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September Gold Care Club Updates

September Gold Care Club Updates
New for this month in the Gold Care Club updates ...  How To Training Courses Quick Start : Best Guidance Counselor Beginner : Preparing to Homeschool High School - Live Convention Part 1/3 Intermediate : High School Testing Advanced : College S...
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How to Homeschool High School Free Online Conference

How to Homeschool High School Free Online Conference
Gear up to Homeschool High School this month! Give me one week of your precious time and you'll learn to homeschool high school successfully and with confidence, bolstered by facts, research, and proven keys to success.   In this week-long ...
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Lee Binz
Hi Paula, you can register using the links on this blog post. I can't register you because I don't have your email address. Bless... Read More
Sunday, 08 September 2019 15:15
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Top 6 Tips for High School Math

Top 6 Tips for High School Math
Do you get cold sweats just thinking about teaching your teen high school math? Did your last exposure to trigonometry leave you covered in hives? If so, you are not alone! Every homeschool parent "loses it" at some point during high school math.&nbs...
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Homeschool Statistics Prove Success

Homeschool Statistics Prove Success
Do you ever think about homeschool statistics and the success of homeschooling? There are currently over 2 million homeschool students. How does homeschooling compare to public education really? Let's talk about How and Why Homeschooling Works ....
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The Final Sacrificial Culmination of the Homeschool Years

The Final Sacrificial Culmination of the Homeschool Years
If you regularly use words like field-tripping and work-shopping, this tip is for you! Bonnie writes about how her final sacrificial culmination of homeschooling was creating course descriptions that earned her daughter some sweet merit scholarships....
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Deanna Pathio
Thank you Bonnie for sharing! After reading your post, I am so glad I found The Homescholar when my son was in 8th grade! I found ... Read More
Saturday, 21 April 2018 19:35
Lee Binz
Oh I remember than convention so well - it was sure hot that day! I'm so glad to be able to help you, Deanna! Blessings, Lee... Read More
Saturday, 21 April 2018 21:52
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Homeschool Transcripts for Unique Children

Homeschool Transcripts for Unique Children

Homeschool Transcripts for Unique Children

Have you ever gone back and looked at your old high school transcript? I looked at mine recently, and it’s a remarkably bland document. It lists the usual student info, the name of each class I took, the teacher’s name, and my grade. It shows my college test scores, the number of days present or absent, and my cumulative GPA. I attended a public high school, but I imagine a private school transcript looks similar. How my college alma mater ever got a sense of who I was from this document is a mystery!

There are so many advantages to making a homeschool transcript compared to a public or private school transcript! I think the best one is that you can let your child's personality and giftedness shine through. The information you can include on a homeschool transcript can help make your student attractive to colleges and scholarship committees.

I know a young lady in public school who is extremely gifted in the arts, but not in science and math. Her high school transcript doesn’t highlight her giftedness, so colleges won’t see what a unique individual she is. You can highlight your student's strengths and gifts, demonstrated in their unique coursework and activities. Not to say that you shouldn’t include courses your child didn’t excel in, but you have the freedom to highlight your child’s individuality and make them shine.

Why Make a Transcript?

The primary use of a transcript is to help a college evaluate your child for admission and scholarships. While homeschoolers tend to save many mementos of their children’s lives (my closets are full of trophies and pictures), a transcript is not a scrapbook; it’s a record of your child’s academic history during high school. It’s not a place to record every single activity your child ever participated in or all the awards they won. These are important, but are best presented on an awards and activities list, to complement the transcript.

The transcript is also a great planning tool. If you work on it regularly over the years of high school, you’ll have a better idea of what you have covered and what your student still needs to work on.

Homeschool Transcripts Count

Is a homeschool transcript official? Can a homeschool parent really name courses, award credits, and assign grades? Yes! Your homeschool records are official because your homeschool is official. You do not have to be a professional educator to determine what counts and doesn’t count on the homeschool transcript. As the parent, you know best what your child has learned and the credits they have earned.

I know an unschooling family who didn’t make their child do math, but through testing verification, determined he knew pre-algebra, and gave him credit on his high school transcript for this knowledge. When you are confident your child knows a subject, you can include it on their transcript as accurate and true, without needing to verify it through the opinion of a “professional."

The Homeschool Advantage

Homeschoolers have so many advantages. You can create courses based on your child's unique and passionate interests, describe the courses to colleges in your transcript and course descriptions, and show your child for the special and wonderful person they are. In the competitive world of college admission and scholarships, homeschool records are one of the biggest advantages a student can have. Make sure your records do your student justice!

For more information on homeschool transcripts for unique children, check out my book, Creating Transcripts for You Unique Child.

Click Here to Join my Newsletter!
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Homeschooling High School without Tests

Homeschooling High School without Tests

When your children are younger, you might be completely confident about avoiding tests and simply focusing on learning in your homeschool. When they reach high school, you may think you have no choice. You need to give grades and include them on a transcript! Don't panic. Did you know that you don't have to test to give a grade?

As a home educator, you have the option of evaluating your children with methods other than tests. You can evaluate them simply based on what they do. Discussions, writing reports, completing projects, and reading books can all be part of the evaluation process. Tests or quizzes don't have to be involved.

I like to show people the homemade homeschool transcript I made for my own kids as an example. In our homeschool, only about half the classes included testing. I chose to give tests for math, science, and foreign language classes only. The curriculum for each of those classes included built-in tests. You can't tell this by looking at the transcript. I did make sure to show how I graded my kids in the course descriptions included in the application package I sent to each college though.

All the other classes in our homeschool included no tests at all. I evaluated these classes without tests and my children were admitted to every college they applied. They were offered great scholarships and received full tuition scholarships to their first choice university! We accomplished this without testing in every subject.

If the curriculum you're using includes tests and you want to include them, go for it. If your child does well without tests and you don't want to use them, that's ok too. Do what works best for your child. You don't have 30 children in a classroom to keep track of and you know your child best! That's the beauty of homeschooling.

If you're still not confident about how to evaluate your high schooler and put together admission packages for colleges, including transcripts and course descriptions, feel free to check out my Gold Care Club. Members get all the tools they need to homeschool through high school, including private consultations weekly! I'd love to chat with you!

Click Here to Join my Newsletter!
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Keep a High School Notebook + Thankfulness

Keep a High School Notebook + Thankfulness

Keep a High School Notebook + Thankfulness

I'm so thankful when people express thankfulness! It's such an encouragement!

Laura was working with me through the Gold Care Club and told me how thankful she is for her "Lee Notebook." She fills it with all the handouts, worksheets, and notes from all the classes she has taken with me. She always keeps this notebook handy for reference. Check it out!

Last week, after her 20-minute consultation, Laura wrote, "I have to say, investing in the Gold Care membership is the best money I've spent in homeschooling. You are so calm, matter of fact, and encouraging with the sweetest disposition. I know you've calmed me down and have eased Sarah's fears. Have a great weekend!!"

When we spoke again, we worked together with her daughter to get many details figured out. As usual, my suggestions came as a huge relief to an overworked homeschooled teen. Teens tend to love my advice, because I speak words of reason to parents. You know how sometimes you try so hard to provide an excellent education? Sometimes it's a tad too much, and I have to tell a mom to relax a bit. They were both so thankful, they sent me a Starbucks gift card!

I always tell parents to speak the love language of colleges - grades and credits. I gotta say, Laura is speaking my love language! My love language is definitely a Grande Iced Americano while taking my morning walk!

Find a simple high school notebook strategy to help you learn how to homeschool high school. Keep your notes, thoughts, and resources together in one place for easy access.

If you would like help, consider the Gold Care Club - one of the benefits is a 20 minute consultation each week, by phone or email.

If you are a beginner and prefer working independently, consider the High School Solution, which has over 34 hours of training videos - all with handouts or workbooks, plus articles.

Click to Get My Ebook, "The 10 Essentials for Homeschooling High School!"

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How to Say NO in 3 Easy Steps

How to Say NO in 3 Easy Steps

How to Say NO in 3 Easy Steps

1. Say it

       2. Explain it

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Deanna Pathio
Oh how I appreciate this message! When I worked, I had a leadership position and my manager told me once that my position would te... Read More
Saturday, 06 January 2018 03:58
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Application Essays That Work

Application Essays That Work

Application Essays That Work

My biggest college application essay tip is to write something that might make grandma gasp. (College Admission Essay Tip: Make Grandma Gasp, Not Blush!) But, what does a great college application essay look like? Johns Hopkins University actually posts their favorite essays each year. Look at them to help you guide your child through the college admission procedure.

Read the article: Essays That Worked (Class of 2019)

Of course, each essay is completely different. An essay should be a unique self-portrait, so it can't be borrowed from others. They show something unique about the student - something that simply can't be learned from transcripts, course descriptions, and lists of activities. These are self-reflective essays about a moment in time. Johns Hopkins explains, "These entries are distinct and unique to the individual writer; however, each of them assisted the admissions reader in learning more about the student beyond the transcripts and lists of activities."

Take a moment to see what colleges really want. Look at the first sentences for each one. Can you hear grandma gasp?

Breaking Into Cars by Stephen
"I had never broken into a car before." In the beginning of this essay, Grandma's definitely thinking her sweet grandson is a thief. Yes, she gasped. And no, you don't get into the "essays that worked" category if you actually DO steal cars.

How to Become an Adult by Michaela.
She talks about being a parent to Stanley, and you are a few sentences into the essay before you figure out that Stanley is a plant. She's not an unwed mother after all.

Building a Twenty Story Apartment Building by Kyle
The essay begins with a discussion of his job in construction, but gives a great example of how to include school-specific personalization in his second paragraph. "Hopkins’ professors are change agents whose research connects structural engineering challenges to economic and environmental considerations. I am fascinated by Professor James Guest’s work in..."

Returning to Peru by Anna
This wonderful essay does a great job of demonstrating her diversity. Plus, Grandma would definitely be shocked when she heard, "The memory of a destitute boy, surrounded by waste, consuming water from a filthy communal tap in a dilapidated shantytown of Lima, Peru still haunts me."

Community Service Isn’t For Me by Kyla
The title alone is awesome. It really makes you wonder what she means - who would say that to a college, right? She mentions "straw-thatched, mud-brick homes of host families, of learning bits and pieces of the Chichewa language, of exploring the dynamics of multi-chief, polygamous villages." Those amazing details would certainly make grandma gasp. Not until the end of the essay does she provide the conclusion. "Community service isn’t for me, it’s for Esther and Amai and all the others I seek to serve."

So the application essay is a self-portrait about an amazing moment in time - a personal story that happens to be true. Do you need to do some more research about that?

Read this article:
What's the Big Deal about a Little Essay? Keys to the College Application Essay

Or grab this book:
Coffee Break Book: College Application Essays: A Primer for Parents

Learn more about the college application process, and guiding your child to college admission and scholarships, with this reference book: The HomeScholar Guide to College Admission and Scholarships

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Candied Nuts, Cookies, and Crafts, Oh, My!

Candied Nuts, Cookies, and Crafts, Oh, My!

Candied Nuts, Cookies, and Crafts, Oh, My!

This is a perfect recipe and makes your house smell DELICIOUS! These nuts are great for parties and gifting.

Cinnamon Candied Nuts

1 lb nuts (pecans or almonds are good)
1 large egg white
1 Tbsp water
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt


Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a large  bowl, vigorously mix egg white, water, and vanilla until very frothy
In a separate small mixing bowl, whisk together sugar, cinnamon, and salt
Add nuts to egg white mixture and toss until evenly coated
Pour half of the sugar mixture over nuts and stir several times.
Add remaining sugar and stir to distribute over nuts evenly
Pour coated nuts over a parchment paper lined baking sheet and spread into an even layer
Bake in preheated oven 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes
Allow to cool, then store in airtight container

Recipe by Laura Schofield

In addition to the Cinnamon Candied Nuts recipe above, how about whipping up one of these recipes to fill your kitchen with yummy holiday smells?  Something wonderful to share with your family and your friends!

M & M Cookies

Classic cookies with red and green candy are so simple! Use any cookie recipe, or try this Cake Mix Cookie!

1 package dry cake mix
½ cup softened butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs

1 cup candy M & M's or chips
Bake 350 for 10-12 minutes, until edges are set.

Here are some more great Christmas baking and crafting ideas to try, and share!

Cake Pops

Christmas Pretzel Treats

Homemade Nestle Crunch Bars

Cinnamon Ornaments

Handprint Snowman Ornament

Candy Cane Bath Salts

More Ideas on Pinterest

I hope you feel inspired to drop everything and make something wonderful to share during the upcoming holiday weeks!  I would love to hear what your favorite recipe is to make and share?

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Christmas Baking - Sweet Bread Gift Recipes

Christmas Baking - Sweet Bread Gift Recipes

Christmas Baking - Sweet Bread Gift Recipes

I love giving sweet bread treats to our neighbors and friends, and bringing them as hostess gifts. These can be made in advance and frozen.  They travel well, too!  You can find wrapping suggestions from Martha Stewart Crafts and from Wilton available on Amazon.

Pistachio Bread

1 package yellow cake mix
1 package pistachio pudding mix (3 oz.)
4 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/8 cup water.
Cinnamon-sugar mix: 3 Tbsp sugar, 1 Tbsp cinnamon

Mix in a bowl until moist. Grease a loaf pan, and dust with 1/2 the cinnamon-sugar mix.  Pour batter in pan and top with remaining cinnamon-sugar mix.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until done.

Lemon Bread

1 lemon: grate 1 Tbsp peel and set aside 4-1/2 tsp lemon juice
2-1/4 flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1-1/2 cup sugar
3/4 melted butter
3 beaten eggs
3/4 cup milk

Mix dry ingredients. Add the moist ingredients and lemon peel.  Stir until just moistened.  Pour into greased loaf pan.  Bake 350 degrees for 1-1/2 hours until done.  Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan. Make glaze: over medium heat, cook the 4-1/2 tsp lemon juice with 2 tbsp sugar until slightly thick, about 5 minutes.  Brush over the top of loaf.

Pumpkin Spice Bread

1-3/4 flour
1-1/2 sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup pumpkin
1 beaten egg
1/3 cup water

Sift dry ingredients. Mix butter, pumpkin, egg, and water.  Mix in dry ingredients until moist.  Pour into greased and floured loaf pans.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Zucchini Bread

3 eggs
2 cups finely ground zucchini
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup oil
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Mix moist ingredients together.  Mix dry ingredients together.  Combine all and stir until mixed. Stir in nuts, if desired. Pour into a greased and floured loaf pan until 1/2 full.  Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour.

Banana Bread

2-3 large over-ripe bananas
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup buttermilk (or milk mixed with 1 tbsp vinegar)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1-1/4 cup sugar
1 cup whole wheat flour
1-1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Cream the butter and eggs with sugar.  Mash in the banana.  Add remaining ingredients.  Pour into one loaf pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour

Cranberry Orange Bread

2 cups flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 teaspoons grated orange peel
1/2 cup orange juice
2 eggs
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cranberries
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts (optional)

Mix dry ingredients. Beat sugar, butter, and vanilla until fluffy.  Add eggs and orange peel and juice. Mix in dry ingredients until moistened.  Gently stir in chopped cranberries and nuts. Bake 350 degrees for 1 hour, until done. Make glaze if desired. Mix 1 cup powdered sugar with 2 Tbsp fresh orange juice. Wisk until smooth and drizzle over cooled bread.

Do you gift the gift of sweet bread during the holidays?

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Give Christmas Gifts that Pay for College

Give Christmas Gifts that Pay for College

Are you busy getting all of your Christmas gifts purchased? If so, you won't want to miss this list! Christmas gifts for your homeschooler that will free you from checking your list twice!

What are Gifts that Pay for College?

Kids want fun things that they are interesting to them.
Parents want educated children without going broke or crazy.
Colleges want “passion” and delight directed learning.
Give gifts that will increase the fun factor in school, help colleges appreciate your student, allow you to maintain your sanity, or save enough time of money to help you afford the cost of college.

Gifts that pay for college can mean…

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Homeschool Records + Talent = Julliard Dreams Fulfilled

Homeschool Records + Talent = Julliard Dreams Fulfilled

Homeschool Records + Talent = Julliard Dreams Fulfilled

Getting into Julliard is like getting into Harvard. You really have to have it ALL - academics, special talent, passion, and luck! Anytime you are trying to get into a highly selective school, it requires some extra effort from both the parent and the child.

Recently I received this lovely thank you note from a Gold Care Club member. Their family achieved wonderful success!
"I have enjoyed being a gold card club member for years, spoke to you on the phone and I listened to some of your webinars, used the course description and transcript templates and information on SAT's. I thank you for your help in my journey of making all this ready for applications. My daughter and I made a detailed portfolio for her that she sent to 7 places where she was invited to audition live, and was successfully accepted to most of the Conservatories. She was accepted into The Julliard School by her audition and then they accepted her high school portfolio without any questions. She placed into all the academic courses at the higher level. She is now happily studying a bachelors of music at The Julliard School, fulfilling her dream. I am extremely thankful that I had the opportunity to home school her and thanks to you, I knew how to present her schooling and everything else in such a way that I did not need to sacrifice the wonderful home school curriculum that gave her a strong Christian world view and foundation in Christ. ~ A"

This Gold Care Club Member took advantage of the telephone consultations. She also learned on her own, by consistently watching the 5 monthly classes that change on the 20th of every month. She purchased the Comprehensive Record Solution, that helped her to make a detailed portfolio. And she provided the moral compass her daughter needed to succeed in the future.

The teenager was homeschooled independently, which allowed her to pursue Delight Directed Learning in music, which then enabled her to succeed at the highest levels. Learn more about Delight Directed Learning.

Delight Directed Learning
Maximize the Fun Factor
Encouraging Delight Directed Learning at the High School Level

Coordinating Coffee Break Book on Amazon:
Delight Directed Learning: Guide Your Homeschooler Toward Passionate Learning

Here is what I suggest.

  • Prepare thorough homeschool records.

  • Encourage your child's interests and talents.

  • Prepare to have your child's dreams fulfilled too!

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Cyber Monday with The HomeScholar!

Cyber Monday with The HomeScholar!

Cyber Monday with The HomeScholar!

My Cyber Monday sale is geared to helping you!  Finding the Faith to Homeschool High School will give you a refreshing perspective on homeschooling.

When you homeschool high school, sometimes the only thing separating success from failure is faith and a friend. This book will give you both! Imagine sitting across the table with a dear friend at your favorite coffee shop, sharing struggles and scriptures with each other. Let Lee Binz, The HomeScholar, be that dear friend who can lift you up with scriptural hope and encouragement.

Order your print or Kindle version today!  Finding The Faith to Homeschool High School

This BRAND NEW book is on sale in print format and in Kindle format.  Order your copy today and be encouraged each day of your homeschool journey!  A devotional that you can read over and over, each time gleaning a new perspective on God's word and the important tasks you are facing.

This weekly devotional covers the challenges parents face while homeschooling high school. Finding the Faith will support and encourage you along the way, throughout the year!

Let me help you "Find the Faith" as you work your way through your daily homeschooling journey.

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Contact The HomeScholar

17837 1st Ave S., Suite #145
Normandy Park, WA 98148
Phone: 1-888-Lee2HELP (1-888-533-2435)
Contact us

About The HomeScholar

Lee has three core beliefs about homeschooling: homeschooling provides the best possible learning environment; every child deserves a college-prep education whether or not they choose to go to college; and parents are capable of providing a superior education to their children. Lee does not judge your homeschool or evaluate your children. Instead, she comes alongside to help and encourage parents homeschooling high school.

Learn More