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How to Become a Vet

How to Become a Vet

How to Become a Vet

Does your child want to be a vet? Your child needs to be smart through high school and through college, and then lucky enough to get into medical school.

After earning a 4-year college degree, earning a DVM (doctorate in veterinary medicine) takes four more years to complete after an undergraduate college degree. And once your child gets into veterinarian school, the first three years are classroom training in animal anatomy and physiology, and then one year of clinical experience. Let me explain how to achieve the goal of becoming a vet.

How to become a veterinarian

  • Attend a four-year college

  • Get excellent grades in college

  • Complete an undergraduate degree (pre-vet, biology, or STEM degree, meeting admission criteria for vet school)

  • Earn experience with animals (e.g. through 4-H)

  • Demonstrate leadership (join college campus student groups)

  • Apply to veterinary school

How hard is it to get into veterinary school?

  • Veterinary school is four years above the four years of regular college

  • There are only 30 accredited veterinary schools

  • Each year there are 6,800 applicants for only 2,700 openings

  • Some say it's harder than getting into medical school

  • Median entry-level vet salary in 2014 was $67,000

  • Average total debt of a veterinary graduate is $135,000

  • Most graduates work in companion animal practice or work for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service

How to prepare your child in high school

  • Ensure they excel in math and science classes

  • Ensure they exceed expectations of a regular college prep plan

  • Choose a college with a good admission rate into veterinary school

  • Decide on a college degree they can use in veterinary school

Consider alternatives to a doctorate in veterinary medicine

  • Veterinary Technologists need a 4-year bachelor's degree

  • Veterinary Technicians need a 2-year associate's degree (Both must complete a post-secondary program in veterinary technology)

  • Animal Husbandry or Animal Science need a 2 to 4-year degree (For a career caring for or breeding farm or zoo animals)

Related fields

  • Animal massage specialists

  • Animal trainers

  • Certified professional dog trainers

  • Applied animal behaviorists

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Proof Positive: Homeschooling Works

Proof Positive: Homeschooling Works

Everyone has Opinions

Not all our family and friends approve of homeschooling, or believe that homeschooling works. So now what?

It may not really matter to you. Everyone has an opinion about everything, after all. Homeschooling is like religion or politics; there will always be some people that disagree.

It's not their decision. Each parent is responsible to make their own decisions for their children. Those decisions should be based on the child and their options, not based on what extended family or friends say. After all, the parent knows the whole situation, and can make a much better decision that someone who doesn't have all the information. Even if that is grandma.

Homeschooling Works

Homeschooling can provide quality academics. Over the years there has been a lot of research done of the efficacy of homeschooling. Homeschoolers just test better, in general, across the board. That doesn't mean that your child will suddenly score off the charts, just because of homeschooling, of course! But it does mean that homeschooling is an effective means of teaching academics.

Homeschoolers are successful every day. Colleges are very familiar with homeschoolers now. College admission and scholarships are available to homeschool students. Parents can graduate their children with a diploma and high school transcript from home. Our students are prepared for college and careers. We can socialize our children in a multi-age environment that is much closer to the real world, allowing them to be better prepared for adulthood.

If you would like to share statistics with friends or family, this is an excellent downloadable pdf report with research-based answers to questions about homeschooling: Home Education Reason and Research.

Share the report, but stand strong in your decision to homeschool.  You can do this! And I can help. If you would like support along the way, consider the Gold Care Club: Gold Care Club Homeschool Support.

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Overseas Homeschool Friends - Listen Up!

Overseas Homeschool Friends - Listen Up!

This post contains affiliate links. If you click and buy I may make a few pennies, but not enough for a latte.

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Following Advice for 3 Years = College Admission and Scholarships

Following Advice for 3 Years = College Admission and Scholarships

What is it like to homeschool? Great fun experiences and opportunities! And as the homeschool parent, you can put the academics awesomeness into your high school records. I just got a sweet letter from Kathy explaining how she used a hike up Mt. Fuji for a PE class, for example. Feel FREE to look outside the box, and do whatever works with your child to help them learn, and prepare them for college admission and scholarships!

 Read more about Kathy's experience and her story of college admission and scholarships!

Dear Lee,

It's hard to believe I have been following your advice for 3 years now! I began by purchasing Setting the Records Straight (which I recommend to all of my homeschooling friends).  Then I faithfully followed your other tips in your blog and your wonderful Coffee Break eBooks.  Last year I leaped into the Gold Care Club when you offered a wonderful year-end deal along with the purchase of the Comprehensive Record Solution.  I look forward to your posts and webinars, and I am so thankful for your willingness to mentor the homeschool community.

My family has just gone through the college application process for the first time.  Thanks to you, I felt very aware of what to expect, and confident in our coursework, preparation and transcript.  My husband stayed by my side through the hours upon hours of making everything perfect.  No matter how many times I looked over my course descriptions, there always seemed to be a typo or an inconsistency with how I laid things out!  In the end we have a beautiful package that we are very proud of.  It is wonderful to look back on the years of coursework and reflect on the variety of learning opportunities we've been able to provide for our children.  I praise God that we were able to add in "This course culminates with a hike up Japan's tallest peak, Mt. Fuji" in our "Outdoor Athletics" course description, and a WWII semester course primarily based on various WWII related field trips and books my daughter chose to read.  Thank you for giving me the peace to be creative!

This May our oldest daughter will graduate from high school.  It seems like all of the years have flown by, but the high school ones went especially fast.  We chose to send a full package, with a cover letter, school profile, table of contents, transcript and course descriptions to each college our daughter applied to, though none required anything other than the transcript. Her top three college choices have already sent acceptance letters with initial scholarship offers based on GPA and test scores, so now we are able to shift to financial aid/scholarship mode (along with finishing high school coursework).

Thank you for your time and energy!  As a homeschooling mother, teacher, tutor and guidance counselor, I truly appreciate all you do!  I do need to cancel my Gold Care Club membership for now, though I expect to begin it again in a couple of years, until my next child is closer to graduation.  Please know that I will continue to pass on your information to other homeschoolers.  Thank you again!

With joy,

Kathy in NE

Learn more about College Admission and Scholarships when you are just starting high school, and I'm sure you can have great successes too!

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How Homeschoolers Measure Up: Comparing Percentiles

How Homeschoolers Measure Up: Comparing Percentiles

How Homeschoolers Measure Up with Test Scores

Homeschoolers tend to do GREAT on standardized test scores. For example: on average, homeschoolers score above the 79th percentile in reading. But what does that mean to you? How does your homeschooler measure up? Are you average? Of course not!

Homeschooling alone can't guarantee that your child will score in the 79th percentile in reading, because every child is unique! But what homeschooing CAN do, is allow your child to learn as much as they can. They are likely to score better than they would have scored if they attended a public school. You see, homeschoolers can modify education to fit the child's needs. A homeschool parent can make sure their child is always challenged, but never overwhemed. This comes from the unique ability to set a schedule based on one specific child. Instead of moving them forward at a set rate, whether they learn the material or not, a homeschool parent can take time where it is needed.  And THAT will lead to great test scores!

Don't worry about the percentile of your child compared to other homeschooled children. Instead, focus on the education of your child. Know that educating your children can help them score better on those tests than you could have ever dreamed possible - no matter where they may be on the bell-shaped curve.

Test Scores Aren't Everything!

When I was homeschooling, my best friend had children with learning challenges. They were never able to score above the 50th percentile. But they were well educated, and had a marvelous work ethic. As adults, they are successful, with bachelor’s degrees from respected colleges. They each have a lovely family and a great job at a stable company. They were successful because of homeschooling.

Homeschooling works. Even if you aren't in the 79th percentile. So you don’t have to worry about how homeschoolers measure up, because they do!

PS - Check out this great infographic below!

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Career Assessment for Homeschoolers

Career Assessment for Homeschoolers

If you are stressed out that your high school teen hasn’t found a career interest yet, relax. Some kids decide on a career when they are very young, and others don’t decide until much later.

This post contains affiliate links. If you click and buy I may make a few pennies, but not enough for a latte.

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How Do I Help My Child Develop a Post High School Plan?

How Do I Help My Child Develop a Post High School Plan?

Is your child nearing the end of their high school journey? Are you afraid that they're rudderless, without a plan? Click on Lee's video below for help creating a clear post high school plan with your child.

Does your child have a plan? Will it be college or career after high school? Let me know in the comments below!

Subscribe to my YouTube channel. You will be notified when I create new videos on homeschool high school topics!

For more help exploring options after high school with your child, check out my online training class: Options After High School (Online Training) - only $15.00!
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Ideas for Budding Engineers

Ideas for Budding Engineers
Fun resources for kids who are interested in becoming engineers.

High School Classes at MIT

College Level Classes at MIT (My son Kevin said "I would recommend this for bright homeschoolers")

Stanford Engineering Everywhere is a resource for students, their parents, their teachers and their school counselors. This is a portal about engineering and engineering careers

Intel International Science and Engineering Fair

Intel has an international pre-college science competition for students in grades 9–12.

Design Squad

Although it looks a little "schoolish" for my tastes, the website say "Design Squad Educator’s Guide has everything you need to bring engineering to life for kids ages 9-12."

Lego Mindstorms Robotics

Conservative Christian Engineering Colleges

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Homeschooling Courses - Aim for Nursing!

Homeschooling Courses - Aim for Nursing!
Wondering what homeschooling courses might help a student who wants to become a nurse?

The more biology, chemistry and physics the better!  General bio, and chem are required, physics is sometimes required as well.  Having an AP test in one or all areas will help significantly. course in each area is a BIG deal.

The more math the better.  Pre-Calculus is good, but having Calculus before graduation is even better.  I recommend a Teaching Company Course we loved called Calculus Made Clear.  My children loved it so much they watched it repeatedly.  If your child is ahead in math, consider a good Statistics course, or use the Teaching Company Course called Statistics Made Clear as a math supplement or elective.

Find work or a volunteer position in a nursing environment somehow. Anything from volunteering at a hospital to doing summer camps for kids with medical interests.

Take physical education seriously. Nursing is a physical job, and some strength and fitness is required.  There are some specific PE subjects that can help prospective nurses.  All of these things can be taught within your normal physical education courses.  These topics include:

  1. Nutrition: I would use the Teaching Company Course called Nutrition Made Clear.

  2. First Aid:  Take a day-long first aid class or first-responder course through your local fire department or Red Cross.

  3. General Health:  I used the Total Health textbook.

  4. Sleep hygiene: The importance of sleep is remarkably important for all college students, but particularly for nurses who will eventually work odd  hours and crazy shifts.  At some point the student can do a research project on sleep.

Learn how to save money homeschooling with my free Special Report: “7 Secrets to Homeschooling Through a Financial Storm.”
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Careers for Homeschoolers: Nursing

Careers for Homeschoolers: Nursing
Out of the blue, I was offered a job.  I'm not even looking for a job! Someone just called to asked me to come to work as a nurse.  I haven't worked as a nurse for about 15 years, but I still have my RN license, and they tracked me down.  I was offered $1100-$1400 per week - AFTER taxes, "free and clear money."  They told me I would receive a $1000 bonus for starting work with their company.

Nurses are in high demand.  With the population growing older, there are fewer nurses and the need is great.  There are a huge variety of careers within nursing, not just hospital care.  The hours can be long, but they don't have to be.  The job can be physically taxing, but not always.  It's an extremely flexible career that easily adapts for parents with young children.  It's a great field for missionaries, and a great "foot in the door" as a great skill that can benefit any country.

Nursing requires math and science.  I used algebra every day when I worked as a nurse, calculating medication and IV fluids.  One small math mistake could cause a serious medication error, so the pressure was intense.  In high school I completed pre-calculus, and calculus was required in college. As with any medical or science field, it's helpful to keep to the standard science courses:  biology, chemistry, and physics.

Teens who are interested in medical careers can search for volunteer opportunities to research careers.  I worked as a volunteer at a hospital from the age of 14.  Often called Candy Stripers, hospital volunteers provide a valuable function.  You can read an example in one hospital in Florida here.

While providing a service to the community, young people are also learning skills critical for medical fields.  They learn about the daily sights and smells, so they aren't shocked their first day of nursing practicum.  They learn basic skills, like bed-making.  They learn about caring for ill people, critical for determining a career in care-giving.  Finally, they can learn about the wide array of careers available in the medical field, so they can know which  specific medical field is right for them.

I loved being a nurse.  When my son was born I continued to work one  weekend a month.  That allowed my husband regular experience as a primary caregiver for our baby, which was great for our marriage.  When my son started little league, I couldn't bear to miss a single baseball game, so I quit working as a nurse.  I loved my job as a homeschooler as much as I had loved being a nurse. When my children graduated, it was difficult to decide what to do!

Ultimately, I loved my job as a home educator more, and my skills homeschooling high school were "fresh."  Still, I loved being a nurse, and I think it's a great career for young people who like taking care of others.

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