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Archive: March 2006
3/30/2006 1:11:24 PM
College Entrance Exams

Scores on college entrance exams such as the SAT and ACT are one of the important factors colleges use in determining admissions. The test scores may even be more important to homeschoolers as colleges see these test scores as an objective standard to compare students from various school backgrounds.  Keep these things in mind as you register your student to take these tests: 

  • Tests are given throughout the year at numerous test centers including public and private schools and also community colleges.
  • Preparing for the test is essential.  Being comfortable with the test format, being aware of strategies for test taking, and reviewing material on practice tests goes a long way towards achieving high test scores.
  • Colleges typically take the best test scores from all the tests taken and add them together to get the composite score, so have your children take the test several times until he reaches the highest score he is capable of achieving.
  • Check out the testing section of our website for valuable information on registering for the tests, helpful test preparation resources, and links to practice tests. For more information on these tests, visit our website.

3/26/2006 6:45:01 PM
College Scholarships

Searching out scholarships for college expenses is a time-consuming process, but well worth the investment.  Get a jump on tracking down possible scholarships for your college-bound student by checking out Fastweb, a free scholarship search engine that provides listings of local, national and college-specific scholarships based on your student’s profile.

3/26/2006 6:33:19 PM
Two New Resources for College Bound Students

If your children are thinking about college after high school, these two new resources offer insightful tips regarding this important decision.  College Bound – What Christian Parents Need to Know About Helping Their Kids Choose a College by Thomas Shaw is a practical guide that includes topics such as your role as a parent in the decision-making process, the criteria for choosing a college, the admissions process, financing college, and the transition to college. 

 

Another book, College Without Compromise, by Scott and Kris Wightman is a timely book outlining many possibilities of receiving a college education in non-traditional ways such as Credit by Examination, Distance Learning, Dual Enrollment, and Independent study mostly from home, and at a much reduced cost. Homeschooling through college is a definite possibility!

 

Both books take into account the spiritual aspect of making college decisions. The books are thought provoking and will give you much to consider as you prayerfully advise your child in the next step of his education.  

 

3/22/2006 4:10:15 PM
Curriculum Supplement
Many homeschoolers are utilizing the free resources available on the internet to supplement their homeschooling curriculum.  One website you may want to check out is www.answers.com.  This site provides tons of information in many different subject areas such as History, Literature, Chemistry, and many more.  A special teachers’ section of the site may be helpful as you put together unit studies.  As always, when directing your children to websites, be sure you put in place proper safeguards and supervision.
3/22/2006 4:06:41 PM
Speed Reading

You may want to consider having your high schooler complete the Evelyn Woods Reading Dynamics course.  The course is designed to increase reading speed as well as improve reading comprehension.  Both skills are beneficial when tackling high school as well as college courses.  The course is now available on DVD or CD-ROM.

3/15/2006 2:51:15 PM
Public Speaking

Toastmasters, International is a nationally recognized organization that helps people improve their public speaking skills.  It also runs a Youth Leadership Program that is specifically geared to teaching high school students good communication, speaking, and leadership skills.  Toastmasters provides the speaker for your group of high schoolers who teaches the students principles of good listening and thinking. Participants are given opportunities to practice their speech giving abilities.  Read more details about the program. 

3/15/2006 2:43:06 PM
American Sign Language as a Foreign Language

Some colleges now accept American Sign Language as fulfillment of high school foreign language requirements when considering students for admission.  If you are considering using American Sign Language as a foreign language, you may first want to check with a particular college to ask about its current policy.  Although this information may change from time to time, these colleges now have a policy for accepting American Sign Language. In addition, this listing compiled by Galludet College provides information on individual state policies regarding American Sign Language as a foreign language high school course. 

3/15/2006 10:09:19 AM
Free Ancient World Map Resources On Line

If you ever need a good quality map to go along with your Ancient World or Church History lesson, try this free online map resource site.  Maps can be downloaded or printed as visuals for your student to have on hand as you teach.  You may choose blank variations of most of the maps to use as quizzes or tests, or you may choose fully labeled maps to use as references.

3/10/2006 2:01:38 PM
Heart to Heart

 

We want to encourage families who are parenting teenage sons. These are precious years and sons hold a unique spot in mothers’ hearts. So, when difficulties arise, the pain is real to moms. Remember, our teen sons are working through hormonal changes - often not understanding why they feel and act the way they do or what may be going on inside. They are also feeling the need to be independent of mom, and at the same time also feeling the need to have her affection and affirmation. These combinations can result in ups and downs, challenges to mom’s authority, difficulty in focusing on academics, etc. Be assured that your son is not unique in this regard. We, who have sons, all deal with a measure of this so we want to encourage you moms to lean on the Lord and keep your eyes focused on Him so you do not become discouraged and feel as if you are failing in the job God has called you to do. This, too, is for a season. Trust the Lord to give you wisdom for training your son, and for addressing sin – yours and your child’s.  He is a faithful God and will provide you with insight and understanding for your son.  Persevere and enjoy these high school years together.

3/10/2006 1:56:38 PM
Follow Up on Math Ideas

Thanks to you all who submitted additional comments and suggestions on our math tips. Many of you suggested using a math curriculum which provides teaching videos or dvds. We do list some of these curriculum programs on our website at http://www.hslda.org/highschool/curriculum.asp#subject. Yes, this is a very viable option. Another suggestion was to use the community college (which we also recommend) for the more advanced math levels. College algebra and precalculus/trig are often offered there. However, remember, these are remedial college courses and will not be accepted as college credit by a four year college. They may, however, be included on your student’s high school transcript as high school math credit.

 

If you are using Saxon Math and your student has completed all three textbooks in the series (Algebra I, II, and Advanced Math), these will be counted as 4 high school credits and can be shown on your high school transcript as Algebra I, II, Geometry, Precal/Trig (see above link to site for more information).You may request from Saxon publishers a letter explaining the inclusion of Geometry in the texts by calling 800-416-8171.

 

3/2/2006 12:50:19 PM
COLLEGE ADMISSIONS CALENDAR

As you are waiting to hear back from colleges your children have applied to, now is the time to be working on those FAFSA forms for financial aid. The federal deadline is May 1st. Your state deadline may have already passed, but, if not, check on it! For more help and information, go to www.studentaid.ed.gov 

 

Don’t forget to also carefully review the Student Aid Report (SAR) for completeness before they are sent to your schools of choice.  (If you missed our Homeschooling Thru High School email newsletter on College Financial Aid read more here:)

3/2/2006 12:49:03 PM
MATH

We frequently receive requests for help with teaching high school math. We know this is a difficult subject for many families so here are some ideas and thoughts to help you:

 

This is a subject that parents must teach. Refrain from merely giving your child the book to read and to do the exercises. Work through the chapter with your student as well as the practice problems. Then check the completed assignment and go over problems which are incorrect.  Taking time to teach through the lesson at the front end will actually save you time from needing to search through the material later when your child runs into a concept he/she doesn’t understand.  Especially if math is not your forte, you’ll benefit from learning right along with your child as you teach through the lesson.

 

For extra help, many curriculum providers offer educational advisors to answer your questions either by phone or email. This service is usually offered free of charge.  As examples, Saxon Math offers a math helpline, and Abeka offers free help with a curriculum advisor who can assist you with questions on a particular math problem.

 

Other homeschool families who are stronger in math will also be good resource people, or perhaps a church friend who is a retired school teacher or (retired homeschool mom!) or someone who works in a math field could provide help.  You can offer to supply them with the textbook so your student can call them on the phone with questions, negating the need to travel. If your budget allows, consider hiring a tutor. They may be more economical than you think.

3/2/2006 12:47:42 PM
CONFERENCES

March is the month to begin thinking about and planning to go to your state homeschool conference. Try to make your reservations early so you can take advantage of discounted hotel accommodations. As a busy home school mom, you may be thinking “Why should I make time to go to these conferences? 

 

To hear inspirational key note speakers who have a heart for homeschooling parents

To attend seminars where you’ll receive updated information, new information, and encouragement

To review curriculum and thumb through those textbooks, look at new resources, order so you’ll save postage and handling and sometimes receive a discount on your materials, look through and purchase used curriculum

To meet with friends and enjoy getting to know other home school parents (especially if you live in a rural area where you don’t have a network of homeschool friends)

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