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Archive for July, 2015

Dropping the SAT. What does this do to homeschoolers?

A recent CNN article, http://money.cnn.com/2015/07/28/pf/college/george-washington-university-sat/index.html?iid=ob_homepage_deskrecommended_pool&iid=obnetwork, discusses the the demise of the requirement for SAT score for some universities and colleges. These schools believe the SAT is not required, and they can predict the success of a student by “their high school record and GPA.” For a typical homeschooling family, this is potentially horrible news, for it will hinder the ability for some homeschool students to enter college.

First, I hate the SAT and ACT. They are not the best at capturing a student’s ability. My oldest had a decent SAT score but would not have wowed anyone. Looking at his first official school year, he made Dean’s List each semester and holds a GPA over 3.6. I don’t know the exact number. My son had an advantage, and this is what homeschooling parents need to do. They need to give their children an advantage.

Second, there are some schools that do not want homeschooled children. They place barriers disguised as reasons to determine your child’s ability. As much as these schools see themselves as progressive, they are really backwards and closed-minded in thought. It really isn’t difficult to see this. Look at the professors teaching at our universities who manipulate students into swallowing the rhetoric and one-sided agendas. They aren’t teaching. They are indoctrinating. Makes me wonder if the homeschooled student is more of a free thinker than some of these professors want. Hard to brainwash if a person can think for themselves.

The SAT is a validation for homeschool parents. I believe we are back to the 1600 score for the SAT. I won’t care about this until next fall. If your child can score 1400 or better, they stand a chance of not only being recognized by a college but also there’s a chance of a scholarship. Again, this is not the greatest method of determining, but it is a tool for a homeschooling student to take advantage of.

How does a student get noticed since there is not high school experience or a GPA for some? Think resume.

The first is sports. Team oriented athletics is a valuable asset, and I’m not referring to a homeschool recreation version where kids get together to form a “team” and play for fun. Sports helps during the application process to tell the school what the homeschool student is like. You may have thought scholarship? That is an option, but there is a lot of work to it.

The second opportunity a homeschool student needs to take advantage of is music. I should say music and athletics go together in many respects. There are events where a student can compete or earn awards through music. Playing in a local community band. Unfortunately a church choir doesn’t really cut it. I’m not saying church music is bad, but it is too narrow. If it expands to concerts or events other than the local church community, it become quite helpful.

Passion. If you are interested in medicine then volunteer at the Red Cross, fire department or some group associated with medicine. You need to find an activity that may bring you closer to your future job. I’m going to throw leadership inside of this paragraph. If you are involved in the local historical society, running for office helps display your maturity and abilities of leadership. You need to be passionate about it, too. You don’t need multiple activities. Pick those you are passionate about. You excel in what you love. If you have a part-time job then try to expand your role there. A reliable, hardworking teenager is impressive and valued.

Now to the meat of the resume. Find sponsored educational activities and participate. This may be a STEM program or a science fair that may even be through a high school. I have driven to another state for my sons to participate in order to build their resume. You need to do this more than once. It may even be a musically inclined event if your child wants to be involved in music.

Finally, the homeschooled student wants to emphasize quality education. Search for online AP courses, often sponsored by homeschool groups, and take the class and pay for the test. Find community colleges or university that will allow a high school student take courses. My advice to parents is not to helicopter over the student. Keep an eye on the student in case they struggle. The homeschool student needs to EARN the grade. That will help in college. Yes, I have seen parents baby the child to the point of practically lying about the grade earned or the students have cheated. The AP Test tells all in the end.

It may be the case I’ve missed a few items, but I believe I have covered the main areas to concentrate on. These five should be covered by homeschooling families even without considering the SAT. If you find difficulty covering all five, then understand you want to cover as many as you can.

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Citations

This fall my youngest will have higher expectations on the papers he will write. This does not include the AP class we are overpaying for. No, this is within our household. Because of my continuing education, I’ve been tasked with teaching my son how to write or more correctly how to do citations.

The program I am in requires Chicago format citation. I guess historians like this style better than APA or MLA. Chicago or Turabian is generally used for history. APA is generally used for psychology, and MLA is used for literary studies. Is there a difference? Yes, it is basically an arrangement of information issue as can be seen below:

Chicago:

Vanderbilt University. “New model of cosmic stickiness favors ‘Big Rip’ demise of universe.” ScienceDaily. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150630155221.htm (accessed July 1, 2015).

APA:

Vanderbilt University. (2015, June 30). New model of cosmic stickiness favors ‘Big Rip’ demise of universe. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 1, 2015 from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150630155221.htm

MLA:

Vanderbilt University. “New model of cosmic stickiness favors ‘Big Rip’ demise of universe.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 June 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150630155221.htm>.

These three citation were taken from Science Daily, an online science news website.

If we take a look at journal articles, we can see a huge difference the three.

Chicago:

Frame, Murray. “DUNDEE AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION, 1917-1918.” Slavonica 6, no. 1 (April 2000): 75. Academic Search Alumni Edition, EBSCOhost (accessed July 1, 2015).

APA:

Frame, M. (2000). DUNDEE AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION, 1917-1918. Slavonica, 6(1), 75.

MLA:

Frame, Murray. “Dundee And The Russian Revolution, 1917-1918.” Slavonica 6.1 (2000): 75. Academic Search Alumni Edition. Web. 1 July 2015.

We can see, the three citations are very similar. Only the Chicago and MLA list the access date. The volume and number (6 and 1) slightly differ in presentation between the three. The publication date (April 2000) is found in different locations between the three. There isn’t too much of a difference.

My preference is the Chicago / Turabian. Why? This is what I am told to use when writing my papers. There are reasons why we have a variation in citations, but this post is not about that. What you should take away is the awareness of citations and the fact there are varieties. These are not the only three citations out there. There is a Harvard and even Brazilian version to name two.

As for my son, he is going to learn how to apply the Chicago / Turabian citation method. This should prepare him for the future in college even if he is asked to use a different method. Being aware of citations and knowing how to apply them will help in the future. My son will be familiar with citations.

Here are three links to help with the understanding and implementation of citations. These are not the only three out there but only the three that came to mind:  Princeton Univ. Citation SamplesBloomsburg Univ. Citation Styles, and Purdue Online Writing