Tech Ed 4 Kids Partners with Parents, Students, and Teachers to Measurably Propel Student Achievement in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math

Advocacy (IEP)

Here in Illinois there are a few places you can turn to find advocates. When making an IEP for school generally the parents and teachers get together to discuss goals and set up supports and services for the year. Parents can also call meetings throughout the year if...

Newsela and the News

Last year when we took a break to go remote our local school decided that they didn't want to pressure the kids with learning anything new. The grade school, we were doing 5th grade, simply wanted to work on keeping up the students social emotional learning. My little...

CodaKid (More Coding) or you can learn and have fun too!

There are so many ways to make learning fun. One of the things we've tied in is CodaKid (besides Tynker). On a side note though, last night we were watching the new Netflix documentary on the Social Dilemma. A documentary-drama hybrid that explores the human impact of...

Tynker Coding (adding coding to homeschool)

Debating what to study for homeschooling, one of our thoughts was 'We need a language!'. We discussed every option of language we had some experience with and looked at what colleges are accepting. Interestingly enough some colleges now are taking programming...

Playing with Fractions using Cooking

We were needing a break a couple days ago during homeschooling and making cookies seemed to check all the boxes. I was reminded of the old skit by Bill Cosby where he discussed cake for breakfast.... eggs, milk.... yep it's breakfast! Making cookies is fractions! We...

Starting Home School

Yep, we decided to completely swap to homeschool, we got our curriculum (we got extra!) and we are ready. What we learned quickly was the same as the old adage about too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the soup or whatever that saying is... both my husband and I...

Homeschooling: Choosing a Curriculum for our 2e

We've enriched in the past, but this is our first year completely homeschooling. Choosing a curriculum resulted in us changing our mind several times. At first we bought a set of textbooks for each subject in the correct grade level. We could just make our own. I...

Planning Curriculum

I just saw in an email that curriculum materials are the new toilet paper... Luckily we had started early. No matter what we do though I'll second guess my decisions. We know we definitely want something secular, and we were hoping to follow the common core standards...

No Distance Learning Available?

Our school came out with a draft plan and it doesn't include distance learning. The school mentioned possibly including distance learning for students that are home bound for medical reasons, but that lets out a lot of families. Most families are torn on going back to...

2e, What’s that?

Twice Exceptional is a phrase for someone that is special needs and also gifted. Twice exceptional is also known as 2e. From my experience these students tend to get passed over a lot. As a parent of a 2e student we frequently heard things like he's doing so well...

Homeschooling? Autism and the Break at our house.

When the break for the virus started our school decided at first to just give the students the first days off as Act of God days. My son's grade school was made an effort to start posting on Facebook and reaching out to the students. Letting them know that they were...


Right now I'm working as a long term sub at a near by school. It's our local school district and the district is the one I went to school in when I was in school (and my dad as well as his family also)… So I have an allegiance to the school. That being said, after...

Common Core?

It seems like almost everyday I hear a complaint about common core. Maybe I'm just more sensitive and notice it more at the moment, but the complaints are definitely there. All the complaints seem aimed at math specifically. The reason given for common core is to make...

iRobot (Robots Too)

This year we decided to add an iRobot remote controlled robot to our collection.  It has a rechargeable battery, a camera, and treads!  The cool arm that is included has a pincher that allows the robot to pick up items and carry them around the house.   The boys on...

Ted Talk on Procrastination

My middle son just started a special research program at Oak Ridge National Lab (Yep, I'm proud of him)...  that being said, on the way back from taking items down for him to move in we listened to TED talks.  One I just had to offer an opinion on was about...

Review-Mrs. Gorski, I think I have the Wiggle Fidgets

Mrs. Gorski I think I have the Wiggle Fidgets is Free currently on Kindle frequently has free books and this is one of those.  The books are free for a limited time.  Kindle books can be read on an iDevice, a Kindle, or on your PC. This book is about David...

YouTube Videos

My son loves watching youtube videos. It's one of his methods of stimming.  He likes watching the videos of other people playing his favorite games like minecraft.  We have his computer set up right beside our television in the living room, so that whether we are...

Circuits Maze

For the holidays, one of the gifts we got for the little one was Circuit Maze and I have to admit I love it!  Circuits is port of the fourth grade curriculum here, so it ties in well with the future of what will be going on in school.  The game though is well designed...

Indy Children’s Museum

The Indy Children's museum has built on a lot since we started going.  The have a lot of really cool exhibits.   We only were able to see a few in the couple hours time we had - though we made it to the exhibit to see the Terra Cotta Warriors.  There are lots of great...

Favorite Video Bloggers for Mom

My little one loves streaming youtube videos.  He can sit for long stretches at a time watching videos of people playing games like minecraft telling how they have played.... I have a few videos for moms that I love! So I thought I would share them. Kristina Kuzmic is...

The Overlooked Importance of 2e and Gifted Education in Our Schools

I had never considered the full implications until I engaged in a discussion about the challenges of addressing twice-exceptional (2e) education in schools. As someone who works in a College of Education, specifically under Special Education, I realized that gifted education is indeed a form of special education. Yet, many local schools are phasing out gifted education from their curriculum.

The reality is that most schools don’t collect statistics on 2e or gifted education, nor do they have effective methods for doing so. Securing an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for a 2e student is nearly impossible. For example, my child had an IEP for speech, but once they started kindergarten, the IEP was removed because they met their speech goals and were performing well academically.

I believe every student has a unique gift. They just need a teacher and an environment that can help them break out of their shell, discover their strengths, and allow them to shine. This should happen without the constant harassment from classmates who might prefer everyone to conform to the norm.

The federal government doesn’t provide direct funding to districts specifically for gifted education; it’s determined at the state and local levels and is not mandated. There haven’t been lawsuits to push for gifted education based on special education funding. Schools are already struggling with students who have fallen behind, so addressing the needs of students who are bored with work below their ability isn’t even on their radar as they strive to meet minimum state requirements.

Compounding the issue are parents and students advocating for the removal of algebra and advanced math in favor of survival skills like balancing a checkbook. This scenario feels more like the dystopian future depicted in the movie “Idiocracy” rather than a future that could see a cure for cancer.

I’ve often heard teachers tell students that “math is tough” but they have to take it because it’s part of the curriculum, without making any effort to link math to real-world applications. My son’s 5th-grade math teacher failed the math portion of the teacher’s exam four times before barely passing. His high school biology teacher managed to get by with just one semester of statistics and no other math.

When did a love for learning fall out of fashion? My grandmother was the only one of her ten siblings to attend high school, supported by her family who saved diligently for her education. She borrowed old books to study and eventually taught kindergarten until she had to stop because married women were not allowed to be teachers.

We need more debates about improving academics and less about whether students should be allowed to play sports despite failing grades. More focus should be on enhancing attendance and participation in classes rather than controversies over history or Critical Race Theory. Additionally, why should we be concerned about which bathrooms students use? It’s not our business how students relieve themselves unless it’s disruptive, like choosing the gym floor during an assembly.

Changing an entire attitude is a timeless challenge that surfaces across many topics. How do we reignite a passion for learning and ensure all students, including those who are gifted or 2e, receive the education they deserve?

3 Pieces of Advice for Teenage Entrepreneurs

Image via Pexels

Article written by: Jason Kenner from

3 Pieces of Advice for Teenage Entrepreneurs

If you thought entrepreneurship was just for adults, think again. Mark Zuckerberg was only 19 when he and a group of college friends came up with the idea for Facebook, while Fred DeLuca was just 17 when he launched Pete’s Super Submarines — which later became Subway. Additionally, Michael Dell (of Dell Inc.), Matt Mullenweg (of WordPress), and Mike Kittredge (of Yankee Candle) were all teens when they launched their hugely successful businesses.

Chances are, you’ve already dabbled in entrepreneurship if you’ve ever set up a lemonade stand, tutored other students, or washed your neighbor’s vehicles for cash. But if you’re ready to officially enter the world of business ownership, Tech Ed 4 Kids shares three pieces of advice in the sections below.

1. Develop Entrepreneurial Skills

There are so many benefits of starting a business while you’re young, as teenage entrepreneurship teaches you how to manage your time and money, solve complex problems, network with others, build resilience, and express yourself creatively. However, there are several skills you’ll need to develop in order to reap the many benefits of business ownership.

Here are a few ways to develop these entrepreneurial skills:

  • Find a mentor.
  • Volunteer in the community.
  • Join an entrepreneurship program for youths.
  • Take courses in economics, personal finance, psychology, communications, ethics, and leadership.

There are also lots of books young entrepreneurs can read to develop business and leadership skills, as these cover topics such as business strategy, finance, marketing, and more.

2. Choose a Business Idea

In addition to developing entrepreneurial skills in finance, communications, networking, and leadership, it’s important to choose a business idea you’re passionate about — and preferably one that fulfills a desire and/or solves a problem. Some examples of business ideas for teens could include child care services, handmade products, blogging or vlogging, photography, lawn maintenance, or t-shirt design.

3. Follow a Few Best Practices

After choosing a business idea, there are some best practices you should follow when launching your startup. These best practices include:

  • Choosing a business structure. How you choose to structure your business plays a role in how you’ll pay taxes and protect yourself from personal liability, so it’s important to choose the right legal entity right off the bat. A limited liability company (LLC), for example, is a safe option for many businesses — as this type of legal structure offers personal liability protection, tax benefits, and a simple filing process. But since minimum age requirements and other LLC regulations tend to vary by state, be sure to review your local laws before proceeding.
  • Setting up a business bank account. While you may need an adult to co-sign on your bank account if you’re under 18, you’ll want to separate your business finances from your personal bank account when pursuing entrepreneurship. Jennifer Brozic of Credit Karma shares seven of the best checking accounts for teens.
  • Looking for funding. If you’re launching a business that requires startup capital, crowdfunding websites like GoFundMe, FundRazr, and Kickstarter will be your best options for raising money as a teenage entrepreneur. Or if you have one or more trusted adults in your life, you could ask them for a personal loan

Don’t Let Your Young Age Hold You Back From Entrepreneurship

If you’re passionate about launching a startup, you shouldn’t let your young age hold you back from pursuing your entrepreneurial dreams. You could certainly put business ownership on the back burner until after you’ve graduated from high school or college, but why wait when you already have the drive and passion to succeed as a teenage entrepreneur?

By pursuing your business goals as a teenager, you’ll learn essential skills that’ll look great on your resume and college admissions applications — and you’ll set yourself up for future success in entrepreneurship. Mark Zuckerberg, Fred DeLuca, Michael Dell, and many other teenage entrepreneurs have done it, and so can you!

Tech Ed 4 Kids is a blog offering educational tools, tips, tutorials, and tech-related resources for school-aged learners. Visit or contact to learn more.


Flocabulary is a site that has a lot of cute catchy videos for kids to learn  – songs, videos, and activities are all included. The site says it’s for grades k-12, but I’m not sure how well a 12th grader would enjoy the songs, or at least I don’t think a high schooler would allow themselves to be seen enjoying the songs. A few years ago while my son was in 4th grade he loved the site and I’m fairly certain it’s the site we used for math and fractions in the 7th grade while I was coteaching. The catchy phrases helped the students learn and remember the concepts.

Facebook Cloning

Government officials, government officials, politicians and business leaders become easy targets of Facebook cloning scams when attackers create a duplicate of the original user’s profile and seek money from users’ friends through Facebook Messenger app. Scammers fake legitimate Facebook accounts using the names of victims and steal photos and personal information from their accounts. If scammers trick some people into being their friends, they can use fake accounts to send scam messages to their new friends.

They copy social media accounts using all of your public photos and information, making a copy of your existing account and then adding your contacts, steal your Facebook name, add your friends, and use your photos to clone your account, they will remain outside of your Facebook, however they can use a fake version of your account to trick your friends into giving them important information.

Usually, they can simply collect information from Facebook users who have accepted a friendship request or use a cloned account to send spam or malicious links to those who have accepted a friendship request. Knowing how the scam works is the best way to protect yourself, because now you know that if you receive a friend request from someone you are already friends with you, it can be a cloned account trying to deceive you.

If you’re worried that you’ll fall victim to Facebook cloning, check for other versions of your account and report duplicate Facebook profiles ;. If you find another account with your name and photo, it’s time to report it and delete it.

We all know how secure Facebook is today, so when this tool clones Facebook accounts, it will tell you to log in after 24 hours. There are many clones on Facebook but we recommend you make sure that no one else but you own your profile. If you would like to significantly reduce the risk of your Facebook account being cloned in the future, follow the steps below, according to the device that you are using to hide your friends list from the public.

It will however be more difficult for scammers to find your friends who fall into their traps if your friend list is hidden. Anyone who clones your account will use your friend list as a target list, but if your friend list is private, it is much easier for them to find someone to fall for their scam. Scammers will use your friends list to cheat money and perform other manipulative actions.

Fraudsters cannot use your information to defraud as long as you keep your accounts and information protected. Unlike a hack, your account was simply backed up using information on public social media accounts or on the internet.

A cloned account is a copy that uses your profile photo and other public information to trick your friends into providing their information. A cloned account can convince your friends to send money, steal passwords or other information or trick them into committing another scam. Account cloning is not a hack or exploit – it is simply the result of experienced scammers using your public information to trick your friends.

By pretending to be you, the cloned account can send a message to your friend stating that he needs money to deal with some emergencies like a robbery and the need for funds to get home. If you are cloned, you may receive messages from friends asking you to know if there is something strange on your account.

This means that someone has copied your current account and is contacting your friends The most obvious sign that you have been cloned is if a friend contacts you to ask if you’ve created a new account. The first sign is that a friend asks you if you have created a new account.

But you are much more likely to discover that your account has been cloned ex post when your friends notice strange behavior on your part on Facebook, which just triggers a fear of Facebook in the people to whom you are sending messages, which may or may not be the case, but it probably isn’t.

Vulnerability exploits are usually successful because many unsuspecting friends just accept the scammer’s request, which indicates that the actual user created a new account for some reason or forgot that they are already friends of that person. This type of scam involves using cloned accounts to send phishing links or trick your friends into providing information, or even worse, sending money. By creating cloned pages, scammers want to steal money or other valuable information from your friends.

Account cloning isn’t confused with hacking – it is simply the result of public data theft – used to trick your family and friends. Facebook cloning does not involve logging into your account with credentials they may have obtained as the result of a data breach or other phishing attack.

If you are unfamiliar with account cloning, here the scammer creates a completely new Facebook account in your name and fills it with photos and personal information that they copied from your real account. Facebook cloning is a scam in which an attacker copies an authorized user’s profile picture, creates a new account under that person’s name, and sends friend requests to people on the user list.

Advocacy (IEP)

Here in Illinois there are a few places you can turn to find advocates. When making an IEP for school generally the parents and teachers get together to discuss goals and set up supports and services for the year. Parents can also call meetings throughout the year if anything may need to be revised. The school will ask the parents to sign the IEP to agree to the changes. Advocates can attend the meeting at the request of the caregiver. Their place in the meeting is to help the parent advocate for what their student needs.

Resources for find an advocate in Illinois:


Additionally an abstract about the benefits of an advocate can be found at in publications -The efficacy and impact of a special education legislative advocate

Gifted Education

One of the school districts near us just voted to remove gifted education and combine it into classrooms that are meant to teach at every child’s own level. I can see a LOT of problems with that, starting with the teachers are already overworked. The school district argued that the gifted classes in the district are lopsided with a top-heavy amount of Asians in the classes, then Caucasians coming in second. Black and other people of color came in last with a very (and I really mean very) low percentage. I do think that’s an indication something is broke in the system. The district originally was working to increase participation (2004), then built a magnet school (2019), and now is phasing out its a gifted program completely planning to integrate gifted education into the classroom?

Issues I see with this include:

  1. Teachers are already overworked trying to juggle new forms of teaching, keep up with remote and in class students with an environment that is changing all the time.
  2. Students that are gifted in a subject may be asked to help with or tutor the students that are behind, taking from their own instruction time and also creating an uneven power dynamic in the room and also anyone remember ‘teacher’s pet’
  3. Students become bored without new information, just reviewing information they already have learned in the past.
  4. Students that do need extra help are left behind while trying to meet the needs of the students that are so far ahead of the rest of the class.

Education in general does end up skewed toward the students that receive more resources and support at home. Students that lack even such basics as nutritious meals on evenings and weekends will fall behind their peers. Frequently left to care for younger siblings, parents with different priorities, no role models in the home, and more can all affect how students score when being tested for gifted programs.

Even stereotypes can play into who gets into programs. I remember when my youngest first started school he attended for speech delay. We knew he was bright and good at math and science even before school started. As he reached first grade we started to noticed that he would never get a grade of Excellent on anything. His score was always marked as Satisfactory. Items like counts to 100 for a child that could count over 1000 were being marked as Satisfactory as opposed to Excellent and when we questioned this, the remark was that he didn’t improve at it or something like that…. We had many more instances like this to come throughout our time there. Finally after relocating, grades suddenly turned to straight As – immediately.

We also had noticed that during the time we were at the school that my son had started with an IEP, he was never chosen as student of the month, yet he was chosen at the new school soon after we moved. We’ve seen student of the month a couple times since then for his class as well as him winning the highest score for math and reading in his class during testing.

There is no simple solution to gifted education. I’d like to say that students that are gifted are more likely to find a way to succeed if they do not face challenging material in school. In reality I personally think that students that face a challenging home life and come to school to be bored are more likely to start acting out as they reach higher grades and then start falling behind, treated as the troublemaker in the classroom. As opposed to cutting programs, providing programs for early intervention and recognition. Improving detection methods as well as resources to make sure younger changing have tools to be successful early.

It’s hard for parents to be concerned about signing their young children up for resources like Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to receive free books when they are homeless and trying to figure out where their next meal will come from. Students that go from home to home or are living in a domestic shelter, or even worse, still in an abusive relationship. There are so many issues to take into account.

Additionally I’ve seen some schools choose to keep sports programs over academic programs. Sports programs garner the publicity. Recently during the pandemic I noticed a post by a parent suggesting that students had to be allowed to play sports because it was risking them their chance to go to college – as if the only way those students would be able to go to college was on a sports scholarship. As a parent of children that all went on academic scholarships, that just boggles my mind. What if your child gets an injury that disqualifies them from sports permanently?


Gifted participation grows | News | ( (2004)

Culver: Gifted education won’t be eliminated | News | ( (2019)

Recently parents wrote in to the paper voicing thoughts about why the program was cut, some thought it was reverse racism which I don’t think applies – what I do see is a money decision with academics coming out at the bottom again…. And if any racism is involved, it’s really the fact that the effort isn’t being put into the younger grades to make more effort to find, identify, and supply resources to minorities.

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About Me

I am a SAHM/WAHM of three boys ranging in age from 13 to 29. We are working on saving enough for college at the same time as dealing with school and our older independent kids. I author a few blogs, including I have in the past taught computer information technology classes for the local university and taught workshops for kid's in technology education besides being the Kentucky State FIRST LEGO League Championship Coordinator from 2005 to 2008. I now work as a computer consultant, run a handmade home business, and am available for workshops. Life here is always an adventure!
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