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Professional Child Raisers!

Professional Child Raisers!

This morning on the opinion page of our newspaper was this quote:




"As my wife is fond of saying, our son was raised by dozens of Professionals (mostly teachers) and two amateurs." (Seattle PI "Band Teacher hit all the right notes" Guest Columnist Bob Roseth)

I was SO shocked by that quote! They are saying that not only are school teachers professional educators" but they are also "professional child raisers!" Yikes!

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Pilgrim Moms and Pioneer Moms

I always enjoyed the stories we read to the kids about the Pilgrim's journey into the New World. They had the courage to face the unknown, armed only with a belief that life could be better outside the oppression in the Old World. I view the earliest homeschooling moms in the same way. There were no promises made to them. They faced hardships daily. They had few, if any, external resources to draw upon. They set out with the conviction that, no matter what came their way, their kids would be better off at home than in a traditional classroom setting. For all the Pilgrim homeschooling moms out there - the ones whose kids are grown and may be raising their own children - my hat's off to you on this Mother's Day. Well done!!


But what about the Pioneer homeschool moms? You know, the ones who grew up in a New World established by the Pilgrims who also answered the call and decided to chart a new path. These are the homeschool moms of today. Sure, Pioneer homeschool moms don't often face the same terrors as the Pilgrims (kids removed from their homes, fines and even jail,) but the Pioneers face their own challenges. Along the "Oregon Trail" are many threats, such as disapproving parents and hostile neighbors. There are also dangers aplenty, like scuttled college plans and worldly distractions. Through it all, our Pioneer homeschool moms preservere in pushing toward the dream. Unlike the Pilgrim moms, Pioneer moms can find outposts along the way - for example, homeschool conferences, on-line resources, friendly homeschool consultants - however, they are still in largely uncharted territory.

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High School - Think Early, Think Often!

High School - Think Early, Think Often!

Humans, by nature, tend to fear the unknown. This is particularly true for parents of young students when it comes to homeschooling high school. They will often think: "How could I possibly teach high school level subjects?" They also fear that their decision to homeschool high school will jeopardize their children's future, including college plans. Sometime parents will have themselves so convinced that homeschooling high school is an impossibility that by the time they reach middle school, they don't even consider it an option.


The best way to combat the unknown is by educating yourself. I spent my children's junior high years reading every homeschooling high school book I could find and talking to parents who had done it successfully. What I discovered is that homeschooling high school is not only possible, but it can be EASIER than homeschooling the elementary years! The reason is that by the time your homeschool students get into upper levels they should learn how to teach themselves. In our homeschool, it was a matter of necessity. In many subjects, my boys didn't want to wait for me to teach them (they got bored with how long it took for me to "get it.") It was much easier and quicker for them to teach themselves. My husband and I would supplement their books with training DVDs and other helps, but in general, if they learned it in high school, it wasn't because of us!

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CLEP Study Helps - Part 2

CLEP Study Helps - Part 2

Once we determined that they knew enough to pass a CLEP, then we started to study for the test so that they would get a good score. It seemed like the REA books were the best prep once we go to that stage.



 

We used CLEP exams only for the things they already "sorta knew." So, typically, just reading through the REA book and taking the practice tests was enough, since they already were able to pass the test based on previous knowledge.

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CLEP Study Helps

CLEP Study Helps

When we did CLEP, I preferred using the Official Study Guide by College board as a entry-level "can we pass this" assessment. Here is the link:



I chose that book because it had a sample test from EVERY CLEP, and we were just looking for an over view assessment at that time.

I usually preferred Princeton Review study materials for everything, but in this one instance it seemed like the Official Study Guide worked better for us. Princeton Review seems to speak more in the natural tone of teenagers.

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Academics and Attitude

Academics and Attitude

*** A client was dealing with attitude problems with her 13 yo girl***


I know how difficult it can be to deal with "attitude" rather than academics. I can suggest one strategy that seems to help with older teens - and it may work with a mature 13yo girl. I suggest that you have HER choose curriculum. Not just "any" curriculum. But give her three choices for each subject: 3 math, 3 english, etc. Make sure YOU approve of each choice first. By having her choose the curriculum, sometimes (if you pray really, REALLY hard!) the teen will cooperate better. If you are having a debate about the amount of school work, then consider Sonlight. We LOVED Sonlight. , and used it for many years. Because it is "all in one" you can be assured that it is on grade level. Give her the catalog and let her choose a Sonlight level for next year, and it will include all the different subjects. She may *may* be wanting more adult control over what she is learning.

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Rock-a-bye-Baby!

Rock-a-bye-Baby!

With my impecable 20/20 hindsight, I wish I would have had long, long talks and intense reading assignments about the importance of SLEEP!!  My sons have not given me a drop of concern about drugs, sex, violence, or even healthy eating.  Now that they are in college, the place where they seem to be dropping the ball is SLEEP.

Teach your babies the value of SLEEP.  It can help you think, it can make you nicer, it will give you the ability to cope with life.  It can also help you keep off the "Freshman 15" - that all-to-frequent initial college weight gain.  Pulling an "all-nighter" has a "diminishing marginal return" effect on studying, too.  If you stay up all night, eventually the thing you are studying will make less and less sense, and take longer and longer to learn.  At a certain point, you may as well just go to bed and get a good night's sleep for the next day's exam.


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First Choice College for NMSQT

First Choice College for NMSQT

** Lisa had some questions about the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT)***

Dear Lisa,


Congratulations about being National Merit Scholarship Qualifiers! Wow, that's a big deal! Both of my boys were commended students, so we didn't actually go through the scholarship selection process. Even commendation was a big deal for college merit aid - so good job!

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Science and Worldview

Science and Worldview

Unlike math and computer science, there are world view issues that come into play with science. Try to find a science program that works for your own beliefs. We used Apologia, and LOVED it, and I believe it was fabulous preparation for my sons. One of my boys went into engineering in college and was well prepared by Apologia. My other son was able to pass a CLEP exam in Biology after using Apologia, so I also know he was well prepared in science. Apologia has an optional, all-computer textbook available, so that might be just the "fit" that your child needs. Here is a link:




It doesn't read the text to the student, but it is all computer based.

Rainbow Science is experiment based, rather than computer or reading focused. It just has general science and chemistry, though. If your daughter does better at visual learning, The Teaching Company has a high school chemistry course on video.

Although expensive right now, those programs usually go on sale once a year, and you can sometimes get it at the library or get good deals online.

It doesn't matter what I recommend, though. The philosophy is that you choose some options, then have your daughter choose the final curriculum when that's possible. That helps to fit the curriculum to you AND to her!

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Military or Missionary?

Military or Missionary?

I have quite a few clients that are military or missionary. When my clients are in the Seattle area, I go to people's homes and spend three hours teaching families about high school (mostly to moms who don't have time to read all the books on the topic.) Once I started getting more out of state clients, I realized that visiting, say, Illinois wasn't going to work for me! That's when I filmed myself giving the three hour presentation. That's my video on Preparing to Homeschool High School. If you have a moment of panic, then you may want to consider getting that at some point. I made it just for folks who don't live in the area, or folks who want to refer to the information periodically.


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Colleges That Throw Money at You!

Colleges That Throw Money at You!

In my "Big Scholarships" video, I discuss aiming towards a college that will pay you money to go there. Find a college where your child is the best applicant they see all year, and they will throw money at you :-) Of course, it's always difficult to balance the academic needs against the financial needs, and that's why applying to LOTS of colleges can help.




How do you find a college that will be the "love of your life." Check out my Finding a College DVD.
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College for 90% off Sticker?

College for 90% off Sticker?

It's not just genius-types that get good scholarships. My girlfriend's son goes to a private Christian college in Washington. They are low income, and not as academically inclined. She pays about $3000 PER YEAR for a college that is over $30,000 per year on the "sticker price." Most of her scholarships were need-based. The key it matching your student to the college.


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When is an hour not really an hour?

When is an hour not really an hour?

Homeschooling books don't agree on the value of a credit. Some books say 120 hours, and some say 150 hours, and some say 180 hours. Some say could a "hour" as just 20 minutes. Others say an "hour" has to be the full 60 minutes and must NOT include homework (which I find hilarious, since ALL work for homeschoolers is homework!)


Based on that information, I think you can pretty much just DECIDE on a scale for a credit, and then stick to it. Parents know best!



Learn much more about how to keep high school records in my “Preparing to Homeschool High School” DVD set.
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Easy Start on Computer Skills

Easy Start on Computer Skills

For computer sciences, it's important to start with typing (Mavis Beacon was our favorite.) Beyond that, there are often tutorials available in the library. I know that other homeschoolers are extremely successful just doing the tutorial programs that come WITH the computer (for example, Word, Excel, etc.) - as long as the child actually goes through them and can use the program in the end, it should work out. Check the library for video and computer tutorials for other computer based skills. As long as you already own a computer, teaching computer skills is one of the least expensive courses you can provide.




Attention: If you had previously added my button to your blog or website, please grab the new code from the right column. The new code will bring your friends to this cool new blog rather than my old yucky one. Thanks!

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CLEP Study Recommendations

CLEP Study Recommendations

When we did CLEP, I preferred using the Official Study Guide by College board as a entry-level "can we pass this" assessment. Here is the link:



I chose that book because it had a sample test from EVERY CLEP, and we were just looking for an overview assessment at that time.

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