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Choosing a College Major and Career

Choosing a College Major and Career
Choosing a college major or career is overwhelming for teens sometimes. That's because they think it's a life-long decision that can't be changed. Not true! How many times have YOU changed your career? I worked as an RN for many years, then I had kid...
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How to Be a Better Home Educator

How to Be a Better Home Educator

How to Be a Better Home Educator

You can become a better home educator this year and every year and build a better homeschool with tools you have around the house. You may be anxious and searching for something to make you feel secure. But some things really won't help you at all - and sometimes they actually make the situation much worse and increase feelings of incompetence. A degree in teaching will NOT make you a better home educator. Parent Partnerships will NOT make you a better home educator. School at home will NOT make you a better home educator. On the other hand, as you begin to homeschool, you will become more and more confident over time. As you shape and mold your child's behavior, they become more cooperative. And as you learn more about homeschooling, you'll start to get your sea-legs, instead of feeling weak in the knees about the task. Homeschooling WILL make you a better home educator. Continuing education WILL make you a better home educator. Investing in your vocation WILL make you a better home educator. You can become a GREAT home educator! The love you have for your child will ensure success! Learn more about how to become a great homeschooler in this article, How to Be a Better Home Educator.

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Admission Advice for Homeschool Military Academy Enrollees

Admission Advice for Homeschool Military Academy Enrollees
Military academies. The uncomplicated thing concerning getting in is to be a homeschooler. The complicated part with regards to getting in, is everything else!

The military academy candidates looking for admission have to get a nomination, in most cases through a congressman. When was the last time you talked to your representative? Sally and I happen to be chatting concerning her son’s application to a military academy, and she has verified their admission requirements again.
The things you have suggested are right on for what we are trying to do. We are finding that having a high school sport is pretty important as well as physical fitness. Grades and awesome test scores are also important. And finally, leadership is utmost. There has to be proof of the student’s leadership, like team captain, community service, teaching others, etc. The umpiring that my boys did is really good.

Another thing we are finding is that with the economy as it is, the number of military ROTC and academy applicants is doubling and tripling…. very competitive. But as you said, it is great to be homeschooled as long as you have the above characteristics. AND get the paperwork in EARLY!!! Oh, and you were right on with your advice on Foreign Language. They want to see Russian, Chinese, Arabic, Japanese, or Persian. We went for Arabic.

~ Sally in Washington

The military academies want “evidence” regarding athletics just like they want evidence of of leadership. One particular recruiter explained to me that physical fitness proof does not necessarily mean ONLY high school athletics. It can mean running timed races, biking on the Seattle to Portland race, signing up for a running club or biking club. A 5K can be an fantastic example of demonstrating physical fitness. Just about any measurable physical fitness, really. Very much like leadership is measurable in the event that your children were umpires, like Sally’s. One of the most effective methods to document your homeschool that is certain to get the colleges to take notice is with comprehensive homeschool records.

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How to Document Homeschool PE Credits

How to Document Homeschool PE Credits
Do homeschool P.E. credits seem elusive to you? Do you wish there was a surefire system to document all P.E. credits? To be sure, homeschool P.E. isn’t the same as a public school P.E. class, but you have the blessing of a wider range of options for P.E. credit as a homeschooler.
PE is just one of the 10 critical courses to study before graduation. Learn about all ten in my free ebook. Click to download: The 10 Essentials for Homeschooling High School

It is relatively easy to document these credits as well, just count the hours and have proof of participation. One homeschooler, who's child is playing a sport for P.E. credit asked me this question about documenting it:
What other records should be kept for P.E. if your child is playing a sport? Do you need to keep a schedule, wins or losses, stats, anything like that?

I would encourage you to save a little something to document as proof. As I was thinking about that for our swim team, my kids were given ribbons for participating even though they weren’t awesome swimmers. I just saved their ribbons and that became my documentation. They also gave a certificate of participation at the end and I did keep that in case anybody asked.

Often for things like P.E., they don’t really need proof. One exception might be if your child wants to go to the military or apply for a military academy. Those universities are very particular about certain things and they don’t just want proof of academics; they also want proof of physical fitness. If you play a sport, it’s nice to know if they have a time, their win=loss ratio, the name of the team, the name of the coach etc. so that they can document the physical fitness of your child.


Homeschooling is NOT the same as doing schoolwork at home.  There is LOTS of freedom!  My Gold Care Club will give you all the help you need to succeed!
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February is a Difficult Homeschool Month

February is a Difficult Homeschool Month
February is a difficult month for homeschooling.  The days are long and dark, and the weather may not always be cooperative.  Public schools often plan breaks and vacation days for this time of year because it's SO easy to get burned out.

Hang on!  Don't give up!  It will get better soon, and spring is almost here!  What you are doing every day with your children is so important.  One day you will look back and be SO glad you did this.

Look at what Julie wrote to me recently:
Hi, my name is Julie and I purchased your wonderful transcript product. I was so grateful for the product I purchased. Your product on how to make transcripts really works. My daughter not only got into her first choice college but won a scholarship as well. Thank-you so much for using the talents and giftings God gave you to make it possible for me to do such a great transcript. So grateful for your program it's amazing and I will use for my other kids when time comes. It looked amazing and the college loved it! Can't believe she won a scholarship! May God bless you and your efforts and I will be recommending to every homeschooler I know this wonderful program. Thanks again and I will be posting link on my Facebook page for all my homeschool friends! This would have never happened if it hadn't been for your amazing transcript helps and templates. Thanks again!
~ Julie in Ohio

This could be YOU soon!  YOU can be the homeschool parent getting admission and scholarships!  It's not just me and my kids, there are LOTS of parents succeeding beyond their wildest dreams.  Sure, "results not typical" and "your mileage may vary" but at the same time, if you focus on what you're doing now, you could be the next success story.

And please, when you get those admission letters and scholarship offers, keep me posted, because other parents need to feel that love from colleges, too!

Learn how to save money homeschooling with my free Special Report: “7 Secrets to Homeschooling Through a Financial Storm.”
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FREE Homeschool High School Mini-course!!

FREE Homeschool High School Mini-course!!
FREE New Mini-course!!

I am thrilled to announce the launch of our latest free mini-course, "The 10 Essentials - What Every Homeschooler Needs to Study Before Graduation." This mini-course is available exclusively on Facebook as a way to say thank you to my fans for "Liking" our brand new Fan Page.

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How Important is Foreign Language for Homeschoolers?

How Important is Foreign Language for Homeschoolers?
How important is a foreign language for homeschoolers?

Not every adult knows a foreign language, and not every child admitted to college has a foreign language.  In fact, in Washington State if a child earns an AA degree from a community college, and transfers into a state university, they may be able to bypass the entire foreign language requirement.  Some colleges don't have  a foreign language requirement at all, while others will insist on foreign language study before they will grant a degree.  Essentially, if you don't have it going IN to the college, some want you to have it before you leave.

Foreign language study can serve a few purposes.  First, it's a wonderful way to learn about English.  When you study a foreign language and learn about verb tenses and grammar, it can increase knowledge of the English language.  It can also help you understand the differences between languages - for example, some have articles (the) and other's don't.

Second, a foreign language is great critical thinking.  It's often a way for colleges to see how well your child studies and learns, and if they have the study skills necessary for a foreign language.  It does take effort and thought.  Much like math, a language is easier to learn when you do it daily, even if small amounts if necessary.

Third, not all countries speak English.  In fact, one of the biggest complaints about American's is that they think everyone DOES speak English.  One reason for the "rude American" stereotype is when people insist on speaking English-only in a non-English speaking country.  In order to successfully interact with people in other countries, whether as a guest or as a missionary, speaking their language is considered the polite thing to do.  Even if it is just an attempt at their language, it can make all the difference.

If you can't fit foreign language into your normal homeschool week, there are options.  You can search for a college that doesn't require a foreign language.  You can strive for an AA degree from a community college, so that a foreign language requirement may be waived.  You can incorporate natural language learning, rather than textbook learning.   For example, you might learn Spanish during a mission trip to Costa Rica, interacting with native speakers, rather than sit in front of a computer doing Rosetta Stone.

There are a huge variety of foreign languages to choose from;  languages that are spoken around the world, languages that form the basis of scripture.  American Sign Language is accepted at most universities, and it's a great language for kinesthetic learners.  Latin is accepted almost everywhere as well, and it can be a great fit for a logical or non-linguistic child.

Learn how to save money homeschooling with my free Special Report: “7 Secrets to Homeschooling Through a Financial Storm.”
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Homeschoolers and Military Academies

Homeschoolers and Military Academies
All the military academies accept homeschoolers, and homeschoolers are on completely equal footing with every other applicant.  The academic preparation for a military academy is actually the easy part.  It's the extracurricular, leadership and physical fitness aspects of preparation that are much more difficult to achieve!  It's completely possible if you have the right kind of child.  I have a local homeschool friend and her son was recently admitted to an academy - REAL homeschoolers REALLY do get in.

They will ask you to give a "list of courses with materials used."  That means they want very detailed course descriptions.  If you want an example, that is why I published my book, the "Setting the Records Straight."   Consider it a template for creating your own very impressive records.

Military academies also want to see a reading list.  "Setting the Records Straight" also includes our homeschool reading list, so you can see what that looks like and how it fits within the whole package of course descriptions.  The reading list includes ALL the books that the student reads.  Books for school, books for pleasure, Christian books, classics, fluff pieces.  It's actually important to have a good mix of classics AND current literature.  I have heard some colleges complain that homeschoolers only read the classics and don't seem to have enough popular literature.  This can make them look a bit artificial.  The reading list is just a LIST, not a bibliography.  It just needs to have the title and author of each book.

It can help your chances of success if you meet with the Military Academies early in high school.  Visit their booth at a college fair, and ask detailed information about preparation and what they require.  You'll be amazed, because homeschooling will be the very least of your worries, and the easiest part of the process!

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How Many Electives Should My College-Bound Homeschooler Have?

How Many Electives Should My College-Bound Homeschooler Have?
How many credits approximately should a college-bound homeschooler have in electives?


Dear Kitty,
Thanks for the question!  There are two answers to that:

1. College bound students should have as many electives credits as it takes to add up to 24 or more total high school credits when combined with their core classes.


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Can My Homeschooler Take the SAT as a Senior?

Can My Homeschooler Take the SAT as a Senior?
How important is preparing for the SAT?  Important enough to delay taking the test until Senior year?  Susan asked me for some guidance to help her decide about when to take the SAT college admission test.
I wanted to let you know that your mini course on the 5 Biggest Mistakes Parents Make on Homeschooling High School was very informative. I like your thorough content and the fact that they are not too long each time. Each point is very valuable to know. I have done each one, but I have a question about the SAT.  Can my 11th grade girls take the SAT in 12th grade?  I would like to let them have more time to prepare. Thank you for your quality services.

~ Susan in Washington

You know, there are a lot of people that take the SAT "cold" each year - and I don't mean just the people freezing in the midwest right now!  I mean the kids that take it without any preparation at all.  Taking the test cold can be an option!

If you are considering taking the test without preparation, there are a few things to consider.  First, if they do relatively well on standardized testing in general, then they will probably do relatively well on the SAT or ACT test as well.  Poor test-takers would have problems, but good test-takers are usually OK.

Second, taking the SAT can help you find a college - and finding a college is the key, critical task of junior year.  Here is my article on junior year, which may explain things better. When you take the SAT, your putting the students name "into the system" and colleges will start marketing to you.  They will know the students approximate SAT score, grades, courses, and geographical location - and that's how they decide who they want to send marketing materials too.

Third, knowing their SAT score can help you decide which colleges are an "easy admit" which are a good fit, and which colleges could be a real stretch.  You'll be able to guide your student toward colleges that will award financial aid if you know their SAT score.  If you don't score well on the SAT, students can take it a second time, after preparing for the test.  Each college has a different policy on how they compare scores, but in general their policies will make you look BETTER.  Some will let you take the highest overall score, others will take the best score from each section, and some will let you take the most recent scores.  If your student prepares before taking the second score, it can make them look better.

Finally, although it seems like the policy changes every single year, I believe that you can still decide not to allow colleges to see your actual scores from the first test.  No harm, no foul.  You can wait to see the score first, and then release them to colleges.

Let's consider the other option:  waiting to take the SAT in senior year.  College applications should begin in September of senior year, before the SAT is even offered.  How will you know which colleges are a good fit?  How can the college give you merit aid that is tied to the SAT score, if you haven't taken the SAT?  What if you put off applying to colleges while you're waiting to get SAT score results?  You could put it off while the college fills with students and hands out scholarship money to others, and then get left behind.  Yuck!

One tiny additional tidbit, since you haven't really started the process yet.  Have your children take a sample test of the ACT and a sample test of the SAT.  Which one do they score better in to begin with?  Then have them take THAT test, and have them study for THAT test.  Choosing the right college admission test can also raise their score, even before they beginning planning for the test!

I hope that helps.  Let me know if you need more information.

Learn more about Finding a College in my parent training DVD!
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