Florida Keys

Florida KeysFlorida Keys –  Episode 75

Join Florida Parent Educators Association’s (FPEA) Chairwoman, Suzanne Nunn  and Sharon Rice to talk about the Florida Keys.

Do you think the Keys is just for adults? We shed light on why the Keys is the perfect family destination.  FPEA just returned from our 2nd Fun in the Sun Field trip. And what a good time we all had! There is more to do down there than we could fit in those 2 short days. So, pack up your family and head south. We have listed just a small number of the things the Keys has to offer families.

Here are some things to do in the Keys.

  • Snorkel or Dive John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park – a must!
  • The Ernest Hemingway Home in Key West
  • Truman Little White House in Key West
  • The Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory
  • Take photos at the Buoy.
  • Key West Aquarium
  • Theater of the Seas – Islamorada
  • The African Queen –  Key Largo
  • Everglades
  • Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center
  • Turtle Hospital – Marathon
  • Dry Tortugas
  • History of Diving Museum – Islamorada
  • Pigeon Key
  • Dolphin Research Center
  • and of course, eat Key Lime Pie! We highly recommend the Blond Giraffe Key Lime Pie Factory


Find us on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter

Please visit www.fpea.com to learn more about who we are!



Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor -Bridgeway Academy!

Bridgeway Academy was founded in 1989 in response to the need for more freedom in education as well as the protection that accreditation offers for homeschooling families. Since then, more than 30,000 K–12 students, and many charter and brick-and-mortar schools, have made Bridgeway Academy their trusted education partner.

As part of our commitment to personalized homeschooling, we are proud to offer both secular and Christian options for homeschool families, charter schools, state organizations, co-ops, athletic organizations, arts schools, and others who seek flexible education options for their families.

Click here to learn more!

For the Love of Florida…Cruising with FPEA

Florida Cruising #FPEA #FloridaHomeschooling #FloridaPodcast #WildFloridaFor the Love of Florida…Cruising with FPEA

Podcast #67


Welcome to episode #67 of FPEA Connects. We have a fun topic. We have been busy planning toward some upcoming events with FPEA. One of those awesome events is REFRESH FPEA Marriage Cruise 2020. Let’s just talk about cruising and the sunshine state because you know thousands of people fly in, drive in, whatever it takes to cruise out of Florida to the Caribbean and some very exotic ports of call.

For the love of Florida! Cruising is definitely a reason to love Florida. It is easy to jump on a ship and escape from the everyday.

It was in the 1970s and 1980s that Florida began to experience a bit of a boom in the cruise industry  which drives a huge part of Florida’s economy today.

What we discuss:

  • What to expect!
  • First timers
  • How the food works
  • What’s a drink package
  • Choosing dining…..early, late, anytime
  • You need a lanyard
  • Sail and Sign card
  • Documents….passport, birth certificate and photo id
  • Excursions and other activities in port
  • Ship activities
  • Getting to know the ship….videos….you tube
  • Concerns people might have – Drinking/partying, etc.
  • Safety in ports…..
  • do your homework…..economy built around
  • Carnival Hub….sign on for the cruise info and schedule…connectivity on the ship….texting app…..
  • Seasickness….
  • Cruise attire….formal nights…
  • Cabin size/amenities

Our upcoming cruise REFRESH FPEA Marriage Cruise 2020 ……Cost baseline $544….tax, gratuity and port fees…first deposits are due by the end of March and final payments are due in October

Special Guests Heidi & Jay St. John and Todd & Debbie Wilson!

Join us January 4th – on the Carnival Magic


Join our Facebook Group

Call Carnival 1.800.764.7419 Be sure to use Group# 6GHW24Refresh FPEA Marriage Cruise #cruise #fpea #florida #homeschool #podcast

FPEA Members, Download Your Florida History Adventures+ Bundle

For the Love of Florida…Kennedy Space Center

For the Love of Florida…Kennedy Space Center

Podcast #66

For the LOVE of Florida…..take two! Welcome to episode #66 of FPEA Connects.

We talked last time about some of the earliest roadside attractions in Florida. Those that really cemented our tourist destination appeal….and several that you can still visit. So many of those attractions were founded in Florida’s natural beauty and the paradise that tourists had found here. And we LOVE all of those things. But I think both of us also have an affinity for the Florida we remember as kids. And some of those attractions we talked about last time were still popular. But as we move into the 1960s, Florida begins to explode with other exciting things that have become iconic tourist destinations. One of those destinations is the Space Coast. Kennedy Space Center.

First let’s do a little timeline history. Starting in the fall of 1961, NASA formally requested money for the initial land purchases on Merritt Island. Moving on through those next few years, buildings were constructed, launch pads built and the vehicle assembly building. That was a little before our time, but we know that with the building of the space program, Florida took on celebrity status…..in the form of astronauts. The area exploded with new housing, businesses, hotels….I Dream of Jeannie….and of course those who came fell in love with paradise too.

The 80s….space shuttle program was huge. After the ending of the Apollo program, the Space Program took a new turn with a new orbiter for manned space flight.

The Space Shuttle program has been retired, but the space program at the cape is still very active and thriving with both private and government launches occurring very frequently.  And now, there is the United States space force a proposed 6th branch of the military set to begin in 2020 that could be part of our future.

FPEA is your source for all of your Florida homeschooling needs. You can check out our website, www.fpea.com for exciting opportunities and valuable resources. Also, you can follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram for other great tidbits and resources that are sure to help you as you create your customized homeschool journey.


FPEA Members, Download Your Florida History Adventures+ Bundle


Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor -Bright Ideas Press

Homeschool moms are busy! Bright Ideas Press gets that. And that’s why, for over 25 years, we have promised to publish Christian-oriented homeschool curriculum that will fit your family—curriculum that is both affordable and easy-to-use with children of different ages and learning styles at the same time. Curriculum that busy Moms love!

Offering history, science, geography, and humanities curriculum and over 100 options of online classes and clubs for homeschool families, the team at Bright Ideas Press creates products and resources that will not only help simplify your life, but also inspire, encourage, and equip you to educate your children.

Find out more here!

For the Love of Florida…Early Tourist Attractions

For the Love of Florida Early Attractions #WildFlorida #FPEA #PodcastFor the Love of Florida…Early Tourist Attractions

Podcast #65

We thought it would be fun to have a love theme for our February podcasts…..so today the topic is……FOR the LOVE of Florida!

Yes, Florida is beautiful……and I could just camp out right here. We live in a fabulous place. You know, since we’ve been doing these podcasts, one of the things that we have seen over and over again, is that some of the most popular episodes are the ones that focus on field trips or just great excursions to take around the state. So, I don’t think I’m alone in my admiration for all things Florida…the wild side, the history, the small town, the big, the famous….whatever it is….we Floridians enjoy sharing and experiencing it, apparently together.

So we’ve picked a couple of new places to explore together. With an underlying focus on the development of tourism in our state too. For you and for me it is hard to imagine a Florida that wasn’t a tourist destination. I mean now it is a challenge to find any small place in Florida that hasn’t been touched by tourism and/or the imprint of people who have vacation homes or retirement homes here. But….there was a time that Florida was a wild frontier and not heavily populated or developed….and then paradise was found. So I wanted to just share some fun facts about some of those places that began to draw visitors and vacationers in….and what those places were like then AND what they look like now.

First…..I should state what may appear to be the obvious…..but Florida was originally a destination that drew wealthy and famous people, people who could afford the time to travel and vacation here. This was, of course, before the invention of some of our common modes of transportation but one man who had discovered Florida and the virtual paradise that it is, was Henry Flagler.  Flagler loved Florida so much that he decided, in the 1880s, to begin investing in building he built railroads and hotels, and hotels along the railroads. With the expansion of the railroad systems, more people could travel to the sunshine state. By the early 1900s, thousands of tourists came to visit. Those tourists were drawn, of course, to the natural beauty, the warmth and sunshine, the salt air and a climate that would bring healing from illness and disease…..soon, there were winter homes being built by those who could afford it….and they would live here for months at a time.

The invention of the automobile opened the opportunity for more affordable travel and people continued to come.

During these years, the attractions were simply natural…..the white sand beaches, the Wild of the Everglades, the coral reefs, the Florida Keys……boating, swimming, fishing, hiking….relaxing, sunbathing…..

It wasn’t long before Flagler started investing in building Florida, that a man by the name of Hullam Jones, invented the glass bottom boat. In the bottom of a row boat, jones installed a pane of glass and charged people 5 cents a piece to ferry them above the crystal clear Silver Springs. Voila…our first tourist attraction is born. Silver Springs features one of the largest artesian springs in the world. It became famous for its glass bottom boat rides which you can still enjoy today. In 1971, Silver Springs as a National Natural Landmark. Definitely worth a visit.

So it is, we begin to move into a season of building attractions that embrace wild Florida…..the springs, the alligators and the flora….as people begin to build beautiful gardens that will become some of the most famous Florida roadside attractions.

Bok Tower Gardens is a prime example. Dedicated in 1929 in Lake Wales, it was one of Florida’s first major attractions during that era. People would drive long distances to see the gardens, the tower and to hear the tower sing. Edward Bok, editor of Ladies Home Journal, built the gardens. The tower was actually built to cover the irrigation system that would water the gardens. There is a 200 bell carillon that plays music in the gardens each afternoon. This is honestly one of the most beautiful and peaceful places.

Weeki Wachee Springs…this old Florida attraction brought international attention…..why?? Well, because of the live, underwater mermaid shows, of course……believe it or not….you can still visit the original attraction where the mermaids are still swimming along with other shows, entertainment and activities. It has now been designated a state park. Sounds like a good day of fun….right?

Cypress Gardens is one of my all time favorites. It was in Winter Haven. It was really the states first theme park (1936). It’s well known for a couple of things…..first of all, an amazing array of flowers and gardens. Girls that wore antebellum-style dresses and walked around, you know, southern belles, we called them, who would pose for pictures. Cypress Gardens was also the birthplace of performance water skiing. The man who opened it, Dick Pope, during WWII, introduced the water ski shows to entertain troops who visited the gardens. Even though tourism was a bit stifled during the war, the military played a role in continuing to bring people into Florida. Cypress Gardens basically became the water ski capitol of the world. The park closed in 2008. In 2010 the land was acquired with plans to turn it into legoland. Legoland opened in 2011.

Sunken Gardens in St. Petersburg was built in 1935. The gardens are 100 years old so it is home to some of the oldest tropical plants in the region. Built in an ancient drained lake, it was the perfect place for the owner, George Turner, to enjoy his favorite pastime, gardening. The beautiful gardens he built became a real treat to his neighbors and they would spend hours strolling through them….so eventually, he began charging 5 cents for tours. So it became a destination….the family later purchased the building that is now the housing the ticket office and a children’s museum, it was previously the Coca Cola bottling company, but they purchased it to build worlds largest gift shop and a wax museum. It is a great afternoon/Saturday morning excursion, a beautiful botanical garden with several water features and flamingos.

Another neat little old Florida day trip is Winter Park. This is one of the cities that was developed as a winter resort for wealthy northerners, seeking warmth from the harsh winters. It’s just north of Orlando, so in a very over developed part of the state, but it is like stepping back in time a bit when you visit. The men who developed it did so with a great design that included residential communities and business, a large Central Park in the downtown area. Rollins college, which is still there, was built and winter park developed a bit of a reputation as an art and literary colony of sorts. It was, and still is a gorgeous area, surrounded by several lakes and of course, citrus. It was a little slice of paradise. There were beautiful homes built on the lakes and the lakes are connected by little canal systems. Hence one of the oldest attractions, the winter park scenic boat tour…. opened in the 1930s and is still operating today. Also, a throw back to that art colony, we always visit the Morse Museum of American Art which houses the worlds largest collection of Tiffany glass, plus other beautiful art.

Another great excursions farther south that had some early tourist beginnings are the Theatre of the Sea (1946) which is in the Keys….Islamorada to be exact. It is a marine mammal park with dolphins, sea lions, sea turtles, tropical gardens and birds. It’s family owned, beautiful to explore. Plan on visiting it this summer if you and your family decide to join us for our FPEA fun in the sun Florida Keys trip.

Miami Seaquarium…built in the height of the 1950s when families were hitting the road and enjoying these attractions. At the time, it was the worlds largest marine life attraction and quite popular. Then in the 1960s it actually became one of the primary locations where they filmed the TV show Flipper.  The Seaquarium is still a fully functioning park with great options for wildlife experiences. It’s a neat experience and they still play with those bottle nose dolphins.

So there you have it……for the love of Florida….get out there and enjoy some of these places with your family.  Let’s keep them on the map for the generations to come because they truly are a tribute to establishing Florida as the tourist destination that we see today with the more recent theme parks.

FPEA is your source for all of your Florida homeschooling needs. You can check out our website, www.fpea.com for exciting opportunities and valuable resources. Also, you can follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram for other great tidbits and resources that are sure to help you as you create your customized homeschool journey.


FPEA Members, Download Your Florida History Adventures+ Bundle


Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor – Christian Standard Bible

The Christian Standard Bible captures the Bible’s original meaning without compromising clarity. An optimal blend of accuracy and readability, this translation helps readers make a deeper connection with God’s Word and inspires lifelong discipleship. The CSB is for everyone—for readers young and old, new and seasoned. It’s a Bible pastors can preach from and a Bible you can share with your neighbor hearing God’s Word for the very first time.

Find out more here!


Ybor City| #WildFlorida #Ybor #FlroidaHomeschool #homeschoolpodcast


Podcast #64

Travel with us to Ybor City!  Learn about the history and culture of this unique city.

In this podcast, Suzanne gives us a brief history and what it’s like today, it’s cultural significance and how it to came to be. What influenced the city that we see today? Take a look at the economic and cultural impact this city has on the West Coast of Florida. Explore Ybor today with your family and take a step back in time.

Here are some ways to explore Ybor City https://yborcityonline.com/explore/


FPEA Members, Download Your Florida History Adventures+ Bundle

Ybor Story from Ybor.org

Ybor City holds a unique place in Florida’s social and economical history as our state’s “first industrial town.” The founding of this community in 1886 was based on what turned out to be a very shrewd “business decision” by Don Vicente Martinez-Ybor to move his cigar factory from Key West to Tampa. This was at a time when points south were literally “Indian Territory.”

Tampa’s city elders offered low-cost land, “the incentive of the day,” to Don Vicente. He built his factory, which was at that time, the largest brick structure in Florida. Other cigar-makers followed, building their own factories. Immigrants from Spain, Cuba and Sicily came to work in them and Romanian merchants opened stores to serve the community. As the industry matured, German lithographers brought the latest in printing and engraving technology to Ybor and a whole new commercial art form, the cigar label, was born.

Ybor city is not only a great example of turn-of-the-century capitalism, but also of organized labor – and this in what has always been a “right to work” state. The Labor Temple was an integral part of the industrial infrastructure. This moderate form of collectivism was not limited to just work, but formed the basis for the social clubs that offer mutual aide and a rich social life.

Ybor’s social clubs provided “cradle to grave healthcare” at a time when the HMO was not even on the drawing board. These mutual aid societies provide a home base for each ethnic group and with their cantinas, theatres and ballrooms, a range of social activities that were more sophisticated than the general environment.

Rather than trap the workers “beholden to the company store,” Ybor and many of his fellow entrepreneurs encouraged cigar rollers to own their own casitas or “little houses.” This allowed skilled, hard-working people to build equity in their homes and gave them a growing piece of the “American Dream.” The children and grandchildren of these Tampanians are successful professionals, business owners and community leaders.

What is so fascinating about Ybor City is that the buildings and architecture are still here and tell a story. The sturdy cigar factories, elegant social clubs, quaint casitas and balconied storefronts are preserved and in productive use today – giving another generation “roots and wings.” Why even the “art of the label” foreshadowed Ybor City’s modern roll as a center for high-tech creativity.

Read more at  http://ybor.org/ybor-story/


Best Weekend Ever FPEA 2019 Convention

Best Weekend Ever FPEA 2019 Convention

#FPEA2019Convention #WildFloridaLiveFree

FPEA 2019 Conference Join us for your BEST WEEKEND EVER! | #podcast #homeschoolpodcastPodcast #63

FPEA 2019 Conference Join us for your BEST WEEKEND EVER! There are so many reasons to attend FPEA’s annual homeschool convention. Listen in, as we tell you all about our upcoming convention. What’s new? Why should you attend!  Our convention offers more than you will find ANYWHERE else!

The Premier Event for Homeschool Families

May 23-25, 2019

Rosen Shingle Creek Resort and Convention Center, Orlando, FL

Make your plans now to join us in Orlando in May. This is the biggest and BEST homeschool convention in the nation. There is something for everyone–great workshops, exciting events, a huge vendor hall and plenty of opportunities for fellowship!

And, YES!, we are moving–this year the Convention will be held at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort! It is a beautiful golf resort with four pools and tons of outdoor space for your family.

Learn more about the FPEA 2019 Homeschool Convention and Register Here

Wild Florida Spotlight: Clewiston

Wild Florida Spotlight: ClewistonWild Florida Spotlight: Clewiston

Podcast #60

FPEA has developed Florida History Adventures+ Bundles in an effort to bring the study of Florida History (plus other exciting studies) right to your inbox. Through this new monthly bundle, FPEA members will have access to Florida History, Science, Geography, and Literature in the form of unique unit studies developed just for you. Each monthly bundle will focus on a topic that has played a significant role in the state we all love and call home, Florida. No two bundles will look exactly alike. Some bundles will include Science unit studies to complement the topic, others may include Geography or Literature, or it may have a little bit of everything. You will also receive special extras like recipes to make at home, craft ideas or great ideas for a field trip to enhance your study.

We thought of another great idea too! We’ll all be working on these same fun unit studies at home, why not make some time to get together and enjoy some adventure with each other? So, we will be hosting some special FPEA Field Trip Days. For these little excursions, you will want to bring along your Road Trip Tracker, which will be included in your first bundle. This will give you a special place to keep track of your Florida excursions.

In this episode, we will SPOTLIGHT: Clewiston

Download the October Florida History Adventures+ Bundle Here – FREE TO FPEA MEMBERS

Join Here

Connect With Us

Find homeschooling information on our website, at www.FPEA.com

Follow us on:








Florida History Bundles Free to Members



Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor – Change is in the Air Movie

This story embraces the imperfections that make us human, offers a way to set ourselves free and asks us all to take a good, long look at the wild birds in the sky.

Watch the trailer here!




Homeschool in Florida: It’s Easy!

Homeschool in Florida: It’s Easy!

Podcast #36

Join  Florida Parent Educators Association’s (FPEA) Chairwoman, Suzanne Nunn for a discussion on homeschooling in Florida. Learn about how easy it is to homeschool in the sunshine state.

Please join us as we travel along this journey on our podcast adventure. Let’s get connected! Learn more about the Florida Parent Educator’s Association and homeschooling in the beautiful state of Florida.

Please visit www.fpea.com to learn more about who we are!


There Are Six Things to Know About Florida Homeschooling

1.   Submit your notice of intent.

2.   Choose your educational approach.

3.   Maintain your portfolio.

4.   Submit an annual evaluation.

5.   Preserve your records.

6.   Submit your notice of termination.


Click Here to Download Your FREE copy of the Starting Point for More Details


Florida’s largest nonprofit, all-inclusive homeschool family association Supporting Your Homeschool Journey

Choosing to homeschool is a decision that requires careful consideration of many factors, and the choice to homeschool is one of several education options in Florida. Homeschooling can be extremely successful and truly enables your children to “learn without boundaries.”  We encourage you to explore fully this option for educating your children.

The FPEA also provides a more detailed resource, the Guide to Homeschooling in Florida, which covers homeschooling in greater depth. One benefit of FPEA membership is free online access to this 100-plus-page resource. The Guide contains information on educational methods, curriculum resources, your legal responsibilities, where to find additional support and/or accountability, homeschooling high school students and teaching special-needs children, as well as helpful forms.

Choosing Curriculum

Free Resources

Join FPEA!

Protection of Your Rights

The FPEA helps safeguard your legal right to homeschool by keeping its finger on the pulse of what’s happening in Tallahassee and Washington. The FPEA partners with the Home Education Foundation (a full-time lobbyist) and the Home School Legal Defense Association. The annual FPEA Day at the Capitol shows legislators that homeschoolers have a united voice.

The FPEA organizes and promotes a statewide network of local homeschool support groups. The FPEA website is a one-stop shop for information on groups in your area and how to connect with them.

The annual FPEA Florida Homeschool Convention unites thousands of homeschoolers statewide. And FPEA-sponsored local conferences and events cover topics ranging from getting started to obtaining college scholarships.

FPEA Member Discounts and Benefits


Connect With Us

Find homeschooling information on our website, at www.FPEA.com

Follow us on:









A Day in the Glades

A day in the gladesA Day in the Glades

Podcast #26

In this episode,  Florida Parent Educators Association (FPEA) Chairwoman, Suzanne Nunn talks about things to see and do in the Florida Everglades!  Come along with us, as we take a trip to some of these Florida landmark and make plans to visit them this summer!

Please join us as we travel along this journey on our podcast adventure. Let’s get connected! Learn more about the Florida Parent Educator’s Association and homeschooling in the beautiful state of Florida. If you are interested in homeschooling our convention is every year in May during Memorial Day weekend.

Please visit www.fpea.com to learn more about who we are!

A Day in the Glades

A Day in the Glades

Podcast #26

In this episode,  Florida Parent Educators Association (FPEA) Chairwoman, Suzanne Nunn talks about things to see and do in the Florida Everglades!  Come along with us, as we take a trip to some of these Florida landmark and make plans to visit them this summer!