iSucceed's Guide to Surviving the Holidays


The holiday season is upon us! Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or something different, we can all admit that while there are some things to love about the holidays, they can also be very tough times. Between extra spending, working and family time (we love you, family, but…), surviving the holidays can take some serious skills. Luckily for you, we’ve gathered the top tips to help you make it to January 1.

iSucceed Virtual High School’s Guide to Surviving the Holidays 

Tip #1: Grin and Bear it. 


It’s a bear. Get it?

Will there be way too many UGG boots and horrible ugly sweaters? Yes. A bombardment of holiday song remakes and impatient shoppers in every store? Absolutely. The best solution? Smile! It will make you and everyone around you feel happier and more relaxed.





Tip#2: Let Grandma be cool. 


“I’m putting this on my Facebook wall!”

If your grandma, uncle or aunt is just now trying out the Mannequin Challenge, don’t crush their dreams. It’s best to let them feel cool to show your love for them.





Tip #3: Embrace your weird family!


If we had to guess, your family has some quirks. But just remember, the fact that you have a family is something to be grateful for. So go ahead and embrace their weirdness, even if they embarrass you.





Tip #4: Don’t feed it to the dog.

vegall_casseroleIf your aunt likes to bring her “famous casserole” that looks something short of a blob monster, don’t make the dog suffer. Try spreading it around your plate to make it look like you ate more than you really did, and no matter what, tell her it tastes great!





Tip #5: For When You Have to Work, Try Pie in a jar


Here’s one recipe to try out.




Tip #6: Don’t try to look fashionable. Stay warm. 


Idaho is cold, and there’s no escaping it. So double, triple layer and do what it takes to feel comfortable and warm, even if it means sacrificing fashionable clothes. Flip flops and snow just don’t mix.




Tip #7: When at a family gathering,  avoid trendy clothes


Family member: “Oh no, you’ve got holes in your jeans again? Let me fix them.”





Tip #8: Use a gift bag

giftbagAfter your hundredth-some present, wrapping isn’t so fun anymore. Our tip: use gift bags.




Tip #9: And hand make gifts whenever possible!

For simple, fun and affordable ugly sweater, check out this blog post from us.

Tip #10:  Try hosting a White Elephant potluck. 

A White Elephant gift exchange is a blast, and a great way to get together with family or friends on a without spending too much. Check out some fun variations and rules of the game here.


Tip #11: Take that extra 30 seconds to let your hot cocoa cool


We know it’s hard, but you only have to wait a few more seconds. Your tongue will thank you.





Tip #12: That edible work of art probably doesn’t taste as good as it looks.

Festive sugar cookie: beautiful, but impossible to bite into.


Tip #13: A family member (or two…or 10) will let you know you’ve grown. Just smile and nod.

black-and-white-man-person-cigaretteUncle Buster: “My, look how much you’ve grown!!”

Tip #14: Have a list of answered questions ready.

How is school? What is your favorite subject? What college are you going to after you graduate? Have all those answers ready to go!

Tip #15: If you’re single, be prepared to answer why.

Here’s an answer for our iSucceed students: Because I’m busy earning good grades in school!

Tip #16: Just remember, pie won’t judge you.

quiche-bacon-onion-egg-162717Pie is your friend.




 Tip #17: Mistletoe is best avoided.

You never know where that person standing under the mistletoe has been.

Tip #18: Make sure your phone is on silent.

Of course, off is most polite during celebrations with family and friends. But silent works.

Tip #19: When you can’t take anymore, hoodies and long hair hide earphones well.

This is a last resort.

Tip #20: Your brain will want you to procrastinate schoolwork. Don’t give in.


A note to our iSucceed students: The last thing you’ll want to be doing when parties roll around is homework. Get your work done as early as you can so you don’t fall behind.



Tip #21: For the days you just can’t get out of bed, don’t. Stay right there and do some schoolwork.


That’s the beauty of online school. As long as you work hard, you are more than welcome to stay comfy in your bed while you study.






  • Do you have any more tips to add for surviving the holidays? Share with us in the comments below!


8 Things That Will Make You Grateful You Go to High School in 2016



If you’ve been on the internet ever (and we’re pretty sure you have been), then you’ve seen it: the so-called millennials sharing yet another article about how great the ’90s were. But let’s face it, there are several things about high school life in the ’90s that certainly aren’t worth bragging over. In the spirit of the upcoming holidays, we decided to compile a list of things we think we make you grateful you go to high school in 2016.

8 Things That Will Make You Grateful You Go to High School in 2016

1. Dodgeball is not so dangerous


Some of you might think, “but I love old school dodgeball!” and don’t worry it’s not completely gone (If we’re being honest, hardly anybody was thinking that). But it has been modified for the better. For one, students are not allowed to throw the ball directly at another’s face, and there’s usually no picking teams to leave someone out.

2. And, thankfully, Chalkboards are no more (almost)


Unlike dodgeball, this is one almost all of us can agree on. The end of awful screeching noise and having to clap erasers are certainly things that make us grateful to be attending high school in 2016.

3. Rulers are used to Measure and not to discipline


OK, maybe this wasn’t exactly in the ’90s. But we’re more than grateful that rulers now serve their actual purpose–to measure. Back in the day, they often were used to slap naughty children’s hands. And trust your grandparents, it didn’t feel too great.

4. Your Pokémon Cards Won’t Get Stolen


Yes, this was an actual scare for the ’90s kids. Now you have your Pokémon safely stored away in Pokémon Go (Be honest, you still play occasionally).

5. The internet means easier access to research


Before searching the web became a thing, your best source for an essay was the library and you had to delve through multiple encyclopedia volumes and actual books. While researching through an old encyclopedia is still a great thing to do, you have to admit asking Google to find a quick answer certainly has its perks.

6. Computers also mean less rewriting


Next time you have to write an essay, thank a computer. Before everyone had easy access to a computer, high school meant writing the same rough draft sometimes three times for different classmates to review, then rewriting up to two more times before turning it in.

7. And school lunches have definitely made strides

Focusing on the lunch line operated by cafeteria custodians

They still might not be the best, but they’ve certainly improved from what they were. We promise. Of course, the best lunch would be whatever you wanted to eat at home (you know, if you were an online high school student. Hint hint).


8. And–our personal favorite–school can be online


One thing the oh-so-amazing ’90s didn’t have? The glorious high speed internet. And think about it: How great would it be to wake up stress-free at the time of your choice and work on school work from your bed, the table in your kitchen or even a coffee shop? That’s the beauty of online school! The ’90s were great and all, but getting to log in and enjoy quality school from the comfort of your home is a major reason to be grateful to be a “new school” student in 2016.

Interested in high school online? Click HERE for more information on how you can start enjoying high school your way.

  • What is your favorite part of high school? Share with us in the comments below!

The Meaning of Veterans Day and How You Can Celebrate

is_veterans_dayVeterans Day is November 11, and to many of us is known as a day off of work or to have a BBQ with family and friends. But do you know the actual meaning or why it’s important? Read on below; we got you covered.

The Difference Between Memorial Day, Labor Day and Veterans Day

With so many holidays revolving around BBQs, we know it can get confusing. But each of these holidays serve a very important purpose:

  • Veterans Day–to honor and remember all who have served in the military.
  • Memorial Day–to reflect on and honor all who sacrificed their lives for our country.
  • Labor Day–to celebrate all the workers who contribute to America’s labor force.

How You Can Help America’s Veterans

At iSucceed, we believe it imperative to help out our veterans who have worked so hard to protect us. And what better way to celebrate the holiday than by helping out our veterans? This November 11, look out for an event near you and see how you can volunteer. Here’s a few ways to get you started:

You can also check out this article to see Veterans events happening this weekend.

  • Students, do you have a veteran you’d like to thank? Share with us in the comments below!

First American Historic Figures You Should Know About


This November is Native American Heritage Month. Celebrated for more than 25 years, it’s a month to observe the rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories of Native Americans and recognize their important contributions.

Its origins date back to the early twentieth century when Arthur C. Parker, a Seneca Indian, persuaded the Boy Scouts of American to set aside a day to honor the “First Americans” and it grew from there:

National Native American Heritage Month Timeline



  • 1914 – Red Fox James, a Blackfoot Indian, rode horseback from state to state seeking approval for a day to honor Indians. In 1915 he presented the White House with endorsements of 24 state governments, although there is no record of a proclamation for such a day based on his efforts.
  • 1915 – The annual Congress of the American Indian Association formally approved a plan for American Indian Day to be celebrated the second Saturday of each May. It contained the first formal appeal for recognition of Indians as citizens.
  • 1916 – The first American Indian Day in a state was declared by the governor of New York.
  • 1919+ – Many other states begin enacting American Indian Day for the fourth Friday September or designate Columbus Day as Native American Day.
  • 1990 – President George H.W. Bush approves a joint resolution designating November 1990 as “National American Indian Heritage Month” and similar proclamations under different names have been issued each year since 1994.


Native American Historic Figures


There are countless Native American historic figures who have had made important contributions to our society. In light of Native American Heritage Month, we have a few great interactive cards and lessons featured in iSucceed’s social studies courses (though we wish could spotlight all the Native American Historic Figures!). Check them out below.


Tecumseh is often seen as a prodigious military strategist and warrior. Although severely outnumbered and out-weaponed by the American militia, he helped tribes withstand three battles and worked to unify multiple tribes. To learn more about him, click on the card below featured in our Social Studies courses.


Stand Waite

Although his accomplishments are questioned by some, Stand Waite worked to create peace and signed treaties with the government in the 1800s. Stand Waite was also a general for the Confederates in the Civil War. Click on the card below to learn more about him.

Navajo Code Talkers 


Despite much mistreatment from the United States government, many Native Americans still felt it their duty to protect the country, culture and the communities of America. Over 10,000 Native Americans fought in World War I, and perhaps the most famous are the Navajo Code Talkers.

In World War I, writing letters and communicating in code were starting to become too risky, as the enemies learned to intercept and decode messages. That’s where the Native American soldiers helped. Because the Navajo language was unknown to foreign countries and is not a written language, the U.S. spoke in Navajo and created their own corresponding written language so as to safely communicate across seas. Thanks to the contributions of the Navajo soldiers, the U.S. codes couldn’t be cracked; even when Germany and Japan sent students to learn the Native American languages!

To read more about the Navajo Code Talkers, head to this article featured in iSucceed’s social studies courses.


3 Ways to Celebrate National Native American Heritage Month


This month, we hope you use this article as a start to learning more about Native American tribes and their significant contributions to our society. How else can you celebrate this month? Here are some ideas:

1. Continue Learning About First American Historic Figures


This blog is just a small glimpse of famous Native Americans. Don’t just stop here! Read some articles or book and learn more this month!

2. Travel Back in History


Idaho is rich in Native American history. In fact, several of our city and county names are based on Native American tribes. Head to the Idaho Museum of Natural History in Boise, or go hiking on one of these amazing trails to discover some ancient artifacts.

3. Participate in an Event


What better way to learn than by submersing yourself in the culture? Attend an event this month or participate in a pow wow near you.

If you enjoyed the interactive cards and lessons above, come to iSucceed Virtual High School! Our courses are packed with items just like these, along with games, videos and other engaging content to enjoy your education. Learn more here.

  • How do you plan to commemorate this Native American Indian Heritage Month? Share with us in the comments below!

Spooky After-School Snack


Halloween season is in full swing and we are getting in the spirit with a super-easy, super fun, super-spooky after school snack.


After-School Mummy Dogs

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: approximately 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 Mummy Dogs


1 package hot dogs

1 package dough

(optional) Ketchup & Mustard


Cutting Board


Baking Pan

Non-Stick Spray



Step 1: Start by cutting the hot dogs ‘arms’ & ‘legs’


Step 2: Roll out dough


Step 3: Cut dough in to small strips. One package of dough should yield approximately 40 strips


Step 4: Wrap ‘limbs’ of hot dogs with strips of dough. Make small dough balls for ‘eyes.’ Place on cookie sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.  


Step 5: Bake at 350 for approximately 12-15 minutes, until dough is golden brown.


Step 6: Serve warm with optional dipping sauces. Enjoy!

What is your favorite dish to get in the Halloween spirit? Share with us in the comments below!

Student-Friendly Pumpkin Flan


We love any excuse to whip up a delicious treat, but since this month it’s finally fall, we couldn’t think of anything more fitting than Flan de Calabaza – AKA Pumpkin Flan.

We know half of you reading this immediately laughed thinking, “I can’t cook!” Luckily for you, this recipe is pretty easy. You will just need a little bit of patience, the right ingredients and tools, and an open mind – you might surprise yourself with what you can accomplish!


Flan de Calabaza (Pumpkin Flan)

  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: approximately 60 minutes
  • Chill Time: 4+ hours
  • Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients to Make the Caramel 

1/2 cup of granulated sugar

1/4 cup of water

Ingredients to Make the Custard Filling 

1.5 cups of whole milk

1 cup of pumpkin puree

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 cup of granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 large eggs

pumpkinflan1 pumpkinflan2


Small sauce pan

Medium sauce pan

Oven-safe bowl OR mold of choice


Step 1: Start by mixing the spices into the pumpkin puree

pumpkinflan3 pumpkinflan4

Step 2: Make the caramel

Heat the water and granulated sugar in a saucepan (stainless steel works best) over a medium heat. Once it starts to bubble and change color, give the pan a shake or a quick stir. Let it cook and turn golden brown, but be careful it doesn’t turn dark brown and burn.


Step 3: Pour the caramel in to baking pan

Once golden brown, quickly pour into a 4.5 cup baking mold (it can be one that is specifically for flan, or any baking dish with that capacity).

Quickly make sure that the caramel coats the bottom and sides of the mold, by swirling around to drag the caramel around the sides of the mold before it hardens.

pumpkinflan6 pumpkinflan7

Step 4: Prepare the custard

To prepare the custard, put the milk, sugar, pumpkin and vanilla into a saucepan and heat over a medium heat until simmering. Cook until all of the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is evenly heated. Remove the mixture from the heat and let it cool for about 10 minutes, stirring every minute or two.


Step 5: Preheat the over to 325°F 

Step 6: Lightly beat the eggs in a large bowl


Step 7: Temper the egg mixture in to the custard

Making sure that the milk and pumpkin mixture is sufficiently cool (so that it won’t scramble the eggs), whisk in this mixture little by little, until all is incorporated. This process is called ‘tempering’ and basically means to slowly bring up the temperature of the eggs without scrambling them. If you just combine the two mixtures, you’ll end up with cooked eggs in your mixture. We started the process by pouring the custard mixture in to the whisked eggs in 1/4 cup batches.



Step 8: Pour the custard mixture over the caramel


Step 9: Bake the flan for about one hour in a preheated oven at 325°F 

Place the flan mold/pan into a large baking pan. Boil enough water to fill the baking pan halfway. This method of cooking is called ‘bain marie’ and means a container holding hot water into which a pan is placed for slow cooking.


Step 10: Let the flan chill

Remove the mold from the pan of water and allow it to cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap and let chill in the fridge overnight (or for at least 4 hours).


Step 11: Chow down

When ready to serve the flan, run a knife around the edges of the mold to loosen the flan. Then place the serving dish on top, and quickly flip the flan over. Lift off the mold and the flan should slide right out, covered in a golden caramel sauce. We thought it looked nice garnished with some cinnamon sticks and pumpkin decor pieces.


We’re serious, this is good stuff. Keep all eight servings for yourself or be generous and bring this along to your next family gathering. Either way, we don’t judge. 🙂

What is your favorite dish to get in the fall spirit? Share with us in the comments below!

  • **This recipe first appeared on ‘About Food‘, published by Spanish Food Expert, Lauren Aloise


3 Ways You'll Actually Enjoy High School at iSucceed

When it comes attending high school, we want you to know that you have options! If you’re not enjoying sitting in the hectic (and sometimes boring) classroom or forging your way through the hectic hallways with that heavy backpack filled with old textbooks from class to class, then you might want to consider making the switch to iSucceed Virtual High School.

Of course, we are 100% online and tuition free, but here are a couple more ways you might just actually enjoy high school with iSucceed.

1. You Can Say Goodbye to This

The ever-crowded hallway, filled with students frantically trying to make it to their next class period on time. Not to mention, the environment isn’t always the greatest. At iSucceed, you can study in the comfort of your home. And no need to worry about making friends! We have online student clubs, and a staff-monitored online student community page where you can meet classmates, make friends and chat with other who share your interests in a safe environment.

2. You Definitely Won’t Get Stuck Here

We get it. Some days the classroom can be enough to drive you insane. Luckily at iSucceed, you are not tied down to any one location. You can receive the same quality education at your home, a coffee shop or anywhere you have access to the internet and a computer. Plus, you have the freedom to take breaks when you need. As long as you complete your weekly assignments in a timely manner, you can study when  you want!

3. Plus, Our Teachers Won’t Just Leave You With This

We’ve all had that moment: the teacher walks by (or makes you come to her) and hands you the paper that makes your heart sink. You might try to hide it before anyone else sees, but the efforts are usually futile. The difference with iSucceed? Our teachers don’t leave you with a bad paper and leave it up to you to come seek help. Instead, our teachers follow up with any struggling student to see how they can help them improve. You can also easily reach out to instructors for help through instant messaging, emails or phone calls to receive the personalized education you deserve.

To see more ways you can enjoy high school your way with iSucceed, check out our last blog post, and stay tuned as we post more in the near future!

And remember, if you have any questions about Primavera, you can head to or give us a call at 208.908.6250.

  • Students, what is your favorite part of attending iSucceed Online High School? Share with us in the comments below for a chance to be featured in the next blog!

Confucius Says


Celebrated every September 29, Confucius Day honors one of the world’s greatest philosophers hailing from ancient China. Check out some of our favorite facts about Confucius below!

Who is Confucius?

Born in China on October 18, 551 B.C., Confucius is one of the earliest, arguably the first great philosopher. He was also a teacher, a scholar, and a politician. He gave the world many teachings and famous sayings, though many of the quotes that follow a ‘Confucius Says’ joke in popular culture are not direct quotes from the philosopher.


Confucian philosophy has received renewed attention as a model for ethical living in a global community. Many teachings, like “Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself,” are recorded in dialogs called The Analects. Confucius’s praise of civil service led to the creation of a civil service exam during Han dynasty around 200 BC to select government officials through testing. Mao Zedong’s regime embraced this practice during the Great Leap Forward, beginning in 1958. Civil service exams continue in China and have been adopted in many countries, including the United States.

According to most records, Confucius was born under the Chinese zodiac of the dog. Biographer Sima Qian credits this for Confucius having a sad dog face and often appearing rough, like a stray dog.


According to most records, Confucius was born under the Chinese zodiac of the dog. Biographer Sima Qian credits this for Confucius having a sad dog face and often appearing rough, like a stray dog.

Quotes Confucius Actually DID Say

  • “The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.”
  • “The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.”
  • “Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.”
  • “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”
  • “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”
  • “Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.”

Chinese Philosopher | Teacher | Politician

Below is a Bio Card you’ll find within our Social Studies course. Click the card for a fun educational experience to keep your new knowledge of Confucius front of mind.

Tips for Registering to Vote


2016 is an election year and for many of our 18-21-year-old iSucceed students, it will be your first time voting! Becoming of age to vote is a very important step as a U.S. Citizen, and because of that, we want to provide our students with simple tips to help you get registered and informed to vote.

Tips for Registering to Vote

How to Get Registered

The deadline to pre-register to vote in the 2016 presidential election is October 14. Registering in Idaho is simple. Here’s how:
1. Download this form.
2. Fill out the information as directed.
3. Email the completed form to or mail it to the address listed in the instructions.

In order to register by mail or email, you will need to know your social security number and have a driver’s license. If you do not have a driver’s license, you can find the closest County Clerk Office to you and register in person.

Mailed-in registration forms must be postmarked by October 14.

How to Vote on November 8

Once you receive your voter ID information, you’re all set to vote this November 8! Voting booths are open from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. and you can drop in at a time best for you. But remember, lines fill up fast, so be sure to get there early or set aside enough time to wait. To see your voting location, head to this web page.

If you are unable to vote in person, you can request an Absentee Ballot. In this case, you would have a ballot mailed early to your home, fill it out and mail in your votes. Requesting the Absentee Ballot is as simple as getting registered to vote! To do so, head to this website and follow the directions.

How Do I Decide on an Affiliation or Party?

One of the bigger questions you will have to answer is how you want to identify yourself on your voter ID card. While iSucceed does not endorse or support any one group, we do feel it is important that you research and come to an informed decision on whichever party or affiliation you choose.

Here are some ways to help you learn more:

  • Head to to read up on  presidential candidates, take a quiz to see which of the candidates most fit your views and learn more about each political party.
  • You can also take this PBS quiz to determine what political party you most side with.
  • Or head to this site to see all the different political parties available in the U.S., and which ones are ballot-qualified for the 2016 election.

Don’t forget, the deadline to get registered in order to vote in the presidential election is October 14, 2016. We wish you all luck and hope you exercise your rights as a U.S. Citizen this November 8.

  • Do you have any more questions? Share with us in the comments below; we’re happy to help out our iSucceed students!


iSucceed's Curriculum Nominated for Seven Emmy Awards

isucceed-award_winning-curriculum_v2_headerYou may have read in our recent blog post that iSucceed Virtual High School is now offering self-authored award-winning curriculum.

We are proud to announce we may soon be adding some more awards to the list! “Motion: Isaac Newton’s First Law” (also known as “Motion”) is an instructional video used in our physical science course, and has been nominated for seven Rocky Mountain Emmy® Awards! Check out the video below.

About the Video

If you watched the video, you probably noticed that “Motion” incorporates a compelling story format and advanced 3-D animation. But that’s not all that’s great about it! From the script to the music, this video’s top-notch quality was recognized in many different areas. The categories for the seven nominations include: Instructional, Musical Composition, Director Animation, Art Direction and Writer.

About iSucceed’s Curriculum

While we are excited to see the video “Motion” receive seven nominations, the quality within this video is not unique to our curriculum. It is our goal in all of our curriculum videos to bring to life key concepts in order to promote a deeper learning and retention. Behind each lesson developed is a collaborative team of highly skilled education, subject matter and creative experts who are passionate about providing students with content that engages and expands the mind.

All of iSucceed’s curriculum is research-based, accredited and includes an array of interactive and multimedia elements. In addition to the seven Emmy Award nominations, our curriculum has received a SIIA CODiE award, five Telly Awards and a Serious Play award.

About the Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards

The Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences is dedicated to excellence in television by honoring exceptional work through the prestigious Emmy ® Award.

The 39th Annual Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards ceremony will be held on October 8 at the Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona. We can’t wait to see our video presented and hope to see it receive an Emmy Award (or seven)!

For more information on iSucceed’s award-winning curriculum, head to this blog post, and stay tuned as we publish more articles.

  • What do you think about the video, “Motion?” Share with us in the comments below!