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The Teaching Company for Younger Students?

I have been asked whether The Teaching Company tapes could be used for younger students. In a nutshell, if a student is INTERESTED, then they may not be too young. The Teaching Company does have some high school level courses, but I never tried them. I'm sure those would be appropriate for many younger people (junior high level). In general, if a student is interested, I recommend feeding their interests.I don't recommend The Teaching Company religion courses. The CS Lewis is a wonderful series, however. Some of the arts classes do have nudes. I'm sure the Psych class does Freud, which would probably be too much for younger students. The way that we chose was to buy it for ourselves, and then listen to it first. For the first course you do, I always recommend "How to Listen to and Understand Music" because it's fascinating and very non-threatening.

The courses are not a full curriculum, so you can't say that one of them is one credit, or whatever. You can count the hours you spend, and add up the hours until you have enough for a full credit. We used them as a supplement that way.

Blessings,
Lee
www.TheHomeScholar.com
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What About Military Academies?

>>>>Can homeschoolers make it into military academies?<<<<At the last college fair, I spent a long time talking to military academies, especially Annapolis. All of the military academies accept homeschoolers, even when Mom makes the transcript. The big-time military academies want leadership and physical fitness to be as important as grades. They even have a "homeschool admission" page, which is always very helpful. Boy scouting is a huge plus - is your son a boy scout, by chance? Anyway, they are welcoming to homeschoolers, and they value a homeschool transcript. That said, they are pretty competitive, but ROTC through other colleges is also available as a back up plan.

Blessings,
Lee
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Withdrawing from Public High School


Sometime a student will request to be withdrawn from public high school and begin homeschooling. If that is the case for you and you can support them, I would encourage you to do it and not look back. You CAN pull your students out anytime you want to. If you want to get their high school grades first you could wait until the grades are released and then pull them. If they aren't getting good grades, then you can pull them out BEFORE they get their grades, and then they won't ever be on their transcript. Just a little high school tip :-)




In Washington State, all you have to do is formally withdraw your student from school, and then get your declaration of intent into the school district. Use the declaration of intent on the Washington Homeschool Organization (WHO) website, so you don't give the district information that will have a negative impact on your student.If you are in this situation, I would love to speak with you. Call or e-mail and we can set up an appointment (Lee@HomeScholar.com). If possible, I really recommend my beginning "Preparing to Homeschool High School" crash course.

If you can't do that, then we can just talk on the phone, or take it one hour at a time. I just find that doing the whole thing all at once is easier, to get you quickly up to speed. If finances are a issue, then you may want to get my Preparing to Homeschool High School DVD. It's not as personalized as a one-on-one consultation, but it will still really help. Some people watch the video, and then call me for a one-hour appointment afterwards, and that works out very well.

Blessings,
Lee
--
The HomeScholar
www.TheHomeScholar.com
"Helping parents homeschool through high school"

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When to Start Record Keeping - Part 2

>>>>More record keeping basics<<<<Another thing that you can do is have a place where you keep all your records. That might include all their work, anything they have written, math tests, any workbooks, etc. Again, you really don't NEED to keep that stuff for 6th and 8th grades, but it will train you to keep those records when it DOES matter for next year. I kept a 3-ring binder, with dividers for each subject: math, science, writing, etc. Every time they produced a piece of paper, I punched holes in it, and put it into the notebook. I was very glad I started early, in Junior High, because it ended up that my youngest son graduated 2 years early. When we started, I had NO idea he would do that. I was glad I'd kept the records once I realized how much I needed them at the end of high school. All this to say, simply, keep stuff.

A final thing that you can do is to educate yourself while you are educating your children. Buy yourself some books on "how to homeschool high school" so that you will feel confident. My favorite book is Homeschoolers' College Admission Handbook by Cafi Cohen. Here is the link: http://www.rainbowresource.com/proddtl.php?sid=1167759372-678323&id=029937
I've read a LOT of homeschooling high school books, and I thought this book really summarized all of them really well. It's a great overview, and a great way to start. When I was homeschooling, my goal was that every time I bought curriculum for the boys, I also bought a book for ME, about how to homeschool.

As far as contacting me for record keeping, you can do it whenever you would like. I have clients that call me in a panic and need a transcript within day because they are applying for college. I also have clients that want me to make a schedule for them, to keep their high schooler on task. I can consult with you about how to study for the SAT as well. Some people like to have a cumulative record with course descriptions and everything, and some people don't want or need that much. I have some clients that want course descriptions and records done BEFORE every year of school. I also have some clients that want it all done after they have finished their Junior year, when they start applying to colleges. It's whatever is easiest for you. My clients who want a cumulative record tend to like to do it every year, to spread the cost out over years, instead of paying for it all at once.

Blessings,
Lee
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The HomeScholar
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When to Start Record Keeping - Part 1

>>>>When is the best time to start keeping homeschool records?<<<< When I was homeschooling 6th and 8th grades (my two boys are two years apart) I began by keeping a daily schedule of their lesson plans. You can see more about what I did here. You can open the sample schedule to see what I did. Anyway, having this check list for their lesson plans gave me a record of everything they did. I figured I was training myself for the next year - when it really mattered. So one thing that you can do now is keep some sort of records, and using a schedule can provide those records for you.

Another thing that you can do is have a place where you keep all your records. That might include all their work, anything they have written, math tests, any workbooks, etc. Again, you really don't NEED to keep that stuff for 6th and 8th grades, but it will train you to keep those records when it DOES matter for next year. Make sense? I kept a 3-ring binder, with dividers for each subject: math, science, writing, etc. Every time they produced a piece of paper, I punched holes in it, and put it into the notebook. I was very glad I started early, in Junior High, because it ended up that my youngest son graduated 2 years early. When we started, I had NO idea he would do that. I was glad I'd kept the records once I realized how much I needed them at the end of high school. All this to say, simply, keep stuff.

To be continued...

Blessings,
Lee
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The HomeScholar
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Homeschooling High School Math Isn't Working

>>>>This is the second part of my answer to a desperate mom who lamented: "I don't think homeschooling high school is working!"<

Now I'll talk about math :-)

Teaching Textbooks may not be working for your student. You might want to consider adding a tutor. It doesn't have to be a math professor or anything. Sometimes just another high school student who is farther along in math will do the trick. They will talk the same language that way.

I did give my students the answer key to their math books. I only took it away on test day. Alex rarely used it, but Kevin would use the answer key for almost every problem, sometimes almost copying it one number at a time. But you know, it ended up being like copywork when they were younger and would copy sentences. Eventually he "got it."

For extra problems, there are workbooks available for Algebra 1. They aren't expensive - maybe $10? You may even find them at the library.

Kevin "failed" algebra 1, because he was using a book that didn't work for him. We switched to Jacobs Algebra and he repeated algebra 1. He did MUCH better. Jacobs has wonderfully written explanations. Perhaps your daughter would learn better with WRITTEN instruction,
rather than visual instruction. Remember that Kevin is now studying electrical engineering - and he failed algebra 1!

For extra video help, you might want to look at The Teaching Company high school algebra (www.teach12.com) You can also consider using a different curriculum altogether - maybe teaching textbooks just doesn't match your daughters learning style.

It's possible to "pass" the SAT and ACT tests even if you aren't far along in math. Some colleges don't have a math requirement for entrance, so you can find those colleges if you need to. The most important thing is that you teach math at their level, and get some success before moving on.

I hope that helps! I feel for you, Marcia. I remember how scared and frustrated I was. And yet now Kevin is doing well in engineering school, and takes college math classes for fun! But I didn't "teach" him high school math. Don't try to "teach" Just try to get her to learn.

Blessings,
Lee
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The HomeScholar
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Ninth Grade Language Arts?

>>>>What should I use for 9th grade Language Arts?<<<<Focus on reading and writing at your student's level, and you can't go wrong. We used Sonlight for their writing prompts. It included workbooks for vocabulary. For young high schoolers who need extra help, Winston Grammar is a great way to get a good understanding of parts of speech (noun, verb, adjective, etc.) in a way that's very hands-on. If your student is a hands-on learner, then I really recommend Winston Grammar. But really, in high school it's often just about practice, practice, practice.

Blessings,
Lee
www.TheHomeScholar.com
"Helping parents homeschool through high school"

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Early High School Credits on a Transcript


>>>>How do you do transcripts to reflect early high school credits?<<<<


Here is what I did:

http://www.thehomescholar.com/pdfs/Sample_Transcript_by_Year.pdf

If it was a high school course, and it was on my transcript, and my transcript was by year rather than by subject, then I called those classes "Early high school credits." I felt that gave colleges the option of using those classes or not using those classes, because I've heard that some do and some don't.

We did have some 8th grade classes on our transcript; Latin, French, Algebra, and Geometry.

Transcripts are very much an art rather than a science. With few hard and fast "rules" you just have to do your best.

I hope that helps,

Blessings,
Lee
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Homeschooling Curriculum - The Latin Road Pays Off!

>>>Please comment on the Latin Road <<<I used Latin Road for 3 years. My kids were VERY successful with it, and my son still remembers all his Latin even after 3 years without cracking a book! He had to take a college placement test at the college he's going to, so they could see which class would be appropriate for him. He passed all 3 levels of Latin, and started the university in Junior level! Yippee! He enjoyed Latin Road so much that he has continued his Latin studies in college.


Latin Road uses a lot of memorization, rote learning, flash cards, and practice, practice, practice. It took as much time as a math program, and we had to do some Latin translating everyday, just like you do math problems everyday. It was very mom intensive, as you say. I used to spend about 2 hours on weekends getting my own lessons done, so that I would know how to teach it the following week. Her lessons are well laid out, and I never had any trouble figuring out what to do each day. It was VERY clear, and each lesson was about the same length of time to complete, and each lesson was very clearly labeled. Again, sort of like a math book, I guess! It was written for homeschoolers, so that's part of why it was so easy to use. Each day we would do some flash cards, recite some memorized lesson or read aloud, and do some copy work or translating. It was a LOT of work, and hard, but my kids really seemed to like it, and it really paid off in the end.

Hope that helps!
Blessings,
Lee
Get your daily dose of wisdom from my blog via e-mail.
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Homeschool English and Grammar Every Year!?

>>>Do you think it is necessary to teach English and Grammar every year?? <<<

No, I don't think it's important every year. We taught grammar one time, in 7th grade, with Winston Grammar and that was that. My kids did great on their SATs, so it was obviously plenty for them. We did do foreign languages in high school, so that was another way we got grammar without "teaching grammar" if you know what I mean. We focused more on writing.Blessings,
Lee
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Homeschool Art Without the Mess!

>>>Did you plan the art studies or let them do it as they wanted? I debate a lot about whether its worth setting aside the time for art study.<<<Art is really, REALLY my weak area, so I actually set aside time for art study, otherwise we would never do it! We never had a problem getting math or science done, just art, LOL! I scheduled it for 2-3 times a week, 1-1/2 or 2 hours at a time, depending on the year. Even so, it was something that we sometimes just didn't do. (Art is so messy, you know.) We did the book "Art Fun" the first year, the Feed My Sheep for two years, then Draw Today. We also did some pottery classes, and that was fun. I have some art games that they played, and there were some books on artists that I had them read over the years. If your kids just "do" art, then maybe you don't really need art study. We NEEDED art study, because my kids didn't ever DO it otherwise. In high school I taught them art mostly from an art history perspective, and art appreciation. I suppose in high school, it's good to have some art appreciation course, but maybe other kids just naturally end up studying art without any help at all. Hey, Alex studied economics without any help! Kevin studied Russian History, of all things, without any encouragement! Just not art....


Blessings,

Lee
Get your daily dose of wisdom from my blog via e-mail.
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Homeschool College - A Desperate Mom's Plea: How Do I Pay for College?

I want to tell you that the "desperate mom" feeling is completely normal! This is the absolute WORST time of year for that feeling. Most students have already chosen a college, and have already applied and are eager to leave home. Yet most parents are looking at the sticker price of the college and feel completely overwhelmed because you haven't received any financial aid yet.Almost everyone pays less than sticker price for a college. If your son has SAT scores of 550 and above in each area, then he is probably an above average student. If he doesn't, there is still time for him to take an SAT review class and retake the SAT test in March in order to increase his score, and increase his financial aid award.


In general the state colleges don't have as much financial aid as the private colleges do. If you can convince your son to apply to other schools, private schools, he may actually pay less that he would at the state schools.

I think you are already doing everything right, I think you are just in that crisis period when you don't know how you are going to pay. That feeling will get worse once you get his letter of acceptance and you STILL don't know how to pay. Most colleges tell you that you are admitted first, and then seems like a LONG time later until you hear about your financial aid! That's the worst time.... The only thing that I can really suggest is that you apply to a few other schools over the holidays; private schools where your son might be OVER qualified, and the BEST candidate they see all year.

Blessings,

Lee
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Homeschooling Curriculum - Using "Total Health" for Homeschool Health

>>>>"I know we have discussed Total Health in the past. Do you recommended getting the high school edition or the middle school edition? Also, should I get any workbooks? Is it necessary to use workbooks to get the full credit for high school health? Do I get the student text or the teacher's edition or both? And, do I need to get the tests and quizzes?"<<<<We used both the Jr. High and the Sr. High texts. The boys liked them both. If you are getting just one, I would get the one that best meets the age of your child. If they are 9th grade or under, or if they are highly sheltered and older, get the Jr. High. If they are over 9th grade, or hang out with their youth groups, other secular kids, etc., then I would get the Sr. High version.


When we did Total Health, I chose not to get the workbooks. I wanted them to learn the content but I had so many other high powered courses at the time, I didn't want to have yet another thing for them to be tested on. We were doing Latin and Biology and stuff at the time, and it would have been just too much.

Both times I used Total Health, I combined it with their sports activities to make it a PE credit. I didn't list Health separately on their transcript. With their sports activities, I did have an EASY 150 hours of PE, and I did give them a full credit, but they were doing soccer, swim team and baseball at the time. If I had listed Total Health alone on the transcript, I think I would have given it 1/2 credit, because even with the tests and stuff, I don't think it would take the time for a full year at 1 hour a day to complete. In Washington state, we are required to teach health at some point in their lives, but they don't specify when or how much, so I had no requirement as to it being a whole credit in high school.

If you want to supplement, consider taking a CPR or basic first aid course, that would be great!

Total Health is a wonderful books, and both of my boys loved it. In fact, when I bought the first one, the kids ended up reading it on their own over summer before school even started. It had a wonderful tone, and had a nice balance between conservative concerns and some of the issues that Christian kids might face at school or youth group.

Blessings,
Lee
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Homeschooling Curriculum - Let's Talk Latin!

Homeschooling Curriculum - Let's Talk Latin!


How is Latin even possible? I printed samples from Latina Christiana, and I'm feeling overwhelmed. Declensions? Conjugations? Possum? Sum? Help!

Be brave, little Piglet! (Quote from Winnie the Pooh, from all who are wondering - my brain also stuffed with fluff!) I remember having those EXACT same fears when we started Latin! I would look at the book and, well, it was all Greek to me!

As you take it one step at a time, it begins to make sense. Really, it's just like following complicated directions in a recipe or something. Just take it one step at a time, and then it begins to make sense. I promise! Plus, remember the advice that Dori gives in Nemo and "Just keep swimming" and you'll get it figured out.

That being said, I did use Latin Road, and they do assume that 1) you're homeschooling and 2) the teacher is a mom who doesn't know Latin. That may have been why it was OK for us. I did look at Wheellocks' Latin and couldn't even BEGIN the first chapter in that one. I believe that Latin Road is for 5th and up, but you'd have to check the website.



Are you ready to get serious about homeschooling high school?  Send me an email and let’s talk!

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Home School Education - Is the AP or CLEP Exam Better for Homeschoolers?

>>>>Can you compare AP and CLEP exams? Why did you choose CLEP?<<<<AP tests are much longer, more expensive, and have ambiguous essay questions that irritated me. I chose to use CLEP exams because they took MUCH less time per test, were a little less expensive, and they were all multiple choice. You know "math & science Lee", always looking for those right-or-wrong answers! AP tests are longer, so they have lots more questions. Since the CLEP exams are shorter and have fewer questions, their questions are all obscure. You have to know the detailed stuff in order to pass it. Of course, that's also why it's college level.


AP exams take a tremendous amount of study, as does CLEP. The difference is partly that if you take the AP exam, you also have to study how to take an AP exam! It's a real skill to write those essays and stuff...If you buy an AP prep book, you can see what I mean. Practice, practice, practice! For a CLEP exam, it's just like taking a very in-depth IOWA basic test - much more familiar looking. But that may be just me :-)

Blessings, Lee
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The HomeScholar
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