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I just got this note accompanying a registration for our July 12 High School at Home Conference
Patty Hegberg writes:
Are your kids curious about investing? Here's a great help-- created by a homeschool graduate!
Editor's Note from Susan: I was delighted to meet John Pilch at the recent Greater Pittsburgh Homeschool Workshop. He was staffing a vendor table with a curriculum on investing-- I wondered if he was the developer.... or maybe was just helping a parent. I was very grateful to hear he had indeed created this helpful course to let students learn about the stock market and strategies for investing-- and was even happier to find out he was a 2011 PA Homeschoolers Accreditation Agency graduate, and that he began investing in the stock market himself when just 15! He's now a student at Penn State University in the Smeal College of Business. Neat to see homeschool grads really moving into their fields of interest, AND to see them working to give back to the homeschool community in unique ways by sharing their growing expertise. Thanks, John-- and best wishes on your www.2Young2Invest.com website!
The more one learns about the power of investing, the more he realizes the importance of starting early. Benjamin Graham, a famous investor of the 20th century wrote, “There is a great advantage for the young capitalist to begin his financial education and experience early. If he is going to operate as an aggressive investor he is certain to make some mistakes and to take some losses. Youth can stand these disappointments and profit by them.”
Fundamentals of Investing in the Stock Market is an introductory curriculum that examines the basics of investing and of the stock market using examples, illustrations, case studies, and exercises. It is designed for students interested in business or for students who desire to manage their personal finances effectively. Ideally, the course will instill in students a passion for investing that....
Hearing on Tuesday -- Homeland Security Prosecutes German Homeschooling Family
In November 2008, Uwe and Hannelore Romeike sold their grand piano (Uwe is a piano teacher) and fled to the United States with their five children. In Germany they were paying fines and being threatened with having their children taken away from them. The facts of the case are not in dispute:
After fleeing to the United States, they requested asylum, which was granted to them by an immigration judge on January 24, 2010. According to the The Christian Post:
The Department of Homeland Security appealed the immigration judge's decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), and on May 4, 2012, the BIA accepted their argument that since German law prevented everyone from homeschooling, the Romeike family did not have a legitimate case that they were being persecuted. Specifically, the BIA held:...
Results of April 12, 2013, Western PA volleyball tournament sponsored by PA Homeschoolers
The first number is the place that the team finished. In parentheses is the approximate location of the team.
Senior Division A
All Tournament Team - Senior Division...
Editor's Note from Susan Richman: Once again the homeschool Encore! drama group in Central PA is putting on a major production, and they've also gotten great press coverage already in the Patriot News out of Harrisburg. Our best wishes on this musical! I know that the whole cast and support team of countless other students and parents have put in hours and hours and hours of dedicated work!
If you've never been to one of Encore's main stage productions, you're in for a treat. I'm still amazed after seven years of involvement! This year's show, set in St. Louis at the time of the 1904 World's Fair, is fast-moving with familiar songs, lively dances, and memorable characters. I recommend it for anyone from age 5 - 105!
Tickets available at www.showtix4u.com for the April 5, 6 and 7 performances.
Forrest Davis as John Truitt and Amber Emerson as Esther Smith in Encore's upcoming show, Meet Me in St. Louis April 5-7, 2013
Austin Cassel as Mr. Smith and Emma Graybill as Mrs. Smith in Encore's upcoming show, Meet Me in St. Louis April 5-7, 2013
Amber Emerson as Esther Smith, Michael Snader as Grandpa, and Rachel Snyder as Rose Smith in Encore's upcoming show, Meet Me in St. Louis April 5-7, 2013
New Online Store wth 21 products at 25% off at PA Homeschoolers
We just updated our Pennsylvania Homeschoolers Online Store in order to simplify the store in order to make your buying experience easier.
We are phasing out most of our books, games and CD's. All of the following products are on 25% sale in our new Closeouts section:
We continue to have a flat $3.95 shipping/handling fee, no matter what the size of your order. So order as many of these closeouts as you want. After the first item, shipping is free!...
Indiana PA testing date for March 6th POSTPONED -- new date is Wednesday March 20th!!
Due to forecasts of up to 4 to 8 inches in the region for tomorrow morning, we've decided to *postpone* our testing date in Indiana PA. Our new testing date is Wednesday, March 20, 2013, at the same location, Sovereign Grace Church in Indiana PA.
Hope to see you there! We have sent an email message to everyone who has already pre-registered for testing, and we've updated the online registration form to reflect our new date-- you can still sign on up!
Hope everyone enjoys a fun *snow day* tomorrow-- you might want to take a look at this fun set of writings from students from my Homeschool Writing Club about What Homeschoolers Do on a Snow Day. Enjoy!
AP course registrations opening VERY soon-- including a new 2nd section of AP World History!
Editor's Note from Susan Richman: I was so delighted to hear very recently from a PHAA graduate and former AP US History online student, Gwen Umbreit Smith. I know she's going to add wonderful energy to our terrific line-up for AP Online courses for the coming school year-- she's both an experienced online learner and teacher! Be sure to head over to www.aphomeschoolers.com by February 15th, when we unveil our totally renovated website sharing info on all of our 2013-2014 Advanced Placement classes. You'll find full course descriptions (and photos of each teacher!),full info on how to apply, how to pay tuition fees once accepted, and maybe most helpful of all, student reviews of each course. I think you'll all really like the 'new look' of the website, too! (Much thanks to our daughter, Maya (Molly) Richman Inspektor for her help with the re-design!). And now here's a chance to get to know our newest teacher, Gwen Smith!
It is with great excitement that I am joining the AP teachers for PA Homeschoolers! I will be partnering with Mrs. Gloria Harrison to offer a second section of AP World History for the 2013-2014 school year. In a way, I am “coming home” by teaching my first class with PA Homeschoolers. In 2001, I walked across the stage at The Forum in Harrisburg to receive an accredited PHAA diploma from my parents who had tirelessly devoted the past nine years to homeschooling me. I am still in awe of the time and resources they dedicated to homeschooling so that I could earn a quality high school education. I am sure the decision to enroll me in multiple online AP courses was not an easy one, but I am forever grateful that they did. The online AP courses I took were a crucial part of my high school education and I am confident they set me up for the successes I’ve had in my continuing education and career.
June 2001, Harrisburg, Pa: Having fun taking pictures on my graduation day with fellow homeschool friends. L-R: Annie Blakeslee, Hannah Richman, April (Smelser) Starr, Gwen (Umbreit) Smith, Meghan (Bishop) Paher.
Reflections on our Hunt for College Scholarships
Editor's Note from Susan Richman: I was so delighted to get an email recently from Sheryl Robel, a wonderful homeschooling mother I've known for years and years. Some of our kids were on homeschool volleyball teams together, and the Robel kids all took part in the Homeschoolers Writing Club that I offered for years. Sheryl was writing to share the very happy news that her youngest son, Ben, had just been named a winner in the state level of the Horatio Alger Scholarship program, earning $5000 towards the college of his choice. I looked into this particular scholarship-- the organization offers 50 of these $5000 scholarships to students in Pennsylvania.They are looking for students who "have exhibited integrity and perseverance in overcoming personal adversity and who aspire to pursue higher education." A family must also demonstrate financial needs in pursuing a college education for their student. The website further shares the values they seek to establish through their scholarship program:
The Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans is dedicated to the simple but powerful belief that hard work, honesty and determination can conquer all obstacles. Today, through its Members, the Association continues to educate our nation's young people about the economic and personal opportunities afforded them by the promise of the American free enterprise system. Through its scholarship programs, the Association encourages students to pursue their own version of the American Dream. While providing scholarship opportunities, Association Members mentor the Scholars and underscore the importance of service to others. The Members work directly to provide promising young people with the support, education and confidence needed to realize their aspirations.
After hearing this good news about Ben's honor, I emailed Sheryl to see if she would like to share her thoughts on encouraging kids to try for various college scholarships-- and I was delighted to hear right back from her! Many words of wisdom here! And above everything, be sure to look for scholarship opportunities that resonate with *your student*, that just seem to have his or her 'name written all over them.'
One further thought-- although applying for scholarships can be a *lot* of work, and of course not every application will net a 'win', still putting in this dedicated time can also help our kids learn about follow-through, communicate effectively (and with a grateful heart!) with the adults asked to write recommendation letters, meet duedates right on time, develop their writing skills, and demonstrate resourcefulness and discernment.... all very valuable character qualities and skills to gain, even if the dollars don't come through each time. There might be more that is gained here than just the 'official' award! Also, know that many scholarship programs involve helping kids learn more about the whole financial aspect of attending college and more-- there are great newsletters, say, for the students interested in this Horatio Alger program, to guide them through the process and connect them with other great getting-ready-for-college resources.
So... now for Sheryl's thoughts on this process....
Reflections on our Hunt for College Scholarships
Just about ten years ago our eldest of seven children started looking at colleges and took her first PSAT. And that is when I realized that we could have started our hunt for “outside scholarships” (ones that are granted from foundations and programs not associated with any particular school or university) much sooner. To start with, I had no idea that the PSAT (which we had signed up to take just to warm up for the SAT) was also a scholarship competition.
Highly motivated because I had already missed one opportunity, I went to our local library and spent an afternoon scanning through a REALLY big book, which listed an overwhelming number of scholarships organized alphabetically, and I returned home quite overwhelmed. I didn’t really have time for this kind of research project, but I also didn’t want to incur any debt for higher education.
Thankfully for us, Geneva College’s financial aid office made us aware of a very helpful tool called....
Still time to register for our next SAT Essay preparation course!
Our online SAT essay writing class prepares students for the on-the-spot essay now included in every College Board SAT exam. These 4-week classes, which precede the October and March test administrations, use the same interactive format that has been so successful in ourAdvanced Placement test preparation classes. Students write, get feedback, and then revise up to five different typical SAT exam essays as they sharpen their writing skills in preparation for the exam. If you register now, you will be signing up for a class which begins on February 4 (2013), which finishes in time to prepare students for the March 9, 2013, exam or later exams.
Karen Boyd, our long-time teacher for our SAT Essay Preparation Class, will be leading the course again this session. Students will use the SAT Study Guide published by the College Board for the course-- all essay topics will be taken from this excellent and comprehensive book. A bonus is that this guide can also be used by your student for self-study for all Critical Reading and Mathematics sections of the SAT also.
Karen Boyd writes in the course description found here: This is the ninth year, this class has been offered. Over the years I have observed that many homeschoolers have never written a timed essay. Many more had never written an essay in which they were asked to defend a clear position in writing. In fact, the idea seemed foreign to them. This class is designed to introduce students to that....
PBS 'Kids Go!' Writing Contest for grades K-3 starting up-- homeschoolers have won in the past!
Editor's Note from Susan Richman: Have your young kids come up with some delightful creative stories? Then consider entering this fun writing contest sponsored by Public Broadcasting Station WQED in Pittsburgh. The wonderful homeschooling Troll family from Somerset PA has had two daughters enter and go to the top levels of this contest-- their original illustrated books were delightful, and I loved seeing the little video last year at evaluations of their daughter Caroline Troll at the WQED studio recording her book (the 3rd place winner!), reading it aloud with lively expression-- and you can hear little 6-year old Caroline Troll reading her delightful butterfly story right up at the contest website! I know you'll be charmed. Older sister Christine Troll (now in 6th grade) was the 1st place third grade winner in 2010-- click here to read and see her full book, including all of her amazingly detailed and creative illustrations (just 'click' on the picture of her book, and a new pop-up window with the full book, with 'page turning' shows up-- amazing!).
And to get your kids' creative ideas going, definitely check out all the 'back winners' stories-- they are all up online, and I know you're kids will be VERY inspired to see what other children have created. In fact, one of the very wonderful things about looking into many types of contests is that the websites for the contests often share past winners' work, and looking over these quality efforts can really help our kids gain a sense of just what might be possible. It's like getting free curriculum materials-- and very motivating ones at that!
This year's contest is open to students in Grades K-3 in the Western and Central PA regions as well as in West Virginia. The 'kick-off' is starting January 15th, and stories must be submitted by April 5, 2013. There are different length requirements for each grade level, and young children who can't yet write down their own stories can dictate to an adult. At least five colorful illustrations must accompany the story. The links below will give you all the needed info-- let us know if your kids enter, or let us know how they enjoyed seeing the past winning stories! This would also be a terrific activity for homeschool Writing Clubs or weekly Co-op programs.
(The cover of kindergartner Caroline Troll's original story-- 3rd place regional winner in 2012!)
WQED PITTSBURGH ANNOUNCES ANNUAL PBS KIDS GO! WRITERS CONTEST
PITTSBURGH – Today, WQED announced its annual PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest, designed to promote the advancement of children’s literacy skills through hands-on, active learning. Also partnering with WQED this year arePenn State Public Broadcasting (WPSU) which serves central Pennsylvania and West Virginia Public Broadcasting(WVPB). The Contest, made possible by financial support from EQT Corporation, encourages children in grades K-3 to celebrate creativity by submitting their own original stories and illustrations.
“WQED is committed to providing fun opportunities for Pittsburgh-area kids to express their creativity,” said Deborah L. Acklin, President and CEO, WQED. “The PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest helps children across southwestern Pennsylvania and beyond to build valuable literacy skills for success in school and life.”
How the Contest Works
WQED will send its list of winners to the national contest where a panel of esteemed judges will rank the top 12 entries. National winners will be announced during the summer of 2013 and the winning stories will be featured on pbskids.org/writerscontest....
Move From Impressive to Intriguing in your College Applications
Jeannette Webb is founder of Aiming Higher Consultants, a high school planning and college consulting firm dedicated to helping homeschooled students reach their potential and successfully apply to their dream colleges. Learn more at aiminghigherconsultants.com. Jeannette is also the mother of two homeschool graduates who both went on to highly selective colleges, and she was our keynote speakers two summers ago at our PHAA High School at Home summer conference. We know manyvery happy families who've worked with her closely during the college application process, including many of the students in our Advanced Placement online courses (including international homeschoolers) as well as students in the PHAA diploma program here in PA. She's terrific!
[photo by Susan Richman, taken on Nov 2012 trip to Israel... what makes one rock more interesting than the next?]
It is autumn and my clients from around the world are working hard on presenting a winning application to the college of their dreams. And, some are shocked by the advice I give them.
If you want to catch an admissions officer's attention, seek to intrigue rather than impress.
What do I mean by that?
Your story (the compilation of essays, short answer questions, activity profile, counselor letter, teacher recommendations, school profile, transcript legend, and interviews) needs to be seamless. They should all agree with each other, but each piece doesn’t highlight the same things. It should give colleges a glimpse into your life that catches their attention and we do that by making it interesting, not by pounding them over the head with your accomplishments.
It’s amazing how often I have to rein mothers in! I totally understand because after 12 years of catching flack for homeschooling my kids I wanted to brag too!! But, we can’t go there. Trust me. Over and over again, I have to tell moms to....
Samuel Pritt has been very active in our AP Online courses, as have all his siblings, and he's also prepared on his own for many other AP exams. A special interest is Computer Science, and for his AP Computer Science independent studies he developed a unique program that can help with geolocation from photos-- and FEMA is now using this software to help in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Samuel presented the project for the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology, one of the most prestigious science competitions nationwide.
He was just recently interviewed on television news-- see this link! I just wish the interviewer had mentioned that Samuel has been homeschooled all his life! Samuel is also involved in a cancer research lab, is an advanced pianist, and loves a full range of sports. An amazing homeschooler-- and we offer our warmest congratulations to Samuel for all of his incredible contributions to the world, and know he will continue to make many further contributions in his bright future.
It's been an honor to have gotten to know the whole Pritt family through our AP Online classes over many years!
NEW re-schedule date for Washington/Allegheny County testing: THURSDAY, Nov. 8th-- same location!!!
We are so grateful that the wonderful Venice Presbyterian Church in McDonald PA in Washington County (see our 'TESTING SERVICE' link above for directions to the site) is able to host our re-scheduled FALL TESTING DAY next *Thursday*, November 8th. Same time, same location as always. We'll start testing promptly at 9:30am.... so aim to arrive by 9:15am (9:00am if you are planning to 'register at the door' -- just $35 per student), so that we can get start promptly.
I hear that the local homeschool group meets at the church on *Wednesday*, and the (wonderful!) secretary mentioned that the group could probably help in setting up the needed tables in the social hall that afternoon. THANKS in advance for helping out in this way!
Look forward to seeing everyone at this testing site, and hope all of you are safe and dry-- even though the storm was not as terrible as it might have been out here in Western PA, I know this was the right decision to re-schedule.
Please 'spread the word' to your homeschool groups about this NEW testing date! Thanks so much!
Due to the weather forecast of very strong winds and possibly heavy rain tomorrow morning, and the very real possibility of major power outages in the region, we've now made the decision to POSTPONE our scheduled Fall Testing Day set for Washington County (serving Allegheny County and all surrounding areas also). Testing was scheduled for the Venice Presbyterian Church in McDonald PA (Cecil Township).
We have been in touch with church staff, and are working to set up a suitable NEW DATE for Fall Testing at this same (wonderful!) location. Hopefully by tomorrow or Wednesday (October 31st) we will have a new date set-- my hope is to be able to reschedule for either Wednesday November 7th or Thursday November 8th. We will post here, and email everyone already registered for testing at this site, as well as getting info out on various homeschool email lists just as soon as we have a definite reschedule date.
THANKS for your understanding-- know that our biggest concern is safety and well-being, for you and your children. I also think many children could feel very distracted by the unsettled weather and not be ready to focus on achievement testing.
As always, families are VERY welcome to 'register at the door' for testing-- again, just check back here to find out about the new date.
Praying for everyone's safety in the storm-- and especially for all homeschooling families right in the path of the hurricane.
You can still register online for our FALL TESTING SERVICE.... or just 'register at the door!
Our 'early bird' registration for our TerraNova Achievement Testing is completed now, but you can still register online at the $35 per student rate. OR just 'register at the door' at the test site most convenient for you-- see our full schedule of testing sites at the link above.
Looking forward to seeing you and your kids at one of our testing sites!
Remember-- we can test any level from 3rd grade to 12th grade (NO 1st or 2nd grade testing).
Here's all you need to bring on the testing day: pencils (though we have some if you forget!). We'll supply everything else-- the testing booklet / answer sheet, scratch paper, simple ruler.
It is OPTIONAL to bring a CALCULATOR for your 5th grader or up student-- the test proctor will let your child know when it can be used.
Looking forward to seeing you soon!
Susan and Howard Richman
How PA Homeschoolers Online Students Scored on the 2012 AP Exams
Each year, the College Board reports how our PA Homeschoolers students score on the AP exams. The following graphs summarize our students' scores in 2012, as reported by the College Board, and how school students scored in 2011 on the same exams:
The AP exam scores mean the following:...
Fall Testing schedule now updated!! Open for any homeschool students, 3rd-12th grade
We are once again hosting a series of Fall Testing Sites all across Pennsylvania, using the TerraNova achievement test. Please see full info byclicking here, or on the link above that says 'Testing Service'. The cost is still just $30 per student with pre-registration either online or by check mailed in. Note: there is a $3.95 service/handling charge on all online orders. If you prefer to just come to a test site that day, the fee is $35 at the door.
All testing days start promptly at 9:30am (so plan to arrive by 9:10am!), and we're so grateful to the churches and synagogues that have opened their doors to allow us to offer this service, where homeschoolers can be tested in a comfortable group setting with other homeschoolers.
The testing fee covers all expenses of the testing date, and includes the service of mailing your child's test results to your home directly within usually 10 days of testing. Students should bring pencils for the testing day -- all other supplies (simple rulers, scratch paper, etc) are provided by us... and if you forget pencils, we'll have extras, too!
Do check out the past articles we've posted here about preparing for testing-- see our right-hand sidebar links.
Hope to see you at one of our Fall Testing Sites!
Susan Richman, Editor PA Homeschoolers
Lessons from the SAT Essay
Editor's Note from Susan Richman: Karen Boyd is both our long-time friend, a past PHAA Board member, and very experienced homeschool evaluator in PA. She also now leads our online SAT Essay Preparation course, and has gained so many insights from helping students learn to prepare for the required 25-minute essay. I know you'll all find the life lessons shared here really meaningful. THANKS, Karen, for helping us all gain new perspective. There is still room in Karen's SAT Essay course to help students be ready for the early October 2012 SAT test administration-- just check our Online Store link to register.
I learned a sad lesson over the last year from my mother in law. After Dad died, Mom lived alone in an apartment at a retirement community. About a year ago she started to have mysterious and sudden weight gains. After appropriate treatment that took care of the edema, the cardiologist told her to get herself weighed every week and then later every day. Mom did this faithfully and showed it to me and anyone else remotely connected to the medical field. Some time near the beginning of this year, I took her to the cardiologist because she was short of breath. While there I realized she had gained twenty pounds and was in very bad shape. The thing is that she had also been told to call the doctor when she gained five pounds. In fact as she tried to show her record of weights to various people I kept telling her that they didn’t care (especially if they were the eye doctor); the purpose was for her to report if she gained weight. She did extremely well at following directions and gathering information. But she missed the need to analyze the information and reach a conclusion.
As a homeschool mom and evaluator, I had the privilege of reading thousands and thousands of pages of student writing. Believe me a lot of it was deadly boring, including some written by my own kids. So often the kids gave a lot of information in excruciating detail. I started to ask the “So what?”question. It meant why is this important? What does it mean? Why does it matter? Why should anyone take the time to read it?
I am not trying to disparage the collection of information. We all need information. Today, information floods us from every direction. But unless we are going to become automatons and do whatever we are told, we need to gather the information and ask ourselves, 'So what?' If we hope our children will influence our culture in the future, they need to be able to consider information and reach and express a conclusion.
That is the first lesson of the SAT Essay. While there is controversy about the validity or effectiveness of the SAT Essay, or the entire test for that matter, it does require an essential skill. The SAT Essay asks students to express a point of view based on examples and evidence they have gathered in their lives. Unlike the AP exams or other subjects, there is not a specific body of information to consider. But those students who do well will know how to consider a matter and reach a well-reasoned conclusion based on some evidence they can recall. This is called athesis support essay and it requires critical thinking.
It is so easy in education to get bogged down in the facts, just the facts. But, as in my mother-in-law’s case, the facts have limited usefulness without analysis....
I know many homeschoolers have been enjoying watching the London Summer Olympics this past week-- and I'm sure many are finding ways to truly use this as a wonderful learning experience, too. If you want great ideas for further learning, see this website: http://simplehomeschool.net/the-olympics/
photo of Trevor Barron in the 2012 Olympic Trials race.
My special thanks to longterm homeschool advocate and conservative political candidate Sue Ann Means of Bethel Park PA for alerting me to the story of homeschool graduate Trevor Barron. Trevor just competed on Saturday, August 4th, in the London Olympics-- at just age 19, he was the youngest competitor ever in the mens' 20 kilometer race-walking competition. He finished a very respectable 26th place in the event, out of 56 competitors-- it was the 2nd best time in his life, and he was all smiles upon finishing. Racewalking is a much more common sport in other countries-- but I think that perhaps Trevor's pluck and courage and drive just may spark more *homeschoolers* to look into this unique sport.
Trevor's story is especially inspiring, because he has overcome some daunting challenges in his life. At age 8 he was diagnosed with an unusual form of epilepsy, and the family opted to homeschool Trevor for 2nd and 3rd grade while he adjusted to needed medications. By age 13 his medications were no longer working for him, and the family opted for brain surgery at PGH Children's Hospital. He worked very hard to recuperate quickly and fully, and is now seizure free. He also got right back to his varied athletic endeavors, including track and field at the Bethel Park High School. Earlier Trevor had been a serious competitive swimmer, but had to stop that sport when seizures began hitting during swim meets. Here's how the PGH Post-Gazette explained this in an August 3, 2012 article....
PA Homeschoolers has been offering a full series of AP© (Advanced Placement) online classes for many years now-- and one very special blessing of this endeavor is to see the sense of community that many of the students find through learning together and supporting one another in these classes. Most classes are highly interactive, including ways for students to comment on one another's submitted work, read and get inspired by major projects, join in small study groups or online study times, work collaboratively during review times and for special activities, and much more. Kids become good friends with their fellow AP students-- and often choose their next year's classes based in part upon what their new AP friends will be taking. And it's a true delight each year to host our annual AP Party here at our farm in Western PA.
Lots of our AP Online students from a variety of classes all getting together for our AP End-of-Year Party we hold at our farm in Kittanning PA every Memorial Day Weekend-- this is Shabbat Dinner in our barn!
In this spirit, I was delighted to receive the following email from one of our AP Online students this spring, sharing about the new open-to-the-public website, called STUDI, that she and several AP course friends had developed:
I am a student in PA Homeschooler’s AP English Language and Composition class (one of the best classes I have ever taken!). I recently spoke with Mrs. Inspecktor about a website called STUDI that I and a few other students from other PA homeschooler classes started, and she suggested that I pass the information on to you.
Just over a year ago, five other Pa Homeschooler Advanced Placement students and myself realized that we needed a place that we could all connect and come together to discuss, socialize, and support each other. I’m sure, as you know, for homeschoolers, taking AP classes can be a lonely endeavor. Basically, we needed something so that we could support each other, even while being thousands of miles away.
We decided to begin a website called Students Thoroughly Understanding Difficult ideas, STUDI. Here we created individual wikis for 16 of the AP’s that College Board offers, as well as 6 subject specific sites.
Over the past year, STUDI remained it its beta form. Recently, we took it live and announced it on the Well-Trained Mind boards in a brief post. The post was met with a great response—we received views from 185 people....
You can still register for PHAA's (Pennsylvania Homeschoolers Accreditation Agency) 17th Annual High School at Home Conference on Friday, July 13, 2012, from 9AM to 5PM at the Hotel Carlisle (formerly Embers) on Route 11 just North of Turnpike and I81. This conference is for parents, homeschooled students, and evaluators.
The theme for this year's conference is: Taking Stock and Taking Initiative—Creating a Positive Homeschooling Atmosphere. We hope you can join us and get recharged for homeschooling throughout the high school years ahead. The registration fee of $39.95 includes a wonderful buffet luncheon.
The Keynote Speaker this year will be PHAA Board member (and AP Psychology online teacher) Bonnie Gonzalez, speaking about: Family Dynamics: Helping it Work for you in High School at Home
There will be 5 workshop sessions, with three to four choices each session-- you're sure to find topics of good interest, from learning about the PHAA diploma program, hearing from many of our AP Online teachers, gaining ideas on foreign language learning, and writing for many varied purposes for high schoolers (from joining the student staff of the PHAA student newsletter, to learning about 'creative non-fiction', to setting goals for writing in high school, to getting ideas for writing a college application essay that works!).
You'll even hear from a Gettysburg Tour Guide (who's also a homeschool dad!) about how he got into his present line of work-- and gain a sense of how to decide what direction you want to move for your future! (And yes, he'll show you some neat Civil War stuff too!
Learn about getting in the running for possible merit scholarships for college, why and how to include foreign travel into your homeschooling goals, and high tech careers of the future. You can even explore Life After Homeschooling-- Are we really preparing our kids for their future? You'll hear about ways to use a wide range of outside teachers and classes and tutors and resources to help you out when you don't feel confident to teach a particular subject yourself (or when you realize your teen just need to work with someone besides mom or dad sometimes!).
So, join us at the PHAA High School at Home Conference this coming Friday-- it's not too late to register! And we can take 'registrants at the door', too.
Parents: Gain the courage to homeschool through high school! This conference will help you with the information and vision that you need to prepare your children and yourself for their future and recharge....
"And What Did You Do Last Summer?"
Jeannette Webb is founder of Aiming Higher Consultants, a high school planning and college consulting firm dedicated to helping homeschooled students reach their potential and successfully apply to their dream colleges. Learn more at aiminghigherconsultants.com. Jeannette was the (wonderful!) keynote speaker at last year's PHAA High School at Home Conference, sharing her many years of wisdom and perspective.
Photo of Evan Chow, homeschool 2012 grad and student in many PA Homeschoolers AP Online classes-- Evan's family has appreciated working with Jeannette Webb during the college admissions process.... and Evan looks forward to attending Princeton this fall!
This query usually surprises students when it appears during a college interview or on a college application. While it appears to be a fairly trivial inquiry, it is a loaded question. You see, how we spend our time when we have the freedom to make a choice provides great insight. Your answer speaks volumes about who you are and what you value.
It is not my intent to make you nervous about interviews or applications and read more into them than is there, but to underscore the importance of your summer choices. Admissions officers do not have a list of things they expect you to do, rather they are looking to see if you have spent your time well, if you are an interesting person, and if you would make a good contribution to their campus.
What are some good uses of your time during the hot days of summer? Well, it really depends on who you are. It is not necessary that your summer be jam packed (and I heartily suggest that it not be), but you do need to pursue meaningful things. Here are a few hints:
PHAA mentioned in excellent homeschooling article in The Philadelphia Tribune
Michael Robinson wrote an excellent article about homeschooling that appeared on May 11 in the Philadelphia Tribune (Home-Schooling Grows More Popular). Here is what he wrote about PHAA:
The whole article is worth reading. Just click on the link below:
AP English Literature and AP English Language.... new ways to think about these courses
Editor's Note from Susan Richman: We're so grateful to have our former AP student Lilianna Serbicki now teaching with us in our AP Online program, leading both AP English Literature and AP English Language. She's been a true natural teacher, working with real enthusiasm and dedication and creativity-- all while also being a wonderful 'new mom' to her darling little son Luke. Enjoy learning here about some of her unique ways of actively engaging her online students!
Studying Literature and Language can become a passive activity; memorizing terms does not mean you understand or relish them. My goal in both AP English Language and AP English Literature has been to help students pursue knowledge and creativity in an active manner. I provide these opportunities by offering optional creative fiction assignments, hosting live IM chats, and featuring an online “Dinner Party” analysis project.
Thomas Forstmeier of Bellfonte gets US Naval Academy Appointment
Congratulations to Thomas Forestmeier of Bellefonte. He received an appointment to the US Naval Academy from his Congressman Rep. Glenn Thompson. The Centre Daily Times reported on May 15, 2012: