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I Cherish Your Reviews!

I Cherish Your Reviews!

I Cherish Your Reviews!


One of my coffee break books has 25 reviews, and has earned 4.8 out of 5 stars, but you know what? It just got another review! Listen to this!

College Scholarships for High School Credit: Learn and Earn With This Two-for-One Strategy!


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Guiding Your Child Through College Applications

Guiding Your Child Through College Applications

Guiding Your Child Through College Application


It's tempting to think you can let your child go to fill out college applications, and they will be mature enough to handle it from there, but that's not how it normally happens. There are so many details, deadlines, and complicated forms, it's difficult for a young adult to figure out the system. Working on it without help can make a difference in scholarship awards. The help of a parent is a key ingredient in success.

Because the process is overwhelming, young adults will often need another adult to come alongside and help with the details - much like we rely on others to help us with complicated matters like tax returns, or whatnot. Most advisers suggest that you sit down with your teen once a week, to go over deadlines and progress. Make sure that each piece of the application process is sent by your family and received by the college. Here is a general list of each item they need to consider, so carefully check the deadlines for each item.

Application
Application Fee
Essay
School Specific Supplement
Official Homeschool Transcript
Athletic or Art Supplement or Requirements
Course Descriptions
Activity and Award List
SAT scores
ACT scores
AP scores
SAT Subject Test Scores
CLEP Scores
Other Transcript 1
Other Transcript 2
Community College Transcript
Course Descriptions
Letter of Recommendation 1
Letter of Recommendation 2
Letter of Recommendation 3
Mid-year Grades
FAFSA - January
CSS/Profile
Reply to College
Deposit to the college you choose
Thank you note to interviewer
Final Transcript - June after school is complete


Once you start getting admission notices and scholarship awards, help your child weigh the pros and cons of each school. Review the total cost of each school out-of-pocket. For each school, identify the cost of attendance and the cost of housing. Then figure out the financial aid they have provided. That way you can determine the actual cost of attending each individual school.  Then check your financial situation, reviewing how you will fund college, to determine what you can actually afford to pay for college when the first bill it due.

Cost of Attendance
A. Tuition
B. Fees
C. Books
D. Extra Course Fees
E. Other fees (parking, etc)
TOTAL Cost of Attendance

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Declare your Homeschool Independence!

Declare your Homeschool Independence!

Declare your Homeschool Independence!


Learn why "old-fashioned" homeschooling is still your best bet for growing passionate learners! Homeschool independently and take your life back! Instead of a "one-size-fits-all" assembly line education, choose the freedom to teach your children at their pace and consistent with your values. Pursue happiness while homeschooling, instead of pursuing the busyness so common in our society.

This brand new kindle book will allow you to be a fearless leader in your homeschool and to declare your independence from the public system and rigid classroom structure! Learn how to identify and eliminate sources of educational dependence, regain your peace of mind, and rekindle your child's love of learning.

As a part of the Coffee Break Series, my books are designed especially for parents who don’t want to spend hours and hours reading a 400-page book on homeschooling high school! You will get simple strategies, resources, and tools at your fingertips, along with proven strategies to not just survive but thrive while teaching high school math.

Never overwhelming, always accessible and manageable, each book in the series will give parents the tools they need to tackle the tasks of homeschooling high school, one warm sip at a time.

Purchase How to Homeschool Independently: Do-it-Yourself Secrets to Rekindle the Love of Learning from Amazon HERE



Please take a moment to download How to Homeschool Independently for free, through October 4!  It's a short read with simple strategies to help you find your child's perfect educational fit!

When you are done with the book, please leave a review on Amazon too!  We really count on your reviews – thank you so much for taking a moment to let me know what you think of this new book.



 
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Missionary in the Philippines to College Admission and Scholarships

Missionary in the Philippines to College Admission and Scholarships

Missionary in the Philippines to College Admission and Scholarships


It can seem pretty scary to be overseas as a missionary, and at the same time want your homeschooled teen to come back to the US for college admission. But guess what? It's possible! And homeschool parents just like you are successful! Check out this letter from Nancy, a missionary mom in the Philippines. See what tips you can glean from her, to help you as you serve the world community.
Dear Lee and Team,

Good news from this home school missionary family in the Philippines! Our son, Benjamin, was recently accepted at his first-choice school: Cedarville University in Ohio. This is not only a great Christian college, but is the only Christian college with an accredited degree in Industrial Design -- the area he would love to study. In addition, he received several scholarships, which have not paid all, but at least half of the tuition. We are still searching for more help because of our missionary income... but we trust things will work out!

We are so very grateful for all of the material you made available to us, Lee. I cannot tell you how helpful the videos were. I listened to them over and over. Because of your help and advice, I was able to put together a wonderful transcript, a beautiful additional extra-curricular activity sheet, along with stunning recommendations from former teachers and pastors. Also, we prepped for the college exams with your help! It was no small feat, because Ben was raised in Germany (K-9th grade) and he had to switch to all-English, Bible based home school that mom put together herself... and then take a timed, all-English, intensive SAT and ACT test! Wow. But he did it.

So off we go, from Asia to the Midwest. Cedarville has a special MK and TCK department to help students like Benjamin adjust to a Western culture. Yet another reason why we parents are so happy to have found this particular school. We are travelling cross-country on our way to Cedarville in Ohio and could not be more excited for this adventure to begin. MATS, an organization that provides lease vehicles for visiting/furlough-ing missionaries provided us our van.  They are also a great company that you could highlight for missionaries coming home to bring their kids to school.  They’ve helped us so much with our one-way drop off situation.

Lee, we could NOT have done this without your help. You calmed my fears that kept me awake at night. I was able to give appropriate grades, put down as class subjects those areas of learning that Ben had "studied" on his own over the years, and so much more. His participation in the church band for three years became his guitar performance class, for example! You were a true godsend to our lives.

Thank you, and may your sphere of influence increase all the more! May you always hear of the good fruit that you are bearing all over the world because of your down-to-earth, effective, clear, practical, and most useful information.  Cheers to your entire staff!

We will do a home-style graduation and good-bye party all rolled into one next Friday. We will have friends speak, and we will ask Ben to share about his journey and about Cedarville, so that all of the Filipinos in attendance can picture where the Lord is bringing him. In that we work with 450 children from the slums of Cebu City (especially those living on and around the dumpsites), and we try to help them in school, giving them tutorials and motivational classes, AND try to find scholarships for the college-bound ones who show promise......... it has been a very special gift to our family that God sent YOU to help us with our own son!  He certainly provides. We take care of His concerns, and He takes care of ours!!

Many blessings to you and a huge hug,
~ Nancy and Family, missionaries with Christian Frontier Ministries
Field Directors for IGC Foundation SE Asia
Facebook, Christian Frontier Ministries and Pro.Vision Kids
Read Nancy's Novel: Suluan - A Novel by Nancy Lueckhof

 


If you are living overseas and are homeschooling because you are military, missionary, or for other reasons live outside the US, I have a great resource for you to add to your home library. Consider getting this book, The Global Nomad’sGuide to University Transition. It will really help you make the transition from MK (missionary kid) and TCK (third culture kid) to college student as smoothly as possible.

Military or missionary? Learn more!

More about the Global Nomad's Guide: Overseas Homeschool Friends – Listen Up!

April, military mom in Spain: Living in Spain + Exploring Europe = Homeschool High School Credit

Donna, missionary in Angola: Daughter Says Mom is Best Teacher Ever!

Tracey, serving in Mexico City: Sometimes Support is Necessary

Renee, military in Germany: Homeschooler Wins Full Scholarship – Plus Some More!

Advice: Living Overseas? How to Plan a College Visit

If you would like help - consider joining the Gold Care Club so you can learn about homeschooling high school when it's convenient - even in your own time zone! The HomeScholar Gold Care Club



 
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High School Centered Around Interests

High School Centered Around Interests

High School Centered Around Interests


Tricia wrote to share her graduation story. Read about her success overcoming obstacles, and creating a high school centered around the interests of her daughter. You'll be so encouraged today!


 

I would love to share the story of my recent graduate from Homeschool because ours is such a testimony of what God can do when we don't see how it will ever work out!

We recently graduated our second daughter from our homeschool.  We definitely benefited from your resources and easy ideas for homeschooling High School.

 You took the fear out of homeschool High School!

Our daughter was really very sick with chronic Lyme Disease since the age of 12.  Many times she was bedridden for weeks or months at a time.  This made learning hard and we had to school year round.

At first I was pretty stressed out wondering how in the world we were going to get her through High School.  Then I found you!  Because of your e-books, emails and blog I was able to create a High School career centered around her interests and be creative with how she learned each subject.  Your clear method for keeping track of course work and putting together transcripts was so easy that I was even able to help friends when they were struggling.

I couldn't have done it without you Lee! 

I feel like I know you and if I ever see you I will definitely give you a hug because you helped me to see that homeschooling High School doesn't have to be hard, overwhelming, or impossible.

I recently wrote about making it to graduation on my blog, Abounding in Hope With Lyme

~ Tricia

Check out the beautiful photos of her graduation party, too! One day YOU will have a graduation success story!





Have you thought about high school graduation yet? It's worthy of celebrating!  What kind of party do you want to have?



 

 

 
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How Do You Say Curriculum? Curricula or Curriculum

How Do You Say Curriculum? Curricula or Curriculum

How Do You Say Curriculum? Curricula or Curriculum


I pride myself on writing the way that I talk, to make my books approachable and easy to understand. I figure the less you work to read my books, the more information you will learn. I know parents have different learning styles, and like to learn in different ways, so I try to provide books, videos, and social-interaction services that will fit everyone's learning style. But to do that... well, let's just say I use colloquial language when writing about curriculum.

Curricula or curriculum?

It's like data and datum. It used to be everyone knew the difference, but now everyone says "data" all the time for everything, now matter how many or how few pieces of information they are talking about. When was the last time you said "datum" in a sentence?

You see, curriculum is actually singular. Curricula is plural. I can count on one hand the number of homeschoolers who have used "curricula" when talking to me. Yup, I know that it's technically incorrect to use "curriculum" when referring to multiples science book options. At the same time, I'm afraid that it will be distracting for parents if I change to curricula or curriculums. Or worse, they will think I'm some hoity-toity, persnickety, post-doctoral educator that judges and evaluates. That's just not me.

When I was homeschooling, I always had my children reading challenging literature, and wanted them to expand their vocabulary. I was trying to increase the range of their understanding, and challenge them so they could interact with college professors intelligently. For my children, I would have chosen a book using the word "curricula" correctly. But when I was homeschooling, I was too busy to read books that slowed me down with their word choice. I had a hard enough time keeping up with the laundry and feeding my family. When authors made it quick for me to read and easy for me to understand, I was thankful.

I'm really, really sorry to the people who are offended when I incorrectly use the colloquial "curriculum".  But I pride myself on writing the way I speak, so it's approachable. Will you still love me anyway?

Which do you prefer? Curricula or curriculum? Does it bother you when an author uses curriculum when it's plural?

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Scholarships Worth 93% of College Costs

Scholarships Worth 93% of College Costs

Scholarships Worth 93% of College Costs


I got a wonderful letter from a member, and she was very specific about why she felt her daughter got a huge, Huge, HUGE scholarship that covered a full 93% of the cost of attending college! Here is the short version, in case you are in a hurry, but need to know what Kathleen did to become so successful.

Executive summary for busy parents

Start your transcript early - learn how in junior high!
Keep great high school records so you are ready for anything.
Read excellent literature - quality, not quantity, will help the most.
Be active in  your child's education and don't give up.
Consider community college carefully, it can be "Rated R".

Here is the letter Kathleen wrote, so you can learn more.
Dear Lee,

I have been so blessed by yournewsletters, website, and theTotal Transcript Solution.  Last October, my daughter was accepted and awarded the highest academic scholarship from all four of the private Christian colleges she applied to.  Two of those universities invited her to compete for "up to full-tuition scholarships," and in early April, she was awarded the Presidential Honors Scholarship at the University for her  well-written essay. She was also awarded a vocal/music scholarship after I encouraged her to audition even though she had an insignificant amount of vocal training!  All combined, Michaela was awarded 93% of her tuition for four years.  Room, board, and books are virtually her only responsibility.

Know that I recently met with the Director of the Honors Program at the University who identified with interest, an unusual activity Michaela completed during high school that was listed on her TTS transcript.  I presume the Total Transcript Solution made it easier for the university to conclude that Michaela's unique homeschooling experiences would be a welcome addition to the University community!

Thank you for your sound advice on starting a high school folder. The best thing I ever did was start Michaela's transcripts when she started doing high school work--and that was in 8th grade.  And every time we did something, a college class or a field trip, a conference, or a missions project, anything... I printed it off the internet, dated it, and put it in a folder.  That little nugget of advice from you has SAVED me. One of the essay scholarship questions on the application was, "What kinds of extra-curricular cultural activities have you done?" Fortunately, I found ticket stubs in Michaela's folder from a Latin museum and a Latino Film Festival we forgot she attended two years earlier for her extra-credit Spanish coursework at the community college.  Every parent should have a folder, whether they are homeschooling or not!

The BEST advice you ever gave me: read excellent literature. Michaela scored nearly perfect on the SAT reading and writing components.  For lack of time (both hers and mine), she never completed any formal English/writing curriculum during high school.  Your encouragement in that area helped me step out in faith believing that it was quality, not quantity that would produce a right result.  Michaela devoured good books and wrote in her journals (and I coached her with my limited knowledge of community college general education English!), and she wrote a very creditable essay when it counted most.

Thank you for your dedication and service to the homeschooling community. Your  recommendations and resources have empowered me to take control of my children's high school education. I know that we will complete high school with absolute success.  My second daughter, only a sophomore this year, is nearly finished with high school and plans to take community college courses this fall in fashion design.  Her youngest sisters will be starting junior high in the fall.  I have every confidence they will all experience comparable success, and I can't wait to make their transcripts!

Hopefully this will give more parents hope to keep their children out of the public school system.  We need to keep sending a message that it can be done! You were right about junior colleges.  Just from my girls taking foreign language classes at our local junior college the last 2 years... they've been exposed to a lot of inappropriate behavior from both teachers and students.  I didn't feel like I had a choice because they needed language and I didn't have time to teach it properly.  I'm glad Michaela made it to a Christian college where at least most of the environment is going to be positive.  Can't wait to see the amazing things she's going to do there.

Finally, I give all the glory to God who shows me daily that "apart from Him, we can do nothing."  There were weeks and months when we were inundated with admission essays, college visits, sports, injuries, illness, life in general; times when I felt we were so far behind we would never catch up.  BUT GOD!

~ Kathleen


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Will More Tests Increase Options?

Will More Tests Increase Options?


Will More Tests Increase Options?


Jasmine was doing some research on college counselors, and found my YouTube Tip of the Week "Do You Need a High Priced College Counselor?"
"My daughter took the SAT twice, receiving 2250 and 2280 (thanks to your excellent tips!) consecutively. Some people have advised her to take the ACT (some saying that her SAT score is still too low for highly selective colleges, others saying that a high ACT score may open doors to additional scholarships depending on where she applies). What do you think?" ~ Jasmine

What a great question! I always suggest that every student tries both the SAT and ACT at home first, before they even start test preparation. That way you can see which test makes your child look the smartest.

Have your child take a sample of each college admission tests.
Sample SAT: https://sat.collegeboard.org/practice/sat-practice-test
Sample ACT: http://www.act.org/aap/pdf/Preparing-for-the-ACT.pdf

Many girls do better on the ACT. If she takes the ACT and improves her percentile score, then she may get more college admission offers with scholarships.  If scores on the ACT are higher, then I would absolutely have your child take that test. If scores on the SAT are higher, have your child take that test instead. Colleges often do not have a preference, so as homeschool parents we can choose the test that makes our child look smarter. If you have already taken one of the college admission tests, like the SAT, you can try the other one, the ACT, to see if your child scores better. If you do score better on the ACT, it's a good idea to switch test preparation for that specific test right away. Taking the second test, IF if makes scores improve, will improve the overall academic package presented to the college, and can improve the chances of admission and scholarships.

It's best not to study for the SAT and ACT at the same time. The tests each have a different "voice" and ask questions in  a slightly different way.  So study for one test, then if you decide to take the other test, switch to studying for that particular test.

Jasmine's daughter has GREAT scores, that would make many homeschoolers celebrate! The best advice is to focus on finding a great college that will appreciate your child and be a great fit for her, where she will enjoy living for four years.

If you would like to talk more, consider the Gold Care Club so I can get to know you, your child, and your situation better before giving advice.

If you haven't looking into it before, a College Consultant can be very pricey, and average $150/hour or $4000 flat fee, but can be much more in some locations.  College consulting is an option for parents of sufficient means, but might be out of reach for many single-income homeschool families.  You can pay many thousands of dollars for these special services and it may pay off, or your student may not play their part.  There are much lower cost ways available, however, including The HomeScholar Gold Care Club.

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How Much College Debt is Acceptable?

How Much College Debt is Acceptable?

How Much College Debt is Acceptable?


Every person has to decide for themselves how much debt is worthwhile. I can tell you what my debt boundaries are, though, as you begin your research.

For me, I think it may be worthwhile only if you can pay back the debt within one year. Estimate how much your child could make at a minimum wage job while living at home for one year. That would be a reasonable amount of debt for your child to assume. Even without a well-paying, college-degree-worthy job, it's still possible to pay it back.

If you are a family struggling with finances, I don't think that I would take out debt as a married couple, but again, each family and marriage and financial situation is different. It may be healthy to ask grandparents if they would like to contribute to the cost of college in some way.

You CAN talk to the colleges to ask for more money. As some families decline their offers of admission, that frees up more scholarship money. For example, you can say something like, “This is our first choice college, and I would hate to disappoint my son, but we have other children to consider, not just one. We simply can’t afford this college, no matter how much we love it. How can we get more scholarship money so he can attend your school?” This article may help: Real Story, Real Money, Real Scholarships, about a mom who wrote a letter like this, and it was worth $8000 to her. So write or speak to the college.
The best money for college is money you save or are given without repayment necessary. There are three big and important things you can do to improve your chances of college scholarships.

  1. Apply for colleges first thing senior year and finish all applications by the end of November.

  2. Apply to 4-8 schools, with a mix of public and private universities.

  3. Apply to reach, fit, and safety schools: Reach, Fit, and Safety Simplified.


If you are worried about debt, then plan ahead to get college scholarships! Don't wait until you are desperate, but research ahead of time so you are ready to succeed!

These resources will help.

$3 Book on Kindle, so you can get an overview of the process


$15 Online Class, so you can learn details of this one specific topic

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What Grade is My High School Child?

What Grade is My High School Child?

There you are, homeschooling the normal and natural way, not worrying about grade levels. After all, when your child is younger, how can you really tell what grade they are in? Because they could be in 5th grade math, 8th grade spelling, and using a 7th grade history curriculum. But when you have a high school student, suddenly everyone wants to know.



What Grade is My High School Child?


The easiest way to determine grade level is to decide what year the child will be graduating from high school, and then count backward. In other words, if your child is graduating next spring, this is the senior year. If your child is graduating a year from next spring, then your child is a junior this year.

The only time grade level REALLY matters is when you take the PSAT for real. They will ask the child what grade they are, and only the 11th grade PSAT will count for the national merit scholarships. (You can take it in 10th for fun, but only the 11th grade level counts for scholarships.) Other than that, it's all about when will the child graduate.

The standard age and grade level for high school children may be helpful to know.

Freshman, grade 9, begins at age 14-15
Sophomore, grade 10, begins at age 15-16
Junior, grade 11, begins at age 16-17
Senior, grade 12, begins at age 17-18


But do standard age and grade levels matter? Not always - it depends on the child and the family. And sometimes it depends on the grade level of their friends, too.

When you are making the decision about graduation, keep in mind the magic number: 18. When children turn 18, they will usually want to become independent. This is a good thing, because we have worked our entire life to create independent, confident, capable young adults. The problem is that an independent, confident, capable young adult may not want to be homeschooled by Mommy. That can result in stress and difficulty at home, with even the most pleasant and compliant child. Without the agreement of the child, it may not be possible to homeschool a child over the age of 18 without some angst or drama at home.

I hope that helps! Remember, if you ever need some support, I'm happy to help! You can join the Gold Care Club, you can call me so we can discuss your worries or concerns.



 
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Kristine States the Obvious - College Listens

Kristine States the Obvious - College Listens


So many moms are scared and nervous about college admission policies. Don't be! Policies are constantly changing, and that YOU can influence change in the positive direction!  Be a positive force for homeschooling.  Ask the question.  State the obvious.  Colleges WILL listen to you!

Kristine States the Obvious - College Listens

   "Following a college tour today, we met with an admissions counselor to get specific details about their admissions policy for homeschoolers. He told me I needed this, that, and this other thing. I had to tell him that those items are not listed on their website, that we are not required to follow public school requirements, that school districts don't approve our schooling, and that verification from the state do not exist. He went to get clarification, printed out the exact webpage that I've already been following, and then thanked me for educating him. I replied that I was always happy to do that!

So glad this is my second time around, and I wasn't intimidated. And so glad for my friend Lee Binz, The HomeScholar for her advice over the years. Lee, life is easier because of you!" ~ Kristine


Wow! Great example of being kind and firm and proactive!!  Moms, you need to know that it's not that hard to be assertive!

Make the change happen in your college community. By being assertive and asking for change, you can encourage colleges to become more homeschool-friendly. Sometimes clarifying questions will straighten things out. Sometimes explaining that homeschooling is independent of public schooling can help. Sometimes comparing homeschooling to private schooling can help. But almost always, a clear, honest dialog will help.

Simply asking them to check their policy may make a better situation for your child – and for all other homeschoolers as well.



 

 

PS. Kristine is actually a friend in real life, that I have known for well over a decade. It was such a thrill to read about her success!

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Ooops! Not Done With Math!

Ooops! Not Done With Math!
What do you do when you just aren't done with math before the year is done? Let me give you a few options, and you can decide which is best for your situation.


One Book In One Year is Impossible

You could measure math credits by counting hours spent on math. Some moms know their child can't complete a whole level each year. For them it makes sense to embrace the way God made your child, and give math credits not by textbook, but by the number of hours worked. In other words, it your young person worked at math for 45 minutes to an hour a day, then give credit for math, 1 credit per year. The title of the class is extra important in this option. You don't imply that your child got farther in the textbook than actually accomplished. To clarify that, you can call the class Algebra 1A, for 1 credit, for a whole year of work, for the first half of the textbook. Then call the class Algebra 1B for 1 credit, for a whole year of work the following year, for the second half of the textbook.

One Book Completed In Random Intervals

You could decide to give credit based on the completion date of each textbook. Some parents know the child is just working on their own time-table, being successful while only slightly slower than the average bear. Sometimes families will do year-round schooling, with math completion dates occurring at random intervals throughout the year. For them, it makes more sense to just give the credit on the month and year when each textbook was completed. So for this situation, math classes on the transcript might look like this:

  • Pre-algebra, 1 credit, completed 06/2014

  • Algebra 1, 1 credit, completed 12/2015

  • Geometry, 1 credit, completed 09/2016


That way is sometimes easier, I think, because there is less to keep track of other than completion dates. This may not be a good choice if a child is FAR behind, while still working hard all day, because they get short-changed for all the work they did just to get 1/2 way through a textbook.

Measure by Semester,  Not by Year

You could decide to embrace the random start and stop time of your homeschool classes. Some parents prefer to give grades each semester, rather than each year, because the timing is just too difficult to figure out when each class begins and ends otherwise. If you do that, then each 1/2 textbook you can enter half the number of usual credits and give a grade. So on the semester system, a math book is still 1 credit, but each semester is 1/2 credit. I to have some transcript templates with semester grades available for you to look at, but templates are usually just by semester or by year. You can still add one class at a time that ends at the semester, if you like. This works well if your child starts and stops many classes at somewhat random intervals. Every 6 months, update the transcript with what was completed in the previous 6 months.

Over-Picky Parents Expecting Perfection

You may need to just lighten up, and your child can complete a math book per year. Other moms are just expecting more than a public school expects. In other words, expecting a child who struggles to complete every single problem in the book, from beginning to end isn't always the best choice. After all, a child only needs enough practice to learn, not all the practice problems that are provided in the universe. And homeschoolers don't need to complete all the chapters in every textbook, either. If you complete 75-80% of the curriculum, then it's done. So maybe Algebra 1 or Geometry will be done sooner than expected.
If you need more help, I have some math articles to encourage you!

9 Ways to Actually Get Math Done This Year
High School Math Without the Moaning


What do you think? Which method would you choose?



 
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4 Ways to Use Huge, Amazing, Tremendous, Wonderful, High School Experiences

4 Ways to Use Huge, Amazing, Tremendous, Wonderful, High School Experiences

4 Ways to Use Huge, Amazing, Tremendous, Wonderful, High School Experiences


A mission trip to Haiti, touring the castles of Europe, or sailing the globe - how do you use the amazing things your child has experienced? They are ALWAYS educational and awesome, but when your child is in high school, there are 4 ways to use those experiences to improve your chances of college admission and scholarships.

A huge, tremendous, wonderful, high school experience can be used in these four ways.

1. Field Trip Listed on Course Description


When you are traveling or visiting anything, it might be considered a field trip for one of your high school classes. A mission trip to Haiti might be a field trip for Spanish class, for example. Provide a descriptive paragraph of your class, list your textbooks or resources, but also list your field trips and experiences on your course description. (Need help? Take my free class on course descriptions.)

2. Activity and Awards List on the Transcript


Special trips with mission groups or service communities can be listed on your activity list. There is a short list of activities on the transcript.That mention on the transcript is so short that the name of each activity is as short as a class title, like this: Mission Trip to Haiti 2013. It's OK for something to be listed as an activity when it's on the transcript (read more: Delight-Directed Learning – Transcript or Activity List)

3. Separate Detailed Activity and Awards List


Keep a longer activity list that gives all the details, with the organization, the type of activity, and the hours and years it was completed. This is much more detailed than what is on the transcript. It's part of your comprehensive homeschool record, and it looks more like a resume. For example, it might look like this: Mission Trip to Haiti, home construction with Habitat for Humanity, 100 volunteer hours, June 2013. (Feeling stuck here? Read more:  How to Create an Extraordinary Activity List for Perfectly Ordinary Teens)

4. Topic for College Application Essay


A huge, tremendous, wonderful, high school experience is usually memorable and rewarding for the student, so it's a great experience as a topic for your college application essay. The more unusual the topic you choose, the more likely the college will remember your child above all the other applicant's essays. College Admission Essay Tip: Make Grandma Gasp, Not Blush!

The only thing you really need to remember is that all homeschool experiences are valuable and important, but only experiences done during high school can be used with your high school records. (Read more about Comprehensive Homeschool Records)

I'm always so intimidated by the awesome things homeschoolers have done. What is the most huge, amazing, tremendous, and wonderful experience your high school student has had?



 

 

 

 
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Summer is an Easy Time for Hard Topics

Summer is an Easy Time for Hard Topics

Summer is an Easy Time for Hard Topics


Having "The Talk" about porn. Yikes! Yup, you just have to do it. No exceptions.

It's hard to get everything covered during a school year. Math, English, Science, History - it can all be pretty overwhelming on its own, without adding anything extra. So can I make a suggestion? This summer, spend a little time covering one of the most important topics in this strange new world of constant digital accessibility.  Have "the talk" with your children about inappropriate online pictures.

This book could be an excellent discussion starter for kids of many ages, to guide you through that talk. Just a little bit each day, and you'll have covered the majority of this uncomfortable topic by the end of summer.

Good Pictures Bad Pictures: Porn-Proofing Today's Young Kids Paperback


I read a very eye-opening article about what an expert in this field teaches his own children. The author is Mark Bell, a marriage and family therapist. He has 3 big suggestions:




  1. Monthly meeting with each child

  2. Casual chit-chat as topics come up

  3. Read books together to guide the discussion


This is the big message that he gives to his own children. "Pornography is a form of unhealthy sexuality that most often results in making a person more selfish, dishonest, isolated, unhappy, less empathetic and more disrespectful towards others, particularly females."

These are hard times to be a parent. Pro-active information can help prevent huge trauma in the coming years. Take some time to talk about these things now.

Just between you and me, my husband and I would have shared these duties. He would have had the monthly check-ins with man to man talks. I would have read the books and  had the casual chit-chats. But do what works in your family.

Just please, PLEASE don't ignore the problem. It's not going away any time soon. Filters are NOT adequate protection, they are just a beginning step in handling the larger issues.

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Simple Formula for Scholarship Success

Simple Formula for Scholarship Success

Simple Formula for Scholarship Success


The secrets of college admission and scholarships are actually pretty easy. Start your research early. Diligently keep your transcripts and course descriptions up to date. Apply early during Senior year. Scholarship money is first-come, first-served, and you want to be first in line! But that means you must have all your ducks in a row before you start the application.

What can you do today, so that you are successful?




  1. Start your research on college admission and scholarships now

  2. Create your homeschool transcript

  3. Begin writing course descriptions for every class

  4. Understand the college application process

  5. Apply early for the best chance of scholarships


This kind of planning has some built-in flexibility. If you find out at the last-minute that you need another class, or another test, you can fit that into your schedule. If you know your child needs just a few more points on the SAT or ACT to get a full scholarship, you'll still have time to achieve that goal before the money is all gone.

So get in there! Jump into the pool, the water is great! And the swimming is easy! You just need to learn how to swim early, before the marathon of college application begins!
  Lee - I want to send a thank you to you for your products. I purchased them 4 years ago when my oldest was in 8th grade. I diligently kept up with the transcript each semester as she completed different courses. Now, she is entering her senior year and has already applied to her top two schools. She just heard back two days ago that she was accepted for the fall 2016 to her top school! I was thrilled to put that hefty transcript in the mail, complete with course descriptions, teacher credentials, textbooks used, etc. It was truly a showcase of all her hard work over the past several years. Now she only has to increase her scores on the ACT by a few points for a full merit scholarship. Thank you again for providing your products and services to homeschoolers.  What a blessing they are! ~ Tosha in Virginia

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