Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Landry Academy Review and a Giveaway

Chemistry is not my favorite subject.

I did not have a good introduction to it in high school and avoided it as much as possible in college.

How is it then, that I have gotten to my seventh (and final round) of high school Chemistry in my homeschool without actually teaching it?

Yes, all seven of my children completed Chemistry with a lab either with a really good text book, at a co-op class, or for dual credit at the junior college.

All of them, except the last one.  The one that is taking Chemistry this year.  For her, we tried something none of my other children ever did.

This year she is taking a live online class with Landry Academy .

I received discount coupons when I attended the Landry Academy Mom's Retreat, so we decided to try an online class.  She had attended an Art Intensive last spring and enjoyed it, so the online class seemed like the next step.

What I like about the online class:
- I don't have to teach it.
-If she has to miss the live class, she can watch the recording later.
-The teacher has 'office hours' if she needs help with homework.
-The class is taught from a Christian perspective with Christian teachers.
-I can access her grades and email the teacher with questions or concerns.

Even though I like the online class and the price was good because I bought a 'generic' class with a coupon, my daughter doesn't care for it, even though she is doing very well.

BUT, the reason is she has discovered that she prefers a classroom setting.  She is also taking classes at the junior college this year and really likes the live interaction.

Landry Academy offers over 200 live online classes for grades 4th-12th.  Some are one semester, some are two semesters.

The online classes are a great opportunity for students to be accountable to a different teacher and to take classes the parent might not feel prepared to teach.

My daughter just finished a Landry Academy 2 day Chemistry Lab Intensive.  This was not required as part of her Chemistry class because the class includes labs, but I wanted her to take it to get more lab experience.

The 2 day Intensives equal one school year of lab work that includes a lab report manual.

Overall, I would recommend the Landry Academy courses (and other offerings).


I received a $100 discount code at the Lab Intensive that I am going to give away.  The discount is good on anything Landry Academy offers.

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The World Needs More Love Letters Review

The world needs more love letters.

I don't think anyone would argue with that statement.

So, why doesn't the world write more love letters?

For various reasons, perhaps.

Maybe they don't know how to write love letters because they have never received any.

Perhaps they don't take the time.

Maybe they think love letters must be written to someone they know and love.

Hannah Brencher, the author of The World Needs More Love Letters, has created an all-in-one stationery and envelopes 'book' to help you write love letters.  But, she has also given you 40 ideas of who to write to and what to write about.

Some of her suggestions include:
"Put your heart on one of these pages for a teacher who has gone above and beyond to make you a better person."
"Write down your best life lessons and tuck this letter in a favorite coffee shop for someone else to find."
"Make a list of some of the things you've learned from your love in the last year.  Seal it with the hope of many more years to come."

In our fast paced, electronic world, hand-written notes and letters are very rare.  

But, I love handwritten letters.  When my oldest son left for college, he decided he would only write letters (not email) his first year.  I still cherish the letters he sent and even enjoyed writing and sending responses.

This book would make a great gift.
It would be wonderful to use in your school curriculum to encourage and teach letter writing. 
It has inspired me to write more notes and love letters.

"I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review." 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Scholarship Applications: A Student's Viewpoint

 Senior year is full of what seems to be an endless supply of application forms.

You can research and read about applying for scholarships.

I can tell you about the application process from my point of view as the parent.

But, have you ever wondered what the student applying for scholarships thinks about the process?

My high school senior, who has filled out numerous applications this year, blogged about the process recently.

He lists four reasons why he doesn't particularly like the process.
Reason number 4, I find to be particularly true.

Read his post here  and tell me if you agree or disagree with him.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Best Homeschool Curriculum

Are you a new homeschooler looking for the 'best' curriculum?

Are you wondering if the curriculum you currently use is the 'best'?

I  hear new homeschool moms ask more seasoned homeschool moms what the 'best' curriculum is for a variety of subjects.

What is the best curriculum to teach my child to read?

What is the best curriculum to teach math?

What is the best science curriculum?

And the list goes on and on.


There is no 'best' curriculum.

The best curriculum for me, may not be the best curriculum for you.
The best curriculum for one child, may not be the best for another child.

Really, the question being asked is the wrong question!

There is not one 'best' curriculum.  Some programs are more popular than others, but don't just decide what you will use based on the popularity of a curriculum.

When researching curricula for your family and your students, you should be asking:

What reading program do you recommend and why?  Have you used it?  Did you like it?

What math curriculum did you use?  Would you recommend it?  What did you like/not like about it?

Ask these questions for every subject you are researching.  

The latest and greatest may not be the best for your family.

The tried and true may be the best for you.  

When evaluating your current curriculum (and considering a change), try to discern whether the curriculum is the problem or if maybe the way you are using it is the problem.

Sometimes, just sometimes, I have discovered that I am the problem, not the books I am using.  I am not devoting enough time to the subject and the student.  I am letting things slip by undone or unexplained.  A new curriculum will not help me with that problem.

However, when searching for the 'best' curriculum, take into consideration how much teacher time is required.  If it requires more time than you are able or willing to give it, then that is not the best for you.  

What makes a homeschool curriculum 'the best'?  
How it fits your needs and how you use it.

How would you answer the question about the 'best' curriculum?

Friday, March 13, 2015

Graduation Announcements

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage from Shutterfly/Tinyprints if you make a purchase using this link.

I posted Tips for Planning a homeschool graduation some time back.  Here you can find the variety of graduation ceremonies we have had for our five graduates.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Historical Fiction Review: Where Treetops Glisten

Sometimes I like a light, fun story.   

Where Treetops Glisten, 3 stories by 3 authors about the same family during World War II, is a collection of heartwarming stories.  The first story, White Christmas, introduces the family through the daughter, Abigail.  Although the story is interesting, the conflict in the story isn't always believable.  

The second story, I'll Be Home for Christmas, was my favorite of the three stories. 

Friday, March 6, 2015

Family Favorites Friday: Roasted Brussels Sprouts (and other veggies)

Brussels sprouts get a bad rap.  People think they don't like them.  I think they just don't prepare them properly.

A high school friend asked on facebook  how to cook brussels sprouts.  This recipe is for her (and you, because you need to know).

It's really very easy, so I have prepared you a photo essay:

Start with a package of washed, ready to use brussels; trim and cut in half; toss with a tablespoon or two of olive oil; add salt and pepper and/or other seasonings you like.  Garlic is good, or cayenne pepper, or whatever.


After tossing them with seasonings, put in single layer on baking pan (I use stoneware).  Bake at 400 degrees about 25 minutes, stir after 12 minutes.  (I roasted some peeled, cubed sweet potato on the same pan.).  Drizzle with balsamic vinegar.  Enjoy!


Yum!   We love these!

You can use this same method with many different vegetables:  asparagus, broccoli, potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, cabbage (cut in thick slices), green beans,onions, squash, whole okra- just about any veggie.  Change your seasonings to make it different.  Try Italian seasoning, chili powder, thyme, or your favorite seasoning.  I have used cinnamon and nutmeg on sweet potatoes.  Get creative.

What are you waiting for?  Go roast some veggies and let me know how you like them. 

What are your favorite veggies to roast and how do you season them?
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