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7 Tips for Earning College Credit this Summer

7 Tips for Earning College Credit this Summer
7 Tips for Earning College Credit this Summer
A few summers ago, my children worked for one month and saved our family $56,000.  How did they do it?  By homeschooling college in their spare time!  Not bad for a summer job! You can also save a fortune in college expenses using a few very simple but lesser-known money-saving strategies.

Earning college credit is not just for college kids. Some students earn college credit by homeschooling college while they're still in  high school.  Summer is  a great time to earn college credits. My children homeschooled  college the summer between junior year and senior year, before applying to college.  It helped provide outside documentation of our academic preparation, and it also helped our children get place appropriately in college classes when admitted. They earned all of their college credits through CLEP tests over the summer, and it's something that you can do, too.

Learn 7 Tips for Earning College Credit this Summer!

  1. Assess Knowledge - take a sample test, to see if they can pass.

  2. Study Subject - if they could pass, study to get a better score.

  3. Take Test - take the test for real, when you are sure they'll do well.

  4.  Report Score - have scores sent to the colleges where they'll apply.

  5. Add to Transcript - add test results to the homeschool transcript.

  6. Celebrate Success - we celebrated each success with ice cream!

  7.  Save Money - each success means less money spent for college.

Would you like more information?

Read the longer article: Homeschooling College with CLEP   
Read this short book: How to Homeschool College and Eliminate Debt


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Calendar Reminders for Summer

Calendar Reminders for Summer

Some of my Gold Care Club members want me to give them direction and ask me regularly, "What should I be doing right now?" Well, here are my calendar reminders for summer suggestions for what you can all be doing all summer long.


Fill summer with Delight Directed Learning, and provide time for kids to pursue their own interests.  It's the best thing that you can do to prepare them for college - and life! Learn more: Encouraging Delight Directed Learning at the High School Level

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Great Ideas for Summer Fun

Great Ideas for Summer Fun

Great Ideas for Summer Fun

Need ideas for filling the time with your kids this summer?  Summer fun comes down to 4 easy categories I've listed below; sure to entertain young and old alike!

Start with a Celebration

Orange You Glad it's Summer? {GIFT IDEA!}

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Can You Stop Now? Take this Quick Quiz!

Can You Stop Now? Take this Quick Quiz!

Can You Stop Now? Take this Quick Quiz!

Maybe you should just finish up the school year by having a popcorn party. It's fast and fun, and a great way to stop one year and take a break before starting up again.
Finishing School with The Popcorn Party Plan

Not everyone should stop during the summer, but maybe YOU need to stop this summer.  So take the quiz and figure out what is REALLY the best option for you and your children.

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Homeschool Summer Credits

Homeschool Summer Credits
Summer is the perfect time for fun miscellaneous activities like summer camps, swim teams, home improvement projects and family vacations! I understand that is a lot to balance, but have you ever wondered if your students can receive high school credit for any of these activities?

It’s possible! Both of my boys earned their P.E. credits during the summer months through a swim team they participated in.You can count credits even though they’re over the summer months, just count your hours and document well!

A homeschool mom whose student was going to a science summer camp contacted me and asked me this question:
How would you document a week-long summer camp in a science-related field?

It kind of depends on the camp. Some of the Gold Care members I’ve talked to in the past have done summer camps that involved a lot of the lab works so they might not do the lab work during the school year; they just do the lab work during the summer camp.

You want to add up all the hours, so if they’re at camp whole week and work for eight hours a day, and they are there for 5-10 days then that would be 80 hours which is half of a full credit. Maybe you can call it the science that they studied and give them half a credit. For example, if it was a computer science camp then you would call it Computer Science for half a credit.

It kind of depends whether you have it as a stand-alone class or use it as the way you got the labs or the supplements for the other classes on the transcript. Not everything is separate on the transcript. If you go to a lot of places, you may not call it theatre and say that some of it is part of your English credit as part of your study of Shakespeare. Sometimes all these wonderful experiences are going to be in your course description under some other subject area. Summer camps are a good thing to list on the activity section.

If you need any extra help, you will really appreciate my Gold Care Club, as well as lots of templates and tools that will help you along.   

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Choose Peace

Choose Peace
Are you the parent scrambling frantically to finish every problem in every book before you can relax for the summer?  I encourage you to focus on "choosing peace."  Look at each thing you are trying to finish.

Does it need to be done?  If you are 80% done with the book, that should be enough.  Public schools finish 80% to finish the subject, and so can you.

Does it impact your mental health?  Weigh the pros and cons of finishing up.  Sometimes subjects do urgently need attention, but sometimes it's not required for your high school credit, and the cost is enormous stress.  Weigh the pros and cons!

If something does need to be done this summer, try to have your children work independently.  Independently means you don't teach them, they learn on their own.  If you need some accountability, have them show you their work from across the room, if necessary.

One mother told me her son had avoided math most of the school year and was hopelessly behind - that's a good reason to continue math during the summer.  Only do one lesson per day, not two!  Choose peace!

One mother was stressed about starting Latin during the summer.  Nope - not worth the stress!  Unless you desperately need foreign language credits, choose peace!  Skip that during the summer.

A dad asked about reading.  Summer is a great time to snuggle up with a book, but don't worry about literary analysis.  Grab books from my College Bound Reading List.  Save those library receipts!  That's how you'll collect all the information for the reading list for the coming year. Choose peace, and just enjoy reading this summer.

Parents often ask about SAT preparation in the summer.  I love doing a little SAT prep each day, to keep the skills fresh.  It doesn't require parental supervision - it's really like a high school level workbook!  Sure, do some SAT prep during the summer.  Keep it small, just one section per day, so kids don't rebel.  Choose peace - one section per day is only 1/2 hour, not too bad!

Summer is important.  Remember to take a break.  Think balance.  Weigh what is important.  Choose peace!

See those cute buttons at the bottom of these blog posts?  Those are there to help you share helpful posts with others who might need encouragement.  Go ahead and give it a try.  I promise that nothing will blow up!
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Introducing TWO New Parent Training A la Carte & a SALE!

Introducing TWO New Parent Training A la Carte & a SALE!

Have you discovered our Parent Training A la Carte courses yet? If not, this weekend is a great time to do so! We are introducing TWO new courses: Delight-Directed Learning and Getting the Most Out of Your Homeschool This Summer! To celebrate, both of our new classes are on sale for just $10!

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Homeschooling Teens: Summer is Coming! Time to Work!

Homeschooling Teens: Summer is Coming! Time to Work!
I was doing a Bible Study on Work.  I remembered all those summers with my high school boys.  It's so important to teach a strong work ethic!  Perhaps  it's a good time to take a moment with your teens and reflect on these verses.  These could be great for memory work and discussion topics before summer.

God created man to work (Genesis 2:15).
The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.

God works (John 5:17) and we are created in His image.
Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.”

Work is hard (Genesis 3:19).
By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground

Work is satisfying (Ecclesiastes 5:12).
The sleep of a laborer is sweet

Work hard for the Lord (Colossians 3:23).
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters

Work is a key to a full life (Proverbs 13:4).
A sluggard’s appetite is never filled, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.

We are also given warnings and examples (2 Thessalonians 3.6-15).
6 In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers and sisters, to keep away from every believer who is idle and disruptive and
does not live according to the teaching[a] you received from us. 7 For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, 8 nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. 9 We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you to imitate. 10 For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”  11 We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies. 12 Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the food they eat. 13 And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good.  14 Take special note of anyone who does not obey our instruction in this letter. Do not associate with them, in order that they may feel ashamed. 15 Yet do not regard them as an enemy, but warn them as you would a fellow believer.

Set clear expectations for work during the summer months.  What are your expectations and requirements?

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Summer Fun with Camp

Summer Fun with Camp
I saw an article in the newspaper about a spectacular summer camp for computer-loving techie kids.

Summer camps have long been part of the American experience for children and teenagers, and for the last 30 years or so, computers and technology have added to the equation. "What we're trying to do is to take a child's hobby and show how to turn it into a potential career," Safran said. "This summer, Karen Katzenberger, 13, of Fall City, plans to take her love of drawing to a new level at DigiPen ProjectFUN with a 3-D animation workshop."

Read the Seattle Times Article

Learning 3-D animation?  Getting experience at DigiPen?  What an amazing opportunity!

Most summer camps can fill up early, so now is the best time to start looking for something if your child is interested.  It would be impossible for me to list summer camps here, because families have different criteria, and children have different interested. I could point you to some great summer camps for chess in the Seattle Area ( but I don't think that will be a good fit for every student!  Instead, a quick google search will help  you find the information you need!  Now is the time to seek a summer camp if you are interested.

I've recently been connecting with homeschooling businesses on LinkedIn.  I invite you to send me an invitation if you want to connect with my business.
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Bad Year Homeschooling? Hit The "Reset" Button

Bad Year Homeschooling? Hit The "Reset" Button
The school year is over.  Perhaps it wasn't as successful as you had hoped. The best solution is to not give up.  It's not too late, and you haven't ruined your child forever.   You do realize that all children will sometimes have a "bad year" right?

For encouragement, listen to this encouraging song by TobyMac Lyrics
Music: "Get Back Up" Lyrics by TobyMac
You turned away when I looked you in the eye
And hesitated when I asked if you were alright
Seems like you’re fightin’ for your life
But why, oh, why

Wide awake in the middle of your nightmare
You saw it comin’ but it hit you out of nowhere
And there’s always scars when you fall that far

We lose our way, we get back up again
It’s never too late to get back up again
And one day you gonna’ shine again
You may be knocked down, but not out forever

We lose our way, we get back up again
So get up, get up, you gonna’ shine again
It’s never too late to get back up again
You may be knocked down, but not out forever

You rolled out of the dawning of the day
Heart racin’ as you made your little get away
It feels like you been runnin’ all your life
But why, oh, why

So you pull away from the love that would’ve been there
And start believin’ that your situation’s unfair
But there’s always scars when you fall that far

This is love callin,’ love callin,’
Out to the broken this is love callin’
This is love callin,’ love callin,’
I am so broken
This is love callin,’ love callin’

If you don't like contemporary Christian music, then think about the song "Tomorrow" from Annie.  You know, the little red-haired girl who sings, "The sun will come out tomorrow!"  It will get better!

It's never too late to get back up again.  You may be knocked down, but it's not forever.  You can start again!  Next year will be better.  Take a summer break, then hit reset in the fall.

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End of School Year Popcorn Party Plan

End of School Year Popcorn Party Plan
It's time to finish up the school year, and it can be difficult to feel "done."  For parents that aren't completely done with a textbook or unit of study, then you may want to think outside the box in order to finish up your classes quickly - and still have time to enjoy summer.

If you need to finish up quickly then consider the "Popcorn Party Plan." Instead of working through a textbook, or completing every assignment, go the "quick and easy" route instead. Not every class in high school has to be hard.  I remember that I had some high school classes that were significantly easier than others!  So for a break, and a way to quickly finish a unit study or course, consider educational videos as a way to catch up.

For example, I have a child that LOVES economics.  He studied economics all the time, and we talked about it constantly as a family.  But suddenly my oldest son was a junior in high school, and I realized that he was the one that DIDN'T love economics - and I had forgotten to teach it!  I needed a way to  quickly teach that class in a painless way, because my oldest was already bogged down with heavy academics in math and science, and he really didn't have the energy needed for a big beefy economics course.  Just living in our home meant that he had been exposed to more than his fair share of economics.  I needed to find a way to be sure it was enough, there were no gaps, and I could call it a 1/2 credit class. That's when I stumbled on the "Popcorn Party Plan."  I chose a challenging series of educational videos, and we watched a movie about it.

For economics, I used the Teaching Company Basic Economics course. With my clients, I have sometimes suggested The Standard Deviants - American
Government 2-pack

For American History, consider Joy Hakim's History of US on PBS.

You can also just scour the video section of your library, to see what supplemental videos they might have to help you finish up the details.  For example, one client was working on American History.  The problem was she was doing it TOO thoroughly.  It took her a lot longer to cover the American Revolution, because they were enjoying it so much. They had covered a lot of current events as well.  She didn't want to skip the post-civil war era, but she didn't have time to work it too thoroughly.  We decided that she could compromise and cover the middle period of American History lightly, by  using the Popcorn Party Plan.  Watching videos on the missing topics in American History, and just enjoying it together with a bowl of popcorn.  It  was better than a gap, and more realistic that a summer tests-and-worksheets class.  It was a great way to finish up the year!

When you think your children know something, or you need to create a quick and painless class to fill in a perceived gap, consider trying the Popcorn Party Plan yourself!

You can get the Total Transcript Solution here. Then all you have to do is implement!
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Summer School - Less Time! More Filling!

Summer School - Less Time!  More Filling!
During the summer months we did a little homeschool every day, usually for about 1 hour total. I always made sure to include some math each summer; just tiny math workbooks, and a handful of problems each day. Once the kids were in high school, I found that SAT preparation books were the perfect summer review workbooks. Like the "Comprehensive Curriculum" workbooks for elementary school, but at a high school level!

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