About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.

Protecting Preschoolers from Choking

Dealing with a picky preschooler at the dinner table may be the least of your concerns, according to a new study.  Instead of stressing about your child’s refusal to eat his veggies, researchers warn parents that they should be carefully monitoring four year olds while they chow down on classic kid favorites, like hot dogs, as the number of choking incidents among preschool-aged children is dangerously high. Researchers say a staggering 34 children a day are admitted to hospital emergency rooms due to choking.  That translates to more than 12,000 emergency room visits a year, though the study’s author notes … Continue reading

Tailoring Homeschool Lessons

Reading, writing, math, science and history may be the staples of a solid homeschool curriculum; however, if you really want to get your children excited about learning, consider teaching lessons on subjects that really pique their interest.  For example, if your daughter has a passion for fashion, tailor a unit of study that highlights the latest clothing craze. While cool outfits are typically the most popular focus in a lesson about the fashion industry, they are certainly not the only things worthy of studying.  The history of the fashion industry could make for interesting research.  A unit on this aspect … Continue reading

Wise Mile Spending

You scrimped and saved for years to take vacations to various destinations.  Now, you’ve finally accumulated enough frequent flyer miles to redeem a cushy reward.  So, do you blow those precious miles on a free ticket or do you use them to upgrade to first class? Travel experts say the key to using award travel miles is to research your options before settling on a prize.   In other words, before you cash in your hard earned miles, consider where you’re going, how much a ticket there costs, and how challenging it will be to claim your reward. For example, if … Continue reading

Wet and Wild Summer Fun

Splurging on a summer pass to the community pool may not be an affordable option for some families.  Fortunately, there are a number of ways to keep cool when the mercury soars without breaking the bank. The following simple projects prove that splashtastic fun can be had by kids of all ages with a simple garden hose and a few inexpensive household items: Water Balloon Piñata Materials: Package of water balloons String Garden hose Small plastic funnel Plastic baseball bat Directions: Fill up the water balloons using the funnel and hose.  Keep in mind that the more water you add … Continue reading

Making Math Fun

Just because your child doesn’t easily makes sense of math now, doesn’t mean he’s doomed to fail as a future number cruncher.  There are plenty of kids, who struggle with addition, subtraction, multiplication and division in their early years, and then something finally clicks, and they end up as successful accountants or actuaries. To ensure that your homeschooled student achieves success in the world of mathematics, don’t rely solely on memorization.  Having children memorize math facts without teaching them why the answer is correct often leads to future problems. Kids will be much more receptive to learning math if you … Continue reading

Putting Your Preschooler to Work

Nothing makes preschoolers happier than helping their parents.  Studies show that young children are wired to get pleasure from pleasing their mom or dad.  So, instead of ignoring your four-year-old when he offers to help you make the beds, fold laundry or put away groceries, allow him to exercise his independence by lending a hand. In some cases, a preschooler’s attempt at helping is more of a hindrance to parents; however, with a little patience you can turn these heartfelt efforts into teachable moments. When my now 8-year-old daughter was a preschooler nothing delighted her more than being able to … Continue reading

The Importance of Not Sharing

It’s one of life’s most important lessons and it doesn’t come easy. Sharing is a challenging concept for many adults to master, so imagine the toll it takes on preschoolers. Most preschool curriculums incorporate a slew of opportunities for four year olds to learn the fine art of sharing.  They are taught to be generous with their possessions so their peers don’t feel left out.  However, is sharing really caring?  Does it really matter if kids share and share alike? Some educators don’t think so. In fact, a growing number of preschools are putting the kibosh on forced sharing in … Continue reading

A Summer of Learning

For many kids, summer is filled with swimming, swinging, sunning and very little studying.  However, if you are homeschooling year-round this is not the case.  Of course, just because you decide to keep the lessons going throughout the summer, doesn’t mean your kids will suffer from academic burnout. Some families decide to homeschool year-round for the sake of consistency.  By keeping with a set school schedule without a break during the summer months you avoid the “learning gap.”  In other words, your kids are far less apt to forget the material they’ve learned during the first half of the year … Continue reading

Taming the Preschool Beast

Nothing unleashes a preschooler’s inner beast quite like extracting him from a fun environment without advanced warning. When my daughter was 4 years old she had an epic outburst at a children’s museum in Chicago because I failed to give her proper notification of our departure.  In doing so, I robbed her of the gradual transition I knew she needed in order to calmly exit the building. The fit she threw nearly got us thrown out of the museum. Looking back, my preschooler’s tantrum, which included tossing her shoes down a slide, was simply her way of staying true to … Continue reading

Lessons from the Compost Heap

A compost heap is so much more than just a bunch of garbage. If you are homeschooling, your pile of waste products can easily be transformed into a cherished curriculum container. Composting teaches kids about nature’s life cycle.  The simple and affordable project gives children an up close look at how decay gives rise to new life.  What’s more, that mound of trash is also a hotbed for hands-on science lessons. For starters you can school your students on the make-up of soil.  Dirt is composed of air, water, minerals (including sand, silt and clay) and organic matter.  The last … Continue reading