Friday, February 14, 2020

College Prep Science - 6 Reasons to Ditch the SAT and Laser Focus on the ACT

Getting the kids ready for their future is imperative. ACT or SAT? Always one of the key questions for homeschool families.

This post is sponsored by College Prep Science. Copyright 2020 by Greg Landry. 

I started helping homeschooled students with ACT prep over 14 years ago as I helped our children and then students from other families in classes. Now, more than ever, it makes sense to laser focus on the ACT.
Standardized tests like the ACT and SAT are critically important for two reasons - they are an important part of the college admission decision and academic scholarships are often based directly on this score (higher score = more scholarship money). This score may make the difference in a college acceptance decision or in thousands, or tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships. 
First, a little background. Most colleges and universities require that students take either the ACT or SAT and that the score is reported to them as part of a student's application process. All colleges and universities will accept either test for the application process. Some students take and report both. Since 2012, more students take the ACT than the SAT and that gap widens every year. The SAT is rapidly losing market share.
While a majority of students used to prepare for and take both tests, more and more students are now focusing all of their preparation on the ACT and only taking the ACT. The conventional wisdom used to be that you should prep for, and take, both tests. The rationale was that because of the differences in the tests you may score significantly better on one than on the other. Actually, that rarely happens (although my anecdotal experience is that homeschooled students tend to perform better on the ACT). The scores for the vast majority of students who take both tests are very similar. Some would suggest that students should take the PSAT because of the chance of becoming a national merit scholar. But the chances of that happening are very, very small and in my opinion not worth the potential downside except in rare situations.

Several reasons I believe students should laser focus (and become an expert) on taking the ACT!
1. Taking only the ACT eliminates the test-taking confusion that many students experience because of the differences in strategy and structure between the ACT and the SAT. A little confusion while taking these tests can negatively affect college admissions and scholarship money - sometimes significantly.
2. Considering homeschooled students I've worked with who have taken both tests, the majority preferred taking, and performed better on the ACT.
3. All math questions on the ACT are multiple-choice - a decided advantage for students who know how to exploit this factor - as I teach students to do in my boot camp. Also, unlike the SAT, the ACT allows the use of a calculator for the entire math test.
4. In early 2019, College Board (the publisher of the SAT) announced that in 2020 it will begin including an "adversity index" with the SAT scores it submits to colleges in 2020. This index score will be an estimate of how much adversity a student has faced in their life as estimated by the College Board. This step has been roundly criticized in academic and test prep circles as unfair to students who don't fit into the "adversity index" - for all practical purposes it acts to effectively lower the SAT score of all other students. Another reason to ditch the SAT.
5. The "science reasoning" section of the ACT (about 25 percent of the test) can be very intimidating. This section has little to do with science knowledge and is more about reading comprehension, critical thinking, and reasoning. For students planning to be science majors in college, doing well on the "science reasoning" section of the ACT is especially important and can give them a decided advantage. It's also the section that has the largest potential for improvement with appropriate preparation. It is typically composed of several science-related reading passages (often with some type of graphical data) with several questions related to each passage and data. It can be conquered and used toward a student's advantage with appropriate preparation!
6. If a student focuses solely on the ACT they can become an expert on taking that test. This is much more difficult to do when preparing for both ACT and SAT as you don't have as much time to focus on ACT. Rather than spending time preparing for the SAT and the ACT, spend all that time totally focused on the ACT, likely yielding a better ACT score.
Ideally, a student should begin preparing for and taking the ACT in the 9th grade and take it two to three times per school year through 11th grade or early 12th grade. A student can take the ACT up to 12 times. The fee to take the ACT is $68 (writing test included) and the experience gained in taking it multiple times may make the difference in a college acceptance decision or in thousands or tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships. The goal early on is to gain valuable experience of taking the test and to continue to improve. 
Then, submit one (the best) of those 11th / 12th-grade scores to colleges to which you're applying. 99+% of colleges only require that you submit one of your scores. A few colleges require that you submit all of your ACT or SAT scores but state that they use your best score for admission consideration. Also, admissions personnel that I've had contact with view taking the test multiple times as a sign of a student's determination and perseverance - qualities they want to see in a student.
The experience of taking the ACT multiple times over several years is so important! Imagine the difference between students who take the ACT for the first time in 11th or 12th grade vs. students who are thoroughly familiar with the test when taken in 11th or 12th grade because they've prepared for it for years and have taken it several times! It's huge! 
If your student is beyond 9th grade and hasn't started preparing for and taking the ACT yet, no worries - they can get started now and still make significant progress.
Homeschool dad, scientist, and former college professor, Greg Landry, offers live, online homeschool science classes, Homeschool ACT Prep Bootcamp the Homeschool Mom’s Science Podcast, in-person two-day science lab intensives nationwide, freebies for homeschool moms, and homeschool print publications that students can be a part of. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

The Ultimate Game Prize Pack from Goliath Games! $100 RV!

Sponsored By: Goliath Games

Hosted By: Love, Mrs. Mommy

Winner Will Receive - 

The Ultimate Game Prize Pack from Goliath Games!

$100 RV!

Goliath is one of the few global family-owned toy companies in the industry and continues to be one of the fastest growing companies in the world!

Open To US entries and must be 18+ to enter
Giveaway Dates ~ 2/10 9:00 AM EST through 3/10 11:59PM EST
Disclosure: Love, Mrs. Mommy and all participating bloggers are not held responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize obligations. This giveaway is in no way endorsed or sponsored by Facebook or any other social media site. The winner will be randomly drawn by Giveaway Tools and will be notified by email. Winner will have 48 hours to reply before a replacement winner will be drawn. If you would like to participate in an event like this please contact LoveMrsMommy (at) gmail (dot) com.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Valentine's Day Photo Locket Giveaway!

Sponsored By:

Hosted By: Love, Mrs. Mommy

Winner Will Receive: 

A Beautiful Sterling Silver "Forever In My Heart" Photo Locket from worth $69.95! 


Can't wait to see if you won? I have an exclusive coupon code for 10% off your order! 

Just use "PC valentine10" at checkout on!

Product Info: Lockets all come with clear protective coverings for the photo on the inside. You can add hair to your locket by removing the plastic inserts then inserting them back. Your locket can have a picture permanently lasered inside or a photo print that fits perfectly. Alternatively you can also add your own photo prints at home. You can engrave your locket with a personalized message engraving, initial or even monogram Solid .925 Sterling Silver Engraved Design is on the front of the locket Can hold up to 2 Photos Heart shape locket You can choose which chain to add to your order when checking out All of our sterling silver lockets are Nickel Free This would make a perfect Valentine's Day gift for her!
Open To US and must be 18+ to enter Giveaway Dates ~ 1/27 9:00 AM EST through 2/14 11:59PM EST Good Luck!!

Disclosure: Love, Mrs. Mommy and all participating bloggers are not held responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize obligations. This giveaway is in no way endorsed or sponsored by Facebook or any other social media site. The winner will be randomly drawn by Giveaway Tools and will be notified by email. Winner has 48 hours to reply before a replacement winner will be drawn. If you would like to participate in an event like this please contact LoveMrsMommy (at) gmail (dot) com.
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Friday, January 25, 2019

Multicultural Children's Book Day

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2019 (1/25/19) is in its 6th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.

MCBD 2019 is honored to have the following Medallion Sponsors on board!

*View our 2019 Medallion Sponsors here:
*View our 2019 MCBD Author Sponsors here:
Medallion Level Sponsors

Honorary: Children’s Book CouncilThe Junior Library

Super Platinum: Make A Way Media

GOLD: Bharat BabiesCandlewick PressChickasaw Press, Juan Guerra and The Little Doctor / El doctorcitoKidLitTV,  Lerner Publishing GroupPlum Street Press,

SILVER: Capstone PublishingCarole P. RomanAuthor Charlotte RiggleHuda EssaThe Pack-n-Go Girls,

BRONZE: Charlesbridge PublishingJudy Dodge CummingsAuthor Gwen JacksonKitaab WorldLanguage Lizard – Bilingual & Multicultural Resources in 50+ LanguagesLee & Low BooksMiranda Paul and Baptiste Paul, RedfinAuthor Gayle H. Swift,  T.A. Debonis-Monkey King’s DaughterTimTimTom BooksLin ThomasSleeping Bear Press/Dow PhumirukVivian Kirkfield,

MCBD 2019 is honored to have the following Author Sponsors on board

Honorary: Julie FlettMehrdokht Amini,

Author Janet BallettaAuthor Kathleen BurkinshawAuthor Josh FunkChitra SoundarOne Globe Kids – Friendship StoriesSociosights Press and Almost a MinyanKaren LeggettAuthor Eugenia ChuCultureGroove BooksPhelicia Lang and Me On The PageL.L. WaltersAuthor Sarah StevensonAuthor Kimberly Gordon BiddleHayley BarrettSonia PanigrahAuthor Carolyn Wilhelm, Alva Sachs and Dancing DreidelsAuthor Susan BernardoMilind Makwana and A Day in the Life of a Hindu KidTara WilliamsVeronica AppletonAuthor Crystal BoweDr. Claudia MayAuthor/Illustrator Aram KimAuthor Sandra L. RichardsErin DealeyAuthor Sanya Whittaker GraggAuthor Elsa TakaokaEvelyn Sanchez-ToledoAnita BadhwarAuthor Sylvia LiuFeyi Fay AdventuresAuthor Ann MorrisAuthor Jacqueline JulesCeCe & Roxy BooksSandra Neil Wallace and Rich WallaceLEUYEN PHAMPadma VenkatramanPatricia Newman and Lightswitch LearningShoumi SenValerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing, Traci SorellShereen RahmingBlythe StanfelChristina MatulaJulie RubiniPaula ChaseErin TwamleyAfsaneh MoradianLori DeMonia, Claudia Schwam, Terri Birnbaum/ RealGirls RevolutionSoulful SydneyQueen Girls Publications, LLC

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

Co-Hosts and Global Co-Hosts

In this coming-of-age historical novel for middle grade readers, Chula, a young Chickasaw boy living in the Homeland during the turbulent eighteenth century, finds himself thrust into the challenging world of a Chickasaw warrior after his father is killed in a surprise attack on their hunting party. Despite his youth, Chula is determined to join the warriors who seek retaliation. Young Chula is soon faced with the difficulties and confusions of warfare and manhood. Is he destined for the path of the warrior? Or does a different future await him?

Little Loksi is having fun with his family, when all of a sudden, he finds himself flipped over on his back with no way to get back up! Follow along as animals of all sorts come together to help Little Loksi in this tale of friendship. Featuring Chickasaw-language vocabulary words, Little Loksi shows what can happen with a little teamwork between friends.

C is for Chickasaw walks children through the letters of the alphabet, sharing elements of Chickasaw history, language, and culture along the way. Writing with multiple age groups in mind, author Wiley Barnes crafted rhymes to engage a younger child’s imagination, along with explanations for older children. Colorful illustrations by Aaron Long reflect elements of Southeastern Native American art, and a supplementary activities section provides a springboard for discussion and learning.

We really enjoyed our reads from Chickasaw Press. Our homeschool will forever cherish the books that we received for the 2019 Multicultural Children's Book Day! 

Please stay tuned for our complete blog reviews for each book that we received! For now we will just let you know that we received them and we like them all!

TWITTER PARTY Sponsored by Make A Way Media: MCBD’s super-popular (and crazy-fun) annual @McChildsBookDay Twitter Party will be held 1/25/19 at 9:00pm.E.S.T. TONS of prizes and book bundles will be given away during the party ( a prize every 5 minutes!). GO HERE for more details.

Free Multicultural Books for Teachers:
Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators:
Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Spine Chillers Empty Eyes Book Review

Empty Eyes

Empty Eyes (Spine Chillers)
by Nancy Gray
Genre: Horror
Age category: Middle Grade
Release Date: October 26, 2018

“You will face a difficult task in the future. The card is reminding you that every person has a part of themselves they like to hide. Even when times are hard, you must not lose yourself.”

Ian frowned as Mrs. Marcas read his fortune. The school Halloween carnival was supposed to be the highlight of Halloween, but something about the card he picked seemed ominous. As he headed for the storyteller, things quickly took a turn for the worst when the school bullies chased him into an abandoned house. Inside, the children with EMPTY EYES decided to make Ian their friend. A black living mass twisted and coiled in his chest and closed in on his heart. Time was ticking away with every infected beat, and if Ian didn’t act quickly he really would lose himself forever.

The middle grade book Spine Chillers: Empty Eyes by Nancy Gray, left the reader 
amazed by how awesome and creepy it was at the same time. The author Nancy Gray 
wrote this book with precision and it was written in third person. The main character Ian 
was pretty cool and he would always feel good about himself in the end, even after he 
did bad things. The supporting character Duane was a good person because he stuck with
Ian no matter what. I enjoyed this story!
I enjoyed this story because it was just like one of those really good horror movies 
that are shown in a theatre. Just like a really good plot in a horror movie, you just can’t 
stop watching it because you want more and more. But in this case, you just can’t stop 
reading the book! For instance in one part of the book, Ian was in his room and one 
minute everything was going normal then boom everything went crazy! I just couldn’t 
stop turning the pages. Also, there were special powers that the antagonists in this story 
held that I really thought were cool. All in all the characters were well written, the conflict 
in the story kept me reading and the pace of the story was perfectly done. I wouldn’t 
mind reading more of Nancy Gray’s horror reads. I hope she will write more like this 
down the line. 
I rate this book 5 stars and recommend to all kids out there that enjoy a creepy 
horror tale! 

You can find the Empty Eyes on Goodreads

You can buy Empty Eyes on Amazon

Nancy GrayNancy Gray has published a number of works including her young adult fantasy series Blood Rain. Her short story “Chosen” appeared in Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal Author Quest: a Penguin Special from Grosset & Dunlap. Her work also appears in various anthologies.
Nancy Gray has been writing for over ten years. Gray lives in South Carolina with her husband and two daughters. She enjoys books, video games, anime, manga, and horror.

Other Works by Nancy Gray:
Blood Rain
Blood Moon
Blood God
Spine Chillers: The Scarecrow
Spine Chillers: Big Bad Wolf
Spine Chillers: The Beast of Black Pond
Spine Chillers: Empty Eyes
Spine Chillers: The Firefly

You can find and contact Nancy Gray here:
- Website
- Blog
- Facebook
- Goodreads