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College Prep, Backyard Animal Observation

By Lynn Hogan

Added Friday, September 30, 2005

The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
Vol. 6 No 39    September 30, 2005
ISSN: 1536-2035
Copyright (c) 2000-2005 Lynn Hogan. All Rights Reserved.

Welcome to the Homeschooler's Notebook!
If you like this newsletter, recommend it to a friend!



Notes from Lynn:
-- Let's Talk College Prep
Helpful Hints
-- Free Parrot Coloring Book
Question of the Week:
-- How DO You Teach Children Five Years Apart in Age?
Reader's Response
-- Most Impressive School Activity - Repeat


We spent most of September talking about gaps in our children's
education. USUALLY when we are worried about gaps, we are
concerned about what happens AFTER homeschooling. For many of
us, that comes when we send our students off to college. I
thought this might be a good time to start talking about
colleges. Michelle mentioned the conservativehs2c group (e-mail
to: conservativehs2c-subscribe@yahoogroups.com) and that
reminded me that it has been quite a while since we have
discussed the process of getting ready for college from both a
parent and a student's perspective. Over the next several weeks,
we will talk about how we get prepared, how we interview
colleges as well as things to consider when choosing a college.
Although many of you are a few years from this adventure,
chances are ONE DAY (and sooner than you might wish) you and
your child will be starting to explore this journey. It's a new
phase from homeschooling, but something that you have been
preparing both your student and yourself for throughout your
homeschooling journey.

The college application process can appear to be a jungle, but,
in reality, even for homeschoolers, it is not designed to be
complicated. The goal for both your student and the college is
to find the best "fit". Every college WANTS every student that
comes to stay for 4 years. This is one of the ways a college is
rated in the magazines that review colleges! You don't WANT
your student to have to transfer colleges because he made the
wrong choice. That can turn out to be expensive, time consuming
and frustrating. Many credits are non-transferable between
colleges so your student "loses" credits with a transfer, most
of the time. It would be so much better to make the right
choice the first time. Hopefully, this series will point you in
the right direction.

The first thing I want to address is transcripts. I do this
because we spend our entire high school career concerned about
our college transcript. Go ahead, you can admit it. Sometimes
we stop worrying about how perfect is our education and
concentrate more on what do we need on our transcripts for
college. We don't MEAN to put our education into a box, but
even the most committed "unschooler" can all of a sudden change
their focus or priorities when college is looming on the

Transcripts are a wonderful record for the college of what
skills our student has mastered over their educational careers.
They are similar to a resume for a job application only they
primarily contain educational activities. I must admit, I did
have plenty of extra-curricular activities including service
activities (missions trips), part time employment (babysitting,
waitressing, etc.) and any leadership activities (small group
leader) on the transcript where I could fit, but the primary
goal is to demonstrate what your student has learned in their
academic career.

My student learned keyboarding when he was very young. He
continued to master that skill throughout his entire
homeschooling journey. Keyboarding was on his high school
transcript. My daughter use a traditional curriculum's
"consumer math" and learned about amortizing loans and buying a
car and other similar life skills. She did not need the "math"
on her transcript. We, instead, documented the "personal
finance" part of the book on her transcript. In each of these
cases, the work was mastered by each student and it appeared on
their high school transcript. The items were documented in a
way the college admissions person viewing the transcript could
understand. One thing that is very important is that the
recruiter looking at that transcript must be able to understand
each item without having to read through 20 pages of attached
documentation. Time is limited for these poor recruiters who
are looking at 100s of applications. They have neither the
time nor the inclination to have to call you for an explanation
of your transcript. They much prefer it be written in a form
they can understand without translation.

There are a couple schools of thought on the appearance of the
transcript. Some believe that your student's transcript should
look like everyone else's. Another school of thought is that
you should include book lists for all 4 of your high school
years and samples of your students best work in each topic.
Next week we will examine the advantages and disadvantages of
each of these avenues.




This is a link to get a free parrot coloring book for the home
schooled kids, like maybe for science class or something?? It
is free and you just print it out. - Pam



How can I make school interesting and engaging for a younger
child, while meeting the needs of the older one? Secondly, do
you provide totally separately instruction for children with a
five year age span or are there things you do together that
keep both excited about learning?


NOTE: my publication of these responses does not necessarily
mean that I endorse a product or an activity. You make your own
decisions about how these responses might work in YOUR school!

What ONE activity was a big hit in our homeschool?

Observing box turtles (any animals!) in our yard. Last year we
were able to watch (and even videotape) three different box
turtle mamas digging their "nest" in our yard. It was amazing
how they dig such a deep hole for sometimes hours and then
deposit the eggs. We did dig up one batch and incubate for
several months until the eggs hatched. (Keeping them is
illegal in our state, so we had to release them at birth.) We
spent hours gathering information about turtles, visited a
certified wildlife rehabber (Who informed us about the
"legalities" of the situation!), and my 4 year-old had fun doing
turtle related art projects. As a result of this one incident,
our daughter keeps a bug habitat and butterfly habitat occupied at
all times during the warm months, and she claims she is a
veterinarian! - Michelle

Next - A Reader Asks: How to Involve My Husband in Homeschooling?
Previous - Those Pesky Gaps (Conclusion), Studying the USA, Character Re-Energizing!

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