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Choosing a College (Part 1), Special Needs Resource, Readers' Responses

By Lynn Hogan

Added Friday, October 21, 2005

The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
Vol. 6 No 42    October 21, 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. We all
need to be helping each other with our schools!

Directions for subscribing and unsubscribing are below.



Notes from Lynn
-- Choosing Colleges - The Campus Visit
Helpful Hints
-- Special Needs Resource
Question of the Week:
-- Can School be Fun for First Grader?
Reader's Response
-- Assorted Answers to Questions
Lynn's Picks
-- A Small Business Opportunity
--Subscriber Information Including Archive Retrieval
--Sponsorship Information


I realize that many of you reading this letter may not have high
school age children or maybe even college bound students. My
hope is that the information that is included in these college
information articles will be helpful to all our students. The
ideas included could apply to most jobs as well. After all, a
college is a student's job for a few years!

One thing that I encourage parents and students to do is visit
the prospective campus with their student. I suggest the visit
to be an "over-nighter" if possible with your student staying
with other students on campus. Some colleges even have housing
they can allow the parents to use if they make arrangements
ahead of time. If not, it might be a great excuse for Mom and Dad
to spend a night alone in a hotel! (You know me, any excuse for
a get-away sounds grand to me!) If you call ahead of time, the
recruiters will usually be glad to help make the arrangements.

If your prospective school is uncooperative arranging a campus
visit, I would take it off your "short list". Most schools are
thrilled to have you, but I have found an occasional school
that wasn't "set up" for such a visit. I found a "back door" in
for my son to stay in the dorms and found out that he and I had
completely different opinions of the school by the time the
visit was over. I saw the "sales" side and he saw the "real"
side of the campus. Unfortunately, the differences were great
and not particularly positive.

Another possibly scary event for many students is the college
interview. It is important for your student to remember that
whenever he is on campus, he is showing these representatives a
piece of himself. Hopefully, he is focused on showing his BEST
piece! Encourage your student to look each adult in the eye when
they are being spoken to. This helps to project confidence (even
if they don't always feel it). Questions should always be
answered honestly. Sometimes they may ask your student something
that he doesn't know. That's okay and he should be honest about
what he does and doesn't know. If they allow you to sit in on
the interview process, try and bite your tongue instead of
answering questions for your student. Many homeschoolers are
excellent in this part of the process because of their
experiences dealing with adults in a mature manner.

It is nice if your student could be relatively up to date on
current affairs. Sometimes they ask questions about what is
going on in the news. Your student should also have his
questions ready before he goes to the campus. To go to the
college and ask questions whose answers are posted on the
college's website tells the admissions officer that your
student *may* not be serious about attending school there. If
your student has great SAT/ACT scores, that may be a signal for
them to be a little more persistent about encouraging your
student to attend there (perhaps through lucrative
scholarship/financial aid packages). However, if your student
has average scores, this may be a sign that they may need to
look elsewhere for a "serious" student. Some schools are more
specific about their required minimum scores than others. Often
the test scores are only one of a number of criteria being
considered for both scholarships and/or acceptance.

I probably don't need to remind you or your student to dress
appropriately. Any time there is a chance of interacting with
college personnel, it would be nice if your student is not
dressed in what he wore to the ball game last night. Often these
visits include a good deal of walking, so comfortable shoes are
strongly recommended. My daughter said that your student should
wear clothes that make your him feel good about himself. There
is a chance that he may be nervous or insecure and his appearance
is not something that he should have to be concerned about.

Make a special effort to meet with an enrollment recruiter or an
admissions counselor during your visit. Generally recruiters are assigned by
location. It is always nice to make a good impression on a
recruiter. Then your recruiter will "go to bat for you" in
regards to money issues (scholarships, work study, etc.) and
even promote your enrollment even if you might be a little "on
paper" less promising a student than someone else. Sometimes our
test scores do not truly reflect our abilities. If the
admissions people do not get to meet you and you have not met
anyone else in administration on campus, your odds are not as
good as if you have met them and made a good impression on them.

The college process is an involved one that you shouldn't put off
to the last possible moment. Helping your student plan and
think through his decisions will help all of you make the
transition easier. My first is a sophomore at a college and my
son is a junior in high school. The transition is a challenge
but one that helps them mature into the men and women God
designed them to be. We're just there to help them along!

Next week we will speak some more about some things I have still
left unsaid on this topic of the college process.



Here's Your Chance! Send YOUR Ideas Along to

Special Needs Resource

I have been a subscriber for awhile and always enjoy your emails.
I would just like to share a resource that we have found
invaluable while homeschooling our son who has a language delay.
Typical speech therapy just did not work, and as we learned
more about the school system, we realized how little we were
valued as parents in our son's learning. Then we found
www.jamesdmacdonald.org which is the website of Dr. Jim MacDonald,
a professor from Ohio State who trains parents to help their own
children. We have seen such a difference. He helps parents all
over the world with articles on his website, through email,
phone calls, and a large, active yahoo group in which he
contributes and responds daily. There is also now a second
yahoo group, CPHomeschoolers, just for those who follow Dr. Jim
and homeschool. The CP stands for Communicating Partners.

I just wanted to pass this on to you in case you think it may be
something to share. Above all, Dr. Jim wants parents to enjoy
their kids and connect with them. He has been such a blessing
to our family, and I hope others will also be helped.

Thanks for all the work you do for homeschoolers! - Gen


Have you a burning question that you can't ask just anyone? Send
it to question@unitstudyhelps.com and we'll see if a smart
subscriber can't help you out. (Editor's Note: You can also
post your QUESTIONS at the message board to see what others
might have to say. The address is: http://www.voy.com/89720/
SEND YOUR RESPONSE to response@unitstudyhelps.com

Editor's Note: This question can involve LONG answers, but space
is limited here. Please try and do what you can to make your
answers as concise as possible. If you want to respond with a
long answer, please go to the message board, where I have
suggested Rebecca post her question as well!.
The address is: http://www.voy.com/89720/

I have a 1st grader and have only been doing homeschool really
since last year. Even then I wasn't very dedicated. Now I am
though, but the biggest issue I run into is, she is hating it
cause she isn't having any fun. While I think not everything in
life needs to be fun, I think school should be at least
sometimes.:) Any ideas on how to make it fun or fun learning
activities? - Darcy


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!

We did not get any responses about a safe chat room for teenage
homeschoolers. For that reason, we are running some great
responses about other questions we have received. I think you
will get the idea of what questions were asked.

How about having your daughter journal what she does for a day,
each day? Just write down what she does from breakfast and on,
adding details as needed, and if doing it all at once is too
much she can stop and write a few lines every now and then. As
she becomes accustomed to writing the basics, then adding
details she will see more she will want to write about.
Sometimes all at one time is a little too overwhelming to
write. Hope it helps - Faye

From time to time I see folks asking about on-line schools. One
of the best is not on-line, but by mail. Your older child can
start it when 16 years of age. It is a by mail correspondence
accredited school called "American School" based in Lansing, Il
and has been around for over 100 years. Check it out at
americanschoolofcorr.org. Hope this can help other, it as been
a blessing for two of my children. - Carrie

I was an early reader, too. I began at age 2 and was reading
classic novels and poetry by 5 years old. I was often called
"weird" and similar things. But I did not try to do my reading
when it was time to do other things. I did most of my reading
at home and at the library. I did not take books to dance class
or playing in the neighborhood.

Perhaps you could explain to your little girl that other kids
haven't caught on as fast as she has, but they will, eventually.
She also needs to learn that there is a time and place to do
different things. In this case, reading around others makes the
other kids feel as though they are not as intelligent and that
hurts their feelings, so out of consideration for the feelings
of others, she could refrain from taking her books to group

Also, a bright kid needs time to play and learn non-book skills;
obviously, you are meeting that need with her. But she needs to
have adult friends who recognize and reinforce her abilities in
book learning, acting as mentors. My son, the computer geek :) ,
found a couple of adult males with abilities in technological
fields who were open to friendship with him. These men were a
comfort to my nonsocial son while he was too immature to deal
with non-geeks (he's good enough at it now to work and share an
apartment with other geeks, but he may never interact well with
"ordinary" folks, as he has Asperger Syndrome. Perhaps there is
an eccentric aunt or someone in your religious community who
could be trusted to befriend and converse with her. It's good
to explain to kids that they can have friends of many ages and
can find MORE friends if they reach out to other age groups.

She can also learn to handle verbal abuse by using humor. My son
often pointed out to the name-calling crowd that Bill Gates is
a nerd, too, and NOBODY would dare to pick on him now. He says
that it's never wise to tease a nerd because guess who will be
the employers of the future? Nerds. You and your girl might
come up with something mildly humorous but thoroughly true to
use as a comeback. - LeeAnn


Lately, for some reason, I have been "running into" other
opportunities for small businesses. I promise I do not go
looking for them, but if I see an opportunity, I try and pass
it on. The most recent came from a fellow webmaster named Patti
Chadwick. Patti shared the information with me last night and
I certainly thought it was worth passing on to you! If you have
more questions, you can e-mail Patti from the website!

If your family, youth group, homeschool, or church could use
some extra money check out this site. Just a few sales each
week you'll begin receiving a regular check each month! No
website or domain name to set up. No inventory to handle, no
telephone calls, no dealing with returns, no need to track
shipping or pay sales taxes. All of that is taken care of for
you! To check out her store in the Spread the Word network,
visit www.familytymes.org/advertising3.htm Tell her that you
heard about it through the Homeschooler's Notebook.


There are opportunities for you to be a sponsor of this
newsletter. If you are interested, drop an e-mail to
marketing@stretcher.com with "Homeschoolers-Notebook" as the
subject. We'll send you some information on how to be a part of
this ministry!


All contributed articles are printed with the author's prior
consent. It is assumed that any questions, tips or replies to
questions may be reprinted. All letters become the property of
the "Homeschooler's Notebook". (Occasionally your contribution
may have to be edited for space.)

Again, I welcome you to the group. Feel free to send any
newsletter contributions or get in touch with me at
Lynn@unitstudyhelps.com or catch me on ICQ(#6729825) or AOL
Instant Messenger at: LH for Jesus. You can also find helpful
links at my website: http://www.unitstudyhelps.com

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Next - Choosing a College (Part 2), Art History Timeline, Avoiding Excessive Activities
Previous - High School Transcripts, Problems Bright Children Face

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