Just Discovered…Clep for College Credit

Lately, I have been just fascinated at the concept of CLEP’ing for college credit. If you are not familiar with this term or idea, you are missing out on a wonderful opportunity to help your child earn college credit or obtain an entire degree without leaving your home.

I was first introduced to the idea of CLEP(College Level Examination Program) by CLEP’ing homeschool mom,Tricia McQuarrie who runs a wonderful Clep Homeschool Yahoo group. She also has a book all about the subject that I purchased and read from cover to cover. It really educated me on the idea of CLEP and how I can use this method to help my child get ahead on college by taking time to help my child through the CLEP process.

CLEP is a test that your student can take that if passed allows them to gain college credit. Similar to the AP exam, CLEP allows you to gain college credit by passing a simple test on various subjects. Comprehensive information concerning subjects available for CLEP and schools that will accept the credits can be found on the College Board website. You must be careful when using CLEPs as a method to gain a significant amount of college credits because many Universities will not accept the credits, however, most if not all, Community Colleges will accept CLEP credits. Therefore, you need to formulate a plan whereby, you attend community college for a time to have your CLEP credits transcripted so that they will transfer to ANY institution. Many homeschoolers choose to go through Thomas Edison State, Excelsior, or Charter Oak in order to gain transcripted CLEP credits via online college enrollment. There are really so many opportunities available! There are many homeschoolers who manage to gain enough CLEP credits for an entire AA degree! Amazing!

If you are homeschooling a high schooler and would like to save money on higher education, CLEP is definitely worth the research. A typical CLEP test costs approximately $80 which will gain you anywhere from 3 to 6 credits, while a typical 3-credit college class could cost as much as $450! not to mention transportation and material costs! The savings opportunity is obvious! Even if your child ends up not being able to use those CLEP credits, many homeschool students have been able to prove a readiness for college work based on their CLEP performance. They treated passing clep scores like Honor classes! What a great way to let a college know that your student has mastered high school coursework!

The ever popular CollegePlus! utilizes a combination of CLEP and other coaching methods in order to help homeschool students get a big head start on higher education, however I have to say that there is nothing they do that you couldn’t do yourself, if you summon up a bit of moxy. However, it may be just the boost you need if you’re having a bit of trouble making sense of all of the available options. Most importantly, don’t let those high school years get away from you… start now helping your student to earn college credit while still in high school!

Here are few additional websites that I found very helpful in learning more about earning CLEP credits:


It’s Convention Time!

26th Annual HEAV Homeschool Convention & Educational Fair
Home Education: Turning Our Hearts Toward Home
June 11-13, 2009
Greater Richmond Convention Center
Richmond, Virginia

VA Homeschoolers
VaHomeschoolers 2009 Conference and Resource Fair
May 22-23, 2009
Science Museum of Virginia
2500 West Broad Street
Richmond, Virginia

Tidewater Educator’s Association for Christian Homeschooling, Inc.
23rd Annual
2009 Tidewater Curriculum Fair
and Family Curriculum Swap
Friday, July 31 3:00-8:30 p.m.
Saturday, August 1 9:00-3:30 p.m.
The Norfolk Scope
Exhibition Hall D
215 St. Paul’s Blvd., Norfolk, Va. 23510

Classical Conversations
Williamsburg VA 3-day Parent Practicum
From Monday, May 04 2009 – 9:00am
To Wednesday, May 06 2009 – 4:00pm
Great Wolf Lodge, 549 E. Rochambeau Dr, Williamsburg, VA.

REACH 3rd Annual Homeschool Convention 2009
Virginia Sports Complex
22182 Jefferson Davis Highway
Ruther Glen, Virginia 22546
Saturday, May 16, 2009
9:00am to 6:00pm

Well-Trained Mind Convention

2009 WTM Anniversary Conference
Williamsburg Marriott
Williamsburg, Virginia
May 1-2, 2009

College Admissions Seminar
Meet Thomas Nelson Community College
James City County Library
Monday, May11th at 7pm.

If you know of another convention or program happening locally, please drop me a line, and I’ll add it here.

curriculum, education, hampton roads, home education, homeschool transition, homeschooling, virginia

Where’s My Bailout?

I’ve decided that it is patently unfair that the public education system gets to have millions of my tax dollars to do a bad job, and I get “bopkus” to do a great job. Where is the incentive to improve for the public school system, I wonder? Homeschoolers can barely get a tax break for the supplies they buy that work…but the public school system sinks millions of dollars into “guess-the-next-word” reading curriculum that even teachers scoff at.

Don’t get me wrong, I would never ask for government intervention or funding for my homeschool, but I would like to keep more of our family’s money from going into the sinkhole that is public education.

Now, I’m hearing about “nationalized preschool”. Are you kidding me? More taxes, more government education, more failure. What we really need is “nationalized parenting”. Parents who take an interest in their children and make sure they are prepared morally and academically for life. Government teachers are not parents; they are paid academic employees and asking them to also be mom, dad, counselor, pastor, and social worker is just too much. Some would say, what else are we to do???… Those same folks would say that talking about family values is polarizing. I say… you’ve talked about everything else, now try something that’s worked since the beginning of time… the truth. A family unit is the best place to raise children, encourage abstinence until marriage, and pray for those that you can’t reach. It has worked since Genesis, why not now?


Just Discovered… Awesome Local Summer Camps!

Hampton University – Hampton, Virginia

Jobs, Education, and Training Corps
(JET) 14 – 17 years old June 15 – Aug 5, 2009

Kevin Nickelberry Basketball Camp
Boys and Girls 8-17 years old TBA

Donovan Rose Football Camp
Boys 7-17 years old June 15 – June 20, 2009

Hampton University Music Enrichment Program (HUM)
Grades 4 – 9 June 22-July 24, 2009

Pre-College / Summer Bridge Program
Pre-freshmen and rising high school seniors June 19 – July 24, 2009

Young Doctors Program
Middle School Students – 7th and 8th grades June 22 – July 24, 2009

Kiddie Kollege / Kamp : Enrollment Form
5 – 6 years: 8am – 12 noon and 7- 12 years – 8am – 5pm
June 22-July 24, 2009

RIDERS Program for Boys and Girls 7-17 years old
Horseback Riding Camp June 22-July 17, 2009

Summer Transportation Institute
Rising 9th, 10th and 11th graders June 22 – July 17, 2009

A Plus (A+) for Pre-College Students
12 – 16 years July 12 – July 18, 2009

ODU – Old Dominion University
Engineers Summer Camp
rising middleschoolers
Get ready to explore the fascinating world of engineering through application-based events. With a week full of creative, hands-on engineering and recreational activities in areas like alternative energy, robotics, electrical, chemical and industrial & systems engineering.

ODU Sea Camp
Discover the Sea with a summer at sea camp!

NASA Langley Research Center-Virginia Space Grant Consortium Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Internship Program

ODU Summer Athletic Camps
Various Athletic camps are offered including:
Tennis, Basketball, Soccer, Field Hockey, Lacrosse, Wrestling, and Baseball to name a few.

Regent University
Summer Government Camp for High School Students
National security & counter-terrorism
July 13-17, 2009

Regent Summer Theatre, Film, and Animation Camps
Contact Camp Coordinator, Attn: Beth Litwak, by telephone at 757.352.4901.

William and Mary
A Summer Program in Early American History for High School Students
for high school juniors and seniors
Dates for Summer of 2009:
Session I: June 21 – July 11, 2009
Session II: July 12 – August 1, 2009
Application Deadline:
April 23, 2009

Archaeological Field Schools
Students may enroll in either the Colonial Williamsburg Field School, which focuses on seventeenth- and eighteenth-century archaeological sites in and around Colonial Williamsburg, or the Werowocomoco Field School, where students participate in the excavation of Werowocomoco, the Powhatan chiefdom’s political center in the early seventeenth century.

Virginia Shakespeare Festival Camp
The cost is $175 per camper. You can sign up by calling our office at 757-221-2683 after February 15, 2009.
Camp Dates
* July 13-17 (ages 9-11)
* July 20-24 (ages 12-14)
* July 27-31 (ages 14-17)

Architectural History Field School

VIMS – Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences
Summer Intern Program(SIP)

Newport News
Daring and Dangerous Camp based on book of the same name
Camp runs from Monday, August 3, 2009 to Friday, August 7, 2009 from 9:30-4:30 every day with before and aftercamp care available for an additional amount (available 7:30-6:15 pm, $6 an hour for before or after camp care).
Camp is $150 for campers, ages 8-13.

Young Classics Institute Latin Summer
When: July 27 – August 7, 2009 from 9:00 am – 12:15 pm on each day, excluding the weekend.
Where: Rawls Byrd Elementary School, Williamsburg, Va.

Kingsmill Jr and Adult Tennis Camps
Training Center Camp Dates
4-days, 12 hours of instruction/play
High School age 13-18
High School/Tournament level
April 6-9 (Spring Break)
June 22-25
July 20-23
August 17-20

Creative Writing Workshop, Williamsburg
Tuesday, April 28th
2:00 – 3:00 pm
At St. Stephen Lutheran Church
612 Jamestown Road
Williamsburg, VA

Jenny Cote, Author of two books in the new fantasy fiction series The Amazing Tales of Max and Liz is coming to Williamsburg! She will lead a fun, highly interactive workshop for students on creative writing, sharing her experiences as she wrote, The Ark, The Reed and the Fire Cloud. Students of all reading and writing levels will be inspired to write their own stories with fun new ideas and tools to make their writing soar. Jenny will also be available to sign copies of her book.

Please visit for more information.
Contact Laurin Hogan with questions or to RSVP for this event at

Solving 4 Y Algebra Skill Camp
This camp is for 6th – 9th grade students. Algebra skills, study skills, and notetaking skills will be discused. Campers will leave camp with a great foundation in algebra and more confidence.
Camp dates: June 22, 09 – July 09, 09
Limited space
Registration starts 4/13/09 on line at
On site registration will be held at the Yorktown Library (across from Yorktown YMCA) 4/28/09 4 – 7 pm.
$25 registration fee and $100 weekly fee

curriculum, education, hampton roads, home education, homeschool testing, homeschooling

Homeschooling a Highschooler…Uggh!

I am beginning to plan my homeschool year for the fall for my rising 10th grader. I have to admit that homeschooling a high schooler is a challenge. Not just the amount of class work that must be covered, but the daily burdens of just training her up for life. I find new things every day that I have to cover or at least mention.

This year, I am definitely going to finally purchase a transcript software. I am looking at these:
Diploma Creator
Transcript Pro I think the co-creator of this software is having a Transcript bootcamp at the HEAV Conference this year.
BlackBaud I like this one because I teach coop classes and this will keep my home and school classes organized
Homeschool Minder
Homeschool Tracker

Our curriculum so far:
Bible – Community Bible Study (CBS)

English composition – Clep – 6 credits

Algebra 1 – “Saxon Algebra 1 Kit and DIVE CD 3rd Edition“>Saxon Homeschool Kit with Dive/Saxon Teacher

Biology – “Exploring Creation with Biology SET with Textbook, Solutions/Tests and Companion CD“>Apologia Biology via Homeschool Coop

Latin II – “Wheelock’s Latin (Wheelock’s Latin)“>Wheelock Latin Text via Tutor

American Government – Clep Prep lesson plan

Music – Piano/drums/guitar via tutors and dad

PE – Tennis/Swim/Field Hockey – via Homeschool Coop

Rhetoric/Debate – “Skills For Rhetoric: Encouraging Thoughtful Christians To Be World Changers (Broadman & Holman Literature)“>Classical Rhetoric via Homeschool Coop

Finance Education – “Money Matters Workbook for Teens (ages 15-18)“>Teen Money Management by Larry Burkett
or Dave Ramsey Homeschool Finance Education Kit

Are you already planning for next year?

curriculum, education, hampton roads, home education, homeschool testing, homeschool transition, homeschooler, homeschooling, new homeschooler, virginia, Worry

Scare Tactics and Intimidation

If you have had to remove your children from public school, you may find that you are being a victim of some pretty sinister scare tactics and intimidation. It has been my experience that the first thing you can do is not panic, and understand that very little information you obtain from the school system is actually true or accurate.

The school system may tell you that you cannot homeschool your child until the end of the school year. NOT TRUE! You can remove your child at any time during the school year to homeschool.

They(the public school system) may tell you that you can ONLY use an “approved” distance learning program to homeschool. NOT TRUE! You are free as a homeschooling parent to use ANY curriculum that you feel will benefit your child and your family.
According to ยง22.1-254.1 (A), You may teach at home if any one of the following conditions is met: if a parent (1) has a high school diploma; or (2) is a certified teacher*; or (3) provides a program of study or curriculum which may be delivered through a correspondence course or distance learning program or in any other manner; or (iv) provides evidence that he is able to provide an adequate education for the child. These four options are listed on the form entitled, “Notice of Intent to Provide Home Instruction.”

You may be told misinformation, such as, you cannot homeschool, or you must be an “approved homeschooler” if you have a GED. Not true! You are never “approved” by the school system. You simply “notify” them of your intent to homeschool and supply a list of the curriculum you intend to use. Also, if your spouse has a degree or a high school diploma you can file under your spouses educational credentials.

They may threaten you with truancy or that your child will fail if they are not returned to school. Your child cannot be accused of truancy as long as you have filed your notice of intent(NOI).
As far as failing, your child cannot fail a grade they withdraw from.

They may make ridiculous claims and attempt to make you jump through complicated hoops. At that point, turn in your NOI and cease communication. My suggestion to any homeschoolers that are switching to homeschooling from public school is to immediately join Homeschool Legal Defense or HSLDA, right now they are running a great promotion so it is free to join! Should you receive any threatening communication refer them to HSLDA immediately.

Finally, find a local support group of homeschoolers either via Yahoo groups or word-of-mouth and let them know what’s going on. Homeschoolers are a loving and helpful bunch; they will provide the necessary emotional and academic-advice support you will need to get past this.

Above all, do not allow yourself to feel alone, scared, or swallowed in self-pity, you have just made the most awesome, wonderful, life-changing decision of your life, now is not the time for sadness; it is time for jubilation!


Just Discovered…. Homeschool Lingo

I just discovered a great article about basic homeschooling lingo! The cover article is called Making the Decision to Homeschool but within the article is 100 terms a homeschooler should know.

Making the Decision to Homeschool
For most homeschoolers, the decision to homeschool their kids come out of a series of life experiences, personal decisions, and life philosophies.