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Spring is a busy time of year—from spring cleaning, planting and gardening, to yard sales and more, there is an abundance of things on our to-do lists. Spring is also typically the time of year that many homeschool parent-teachers buy curricula and materials for the coming school year. Keep in mind this can be an ideal time of year to assess your children. By taking inventory of which skills children have mastered and which skills need to be strengthened or addressed, your planning for instruction in the summer or the coming school year will become clearer and strategic.

Twelve Reasons To Start Homeschooling This Fall

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to teach at home? Are you new to the whole idea of homeschooling? Maybe you're in the information-gathering stage, or perhaps you're already planning to begin homeschooling after summer.

Maybe you and your husband are ready to start teaching your kindergartner, or maybe you're just curious about the whole idea. Perhaps you're taking your kids out of the public school system. If so -- fantastic! You won't regret it.

Credit by Examination

A question I am frequently asked by homeschool groups I speak to is, “How can students acquire college credit while in high school other than by taking college courses?” One answer is through credit by examination. The term basically means credit that a college awards based on the score that students receive on a national standardized test. The major tests that fall into this category include AP (Advanced Placement), CLEP, and DSST tests. Each college has its own policy as to which tests will be accepted and what score is required to receive credit.

Testing: Scores and S'Mores

I can’t believe how quickly the weeks and months are flying by.  My family and I actually have an invitation to a home school graduation ceremony this Month!  Apparently, the 2012-13 school year is rapidly coming to a close.   For many of you, standardized testing will be a part of your end of the year activities, and realizing how stressful the idea of testing can be; I thought I would direct you to a great article that Betty Statnick wrote a few years ago.  It’s called, Testing: Scores and S’Mores.

Conference Season

Spring and summer are the seasons for state homeschool conventions. Are you planning to attend one? It will be well worth your time and money. How?

The vendor halls are chocked full of wonderful resources for you to see and handle. You’ll have opportunity to talk with the publishers or their representatives about their materials. Many times you’ll be able to see portions of the curriculum demonstrated or sit in on a short session that explains how to use it to its fullest advantage. If you have questions, they can be easily answered here. You’ll also be able to ask other parents for recommendations and reviews.

The Pronunciation Project

"Say again, please,"  I bemoaned. "Either you're mumbling, or I have a major hearing problem!" 

    After much debate, we surmised that it could be a little of both. Nonetheless, all through our homeschooling years, I reminded the boys that it was crucial to pronounce words clearly and to articulate the consonants whether speaking or reading aloud. 

Why Read Our Newsletter

Did you know Diane and I (HSLDA high school consultants) write a free, monthly email newsletter? We’ve done so for quite a few years so you can imagine the wealth of information available in them. The next question is, “Do you wish to receive this newsletter in your email box the first Thursday of each month?” You simply have to sign up for it on our high school website. If you are hesitating because you just don’t have time to read one more thing, I’d like to proffer some reasons why it’s worth receiving and reading.

Finding a Writing Mentor for Your Teen


Are you looking to relieve some of the pressure you feel when evaluating your teen’s compositions?  Would your teen benefit from a writing coach that provides helpful ideas to improve his writing skills and possibly provides some motivation to write?  A Patrick Henry College writing mentor may be exactly what you are looking for!

Publishing Students’ Works

   Just yesterday I was reading a quote from Matthew Henry, Bible commentator, on Proverbs 3:27: "Wherever the Providence of God casts us, we should desire and endeavor to be useful; and, when we cannot do the good we would, we must be ready to do the good we can. And he that is faithful in a little shall be entrusted with more." Chuck Swindoll in his book, Wisdom for the Way, applied it this way: “You were going to write a best-selling book, but the opportunities just haven't come along. Are you willing to write for your church [or homeschool] newsletter?”

Relating to Your Teens

   Teaching your teens involves more than covering the subject material.  It also requires relational wisdom!  I recently heard Ken Sande speak.  He is the founder of Peacemaker Ministries and a new organization called Relational Wisdom 360. I learned much from Ken’s remarks that I could use when relating to family members and others.  Since some of his comments were specifically directed to relating to teens, I thought my notes from Ken’s talk would be helpful as you teach your teens at home... 

Do You Need a Guidance Counselor?

At the end of one of my seminars during a speaking engagement, a man told me that he was grateful for the information I shared, but he wondered who would be his teen’s “guidance counselor” in the coming days.  I said, “I’m happy to be your teen’s guidance counselor!”  Guidance counselors direct parents and teens to helpful information regarding future plans – college, career, or the military.  As an HSLDA high school consultant, I can help you find the same type of information. 

A Primer on Using the Dictionary by BETTY STATNICK

   Many College registrars look for good study skills in enrolling students, "We find that all students, not just the ones who have some learning struggles, are very deficient in study skills."

"One of the most important skills students can learn in school is the ability to use language in an effective way...the single most important tool in the educational process of acquiring language skills is a dictionary that meets the needs of the student." (foreward to "Webster's New World Children's Dictionary")

Need Help Teaching High School at Home? We’ll Come to You!

   Becky and I enjoy meeting many of you when we travel and speak at homeschool conferences throughout the country. We encourage you to support your local conferences and attend them whenever you are able. Likewise, we also take great delight in welcoming many of you to HSLDA in Purcellville, VA where we present high school at home symposiums. But for those of you who are unable to attend those events in person, we’ll come to you!

My Math Dilemma

   In 2001 when I first began teaching at home, I was so excited to get started. Feeling called by the Lord and compelled to teach the boys in a home setting, I went to great lengths to set up a cozy little room upstairs, get all the right books, attend homeschool conferences, and consult with experienced homeschooling moms. That summer, the twins turned seven, and by the time fall arrived -- I was completely ready! Or so I thought....

The Three R’s for Getting Started Homeschooling Kids with Special Challenges

   I have recently spoken to many members who are new to homeschooling and have children with special learning challenges. I have also had the opportunity to talk with seasoned homeschooling families who are now sailing into “unchartered waters”, due to facing a recent diagnosis of Autism and Aspergers. To be sure, there are countless families who are in similar “boats” and feeling waves of fear, doubt, loneliness, and quite frankly just overwhelmed and reeling with uneasiness.


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