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Description: Articles, resources, events, and news for Virginia homeschoolers, published by Home Educators Association of Virginia.

THE VIRGINIA HOME EDUCATOR WWW.HEAV.ORG 1 John & Julie s story College student Chest pain Members for three years Freedom to choose own provider Go to mysamaritanstory.org John & Julie When I had my need I talked to a gentleman who was able to answer all my questions and even prayed for me on the phone. For more than twenty years Samaritan Ministries members have been sharing one another s medical needs without using health insurance through a Biblical model of community among believers. Samaritan members share directly with each other and do not share in abortions and other unbiblical practices. Come see what our members are saying and start your own Samaritan story today at mysamaritanstory.org More than 62 000 families (over 206 000 individuals) Sharing over 19 million in medical needs each month The monthly share has never exceeded 405 for a family of any size samaritanministries.org 888.268.4377 facebook.com samaritanministries twitter.com samaritanmin As of July 2016 Biblical community applied to health care 2 THE VIRGINIA HOME EDUCATOR FALL 2016 HOW WILL sHE MAKE A DIFFERENCE The Bible tells us that in the last days people will be selfish abusive ungrateful slanderous and without love (2 Timothy 3). She sees it every day on the TV programs she watches in the news she hears and in what she reads on the Internet. Will she grow up to become salt and light to the world or merely part of the problem Prepare your children to make a real difference in the lives of others by teaching them to see the world around them through the unerring lens of God s Word. Give them a strong foundation and clear biblical worldview with the What We Believe curriculum. Beautifully illustrated and written in a conversational style the What We Believe series makes the study of God s Word exciting and memorable for boys and girls of all ages. Through engaging stories and creative notebooking journals your kids will develop a generous heart and courageous spirit to share the love of God with a world in need. Recommended by on BreakPoint CHUCK COLSON Excellent Bible-rich worldview curriculum. World Magazine Absolutely wonderful The Old Schoolhouse Magazine A fantastic and much-needed resource. I m looking forward to taking my own kids through these valuable lessons. Sean McDowell in partnership with NOTEBOOK JOURNALS & AUDIO VERSIONS TOO Junior summit.org VISIT APOLOGIA.COM OR CALL 1-888-524-4724 THE VIRGINIA HOME EDUCATOR WWW.HEAV.ORG 3 HEAV BOARD & STAFF HEAV Board of Directors Anne Miller President Williamsburg Patrick Ryan Vice President Purcellville Jennifer French Treasurer Williamsburg Linda Linder Secretary Manassas Rick Boyer Board Member Rustburg Cherrie Moore Board Member Virginia Beach Stephanie Konicki Board Member Midlothian Advisory Board Lauren Bell Virginia Beach Yvonne Bunn Murfreesboro Maureen Bittner Winchester Kevin & Katrina Hoeft Goochland Craig Konicki Midlothian Al Linder Manassas Joseph & Tiffani Miller Newport News HEAV Staff Anne Miller Executive Director Yvonne Bunn Director of Homeschool Support & Government Affairs Lauren Bell Convention Director Kevin Hoeft Director of Development & Public Policy Helen Wright Finance & Administration Manager Ann Miranda Office Manager Lora Howard Assistant Office Manager Morgan Langowski Receptionist Angela Palomo Transcript Editor Publications Team Maureen Bittner Director of Publications & Marketing Mary Kay Smith Magazine Editor editor heav.org Melissa Barnes Editor Kathleen Lansing Advertising Director advertising heav.org Robin Stephens Director of Event Sponsorships Kathleen Dillie Update Manager Karen Sweeney Update Content Editor update heav.org Linda Mesibov Update Editor Arielle Potter Copy Editor & Above-the-Fold Writer Maya Barnes Update Layout Laurie Sitterding Editor Michael Grice Webmaster Alyssa Mulhearn Web-Content Editor Mary Musick Writer Linda Mesibov HTML Coder Susannah Miller Graphic Designer Amanda Schwatz Graphic Designer Sandra Modersohn Social Media Manager Kelly Pedone Communications Coordinator Karen Coon Convention Publications Coordinator Sarah Dillie Marketing Assistance SEND ADDRESS CHANGES TO Home Educators Association of Virginia 2100 W. Laburnum Avenue Suite 108A Richmond Virginia 23227 Fax 804-278-9202 E-mail office heav.org Phone 804-278-9200 or Web www.heav.org. For fastest service send your former and new addresses. Check your mailing label to see if you are a member if not join today The purpose of the Virginia Home Educator is to provide information resources and encouragement to Virginia homeschool parents. The views expressed in thismagazinedonotnecessarilyreflectthoseofthe Home Educators Association of Virginia. All Scripture quotations are from the King James Version unless otherwise noted. The Virginia Home Educator is sent quarterly to Virginia s homeschooling families without charge. To receive a free subscription sign up at www.heav.org. To inquire about advertising or submitting an article please contact HEAV at PO Box 6745 Richmond Virginia 23230-0745 or e-mail us at advertising heav.org or editor heav.org. HEAV reserves the right to edit for style and space or to refuse any submission deemed inappropriate for our publication. Permission is granted to reprint any news items from this magazine providing proper credit is given all other material is copyrighted. For reprint permission please contact the editor at editor heav.org. 2016 Home Educators Association of Virginia SUBMISSION DEADLINES Winter 2016 (Issue 4)--September 15 Spring 2017 (Issue 1)--December 15 Summer 2017 (Issue 2)--March 15 Fall 2017 (Issue 3)--June 15 16 20 12 FEATURES 12 Considering College Jonathan Brush Jason M. Smith Jason M. Smith DEPARTMENTS 6 7 8 From the Editor Mary Kay Smith 14 Navigating the College Route 15 Building a College Resum 16 How to Give Your Child a College Scholarship Evelyn Bickley 2016 Convention Photo Collage From the Director of Homeschool Support Yvonne Bunn 10 Freedom Watch 22 ClassifiedAds 18 Are You Caught in a Hedge of Thorns Beth Sterne 20 Putting Your Experiences to Work Pat Wesolowski Join Us... MORE INFORMATION ON PAGE 9. AT THE BEACH WITH SALLY CLARKSON FOR FOR FUN FELLOWSHIP AND ENCOURAGEMENT 5 THE VIRGINIA HOME EDUCATOR WWW.HEAV.ORG I smiled last week when I entered the kitchen and looked at the fridge. A glass was perched on top--an indication that my son was visiting. It s amazing that the sight can make me smile though. One of my worst days as a parent was the day my son and his wife moved halfway across the country five years ago. As they were about to leave he started to put his glass on the fridge suddenly remembered he wouldn t be there to use it again and stuck it in the dishwasher instead. Watching the realization hit him that this was his last time at home just about broke my heart. Transitions can be awful. When I was little I used to pray for the Rapture the night before my parents dropped me off at boarding school after the holidays. But since we were all still on Earth the next morning we made the long dusty drive up and down mountain roads to go back to school. We were sick with tension and misery the whole way there and while we unpacked. But after waving furiously from the front door and then running around the back of the house to wave again as our parents drove slowly out of the gate and round the block to head home it was relatively quick for us to adjust. After a sad evening we were distracted by the daily routines of going to classes and playing with friends. It was that transition time that was the worst. Those of you with kids finishing up high school and heading to college the military or the workforce are facing transitions too and I know it can be terribly difficult. But it does get easier. You adjust they adjust. And though it really pains me to have to admit it deep down we know it is normal and right for our kids to move on to the next thing. It does help to put it in perspective. Once when I mentioned to a Zambian pastor we know that we had just taken our daughter back to school he said wistfully Isn t it wonderful that one of your children has the opportunity to go to college It made me change my focus. His children and those in much of the world might never have the opportunity. All three of my kids went. I missed them terribly when they were gone but the fact that they could go was a blessing and I needed to express thankfulness for their gain rather than focusing on my loss. So if you are finishing the academic race with your kids--or are coming down the home stretch and looking towards college and career--may I also remind you isn t it wonderful that your kids have gotten this far--and you got them here Isn t it wonderful that they are healthy enough to go off that they have opportunities to pursue and choices to make and that they have the whole world in which to make an impact Homeschooling parents you are successfully raising the next generation. Congratulations 6 THE VIRGINIA HOME EDUCATOR FALL 2016 Photo Collage THE VIRGINIA HOME EDUCATOR WWW.HEAV.ORG 7 From the Director of Homeschool Support Yvonne Bunn E very homeschool family has a first year. It is exciting and overwhelming at the same time. Can I do this Is this the best curriculum Did I do the paperwork right Many more such nagging questions come in the middle of the night. We had the same concerns. My husband and I tried to understand the law and what we needed to do. We discussed all the options filed the paperwork and prayed that everything would be okay. Next it was my job to choose the curriculum. Back then I ordered catalogs and made book lists. I spent weeks during the summer reading reviews and talking with like-minded friends. Then with great excitement I ordered our school books. The day our curriculum arrived everyone gathered around the box. We could hardly wait to get it open The children glanced at the books and at a few of the pictures and then ran off to play. I stacked the books on the kitchen table opened my well-chosen teacher planner and grabbed a pencil. Hmmm... There s so much to read so much to do to get organized so much to think about-- maybe I ll think about it later. This wasn t what I expected to happen. I thought I had what I needed but I didn t know where to begin. I was totally overwhelmed. BEING OVERWHELMED Feeling overwhelmed makes us feel stuck. It is paralyzing. Because there is so much to do we don t know where to start. Worry over what we need to do and should have done often hangs over our head. Whether it s cleaning the entire house preparing a large meal for guests (or having to do both) or planning a school week the magnitude of what we need to do can be overwhelming. While I was struggling with getting my first homeschool week planned out I heard Elisabeth Elliott wife of martyred missionary Jim Elliott say something on her radio program that really encouraged me. She said When you feel overwhelmed and don t know what to do just do the next right thing. DO THE NEXT RIGHT THING It s good to make plans. It s good to set goals. But there are times when we don t have the experience or knowledge to know what to do. We may know where we want to go but we don t know how to get there. I ve learned to apply this principle in many of life s overwhelming situations. The first step is to begin right where I am with all my limitations and weaknesses and move forward by doing the next right thing. Doing the next right thing generates momentum that moves me forward one step at a time. God honors the direction in which we are going when we do the next right thing. We don t have to know everything to begin our homeschool journey. We don t have to have the perfect curriculum (there isn t one). We don t have to have all the answers. We just need to do the next right thing. I found I could do the next thing in my daily planning. For the first few homeschool weeks I did my lesson plans one day at a time. I finished teaching the first day saw where we were and planned the next day s work. From one day to the next day I filled out only the next column in the planner. After a while I could look back and see a pattern and I eventually learned how to prepare farther ahead--a week at a time and more if needed. It was a very simple beginning but I was no longer paralyzed I was no longer overwhelmed. Doing the next right thing may bring changes and adjustments but that s okay. We re all learning as we go along. We re moving forward one step at a time. 8 THE VIRGINIA HOME EDUCATOR FALL 2016 Co-ops established around the Southeast Reduced shipping & Quantity Discounts Call or email for co-op locations. Also visit our website for online store special offers and free cooking class videos. You can also subscribe to our free email newsletter We specialize in appliances & supplies for making fresh bread in your home as well as teaching people about the health benefits of real food. We also offer bulk food items for long term storage and high quality cookware and kitchen appliances. Bulk Foods Grains - Wheat - Kamut - Spelt - Oats - Rice - GF Grains Whole Foods Real Bread Unpasteurized honey Unprocessed sugars Olive Oil Natural sweeteners Coffee & Tea Natural Sodas Much more Kitchen Supplies Electric Grain Mills Hand Mills Mixers Bread Machines Pressure Cookers Canning Supplies Yogurt Makers Tortilla presses Dehydrators Fermentation Crocks Soy Milk Maker And much more support BreadBeckers.com www.BreadBeckers.com Phone 770-516-5000 Fax 770-516-7588 305 Bell Park Dr. Woodstock GA 30188 Beans - Kidney - White Navy - Black - Peas - Lentils - Pinto - Much more Grains and beans available in 6 gallon buckets 1 gallon pails and some in 2lb. baggies THE VIRGINIA HOME EDUCATOR WWW.HEAV.ORG 9 DUAL-ENROLLMENT TUITION FAIRNESS Many thought a budget amendment introduced by Delegate Rob Bell (R Albemarle) would provide dual-enrollment tuition fairness for homeschool high school students who take college courses at one of Virginia s twenty-three community colleges. It stated The Department of Education in collaboration with the Virginia Community College System will ensure that the same policy regarding dual-enrollment tuition payment options shall be administered in the same manner for students enrolled in the public education system and for students that are home schooled. When the Budget Conference Committee met to reconcile the differences between the House and Senate budget bills the Conference Committee changed Del. Bell s budget amendment language to say the same policies must be in place regarding the cost for dual enrollment courses held at a community college (emphasis added). This final budget language was approved by the House and Senate signed into law by the governor and went into effect on July 1 2016. By adding the words held at a community college the Conference Committee limited dual-enrollment tuition fairness for homeschool students (or any private student) because they go to community colleges to take their courses. Public high school students taking dual-enrollment courses on public high school campuses will still have their tuition paid in full or in part. Dr. Sharon Morrissey VCCS Vice Chancellor for Academic Services and Research affirmed the limited effect of Del. Bell s amendment and stated that VCCS and the Virginia Department of Education will issue a memorandum to the twenty-three Virginia community college presidents explaining the effect of Del. Bell s amendment on the dual enrollment program. FUTURE OF DUAL ENROLLMENT Although HEAV is disappointed that Del. Bell s amendment did not result in dual-enrollment tuition fairness for Virginia home- schoolers we will continue to work on this important issue. While all high-school-aged students are compelled by Virginia s compulsory attendance law to attend a public private or home school no one is compelled by law to attend community college. Using taxpayer dollars and public resources such as public school classrooms public school teachers and public school support staff to pay for community college tuition for public high school students without providing the same opportunity for private or homeschool high school students does not appear to be sound public policy. VIRGINIA COMMISSION STUDIES VACCINE EXEMPTIONS On March 11 2016 Delegates Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Springfield) and Christopher Stolle (R-Virginia Beach) requested the Virginia Joint Commission on Health Care (JCHC) study requirements surrounding school vaccinations. This study is associated with HB 1342 which was introduced during the 2016 General Assembly and if enacted into law would have eliminated the religious belief and medical professional vaccine exemptions for parents of school-age children. The Code of Virginia requires homeschool children to meet the same immunization requirements as other school-age children. There is no compelling government interest to justify eliminating this longtime religious and parental right. The completed study was presented to the JCHC at its August 3 2016 meeting and can be viewed on the JCHC website at http jchc.virginia.gov reports.asp. The JCHC will receive public comment on this study through August 31 2016. Please contact Stephen Weiss at the JCHC at sweiss jchc.virginia.gov or 804-786-5445 ext. 3 or contact JCHC members at http jchc.virginia.gov index.asp and ask them to vote against any recommendation to eliminate the religious belief and medical professional vaccine exemptions. 10 THE VIRGINIA HOME EDUCATOR FALL 2016 THE VIRGINIA HOME EDUCATOR WWW.HEAV.ORG 11 COLLEGE JONATHAN BRUSH A cceptance into the perfect college has become the cultural standard for personal and parental success. At every turn heavily credentialed experts assert that higher education is the doorway to the successful life and that the college experience is the essential transition program that will take an individual from childhood to adulthood. Many consider a college degree to be a shield against unemployment and a guarantee of higher earnings and an early retirement. Consequently students and parents feel increasing pressure and stress in the college selection and admissions process. Students feel that their first big decision in life is one that will not only be life changing but will also have lifelong consequences. Parents often feel that insuring their student s acceptance into the right college is their final and most important parental responsibility. This is even truer for homeschool parents who view the college acceptance letter as cultural verification of their counter-cultural education decisions. With so much at stake it s no wonder that many students and parents approach the college selection and admissions process with trepidation and angst. Answers to questions about which college to attend how to be accepted which major to choose and the cost of tuition suddenly seem vitally important to future success. As the final year of homeschool approaches stress mounts. But does this view of college make sense Homeschooling parents who are accustomed to critically examining cultural assumptions 12 about elementary and secondary education should ask some important questions about the purpose and value of higher education. In considering higher education three important questions should be asked 1. What is the purpose of education 2. What is the value of a college experience 3. Does the value of a college experience help to fulfill the purpose of education HOMESCHOOLING PARENTS WHO ARE ACCUSTOMED TO CRITICALLY EXAMINING CULTURAL ASSUMPTIONS SHOULD ASK SOME IMPORTANT QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PURPOSE AND VALUE OF HIGHER EDUCATION. PURPOSE OF EDUCATION Let s briefly consider each one. First what is the purpose of an education Too many homeschooling parents put immense effort into giving their children an education yet spend little or no time helping their children think about the purpose of that education and how it should relate to careers and vocation. What is the goal of all this education A goal of merely getting accepted to college is too small. The goal of a homeschool education should be to help children discover their God-given gifts and abilities identify and address their inherent weaknesses and determine their life s work. God has blessed each child with unique gifts and strengths. Finding these gifts and strengths encouraging them and strengthening them are part of a parent s sacred responsibility. Of equal importance is discovering a child s weaknesses. For a person to reach his full potential he must be challenged to address and overcome the places in life where he struggles. In this process of identifying strengths and overcoming weaknesses the parent and student should be thinking about how these gifts and failures work together to determine the student s life work. This is not merely career planning but a process of visioning and seeking God s plan for the student s lifelong vocational calling. Will higher education be useful and helpful in pursuing this calling VALUE OF EDUCATION Generally speaking a college education provides two key advantages. The first is providing technical training for specific careers and vocations. If a student is called to practice medicine become a research scientist or study nuclear engineering then college will probably be the best place to find the specific instruction equipment and laboratories that are necessary to become competent in those fields. The second advantage provided by a THE VIRGINIA HOME EDUCATOR FALL 2016 college education is that it empowers students to engage in the cultural discourse. Our culture is largely formed by ideas. Proper worldview training that teaches students to evaluate different ideas from a Christian perspective should take place prior to college. College provides a testing ground for this training where students will be introduced to new material be forced to articulate their own thoughts and gain experience in defending their positions. The end result will be a person experienced and comfortable conversing in the language and substance of the ideas that form our culture. The college experience can be formative speeding a student from childhood to the responsibilities of their adult lives. A college degree can be an asset in finding meaningful employment. But these outcomes are not guaranteed a fact too many parents and prospective college students forget in their rush to procure a diploma that they think will guarantee success. Not all students are uniquely gifted for college some may be blessed with strengths better suited for other endeavors. A focus on the purpose of an education and a clear realization of the advantages offered by a college education will better enable parents and students to make wise decisions about how students should prepare for their life s work. This disciplined thinking in preparing to make a decision about attending college will also bring clarity and precision to the process of evaluating and choosing which higher education options to pursue. Selecting a college should be more about choosing from a blessing of opportunities that will prepare a student to use their God-given talent in meaningful work and less about some false sense of achievement and guaranteed success. Jonathan Brush is the director of admissions and marketing at Bridgewater College. College is Coming...Are you Ready www.yourcollegeplanningcoach.com Lying awake at night worrying about the cost of college Wondering how to help your student pick the right school CALL US TODAY We re here to help 703-928-9036 www.yourcollegeplanningcoach.com Luanne Lee CCPRS Your College Planning Coach 70 Main Street Ste. 23 Warrenton VA 20186 THE VIRGINIA HOME EDUCATOR WWW.HEAV.ORG 13 NAVIGATING THE COLLEGE ROUTE JASON M. SMITH KNOW WHAT YOU WANT OUT OF COLLEGE Start your research into prospective careers early in high school. Don t hesitate to invest a little money on reputable aptitude assessments and career placement tests it is far less costly to begin with a career placement test than to end up switching majors. Try to determine as best you can what it is you want to be doing five years after school then find out what it takes to obtain a job doing that. Work backwards from there to identify your program of study and the schools that offer it. Not only will careful research and planning simplify your college decisions and save you potential frustration it will excite you and provide you the motivation you ll need to get through tough assignments and classes. Didn t start the research process early enough Then put on the brakes. Going straight to a four-year school right after high school because you don t know what else to do or because that s what everyone does is an expensive inefficient and often dissatisfying way to figure out why you re getting a degree. You need to have a reason in hand before you set foot on campus. Creative strategizing and a careful eye to your four-year school s transfer credit program are the keys. [Although community college can provide great opportunities during the high school years for earning dual-enrollment credits parents need to know their children will face social pressures and temptations that come with being in an adult environment. HEAV] KNOW IF YOU SHOULD GO TO COLLEGE Be willing to say no to a four-year school. There are plenty of careers for which it makes very little sense to get a liberal arts degree before you start. People who pursue technical degrees or professional certifications in specific skills valued by their chosen field are often eligible for hiring and are able to begin their careers sooner and more smoothly than their counterparts at liberal arts colleges and universities. Again the key here is research know what you want to do and what education and experience are necessary to make you qualified to do it. Also before you decide against getting a bachelor s degree make sure your chosen field is growing and likely to be hiring by the time you re ready to send out your resum . Liberal arts degree holders may not be as well-prepared for work in any one specific field but their credentials do have the advantage of being much more flexible and applicable to a wider array of career choices than vocational degrees. KNOW HOW TO SUPPLEMENT YOUR EDUCATION Always look for ways to supplement your education. The awareness of slipping high school grading standards has driven college admissions officers to rely more heavily on other factors like test scores and extracurricular involvement in making admissions decisions. Likewise recruiters have had to rely more heavily on industry-relevant coursework and real-world business experience obtained along with the bachelor s degree in making hiring decisions. You need to understand this By itself your bachelor s degree will probably not be enough to get you the job you want. You should find internships that are relevant to your career choice during the sum- THE BESTKEPT SECRET OF HIGHER EDUCATION IS THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR COMMUNITY COLLEGE The best-kept secret of higher education is the community college where you can earn fully transferable credits professional certificates or even an associate s degree all before you graduate from high school. If you then transfer to a four-year school to complete your bachelor s degree you ll have saved yourself a significant amount of both time and moneyin tuition as well as room and board. Community college courses have a variety of scheduling options to accommodate the needs of a more diverse student body. This makes them perfect to help prepare yourself for the unique challenges of college academics. If you re not sure yet what you want to major in this plan is definitely for you. You can satisfy core requirements and earn elective credit while exploring fields that interest you all for a lower cost and under less pressure than you d incur doing the same thing at a four-year school. 14 THE VIRGINIA HOME EDUCATOR FALL 2016 mers after your sophomore and junior years. It s great if you can get yourself hired short-term by a company that does business in your chosen field but work for free if you have to take a semester off if you have to. Be resourceful and make it happen. Relevant internships and work experience go light years beyond your bachelor s degree in getting you noticed and hired. Do something extra while you are applying for jobs. On average it takes six months of steady job-hunting before new college grads get hired. That s enough time to pursue continuing education in your chosen field. Attend seminars and conferences or earn a professional certificate. Don t just sit back and wait for the phone to ring. Pursue ways to make yourself stand out among your peers. GET TO KNOW AT LEAST THREE OF YOUR PROFESSORS Participate (intelligently) in their classes go to their office hours e-mail them questions about how other things you re studying or reading relate to their subject and talk to them outside of class. If they host students for dinner arrange for the class to meet at a restaurant or offer additional lectures or events not on the class syllabus go Not only will it improve your grades in their classes and give you a better grasp of the subject you ll make some good friends and earn willing references for jobs or grad school applications later. DON T DISCOUNT GRADUATE SCHOOL Maybe you were sick of high school and maybe you ll be sick of college too. You may think you ll never want to see another textbook or the inside of another classroom and you may be right. But you may become excited about going on for more education. You may determine that a graduate degree will give you a competitive edge in the job market. You may realize you want to go back to school after working a few years. While most job interviewers won t ask or care about your undergraduate GPA you need a B-average (3.0) or better to be considered for grad school. Don t accept anything less from yourself while you re in college lest you find you ve shot yourself in the foot. Give your class assignments the attention they need so you can put them to work for you later. Higher education alone can t be expected to ferry passive students all the way to a good job but with a creative and proactive approach to college students can disembark prepared for real life. Former homeschooler Jason M. Smith graduated from the College of William & Mary. He is a writer of fiction poetry and Christian living books. Though he and his wife currently live in Houston they still ascribe to the well-known creed To be a Virginian either by birth marriage adoption or even on one s mother s side is an introduction to any state in the union a passport to any foreign country and a benediction from above. BUILDING A H COLLEGE RESUME JASON M. SMITH ow will you get competitive colleges to accept you You have to be their ideal student and build a college resum --a list of extracurricular activities that you did during high school--that demonstrates you have what they want. In a close decision between who gets in and who stays out the resum could make or break your application. That s because when it comes to the final decision colleges are increasingly looking to add value to your GPA and test scores. Include activities that indicate you ve got the qualities to succeed--initiative drive dedication time management and the ability to work under pressure. Here is how you show that DO YOU PLAY SPORTS Try to captain the team--that shows leadership and initiative. Be MVP at least once--that shows drive and dedication. Or at least stick to the game for several seasons-- that shows persistence and determination. DO YOU LIKE MUSIC Choosing a more unusual instrument can get you into college. Other things being equal if the band or orchestra needs a certain instrument and you play it you will get priority consideration. ARE YOU INVOLVED IN YOUR COMMUNITY Volunteering is good organizing a volunteer effort is better. Look for a need and then approach your local government or non-profit association and ask if you can help them meet that need. ARE YOU A MEMBER OF A DEBATE TEAM OR CHESS CLUB Competitive mental activities like these demonstrate that you can think under pressure. If there aren t activities like these in your area start something yourself. Initiative initiative initiative DO YOU LIKE OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES Get involved in Scouts or other civic groups and stick with it to the highest possible level. Colleges know that Eagle Scouts have had training in many practical areas of life and have developed the qualities they are looking for in their ideal student. DO YOU HAVE A JOB Work at it as if you are working for God and you ll make yourself the most valuable employee there. Do you work for yourself Expand your operations until you re working with or managing other people. Don t have a job Get one especially if you ll be paying for part of college yourself. A college will want to know that doing work-study at college won t ruin your grades. So find activities you enjoy and then take them to the next level. Demonstrate initiative dedication persistence leadership critical thinking and time-management skills. When you have done that and kept your grades up at the same time you will have become the ideal student. Part of Jason s application to college was the question What will you bring to this school that no one else can His extracurricular activities enabled him to answer that question. THE VIRGINIA HOME EDUCATOR WWW.HEAV.ORG 15 EVELYN BICKLEY A few years ago I stood in my son s bedroom looking at his Apologia biology textbook. He had been diligently working his way chapter by chapter through the book and I was preparing to quiz him on the vocabulary and review questions. This is such a thorough course I thought to myself. It s too bad that he ll have to learn it all over again in a few years when he goes off to college. That s when it hit me this son was not heading in the direction of a math science degree he was clearly heading toward the liberal arts. Why should he have to repeat this same material at the cost of thousands of dollars and spend extra time in class He could take a CLEP test THE LOWDOWN ON CLEP TESTS I was familiar with the concept of CLEP tests since I had taken one myself. CLEP which stands for College Level Examination Program is an alternative way to earn college credits. Developed by the College Board the same company that owns the SAT and AP exams CLEP tests are accepted by more than 2 900 colleges and universities. They are ideally suited for individuals who have already learned college-level material either by independent study life experiences or military training. The thirty-three tests currently available cover a wide variety of subjects including history and the social sciences composition and literature science and mathematics business and foreign languages. The tests roughly correspond to the kinds of classes most colleges and universities require in their general education core curriculum taken by students in their first two years of college. Regardless of the 16 THE VIRGINIA HOME EDUCATOR FALL 2016 IF A STUDENT EARNS FIVE CLASSES WORTH OF CREDITS HE WILL HAVE SAVED AN ENTIRE SEMESTER S EXPENSES. student s major most colleges require some general English (composition as well as literature) math science history social science and humanities arts classes. CLEP offers six English options four math three science four history and eight social science tests from which to choose. There are also five business and three foreign-language CLEPs available. How does this apply to you and your student If for example you require your students to study American government as part of their curriculum they can fulfill whatever reading papers and exams you wish and then also take the American government CLEP. Each CLEP taken and passed (usually with a scaled score of 50 or better) can potentially earn the student three to nine college credits. The student will have earned a transcript-worthy high school credit AND college credit at the same time. If the student takes the CLEP test and does NOT earn the minimum passing score the only thing lost is the test fee and administrative charges added by your testing center. You need only request the passing scores be sent to college other attempts will not be noted. There is no stated minimum age to begin taking CLEP tests. I even know of some middle school students who have already begun putting college credits in the bank. Additionally the test results are good for twenty years so even if your student chooses not to go to college right away they are a long way from having their scores expire. THE BENEFITS AND LIMITATIONS OF CLEP TESTS You will need to check with the college of your choice as to how they use CLEPs. Different colleges accept different CLEPs and grant varying numbers of credits. If your students are already in high school and have begun to narrow down their college choices check those college websites for their CLEP policy. Liberty University in Lynchburg accepts thirty-two CLEP tests while the College of William and Mary only accepts eight and UVA doesn t accept any. Especially in the foreign language tests a higher score can earn greater numbers of credits. At UNC-Charlotte a score of 50 on the French exam will earn the student six credits while a score of 52 will earn twelve.1 THE PROCESS OF CLEP TESTING The exams are offered at approximately 1800 testing centers nationwide. Most community colleges and colleges aimed at the returning adult student such as Strayer University of Phoenix and Pfeiffer offer the tests. Administration fees vary but are generally about 20 to 25. Test order and purchase is made on-line at the College Board website. Once you have your purchase voucher you have six months to use it. You ll need to contact the testing center of your choice for a testing appointment. In addition to the CLEP website (clep.collegeboard.org) I have found great help from a couple of other sites when selecting which exams to pursue and how to prepare. Two of the best are ClepPrep (clepprep.tripod.com cleplessonplans) and Free Clep Prep (www. free-clep-prep.com index.html). ClepPrep is produced and owned by a homeschooling mom of four two of whom have already graduated from college using credits by examination. She offers lesson study plans and lots of practical advice. Free Clep Prep is operated by Justin who has used the credit-by-examination plan himself to earn his degree. One of the features I like best about this site is his purely subjective evaluation of the difficulty levels of the different tests. Both sites offer great insights and help on this journey. THE MONEY SAVED THROUGH CLEP TESTS So how does all of this translate into a scholarship-like savings Well according to the College Board s figures for school year 201516 tuition fees room and board for in-state residents attending public universities ran about 19 548 per year and 43 921 for students at private schools.2 If you divide that by the ten classes (thirty credits) a freshman takes each class averages 1950 to 4390. Therefore for every three credits your student earns by CLEPping he has given himself between 1850 and 4290 in scholarship money (after deducting the approximately 100 cost per CLEP). If a student earns five classes worth of credits he will have saved an entire semester s expenses opened up the option of taking lighter class loads and gained priority in class registration over others in his cohort. College credit by examination is an achievable and economical way to stretch the family budget and speed the student on his way to a college degree. 1. 2. In 2015 the American Council on Education lowered its suggested score credit equivalencies. Some schools continue to offer the higher credits anyway. www.collegedata.com cs content content_payarticle_tmpl. jhtml articleId 10064 Because life s most important lesson is learning why you re here. Request your free High School Resource Guide at www.phc.edu HEAV-offer THE VIRGINIA HOME EDUCATOR WWW.HEAV.ORG 17 ARE YOU IN A HEDGE OF THORNS BETH STERNE D o you often wish homeschool and life would go better Do you feel as if you re caught in a maze and can t find your way out Do you wish for less to do fewer obstacles and more time energy peace or joy Procrastination may be the sneaky habit that is trapping you. It greatly interferes with what we most desire. My desire for myself is for God to bear fruit through my life--to conform my character to Christ s and use me to influence others for Him. My desire as a homeschooling mom was to see that fruit in our children. However procrastination prevented godly fruit. I was a hardworking homeschool mom who accomplished a lot. Sometimes I was even told Slow down relax. But actually I struggled with procrastination and its effects. Proverbs 15 19 says The way of the lazy man is like a hedge of thorns but the way of the upright is a highway (NKJV). I was stuck in prickly thorns which I myself had planted and watered. Because I was trapped my family was trapped. God is steadily moving me out of procrastination away from unnecessary pressure and into peace. Life is much better RESULTS OF PROCRASTINATION First I had to see the damaging effects of my habit. This list reveals some of how my procrastination prevented godly fruit in our home n Habitual tardiness to events n Driving too fast (no margin) n Tension constant hurry n Unfinished projects (photos reading grading) n Clutter (piles on the table plastic bags to search through) n Overload due to unfinished business 18 ACCORDING TO SCRIPTURE DILIGENCE IS WORK IN SEASON-- DOING WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE WHEN IT NEEDS TO BE DONE. n Missed opportunities (incomplete forms or lesson preparation) problems because of delay getting help (from a counselor or friend) n Neglected courtesies (thank-you notes returned books) n Unnecessary expenses (rush mail overdue fines) n Unnecessary crisis situations (delayed medical appointments) n Failure to give attention to serious matters that require thought (relationships finances) n Lack of outreach in spite of God s prompting (neglecting neighbors) n Waking at night tortured by thoughts of the consequences of my neglect. n Worsening CAUSES OF PROCRASTINATION Oxford Dictionaries Online defines procrastinate to delay or postpone action put off doing something. Scripture uses additional words n Sloth reluctance to work or make an effort n Sluggard lazy person n Lazy unwilling to work or use energy n Slack showing laziness or negligence lazy (Oxford definitions). Indolent has a root meaning to not suffer or give pain. So when I procrastinate I am being slack not inclined to work seeking to avoid pain. As a hard worker I was confused by these words. But I understood it when I asked What pain do I not want to suffer Proverbs 6 6-7 showed me Go to the ant thou sluggard Consider her ways and be wise which having no guide overseer or ruler provideth her meat IN THE SUMMER and gathereth her food IN THE HARVEST. I was slothful and lazy because I put off work that needed to be done WHEN it needed to be done. I worked hard but I was doing the WRONG work I tried to avoid the pain of work I did not want to do and chose other work that I PREFERRED. There s a season for work and a season for harvest. If I do not work in the appropriate season I will not have the benefit of harvest in its season. If I don t plan ahead my student won t have the needed course. Proverbs 15 19 shows it s not righteous to be lazy. Slothfulness opposes love faithfulness kindness and self-control. It steals joy and peace (Galatians 5 22-23). These are two Scriptures that reveal God s perspective on this. Then why do I procrastinate Self. I began to see that my preferences to relieve self in the moment were costing me what I wanted more--godly fruit (e-mail over devotions for example). Perfectionism fear confusion time fatigue and feeling overwhelmed are some reasons we procrastinate. Very often the motivation is a manifestation of self we choose something we prefer over what is actually needed. n Indolent THE VIRGINIA HOME EDUCATOR FALL 2016 OVERCOMING SLOTHFULNESS Rejoice God makes us new creations in Christ and sets the captives free. His Holy Spirit enables us to change by His grace. Diligence is God s replacement for slothfulness. Diligence is not defined as constant work however. Constant work isn t healthy Scriptural or God-honoring. According to Scripture diligence is WORK IN SEASON--doing what needs to be done when it needs to be done. God designed us for work play and rest. He produces fruit in all three we must learn to discern the time for each. A nap or a trip to the park could be the wise choice. Diligence is lifting pressure guilt and regret from my shoulders. It is bringing joy peace and freedom. When we do what needs to be done when it needs to be done old thorns crumble away and new ones never form. Many strategies (setting the clock ahead etc.) help overcome slothfulness. However I found none of them to be effective until I did three critical things 1) Accept responsibility Do not blame others or circumstances. 2) Recognize choosing Notice the split-second moments when I choose what to do. Realizing that I m making a choice alerts me to choose wisely. 3) Repent Turn go the other way. Choose diligence Do what needs to be done when it needs to be done. These basics help us form a habit of working in season. We walk on a road with fewer hindrances to our character growth and influence for Christ. Procrastination prevents godly fruit diligence promotes it. Does this mean an easy life No. But our personal and family lives homeschools churches and communities will benefit greatly as we gain time energy peace and joy. Beth Sterne graduated as a homeschool mom of two after eighteen years. She encourages other women through her weekly blog at www.putoffprocrastination.com speaks to Christian homeschool and ladies groups and leads workshops on the topic of procrastination. She also enjoys coaching speech students. She admits to putting off a trip to the gym. Beth can be reached at putoffprocrastination gmail.com. 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Get the original Noah Webster s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language defining words from a Biblical context and according to their meaning during the Founding Generation. Now on sale at FACE.net 1828 apply code HEAV16 and save. Then flip through our Resource Catalogue at FACE.net Catalogue and discover a whole lot more. FAC16 7428 Don t start school without it Ethicom Pub Target The Virginia Home Educator (HEAV) THE VIRGINIA HOME EDUCATOR FALL 2016 Issue Homeschool Parents Job No Title Agency WWW.HEAV.ORG 19 EXPERIENCES TO WORK PAT WESOLOWSKI A re you about to send a child off to college or into the world Writing Curriculum Necessity is the mother of invention and oftentimes families blaze a and become an empty nester Are you wondering what in trail when they try to take care of their homeschool needs. When I bethe world you are going to do next Do you think you have been out of the workforce for so long that there is no place for you in gan homeschooling there were few unit studies for sale so I developed my own and eventually made them available for purchase. This did the job force You might be surprised Who would have thought that after being a stay-at-home mom and bring in some income while I remained a stay-at-home mom but now I will work to market many of the unit homeschooling my nine children for studies I have not yet put into print. more than thirty years I would be WHEN A PARENT TRANSFERS Perhaps you have developed curemployed full time Certainly not me. ONTO PAPER A DESCRIPTION riculum that you could turn into a But I work at Bryan College as the marketable product OF ALL OF THE EXPERIENCES homeschool specialist and I love it Many people my age are thinking GAINED AS A HOMESCHOOLER Blogging about retiring and stepping out of a SHE MAY DISCOVER THAT SHE IS With eleven of us living mostly career and yet mine is just beginQUITE QUALIFIED TO BE HIRED off of one income learning to live ning. Years ago I remember hearing frugally was a necessity. This exJeff Myers at Summit speak about perience prompted me to write and publish a newsletter entitled his job as a professor at Bryan College. He said he loved what he was doing so much that when he came into his office and saw a paycheck Big Ideas Small Budget for ten years. Two close friends also on his desk he d exclaim What They are paying me again That homeschooling moms joined me in this venture as we encouraged single-income families to live frugally. Granted this was more of is often how I feel Many homeschooling families live off of one income with mom a ministry than a money-making venture but it blessed many and staying home in order to orchestrate the household and manage the brought satisfaction to those of us doing the research and writing Many homeschooling moms cut corners use coupons and stretch homeschool. These years often include co-ops and extra-curricular the dollar. Blogs that share such secrets can become income producers classes sports ministry music lessons community involvement oodles of field trips conferences camps programs and more. When a parent transfers onto paper a description of all of the expe- Event Organizing My oldest attended Summit Leadership Camp at Bryan College riences gained as a homeschooler she may discover that she is quite twenty years ago and that was our introduction to the college qualified to be hired outside of the home and perhaps even benefit and the worldview team. One of the professors John Stonestreet other homeschoolers as well. traveled with the students to present day-long worldview seminars for high school students. One year I called John and asked how I TRANSFERRING SKILLS TO THE MARKETPLACE Several of my experiences prepared me well for the job I now could get the worldview team to Florida where we lived. He said he was headed that way for spring break and if I could put together a hold. They might give you ideas for work you can do too. group he would bring the team. 20 THE VIRGINIA HOME EDUCATOR FALL 2016 DARE TO BE DIFFERENT. When the whole world seems to be going in the same direction the church needs people who are willing to stand out. Truett McConnell University is equipping students with the truth about God s word transforming lives and preparing world changers to be radical about sharing the gospel. Truett McConnell located in the beautiful foothills of North Georgia offers four year undergraduate degrees online and residential as well as graduate and dual enrollment programs. DUAL ENROLLMENT RESIDENTIAL ONLINE GRADUATE RECEIVE FINANCIAL AID 99.8% 15 1 19 COUNTRIES REPRESENTED STUDENT-FACULTY RATIO STUDENTS ENROLLED 2 207 LEAR N M O RE TO DAY TRUETT.EDU 706-865-2134 THE VIRGINIA HOME EDUCATOR WWW.HEAV.ORG 21 One of the attributes of homeschooling is spontaneity. We can take advantage of opportunities on a moment s notice so in no time I had a room filled with parents and teens ready to enjoy the seminar. John appreciated the fact that the parents were present too and he asked me to organize events for his team the next year on their spring break. For several years I organized seminars in the southeast and even traveled with the team teaching classes. After parents continually asked for a program for the elementary children I put together a program for that age group and trained teens to do the teaching. I charged for the events and made a little money. Maybe you have organized fund-raisers co-ops or camps and you can now help others do the same by becoming an event organizer Running a Co-op My husband and I were the leaders of our ever-growing homeschooling support group in Tallahassee for several years. Although that was a volunteer position I gained many new skills during those years including setting and upholding guidelines conflict resolution diplomacy and more. There may be a need in your community for someone to bring the homeschoolers together and you may be able to create a salaried or commissioned position for yourself Sharing Your Expertise The experiences with the most impact on the position I now hold were the seminar arrangements I made for the worldview team from Bryan College and preparing my own students for college. Unfortunately my oldest children suffered as guinea pigs of parents who knew very little about preparing students for college. When my oldest was accepted at Bryan (on scholarship) she had never taken a college entrance exam. I had no idea that the PSAT was only given once a year and was tied to the National Merit Scholarship. My children were fairly well prepared for life after high school if it did not include college but we were completely unaware of many of the requirements for a successful (and affordable) college career. One of the benefits of having a large family is the fact that one can continue to learn and improve with age By the time our youngest three were in high school I had finally learned enough to help them prepare for college. Now as the homeschool specialist at Bryan College I am helping many families avoid the mistakes I made as they navigate the high school years and I love doing that CONCLUSION If you will have more time on your hands soon and want to use your hard-earned expertise you can Write down all the experiences you have had with your children over the years not leaving anything out. Include every volunteer job position of leadership support position and teaching position. Not only may you be more qualified than you think but you might end up with a job you enjoy so much that you can also say What They are paying me again Pat Wesolowski is a 30-year homeschooling veteran who along with her husband educated her nine children at home. 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