homeschooling

Homeschool Consulting

This is not shock to those that know me, but I am now available for homeschool academic consulting. Isn’t that exciting? I’m so excited to share all that I  have learned over these years!

You can read more about what I have to offer  here:  Homeschool Academic Counselor

This year, I will also be adding Homeschool Consulting for moms who need curriculum, scheduling, and philosophy advice for younger ages.

Contact me if you’d like more information!

 

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homeschooling

Long Overdue Update

I feel terrible for leaving this blog in limbo for so many (gasp) years! Yikes! So much has happened since I last blogged in 2013. So here  are my updates.

My oldest daughter has now graduated from undergrad and is in grad school in Boston. She graduated with Latin Honors, traveled to China with Princeton University, and worked for a Fortune 100 corporation and a start-up tech company as an undergrad intern. She is currently dating a very nice gentleman she met in college and is on her way to a successful career. Turns out homeschooling was really great preparation for the “real” world. There has not been a moment she has not reminded me of something we did as a lark during our homeschool years that ended up setting her apart from her peers at a critical moment. Just having her call me and tell me these stories has encouraged me to be a bit more spontaneous and embrace life’s little larks.

My youngest daughter is now a rising high school senior!! I know! I’m just as stunned as you. You’d think that I would be totally calm and prepared, but um, no. I’m not. I’m running around like a crazy person…. stressing her transcripts and econd guessing everything we’ve done since she was born. Uggghhh Why is she a senior?! Well, nothing to be done at this point but embrace it. She is taking some college classes this year, prepping for her ACTs, and continuing her NSF funded research at a local university. So, we are researching colleges and praying. Once again, I’m praying for His direction and peace.

My son, and 6th grader, is the same handful he has always been. He spent 3years in public school getting services and help for his dyslexia and delayed processing learning disabilities. This was a super hard decision to make, but ultimately the best one for him and our family. He had access to specialists in writing therapies, mathematical manipulatives, and reading which was wonderful. What wasn’t so wonderful was the exposure to behaviors and ideologies that were contrary to our beliefs and his home training. Sadly (or happily), we didn’t even make it to the end of his 5th grade year. We pulled him, literally, 2 months before the end of the year! Truthfully, those teachers were passionate and caring, but the system they work for, well, sucks. It’s a system that devalues PE, music, art, or creativity and substitutes harsh discipline for care.

Well, that’s my update. How about you? Where has your homeschooling journey taken you?

homeschooling

Homeschool College Admissions the Ugly Truth…..

Okay, I’ve been holding off creating this post because it really is a delicate subject. At first I didn’t want to offend, and then I realized some people really don’t know when they are making mistakes… they really just don’t know. Therefore, I am forced(I didn’t want to) write this post on the “Don’ts of Homeschool College Admissions”.

1.  Do not, under any circumstances contact the Admissions Office on behalf of your child. You are not being helpful, and you are not well-thought of for doing it. Encourage your student to contact the school with any questions that either of you may have.

2. DO NOT, under any circumstances, even if invited, sit-in on your student’s admissions interview. Even if its casual and no big deal, even if its at a coffee shop and therefore, a public place. DO NOT feel its okay to even introduce yourself to the interviewer or walk-in with your student.

3.  DO NOT monopolize a student-led or otherwise campus tour. Allow your student to ask the “majority” of the questions. Your clever quips and observations are not appreciated… I promise you.

4.  DO NOT write a guidance counselor letter that sounds as-if your student is Einstein, unless they actually have found a cure for cancer or answered the modern questions on physics and gravity. Otherwise, try to accurately assess the weaknesses and strengths of your student.

5.  DO NOT write a guidance counselor letter that says your child is the smartest most intelligent person you’ve ever met… DO NOT. Admissions officers will just assume you don’t get out much.

6.  Do not use your guidance letter as an opportunity to re-iterate every award and extracurricular activity your child has ever done.  I assure you Admissions officers can read about all of these highlights on the other 85 pieces of correspondence you were required to send.

7.  Do not squirrel your child away safely in their rooms until its time for college, and then wonder how you’re supposed to demonstrate “academic passion”. Please, allow your student to dual-enroll, volunteer, attend summer camps, travel for missions trips, and intern(if possible). Give your student the opportunity to “find” themselves and grow that “academic passion”.

8.  Do Not wait until the last minute to prep for major standardized admissions tests like, the SAT, ACT, or the PSAT. If you know in 7th grade your child is destined for higher education, start researching testing strategies and test taking techniques most appropriate for your student when they’re in 7th grade.

9.  DO NOT. DO NOT homeschool high school and not KNOW your state’s minimum graduation requirements. Seriously, do not do this. You do a disservice to yourself, your child, and all other homeschoolers who look bad because of you.

10. DO NOT think it is okay to allow your student to handle their own college admissions document creation. It is not your student’s responsibility to create their own transcripts, guidance letter, or school profile… it is not. If you don’t feel you can create these documents, ask for help.  A transcript created by an 18 year old LOOKS like a transcript created by an 18 year old.

Honestly, I pray that this list helps someone in some small way. If you can think of other don’ts, please post them. If you are a homeschool mom looking at college admissions for your student in the fall, consider yourself warned.

homeschooling

A New Year… A New Focus

You know what.. homeschooling an elementary-aged boy is hard. Really hard. He loves to play, super busy all of the time, and really, in his mind, has no time to sit down and learn alphabet sounds…
I’ve got to change up what I consider “school”. School for him must be play. I can’t sit him down with worksheets (my daughters loved LOVED worksheets); he needs school disguised as play. I’m now shopping at places I, until now, did not appreciate, places like Timberdoodle’s and Queen’s Homeschool Copywork books. I now search websites for phonics and math card games…oh, the humanity. I am determined that he will be a highly educated young man; I just shudder at the lengths I will travel to see it happen.

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

Creating a Fabulous Homeschool Transcript!

Due to the regular requests I get from moms asking for help creating custom homeschool transcripts, I have really discovered how much I love creating these documents! I’ve looked at all types of homeschool transcript templates from Portfolio to stark simple excel documents, but I would have to say there are certain things that make a plain transcript sing.

  1. Consistent Font. Really if the font is  all over the place the transcript just looks messy. Pick one and use it for the entire document. You can vary the size, but please stay consistent on the Font type.
  2. Necessary Information Included. I can’t tell you how many transcripts I’ve seen that had everything the student had done since kindergarten, but was missing the students date of birth, gender, address, or worst, the school name!!! Remember a transcript is a functional document! It must include certain things like your students entire legal name, address, the name of your school, the parents name, the student’s date of birth, anticipated graduation date or date of graduation(whichever applies for you!), names, grades, and credits awarded for all courses completed in high school.
  3. No signature. An official transcript must be signed by the primary teacher, principal, or headmaster.
  4. Customization. Nothing makes a transcript transcend  basic, than customizing it to suit your student. If your student is an artist or extremely independent learner a Portfolio-type transcript might be best.  If your student has taken several standardized tests and has several dual enrollment credits a subject style transcript might best show off thier accomplishments. Really you have to look at what your student has accomplished and decide how best to showcase their strengths.
  5. Test Scores. They’re going to ask anyway so just include them. Don’t forget to add those SAT, ACT, PSAT, AP, CLEP, and etc scores to your transcript.
  6. Emphasize the Positive. This is not the time to be humble. Really play up your kids passions! He actually took 6 classes in Duck Pond Building….. show how passionate he is about the environment and how he applied several scientific concepts in his designs.
  7. Format. Consistent formatting throughout the document really makes a simple document become impressive. Pay attention to your formatting! Everything should be centered the same way throughout the document. IF you bold the header for year, you must bold the header for all the years.

Honestly, creating a fabulous homeschool transcript means paying particular attention to detail, emphasizing the positive, and presenting your student’s accomplishments in an organized easy to read manner!

I hope this helps anyone who has been struggling with creating a homeschool transcript! If you need more help, I’m happy to coach you! Please contact me with your questions!

homeschooling

Homeschooling Through High School – What I Didn’t Know

Well, I just dropped my oldest off at college in Massachusettes, and I am now realizing something that I never realized before…. I have to let go.

When you embark on the task of homeschooling through high school, you ready yourself for things like expensive classes, academic tug of wars with your teen, finding tutors, and summer camps. What I didn’t realize was how wonderful that time would be with my teen, and how, we would become such good friends. Worst, I didn’t realize that eventually, I would have to let go. After mentoring her through almost every aspect of her being for years, now she must find her own way.  So, I must ready myself for fewer and fewer calls and texts as she makes her own world where she is.

The wonderful thing is I know this is the place God has placed her, and I know He is with her so I don’t see it as the end…. but as a beginning.

education, hampton roads, home education, homeschooler, homeschooling, new homeschooler, SAT, virginia

Wow! It Has Been A While!

I did not mean for such a long time to pass before I updated my blog! Where to begin??  After all of my moaning and complaining about SAT Prep, my dd did just fine.  She will be attending a wonderful college in Boston in the fall! God is good! We both prayed and fasted for God’s providence in her college search. In fact, I am writing a senior devotional to help other families pray through that senior year!

I have 2 not so little ones left at home to homeschool next year. DS will be in  1st grade and dd will be rising to the 7th grade. I am already planning her high school curriculum along with her middle school work. Its just easier to have a long term view on things. Next year, will be so different in our household. We will miss older sis desperately, but we have peace knowing that God has spoken in her life.

Where are you in your journey? I’d love to know!

Blessings Always!!!