Category Archives: Homeschoooling

10 Days to a Better School Year & a Giveaway

I am so excited that it is time again for a fabulous 10 Day Series!!! You may remember that last year I did the 10 Days of Nerdy Fun in conjunction with a great group of homeschool bloggers. This year there is also an Amazon gift card!


Starting July 10th I will be posting a simple thing to do now that will make your school year a little better and a little saner. Most of these posts are not homeschool specific at all but add a little peace to our crazy homeschool lives. I will come add the new links every day (they publish at midnight;).

10 days 2017 button

 1. Planning Now for Caring All Year!

2. Passing Down Chores in 4 Steps

3. Christmas Gift Planning

4. Adding Sanity 3 Systems at a Time

5. 5 Questions to Help Your Students Succeed

6. Collage Memo Center

7. Tackling the “Once in a Whiles” Before School Starts

8. Tech Organization Helps

9. Summer Bucket List

10. Meal Plan for Your Sanity

Before you start taking in all fabulous posts, make sure you enter the giveaway for the $110 Amazon gift card!!! The giveaway starts July 10th, 7am EST – July 21st 11:59pm EST and is open to US and Canadian residents.


Make sure that you check out all the other bloggers who are participating in the 10 Days Series!! Each blogger has their own theme and subject. They are all going to be fabulous!


My thoughts on Impressionism

Camille Pissarro (French, Charlotte Amalie, Saint Thomas 1830–1903 Paris) Haystacks, Morning, Éragny, 1899 Oil on canvas; 25 x 31 1/2 in. (63.5 x 80 cm) The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Bequest of Douglas Dillon, 2003
Camille Pissarro (French, Charlotte Amalie, Saint Thomas 1830–1903 Paris)
Haystacks, Morning, Éragny, 1899
Oil on canvas; 25 x 31 1/2 in. (63.5 x 80 cm)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Bequest of Douglas Dillon, 2003

I read Impressionism by Eyewitness Art but this is what I think about Impressionism. 

Many decades ago, social changes inspired different artists around the world, such as Degas, Sisley, Caillebotte, and Pissaro to rise up and rebel against old, tame styles of painting under the name impressionists. Those men and woman started painting in bold new styles. They painted everything: landscapes, cafes, dancers, and more! I wish I could give a simple explanation, but of simplicity, Impressionism eludes. The wild and bold creations this group come up with, from paintings, portraits, models and more. These radical creations earned this group many sponsors, such as George Charpentier, Paul Gachet, Ernest Hoschede, and many more people. Many people liked these creations. Some of the more famous creations are Music in the Tuileness, The Cradle, Paris, a rainy day, and Pissarro’s letter sketch. And today, there are thousands of impressionists out there, painting the world their way.

 I think of Impressionism was a newer, more lifelike style of painting and making sculptures. It looks, to me, as though it makes everything look more natural. I have seem some impressionist pieces and they look for life-like than other art pieces. One of them I thought was a picture instead of a painting! Some Impressionism art is lewd, and inappropriate, but some of all art can be inappropriate. Overall, I think Impressionism is a nice change from classical art.

Impressionism is a change of pace, and I suggest everyone gives it a chance. Sayonara!


H is for Hanukkah


Today I guest post over on Life of a Homeschool Mom! I shared a ton of resources on Hanukkah. From history to food to dreidel! I want to thank Heather for having me!

One of our favorite things in the holiday season is Hanukkah! It is the Jewish festival of lights! In 2016 it starts on December 24th. Hanukkah is the perfect mix of history, culture, fun, food, and celebrating for any homeschooler to do a little learning and celebrate! Here are a few resources to help you have a great Hanukkah!

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Time for a Party!!! A Nerdy, Twitter Party!



What is nerdier and funner than chatting about STEM and calculators? Nothing (that is the right answer;). That is why I am so stoked to be a paid panelist for this week’s STEMChat on Thursday night. We will be talking about STEM, goals, applications, and of course cool calculator talk! Please join me! 

Join us on Twitter Thursday, Sept. 15 from 9-10 pm Eastern.

TI is always looking for new angles on STEM and this year they’ve teamed up with a new spokesperson, pro football player John Urschel! As an offensive lineman for the Baltimore Ravens and an MIT PhD candidate, John is a shining example of an athlete who is also a mathlete.

John is teaming up with Texas Instruments for a couple of initiatives. The first, as you may have read here, is the Math For the Win Contest. TI is giving away a TI-84 each day until September 17 and all you have to do to enter is post a photo on Twitter or Instagram that shares how you use math in your everyday life and tag it #MathFTW and #TIContest. In addition to the daily random giveaways, John will select his five favorite photos that will be put up for a public vote. The person who submits the photo that garners the most votes will win a $500 Amazon gift card and a classroom Skype session with John.

Math for the win #MathFTW with Texas Instruments and John Urschel

The TI-84 family is the preferred calculator of many middle and high schools. In addition to the features mentioned above, the TI-84 Plus CE has a bright, color screen, six times more memory and a rechargeable battery. It includes preloaded apps, a charger and a USB cable. And it’s permitted for use on important tests like the SAT, ACT and AP exams.

(In keeping with tradition, I’m also giving away a calculator here, too. Read below to enter.)

John Urschel is also teaming up with TI to explore the STEM behind sports in a new series of activities designed to inspire young problem-solvers and critical thinkers. STEM behind sports. The first activity, “Field Goal for the Win!” is a fun, free activity for the TI-84 Plus family of calculators. Click to get in the game today!

Meet the STEMchat Panelists

Texas Instruments Calculators, @TICalculators, is on a mission is to improve achievement for all students in math & science.

Kimberly Gonzales, @kim_gonzales, is a digital content engineer at Texas Instruments who is passionate about getting more women and Latinas interested in STEM. With STEM degrees from MIT and UT Austin, she sees the potential STEM careers have on changing a student’s future. Read more about Kimberly in this STEM Girl Friday feature.

Sarah Kimmel, @FamilyTechZ, is a mom who can fix your blog, your computer, or your server. She has been in the IT industry supporting small businesses for over 10 years, and now offers free computer help and tips on her blog.   FamilyTechZone.

David J Lockett, @DavidJLockett, an Aerospace and Engineering Teacher for the Lake Wales Charter School System, a columnist and amateur astronomer.

And we can’t forget our fearless leader! @KimMoldofsky and @STEMchat.

Make sure that you follow me too! I am @NerdMom!

Tweet you on the 15th at 9 pm Eastern!

Spread the news to your STEM-loving friends and colleagues. Share the #STEMchat joy with these sample tweets!

Join me for #STEMchat on Twitter 9/15 at 9 PM Eastern to talk #STEM with @TICalculators

Join me for #STEMchat with @KimMoldofsky and @TICalculators on Twitter 9/15 at 9 PM Eastern!

Connect to TI before and after #STEMchat:

(Disclosure: This is a paid post but all thoughts and opinions are mine!)

10 Fun & Educational Youtube Channels & Playlists

10 fun and Educational Youtube

Youtube is a fun and scary place. There are so many things there that it is hard to sift through the cat videos for something of substance. That is why I did some sifting for you! Here are 10 fun and educational Youtube channels and playlists perfect for any homeschool family or nerd!

Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego! Nothing like a great nerdy throw back! A user on Youtube (Bubblebear83) has put together a playlist!!!

TED talks to watch with kids is a playlist that TED has put together.  Some great talks!

Doodling in Math Class by ViHart is one of my absolute favorites! We have been watching her since before she was working for Khan Academy. She is NerdPie’s favorite;). 

Mathemusician Stuff is another great ViHart play list. I love music and math, need I say more?

Crash Course is a series done by the VlogBrothers. It is a ton of subjects and super entertaining. My kids and I really like it. It is probably considered high school level but all my kids watch most of them. 

Crash Course Kids is just like Crash Course but aimed at elementary aged kids. 

Space Time is done by PBS Digital Studios. It is really fun, interesting, and well done. And who doesn’t love space?

PBS Game/Show is obviously done by PBS. It is all about video games and that is inherently cool. It isn’t a review show but actually about gaming and video games. Like things like How old is Virtual Reality.

It’s Okay to be Smart is the last PBS show on my list. Joe Hanson hosts it and talks about science and life. 

Life Noggin is another science in life channel. They talk about things like sleepwalking and science of super powers.

Bonus: This isn’t a playlist but a grouping. Remember Eureka? It was a math series on PBS back when I was a kid. It is cartoony and mathy and awesome! Check it out! 

Yes, Youtube can be so educational! So check out some of these great lists! And what awesome educational faire do you watch on Youtube? Let me know in the comments. 

10daysbutton This is part of the 10 Days of Nerdy Fun!!! Make sure you hop over to see what other great post of nerdy fun that will be shared! 


10 Math Card Games

10 Math Card Games NerdFamily


It isn’t shocking that math skills are built by repetition. It is also well known facts that we remember having fun and if we are learning at the same time, we remember that too! In that spirit here are some fun math games to play with your kids! All you need is a standard deck of cards. You will have learning and quality time! Can’t beat that!

1) Multiplication Math War: Flip cards and who ever yells out the multiplication fact first wins the cards!

2) Guess my number: Basically 20 questions. Are you a factor of 10? Are you higher than 3?

3) Make the highest number: Deal out 4 cards. Who ever can make the highest total (using addition or multiplication) wins.

4) Go Fish Add Up/Subtract Down: This is great for preschool kids. If you have a four you could ask for a 5 or a 3. Teaches number order.

5) Largest pile: Come up with a total goal (say 20) then deal out cards evenly among the players and who ever can get to 20 with the largest amount of cards wins. You can chose addition and/or subtraction.

6) Addition Math War: Flip cards and who ever yells out the addition fact first wins the cards.

7) Factor Family: Deal out 5 cards and the first person who can make a factoring relationship with all 5 wins. Say you get a 2, 3, 5, 10 and 6. You could go obvious and say 1800 (all multiplied together) or go a bit smoother with 60. 10 time 6 is 60 and 5, 3, and 2 are factors. The lowest number wins because that is the best factoring relationship.

8) Skip Series Rummy: Like regular rummy but instead of runs (1,2,3) or groups of 3 you are looking for skip runs (2, 4, 6, or 1, 3, 5).

9) Sum 10 memory: Instead of looking for boring pairs you are looking for pairs that add up to 10.

10) Make up a math sentence: You are dealt a card. You must make up a math sentence that results in that number. Round 2 is to deal out 2 cards. 1 card is the answer to the math question and 1 is in it.

10daysbutton  This is part of the 10 Days of Nerdy Fun!!! Make sure you hop over to see what other great post of nerdy fun that will be shared! 


Fun around the Lego site

Misfortune's Keep(Edited)

Do you like playing with Legos and want more bricktastic action? There is lots of special features, games and videos that I’m going to lay out to you right here right now. This post will tell you my favorite things and why I like them.

1:Watch product videos and mini movies. For almost every product there is a product video. The product animations using the pieces that you get in the sets. Plus it has a descriptions of all the moving pieces. My favorite is set number 70605 Misfortune’s Keep. It has hidden cannons, disc shooters and the pirate jet taking off from the launchpad. It also has four-armed djinn Nadakhan possessing the soul of famed teacher Sensi Wu. 

2:Play different games of different types. There are many games, some I haven’t tried, that go along with the lego stories. My favorite is called Skybound. The evil Djinn Nadakhan is stealing parts of NINJAGO Island to rebuild his realm of Djinjago in the sky. Playing as Jay you must battle him and his gang of SKY PIRATES to rescue Zane, Nya, Lloyd, Cole and Kai to take back the stolen lands and rebuild NINJAGO.

3:Watch short stories on Lego city made by  other kids. On Lego city you can watch Fan Created Videos made by other kids. They make it using the LEGO Movie Maker app. These use Stop Motion Animation to animate the app.

4:Look at the cool sets available. On the Lego site there is information and images for every set. Click on Products, choose an image, look on the top, and click products again. There are so many products to look at. You can also look at Lego sets on Amazon.

I hope this post has filled you in on the fun you can have on I hope you can have as much fun as I always do. 



This is part of the 10 Days of Nerdy Fun!!! Make sure you hop over to see what other great post of nerdy fun that will be shared! 


Fun with Coding


What can be more nerdy than coding games? By that I mean games about coding, not writing games in code. That would be a different post entirely. I am a huge believer that every one needs to learn how to program in today’s day and age. It isn’t just for kids who someday want to be engineers but for anyone who may use a computer and do business. But it isn’t boring to learn at all. 

A look at the site on my Lenovo Yoga!

I started putting together a fun list of coding games and activities and then I realized that there was a hub that had them all, So let me go through the list of great coding activities that they have!

Star Wars:Building a Galaxy with Code, Minecraft Hour of Code, and Code with Anna and Elsa all deal with blocks of code that you arrange into features, environments, and structures in the various worlds. I believe that these were all released specifically for the Hour of Code. 

Then you get into the tutorials games in Javascript. Tinker has a great game with their Code Monsters. They build in logic steps to fight. There are different levels of difficulty. There is also the Khan Academy tutorials. My kids are big fans of their Javascript tutorials. 

Thinkersmith has a full unplugged activity available. It has to do with students putting together simple instructions and then having them followed exactly. It teaches the programming thinking without a computer. Something commonly refereed to as a low level computer science;).

 Have a tablet or phone? They can try Lightbot. It deals with developing the logic for programming, especially dealing in loops. 


So have your kids check out for some programming fun and learning. 

10daysbutton This is part of the 10 Days of Nerdy Fun!!! Make sure you hop over to see what other great post of nerdy fun that will be shared! 

3 Steps to Puzzle Storage Zen


Puzzles sound so old school, I know. But puzzles are great for so many reasons. They develop logic and problem-solving skills. It helps kids (and adults) to sit and focus therefore develop that stick to it attitude that helps people succeed in life. And it de-stresses so many. But I hear complaints all the time about puzzles. But most of those complaints are about storage and trying to figure out where found pieces go. It doesn’t have to be that way!!!

We love a puzzle here in the NerdFamily. But not in the rainy day, sit for 3 hours, and just do puzzles kind of way. Instead, we grab those hidden moments that would other be lost. We put up a folding table and throw a puzzle on it. This is when we use those big puzzles that you just don’t have a lot of time for. We only do this when we can leave it up for a few days. Then we take those minutes that pop up through the day and head to the table. Maybe we are watching tv and working on it. That time when dinner is almost ready and you don’t have time to do anything, puzzle time;). Those minutes when half the family is ready to go somewhere and they are waiting on the other half? Puzzle time.  

I hear it now, “How do you not lose all those little pieces? How to you keep them all together?” That is easier than you think! And when you find that random puzzle piece you will know right where it goes! 

WP_20150408_11_28_11_Pro1)Get a marker or a stamp. Stamp or write a letter (or code of some sort) on the back of every piece. Yes, I know it sounds tedious. It really isn’t that time consuming. With smaller children use a color as part of your code. Then they don’t have to read!

2)Cut out the front picture from the box. Be honest, those boxes never last very long anyways. On the back of the picture write the code for that puzzle and how many pieces there are. WP_20150408_11_29_25_Pro

3)Put the whole mess into a ziplock bag! Throw the bags into a bin and put the bin on the shelf. If you have a lot of puzzles, like some of us, you might want to have different bins for different sized puzzles. That way if your 4-year-old goes to grab a puzzle they can just access their smaller ones;). 

That is it! 3 steps to storing your puzzles! Now go have some fun!!!



   This is part of the 10 Days of Nerdy Fun!!! Make sure you hop over to see what other great posts of nerdy fun that will be shared!