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.