Friday, September 28, 2018

Science Fair part 2

Several weeks ago I had posted the sad tale of my daughter's attempt to do a really cool science project (read our sadness here) Basically she was told that she couldn't do the project she had planned because it was deemed a potentially hazardous biological agent, and she would need a special biosafety level 2 lab to do the culturing of the cyanobacteria (blue green algae).

We prayed about it and were frustrated for awhile :) and then we got an email from the head of the science fair (the one who had told us that she could not do it because of the hazard rating of the material) asking if she'd like my daughter to be put in contact with someone who could potentially allow her to do this project...we said YES!!

Fast forward to this week...she has met with the biosafety officer at a university near here and he has agreed to let her do her project in a lab of the necessary safety level for three weeks!!!  What a blessing from God!!

My frustration and worry was for nothing.  Why do I forget to trust God?

So thankful for this opportunity for her to "do science" !!!!!  :)

So...homeschoolers!  Don't give up!  There are ways to do these awesome things...God's provision surprised me (though it really ought not be so surprising!)

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Tuesday, September 18, 2018


Do you grow marigolds in your garden?  Is it because they repel some garden pests? Besides that, I love the color interspersed with my veggies (and weeds, haha!)  My husband likes them in the garden because they remind him of his Grammy who used to grow them annually--and our friends who have an organic farm use them to dye their wool yarn! 

These are some we picked for her to use to dye yarn with--the huge pile of flowers smelled absolutely gorgeous! :) 

Saturday, September 15, 2018


Psalm 100:2 says, "Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!"

Am I serving the Lord when I do something (helpful to someone else) begrudgingly? 

Interesting question, I think.  This past week I have had many opportunities to help out others in their times of need...and sometimes I haven't had the best of attitudes about it.  I've said to myself, my kids, and my husband, "this is one of those 'Serve the Lord with gladness' times" as I've grimaced and gone forward.

But is that really serving the Lord? It's certainly not "with gladness" ~~ but helping others in their times of need...that's serving the Lord, right? 

I guess I need to work on that "gladness" part and make sure I'm following that whole verse.


Thursday, September 6, 2018

GrammarPlanet --my REVIEW

Do you excel at grammar? How about your children?  Whether your child is homeschooled or traditionally schooled, you may be interested to learn about this new online product from GrammarPlanet!  It's quick (recommended 10-15 minute a day), nicely taught through videos and short summary pages, and the exercises and tests are simple to complete online.


We were fortunate to be in on the beta testing of this engaging grammar program, and I have been impressed with not only the program itself, but also with the responsiveness of the creators.  My children have taken pretty thorough grammar classes through their elementary and middle school years, but I do not want them to lose those skills as they go through their high school years.  I think this program will be a great way for them to keep that learning fresh in their minds, and will supply a review for them which is easy to use daily.  We plan to keep it a daily part of their schooldays this year.

An amazing part of the GrammarPlanet program is that it is FREE!!!  It is supported by advertising, and yes, there will be advertisements on the students' working pages.  If that bothers you or your student, you can opt for the paid subscription, which frankly is very inexpensive.

If you have students younger than mine, or some who are less adept at grammar, you could use this as a learning program--the videos and accompanying explanation sheets and exercises are a good way to learn these elements of grammar as well.

So how does it work?

Each unit begins with an informational sheet for the student to open and print to reference during the lesson.

After they print the page, they read it and then are ready to watch the lesson.
The pages and the video combine to teach the student the information needed for that lesson.  The student follows this by proceeding to the exercises, where they are asked to pick out the different parts of speech in the sentence (the ones which have been taught to that point).

If the student makes errors, those are pointed out, along with the correct answer.  
Something really neat is that the parent, when signed in as the parent/teacher account, can view their students' progress, including the specific exercise answers and what the student got correct and incorrect.  

Parents are also kept informed via email regarding the regularity with which their student logs in to use the program.  If a student makes too many errors on a lesson or test, their account is locked until the parent resets it.  That way the parent has the opportunity to help their student understand a concept (or just remind them to SLOW DOWN and do it right!)

If a student doesn't understand or remember something, the videos and papers are available to them at any time.

Tests...oh yes, I did mention those, right? The tests are similar to the exercises, they just don't have the instant response.  At the end of the test the student receives his or her grade and may review what they got right or wrong (parents can view that as well).  The grades are compiled on a page the parent views.

Each lesson only grades the information that has been given to that point.  A student who has learned the parts of speech elsewhere might get a little frustrated if what they know to be true is not included yet (such as marking a predicate adjective as an adjective and getting it wrong because it hasn't been covered to that point), but hopefully you and they can take that into consideration when viewing results.  

Overall, as using GrammarPlanet as a grammar program as a refresher/reminder course for my high schoolers, I have been very happy with it.  We plan to continue it throughout the schoolyear for my 11th grader and 9th grader.  

One reminder on ads--if your child is annoyed by the ads (which allow them to offer it for free) -- there will soon be a paid membership which will eliminate those ads.  It sounds like it will be very reasonably priced, too.  

If you want to read about what others thought about GrammarPlanet, please click on the link below!

*Grammar Program Online {GrammarPlannet Reviews}

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Wednesday, September 5, 2018