Posted in High School, HS4CC, Transcripts

Size and Type of Font for our Transcript?

Mailing in a paper copy of your teen’s high school transcript? Unlikely. Today, almost all of you will have to send, upload, attach, or email the transcript digitally. Whether you do this through an application portal or to the college directly, the size and type of font you use are important.

Continue reading “Size and Type of Font for our Transcript?”
Posted in CLEP, Curriculum, Dual Enrollment, High School, HS4CC

Parent question: If we are homeschooling with (name removed) Online Academy, can we still earn college credit from different sources?

That’s a great question and the short answer is YES! But you might not like the long answer.

Continue reading “Parent question: If we are homeschooling with (name removed) Online Academy, can we still earn college credit from different sources?”
Posted in Dual Enrollment, GPA, High School, HS4CC

Parent Question: We want to use dual enrollment, but what if she gets a bad grade?

A parent from our Texas Homeschooling for College Credit Facebook group asks “Hi, I’m new to this. I would like to help my 9th grader to start her classes thought dual enrollment. My question is if she doesn’t get a good grade that will affect her GPA and also be on her college record. Is there anyway you can avoid that happen?? Any suggestions?? Thank you!!”

Continue reading “Parent Question: We want to use dual enrollment, but what if she gets a bad grade?”
Posted in College Majors, Curriculum, Distance Learning, High School, HS4CC, Self-Paced Learning

Fall HS Online Course: Forensic and Investigative Science

Aspiring forensic scientist at home? Here’s a great option that is open enrollment for any teen. No high school transcript required, no placement testing, and no calendar. All fully self-paced courses you can plug into your teen’s fall schedule. These courses are approved by the International Association for Identification (IAI) and International Association of Bloodstain Pattern Analysts (IABPA) and accredited by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) and are open to teens in all 50 states.

Continue reading “Fall HS Online Course: Forensic and Investigative Science”
Posted in Career Planning, Common Sense College Planning, High School, HS4CC

I (don’t) Have a Dream (job)

passion1

don’t remember being commanded in high school (late 1980’s)to find my “dream job.”  I remember having a few subjects I really liked: Home Economics (cooking) and Biology (genetics).  However, after many years of taking aptitude and ability test, my guidance counselors pushed me into cooking over biology (they were right).  Still, no one asked me if cooking was my “dream.”  In fact, if you ask me today about my dream or passion, my career is only a small piece of the picture.  In fact, as a middle-aged adult, my career aspirations are merely tools to support and facilitate my real dreams.

Today, our young teens are blasted with what I call “dream propaganda” from a very young age.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be a dream crusher.  If your teen has a dream job goal, research suggests they’ll have high job satisfaction if they land their dream job.

Researchers have found that workers who feel a higher calling to their jobs are among the most content. Take zookeepers, for example. Though more than eight in 10 zookeepers have college degrees, their average annual income is less than $25,000. The typical job description involves scrubbing enclosures, scooping waste and spending time in the elements. There’s little room for advancement and zookeepers tend not to be held in high regard, says Stuart Bunderson, Ph.D., a professor of organizational behavior at the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis (Administrative Science Quarterly, 2009).

Modern dream propaganda assumes:

  • There is such a thing as a dream job.
  • You must identify it in the first 25% of your life if you are to achieve it on time.
  • You must begin a dedicated and formal pursuit of it immediately.
  • It will be built on a 4-year degree.
  • It will provide a good living for you and your family.
  • You will live happily ever after.  The end.

What if your teen ended up working at an average company, earning an average living, with average job satisfaction?  What if your daughter ended up as a homeschooling mother instead of an employee?  <gasp>  Would that be terrible?  Are our children homeschooling failures if they aren’t chasing a dream job?

This post is meant to prompt you to consider your role as your teen’s guidance counselor.  We, as homeschooling parents, have the luxury of not only parenting our teens through this very important transitionary time in life, but we get to help them navigate the educational landscape too.

miners

It’s easy to get lost in the propaganda of our time, and if you don’t think you’re influenced by it, consider the other extreme:  coal miners of the 1700’s.  Clearly, no one believes that this type of work was anyone’s dream job!  It was dangerous, dirty, hot, rough, and physically hard!  Still, I don’t believe that the lives of the men in this photo were empty.  I don’t believe that they never felt the satisfaction of a job well done, or didn’t appreciate the opportunity to provide for their families. I don’t believe that they didn’t have fun with their co-workers, telling jokes and stories.  What did career guidance look like in the 1700’s? Clearly, in 2021, we want more for our teens than working in a dangerous coal mine.  But, are we taking it to the opposite extreme by insisting that they chase a dream at the expense of all else?  At the expense of common sense?  Are we asking them to go deeply into debt to finance the pursuit of a dream?  (Even though we know 50% of those who start college won’t finish).

Modern dream propaganda promotes to our teens a very scary notion:  that a dream is out there, and it’s up to them to “find” it immediately.  If they don’t, then there is something wrong with them!  If we take a moment to think about the modern “dream job” message before we support it, the message is very damaging.  The message tells our children that “everyone else” has this great personal insight revealed to them by the time they are in high school, and that if you’re late gaining this insight, you’re doomed to a life of poverty and unfulfilling work!  Wow.  Talk about pressure.

passion3

I’ve been guilty of applying that pressure to my teens, most notably with my oldest (the guinea pig) when we started career exploration in middle school.  I handed my son a book called College Majors, which explored majors in Anthropology, Biotechnology, Dermatology, Human Resources, etc.  Who wants to guess how many 8th graders know what any of those words mean?  It’s about zero.  Yet, onward.

In an effort to make an efficient and resourceful high school plan (one that injects college credit) it’s easy to become too narrow too soon.  For those rare teens with an early and clear passion, having a resourceful parent will make all the difference in the world.  But for teens developing at a normal rate of emotional and cognitive (mind) development, it would be unusual to have such a strong sense of identity and purpose at an early age – especially at the exclusion of everything else.

When I look back on a conversation I had with my Home Economics teacher, a special mentor to me, I remember telling her that I wanted to work on a cruise ship.  Later, after actually working as a chef, I knew that working on a cruise ship would be a terrible job for me!  The job was in conflict with my dream– my imagination of what that job might be life.

It’s easy to have a dream job when its crafted in our imagination.

buffet

As an adult, we have a better understanding of the world than our teens.  When we consider a decision, we base it on our life’s experiences and our understanding of the world.  Our teens aren’t broken, they just don’t have the life experience we do!  A teen can’t know what it really means to work on a cruise ship from inside the profession (sleeping in a public bunk, working 12 hours on/off, leaving family and friends for months at a time, being one of a thousand insignificant employees, working in very hot- or very cold kitchens, having large stock pots of boiling soup slide off the stove during a storm, etc.) but a teen can imagine it from books, tv, or being a guest (beautiful and elaborate food buffets decorated with fruit and vegetable platters displayed perfectly, ice carvings, and the most elegant and delicious food imaginable).  See the gap?  When we look at dream jobs, they are just that:  dreams.  We are looking from the outside, and the reality can be very different from what we imagine.

If you ask adults about their dream job, you’ll notice something very interesting.  You’ll get answers like this:

having autonomy over my schedule.”

“helping people accomplish their goals.”

watching the joy in my patient’s eyes.”

having enough time off to take vacations with my family.”

What did you notice?  These dreams are all based on a quality of life and contribution to society!  They aren’t about tasks or being an employee.  If I look at those answers through the lens of my trade (culinary arts), I could identify specific jobs where someone with my training could pursue their dream.  Want autonomy?  Write cookbooks.  Helping people accomplish their goal?  Teach culinary arts.  Watch joy in your patient’s eyes? Meals on Wheels.  Having time off?  Corporate dining.   As you can see, nearly any occupation can be made into a dream job, but it’s unlikely that your teen will have the insight and life experience to pull that together as a very young person.

You are your teen’s best guidance counselor!

As your teen’s guidance counselor, you may want to consider helping them see the converse side of modern propaganda:

  • There may not be such a thing as a dream job. But we all have dreams.
  • You may not be able to understand your dreams and gifts until you’ve had more life experiences.
  • Dreams and passions can be practiced through volunteer work, ministries, activities, clubs, sports, hobbies, and other informal activities right now!  They can also exist alongside our careers- with our families, not just at work.
  • One’s dreams and passions will likely change, evolve, and morph over time as we experience various stages of life (marriage, parenthood, retirement) and the unexpected events of adulthood (death of a loved one, a spouse’s deployment)
  • Pursuing a 4-year degree may be separate and apart from a dream job!
  • Advising your teen to secure a good living means your grandchildren will have food on the table and a roof over their head…it may not include a fancy sports car.
  • Life is short, live it well.
Posted in ASU EA, High School, HS4CC

What’s the difference between ASU’s various course programs?

Since last summer, we’ve been BIG FANS of Arizona State University’s programs and how they’ve reached out to our community. This post will outline the differences between their programs and how do they fit into your Homeschooling for College Credit program.

Continue reading “What’s the difference between ASU’s various course programs?”
Posted in financial aid, High School, Resources, Scholarships, working

100 Employee Scholarships

Parents:  check with Human Resources immediately!  Scholarship application deadlines are sometimes a year in advance.

Who qualifies?

It depends.  In some cases, a parent’s dependents are eligible to apply, but in other cases, the teen must be an employee.  If you or your teen already work for one of these companies, simply contact your Human Resources department and ask for more information. Continue reading “100 Employee Scholarships”

Posted in Career Planning, College Majors, Common Sense College Planning, High School, HS4CC, Tuition

Educational Value

“Pursuing high-quality postsecondary education is one of the most important investments a student can make, and is the surest path to the middle class in our country.” The U.S. Department of Education says so, therefore, it must be true. We think it’s true. Well, it’s probably true, right? What’s the alternative? NOT going to college? Too risky. But what if that statement makes assumptions about students that aren’t true?

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Posted in High School, HS4CC

Summer School = College Credit

Residential summer school is coming back! Today I have 2 universities to share with you that are offering on-campus programs this summer that include housing and college credit. These programs are both offered through private Christian Universities that are regionally accredited, but I’m expecting to see a slight return to normal this summer and we should expect to have an abundance of Christian and secular options coming soon.

Continue reading “Summer School = College Credit”
Posted in Curriculum, High School

High School Credit for Aspiring Vets

If you have an aspiring vet, they’ll likely be filling their academic schedules with science, science, and more science, but don’t forget that animal lovers want to study animals too! These courses are worth high school credit for homeschoolers (not college credit) and can be taken by any student of any age. None of these require placement tests or transcripts!

Continue reading “High School Credit for Aspiring Vets”
Posted in ASU EA, High School, HS4CC

What’s the difference between ASU’s various course programs?

Since this summer, we’ve been BIG FANS of Arizona State’s Earned Admissions program for our homeschooling community, but since that time we’ve learned of a few other options you might like to know about. But what’s the difference between these programs and how do they fit into a Homeschooling for College Credit program?

Continue reading “What’s the difference between ASU’s various course programs?”
Posted in CLEP, High School, Science

Curriculum for Biology –> CLEP

In this post, we’re going look at some ideas for biology curriculum that gets a solid foundation for teens that want to take the Biology CLEP.

Official College Board Biology CLEP Page: here

The Biology examination covers material that is usually taught in a one-year college general biology course (2 semesters) covers 3 areas of general biology:

  1. molecular and cellular biology (33% / about 38 questions)
  2. organismal biology (33% / about 38 questions)
  3. population biology (33% / about 38 questions)

Skipping “curriculum” and just starting with “test prep” is a mistake. This is a very large exam covering an enormous scope of content. The trick to success is allowing sufficient learning time using high school (or college) curriculum as your foundation and following up with test prep. You should choose the foundation (curriculum) that aligns well with your student’s ability. Students working well above grade level may enjoy the challenge of using college level content, but students working on grade level can still be successful with the CLEP exam by learning with high school curriculum! Learning for this exam could easily take 2 high school semesters.

If you’d rather have your teen take biology directly for college credit, you can can explore the many options here: 30 Ways to Earn College Credit in High School. Using CLEP means you’ll award high school credit for the curriculum work your teen does at home, and they’ll earn potential college credit by taking the CLEP exam later. Acceptance of CLEP varies by college.

Should you add a lab? High School Biology often includes a lab, though it isn’t required as preparation for this exam. It may, however, be required by your state’s graduation requirements or your target college’s admissions requirements, so I like the idea of adding a lab unless you’re sure you don’t need one.

Build Your Curriculum

(choose 1)

Khan Academy High School Biology (secular / free)

Apologia High School Biology (Christian/ cost)

Easy Peasy High School Biology (Christian / free)

Khan Academy AP/College Biology (secular / free)

MITx Introduction to Biology (secular / free)

add a lab (optional)

High School Biology Lab Kits (physically do at home)

College Biology Lab Simulation (do on the computer)

add a text book (optional)

College Biology Textbook (online / free)

Test Prep Voucher (Take a CLEP for free)

Modern States is a free online CLEP prep class that upon completion will pay for your teen’s CLEP exam. Get your voucher first! Besides giving your student some extra test prep, the voucher pays for your exam!

Test Prep

REA CLEP Biology Book with Practice Tests (try your local library!)

Hippocampus (for any topic still giving you trouble)


Are you preparing for the CLEP Biology exam or already taken it? If so, what resources are your favorite? Share below!

Posted in College Admission, financial aid, High School

Member Question: Should we graduate high school earlier than usual?

A Texas parent asks: “Hello. I am new here and to full homeschool in general… In a nut shell, my daughter is THRIVING in her online high school curriculum… We want to allow her full homeschool to give her control over her pace as she would like to graduate earlier and have control over her personal schedule. She is very disciplined and we know it’s the right move for her.”

Continue reading “Member Question: Should we graduate high school earlier than usual?”