Thursday, September 26, 2013

Homeschool Mom ~ Needs a Break?

Have you ever felt like if you didn't get a break you might expire?
photo courtesy of MG
How about getting a break, and coming home with.......this? ^

Back in March 2013 an email showed up in my inbox with a deal that sounded too good to be true. "The Landry Academy's amazing Homeschool Moms' Retreats are for the incredible all-inclusive price of only $25 - which includes 2 nights, all meals, and all sorts of science and fellowship to the glory of God!  I know... it seems to good to be true!  BUT IT IS TRUE!!  Only $25!!" 

I was certain there had to be a catch. I googled the retreats, and ended up at a post from a blogger who had attended a retreat in March. I posted on her blog, asked a few questions, and once I was convinced that this was a real deal, I signed up.... the same day, before I even spoke to my husband about it! ;) 

Fast forward to September~ I received an email, confirming my attendance, with more details~ My friend MG decided to go with me at the last minute when some spots opened up, and off we went! 

Doesn't it look delightful here? Our "Bunking Cabin" at the retreat center (Berea, in Hebron, NH) overlooked Newfound Lake. Simply lovely!  We shared our "Room" with a couple of ladies, and the room next door was populated with a friend of mine from years past with ladies from her support group/co-op. Not "luxury" accommodations, but certainly reasonable! (I understand that the newer cabins across the way didn't have the lakeview, but they DID have double sinks and radiant heat in the floors). 

 It turned out that we were sharing the retreat grounds with a group of teens from RI, but other than some rambunctiousness between 12am and 1am, and some rather loud team shouting outside our lecture space (in the chapel), we didn't really notice them that much.  
The dining hall fed us decent "Camp" food (Yummy fajitas the first night, and salad as an option for every lunch and dinner), and lit a fire at night in the Lodge for the moms to enjoy (In addition to the ping pong, pool, foosball and carpet ball tables that were there for our use). 
Now that I've talked about the "Relaxing/Retreat" aspect of the weekend, let me tell you about the Landry/Science aspect of the weekend. This is one side of the "Chapel" where we met for each session. Loads and loads of lovely ladies!
Greg Landry, of Landry Academy understands homeschooling, and homeschool moms (Since he and his wife homeschooled their two daughters) and he believes in giving back to the homeschool community. See that roasting tray? It is filled with Lindt, Ghiradelli, and Hershey Chocolates.... and there were TWO of them filled to the brim. 

But chocolate wasn't the only thing that Greg was supplying. He spent Friday, and most of Saturday giving us tips on teaching science, applying for college, and doing a variety of experiments with us~ we found out if we were "tasters" or not, did DNA extractions (using cells from our cheeks) ...
Mad Scientist look? (My DNA was NOT so towering)
Towering DNA!

We did Blood Typing

Can you figure out which card is RH-??? (hint... if you have the antibody, your blood clots, if you don't and are "negative" the blood doesn't clot) Note~ that spiral bound notebook you see is filled with pages from a variety of the Landry Science Intensive notebooks, and we didn't get to all of them, but made it through a fair number~ but when you have chatty homeschool moms in a "classroom" sometimes it's hard to reign them in from Q&A, so we weren't *quite* as productive as we might have been~ certainly not for lack of preparation by Mr. Landry! We were also provided with a pack of colored pencils for each person, because COLOR is important! :)

We even did a sheep uterus dissection (Not my favorite part, but a highlight for many~ I am refraining from posting any dissecting pictures because I don't like to look at them myself... not my forte' ... give me botany dissections any day!) 

Greg gave away at least 100 books/science supplies/kits (MG and I came home with blood typing kits so that we can type our daughters, since the doctor's offices don't do that any more...). I saw Owl Pellet dissection kits, scientific thermometers, a chocolate making kit, Keva Planks, Mento geyser kits, and books like these: 

We also were given a Landry Academy Homeschool Mom's Retreat T-shirt in a selection of colors! How fun! (And I can't believe that I didn't get any pictures of them!)

What might seem like a funny item to some ended up being one of the fondest memories~ we were all given plastic "Frog Anatomy" dissection aprons, which we were instructed to decorate with the sharpies at our tables... Sunday morning, after the presentations by Debbie Stokes (who might stoke your interest in biology and chemistry), and Julie Rapleje, who good-naturedly put up with the "gross anatomy" discussions before sharing her "Science of Color" talk (and hey! we got to use nail polish, too!), we had an "Apron Contest"

The prize for the best "apron" was the lovely Sally~ full-sized biology skeleton! Wow! And what an adventure!

Sally and her "Roomates" 
Julie Rapleje and Sally
Getting Sally to the car (She is HEAVY!)
Sally's ride home~ she even had a pillow for her head! 
On the way home we stopped at a neat little country store, and had some yummy ice cream at this stand that a few other moms had snuck out to Saturday night~

Check out the flavors! Oh MY! We tried Mixed Berry Rhubarb Sorbet (Which was really yummy!) but I ended up with Coffee and Cinnamon, and my friend MG had Ginger and Cinnamon.  Oh My! They were all scrumptious, but the Cinnamon was my favorite this day!

I hope you see how much FUN this was, AND how great the resources were, and WHAT a generous gentleman Greg Landry is. If you have the opportunity to sign up for one of these, you can right here... Landry Academy Mom's Science Retreats (Scroll way down the page to find the open locations). I'm here to tell you that this is for REAL ($25 covers a full weekend away, meals included, giveaways for everyone, great science tips, fun and fellowship with other homeschool moms... AMAZING!)! No "Selling" of anything, but the offer to sign up for lessons at a greatly reduced rate for retreat attendees.


Disclaimer~ this was a totally unsolicited review of my weekend at a Landry Academy Homeschool Mom's Science Retreat. 


  1. Replies
    1. It really was! What an amazing opportunity! (And I was afraid it was a scam.... NOT! :) )

  2. Thanks so much for reminding me of this. I'm thankful it will be close to home and am looking forward to going.


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