Have you heard of Currclick?

If you are not familiar with their weekly freebies, you will at least want to check out their site and sign up for their email updates. They also offer a variety of virtual classes for homeschoolers. To find out more, read on in this excerpt taken from an email:

Planning your 2009-2010 School Year?

There are still spots available in our July 15th open house and kids activity. Get enrollment discounts and have fun. Don’t miss out!

Sign up for CurrClick Live’s Meet and Greet Open House from 7-9 PM CST including a FREE, totally live kids activity presented by Heart of the Matter Online: Amy Bayliss and her son will be leading a Flat Stanley, pen pal activity for kids of all ages!
Teachers will be answering questions, giving presentations about their classes and “handing out” enrollment discounts!

You can register here, right now!

Once you register at CurrClick, go here to register with GoToMeeting.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining our open house. Please note that you are not required to show up to every single session during the 2 hour period. Please see the itinerary below to determine which sessions you would
like to attend.


Wieck Math and Science LC: Melinda Wieck discusses the Beginning and Advanced, Live Algebra classes she’ll be offering in the fall. Melinda is a highschool Math and Science teacher.


Bright and Blessed: Susan Bertrang is a Georgia Certified Teacher with over 10 years of teaching experience. Find out about her wide variety of fun, self-paced classes such as, “Getting to Know Shakespeare” and ‘Writing Well.”


Lessons Worth Learning: Loretta Rhodes, homeschool Mom of 4 and a teacher of 20 years talks about her very popular live History, Geography and Literature classes and answers questions.


Triple G Academy:Angie Marcum talks about her popular Art and Nature classes as well as her academic Saxon-based Algebra I and II classes. Mrs. Marcum is a homeschool Mom with her BS in Secondary Mathmatics.


Become a CurrClick Live Teacher Q&A:Interested in teaching for CurrClick Live? Attend this discussion, find out more and get your questions answered. Staley Krause, one of the CurrClick/CurrClick Live founders discusses the ins and outs of teaching for CurrClick Live.


MathTools: Patrick Martin, homeschool Dad and Math teacher and tutor, will discuss his live math lab, where he helps students with math problems they may be having, and his 1 on 1 live tutoring option.


Heart of the Matter Online:Night time activity for kids courtesy of Amy Bayliss and her son from Heart of the Matter Online.

We look forward to “seeing” you there.  And, don’t forget to bring a friend!

HSLDA membership giveaway

Every homeschooler in the US, and many international ones as well, owe a debt of gratitude to the HomeSchool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA).  They have worked passionately to maintain and advance the freedom of homeschoolers nationwide.

If you are not already familiar with HSLDA I would encourage you to take some time and look over their site. They work on a national and local level defending and communicating for and to homeschoolers.

They offer a variety of resources including speakers, books, and online resources that can benefit the homeschool family.

My interaction with HSLDA has been very positive. They are there to help. They stand behind homeschoolers with a passionate determination and want  to assist you in any way possible. I have not needed their legal assistance, but have heard many stories of their willingness to serve and defend families in need. They are an incredible resource and defense that all homeschoolers should tap into.

Other important links:

  • Signing up for their E-lert service helps keep you aware and gives you timely opportunity to stay involved politically.
  • More detailed information about their organization (click the other tabs across the top for even more information).
  • They also work with the Home School Foundation to help homeschooling families in need.
  • To join HSLDA and take advantage of their numerous member benefits.
  • They also sponsor a number of contests.

** HSLDA has graciously donated a one year membership to one of the readers here! **

You can earn numerous entries for this giveaway:

– first, simply leave a comment and you are entered into the drawing

– Post about this contest and/or our website and leave another comment with the link

– Tweet or post on facebook about this contest and/or site and leave another comment

– Submit information for a Chicago area support group or co-op that I don’t already have listed and you can be entered again (once again, please come back and leave another comment here).

Each valid comment posted is an entry into the drawing which will take place on July 1. That gives you all about two weeks to spread the word and get in as many entries as you can. Winner will be notified by email and will have three days to respond to claim their prize

Acting workshop

The following is from Katie Cheely:

I am offering an Acting workshop with my theater company in the next
couple weeks, and we are also performing “Twelfth Night” and
“Pilgrim’s Progress” in the Chicago area.

“Explore the Spotlight” is a four day Acting workshop for kids, ages
11 – 18. A great workshop for all levels of experience – from
beginning to advanced – and for anyone who wants to have fun:)

Students get to take a variety of classes taught by theater
professionals, perform for friends and family on the final day, and
see two exciting premiere productions!

Classes are Monday – Thursday, June 22-25, from 2 pm – 6:30 pm at
Stage One. Topics include Improvisation, Stage Combat, Scene Study,
Acting Shakespeare, Stage Makeup, and Acting a Song.

Students get to see “Pilgrim’s Progress” Wed, June 24, and “Twelfth
Night” Thurs, June 25, both at 8pm at Stage One.

This is a schedule of our performances:

Our first show is Shakespeare’ s “Twelfth Night.” This high-energy,
6-person adaptation of Shakespeare’ s popular comedy invites you to
the earthy island of Illyria, where impulse and instinct reign, and
the characters search for love despite much mischief and

Showtimes and locations for “Twelfth Night” are:

Thurs, June 18 – Grand Crossing Park 12pm
7655 S. Ingleside Ave, Chicago

Thurs, June 18 – Skinner Park 6pm
1331 W. Adams St., Chicago

Fri, June 19 – Ravenswood Manor Park 5:30 pm
4626 N. Manor Ave, Chicago

Sat, June 20 – Portage Park 12pm
4100 N Long Ave, Chicago

Sun, June 21 – St. Odilo’s 3pm
2301 S. Clarence, Berwyn

Thurs, June 25 – Stage One – 8pm
620 Lee Street, Des Plaines

Our second show is “Pilgrim’s Progress: A New Journey,” a modern
musical retelling of the classic allegory of one man’s journey to
“Celestial City.”

Showtimes and locations for “Pilgrim’s” are:

Wed, June 17 – St. Michael’s 7pm
310 S. Wheaton Ave, Wheaton

Wed, June 24 – Stage One 8pm
620 Lee St., Des Plaines

For more information, visit our website: www.uncoveredtheatre.com

Feel free to contact me with any questions, or for any further details!!

-Katie Cheely
UnCovered Theatre Company

Product Review: SpellQuizzer

I have to admit that spelling settles into the category of subjects that draws less than an enthusiastic response from pretty much all of my kids. We do it, check it off,  sometimes groan in the process, and move on with life, or school.

Recently, Dan Hite of SpellQuizzer.com asked me to review his product and I fostered a little glimmer of hope that this would brighten this otherwise dull subject. I am so glad we gave it a go.

Day one

I input the spelling words, having fun making up my own original sentences like, “poetry — Blake just LOVES {insert extreme sarcasm} poetry poetry.” The kids get to hear these all week long and smile for each one. I always have fun with spelling sentences, so it added to my fun, to use this recording feature for my own tailor made sentences.

The program is quite easy to use and the process for setting up all three lists (for three different children) took me approximately 10 minutes. Of course, once I get them all in I can reuse them for younger children in subsequent years. The time required of the parent is very manageable.

The first run through I sit with my kids to answer any questions, check their initial progress, and make sure they understand expectations.My seven year old asks me to write out her words because she wants to study and make sure she earns the cheering for a perfect score next time.

Day two —

My daughters come in to my office at 7:00 a.m. to see if my computer is on so they can do their spelling. I guess I can probably take it off the school schedule if they finish it two hours before school even starts.

Days three and four —

Same story. Spelling is done before the day begins. They want more words to study.

Day five —

No doubt, all three have their spelling words down without hesitation. Talk about a painless process. We’re all hooked.

Take a few minutes to check out their website and you can . . .

– Download a free trial of this spelling program

– View some video demonstrations of SpellQuizzer

– Check out their many spelling lists

– Enjoy their special section geared just for homeschoolers

– And, of course, for just $29.95 you can own your own copy of this spelling software

With SpellQuizzer you can import and export spelling lists, compact your lists for long term storage, and use a written hint if you don’t use the audio feature (although, in my opinion, that is the most entertaining part of the process). My second child has routinely struggled with spelling and has little to no desire to study her words each week, but her enthusiasm surpassed all the others. By Wednesday she already could spell all her words correctly. SpellQuizzer had a guaranteed perfect paper waiting for her on Friday.

Now, for the best part . . . One reader will be able to win a copy of this software! Yes, Dan was gracious enough to offer a free copy to one of my readers. If you would like a chance to win, simply leave a comment on this post and you will be entered in the drawing. The contest will close on Friday, June 12. The winner will be posted that afternoon and will have until Monday evening to contact me, otherwise a new winner will be chosen.

You can even earn extra entries — blog about this contest and you can be entered yet again (make sure to leave another comment saying you did so);  Subscribe to this website (and comment again) and not only will you receive all these posts delivered right to you, but you will be entered one more time.

Happy Spelling!

I’m sure it’s obvious, but this has definitely worked for us!

Free Admission to the Art Institute of Chicago

The new Modern Wing of the Art Institute has opened its doors today, May 16th. For this coming week admission to the museum is completely free of charge to all visitors.  See the Art Institute’s website for more information.

The even better news for homeschoolers . . . Children under 14 are ALWAYS admitted free. And, Illinois teachers (which you qualify for as a homeschool teacher) are also welcome without charge at the museum on any day they are open. Be sure to bring some type of homeschool identification, and call for details ahead of your visit — (312) 443-3600.

Here’s what their site says about teachers, “Teacher Admission – All Illinois teachers receive free general admission to the Art Institute with proof of teacher certification. When educators visit the Teacher Resource Center, they will receive a free educator’s pass. This pass gives the bearer unlimited general admission to the Art Institute and admission to the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries until September 1, 2009.”

The Institute is also free on Thursday nights from 5-8 as well, whether a homeschooler, teacher, student, or not. Don’t miss out on this great resource to your homeschooling studies.

Check out their links:

– to other art sources online

– resources especially for teachers

lesson plans

– Scheduling student tours