Most Wednesdays, a special needs mom, military spouse, military spouse small business owner or inspiring single mom will be profiled on Look@Her. These are very special, inspiring and hard-working women. I am honored to be able to recognize them for being wonderful mothers, wives and role models.
Without further hesitation, let me introduce…
- Spouse : Richard – will be 20 years in September!
- Children : 4 – Kyle (17), Chloe (9), Adam (7), and 1 “early angel” in heaven (Rachel – who would be 10)
- Current Location : Texas
- Business Name: Magical Mouse Schoolhouse
- Type of Business: Homeschool resource utilizing Walt Disney entertainment
Jodi Whisenhunt is the author of MAGICAL MOUSE SCHOOLHOUSE: Learn While You Play at Walt Disney World Resort, and operates a blog by the same title. Her book is available for purchase at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and CreateSpace. (Kindle and Nook versions also available.) Come, think outside the textbook and stretch the walls of your home classroom with Walt Disney entertainment!
Connect with Jodi:
Jodi will also be giving away one autographed copy of her book Magical Mouse Schoolhouse to a lucky reader!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Also, you can buy the book for a sale price of $11.50 at Amazon.com only through the end of March.
How long have you had this business?
- 3 years
- Magical Mouse Schoolhouse integrates Walt Disney entertainment into homeschool lessons. On the website and in the book, I write about various aspects of Disney entertainment, from theme park attractions to television shows to animated films and beyond, and leave the reader with a way to apply that information to a homeschool activity. Anyone with children can learn while they play when they think outside the textbook with us!
- My family took our first trip to Walt Disney World in 2006 to attend The Ultimate Field Trip, a group gathering for homeschoolers across the country, organized by 3D Travel Company. Over the ensuing years, I got to know the company’s founder and owner, Carol Beth Scott, also a veteran homeschooler, who is now one of my closest and dearest friends. She, knowing I was a freelance writer and editor, approached me with the idea to do something the two of us were doing already—combining homeschool and Disney—and offer it as a supplemental resource to the homeschooling community.
- I launched Magical Mouse Schoolhouse February 1, 2010, and the site has been steadily growing ever since. I also offer a free monthly incentive program called Earn Your E.A.R.S. (Enriching Academic Reward Series), which rewards students for actively participating in their education. Last summer I converted blog to book and published MAGICAL MOUSE SCHOOLHOUSE: Learn While You Play at Walt Disney World Resort so that readers could have our resources at their fingertips whether they were near a computer or not. Although originally developed for homeschoolers, anyone with children can learn while they play if they think outside the textbook with us!
Ups/Downs of your journey:
- It’s been an amazing adventure! I have learned so much about maintaining an online presence as well as growing a small business over these past few years. I have met many wonderful new friends along the way, most of whom I’ve yet to meet in person, but all of whom I wouldn’t trade for anything. I have networked and connected with people and organizations in ways I never imagined. Some downs would include the vulnerability that comes with operating an online business, especially one of writing and image sharing, which are often targets of thieves who scrape and/or steal those words and photos and claim them as their own. But the ups have far outweighed the downs!
Where do you want to be in 5 years with your business?
- I would like to be earning solid income from the business. I would like to have an entire series of books published (Disneyland version is currently in the works). I would like to make it to the Disney Moms Panel, and I would like to experience much, much more Disney entertainment.
Best/Worst part of owning your own business:
- For me, the worst has been the steep learning curve, but it many ways that has been the best part too. I’m learning while I play every day, because this is something that is fun and appealing to me. Even if I had no readers and no audience, I’d still be doing what I’m doing, because I enjoy it—and so does my family.
Advice for other business owners:
- Learn your craft. Learn your niche. Learn what you need to know to succeed. Follow Walt Disney’s advice and always “plus” what you’re doing. Offer something that appeals to people, something that will benefit others in some way, and make sure you consistently provide quality (information, products, whatever your business does), and strive to make it better. Don’t hesitate to ask questions, and don’t fear negative feedback. Sometimes those critiques can help you improve.
Best resources for new small business owners:
- Networking with people who offer something similar. We tend to view the competition as someone who’s trying to take customers away from us, but I have found we can mutually benefit each other, promote each other, and lift each other up when we support each other instead.
What is your favorite recipe, organizing tip, cleaning tip, or general life tip?
- My family’s favorite recipe is Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies. A fresh-baked tray doesn’t last a day in my house! They don’t taste pumpkin; they’re just super moist, fluffy, yummy chocolate chip cookies. I got the recipe from my sister many years ago. I don’t know its origin, but here it is:
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- ½ C melted butter
- 1 C sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 2-1/4 C flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 C canned pumpkin (I use Libby’s; other brands do not taste as good!)
- 1 C chocolate chips
- 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice, optional
- Cream together butter and sugar. Beat in vanilla and eggs. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice (optional), and salt. Add pumpkin alternately with flour mixture. Fold in chocolate chips.
- Drop by teaspoonfuls onto well-greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Store in airtight container (or eat all at once, lol!)
Thanks to Jodi W. for sharing her story!
If you are a special needs mom, military spouse, inspiring single mom or a military spouse business owner, I want to profile YOU on Look@Her please send an email to email@example.com to receive the questionnaire and more information.
Live, Love & Learn,