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.

Playing the Numbers Game

It’s dinnertime and you’re frantically scrambling to get your three kids under six years old fed before you have to get the oldest to his soccer game and the middle one to the barber.  You swing into McDonald’s, order, squeeze into a booth, divvy up a 20-piece McNuggets amongst your offspring, and then quickly shove the first meal of your day down your gullet. What’s the last thing you’re thinking about during this manic mealtime? Well, other than wondering if Kate Middleton is breastfeeding Prince George. That’s right; calories. Those numbers, which are now posted on many restaurant menus in … Continue reading

Pushing for Publicly-Funded Preschool

If you missed President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address five months ago, you may be wondering why his recent trip to Illinois attracted so many leaders in the world of early education. Obama spent much of his trip to Fort Knox College on Wednesday reiterating the importance of his proposal to give American children a publicly-funded preschool education. The president unveiled his goal of providing quality early education for 4 year olds in his State of the Union address earlier this year and he is not backing down on his commitment. “If you think education is expensive, wait … Continue reading

Learning Social Skills in the Summer

Nothing has plagued the homeschooling movement more than the idea that a child, who is not immersed in a traditional classroom setting, would be deficient in social skills.  In fact, some families have shunned the idea of educating their children at home because they feel the choice would turn their kids into social outcasts. This is a complete fallacy. There are a myriad of opportunities for homeschooled children to learn how to get along with their peers, though, summer often provides the most varied choices.  Some of the most popular include: Camps:  Some homeschool co-ops organize their own summer camps, … Continue reading

Simple Summer Crafts

Simple crafts are the perfect remedy for cabin fever.  This summer, the following easy and affordable projects have been lifesavers when it’s been too hot or too wet for my 8-year-old to run amok outside.  An added bonus:  these kid-friendly activities require very little adult assistance.  This makes them ideal to include at a variety of summer events such as family reunions, church picnics or birthday parties. Homemade Suncatcher Materials: Colored tissue paper cut into small pieces of varying shapes and sizes Safety scissors Clear contact paper Two large paper plates Yellow craft paint Paint brush Yellow poster board Craft glue Hole … Continue reading

The Preschool TV Battle is Heating Up

Your preschooler may be more powerful than you think. At least when it comes to watching television. According to Nielsen Media Research, children ages 2 to 5 spend an average of 32 hours in front of a TV each week. For cable networks this means big business.  In the past five years, a slew of channels dedicated to preschool programming have inundated the market.  Since 2000, Nick Jr. has continually garnered the highest Nielsen ratings.  The Viacom-owned channel is dedicated solely to preschool children and is home of the mega-hit show “Dora the Explorer.” Riding the wave of popularity with … Continue reading

Homeschool Field Trip: Peachy Keen

Summer is the perfect time to take advantage of Mother Nature’s bounty and look beyond the walls of your home for some fantastic homeschool lessons. For clans with students of varying ages, a field trip to a u-pick farm can be a real treat.  Most states feature fields, orchards and sprawling acreage designed to give city folk a taste of country life.  These green spaces are bursting with seasonal produce including corn, strawberries, tomatoes and my daughter’s favorite—peaches. Picking sweet, juicy, tree-ripened peaches lends itself to a slew of hands-on lessons.  For starters, a field trip to a peach orchard … Continue reading

More Treasury Fun

When was the last time you got a whole lotta fancy on a frugalista’s budget? Right now you can gift your favorite young reader with a double dose of Fancy Nancy treasuries without breaking the bank. Best-selling author Jane O’Connor teams up with ultra-talented illustrator Robin Preiss Glasser to once again take youngsters on a resplendent ride to Fancyville. At the helm of the grandiose getaway is the one and only Fancy Nancy.  The girl with the vibrant vocabulary and whimsical wardrobe is back in Fancy Nancy Storybook Treasury.  The sturdy hardcover book features six stupendous stories filled with teachable … Continue reading

Travel Savings Strategies

Choosing to fly during the off-season is an easy way to save money; however, there are many other ways you can pad your wallet when your travel plans take you to the airport.  The key to saving big is a little pre-flight strategizing. For example, if you only fly on commercial airlines a few times a year, you may have a hard time justifying the costs associated with an airport lounge membership.  Still, it’s hard to resist the comforts and services provided at these luxurious airport hangouts. Some of the perks of lounge membership include: Peace and quiet:  Most airport … Continue reading

Make the Most of Summer Travel


Whether you homeschool year-round or take time off during the summer months don’t let the season of sunny days fly by without a few fun lessons. Family road trips are the ideal vehicle for hands-on learning.  Rather than allow your kids to blow travel time watching movies, playing video games or annoying their siblings have them master geography using colorful flashcards or practice math facts using your vehicle’s odometer and mile markers along the highway. By involving the entire family in some interactive “car-schooling” your kids will have the states and capitals memorized in no time.  To test your children’s memory … Continue reading

Riding the Bus

They’ve spent years singing about its wheels going round and round, but now the day has come for your little one to take his first ride on a big yellow school bus. More and more parents of preschoolers are opting to have their kids use a bus as the primary vehicle to get to class.  Depending on the location of your child’s preschool, older siblings might be able to ride alongside their younger sister or brother. Regardless of whether or not all of your children ride the same bus, now is the time to prep your preschooler on the rules associated with … Continue reading