities.  We often fill up a gift card and set each kid up with a budget and ask they stick to it. Keeping a mental balance in your head is hard while passing plenty of stops, stores, or refreshments requires self control and mental addition/subtraction.  This is how we have chosen to teach our kids the concept of credit cards. My kids are enthused to get spending money which we would usually be budgeting into our vacation anyway. 

Sharpen your Math Memory: Waiting in a line to see a character in Disney or to ride a crazy roller coaster.  Use this flash card app on your phone, bring your own flash cards, or just use your own memory for the ultimate in line “math contest”. Answer the most questions and see that everyone comes out a winner with the game. Time flies while waiting in line and you having fun trying to ask you opponent the  hardest questions! (I will suggest the trick to this is always providing new flash cards or having the app download something new to heighten the experience and not have it “Be Like School”!  We do this in the long lines on occasion and not on every ride. We still want to enjoy our vacation) 

Finding an average: You can pull averages by various Disney data on your web.  My favorites sites are here and here. I find that finding averages could make this a fitness opportunity. Buy step counters, At the end of the day calculate daily averages of steps per hour that day. Also, add you steps together as a family and find the average steps between everyone for that day. Record your information and make graphs to record your data in your memory books. 

Counting by 2, 3, 6, 5, 10 and 12s: Practice skip counting as much as you can see who can go the highest.  My kids sadly beat me in this game.  It has usually been awhile since I have counted by the dozen. I get pretty rusty but my kids keep me sharp and it is good for the confidence booster for my kiddos. We all know everyone can constantly be on a mission to make our math skills sharp, even in my old age of “barely 30!” 

Math is a hard subject to teach.  There are so many ways we could teach our kids math but letting my kids explore Math on their own in the magical world of Disney makes math fun and less of a chore.  As long as everything is in moderation, (fun, learning, and making memories) you can sharpen your math skills with the mouse and also make memories that are fantastic and last forever.

5 Amazing Things about Little Luna: Big Talent

I was compensated for this review but all thoughts and opinions are my own.


Little Luna – Big Talent is an educational, musical, and captivating app. It is everything I ask an app to be when downloading it for my children to keep them occupied. While I am usually not a fan of burping, farting, and preteen humor I was surprised that I was indeed a fan of this app Little Luna – Big Talent. Here are 5 reasons why.

1. Luna, a bombardier beetle (which is a species of beetle most notable for a defense mechanism that gives them their name: when disturbed, they eject a hot noxious chemical spray from the tip of their abdomen, with a popping sound) features a special talent… tooting. True to it’s species the game explores cute mini rhythmic games, virtual gardening activities and more.


2. Little Luna – Big Talent is created by Bastei Luebbe. It is a great app with for any child in the 4 to 8-year-old range. This gives a great Segway for parents to discuss manors and science in one shot. Tooting is presented very tastefully and with a focus on fun and a desire to create giggles.

3. At the beginning players learn about the bombardier beetle and their talent for tooting in a mellow way. Players are asked to help Luna find the other members of her family; it’s time for band practice. They explore and and are on a search to round up the family. With lots of activities in every room this takes a significant amount of time and keep the occupied.

4. Luna’s brothers have their own version of band practice that involves, tooting but really calls for hand eye coordination. The child must tap along with the colored notes to create the “music.” Having a musical background I know music can begin with any age. Little Luna-Big Talent provide a way to get rhythm down.

5. Luna also actual creates a challenge to keep still and balanced as luna practices yoga with her mom. This is fun to see an app get the child physically involved in using their muscles. I give major props to give Luna creators in finding this fun way to integrate them both.

The end of the game is achieved when all of the family members have been found. Luna heads to the basement to check out the band practice. Here players can tap on animations to make things move, make music, and great visual effects.

Little Luna – Big Talent is availabe for download via the iTunes App Store – iOS Unversal



monster craft with spool thread


1.4 small wooden empty thread spools (find these at thrift shops, yard sales or grandmas house <ßbe sure to ask grandma before taking them.) 2. 4 colors of embroidery floss 3. 8 googley eyes and 2 small pom-poms, turquoise and pink 4. Hot glue gun 5. Felt scraps



1. Glue the end of the embroidery floss to the wooden spool. Wrap floss around spool until it is completely covered. When the spool is completely covered cut the floss and attach to spool with a small drop of hot glue

2. Use the glue gun to carefully attach eyes to spool

3. Hot glue hair to top. To create thread type hair, cut embroidery floss into 3 inch pieces until you have 3-4 pieces. Ties together in the center. Hot glue center of hair to middle of the top of spool.

4. Create mouths from felt scraps or embroidery floss and attach with glue.

**NOTE: Please be careful when using the hot glue gun. They can cause serious injury and should be used with parental supervision. A tacky craft glue can be used in place of the hot glue.**