What I Love About Attending Horizon Christian Academy

What I Love About Attending Horizon Christian Academy

Each Horizon Christian Academy student’s story is unique to them. Today we want to highlight one student who joined the Horizon family during the spring semester of 2018. Carter Bennett is a senior at HCA who has seen tremendous growth since transitioning from public school and was so excited to share his experience at HCA.

One of the pros of public school for Carter was the opportunity to make connections with various groups of students. While the student body of Horizon Christian Academy is diverse, it certainly does not have the numbers that a typical Forsyth County public school has. “The students at HCA really do show Christ’s love. Everyone feels really welcomed.” Carter says.

With a smaller student body comes smaller class sizes, a feature Carter genuinely enjoys. “Teachers are able to give one on one attention when a student is struggling.” he said, “In public school the classes were big and it could be hard to get help if the teacher is trying to get through a lesson.”

Carter is really thriving in the smaller class setting and has even seen his GPA rise since switching to Horizon. “It’s hard to stand out in public school. I don’t feel like I just blend in at HCA.”

In addition to more one on one attention in class and through the 412 program, Horizon gives high school students and parents the option to choose advanced placement courses and even dual enroll during their last years in high school in order to complete core classes before they graduate. Some HCA students have graduated from high having completed a full year of college core classes and are able to start college taking sophomore courses.

Carter, like so many other HCA upperclassmen, has chosen to take advantage of the dual enrollment option. He is currently taking 4 courses at Truett McConnell University and plans on taking more classes next semester, putting him ahead of a majority of his peers when he begins college.

Horizon doesn’t only offer a rigorous college preparatory education; they also have an outstanding lineup of extracurricular activities. Carter Bennett is active in football, baseball, and the one-act play.

Students can also participate in cross country, basketball, seasonal plays, marching band, cheerleading, and volleyball. As a large portion of the student body, one of Carter’s favorite after-school activities during the first semester is to attend the varsity volleyball games when the Lady Warriors play at home.

With such an active student body and a staff that is focused on educating the whole student, academically, spiritually, and athletically, it’s no wonder students and parents love Horizon Christian Academy. If you and your student are looking for a school that specializes in giving each student the attention they need to succeed, contact the friendly admissions office at Horizon Christian Academy to learn how you can become part of the HCA family.

More About Horizon Christian Academy

Home to approximately 225 students and 45 full and part-time staff members, Horizon Christian Academy offers a Christian-educational experience serving Forsyth and surrounding north Georgia counties. Horizon continues to be fiercely committed to the complete development of students, both educationally and spiritually, making it the perfect home for families seeking an all-encompassing education driven to foster a Christ-like character in the lives of their children.

Connect with HCA Online: Website | Facebook | Twitter

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” Colossians 3:23

Why Choose i9 Sports In Forsyth County?

Why Choose i9 Sports in Forsyth County?

In Forsyth County, there are countless options to put your kids in sports. You can choose to do with the county or with the city. You can choose churches like First United Methodist or Creekside. Or you can choose between United Futbol leagues or National teams. With so much to choose from, the question often is – why choose i9 Sports?

I’m going to list out 7 reasons why in my opinion you should choose to sign your children up with i9 Sports:

    1. Practice Time: This is one detail my family LOVED! The practice time happens just before each game time. No more do sports have to take up more than one day in your busy schedule.
    2. Positive Experience: You can expect a fun and safe environment that encourages good sportsmanship over winning. i9 Sports’ pride themselves on the positive atmosphere that makes i9 Sports a great way for children of all skill levels to experience team sports.
    3. Communication: We have experienced several different sports with i9 Sports. Yet one thing stayed the same. Communication was also done very well. Whether it was knowing that one week prior to the season starting, I would know our schedule. Or if it was letting us know about a rain delay or cancel, i9 Sports does an excellent job with communication.
    4. There Are No Favorites: This was another thing we loved as a family. There are no favorites on the teams. Their program is great for children of all skill levels and experience! It is very common that all teams have a mix of brand new and returning players. Rest assured, every player gets to play every game – all season long.
    5. Age Levels Make A Difference: As the child gets older the practice time + game time lengths change. It’s great they have accommodated for that. Here’s what the guidelines currently look like: Ages 3-4: 60-75 minutes, Ages 5-6: 60-75 minutes, Ages 7-8: 75-90 minutes, Ages 9-10: 75-90 minutes, Ages 11-12: 90-120 minutes, Ages 13+: 90-120 minutes. {Please note: the times listed are the total time spent. It includes practice and game time.}
    6. Discounts: If you register early then you are rewarded with a LOWER price. So make sure you stay on time of the registration dates.
    7. Sports Options: Because i9 Sports offers several different sports options, you can stay with this company. Right now they offer flag football, basketball, baseball, soccer, and many more! To learn more about the i9 Sports experience, click here.

About i9 Sports

They offer youth sports leagues, camps, and clinics for boys and girls ages 3 and up in today’s most popular sports such as flag football, soccer, basketball, and baseball. In their programs, no child will ever be excluded by a try-out, be made to feel like they aren’t good enough by a league draft, ride the bench for an entire game, or be cut from a team. Yes, they keep score, but they have created a fun way to help kids develop an athletic ability, a love of team sports, and an understanding that how you play a game is as important as the score. They don’t just help kids become better athletes, they help them become better people.

To learn about how i9 Sports is different, follow this link to read more.


The registration process is pretty simple. Follow these steps:

  1. Head to www.i9sports.com/FindAProgram and put in your zip code.
  2. That will pull up all the sports options for you online. All you do is pick the one you want.
  3. Fill in all your information.
  4. Pay and you are all registered!
  5. Then, you just wait to be notified of the practice/game schedule.

If you have any trouble registering online, feel free to contact your local program director. For Forsyth County, ours is Carlos & Pegah Jimenez. You can find their contact info by following this link.

Register today for the Fall or Winter season!

Connect with i9 Sports: Website | Facebook | Instagram


The Five Study Skills Your Child Should Know By 5th Grade

Study Skills

This guest post was provided by Pinecrest Academy

Each school year provides us with a new beginning, another “first day” to do our best academically. In this post, you’ll find five study skills you can easily implement at home in order to help your child be successful this school year.

As an educator with 25 years of experience, I have observed some techniques that actually work. Any child can master them with effort, consistency, a desire to learn and with the support of their parent. We often think that learning content for quizzes and tests is often the primary focus for studying; however, forming good habits for a lifetime of learning should be the ultimate goal in studying. The process of learning is just as important as the content being learned, because it is often during the process that one makes the necessary connections for real learning.

Here are key study skills for children in kindergarten through 5th grade:

  1. Memorize. Top on the list (but not necessarily most important) is memorization. Memorization is easier to do when a child is younger, as the brain synapses are more malleable and fire more easily, making the necessary connections to remember details.  Such aids as mnemonic devices, songs, rhymes, stories, etc. help students remember the order of events, the important characters of a story, the United States and their capitals, the books of the Bible, etc. Almost anything worth remembering can be made into a song, rhyme, story or mnemonic device.
  2. Repeat. Some students don’t always understand content or concepts when first introduced to them.  They require more time to “get it.” This is where repetition comes in. When writing, doing math problems or reading something for the second and third time, the process begins to click and make sense. Very few students grasp a new concept right away. Many need ample time to work with the new material in various ways. This is the ultimate reason for homework. The goal is to practice at home what was taught (and hopefully learned) in school. Often a child has forgotten how to solve a math problem by the time he comes home and has to “relearn” it at home. This process of relearning can take more time than parents think it should, but patient repetition is the best approach when helping students learn or practice a new or difficult concept. You could ask the teacher for suggestions on how to work with your child. For example, when striving to master multiplication tables, create a game, whereby you throw your child a ball and say a problem as you throw. Your child must answer correctly before throwing the ball back.
  3. Identify Patterns. Identifying patterns helps students make connections to prior knowledge. All learners need a place, a construct, to “hook” or connect new information or concepts to understand them. Children are always learning and naturally trying to figure things out, whether it is a toddler trying to stack blocks so that they don’t fall, a third grader trying to put a 500-piece jigsaw puzzle together, or a fifth grader making an outline. Parents can help their children, according to their age and maturity, to look for patterns and connect new concepts to prior knowledge. A few examples of learning patterns: comparing a movie to the book in how the information is presented; looking at themes presented in movies or books; learning the location and shape of the 50 United States; seeing how multiplication is just repeated addition. Choose educational games which support the subject content children are learning or will be learning during the year. Some suggestions are US map, addition/subtraction, multiplication/division facts, and spelling words. If your child has access to electronics, select games which help her memorize through repetition, repeated concepts, and terms, such as spelling words, math facts, geography, and pattern games.
  4. Build good habits and routines. What is the ideal study environment you want for your child this year? A quiet place (desk, kitchen/dining room table), a distraction-free zone, (no music, TV, video games, electronics, even younger siblings.), and a set amount of time (preferably at the same time) in which to work and accomplish the task at hand. Good routines are not haphazard or spontaneous, but thought out and planned. Observe your patterns and what works best for your family’s lifestyle. As a teacher and a mother, I know that often I need to sacrifice my wants (ie, no phone calls, email, or Facebook during homework time) to allow real studying to happen. I need to be available to my child for questions.  It is a quiet time for everyone. I might be reading a book or article or even preparing dinner, but the atmosphere is free of extra noise. Even siblings can have quiet time during homework time. This time is crucial in building the habit of concentration. The human mind cannot comprehend at the greatest level possible if there are distractions.
  5. Review. One last point for improving study habits in the elementary student is to help him learn how to review the content and concepts he is learning.  Students in 4th and 5th grades often have interactive notebooks. These are great study tools. Reviewing content for 5-10 minutes a day or even 15 minutes a week would do wonders in actually learning the information. Also, teachers in these grades often give study guides two weeks prior to upcoming tests. Have your child complete the study guide, filling it out with the answers when he receives it (and create flashcards), and look at it for 5-10 minutes each night in preparation for the test. The night before will be just a basic review because he will have already learned and connected the concepts.

Study skills for elementary students are simple but vital for establishing the life-long habit of learning. Parents are key to establishing these consistent routines and fostering this positive learning environment. Learning happens all the time, but learning how to study and do your best takes hard work and discipline on the part of both students and parents.

Do you have any tried and true tips that help your child master the art of learning?

Denise Madgey is a former teacher and principal and currently serves as a tutor to students in grades Kindergarten through 8th grade. She is married to husband, Scott, and they have one daughter, Anne-Marie. She can be reached at denise.madgey@gmail.com.


Pinecrest Academy is a private, Pre-K3 through 12, college preparatory Catholic school, located in South Forsyth, just one mile from The Collection. We provide an atmosphere of academic rigor and critical thinking while offering personalized attention in a Christ-centered environment of faith and reason. Go online to schedule a tour today!

To learn more about our educational philosophy, please visit our website or connect with us on social media – Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Five Health Reasons To Do Functional Fitness

Five Health Reasons To Do Functional Fitness

You’re driving and get stopped at a red light. You’re thirsty and remember your water bottle is in the back seat. Being careful not to take your foot off the brake, you quickly wrench your back sideways and reach for your water bottle.

Pop. Followed by searing pain. You just threw your back out…

Has this happened to you?  I think something similar has happened to all of us at some point in life. I’m here today to explain how you can keep it from happening again. It’s two words – “Functional Fitness.”

Although the term functional fitness might seem overused in the fitness industry today—ad nauseam—there’s a reason for it.

Here’s a quick explanation of what we mean by functional fitness: It’s a way of training that forces your muscles to work together, as opposed to in isolation. In other words, it mimics the way your body needs to move during day-to-day activities in life.

We’re not saying isolation strength training is a bad thing. Bodybuilding-style lifting is definitely going to help you gain strength. But that kind of strength doesn’t lead to fluid coordination in your movements, and it will likely only hinder your mobility if it’s all you’re doing.

Basically, through training functional movements, we’re trying to get you moving the way you were able to when you were a child or even a toddler.
Think about how easy it is for a baby to get down to the floor and stand up again, and to get down and stand up without using their hands. Or remember when you were a kid and going across the monkey bars was fun? But now you hang from a bar and your joints immediately ache?

That’s what we’re trying to eliminate. We’re trying to make playgrounds fun again for you, and the best way to do this is to practice in the gym what you’re going to see in life in a way that will make life feel easy, and more importantly fun, again.

#1 -Better for your joints

Training multi-joint, multi-muscle groups puts seriously less strain on your joints than isolation work. Again, this doesn’t mean you can’t also do isolation work, but isolation on its own is much harder on your joints. Functional movements, on the other hand, will help strengthen your joints. It will also help you steer clear from joint-related injuries, like arthritis, bursitis, and tendinitis.

#2 – Better for bone density

Osteoporosis and low bone bass are considered a public health threat in the U.S. today. Close to 44 million men and women above the age of 50 suffer from osteoporosis in the U.S. alone. Weight-bearing activities and strength training are particularly good for maintaining bone density to help fend off the dangers of losing bone mass as we age.

#3 – Better at protecting from acute injuries

The hypothetical reach for your water-bottle in the car situation is less likely to happen if your body is accustomed to moving like that on the regular. From lifting your hands over your head to pulling and pushing, to squatting, hinging and carrying, training functionally helps your body be OK with doing all of these things in the real world.

It means your back won’t be shocked when you lift a heavy suitcase onto a conveyer belt at the airport, or you reach over your head to put a heavy bowl away in the cupboard.

Like the saying goes, if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it…We’ll make sure you keep using it.

#4 – Better at the leisure activities

So you want to go hiking, skiing, swimming with your kids and grandkids, but you’re scared you won’t be able to keep up on the ski hill and will spend the day either feeling guilty because you’re holding them back or skiing alone.

What we do here will prepare you physically and build your confidence to not just go skiing with your grandkids, but to keep up with them!

#5 – Better at life

When you’re functionally fit, you won’t need to worry about getting too old to handle the stairs in your house. You’ll be able to help lift a couch to vacuum underneath it. Carrying groceries won’t ever be a concern. In short, we’ll help keep you out of assisted living and old age home situations.
It goes without saying, this means you’ll live a longer, and more importantly, happier and more fulfilling life.

Contact us about starting your functional fitness plan today!

Jill Thornton is a mother of two, wife, and gym owner. Her passion for helping others is infectious!  She channels her passion for fitness from her athletic background as the co-owner at Cumming Strength and Fitness located just west of downtown Cumming. To learn more about Jill, click here.

Connect with Jill & Cumming Strength & Fitness: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter 

Georgia Glamping Company: 6 Reasons To Experience Glamping This Year

6 Reasons To Experience Glamping This Year

Every summer we try to do a few activities or trips that we consider to be an adventure. In summers past, we have been to Chattanooga, Great Wolf Lodge, Putt-Putt Golf in Helen &  many others. This summer one of our adventures was glamping with The Georgia Glamping Company. Let me ask you a question – What do you know about the popular term – “glamping?”

“Glamping is a portmanteau of glamour and camping and describes a style of camping with amenities and, in some cases, resort-style services not usually associated with “traditional” camping.” {Via Wikipedia}

I’m so thrilled to be introducing you to the FABULOUS Georgia Glamping Company. They are a locally owned and operated small business right here in North Georgia. I met the owners several months ago and it’s such a joy to have the privilege to work with them. You may be asking yourself “Why do I want to experience glamping?” Well, I have 6 reasons for you to ponder on!

Our 6 Reasons To Experience Glamping

#1 – Very Little Effort Required

If you have ever done traditional camping then you know exactly what I’m talking about. Think about how long it takes to pack for a camping trip then unpack at the campsite then set up just to eventually tear down then repack only to head home and yes unpack the car. Oh my, I’m sweating just thinking about it. With Georgia Glamping Company, everything is set up for you. You simply pack clothes, food, and any other essentials you may need. When you arrive at the campsite, everything is ready for you! On our glamping trip, we were very impressed with the attention to detail. When we arrived – the diffuser was diffusing, the hanging lights were on and ready, and the a/c was running.

#2 – Treasured Memories

“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm, and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.”

Kid’s need to explore the great outdoors more often! That’s why camping is such a fantastic experience. There isn’t a tv or technology to play with. It’s simply family-time and the great outdoors, which is full of adventure. During our glamping, my kids loved being explorers in the woods. Their time was spent fishing from the bank of Lake Lanier, scavenger hunting, catching fireflies, roasting marshmallows, and much more! The nice thing about glamping is that you can use up every minute of your time to make memories because you don’t have to unpack, set up, or tear down. We made plenty of memories I will treasure on our glamping trip.

#3 – Comfort

I’ll be honest and transparent with you – I’m not a camper. I don’t like bugs. I don’t like being hot. I don’t enjoy roughing it. I’m not a lover of sleeping on the ground. When I found out that glamping includes an a/c or heating unit, a queen bed off the ground, and a fridge – I was totally sold! The Keurig coffee maker was icing on the cake for me! Truth be told, we glamped in the summer heat of July in Georgia. We did still deal with bugs and we were hot when we first went to sleep. However, we all got cold before morning. Isn’t that amazing!? We can hardly wait to glamp in the early fall season.

#4 – The Food

Seems crazy that food would be a reason to go glamping. But let me be clear – I do love some camping food. Everything tastes better cooked over a fire or charcoal. Hot dogs, hamburgers, scrambled eggs, sausage, roasted marshmallows…is anyone else getting hungry!? We packed supplies to have hamburgers and hot dogs for dinner, s’mores for dessert, and sausage and pancakes for breakfast.

#5 – Save Money

If you aren’t an avid camper, glamping allows you an opportunity to save money. Let me tell you how I put this together. In order to have all the supplies for camping – you would need a tent, sleeping bags, flashlights and much more. When you add in the cost to rent a campsite, you are getting into the hundreds of dollars. If you don’t go more than 4-5 times that year then you haven’t paid for the supplies. For example, we would probably only camp 1-2 times a year. Therefore it makes sense for us to just do glamping. In the end, we saved money because we haven’t purchased all the supplies needed to set up a good campsite. I know that we could rough it and spend way less, but remember what I said earlier – I’m not a roughing it kinda girl.

#6 -Relaxation

Georgia Glamping Company provides 2 hammocks for your campsite. Do I need to save anything more after that fact? All four of us (yes, even the kids) loved relaxing in the hammocks. It was so nice to lay there in the shade, swing from side to side, and watch the beautiful sun peeking through the trees. It was a gorgeous view.

A Few Tips For Your Glamping Experience

  1. If you will be glamping by Lake Lanier, you will want to pack swimsuits, kayaks, and/or fishing equipment.
  2. Three things we forgot, that I think would have been helpful, are aluminum foil, platters for food to come off the grill, and hand soap to wash our hands. There is running water at the campsite.
  3. Pack some games to bring along. We brought cards and Trouble to play just in case of rain. However, we didn’t end up playing anything except a scavenger hunt through the woods.
  4. Bring flip-flops for everyone. Those were nice to have when you were hanging around the campsite. It also made it easier to take your shoes off and put them on quickly when going in/out of the tent.
  5. Water. Pack lots of water. I packed a dozen water bottles, which I thought would be enough. But, it wasn’t. We ran out just after breakfast. It was fine for us because we headed home. I would have liked to have a few extra bottles. Better to pack too much than not enough.
  6. Depending on where your campsite is you might want to bring headlamps to walk to the bathroom. We used a good ole flashlight but I do think the headlamp would have been fun for the kids.
  7. Tick spray is very handy in Georgia! We used a combination of Doterra eucalyptus, lemongrass, and TerraShield mixed with water. If you are in need of these oils, let me know and I’d be happy to help you.

Reserving Your Glamping Experience

Are you ready to reserve your glamping experience for your family or even a date weekend? Currently, Georgia Glamping Company is reserving at the following campgrounds: Shady Grove, Shoal Creek, Unicoi, and Vogel. Their pricing starts at $129 per night and goes up from there. For more information and to look for a date, follow this link to their website. 

You can also email them directly at info@gaglamping.com.

Happy Glamping!

Georgia Glamping Company was an idea that we had while driving back from spending a long weekend at the beach, in a hotel with noisy neighbors. We talked about the idea of getting the family out of the fancy hotels, away from their technology and have them experience the outdoors much like we did when we were kids. We dreamed of unique, one-of-a-kind getaways where people can explore on their own terms.

We believe that luxury and comfort should not be sacrificed while enjoying the great outdoors. So we decided to venture out and open Georgia Glamping Company.

Connect with Georgia Glamping Company Online: Website | Facebook | Instagram

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Psalms 19:1

Give Your Children The Opportunity To Explore And Learn This School Year {2018-2019}

Kiddie Academy Cumming: Give Your Children The Opportunity To Explore And Learn This Fall

“We need the tonic of wildness…At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.” ― Henry David Thoreau

I love that quote from Henry David Thoreau. I love it because I agree with what it says. Children need to explore. I believe that the Kiddie Academy gives them that opportunity. The environment at Kiddie Academy is a perfect place for your child to explore and learn this fall. Find out more about their philosophy and don’t miss the special (yet limited) fall registration promo listed below.

If you are interested in learning more, Kiddie Academy invites you to come by their upcoming open house:

When: August 4th from 10am-1pm
Where: Kiddie Academy of Cumming, 450 Brannon Rd, Cumming, GA 30041


Kiddie Academy’s Philosophy

At Kiddie Academy,® they believe caring and learning go hand in hand. That is why their teachers strive to deliver the most comprehensive learning and supportive environment possible. Children will learn throughout the day, including playtime, because the opportunity to learn is always present.

Kiddie Academy empowers exploration and adventures with:

  • activities that engage your child’s interest and abilities
  • nutritious meals in family style dining
  • focus on kindergarten readiness for our preschool and pre-k students
  • the Life Essentials® curriculum

Life Essentials® is Kiddie Academy’s proprietary developmentally appropriate curriculum and supporting programs, methods, activities and techniques help better prepare children for life. Life Essentials gives your child a happier, healthier, more well-rounded foundation for the future. In other words, what children learn at Kiddie Academy will help to prepare them for school and for life.

At Kiddie Academy, children learn from the time they enter our academy until they leave. Throughout the day, children interact with their peers and teachers in small and large groups. They have the opportunity to learn and to discover in their developmentally appropriate learning centers, as well as outside on our age-appropriate playgrounds.

Kiddie Academy understands that two & three-year-olds want to be independent. They want to explore, touch and mimic their peers and teachers. Kiddie Academy took all of this into consideration when developing the Exploring My World curriculum.

Fall Registration Promo Offer

Registration is open for the fall season and Kiddie Academy has a special offer to share with you! Enroll in the One or Two-Year-Old classrooms by July 31st, 2018 & receive $1000.00 off. You will need to mention the promo code “Local.” {This offer is good for the first 30 people to register.}

To learn more, schedule a tour and/or enroll contact Kiddie Academy of Cumming today!

Call: 470-253-7114

More About Kiddie Academy:

We realize that there are many childcare and daycare options available. Only Kiddie Academy provides the kind of care that focuses on days filled with learning and fun, the key ingredients of our Life Essentials® curriculum. We are also a nationally networked franchise, which ensures strict standards and a consistent experience for your child.

Why standards-based learning is important.

Kiddie Academy’s proprietary Life Essentials curriculum focuses on social and emotional character education and physical and cognitive outcomes which are aligned with state preschool learning standards. These standards are based on skills, knowledge, and abilities that children achieve through developmentally appropriate activities and experiences.

The Life Essentials curriculum meets or exceeds the requirements of each state.

Connect Online with Kiddie Academy Cumming: Website | Facebook

Address: 450 Brannon Road Cumming, Georgia 30041
Phone: 470-253-7114

5 Reasons Your Child Will Flourish at Horizon Christian Academy

5 Reasons Your Child Will Flourish at Horizon Christian Academy

Founded in 2000, Horizon Christian Academy has seen incredible growth over the past 18 years. Located just one mile north of downtown Cumming, Horizon Christian Academy’s permanent location is situated on a 33-acre campus.

Horizon Christian Academy believes in enriching the lives of students today so they will enrich the lives of others tomorrow. By providing a Christ-centered, non-denominational education, Horizon Christian Academy focuses on individual student growth and community service.

If you are currently in the planning mode for the 2018-2019 school year we would love for you to consider Horizon Christian Academy. And to help you with your decision, HCA has provided 5 reasons why your child will flourish at our school.

#1 – Smaller Class Sizes

On average, the classes at Horizon Christian Academy have 13 students. Research shows that children will thrive in smaller classrooms. HCA believes that smaller class sizes reduce the chances of a struggling student to go unnoticed. Smaller class sizes also allow students and teachers to build strong bonds, which is something the staff at HCA values highly as it promotes better communication and therefore greater results.

#2 – Graduates Enroll in Prestigious Universities

Horizon Christian Academy has a 100% graduation rate and our Academic Deans work with each student individually with the goal of achieving HOPE eligibility upon graduation. Horizon graduates have attended Universities such as Johns Hopkins University, Penn State, UGA, UNG, University of Illinois, UC Davis, UCLA, Belmont, SCAD, Georgia Tech, Berry College, Auburn University and others.

#3 – Wide Range of Extracurricular Programs

At Horizon Christian Academy, you will find a wide variety of extracurricular programs such as competitive fine arts, academic, and sports teams. HCA has been the regional host of the National Rube Goldberg competition annually since 2015. We were the State Runners-up in the GICAA One Act Play in 2017. Horizon has had three consecutive years of individual state champions in essay writing at GICAA State Literary Competition.

Below are the GICAA State Championships:

  • Math Bowl and History Bowl (2017)
  • Varsity Boys Basketball (2014, 2016, 2017 seasons)
  • Varsity Boys Soccer (2017)
  • Middle School Geography Bee, Spelling Bee, Quiz Bowl, and Chess teams all qualified for state competitions

#4 – Your Student Receives Individual Attention

Students at HCA have the unique opportunity to be a “big fish in a small pond.” Students meet regularly with Academic Deans to discuss goals in the areas of academics, social growth and leadership, community service and other areas of interest. At HCA, students can participate and become leaders in a variety of activities and organizations that will help them achieve these goals. Each year, new clubs and organizations are born out of ideas that students bring to our administrative team. Two of our newest endeavors are a fishing team and a marketing team.

A critical time for our students to receive this individual attention is in their junior and senior years of high school. Our Academic Deans guide our students from the very beginning of their junior year as they begin to make decisions for life after high school. Students receive one-on-one counseling through the entire college application process at the beginning of their senior year. Whether their goals are larger universities, technical schools or military service, we commit to connecting our students with the best information and assistance to help them achieve success post-high school.

#5 – Community Engagement

Horizon Christian Academy is actively engaged within the community. Each grade level will go out into the community throughout the year to serve in a variety of ways. The HCA senior class focuses on servant leadership and attends Catalyst Conference at Infinite Energy Arena each year as a part of leadership development. As a school we have partnered with the following organizations in service to our community: Bags of Love meal delivery, Special Olympics, Abba House, Keeping Forsyth Beautiful, The Oaks at Hammonds, The Place of Forsyth County, and Fill Ministries (Meals on Wheels).

Want to know more? Horizon is having an Open House on July 15th and would love for you to come! Below is more information:

What: Get To Know HCA
When: July 15, 2018 2pm-4pm
Where: Horizon Christian Academy, 1270 Sawnee Drive, Cumming 30040

RSVP by clicking here 

“Our three kids are thriving at Horizon! They did great in FOCO public schools. We had nothing but positive experiences in the schools our kids attended. But our kids (two in the elementary school and one in the high school) have thrived academically, socially, and spiritually at Horizon. They have been given opportunities that have stretched them in great ways. I am so impressed by the teachers and the administrators. They have created a culture that feels like a family, truly cares about each kid, and stresses academics. We love the small class sizes. If you’re looking for a different kind of school and education, check out HCA. It’s refreshing to watch our kids go to a school where the goals are not standardized test scores and just getting to the next grade. Our kids are challenged academically and are actually learning skills that make them better at home and out in the world.” -Casey & Julie Ross

“We are so grateful for the impact the teachers and the administration made in our kids lives” -Stephen & Amanda Weed


More About Horizon Christian Academy

Home to approximately 225 students and 45 full and part-time staff members, Horizon Christian Academy offers a Christian-educational experience serving Forsyth and surrounding north Georgia counties. Horizon continues to be fiercely committed to the complete development of students, both educationally and spiritually, making it the perfect home for families seeking an all-encompassing education driven to foster a Christ-like character in the lives of their children.

Connect with HCA Online: Website | Facebook | Twitter

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” Colossians 3:23

City Of Cumming Music Fest: 5 Reasons You Must Attend

History will be made in the City of Cumming on July 21st. Have you gotten tickets to be part of it yet? Don’t know what I’m talking about – please let me enlighten you! 37 Main presents the FIRST ever Music Fest at the Cumming Fairgrounds on July 21st! In our opinion, there are 5 reasons that you must attend this super fun event. Be sure to check out our VIP ticket offer at the bottom of this post. And we hope to see you there!

Five Reasons You Must Attend

# 1 – Great Music 

The music at this event will be so amazing. Everything from Eagles to 90’s pop-rock will be covered by the bands playing. Some of the bands we have set to play are: Alter Eagles (A Tribute to The Eagles), 84′ (A Tribute to Van Halen), Boogilicious (A Dance, Funk, Disco Band), Drop Tailgate (Todays Biggest Country Music RADIO Hits), Grand Paradise (Styx Tribute), 2AM (The ultimate 90s Tribute), and many others!

# 2 – Kids Enter For Free

If you have a family, you must bring them along for the kid zone area and exposure to great music. Please note – kids 12 and under will be free before 4pm and only $10 after 4pm.

# 3 – Food Trucks & Wine/Beer

Who doesn’t love food trucks? Music Fest will have a variety of food trucks available to eat at. They will take cash or credit. The confirmed food trucks so far are:  Big House BBQ ATL, The Deep South Biscuit Co. Food Truck, Cousins Maine Lobster, The Patty Wagon, Philly Connection, Mac the Cheese {Comfort} Food Truck, Let’s Taco ‘Bout It, Repicci’s Italian Ice & Gelato of Atlanta, Kona Ice Athens

# 4 – All Day Entertainment – Dancing & Karaoke 

It’s a FULL day of fun at the Cumming Fairgrounds. The doors open at 11am and the last band finishes playing at 10:45pm. Almost 12 hours of fun! There will be lots of dancing and opportunities for karaoke on the stages. Take a look at the schedule for more information on the time for that.

# 5 – Free Parking

There will be FREE parking for everyone! Between the kids being free and the parking being free, the only cost is your tickets and food.

Peek Into The Schedule

Stage 1:

11:00AM Doors Open
11:30AM – 12:10PM: Drop Tailgate
12:30PM – 1:10PM: Boogilicious
1:30PM – 2:05PM: Madam Company
2:25PM – 3:15PM: 84 A Tribute to Van Halen
3:35PM – 4:20PM: Blizzard of Ozzy
4:40PM – 5:10PM: 2AM Ultimate 90’s Tribute
5:25PM – 6:00PM: Nevermind the Nirvana tribute band
6:15PM – 6:45PM: THIN ICE
7:05PM – 8:30PM: Head Games – A Tribute to Foreigner
9:00PM – 10:45PM: AlterEagles

Stage 2:

12:00PM – 2:00PM: #KARAOKE
2:30PM – 3:00PM: The Twotakes
5:00PM – 6:00PM: Grand Paradise

Ticket Information

  • General Admission: Arrive anytime between 11am – 10pm, this ticket doesn’t allow re-entry. General Admission tickets are $19.99 a piece.
  • VIP Package: Arrive anytime between 11am – 10pm, this ticket does allow unlimited re-entry. VIP tickets are $60 per ticket {Get 10% off by using the code ‘cumminglocal’}.
    • The VIP Package includes:
      • In and Out all access pass
      • Festival T-Shirt
      • Two Adult Beverages
      • Complimentary premium meat tastings provided by Bentley’s Butcher Shop
      • Exclusive VIP viewing areas and private bars
      • Free bottled water provided by #essentia
      • Preferred parking

 Purchase your tickets

Follow 37 Main on Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | RSVP on the Facebook Event

Come to see us in the kid fun zone on July 21st!

Backyard Movie Nights: A Weekly Occurrence Because of Mosquito Joe

Backyard Movie Nights

Backyard Movie Nights: A Weekly Occurrence Because of Mosquito Joe

At our house, we are all about making memories during the summer. We have a unique situation because I (Rachael) work from home and my husband, Greg, is a teacher. For 5 1/2 weeks of the summer, we are all home together. This arrangement has had its challenges in years past, but this year has been different. The kids are getting older and we are able to do more things that we couldn’t before. This summer instead of going on a vacation, we decided to use some money to invest in items that will be used to make memories. One of those items was the equipment to do outdoor backyard movies. And after our first backyard movie night, the kids declared this MUST BE a weekly occurrence!

My favorite part is we are doing all cherished movies from Greg and I’s childhood. Movies like Lady & the Tramp, Free Willy, The Wizard of Oz, Annie, Peter Pan & many others are on our list. If you have a movie suggestion, please comment on this post and let me know! There is nothing better than our classic childhood movies!

In years past, we would never be able to do this. We had a serious mosquito problem that kept us from enjoying our backyard. You see we have a little creek behind our property that is a breeding ground for mosquitos. And well, mosquitos also love our blood so we all get destroyed if they are around. That was until we discovered Mosquito Joe and decided to prepare for spring and summer this year! Mosquito Joe’s motto is Make Outside Fun Again and that is exactly what they have done for us. Now we can sit outside for hours without getting a single bite. It’s quite amazing!

How Does Mosquito Joe Work

Mosquito Joe provides mosquito control treatment to residential and commercial customers. Their technicians are trained mosquito control experts dedicated to one thing: getting rid of mosquitoes so that you can enjoy being outside again. Outfitted with the latest gear and backed by the coordination of a top-notch support staff, their technicians in the field get the job done swiftly, thoroughly and professionally.

Take a look at their services to decide which one best suits your pest control needs:

  • Custom Barrier Sprays: Barrier spray mosquito treatments work right away – and keep working for weeks.
  • All Natural Treatments: An alternative to our barrier treatment, our all-natural service, repels mosquitoes immediately but has less adhesive properties than our synthetic spray.
  • Special Events: Your party, barbecue, wedding, reunion or any other outdoor event should be remembered for the good times, not the mosquitoes.

For more information or to get a personalized quote for your property, contact North Georgia Mosquito Joe at 770-809-3708.

Special Offer

I am excited to have a special offer to share with you, my readers! For your first spray, the cost would be $44.99 (up to 1/2 acre lot). All you have to do is register online and use the promo code –  cumminglocal.

How To Set Up Your Own Backyard Movie Night

First things first, you will need to buy a projector and a screen. Based off of price and reviews we choose the Vankyo projector and a portable 100-inch screen. It was super easy to set up. The projector can be hung from a screw or you can use the portable stand. We chose to hang the screen from a screw on our deck stairs. The projector was set up on a small stand and lifted up with books. The projector we purchased has connections for a kindle fire stick, HDMI cable, USB, or DVD cable. The options are endless to watch movies outdoors with this equipment!

QUICK TIP: We plan to purchase this projector stand to use for future movie nights.  It will make it easy to change the height of the projector. 

As I mentioned before, we are doing classic childhood movies. Here are the ones we have on our list:

  • Chronicles of Narnia
  • Karate Kid
  • Back To The Future
  • Sandlot
  • Annie
  • The Never Ending Story
  • Mary Poppins
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  • Dumbo
  • Peter Pan
  • Swiss Family Robinson
  • Matilda
  • Flipper
  • Free Willy
  • Robin Hood
  • land Before Time
  • Duck Tales
  • Bed Knobs & Broomsticks
  • Pete’s Dragon

What classic movies would you add to our list?

More About Mosquito Joe

As a family owned and operated local mosquito control business, Mosquito Joe of North Georgia cares deeply about investing our time into helping cultivate strong, healthy families in the Cumming, GA area. By treating your home for outdoor pests such as mosquitoes, fleas & ticks; we create an environment that fosters quality time outside.

Our three-week recurring mosquito spray treatments for your yard will break the breeding cycle and also provide a preventive barrier for effective mosquito control. Let us help you create family memories and traditions that will last a lifetime with our professional mosquito services.

Call our office today at 770-809-3708 | Connect with us online

Blue Ridge GA: Top Places To Stay & Things To Do

Blue Ridge GA: Top Places To Stay & Things To Do

Blue Ridge GA is located in the North Georgia Mountains just about an hour and a half from Forsyth County. Did you know that more than 40 percent of the Blue Ridge GA is in the Chattahoochee National Forest? In Blue Ridge GA you will experience gorgeous mountain beauty, exhilarating hikes, whitewater rafting and much more. You may even want to add a ride on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway to your to-do list. If you have never been to Blue Ridge GA  or you haven’t been in a while, this article will come in handy. We have laid out all the best places to stay and the best things to do.

Whatever you do, we hope you enjoy your visit to Blue Ridge GA! 

Places To Stay

Using Vacasa to book your cabin is the best route to go. You can find cabins from $89 to $620 a night. You just have to browse the available cabins that meet your budget and size needs. We have a few cabins to highlight that we think are just picture perfect!

The Sweet Spot

There’s no better way to explore the beauty of Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains than from the comfort of this beautifully decorated vacation rental. Enjoy a serene wooded setting, tranquil water views, a beautiful back porch with a fireplace, and a full game room, plus a peaceful location that’s only a short drive from the town of Blue Ridge proper. Everyone will enjoy the best of both worlds with this home. Fish for bass and bream in the semi-private pond (catch and release only), stretch your legs with a hike or explore the woods on horseback. You’re also close to McCaysville Park on River Street, the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway, and the Georgia-Tennessee state line, providing you with plentiful options for day trips. Start each morning out on the porch swing, where you can savor a cup of coffee and listen to the gentle sounds of wildlife. When you’re not out exploring, challenge your traveling companions to a game of Ping-Pong or foosball in the game room, curl up on the sofa with a good book, or relax by the outdoor fireplace on the back porch. You’ll also enjoy free WiFi, a fully equipped kitchen, and a large back deck with a gas grill and beautiful views of the pond below.

Find a date by clicking here or calling 706-258-3286

Leatherwood Lodge

Reset to Mountain Time with a retreat to this exceptional three-bedroom recently built cabin in the mountains of Georgia! Perched high above the treetops of the Chattahoochee National Forest, with a stunning view of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this beautiful home combines a tranquil, away-from-it-all atmosphere with modern comforts like a private hot tub, game room, and satellite TV.

Leatherwood Lodge is tucked away in a quiet corner of the Blue Ridge. With ziplining, whitewater rafting, hiking trails, and horseback riding around every corner, this home is a dream come true for nature-lovers and adventure-seekers. But it’s also the perfect spot to slow down, take in the 360-degree views, and savor the moment – whether that’s with a lively conversation around the firepit or a relaxing soak in the private hot tub. Boasting a beautiful wood interior and huge windows gazing out across the forest, this home is mountain living at its finest. Spend summer evenings outside on the wraparound deck with a cocktail or glass of lemonade, challenge your friends to a game of pool or foosball in the game room, or curl up in front of the gas fireplace with a movie on those cold winter nights. Free WiFi, central A/C, and a private washer/dryer provide all the comforts of home, while the fully equipped kitchen makes it easy to fix a hearty meal at the end of the day.

Find a date by clicking here or calling 706-258-3286

R & R Retreat

Perched high on a hillside and surrounded by breathtaking mountain views, you’ll find plenty of space to unwind at the R&R Retreat. With three levels of room to relax, read, talk, and play, this dog-friendly cabin (dogs are allowed with an additional fee) is wonderful for retreats, family reunions, and more. This cabin sits 11 miles from downtown Blue Ridge’s dining and shopping. You’re surrounded by great options for whitewater rafting, canoeing, kayaking, golfing, and other outdoor activities, too. Take in the mountain views back at the cabin from the porch swing or the comfortable rocking chairs. Warm up by the seasonally available outdoor wood-burning fireplace and make s’mores on the deck. Watch the fireflies from the lower porch’s hot tub to end the evening.

Find a date by clicking here or calling 706-258-3286

Jack Bear’s Cabin

Leave behind your worries and stretch your legs in Georgia’s breathtaking mountain country. This Blue Ridge cabin lets you enjoy fishing, hiking, and more, with modern comforts like a private hot tub and free WiFi waiting at the end of the day.

Tucked away in a quiet neighborhood with the river across the street and down a path, you’ll be far from city stress and loud noise. Trade in skyscrapers and traffic for hiking, fishing for trout and swimming in Blue Ridge Lake. After a long day out, lounge on the hammock on the deck and warm up by the outdoor fireplace.

Find a date by clicking here or calling 706-258-3286

Rich Mountain Bungalow

If you’re heading to Blue Ridge for a rejuvenating break from the day to day, come to settle in at this quintessential cabin in the woods and revel in your own private hot tub, an outdoor firepit, lovely mountain views, and more. And you’ll be happy to know that you can bring along two dogs, as well, for a small nightly fee! You’ll be located near the Aska Adventure Area, so head out for a hike or fish for trout whenever you like, or kick back in one of the Adirondack chairs around the firepit while you imbibe a glass of wine or roast marshmallows.

Find a date by clicking here or calling 706-258-3286

For more cabins, check out Vacasa for booking made easy! You can also call them locally at 706-258-3286.

Things To Do

We recommend a minimum of 2-3 days in Blue Ridge GA because there is so very much to do. However, the most important thing we can share with you is to use the time to RELAX! If being in nature brings you peace, this is the place for you. If doing adventurous activities bring you happiness, this is the place for you. If having some wine on a back porch gazing at the mountains brings you joy, this is the place for you! There is truly something for everyone. We have listed our top 20 things to do in Blue Ridge GA:

  1. Watch a sunset at Brasstown Bald
  2. See 4 states from the observation deck at Brasstown Bald
  3. Ride the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway (Only April through December)
  4. Discover many waterfalls like Heron Creek Falls, Fall Branch Falls, Despot Falls, Benton Falls & Raven Cliff Falls
  5. Visit Mercier Orchards
  6. Walk across the Toccoa Swinging Bridge
  7. Whitewater rafting on the Oconee River
  8. Take a canopy tour and zip line through the forest
  9. Go hiking on the following trails: Appalachian Trail, Springer Mountain, Blood Mountain
  10. Watch a sunset on the Appalachian Trail
  11. Check out the lakes/rivers and go fishing for trout,
  12. Fish for Trout at the Chattahoochee Fish Hatchery
  13. Go tubing on the Toccoa River
  14. Take a guided tour drift fishing on the lower Toccoa River
  15. Check out the 100 miles of shoreline on Lake Blue Ridge
  16. Visit the Swan Drive-In Movie Theater
  17. Ride Horseback on any of the mountain trails
  18. Take a scenic drive in the mountains
  19. Visit a local winery or restaurant
  20. Check out the Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Center

What would you add to this list of the top places to stay & things to do in Blue Ridge GA?

More About Vacasa:

The team at Vacasa has made it our top priority to make the world of vacation rentals a simple, stress-free experience for both owners and guests. Vacasa offers professional rental management for more than 8400 vacation homes in some of the most desirable vacation destinations in the U.S., as well as Central and South America. From laid-back beach cottages along the Oregon Coast to luxury ski chalets in Vail to tropical getaways in Belize, Vacasa offers just the right retreat for any guest.

In today’s busy world, a vacation is a precious opportunity to relax and reconnect with loved ones. Spending that valuable time in a real live home can be especially rewarding, from cooking breakfast together each morning to relaxing by the fireplace every night. Our mission is simple: to make vacation rentals easy.

Vacasa offers the unique combination of professional management in privately-owned homes, making it possible for our guests to enjoy a one-of-a-kind vacation experience without compromising on service and convenience. Our team of passionate hospitality professionals is the finest in the industry, with each Vacasa team member (from housekeepers to reservations agents to local managers) working hard to ensure that each home and every guest is well cared for.

Rachael Walkup has lived in North Georgia all her life. Since 2006 – The Walkup family has made Forsyth County their home. Along with being a wife and mom, Rachael is an avid blogger, social media expert, and owner of CummingLocal.com. Her time is spent promoting local events and small businesses in North Georgia.  With a background in Marketing and Sales, coupled with her experience in Project Development and Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Rachael offers consultations and classes to help clients reach their fullest potential.