Carnival of Homeschooling #164 – the Hardwired Edition

Welcome to the 164th edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling – – hosted by your favorite techie host…Topsy-Techie!  My lot in life was to be a tech-lovin’ mama raising two geeklings and one resistant-to-technology hubby.  Therefore, I’m afraid that this week you have been thrust into our flashing, beeping, multimedia blog world where the following warning ALWAYS applies:

A very small percentage of people may experience technology-itis when exposed to this blog which often includes flashing lights, strange patterns, and beeping noises. Even people who have no history of techonology-itis may have an undiagnosed condition that can cause strange symptoms while reading this blog.

These symptoms may include any or all of the following:

  • feeling sudden and extreme gratitude for children who cannot name at least twelve different programming languages
  • strong and sudden urge to take your family to a park – – any park
  • severe and painful sympathy for homeschoolers whose idea of lapbooking is reading “Intermediate Photoshop 4.0” on the laptop

Immediately stop reading this blog and take a moment to do the “thank-God-I’m-not-one-of-THOSE-homeschoolers”  happy dance if you experience any of these symptoms.

But since you’re already here, you might as well learn about some of my all-time favorite hardwired homeschool tools as we look at this week’s carnival submissions, right?


Keeping a family healthy, happy, and organized isn’t easy, but I’ve  found one tool that definitely makes it come somewhere in the realm of the possible.  Cozi is a free family organizer that lets you keep track of your family calendar, shopping, chore, and to-do lists, and can send you email or mobile reminders.  It’s a must have application for keeping all those balls in the air. There is even a journal feature for tracking those precious family memories. For more great family insights, check out these posts:

Beck’s Bounty shares an inspiring story of how a big brother can be just the right tutor for a struggling reader

Yarns of the Heart takes us with her as she watches her firstborn fly out of the nest into his first college days

DebtFreeDestiny gives us hints on some ways to celebrate Valentines with our families that won’t break the bank

Network From Home spills the beans on everything you wanted to know about working from home

The Informed Parent gives other homeschooling parents the heads up about truancy laws

Corn and Oil weighs the cost and benefits of living a simplified life


bubblesI’ve already decided who should get the next Nobel peace prize.  It  is that wonderful person who created the Bubble Wrap application for the iPhone.  If you don’t trust my assessment, then hand over your iPhone to any screaming child in any bus, train, or pediatrician’s waiting room, and you will understand.  Complete peace and harmony reigns supreme.  But if that didn’t fill your parenting hint quota for today, why not check out these posts?:

Inspirations For Mothers teaches us the power of stillness explains how to build confidence in your homeschooler

The StoneAge Techie shares her experiences occupying boys with very different energy levels

No Fighting, No Biting reviews a parenting book designed to help parents protect their kids’ childhood in a world where kids are growing up too quickly

ObiMomKenobi has to let her son flouder and flop and make mistakes – – a difficult thing for a mom even with the most enlightened of outlooks


Wanna have fun – – I mean Phun?  Then head over to this incredible intermixture of physics and art that will have you and your children entertained and educated for hours on end.  Or check out these great posts for more creative and imaginative ideas:

Lionden Landing enjoys the Jewish celebration of Tu Bishvat by making bagel birdfeeders together

Home4Skool passes along an innovative idea for displaying a child’s artwork

Reese’s View of the World showcases an irresistible display of a child’s drawings of his family

Welcome To My Brain looks at the amazing things that can happen with Webkinz, some recycled materials, and a lotta imagination

Barbara Frank Online teaches how to use quilting as a homeschool tool


MAA In a strange irony, we are now able to experience history in ways we never have before.  Online multimedia tools can now bring history to our doorstep, and give us the feeling of truly “being there.”  I have personally always loved history when it had a face on it.  That approach is the core behind a terrific website, Meet Amazing Americans,  by the Library of Congress that puts the “story” back in hi-story!  For other great ideas on homeschooling history, look through these posts:

Once Upon A Family uses a hands-on approach to studying about Mycenaean warriors.

The Expanding Life wants to know how much do we really know about women’s history?

Home Education Magazine opens up the world of archaeology with some awesome archaeology resources

The Reluctant Homeschooler compares a textbook-style teaching of American History with a literature approach.

Why Homeschool shares a fun approach to learning history via old Christmas catalogs

Homespun Juggling looks at our American presidents from inside of a homespun comic strip.

My Domestic Church celebrates the President’s Day holiday with some hands-on learning


I find that writing is one of the most difficult subjects to homeschool.  Even if you have experience as a writer, it can still be difficult to convey the principles and concepts of good writing to your children.  Thankfully, I have a terrific resource to turn to for help.  Time4Writing offers online courses for students of all ages, from elementary school through high school, and for all different styles and genres of composition.  It is a one-stop shop for writing instruction.  For even more great writing ideas, check out these posts:

Rachel Starr Thompson explains how delaying the action when writing can slow down the pace.

Home School Dad opens up his blog to a guest poster who not only has advice for teaching reluctant writers, but also happens to be his wife!

The Thinking Mother gets her curiosity piqued when three of her homeschooling friends all start using the same writing program.

In Our Write Minds looks at the benefits of letting kids enter writing contests

SmallWorld continues her WordSmithery series with an entry on similes


For me, choosing my favorite techie reading tool is like choosing my favorite chocolate in the Russell Stover’s sampler.  It does not compute!  But one resource that I often recommend to homeschoolers is the Book Adventure reading incentive program.  Kids come to the site to find books based on their interests, and they can also take quizzes on the books they have completed.  Then, parents can let them choose prizes from the site, or customize it with their own rewards such as a free video rental or a breakfast out with mom or dad.  The blog submissions below have even more great info on books and reading:

Wired For Noise shares a four-step plan for teaching a four year old how to read

Dewey’s Treehouse dedicates a photo post to some of their favorite out-of-print books


Learning a foreign language is easier and more portable than ever, thanks to mobile applications such as Buddy the Bus which lets kids read and interact with a story in five different languages. You can even record your own voice to customize the game further.  For other ways to help your homeschooler build their multilingual skills, peruse the posts below:

Adventures in Daily Living reviews another tool for the iPhone or iPod touch that can help students brush up on their Latin

Spanish Country Travel invites readers to experience the Spanish language and way of life with posts about how to pronounce Spanish letters and holidays and celebrations in the Spanish culture


I’m convinced that the current economic crisis was created by people who never really learned their math facts.  With all the great math tools and programs available today, no one should ever be able to use that as an excuse.  ALEKS math curriculum is a fully intuitive and interactive program that not only can tell what your child has and hasn’t mastered, but also the most effective way to help him or her get a handle on new material based on their learning style.  You can discover even more great math ideas in the posts below:

Kim’s Play Place shares her insights after switching her homeschool math curriculum

Guilt Free Homeschooling makes math fun with 10 math exercises you can do with a bingo game


Unless you are a homeschooler yourself, it is difficult to understand the ins and outs, ups and downs of the daily life of a home educator.   We have to think about things like socialization, record-keeping, doubting family members, and whether or not that errand at the cleaners counts as an educational experience. Sometimes we could use a helping hand, or a listening ear. Time4Learning online homeschool curriculum takes the worry and work out of homeschool and leaves room for enjoyment of learning.  We’ve been using this program for three years now, and I don’t regret a single solitary lesson-plan-free day of it!  If you’d like to see what helpful advice other homeschooling bloggers have to give, check out these posts:

Hilltop Homeschool explains how integrating technology into her grandson’s homeschool helps keep his right-brained learning style engaged

Huber Hof Academy looks closely at the ins and outs of FSA testing in BC

Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers takes on the “socialization” issue by examining the social impact of educational choices

Our Curious Home has a wishlist of questions she wishes non-homeschoolers would ask her about homeschooling

Andrea at the Atlanta Homeschooling Examiner bemoans the paperwork of a homeschooling mom

Two Kid Schoolhouse has fun with homeschooling questions such as: “You don’t get snow days, do you?”

Kerugma lays out the 4 R’s of curriculum planning

Life Without School ponders the idea of what is “lazy” and what is “learning”

15 Responses

  1. Love all your techie recommendations as we sail through the carnival! What fun! Thanks for hosting.

  2. Thank you so much for the carnival. I’m proud to be a part of it.

  3. another amazing carnival!

    am i the only one who surfs these while hearing carnival tunes in their head? but if you’re like me, you’d rather read a Topsy blog than a free cotton candy even!

    some of these i read regularly anyways, but the written wiredly’ish was wonderful! thanks!!!

  4. Oh, over-whelmed by all the good things to read. Must stick head in box and breathe deeply.

  5. LOL! I feel like Obi-Mom…. have to sit back in my chair and take a deep breath. Very impressive.

  6. Wow! What a great carnival 🙂 Thanks so much for adding my entry and I can’t wait to get reading!

  7. Tonight, when the little guys are all in bed, I will be the happiest lady I know, sitting down with some tea at the computer to read all these great posts!
    Thanks for letting me be a part of this carnival.
    Topsie Techie, I love your blog and will return often!

  8. So much to read… so much to absorb! Great Carnival! Thanks for letting me be a part of it. Now, back to the techy links.

  9. Wow you have SO MANY awesome links. Rockin’ Carnival!

    (P.S. I’d never even heard of a home school carnival until now, so consider me educated, LOL)

  10. You’re the best carnie I know! *grin*

    I have some awards for you on my site, sister/friend.

  11. Thanks for including my entry.

    In my entry, you used the word ‘peaked’. The word is piqued not peaked, it is a common misspelling. I’m not one of those people who points out spelling or grammar mistakes on chat forums but I’m mentioning it here since it is next to my name…


    That last site is actually a great one to browse through, common errors in English, I blogged it a couple of years ago, here is the home page.

    Thanks. Have a great day.

    • Christine,
      Darn! I was hoping it wouldn’t show that I was doing a lot of this at 11:30 at night! You are very right in your spelling, and that was just my lazyness coming through…I will change it immediately. Thanks for the heads up!!

  12. This is wonderful! I am racing around your page checking out all the great stuff and trying to install PHUN on my really old Mac! Thank you!

  13. Thanks for hosting a fantastic Carnival.

    Grace & Peace,

  14. Thank you so much for the homeschooling carnival. I’m proud to be a part of it. So much to say…So much to read… so much to absorb! Great Carnival! Thanks for letting me be a part of it. Now, back to the techy links.

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