Kids and Tech

Mobile Learning

Early Learning on the go

My two youngest girls use the iPad DAILY.  They watch instructional videos on Minecraft, they watch videos of people playing Minecraft, and they watch Netflix and Hulu Plus like most kids their ages.  They also pull up the Kindle app and read books, as well as the plethora of educational apps for homeschool.


I have a page for apps on this site, but what are some of YOUR favorite apps for kids?  Educational, or otherwise?

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Kids and Tech and Word Camp

Technology so simple even a toddler can use it!

Technology so simple even a toddler can use it!

My kids have been using iPads and iPhones almost since before they could walk.  They started using laptops before they were 5.  It is amazing to think when I was a kid there was no such thing as a cell phone, or a personal computer (yeah, if you see Moses, he owes me money!).  My kids can get on my laptop and switch settings before I can blink.  And it can take me a half hour to figure out what they did and how to fix it back.

The internet and computers have come so far in such a short amount of time.  I can only imagine what my children will be able to do when they are grown.  But where will they get the knowledge?  How will they learn?

They are girls.  Many people think girls and tech do not mix.  Mind you, not anyone I personally know.  And most of the tech people I do personally know are all about gender not mattering, what matters is what you can contribute.  So I think it is safe to say, with both parents heavily involved in various different tech communities, that our girls will have a marvelous foundation of knowledge.

I am currently at a conference called Word Camp, in Charleston, SC.  It is all about the Word Press platform and what you can do with it.  I am loving seeing all the women at the conference.  I am loving even more how it’s not a big deal.  I am hoping it is even more of a not big deal when my kids are grown.

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Discovery Place News Release: Van Gogh Alive



For More Information:

Kaitlin Rogers 704.348.1972


April 14, 2014


Experience Van Gogh in a Vibrant Symphony of

Lights, Colors and Sounds in Van Gogh Alive

Van Gogh‘s masterpieces come to life at Discovery Place® on April 25


CHARLOTTE–From Milan and Moscow, to Istanbul and Budapest, the globally-acclaimed exhibition Van Gogh Alive now comes to the United States east coast for the first time when it debuts at Discovery Placeon April 25.


Presented to the community by Wells Fargo, Van Gogh Alive is the synthesis of traditional art and modern technology. Over 3,000 of Vincent van Gogh’s most famous works are taken outside of the frame and brought to life in a whirlwind of vibrant colors and vivid details. For the first time, guests can walk through images of famous works, such as “The Starry Night,” “Sunflowers,” “The Café Terrace on the Place du Forum,” “The Yellow House,” “Bedroom in Arles” and many more.


“This exhibition redefines a traditional museum experience, displaying Van Gogh’s masterpieces in larger-than-life proportions. Guests may have had previous opportunities to see a few authentic paintings in a gallery, but Van Gogh Alive brings thousands of Van Gogh’s images under one roof in a stunning audio-visual format,” said Discovery Place, Inc. president and CEO, Catherine Wilson Horne. “Visitors can expect to be astonished and drawn into the splendor of this experience.”


“We are pleased to support Discovery Place and help bring this acclaimed artwork to Charlotte,” said Kendall Alley, Community Banking regional president for Charlotte. “Wells Fargo takes pride in supporting Charlotte, as well as the arts in our local communities. Our goal is to help build strong and vibrant communities, improve the quality of life and make a positive difference.”


Upon entering the Sensory4 gallery, guests will be completely immersed in Van Gogh’s paintings with floor-to-ceiling projections that scale Discovery Place’s exhibition space. Synchronized to a classical score featuring the works of composers George Handel, Camille Saint-Saens and Franz Schubert, this extraordinary experience will transport visitors on an expressive journey into Van Gogh’s troubled life and brilliant work using light, color and sound.


The exhibition traces Van Gogh’s artwork from his early life in the Netherlands to his pinnacle masterpieces in Arles and Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. Throughout this journey, visitors will learn about the creative origins of the paintings and view excerpts from Van Gogh’s letters that offer insight into the artist’s life. Many of the images draw attention to key features of the art and allow people to study Van Gogh’s dramatic use of color and technique.


From the gallery, guests can dive deeper into art exploration in theArtist’s Studio to experiment with the intersections of art and science. What does a painting sound like? Listen to a Van Gogh print using robotic frequencies that translate colors into sound waves. Practice shadow techniques using light, texture and mixed media to create a unique masterpiece. Discover what electrical circuits and paint have in common to explore paintings that play musical notes.


Exclusive to Discovery Place is an experience created by celebrated artist Ivan Toth Depeña, known for his use of science, technology and traditional media. In partnership with McColl Center for Visual Art, Depeña has created an opportunity for visitors to become a Van Gogh painting.  Using projection-based interactive technology, guests’ silhouettes will be digitally ‘painted’ in Van Gogh’s infamous style. To further investigate Depeña’s work, explore texture using 3D-printed recreations of Van Gogh’s art to understand his infamous brushstroke techniques.


Part of what makes Van Gogh’s art so famous today is his life story. While exploring the exhibition, guests will get to meet the artist face-to-face through dramatic interpretation. Guests may encounter Vincent van Gogh himself; Theo van Gogh, younger brother and art dealer to Van Gogh; or Paul Gauguin, the artist who commissioned Van Gogh’s famous “Sunflowers” paintings; or even Adeline Ravoux, the daughter of Van Gogh’s inn-keeper who modeled for the painting “Portrait of Adeline Ravoux.” Their interactions will bring the artist’s story to life, giving guests the opportunity to ask questions and interact with history.


For further insight into Van Gogh, the artist and the man, Discovery Place brings to the IMAX® screen Van Gogh: Brush with Genius in The Charlotte Observer IMAX Dome Theatre. Guests will relive Van Gogh’s life journey through his letters, visit the landscapes that inspired many famous paintings and discover the man they never knew. The film retraces the artist’s journey from the time of his first canvases at the age of 27 to his death on July 29, 1890. Experience the dazzling yellow of Van Gogh’s cornfields to the deep blue of his famous “Starry Night” on the giant screen. (IMAX films are not included in exhibition ticket price).


Van Gogh Alive will be on exhibition at Discovery Place for a limited time only, from April 25 – June 1, 2014. Tickets are now on sale for timed entries, so before making a purchase, visitors will be asked to select the date and time of their visit. Guests can purchase tickets in one of three ways:  online at, via phone at 704.372.6261 x300 or in person at Discovery Place.


Admission to Van Gogh Alive is $20 for adults (14-59); $18 for children (2-13) or seniors (60+); and free for children younger than 2. All tickets include full day admission to Discovery Place. Discovery Place Members may purchase tickets for $5.  IMAX tickets may be added for an additional $5 per person. Discounts are available for groups of 15 or more. Children age 13 and younger must be accompanied by a responsible adult while in Discovery Place.


The last timed-entry tickets will be sold for entry 60 minutes prior to Museum closing. During the run of the exhibition, the Museum is open Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (last exhibition ticket sold at3:00 p.m.); Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. (last exhibition ticket sold at5:00 p.m.); and Sunday noon – 5:00 p.m. (last exhibition ticket sold at 4:00 p.m.).


Van Gogh Alive and Van Gogh: Brush with Genius are presented to the community by Wells Fargo. The Charlotte Observer, NBC Charlotte WCNC-TV and 107.9 THE LINK are media partners.


About Discovery Place

One of the top hands-on science museums in the nation, Discovery Place provides ever-changing, entertaining facilities that engage people in the active exploration of science and nature. The Museum brings relevant, contemporary science to life through groundbreaking exhibitions, interactive educational programming and hands-on activities.

Discovery Place is located in uptown Charlotte at 301 N. Tryon Street. Convenient parking is available in the Museum’s parking deck – the Carol Grotnes Belk Complex – at the corner of Sixth and Church Streets. For more information about Discovery Place, call 704.372.6261, or connect with Discovery Place on FacebookTwitter,Instagram and YouTube.

Discovery Place, Inc. owns and operates Discovery Place, Charlotte Nature Museum, Discovery Place KIDS-Huntersville and Discovery Place KIDS-Rockingham and is supported, in part, with funding from the Arts & Science Council.


About Grande Exhibitions

Van Gogh Alive is produced by Grande Exhibitions.  Using cutting edge technology, Grande Exhibitions creates interactive, immersive SENSORY 4™ experiences that are both engaging and entertaining.  In addition to touring exhibitions, the company produces and manages permanent installations, and owns and operates permanent Leonardo da Vinci museums in Italy.


About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.5 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 locations, 12,000 ATMs, and the internet (, and has offices in 36 countries to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With more than 264,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States.  Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 25 on Fortune’s 2013 rankings of America’s largest corporations. In 2013, the Company invested $275.5 million in grants to 18,500 nonprofits, and team members contributed more than 1.69 million volunteer hours around the country.  Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially.  Wells Fargo perspectives are also available




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Animal Rescuing

One thing I am very adamant about is teaching my children to be kind to animals and to respect them and do what they can for them.  One of the ways I am teaching them this is getting them involved in my animal rescue efforts.

Rowan at adoption eventFor the last year and a half, give or take a month or two, we have been fostering dogs from local shelters to be adopted locally, or to be transported to a rescue out of state.  The girls help me in the care of these dogs – and in teaching them basic obedience skills.  I also volunteer at our local shelter, as much as I can at least, but they are too young to be involved there because of the shelter rules.  But they sometimes go with me to pick up or pay a fee for one of the animals (if I pay the fee, the dog is pulled to the back to be neutered or spayed, so I don’t take possession of them right away), and they sometimes ask to go to an adoption event with our foster.

A063768 A063767 A063766 A063765 A063762Yesterday, they both went with me to pull five Sheltie puppies and take them down the road to their rescue.  Five 5 month old puppies, about 25 pounds each.  We put them in the back of our SUV, in a crate, and then drove about 50 minutes down the road to the rescue.  The rescue was in an old house with lots of land for some of the dogs to run.  Lots of room for kennels in the back yard.  Inside, every room I saw had crates with dogs in them.  Everything was a clean and neat as the rainy day allowed for.  The girls got to see the inner workings of a rescue, and the ladies there were very patient and answered a lot questions.

Opening up children to new experiences, teaching them kindness to animals, and modeling the behavior we want to see in them is one of the best things we can do for them.  Opening their minds to new things leads to them asking questions.  We cannot learn unless we have the opportunity to see, experience, and ask questions.

What opportunities do your children experience?  Help us with new ideas for character growth!

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Upcoming Event At Discovery Place

Hi all!  So sorry it has been a while.  Disclaimer:  I am on the media list for Discovery Place exhibits here in Charlotte, NC.  I get free tickets to post about the exhibits.  I am posting this News Release as a heads up.  I will attend on January 30th and will post my review.  Because…well…LEGOS!!!  I will admit, I am interested in the whole exhibit, but when they mentioned Legos, I knew the girls and I had to go – That and the 3D Printer and the modified manual typewriter to computer keyboard 🙂

Let me know if there is anything in particular you are interested in and I will make sure to get photos and do a write up on it!  Just leave a comment below.

Press Release – 101 Inventions Opens at Discovery Place

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Today We Vote

man pointing

Voting is THAT way

I’ve seen a lot of posts and tweets and blogs about how families homeschool during an election year.  We homeschool younger kids so have kept to the basic facts regarding the election.  I’m excited for them to be old enough to have real discussions about the meat and potatoes of issues and have them think about their own positions in the future (the way we do with the oldest now).    We skimmed over local elections here and focused mainly on the Presidential race this month.

I’ve seen some who print out maps of the USA and then colour in the states red or blue as results come in.  I love this idea, though I think results will be coming in way too late for them to do this in real time (though I am willing to give it a try).  We are loving the page of information for teachers from, which not only has a map to colour in, but has lesson plans and history lessons and vocabulary.

Easy facts for the younger set – remember, mine are only 6 and 4 – can be who is running for President and some simple facts about each candidate.  Our kids know President Obama is the first black President and is also the first black President running for re-election.  They know some people don’t like him and don’t believe was born in the US.  They know Mitt Romney is the first Mormon candidate running for President and that he was Governor of Massachusetts for one term.  They know some people don’t like him and think that because he is rich and came from a rich family that he cannot understand people who do not have a lot of money.  We have gone over “Obamacare” and how many of the principles came from Mitt Romney’s ideas while he was Governor.

We try to be fair to each candidate.  If we say something negative about one candidate, we try to balance it out with something be said negatively about the other client.  We do the same for positive statements.  But, most importantly, we stress the importance of getting out every year and VOTING.  Even if we are not electing a President it is important to make your voice heard.  As a suffragette once said, it is not a true Republic unless ALL of the voices of the people are heard.



Have you voted yet?

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My Recent Adventure

Walk at Calloway Gardens

Field Trip for Adults

Some people go to conventions.  My husband, the librarian and IT guy, goes to library conventions and IT conventions.  I know people who go to homeschooling conventions, too – something I keep meaning to do but never seem to remember to look up and attend (I blame my ADD brain).  Myself, I’ve become a blogging convention goer.  Granted, I’ve only attended two.  One several years ago and then one just a few weeks ago.  On my birthday.  It was awesome.  I won boots!  (And it wasn’t awesome just because of the boots, either.)  I know this has nothing to do with homeschooling, but bear with me a bit.

My first convention was Type A Con.  It was a wonderful experience.  But intimidating.  I came away from the conference with TONS of ideas for my previous blog.  But there were hundreds of people there.  I had a hard time choosing between the track panels, I wanted to attend all of them, but I had to take a break in the middle of day to be alone because my anxiety went through the roof.  I have self diagnosed agoraphobia.  I am extremely introverted and very shy.  Being around a large number of people, especially if I don’t really know anyone there, can cause me to have a panic attack.  But I plan on going next year in Atlanta, since I have made more contacts in the social media community (yes, it is a community and sometimes even a family) will hopefully make me feel more at ease.  Hopefully.

My second conference, or rather non-conference, came this month.  On my birthday.  It was a whole different experience.  There were less than a hundred people, so it was small and cozy.  I knew some of the people there – I had met them at the Type A conference or had interacted with them a lot online and gotten to know them well.  I still had problems walking up and talking with people – remember the shy comment?  Also, I hate the idea that I am bothering people, which leads to anxiety on my part (what if they don’t really want to talk to me and are just being nice?).  Also, I met A LOT of homeschoolers!  There was also roundtable discussion panels, where you got to sit with the speaker instead of them standing up in front of you and talking at you, you actually were able to have conversations about the subjects with them.  Plus, there were three speakers on each topic and THEY MOVED (so there was less anxiety about where I would sit, since I am socially awkward and worry about not being welcomed with the cool kids – a hold out from high school, maybe?), so you got to sit and listen and learn from all three presenters!  And, I never had to take a break from the sessions.  My anxiety never even text messaged me!

I left the Aiming Low NonCon early on the last day with a migraine.  The organizer, the great and amazing Anissa Mayhew, offered to get someone to drive me to Atlanta (we were at Calloway Gardens in Pine Mountain, GA) where I was meeting up with my husband, who was finishing up his own conference.  These people were THAT awesome.  When I left, I really missed everyone (and am still kicking myself for missing meeting The Pioneer Woman).  And I wished there would be another one the next month…heck, the next week!  On the plus side, there were two attendees whom I discovered lived in the next town over from me!

I have decided to consider all conferences as field trips and I can only hope that any homeschool conferences I attend in the future can be so wonderful and have me leaving with a boat-full of ideas.  What conferences have you attended or hope to attend?

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