3 Apps that will help your child in school

3 apps to help your child in school

If you have ever wondered how you could help your child in school, think digital. Everything for children is geared toward technology, so help your child learn through it. Here are three app recommendations that are some of the best for helping your child before and during school to really boost their love of learning.

Fish School
Ages: 3-5
Price- $2.99

Fish School App
In this fun game made for pre-k- Kindergartners, colorful fish will help teach your child their letters, numbers, shapes, and colors in an under-the-sea world with games, adventures, tasks, and fun projects. While this is best for children ages 3-5, younger kids can also benefit from it and learning how to navigate tablets and smartphones. It has an app for both!


School Zone Time, Money & Fractions On-Track
Ages: 6-8
Price: Free for basic

School Zone App

If your child needs a little more of a challenge than offered by cartoon fish, check out the School Zone apps. There are different ones, but one of the best that parents also find helpful is the one that helps teach your child about fractions, time and money. Do you know how to do fractions? If not, this app can help remind you! It comes with great sound effects and animated characters to keep your child interested, and it can teach the basics of counting, telling time (on a non-digital clock), and how to do fractions in no time.


Stack the States
Ages: 8-12
Price: $0.99

Stack the States App

That “L” shaped state is Louisiana, and that really large one to the west is California- but do you know about these states? What are their shapes, capitals, year of induction into the nation, and abbreviations? Stack the States can help teach you and your child all these things! As your child works to build a stack of cartoon states to reach the finish line, he or she will be creating a full map of the United States and learning about each individual state as they go along.

Do you have a favorite learning app? Leave us a comment and let us know!

New Gym Equipment from Capri Sun Big Pouch and TerraCycle

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This project has been sponsored by Capri Sun Big Pouch and Collective Bias.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.


A couple of months ago, we posted about starting up a TerraCycle brigade to collect Capri Sun Big Pouch and other pouch drinks in our girls’ elementary school (see post here).  There are a lot of needs in their school, but we really wanted to focus on helping out the P.E. department.  The P.E. teacher, Mr. Burks, is very silly (you should see him in his penguin outfit!) and really keeps the kids excited about P.E. and being part of the school (he and the second graders are starting a school-wide project for the 100th day of school).  He does a great job with the equipment that he has, but just take a look at the mats that he has to work with!

Capri-Sun TerraCycle-3

With our TerraCycle brigade, we really wanted to help him out and get some great new equipment that he could use to engage the kids even more, keeping them active as part of developing a healthy lifestyle.  We also just really wanted to be able to give something fun to the kids!  So we got right to work.  We worked things out with the principal.  Beth and I put together a collection box for the pouch drinks.  We wrapped it in silver wrapping paper so that it even sort of looks like a big pouch drink!  We taped some different brands of pouch drinks, including Capri Sun, to the top so that students would know what to put inside.

Capri-Sun TerraCycle-1

I went to the school to make an announcement during lunch (most of the kids recognize me anyhow) and pointed out how many of them had those drinks with them anyhow!

Capri-Sun TerraCycle-2

Grace helped me out by showing everyone what to do!  Thanks to Capri Sun’s generous donation, we got a head start on our fundraising.  We talked with Mr. Burks to get a better idea of what he wanted and needed and we placed the order.  All we had left to do was to wait for the equipment to come in!  In the meantime, we just went right collecting.  By holding off and waiting to ship a larger amount, we have about $150 worth of pouch drinks to recycle in just a couple of months!

Capri-Sun TerraCycle-7

Capri-Sun TerraCycle-5

Capri-Sun TerraCycle-4

Towards the end of the year (right before Christmas break), the equipment started to arrive!  Mr. Burks was almost as excited as the kids to see the FunHoop go up!  The kids have started calling it “Burks’ Basket”!  What fun!  We also got a new wedge mat (we call it a cheese), some new flat mats with the school colors, and some new inflatable balls to go with the FunHoop.  The kids are having a blast and Sophie was so excited to be one of the first to roll down the cheese!

Capri-Sun TerraCycle-6

Thanks Capri Sun!

Have you started a TerraCycle brigade at your school?  It’s really not that much work for all of the smiles that you get from those sweet kids!  Share your story with us by leaving a comment below.

Back to School for the Girls

Grace and Sophie started back to school back on August 21st. Grace was so excited for being in the big sister role to Sophie. Grace is heading to 2nd Grade and Sophie is heading to Kindergarten.


Grace just turned 7 years old and is so excited to be reading more at school. Hopefully she loves math as this year is FULL of math for her.

Back to School 2013 - Grace - 2nd Grade

Sophie is 5.5 years old and was overly ready for Kindergarten. She can’t wait to start reading. She is longing to read like her big sister.


Grace received instructions to sit with her sister on the bus. They ran to the bus the first day. Sophie has a HUGE smile every day when that bus pulls away from our driveway.


Matthew is excited for his big sisters. He is ready to start 4 year old preschool after Labor Day. Brian is very ready too. Hopefully that means more pictures and posts here in the few hours of free time he will get.

Simply Budgeted Three Kids August 2013

Are your kids back to school yet? Leave us a comment and let us know!

Happy Graduation Season … to ME!

Did you know graduation season is coming up? I am really excited about this year’s graduation season … specifically the May 18th day because that is when I will officially graduate from Virginia Tech … for the second time. This time I will have completed my Master of Arts in Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis on Instructional Technology. whew! Did you catch all of that? yeah it is a lot of words for a degree that focuses in using technology for learning strategies .

For me this day in May comes after three years of hard work. You see, I think like an engineer not like a teacher. I don’t write ten page papers … I write bulleted lists and one sentence testable requirements! This degree has been a bigger challenge than I could have ever imaged when I took it on three years ago! So after all of that time, some celebrating might be in order. Maybe a backyard BBQ? Maybe a little afternoon party that obviously includes kids activities in the yard? I really don’t know but I do know that I have loved look at graduation announcements. Did you know that Tiny Prints  offers Graduation Invitations, Announcements and Gifts?

This is one of my favorites since I really don’t need my thirty-something face plastered all over my graduation announcement! What do you think?

Chalkboard Graduation Announcement from Tiny Prints

Remember that Tiny Prints Graduation Announcements and Invitations are quality you can feel! Oh and if you aren’t the graduate, don’t worry!

Supporting the Virgina Tebow Bill (Homeschool Sports Participation)

Do you live in VA and homeschool? If you do, you need to read this!

We don’t homeschool but we fully support the decision to homeschool. We know it is the right decision for many families and who knows, maybe one day it will be the right decision in our family. We do have a built in High School teacher! 😉

Our Delegate, Rob Bell, has introduced a Virginia version of the Tebow Bill to the Virginia General Assembly. This is his second year trying to get this bill passed. He needs help!

What does this bill do? It allows homeschooled kids to play sports in the public school district they live in! Want more information? Check out VirginiaTebowBill.com!

What help does he need from homeschoolers in Virginia? Here is what Del. Rob Bell sent out in his email …

Dear Homeschooling friend:

I wanted to give you a heads up that the “Tebow Bill” will be coming before the House Students and Early Education Subcommittee for a vote at 7:30am on Thursday, January 24. This will take place in the 5th Floor East Conference Room in the General Assembly Building in Richmond.  (Any information about previous dates is no longer valid.)

Please contact my office at (804)-698-1058 or[email protected] if you would like to come and testify.

Even if you do not want to testify, I hope you and your kids will still come show your support! Please find directions to the General Assembly Building and information about visiting the Capitol here.

I also strongly encourage you to contact your delegates and senators to let them know your support. You can find your legislator here.

Sincerely, Rob Bell

Maybe you can’t head to Richmond, VA on January 24th … You can still sign the Petition on VirginiaTebowBill.com to show your support!

** Please note this is not intended to be a political debate but informational. This is our personal opinion and we have no connection to this bill besides residing in Delegate Rob Bell’s district.

#BagItForward School Supply Shopping

Before I could even think about the list for our kids’ back to school shopping, there was a list sitting at the church entrance a few Sundays ago. The list had items that are being requested by GRACE (Greene Alliance of Church and Community Efforts). They do a drive each year to help children in need in this small community. When I say small, I mean small (2 elementary schools, 1 middle school, and 1 high school.) The community is near a great area of development but it is still a farm based community that is mostly rural. The reduced/free lunch number of students at Grace’s elementary school is over 50% so the need is GREAT here! (This is publicly available information.)

All that being said, we were thrilled to participate  in the #BagItForward event where we shopped and donated items on the Back to School Donation Drive Shopping List. We had already set a budget for our donation shopping so I combined our donation with this opportunity to make a great impact! You can see the full shopping trip and delivery to the donation location in our G+ Photo Album.

I excited to find the Elmer’s Back To School Supply List Stand right inside the front door at Walmart …

Then I found a small display of the Elmer’s products …

I love the purple disappearing glue sticks, how about you?

I kept looking around and was amazed at all of the new Elmer’s products available!

I made it home and Brian helped sort through everything so it could be packed up to be delivered!

The kids were so excited to see the box of school supplies our family was sharing. (Yes, we talk a lot about sharing!)

Then they were off to take it to the donation table …

The little helpers got to work adding the items to the donation table …


 Doesn’t that make you ready find a Back to School Supply Drive in your area? We hope it does!

To help with all of your Back to School shopping for your kids and the donation drives in your area, Elmer’s has created a great new app! Head over to 1st Day App Download to check out the app yourself! Plus while you are at the 1st Day App page you can enter to win a trip for four to Disney World thanks to X-Acto Desinger Series and Walmart!

Plus you can get a free 5 x 7 digital print in August from Walmart! In August, just visit the Walmart Photo Department in-store or online at Walmart.com/photo for details.

About the 1st Day App …

  • It is FREE!
  • It is a mobile phone app and website built to capture treasured photos and memories from the first day of school.
  • It allows you to personalize photo memories with quotes or captions and organize them by date, child and album.
  • It allows you to organize photos by child, using colors and tags.
  • It allows you to journal a school year of memories and share them with the classroom, family and friends as a slide show!
  • Plus all photos are housed in a secure online environment on the 1st Day™ microsite!

Need another reason to check out and use the 1st Day App? For every photo uploaded, Elmer’s will donate one product to The Kids in Need Foundation (up to 200,000 products)!

You can find Elmer’s on Facebook to keep up to date on their latest promotions and products. If you are on Twitter, be sure to follow Elmer’s on Twitter and maybe even tweet them a picture of what you find when you are shopping!

Want to find out more? Check out BagItForward.org and follow Bag It Forward on Pinterest!

What is on your kids’ Back to School supply list? Is your family contributing to a location Back to School Supply Drive? Leave us a comment and let us know!
NOTE:  I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and and Elmer’s but all opinions expressed are my own.  #BagItForward #CBias #SocialFabric

Wordless Wednesday: Kindergarten Graduation

On Monday, Grace’s school had their Kindergarten graduation ceremony (the last day of school is today). She was so happy yet was not in the mood to take any nice pictures. We didn’t fight it. oh well. (Sophie is in the back of this picture as an added bonus!)


I just noticed she wore the same dress her first day of Kindergarten! So funny she picked the same dress both days!
Do you have a Wordless Wednesday post? Let us know where it is!


Thanks for visiting this week!