Thursday, May 21, 2015


After a long school year filled with hectic schedules, assignments, projects, and extracurricular

activities, the summer break is something students(and parents) look forward to. As the school

year draws to an end, the notion of less rushed, lazy days makes summer even more appealing.

My favorite memories from childhood were summers home from boarding school.

The only problem with summer fun is the resulting summer learning loss also known as the

summer slide. Research spanning a hundred years shows that learning and reading

deteriorates over the summer. Students were shown to score lower on standardized tests at the

end of summer vacation than they did on the same tests at the beginning of the summer. More

specifically, studies show that most students lose approximately two and a half months of grade

level equivalency in mathematical computational skills during the summer.

Here are a few tips from Laurel Tutors that can help prevent summer slide:

1) Sign up for fun academic activities in your community. Organizations like Reading is

Fundamental(RIF) have programs geared towards reducing summer learning loss.

2) Coordinate field trips with family friends or peer whom your children enjoy spending time

with. This is a great way to keep them engaged in learning while maintaining a relaxed

playful disposition.

3) Stock up on learning materials such as books, films, flashcards, or apps related to

subjects or hobbies that your child has natural interest in.

4) Learn a new language together or plan a cultural integration trip(real or virtual). Below

are a few pictures from an event coordinated by the World Affairs Council of Houston

where some of our students got to learn more about continent of Africa.

5) Enroll in a summer tutoring program. At Laurel Tutors we provide personalized tutoring

services right in the comfort of your home. Our tutors are passionate educators

dedicated to transforming academic weaknesses into strengths. Our summer programs

focus on 3 things: eliminating any achievement gaps from the previous year thereby

rebuilding confidence; keeping students ahead of the learning curve by preparing them

for the academic year ahead; and eliminating the typical learning loss. Click here to request more information.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Bay Area Performing Arts Co-op

We at Bay Area Performing Arts believe, as do all who classically study, that it is imperative in education to train the whole child – body, mind, spirit. This is not a new philosophy. It is, in fact, ancient. The cultures of ancient Greece and Rome certainly knew this and early American culture also trained students extensively in, not only the core subjects of knowledge and physical exercise, but also made room for fine arts – music, art, drama, dance. Research now confirms that all areas of the brain need to be accessed and challenged in order to thoroughly and successfully train young minds. So often, what our modern education philosophy has omitted is the arts. Just look at what some research has found.

1. In a 2000 survey, 73 percent of respondents agree that teens who play an instrument are less likely to have discipline problems.
Americans Love Making Music – And Value Music Education More Highly Than Ever, American Music Conference, 2000.
2. Students who can perform complex rhythms can also make faster and more precise corrections in many academic and physical situations, according to the Center for Timing, Coordination, and Motor Skills.
Rhythm seen as key to music’s evolutionary role in human intellectual development, Center for Timing, Coordination, and Motor Skills, 2000.
3. A ten-year study indicates that students who study music achieve higher test scores, regardless of socioeconomic background.
Dr. James Catterall, UCLA.
4. A 1997 study of elementary students in an arts-based program concluded that students’ math test scores rose as their time in arts education classes increased.
Arts Exposure and Class Performance,” Phi Delta Kappan, October, 1998.
5. According to a 1991 study, students in schools with arts-focused curriculums reported significantly more positive perceptions about their academic abilities than students in a comparison group.
Pamela Aschbacher and Joan Herman, The Humanitas Program Evaluation, 1991.
6. Students who are rhythmically skilled also tend to better plan, sequence, and coordinate actions in their daily lives.
Cassily Column,” TCAMS Professional Resource Center, 2000.
7. In a 1999 Columbia University study, students in the arts are found to be more cooperative with teachers and peers, more self-confident, and better able to express their ideas. These benefits exist across socioeconomic levels.
The Arts Education Partnership, 1999.
8. College admissions officers continue to cite participation in music as an important factor in making admissions decisions. They claim that music participation demonstrates time management, creativity, expression, and open-mindedness.
Carl Hartman, “Arts May Improve Students’ Grades,” The Associated Press,Oct. 1999.
Nina Kraus, the Hugh Knowles Professor of Neurobiology, Physiology and Communication Sciences at Northwestern states following her extensive research: “ Based on what we already know about the ways that music helps shape the brain, the study suggests that short-term music lessons may enhance lifelong listening and learning. Since many children engage in group or private music instruction, yet, few continue with formal music classes beyond middle or high school, we help address a question on every parent's mind: 'Will my child benefit if she plays music for a short while but then quits training?' “ Kraus says the results of her studies indicate the answer is yes. “Thus, musical training as children makes better listeners later in life.”
(Source : “Practicing music for only few years in childhood helps improve adult brain: research." August 21, 2012, Journal of Neuroscience.)
Come join us at BAPAC! We offer quality and affordable fine art experiences. Better listeners make better students, both of academia and of life. And isn't that what we are really trying to prepare our children for? LIFE!

The Tutoring Center Leage City

How to Create a Great Summer for your Children 

Lemonade stands, flip-flops and pools; these are some signs that summer is here. It also means that your children get to take a break from their school demands. There are so many amazing activities for them to do in the summer; it would be a shame if they spent those days in front of the TV or computer screen. Want to make those summer months more productive? The Tutoring Center League City has a few ideas that will help you create a great summer for your children.
This is a great activity that will boost the imagination of your children and help to improve their reading comprehension. There are many different ways to motivate your children to read.
1. Visit your local library often. Many of them have their own summer reading programs that will reward your children for reading!
2. Make a reward system at home. Set goals for them to reach, such as a certain number of books for younger students or chapters for older ones. When they reach this goal take them somewhere fun, like a movie or the beach. Don’t forget that your children should choose their own reading material.
3. Read in front of them! There’s no better way to help your child learn that reading can be fun than to show them that you love it.
There are many outdoor activities that you and your children can do together; going for a bike ride, visiting the park, or taking your dog for a walk are quick and easy ways to keep your family active. Your children will stay fit, plus exercise enhances their well-being and happiness. Remember to apply sunscreen to protect your children from sunburns!
The kitchen is a great place to help your child retain and practice their math skills. A recipe is the perfect chance to apply math skills to a real life situation. Have your child help you calculate measurements for a double or triple recipe. It’s also a great way to bond with your children!
Summer tutoring is a great opportunity for your children to practice their school material and to “get ahead” for next school year. Remember that summer learning loss is often due to a lack of academic activities. Plus, tutors can provide tips to stay organized in school and other strategies for great academic achievement.
We hope that these tips help you to create a memorable summer! Remember that The Tutoring Center League City has academic programs that will provide your children with the academic abilities for a solid foundation. Consider us next time you are looking for tutoring in League City.
To learn more about our programs, please call (281) 337-2800

Thursday, April 23, 2015


Founded in 2000, the HEP Bookstore is a full service homeschool store located in SE Houston.  The store sells traditional homeschool curriculum plus Driver Ed in a Box™, toys, games, Folkmanis™ puppets, t-shirts, Insect Lore™, and many other fun and educational items.  Owned and operated by Joanne Juren, the HEP Bookstore also offers consulting, transcripting services, and custom designed high school diplomas. The  IOWA standardized test  is offered each spring (click the STANDARDIZED TESTING SERVICES button on the left side of this page).  Home Education Partnership of Texas, Inc. offers group activities, tutoring, and seminars for homeschoolers and their parents.    For a complete listing of activities visit  Because Joanne E. Juren, B.A., M.Ed., is the only homeschool store owner in the Houston area who has experience as both a teacher and as an administrator, the HEP Bookstore is able to offer services that other stores cannot.  Mrs. Juren has also homeschooled her two sons and has been actively involved in homeschooling for 20 years. These services include:

  • Special Education Consulting – As a former public school administrator, Mrs. Juren has ARD Committee and Special Education Administrative Experience.  She has years of experience working with Test Results and I.E.P.’s. With this knowledge, she will gladly help the homeschool parent make curriculum choices and share ideas about how to present the materials within the homeschool environment.
  • Teaching Experience – With over 38 years of teaching experience, Mrs. Juren has knowledge about curriculum and how to tailor the materials to a special child’s needs.  Mrs. Juren has trained her staff to assist customers with this information.  Mrs. Juren is usually available to help customers with special questions.
  • College Information – Mrs. Juren also has experience as a college administrator with San Jacinto College South.  She is knowledgeable about dual credit/early admission programs as well as what colleges require from homeschooled students.  She served as a member of the San Jacinto College District Honors Council during 2010-12.
  • Consulting Services – Customers are welcome to schedule a private consultation with Mrs. Juren.  The rate is $40 an hour.  Four year plans, test scores, college planning, discipline issues, family matters, and curriculum questions are just a few of the topics that parents have brought to Mrs. Juren for consultation sessions.
  • Transcript Services – The HEP Bookstore sells a transcript kit that may be used to create a professional looking high school transcript.  Mrs. Juren will develop a transcript for a fee.
  • GETTING READY FOR HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE – The book!  Mrs. Juren has written a book that smooths the way for the homeschooling family to move from high school to college.  The book is $29.95 and a transcript CD may also be purchased.
  • Diploma – The HEP Bookstore will custom make your student’s high school diploma.  Also available is a black or blue leather cover for the diploma.  HEP of Texas, our group class provider,  also provides a graduation ceremony in May exclusively for homeschooled students.  Caps and gowns and other graduation supplies are available through HEP Bookstore.

JOURNEY THOUGH TIME, an intensive survey course of literature and history starting with the Ancient Times and continuing to the Post Modern Times, presents the history and literature of Western Civilization in a formal classical methodology with a heavy focuses on rhetoric and writing.  Using the writing program, Writing with the Masters, students develop strong writing and research skills while exploring the great writers and thinkers of the world.
ANCIENT TIMES (Creation – 476AD) - This course traces the history of ideas regarding western culture.  The purpose of this course is to acquaint students with the Judeo-Christian foundations of western culture.  It is essential for students to have some understanding of the roots of their culture in order to respond from a biblical perspective to the present-day mores and philosophies.  This course focuses on extended paragraph writing and the five-paragraph essay.  Readings include novels based on the various time periods and cultures, Bible stories, flood stories, creation myths, legends, and readings from Ancient civilizations.
JOURNEY THROUGH TIME – Grade 9                                                                                                               
THE GREEKS AND ROMANS–This course explores western culture as a blend of Judeo-Christian traditions recorded in the Old and New Testaments and the Greco-Roman pagan traditions of Greek and Roman Literature. This year’s writing will focus on learning well-developed expository writing:  advanced expository paragraphs with sub-topic sentences, and various college essay formats, including the MLA Style 5-paragraph research essay.  The major writings covered in Grade 9 include Iliad, Odyssey, Poetics, Oedipus Rex, Antigone, and Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar; shorter writings include works by Aristotle, Euclid, Socrates, Plato, Caesar, Plutarch, and many others.
JOURNEY THROUGH TIME – Grade 10                                                                                                         
MEDIEVAL TIMES - This course examines the impact of the church, chivalry, and feudalism on the development of Europe during the Medieval Time period.  This year’s writing focuses on advanced expository paragraphs with sub-topic sentences, and various college essay formats, including the MLA Style research paper. The major writings covered in Grade 10 include Beowulf, Song of Roland, King Arthur, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, The Divine Comedy, and Everyman; shorter writings include Bede, Caedmon, Medieval Poets, Miracle and Morality Plays, and many others.

JOURNEY THROUGH TIME – Grade 11                                                                                                           
THE RENAISSANCE AND THE AGE OF REASON – The first semester of this 32-week course is an extensive survey of the history and literature of the Renaissance & Reformation period and the second semester, The Age of Reason, looks in depth at the philosophies of the Enlightenment, which led to the birth of America.  Various genre begun in this age are also explored, e. g. journalism.   The first semester will focus on the college history essay; the second semester on journalism, satire, and six methods of paragraph development.  The major writings covered in Grade 11 include The Prince, Don Quixote, Faerie Queene, Hamlet, and Paradise Lost; shorter writings include poetry, the US Constitution, Ben Franklin, Patrick Henry, and stories about Americans.
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JOURNEY THROUGH TIME – Grade 12                                                                                        
MODERN AND POST MODERN TIMES - This 32-week course offers an in-depth look at Romanticism in Europe, England, and America.  It also covers European and American Realism and Naturalism in both the Victorian Era in England and during Modern and Post Modern Times.  The fall semester writing will focus on critical analysis and the spring semester on research and text documentation.  The major writings covered in Grade 12 include modern writers, historical writings, short stories, and poetry.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


Through the sharing of our members’ gifts and talents, FAITH Co-op strives to provide academic support and enrichment to home school families, which would enhance a parent’s effort to educate their children, by offering quality classes in a Christian environment.
At FAITH we believe that when a family chooses to home school, they are embarking on one of the most challenging and rewarding endeavors they may experience. We want to come alongside a family’s efforts to support, encourage and supplement their home school. While at FAITH academic classes can be found which can alleviate some of the parental teaching, we firmly believe that parents maintain the responsibility to control, oversee and guide their child’s education.
We believe that by cooperating together in the sharing of our members’ gifts and talents all of our students will reap the rewards of receiving instruction that their own parent may not feel able to give or teach.
We meet at Clear Lake Baptist Church (CLBC), 15700 Space Center Blvd., Houston, 77062, -  located on the corner of El Dorado and Space Center Blvd., in Clear Lake City.
Learn more:

Bethlehem Harvest – Whole Grain Goodness for your Family

Bethlehem Harvest is a family owned business based in Friendswood, Texas. Our primary goal is to provide top quality equipment and supplies for home bread baking. We are also committed to providing a steady stream of bulk organic products into the Southeast Houston area.

Gail DeGray, the owner of Bethlehem Harvest, began her fascination with bread baking at age 12 and has been delighting family and friends with whole grain breads ever since.  In the late 1980’s, with a growing family, Gail made a dramatic change in her baking style and efficiency: she moved from hand kneading to machine kneading. The machine of choice at the time is still the best on the market today: the Bosch Universal Mixer. With the proper tools in hand, Gail streamlined her baking, learning to make six loaves of fresh whole grain bread in just over an hour – plenty to feed her family and still have some to give away!

Then, after recommending the Bosch Mixer to others for almost twenty years, Gail became a Bosch Demonstrator, thus making this remarkable machine available to friends old and new. The Bosch Universal Plus Kitchen Machine is an ideal addition to any kitchen. It can knead up to 14 pounds of dough, whip cream, and stir batters. Additional attachments to turn it into a blender, shredder/slicer, or meat grinder. No need to buy separate appliances for each use.

In addition, Bethlehem Harvest is a supplier for the Nutrimill Grain mill, a high speed impact great mill that creates nutritious fresh flour from grains and legumes in just minutes.  The Nutrimill is versatile, convenient, powerful and fast. It is one of the quietest impact mills on the market today. Definitely an important addition to any bread maker's kitchen.

Bethlehem Harvest is also the only bulk supplier of high quality whole grains, legumes and other baking supplies on the southeast side of Houston. Bethlehem Harvest stocks a variety of grains from Wheat Montana Farms, Lundberg Rice Co., and a variety of other organic sources.  Many grains are maintained in stock, and specialty products can be ordered on a regular basis.

Our name, Bethlehem Harvest, is based on the Biblical birthplace of Jesus Christ. The name ‘Bethlehem’ literally means, “House of Bread”, and we’ve enjoyed the fact that our home has

been a house of bread for many years. For our family the “harvest” of the grains God has provided comes when we enjoy the home baked goodness that continues to delight our senses after over 35 years of baking!! We invite you to enjoy the same delightful harvest in your own “house of bread!”

In addition to baking (and eating) bread, Gail enjoys teaching bread baking classes in her own kitchen and other local venues.  She also pursues a variety of other passions: caring for her husband, Bob and their eight children; loving on their 4.5 grandchildren; serving the Lord Jesus Christ in local church ministry; sharing her love for God’s Word by leading ladies Bible studies and retreats; supporting and encouraging families pursuing adoption; and occasionally sitting down at her sewing machine to make a quilt.

We hope you will visit our web site at or e-mail us at 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Young Living - Melissa Vaughn

My Young Living journey began nearly 3 years ago after attending the THSC conference. After learning and researching about the different essential oil companies, I chose Young Living based on their Seed-to-Seal guarantee. If my family was going to switch from over the counter drugs with scary chemical labels, artificial dyes and side effects, I wanted a pure essential oil….with no fillers to cut corners.

I wanted an essential oil company that owned their own farms all across the globe, used beyond organic practices, had researched historical qualities and certified and tested every single bottle of oil.
Our family has slowly rid our home of the chemicals and replaced them with essential oils. I am the manager of my home and wanted to protect my family from the long term effects of chemicals hidden in just about everything we currently used.

There really is an oil for everything! Head pain, immunity booster, cold-fighting, inflammation, seasonal discomforts, body pains….even for our Husky Annie who suffers from Thunderstorm anxiety!

It was an initial investment to arm ourselves with essential oils. However, that initial start-up of oils has more than paid for itself. My family has saved by not needing sick-child appointments, prescriptions for sickness, etc. I can proudly say that 2015 marks the SECOND YEAR STRAIGHT THAT WE HAVEN’T BEEN TO THE PEDIATRICIAN FOR A SICK CHILD VISIT…..FOR ALL THREE OF OUR

CHILDREN!! Before using Young Living oils, we were regularly clients….in for strep throat constantly, viruses and stomach troubles.

Come stop by the Young Living Booth and we’ll help you discover how essential oils and the natural lifestyle can help you and your family as well!

You can learn more at :

Monday, April 20, 2015

Blog-Math via digital – learning, practice, assessment for home

The orthodox form of mathematical instruction involves a three step process- listening, understanding and applying. This traditional method of teaching has been typically executed through parents, instructors, books, and now even multimedia. But we should really ask ourselves – are these techniques the most efficient way of imbibing the abstract science of math? There’s definitely not a right answer to this question.  Keeping in mind that the future relies on digital learning, comprehending and practicing math must be revolutionized to a form where individualized learning is at the forefront. Saying that we have understood a concept means that we can critically think about the topic itself, visualize the material, be able to physically replicate the concept and most importantly, know how to manipulate the concept in various forms of application.

This process of understanding abstract mathematical concepts is sometimes hard to explain but if this simple process of learning is followed, there will always be effective comprehension. The self learning process avoids any opportunity for passive absorption of information and also ensures a sense of concentration - thus proving to be the most effective method of learning today. Now the role of parents and teachers shouldn’t be to spoon-feed the children but rather are optimal in facilitating or guiding the child’s learning process. Their role should be to bolster and catalyze the thinking process by being there when help is needed and constantly being engaged with the children.

Math Buddy in its entirety is conceived based on this simple process to enable kids to critically think by letting them interactively learn and understand concepts using web-based activities. By adapting to the progression of society to a technological platform of learning, Math Buddy strives to foster a more individualized way to learn and understand math. Activities to learn interactively, worksheets to practice, assessments to evaluate, reports for parents to monitor, question of the day to engage kids and more features enable kid successful math education at Visit to learn more.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Galveston Homeschool Performing Arts Co-op

Have you ever wondered what the Galveston Homeschool Performing Arts Co-op is about? Our mission is to provide comprehensive, high-quality education in choir, band, orchestra, drama, and dance for home-educated students in Galveston and the surrounding areas. We offer morning music classes and afternoon drama classes one day a week. We also have a nursery for our youngest children.
Primary students get exposure to creating music together through rhythm band, choir, and music theory with play mixed in. Elementary students get to apply their skills to playing the recorder. They begin working in Music Theory workbooks and they participate in Elementary Choir.

As the children develop their skills, they reach a point at which they can begin taking instrument classes. We offer classes for each section of instruments (woodwinds, strings, percussion, brass). These students come together to play in Beginning Band or Beginning Strings, Intermediate Orchestra, Advanced Orchestra, and Combined Orchestra. The co-op has several musical instruments available to rent for $50 per semester. We have also been blessed to receive two matching grants that allowed us to purchase a tuba and a marimba.

Students can join at any age and will be placed in classes according to their age and experience. Many of our students began playing instruments in high school and progressed quickly.

Creative Movement and Theatrics is offered for primary students. The students learn the basics of performing on stage with others. Junior Drama is for elementary students. These students learn their parts and also play games and develop teamwork. Senior Drama is for students age 11 and up. The students participate in creating simple backdrops, learning their parts, developing drama skills, and becoming familiar with backstage techniques.

Meanwhile, the parents are learning. You don't have to know the difference between a cornet and a coronet when you join the co-op. You don't even have to know that a saxophone is a woodwind instrument and not a brass instrument. You will learn as you go!

Parents with musical or drama experience are given teaching positions as they become available. Parents who excel in other areas are given positions as assistant teachers, fundraising committee members, nursery volunteers, older child care workers, and other positions as needs arise. Typically, an assistant teacher helps the students stay focused as needed, takes attendance, keeps track of practice logs, and perhaps gets to lead a class if they wish. Assistant teachers are often in the same classes as their children, if that is desired.

We offer the option to participate in various additional activities and performances. This year the students participated in Pep Band playing at a local private school's football games, the Federation Festival playing solos for a judge, Art Walk, and The Grand Kids Festival in Galveston. We will also be taking a class trip to iT'Z Pizza in Houston for a music competition this spring. In the past, the students have performed at the Texas Renaissance Festival, at Galveston Holiday in the Park, at Chick-fil-A, and at the Moody Gardens Festival of Lights. We have gone on field trips to the West Bay Common School in League City, to the Galveston Ballet at The Grand, to the Lone Star Flight Museum, to the Galveston Symphony Orchestra, to the beach and to the park!

The Galveston Homeschool Performing Arts Co-op is comprised of families from Lake Jackson, Pearland, Alta Loma, League City, Pasadena, Dickinson, Clute, and Galveston. Come join us!
We have a couple of days left for visitors to come see what GHPAC is all about while this semester is still in session. Please e-mail to arrange a date to visit. You are also welcome to attend our Drama Performance on April 25th and our Music Concert on May 16th.
Please see our website at for more information.