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Successful College Applications

Successful College Applications
 
Check this out!  One of my Gold Care Club members just found out that she is getting some AMAZING college scholarships!  This is a the senior portrait of Rebecca's daughter.




How does that happen? Here are some tips for success.  When Rebecca wrote to me about her daughter, she spoke about things that worked well (or not) and gave some great suggestions for others.



What can we glean from this successful homeschool to college application?



October 26th

Dear Lee,
I was a member of your Gold Care Club for quite some time, and I wanted to let you know how much your information and advice helped us.

My daughter Emily is now a senior and is going full-time at the local community college. She'll graduate with an AA and she's been on the President's List every quarter and is a National Merit Commended student.

For the last 2 years we've been researching schools and their requirements for homeschoolers.  Finally, the list was pared to 6.  We worked extremely this summer to get all of her applications in by mid-September.   She was immediately accepted to 2 private Catholic universities and offered their highest merit scholarships.  We're still waiting on the public school, the extreme reach school and 2 more private schools.  Also, since she'll be applying for the Honors Program in whichever school she chooses, we hope there will be even more scholarships attached.

My family keeps thanking me for all my leg-work, but I never could have achieved this without YOUR initial research!  Thank you for sharing your knowledge with folks and providing a service for those who are striving to meet all the needs of their children.  I don't think I would ever have considered private schools until I met you and heard how feasible it really is.

The only thing I would disagree with you on is the CLEP tests.  Most of the admissions officers I spoke with over the last year (too many...)  were not impressed with those as much as AP or IB tests.  Emily took them as an indicator of honors standing but she won't use those for credit.  I would urge teens to study for and pass AP instead.

Nevertheless, your information on college search, course descriptions, reading lists, homeschool profiles, testing, grading, extra-curriculars, and documentation really helped us so very much.  What also helped was simply your example.  You had high expectations of your sons, gave them the tools to meet those goals, then shared your experience with all of us.  This allowed me to see the possibilities and give my children the tools to reach their dreams as well.  Thanks for holding my hand through the first few years when I had anxiety over the thought of a FAFSA or application essay!   It's no longer a mystery, just a lot of hard work.

Keep it up!
Blessings,
Rebecca



1. My number one, biggest, most important tip is clear as day before she even gives a salutation. She wrote to me on October 26th. In October she already knew the results of her hard work.  Right there is my BIGGEST tip for successful college applications!  If you want to rest easy, get those applications done EARLY in senior year.  I usually suggest that you work on college applications during the first week of senior year, but some colleges actually have even earlier deadlines.

2. If your child is extremely bright, look at the National Merit Scholarship and what it requires.  Being a National Merit Scholar, or Commended Student, takes planning and reaps big rewards.

3. Apply to Reach, Fit, and Safety schools, at least 4 to 8 colleges, both private and public schools.

4. Research CLEP, AP, and Community College options carefully, to see what is best for your student.

5. Create great homeschool records, including a transcript, course descriptions, reading list, and activity list. Take this free class on course descriptions to learn more about homeschool records that open doors.

6. Get the help you need and crave.  You don't have to go alone through this challenging time.  I'll be happy to encourage you! Check out the Gold Care Club if you are interested.  Make sure to sign up for my FREE newsletter, so you can watch the calendar for important dates.

Now remember, you can do this!  Sure, Rebecca's daughter is both beautiful AND brilliant, but that's not the whole reason why she was successful.  Her applications were successful because she chose perfect colleges that wanted her daughter, and applied in a timely manner will well-prepared homeschool records. You can do that too!

Huddle over!  Hut, hut, hike!  Go out there and get 'em, team!  You can do this too!



Homeschooling is NOT the same as doing schoolwork at home.  There is so much freedom in homeschooling!  My Gold Care Club will give you all the help you need to succeed!

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Never Too Early to Learn About High School

Never Too Early to Learn About High School
I received such a sweet note from a member last week! Sweet feedback certainly keeps me motivated!

Kadonna and her husband purchased the Total Transcript Solution, so they could wrap their brain around the whole concept of homeschool transcripts.


"It has been such a pleasure to work with your team. We're only in the elementary stage of our homeschool journey, but Lee has inspired me to continue through the High School years. She has so many wonderful resources available so I'm trying to get a head start!"

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We Raise Successful Adults, Then Let Go

We Raise Successful Adults, Then Let Go
I notice that my close friends are dealing with children going off for college, and that letting go stage is so difficult!  I'm also "letting go" too! My son and daughter-in-law in Cambodia for a two week trip to provide Vacation Bible School with Cambodia Border Ministry.  Please pray for my adult kids - it's so weird to have them gone!  Prayers for safety and health are particularly appreciated - since I'm the mom and a nurse!

But I want to encourage you to remember your ultimate goal of raising successful adults. One day you will be letting go of your children too!  So take it one step at a time, but remember that this is an important thing you are doing. So I say GOOD JOB!!!  What you are doing is important, and I'm proud of you for all the hard work!

When you are done homeschooling, what will you say?  Will you be able to move forward, without regrets?  Listen to the bittersweet note from a homeschool mom.  She is done with her homeschooling career, but is looking back with joy and a feeling of accomplishment.





Dear Lee,
I hope you are enjoying your summer. I was checking Facebook and just had to write again to thank you, for all your help with our daughter's transcript. Thanks to you your wonderful advice (as well as talking me off a few cliffs). She is enjoying her second year at Liberty University, and was awarded several scholarships, invited to join Alpha Lambda Delta (Freshman honor society) , asked to be a part of the LU Honor's Program, limited to students with the highest GPA. This was all in her first year!! Thank you for encouraging our family throughout Johanna's high school education, particularly with our Gold Care Club membership. Johanna, after one year in university, is over 50% through her degree studies. She is a double major Music Education and Music Performance along with a minor in photography, is currently working on her Honor's Thesis and is in Student Leadership. We are proud parents and we are extremely grateful for all the help over those years. We have two more daughters who are nearing the end of their high school education and we are working on the Comprehensive Records for both of them. Your material has been so helpful! Your encouragement lightened the load as we continued on our homeschool journey. Thank you for your posts, your articles, The Gold Care Club, phone callsFacebook Posts posts, webinars, emails and sense of humour! One of our daughters is finishing grade 12/Gap Year and the other is in grade 11. They, because of your guidance, are taking online university courses, preparing for a few CLEP exams... and teaching music lessons in their own studio -- all for high school credit (and university). I am sad that our homes school days are drawing to an end. I want to run well and finish the course. It's been a wonderful adventure! Thank you for being a part of our homeschool adventure. Look how happy the Gold Care Club made Jonathan and I!  Blessings on you and your family as you continue to help home school families, like ours, homeschool to the best of our abilities. We will be forever grateful!
–Allyson



Take a deep breath and be calm.  Remember that our goal is to raise adults who will go out into society and make the world a better place.  The rest of school is just for bonus points.



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Homeschool Records Worth Imitating

Homeschool Records Worth Imitating
One of the most rewarding parts of my job is hearing the stories my clients tell of their success in college admission and scholarships.  I know from experience the excitement of hearing that my student was admitted to his number one college, and the relief we felt when he won scholarships.  Hearing your stories is what keeps me doing this work of encouragement, so imagine my delight when Lisa in Washington sent me this:



                                                           

“Hi Lee!  During the registration process at the University last week, one of the admissions people stopped me and said, ‘Your documents when applying were amazing.  We would like to use them as a model for others, as they were really helpful for us and especially for homeschoolers!’  Of course, I followed the Comprehensive Record Solution that you provide, and heard about your success with the admission process…but never expected to hear it for our own admission!”

While this was a great encouragement to me, there’s also a moral to this story that everyone can benefit from: Prepare your homeschool records in advance! Great homeschool records aren't hard, but they do take time and effort to put together. Resolve today to put some time aside soon and work on yours!  I have tons of support and resources, and am happy to help!


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Setting the Records Straight: Transcripts and Course Descriptions

Setting the Records Straight: Transcripts and Course Descriptions
I received a lovely review that I wanted to share!


Setting the Records Straight

5-Star Review by Susan Kilbride

This book is a must-read for those of you who are thinking of homeschooling through high school.

Lee Binz goes through the process of making a homeschool transcript step by step and makes what to some is an overwhelming job seem easy. The book is full of real-life examples of homeschool transcripts that her children and others used to get into the colleges of their choice. She breaks down the whole process of making a transcript into very easy steps.

One of the most important things I realized as I read this book is that I need to start working on my son's high school transcript as soon as he starts high school and not wait until he is almost finished.

On a side note, I found Lee's children's transcripts a bit intimidating, not in the sense of actually writing one, but more of, "Oh my, is my son up to those standards?" Luckily, she also presents examples of other homeschooler's transcripts which made me not feel so inadequate! Plus, it was actually good to see what other homeschoolers who made it into college did during high school to get into college. It's definitely better to find these things out now, before my son is in high school, than to find out later when it would be harder to catch up.

"I found Lee's book very informative and highly recommend it."







Read to see what others are saying about The HomeScholar’s Gold Care Club!
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This Book is a Must-Read

This Book is a Must-Read
It was so nice to see a new 5-star review of my book, Setting the Records Straight.  Sometimes positive encouragement is so... encouraging!


Setting the Records Straight
5-Star Review by Susan Kilbrid

This book is a must-read for those of you who are thinking of homeschooling through high school. 

Lee Binz goes through the process of making a homeschool transcript step by step and makes what to some is an overwhelming job seem easy. The book is full of real-life examples of homeschool transcripts that her children and others used to get into the colleges of their choice. She breaks down the whole process of making a transcript into very easy steps.

One of the most important things I realized as I read this book is that I need to start working on my son’s high school transcript as soon as he starts high school and not wait until he is almost finished.

On a side note, I found Lee’s children’s transcripts a bit intimidating, not in the sense of actually writing one, but more of, “Oh my, is my son up to those standards?”  Luckily, she also presents examples of other homeschooler’s transcripts which made me not feel so inadequate!  Plus, it was actually good to see what other homeschoolers who made it into college did during high school to get into college. It’s definitely better to find these things out now, before my son is in high school, than to find out later when it would be harder to catch up.

I found Lee’s book very informative and highly recommend it.

To locate it on Amazon, go here:  Setting the Records Straight

I'm almost ready to publish my next book, College Admission and Scholarships.  The full title is The HomeScholar Guide to College Admission and Scholarships: Homeschool Secrets to Getting Ready, Getting In and Getting Paid.  I was really trying to use the title to really explain what the book is all about.  I'll bet you know exactly what your learn in the pages now, right?  Anyway, it's at the publisher now, and I'm hoping that later this spring we will have a new big and beefy book for you to enjoy!



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National Merit Success Story

National Merit Success Story
If your child tends to be a little bit on the "smart" side, start researching the National Merit Scholarship early in high school.  With just a little practice, smart kids can do stunningly well in the National Merit Scholarship Competition.  And homeschooler can win!


 

Renee wrote to share about her daughter's successes.
I had to share the news about my daughter Abigail. This go-around (as opposed to the first two children), we listed her as private school student using our legal cover St Peter's Academy but when she made National Merit Semi-Finalist, the National Merit folks designated her as a homeschooler. I had to do all the paperwork (very stressful) and find someone (not related that had taught her) to write a letter of recommendation. The only outside classes she'd taken were online college courses, voice lessons and theater. Thankfully her theater instructor is reliable and was willing to write the letter. Today we got notification that Abigail is a Finalist. At her top choice school she'll get $9700 a year, out of state fees waived (worth about $15,000 a year), a laptop and money toward study abroad. At her second choice school (in-state), she'll receive tuition, room, board and a books stipend. We are so proud of her and once again just shows that homeschoolers can do anything. Parents with younger ones need to know it can be done!
~ Renee

It's true, what Renee said.  The paperwork involved can be daunting.  The best thing is to be prepared.  If you already have your transcripts and course descriptions ready to go, the paperwork is much easier to manage.  For more tips, or just to educate yourself, check out this article: National Merit Scholarship Information for Homeschoolers .

Not every child will win the National Merit Scholarship, but there is more than one way to get great scholarships.  For example,Renee’s older daughter did not get the National Merit Scholarship. She did get a full ride scholarship, based on ACT scores. There are lots of ways to afford college and scholarships.  You can read the story of that child here: "Homeschooler Wins Full Scholarship – Plus Some More!"


 

Now read Renee's words again, and repeat after me, "homeschoolers can do anything!"



For more information about how your child can earn great college scholarships, watch my video, “Getting the BIG Scholarships,” available both as an online class or DVD.

National Merit Success Story
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Recent Homeschool Graduate Discusses Community College

Recent Homeschool Graduate Discusses Community College
I have written extensively about community college, and how it can be a "Rated R" environment.  I'm the first to admit that my opinion is a little uncommon, and that many homeschooler have great success with dual enrollment community college.  I express concerns that community college may include some inappropriate content, perhaps including sexual or profane language from teachers, students, or curriculum.  It may include crude behavior by other students, or presentation of values that may be contrary to your own.

A homeschool graduate found my articles, and wanted to provide her own experiences with community college.  I'd love to share Elizabeth's thoughts with you!  And if you have had a community college experience, either positive or negative, please leave a comment on this blog post, so others can benefit from your experience!



 Hello, my name is Elizabeth Brook. I am a recent home-school Graduate. (Class of 2012) and because of a mom of a home-schooled friend, I found your article about sending your child to community college. I will start by saying I am not offended at all, I just wanted to tell you my story to add to your knowledge, so when you discuss this topic with others, you can have more information.

I am the youngest of 3 children, and we were all three stair-steps. My brother was 15, my sister 14, and I was 13. My mom felt like there was no really good curriculum out there to teach us a foreign language, so she sent my brother and sister to our local community college to take Spanish. My brother discovered languages were not his thing, but my sister got an A in the class. But we had discovered an amazing resource. My brother continued taking classes through high-school, which not only allowed him to graduate from high school early, but let him get his bachelor’s in computer science, when he was 19 because of the 90 some credits he had earned at Sinclair (Our community college).  My sister also continued taking classes as well and by the time she graduated high school, she had 50-some. Both of them went on to other schools.

For me, I was not interested in Spanish, but I thought the American Sign Language program looked interesting for my foreign language. I started when I was 14, feel in love with the program, and American Sign Language interpreting is now my major. It is a 4 year program, but because I started early, I will be able to graduate sooner. Throughout high school, I also took a few classes not related to sign language, like English.

After telling you our success story, let me address a few of the issues that you brought up in your article.

R-Rated environment- I have never had a teacher do anything like what you described, so obviously it depends on the college. My classes have never had crude material in the text book or in the lesson plan. (The only exception being the class that I have to take learning sexual and profanity signs, but I know what I am getting myself into). Even when discussing Freud in psychology, none of the information was explicit in the least. The other students can be crude, of course. But I was never taught to expect non-Christians act like Christians, so really, I expected it. A few of the teachers swear occasionally, but it has never been overbearing.

I think you brought up a good point by saying that “Your children need to be sound in their faith.” And my siblings and I were. We had grown up in church, and our faith was our own. We had also attended Worldview Academy, an intensive week of lectures about our faith, witnessing, and how to defend your faith against those who would try and disprove it. So when in my English class, my professor asked anyone who believed that gay marriage was wrong to raise their hand, and I was the only one who did, I was okay with that. (Disclaimer: The teacher wasn't trying to ridicule anyone's faith; we were talking about a persuasive paper) My point is, I wasn’t afraid to take a stand because it was my faith, and I knew what I believed.

I guess what I am trying to say is that if you have a high quality college like Sinclair; you can get a great experience. I have never regretted going to Sinclair, if anything it has helped strengthen my faith. Also, I am getting a sense of the “Real world”, while still living in the safety of my own home where I can discuss any issues that come up with my parents. This is not intended to try and force anyone to go to a community college, this is just a different perspective. If you would like any more information about my family’s experience, I would be happy to tell you. Thank you for your time.

God Bless!
Elizabeth Brook in Ohio

I loved hearing about Elizabeth's experience, and I was so thankful she gave me permission to share her letter with you.  It's wonderful to see her thrive as a homeschool graduate!

If you have enjoyed this conversation, please leave a comment!  And if you would like to read more about community college, and see the opinions of others, these articles may be interesting.



Do you enjoy our monthly newsletter, “The HomeScholar Record?”  If so, would you write a brief review here, so others can benefit from it too?  Thanks!!
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Daughter Says Mom is Best Teacher Ever!

Daughter Says Mom is Best Teacher Ever!
When you look back on your homeschool experiences, what stories will you tell?  Donna shares about her homeschool, explaining how her daughter chose a career and took a gap year.  She says that her daughter did THANK her for homeschooling her - as many children do, after they grow up.





Thank you for your resources. As I had explained back in September when I joined (The Gold Care Club) that we were heading to the states for 3 months to get our older daughter, Breanna, settled into college. We had a wonderful 2 months with her and with family before we took her for the spring semester at a Christian University in Missouri. Since we are missionaries with the Assemblies of God we get a 50% discount on tuition and it’s a good school where she will be able to study nursing.

I have so much to tell you. I feel like we are friends and you understand all this. The only thing I was disappointed about with her admissions process was that they didn’t offer her any scholarships. She had a 3.8 GPA and 2190 SAT scores. I guess they give away all the scholarships in the Fall. She has filled out the applications for next fall and hopefully will get some of those.

Even though, she didn’t start in the fall and receive any scholarships, the  gap semester she took gave her a chance for the Lord to confirm to her which direction the Lord was leading. Thank you for the resources and insight you gave me at that time when we were considering that option.  She stayed with us in Angola through the Summer months and into the Fall semester . It was such a God ordained decision as she received insight on her direction and studies. The Lord showed her that if she was going to go into medicine for missions work, she would be in school for the next 12 years and do nothing but eat, sleep and study. Bree loves life, is very sociable and loves to be active. She thrives on studying, but doesn’t want to only do that for 12 years. So she felt redirected to study Nursing and get her Nurse Practitioner license. We are so grateful and she has even stated how influential that gap semester was for her. I would encourage students who aren’t sure what they want to study to get some real life, hands on experiences and seek God to know when they start what direction they are going. Bree was at a missions hospital and traveled and experienced Angola on her own and what an impact it had on her. We are so grateful for God’s leading in her life and for the experiences she had that helped guide her calling and direction for her studies.

I have to tell you this one last thing that was so sweet my daughter posted on Facebook. “I'm surprised at how little writing I have to do in college... I had way more in high school. Obviously I had the best teacher ever! She prepared me better than any school could have. Love you mom! Sorry for all the grief I gave at the time!

Boy, makes all those rough days worth it! Home Schooling isn’t for cowards with strong willed children!

I am busy packing as we leave in a week back to the field. The Chinese (curriculum we talked about) is for our younger daughter, Brooke, who feels God’s leading to missions in China. I have learned so much after seeing the demanding work load on Bree in college. I better understand what I need to do to prepare Brooke for college in 3 years. I will be in contact more once we are back in Angola and we are home-schooling again. I am so looking forward to tapping in to the great resources you have and make sure Brooke is well prepared.

Thank you for all you offer and do. I have decided to not re-enroll Brooke  into the homeschool umbrella any longer as I now feel confident that with your help and resources I can do it on my own and make her transcript for her, thanks to you. The fees for the gold club membership will only cost a little bit more than what I was paying for enrollment fees. The school was hard to reach and didn’t offer many resources. I feel so supported being able to ask you questions each week.

Blessings,
Donna in Angola


Isn't that a great letter?  People don't believe me, but our children really DO say thank you!   And yes, it does seem like colleges offer many more scholarships in the fall.  That's why I'm always harping on people to start applying during first day of senior year.

Thank you for the great letter, and sharing your wisdom with us, Donna!



Learn how to save money homeschooling with my free Special Report: “7 Secrets to Homeschooling Through a Financial Storm.”
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The HomeScholar is in the Top 100!

The HomeScholar is in the Top 100!
It’s always great when someone says something nice about you, isn’t it?!  I was thrilled when Homeschool.com recently namedThe HomeScholar website as one of their Top 100 Educational Websites for 2013!  What an honor!  I even get to use their Top 100 Seal on my blog!

 



 

Homeschool.com is having a February Freebie event, and I have contributed some prizes and giveaways.  Why don't you check it out? Freebie February Deals

Every year, Homeschool.com asks their product testers to send them a list of their favorite educational websites, which they then research and rank, and this year, The HomeScholar was included in their High School list.  It’s great to know that so many people find our website so helpful, because that’s my mission: helping parents homeschool through high school.

If there’s anything I can do to help YOU in your homeschool, I’m HERE!  Check out my free webinars, ebooks, newsletters, and other resources, all available to help support you in your homeschooling.


Are you curious about The HomeScholar? Find out more here!
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Warning! Christian Alert!

Warning! Christian Alert!


I was a little surprised when I saw this review of my book, Setting the Records Straight on Amazon. It was the first time I got only 4 stars in a review. Surprisingly, the reason for the less-than-perfect score was because I expressed my Christian faith. Here is the review, so you can read it yourself:

 

Christian Alert
By J. McGrath, posted November 16, 2012This review is from: Setting the Records Straight: How to Craft Homeschool Transcripts and Course Descriptions for College Admission and Scholarships (Paperback)

As a longstanding secular homeschooler, I like to know when I am buying something that has bible verses in it. That said, I appreciate the "can do" spirit, the obsessive detailing (so I don't have to be obsessive from the ground up) and practical advice. It's a tad bit aggravating that she uses her own very accomplished children as models--I would have appreciated some examples of medium-accomplished kids--but there is certainly enough information in the book to figure it out.


 

I have to say, my first reaction was to laugh. I don't remember including a lot of scripture in that book at all, so it's mostly just references about me as a person. I'm a Christian alright!

I understand the different religious views of people and I hope you will understand mine. You may not agree with me on Bible verses, but it's still reasonable for me to include references in books. Please understand that I don't try to mislead people at all. 99% of the information I provide will be helpful to everyone, Christian or not. I try to focus on our common goal; our choice to homeschool our children through high school. And by the way, if you would like to, you can leave your own review of the book here: Write your own review.

In my book, The HomeScholar Guide to College Admission and Scholarships, I have included a scripture reference in each chapter. I have also included a Princess Bride reference in each chapter! So don't worry! Each chapter will help you, whether you prefer your references from scripture, or the Princess Bride, or both!



Are you curious about The HomeScholar? Find out more here!
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Feel Encouraged Along the Way

Feel Encouraged Along the Way
I received a wonderful endorsement from Allen Kvalvik!  I gave an online class for First Class Homeschool Ministries, and Allen was the moderator.  He and his wife have been friends, customers, and business associates for a while now.  Check out the nice things he had to say about the Total Transcript Solution!



Total Transcript Solution Review by First Class Homeschool Ministries

"There’s no better endorser than a satisfied customer. And I would say that my wife, Joyce, and I are very satisfied customers of Lee Binz and The HomeScholar. Like I’ve said a minute ago, we’ve graduated our twin boys from high school this year.

It was very exciting and we were greatly encouraged along the way by Lee. Not just with the transcript, grades, transcript, and everything that we talked about, but just encouragement to homeschool through high school. This is one of the greatest services that Lee provides – encouragement in one of the scariest part of homeschool.

I think that a lot of homeschool moms and homeschool dads will think that the early years are not so challenging. But when they get up in to the high school years and face chemistry, biology, calculus, or something like that and wonder how you are going to find your way through it all.

It will help you keep track of grades and Lee is so encouraging that she believes that homeschool parents really can homeschool through high school. I mentioned earlier that Kevin and Michael are going to enter the local community college. They were accepted with no problems; they got discounts from their car insurance which is a very practical benefit in having a good transcript.

Lee and her husband, Matt, they’ve been friends with us for some time now and we could not ask for better partners in this ministry." ~ Allen Kvalvik, First Class Homeschool Ministries


Allen's wife, Joyce, wrote me a lovely thank you note, after her children graduated. Here is what she wrote after their graduation party.
"Wow!  I can’t believe they are graduated!

We put our twins, Devin and Michael in the public school system from kindergarten thru 2nd grade and when they were not learning to read, I found myself spending a lot of time after school with them each day trying to help them.   They would get home from school around 3:30 in the afternoon and I would sit down with each one of them and get through their homework and work with them on their reading.  We got used to having dinner around 6:30 since I couldn’t really start working on it until about 5:30 after I got done studying with my twins.  (I also had a two year old running around interrupting us as well – so it took a little longer then it probably should have.)

We decided that since we were putting so much time into educating our children after they came home from school that we might as well take them out of the school and do it ourselves.  That way I could teach them at a time that was a little more convenient for our family.

Since I used to say that I would never be able to homeschool my children, the plan was to just get them “caught up” and put them back in school when they were “ready”.  Well the rest is history.  We never did put them back in traditional school and the two babies that followed after our twins have never stepped foot in a public school.  We have just found that we love having our family home with us and learning together.  We saw all the benefits of having our children at home with us, not to mention that the socialization at home was far superior to the “socialization” that happens in the public schooling environment.

As we schooled through the years, I always wondered if I was doing enough.  I was bothered by the fact that we weren’t memorizing all the facts that I had to memorize in public school as a kid and constantly wondered if we were doing the right curriculum.  I worried that we didn’t have a biology lab where we could do the official experiments that all kids should have access to.  I worried about our children having a “well-rounded education” that so many education experts talk about.  But learned that no one is really “well rounded”.  Everyone is gifted by God and given certain “bents” that are God given.  Why focus so much on being well-rounded when the God of the Universe has a specific (or a few specific) things for you to accomplish.  He doesn’t expect you to be great at everything!  All of my children’s’ specific “bents” were towards music.  They all loved playing music and since my husband and I love music too, it was perfect for our family.   Don’t get me wrong.  We didn’t completely “blow off” all the other stuff and just do music all day long, but it was a good leverage to use to get them to do their reading, writing and arithmetic before we brought out the guitars and drums.

Like I said above,  I was always worried that we weren’t doing enough for our boys, but I guess we did okay, because one of our boys qualified for our local Running Start program and will be getting his AA degree earlier than usual and my other twin was just accepted into a college where he will be getting his degree in fitness.  So far the one that is in the Running Start program has a 3.4 GPA and would like to get a degree in Business so he can own his own business someday.   Both boys love the Lord and are frustrated with the college environment but we are talking a lot about it and I am glad they have such a strong foundation from their homeschooling days that will hopefully help them navigate those challenges that they will and are coming across in the secular college environment.

We just had a wonderful graduation with our boys.  We didn’t have any other kids in their class (from the homeschool co-op we are involved in)  that were graduating so we had a ceremony just for them at our church.   Our church let us use their facility and it was beautiful!  We had about 100 of our friends and family join us in our celebration.  We were able to share a great video of their growing up years and present our boys with their diplomas and words of encouragement.  They each had some words of encouragement for us and it was very heart warming.

Someone asked me if I had to do it all over again, would I do anything differently and I think that I would probably have looked for more ways to get college scholarships for my boys so they could attend a private Christian college, but I am proud of the way they are handling themselves so far.  We have a good relationship with them and it makes for good/honest conversations.

We prayed all the way through their homeschooling years for them daily.  I believe that is why we don’t have many regrets on what we did.  I believe that God guided us in curriculum choices and what to really spend our time and money on for them.  God was very clear with us on what we should focus on and I am very thankful for His leading in our homeschooling.

We also joined a homeschool cooperative that made a huge difference in our continuing this journey.  Whenever we were frustrated and ready to quit, the community of other homeschoolers were there to help us and support us.  I think that was a pretty important thing for us.  There are so many resources and support networks out there now.  You don’t have to do this alone.

Obviously, we are not a perfect family and we have had our challenges and warts, but I am truly amazed at how well homeschooling works.  It’s not nearly as scary as I thought it would be!"  ~ Joyce

Thank you, Allen and Joyce!  I appreciate your kind words!



Read to see what others are saying about The HomeScholar’s Gold Care Club!

 

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"I love it all" Says Lori Lane

"I love it all" Says Lori Lane


Lori Lane, of Heart of the Matter Online and Artios Academies LOVED looking at the Total Transcript Solution.
I have looked over the Total Transcript Solutions and it’s something that I’m going to recommend to all of the parents that I worked with in Artios Academies and continue to note in on Heart of the Matter.  The research you’ve compiled lines up with how I feel about homeschooling through high school. That is, I want my child to be represented in the best way possible but I don’t want to fit in a mold and I want to continue to homeschool the way that we’ve been homeschooling.
What I liked most in the Total Transcript Solution was the e-book, the Easy Truth About Homeschool Transcripts. I had to do a lot of this research on my own before I knew you had already done it.  This was a great compilation; the summary and how to will encourage people to continue on homeschooling.

I love all of it!  I love the bonuses but what I really love is the fact that I can pick up the phone and call you. The first month when I get my feet wet, I could say “Hey, I’ve run into this” or “I wish I could have done this, especially with my first child.” Everything I collected for him, I put in a box but it wasn’t in a file; it wasn’t compiled in any way until the second half of his junior year and then I started trying to put it together.

It ended up all good and he ended up in the college of his choice with great scholarships. But I wish I could have picked up the phone and said “Hey, Lee. I’ve got this box in front of me and it’s got all this stuff. I’ve read your book but I’m lost as to exactly where to start or how to present him in the best light.” That personal one-on-one attention is key to continue to homeschool successfully and to end strong.

~Lori Lane, Heart of the Matter Online



The HomeScholar’s Total Transcript Solution will take the fear out of homeschool transcripts! 
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Child Succeeds, Blames Mother

Child Succeeds, Blames Mother


Once upon a time, there was a homeschool mom named Jill, and her son was named Andrew.  The day came when Andrew grew up and went to college.  Suddenly, he was thankful for everything his mother had taught him.Don't believe me?  Read Andrew's words for yourself! (I have Jill's blissfully happy permission to share!)




Moral to the story: it's hard work right now, but your children will grow up and when they do, you'll be so thankful you homeschooled them!



 





Do you enjoy our monthly newsletter, “The HomeScholar Record?”  If so, would you write a brief review here, so others can benefit from it too?  Thanks!!

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Military Academy and ROTC Scholarship Success

Military Academy and ROTC Scholarship Success
Let me just stand back and let another mom tell you the good news: Homeschoolers win Scholarships!  Military Academy and ROTC!  Here are some real tips from a real mom with experience!  Thanks for sharing, Cassie!




Hi Lee,
Now that we are nearing the end of the year I wanted to update you on Sara's plans for next year.

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