Archive for March, 2013

Awaken the Power of Learning in Your Child

Sponsored by Wisconsin Virtual Academy Wisconsin Virtual Academy logo
A tuition-free, online public school option for grades K-12

When students are inspired to learn, they grow more curious. Curiosity, in turn, leads to passionate interests. And those interests soon blossom into full potential—and an exciting future. We’re ready to put this goal in sight for your child. Because it’s amazing what can happen when you’re free to learn. Read more…

As a full-time, tuition-free, online public school authorized by McFarland School District for grades K–12, Wisconsin Virtual Academy (WIVA) lets students learn in the ways that are right for them. We combine the research-based, award-winning curriculum from K12— America’s K–12 online education leader—with expert teachers and extensive support to provide an outstanding education that meets or exceeds state standards.


The key is our individualized approach, which makes the most of each child’s potential. In K–8, students can set the pace to their learning day, guided by highly qualified teachers. In high school, teens have a wealth of academic choices, including AP levels. Plus, there are field trips and clubs all the way to graduation.

WIVA uses the award-winning K¹² curriculum that’s been created by cognitive scientists, interactive designers, and master teachers—many with advanced degrees. Decades of research about how children learn are combined with rich, dynamic content to make learning come alive.

This methodology incorporates everything from engaging audio, video, and illustrations to animated demonstrations and learning games. Each course is designed to be online from the outset, unlike other curriculum providers that often scan a textbook and call it “online education.” Subject matter is carefully sequenced so that from one grade to the next, students build new knowledge upon the strong foundations of what they’ve already learned.

To address a variety of learning styles, K12 integrates hands-on materials with online lessons—books, math manipulatives, maps, art supplies, and more, particularly in early grades. Plus, mastery based assessments are built right into the K–8 curriculum, to confirm students’ understanding of material. All course content meets or exceeds state and national standards.

Experience a sample lesson now to see what all this can mean for your child.

It all comes together in the Online School (OLS), where students can log in to their daily lessons, submit assignments, join a live web class, or reach out to their teachers for extra help. Easy-to-use planning and communication tools in the OLS let parents adjust scheduling, monitor progress, and stay in control.

How online school works – watch our video overview hosted by two K12 students.

All of WIVA’s online teachers are Wisconsin-licensed—and like excellent teachers everywhere, they know how to direct learning and inspire students. Our teachers also forge strong partnerships with parents. They manage all facets of the instructional process, regularly communicating with you and your student via e-mail, phone calls, and online meetings.

Along with consistent support from teachers and staff, we make it easy to connect and share resources with other parents—not just from WIVA, but in K12 partner schools worldwide. Our far-reaching parent networking groups help you get off to a great start, make the transition to a new grade, glean insightful tips, and even get moral support from veteran Learning Coaches.

WIVA also offers plenty of extracurricular activities of its own, to further help your child build lasting friendships, develop strong social skills, work collaboratively with others, and stay connected. Some of these opportunities are hosted online through our secure web-based meeting tool. Others take place face-to-face, including talent shows as well as regular field trips to exciting locations like museums, parks, and zoos. Plus, teens can enjoy prom, and even a graduation ceremony.


Whether your student is craving more challenges, better suited to a more focused learning environment, or always on the move, we give Wisconsin students from all walks of life the tools they need to succeed—in school and beyond. Our graduates earn a high school diploma that’s recognized by colleges and employers all around the globe.

Join the many families in Wisconsin whose children are reaching their true, personal potential through the individualized learning approach offered by Wisconsin Virtual Academy.

The Wisconsin 2013-2014 Open Enrollment window is February 4th – April 30th, 2013.

Learn more at an upcoming information session in your area.

Racine Information Session               Kenosha Information Session

Thursday, April 4th, 2013                        Thursday, April 23rd, 2013

5:00pm – 7:00pm                                  5:00pm – 7:00pm

Racine Public Library                              Comfort Suites

75 Seventh Street                                  7206 122nd Avenue

Racine, WI 53403                                   Kenosha, WI 53142

We also have online information sessions you can attend from your own home. For event details and to register visit or call our enrollment team at 866.339.9912.

“It’s not the school for everyone, but for some, it is just what they’ve always wanted. They can school at home with a top quality curriculum and full teacher support.”
Amanda France, K-2 Teacher

“There is something powerful about knowing that YOU can take charge of your child’s education.”
Tammy D., Parent

“I couldn’t imagine schooling any other way. I love it, and I’m doing very well!”
Violet A., Student

Is this right for your family? Take our 10-minute, interactive tutorial to find out.


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Where There’s a Need

lukasSpecial Children Need
by JAK guest blogger, Amanda Burns, of Racine

Hi there. My name is Amanda J. Burns, and I founded Children with Disabilities in February of 2007 inspired by my son who was born with Cerebral Palsy. The goal of this organization is to help fund programs that serve special needs children. These children require a lot of supplies at school and acquiring those supplies can get expensive. The teachers and teacher’s aides that work in the special needs classes purchase a lot of the supplies that are used at school. As there isn’t a budget for these supplies, the cost comes out of the pockets of the teachers and staff.

The supplies include such things as laundry soap, tissue, baby wipes, dish soap, and liquid hand soap. Other supplies are school and craft items such as markers, paints, construction paper, and so forth. The children also go on outings that include going to Target, Wal-Mart, and the bowling alley. These outings require the parents and caregivers of the children to pay for the field trips. Unfortunately not all families can afford the field trips. Once again the teachers will use their personal funds to pay so that all of the children are included in these events. It is important to the children that their friends are included in any and all activities.

I have seen the teachers and staff work and I appreciate everything that they do for my child at school. Because of their devotion to these children I want to help them provide for the children. I am starting by having a Children with Disabilities Vendor and Craft Fundraiser.

The event will be held on Saturday April 13, 2013 from 10am – 4pm at CareersIndustries located at 4811 Washington Ave., in Racine WI. There will be over 40 Crafters and Vendors at this event. I have arranged for a nominal admission fee of $2. This money will be split evenly between Children with Disabilities and Careers Industries, which is a center for disabled adults.

In addition to the crafts and vendors we will be having a 50/50 raffle, silent auction, and other individual items raffled off. The other items include sports memorabilia, restaurant gift cards, a gymnastics birthday party, Timber Ridge Lodge birthday party, plus items from each of the participating vendors. Daniel Chiropractic will also be giving free spinal screenings.

Craig Newsome, former NFL cornerback of the Green Bay Packers, will be there signing autographs! Bring your Packer gear and get your autographs!!!

Children’s books will also be available for sale, as well as a concession area with food and drinks.

I would greatly appreciate any help to guarantee this event be successful and well run. Anyone that would like to volunteer at the event and/or donate an item for the silent auction or raffle can contact me at, or they can bring any of the supplies named above to the event and we will have a supply box for the items!!! Donated items can also be taken to Careers Industries, as we are having a supply drive.

All proceeds earned at this event will go towards the special needs children in our local schools for classroom supplies and field trips.

Some of the crafters include:

Glitzy Glamour Boutique- home made tutus, tutu dresses and hair accessories

Caledonia Lioness Club- scarves and jewelry

Heartfelt & Home Spun- knitted & crochet items

Sea Bath & Beauty- home made soaps, chap sticks, and bath bombs

The Kurlinski’s- latch hook rugs & jewelry

Gia Robertson- cushions, travel pillows, scarves & throws

Bagn’ You- fabric totes & drawstring back packs

Judy Maranger & Janice Goebel- book art & pop top bracelets

Katie Degroot- crochet dishcloths & hot pads

Lucille Sauder- fleece blankets, baby, kitchen, & wood items

Lynette Uttech- burp rags, wood doll beds & stools

Mary Blankenship- hand painted items

The Paper Turtle- hand crafted & unique items made of paper, yarn and fabric

Patricia Herr- paper crafts, wine glasses, autism awareness items

Sweet Somethings- cupcakes

Teralyn’s Creations- crochet items

Linda Kenyon- baby shower items

Karrens’ Cookies- cookies

Annie Gartner- scarves, hats, & Packer stuff

Dic’s Wics- soy candles & sugar scrubs

Kenny Szafasz- woodcarvings

2 Crafty Girls- coasters & t-shirt scarves

Wisconian Delactables- homemade gourmet chips

Some of the vendors include:






Tastefully Simple

It Works



Paparazzi Jewelry

The Pampered Chef



Grace Adele


Origami Owl

Organo Coffee

Children with Disabilities event

Note: the time for Craig Newsome autographs is subject to change.

Follow this event on




Amanda is married with 3 kids stay at home mom, and a full-time student. She is also an entrepreneur who makes custom tutu dresses, tutus, dog tutus, and hair accessories.

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Let it Flow
Sponsored by Next Step Goals, LLC
Written by Julie O’Keeffe Henzey
Next Step Goals logo brown letters orange circles 200 wide (2)

What a rainy few days we’ve had in the past week. I’ve been in our unfinished basement pulling up fabric runners and mopping up water that inevitably leaks in through the wall each time we experience heavy rains. Box fans have been going full blast and I’ve left the lights on to warm it up a bit. As of today, we’re all good again.

Water is amazing because as much as we try to control it, we can’t. Sure, we can dam it up or redirect it here and there, but our planet is covered with rivers that choose their own path, with no human intervention.

Funny thing is, it’s the same with stuff that happens in our life. There’s a lot we can’t control. We can’t control when our kids will get sick or when we’ll get a flat tire. We can’t control when our job is eliminated during downsizing or when our mother will do something about her weight .

The writer Pema Chodron talks about life as a river and our problems as the debris in the river.  Just imagine how each little thing we worry about can amount to a piece of debris, floating along. Have you ever noticed how little eddies can catch debris and keep it there, along the bank, in a never-ending swirl? Those swirls expend a lot of energy to keep junk revolving within their own sphere. Eventually, if enough debris gets caught up, the eddy will not be able to hold it and the collection will break free in a little flotilla.

Now imagine how we create this same situation with all our problems! We allow ourselves to feel negative emotions and fuel negative thoughts over things big and small. These emotions, thoughts, and beliefs all swirl around in a never-ending whirlpool, zapping energy that we could use elsewhere!  And yet we refuse to let go of the turmoil until it gets to be too much. Then it all busts out either with an outburst of anger, a heart-felt cry, or a four-margarita night.

Stuff is just going to happen. Rain is going to fall. We can let it flow freely downstream or we can trap it. We can let our emotional debris pile up and constantly hold us back, or we can choose to keep it from getting snagged up in the first place. I love Chodron’s advice: When we notice we’re starting to fuel a negative thought or emotion, we can just go ahead and feel it and then release it. Feel and release. Over and over again. Pretty much day in and day out! Until we master it and make it a habit.

Give it a try. And while you’re at it, hop in an inner tube and float downstream with some friends on this same river. You can laugh at your debris as it floats by!

Julie helps women and seniors successfully take action and navigate challenges through her two businesses Next Step Goals LLC and Peace of Mind Transitions LLC. She herself has climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and completed 60 sprint triathlons while divorced with two kids.

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Put Some Spring in Your Step

Springing Forward
Spring Forward clockby Just Add Kids Founder, Paula Herrmann

Allow me to be the messenger of this annual reminder.  This daylight savings time has really crept up on me. You?

Once again, we need to set our clocks ahead one hour before we go to bed this Saturday night, March 9th. As a mom, trust me, losing an hour of life, sleep, in bed, does not bring me great joy.  I am sure you can relate! At the same time, READ MORE…the extension of daylight into the evening is welcomed.

It’s amazing the impact that one hour can have on our bodies. Yet instead of being discouraged with the change, think more about a time FOR change, new beginnings: start fresh.  Isn’t that always the beautiful thing with life? You can always start afresh with a new day or a new season.  Now if the weather would continue to cooperate (it’s amazing what one day of sunshine and melting snow can do).

I found myself the past couple of weeks just absolutely in a funk, so I made a change. This one was suggested to me last year, yet only when I slipped so far down to practically unfunctional, I finally took the plunge. Any change can be a plunge. Only mine includes just a couple of drops of vitamin D.  Little drips of sunshine with immediate results. Why did I wait so long?

So here’s my message, spring forward! Don’t forget to set your clocks forward and set your sights forward. Additionally, change your smoke detector battery and recharge your personal battery.  Put some spring in your step!

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