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December,2011/ January,2012 


Welcome... Homeschooling Teen is a free e-zine for homeschooled high schoolers and young adult alumni. Published once a month, much of the content is written by our subscribers, and there are many opportunities for readers to participate - whether it's writing book or movie reviews, sending in original short stories and poems, or submitting other articles of interest. Additionally, in each issue we feature a profile of a Homeschooling Teen and a Homeschool Friendly College. Write to us at mail@homeschoolingteen.com


Homeschooling Teen Profile: Roya Dedeaux


College-Bound: Homeschool-Friendly Colleges and  

Universities that Don't Give Grades


Poem: "Lost," by Katie, 14


Let's Talk About Writing: by Zeva


Writing Can Be Fun: by Jackie


Stepping Stones: by Michaela


Millie's Column: by Millie


Confessions of a Fifteen-Year-Old Film Historian, by Locksley


Bookshelf of a (Maybe) Teen Author: by Emily


Nonfiction Book Review: by Libbi


Catherine's Column: by Catherine


The Sports Report: by Caela


Ask Nia: by Shaniyah


Anime Review: by Xbolt


Game Review: by Super Searcher


Cartoon: "Know Brainz," by Savanna and Devin


Homeschooling High School: "Making theGrade"


Career-of-the-Month: Recreation and Fitness Workers


E-Mail Etiquette: Tip-of-the-Month

And much more!!!


College Bound 

Preparing For College - ACT & SAT Information  

Now is the time for high school juniors - especially if they dream of attending a highly selective college - to start thinking about taking the SAT and/or ACT. Besides good transcripts and letters of recommendation, entrance exams are an important part of the admission process. While some colleges have waived these tests as a requirement, many colleges and universities still rely heavily on SAT and ACT scores to help in admissions decisions. A typical applicant to a competitive college might boast section scores in the upper 20s for the ACT and above 600 for the SAT.  


Read more by clicking


Sylvan SAT/ACT® Prep can help you prepare.  
Find a participating Sylvan by clicking on the link above.

 Sponsored in part by


 Sylvan College Prep



Visit Homeschooling Teen Magazine online at http://www.HomeschoolingTeen.com!


December is...


Advent, December 1-24

Day of the Ninja, December 5

Pearl Harbor Day, December 7 (1941)

Hanukkah, December 20-28

Poinsettia Day, December 12

Bill of Rights Day, December 15 (1791)

Wright Brothers Day, December 17 (1903)

Louisiana Purchase Day, December 20 (1803)

Pilgrim Landing Day, December 21 (1620)

Winter Solstice, December 21

Christmas Eve, December 24

Christmas, December 25

Kwanzaa, December 26-January 1

New Year's Eve, December 31


Click here for more December days:



Bread Machine Baking Month

Get Organized Month

National Hobby Month

National Soup Month

National Candy Month

National Hot Tea Month

National Meat Month

National Oatmeal Month

National Soup Month

National Slow Cooker Month

National Wheat Bread Month

Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 16

National Popcorn Day, Jan. 19

Camcorder Anniversary, Jan. 20 (1982)

National Compliment Day, Jan. 22

National Handwriting Day, Jan. 23

Apple Mac Computer Anniversary, Jan. 25 (1984)

Chocolate Cake Day, Jan. 27

Blueberry Pancake Day, Jan. 28


Click here for more January holidays:



Do you like to write? Well, why don't you send us something! Become a part of Homeschooling Teen magazine and submit a letter, article, poem, short story, report, or review to:




Stepping Stones  

by Michaela Popielski


Stepping Stones 


Hey everyone. I hope you enjoyed the November devotional. If any of it seemed too long I'm sorry. Also I saw some mistakes in the last devotional. I must have skipped some keys. On a better note though, it's almost time for Christmas! Cookies, family, gifts, traveling, giving, receiving, Christmas movies, candy, Kieflies and (for me at least), convincing my family I am Polish even though I don't like Kieflies. For those who don't know, a Kieflie is an eastern European dessert and my dad is partly Polish so I'm stuck with it. Anyway, this month's devotional is going to be light I think. But then again I'm usually not that good at estimating things.


When we think of December we automatically think of what I just listed above. Though sometimes we forget what Christmas is about; celebrating Jesus' birth. Though he may not have been born in December. I don't know and experts probably think they know but really only God knows. If I seem ignorant, I apologize. History gets warped and switched. Back to subject. It never ceases to amaze me how Christmas commercials come on earlier every year. We get caught up in the rush of the holidays and we can sometimes put God aside. It's hard to make time for him. I get that. For me it's reading, Facebook, Criminal Minds and reality shows on TLC. We see things all over the internet but especially Facebook about putting "CHRIST in Christmas." That's awesome that people want to do that but sometimes you wonder are they for real? Are they really that unashamed of God to speak like that and share it on their profile or whatever? The answer is different for every person. Some people may post it to keep up a facade that they want people to believe is the real them. I know that quite a few of my friends boldly post God on their status and there are some who may just be going through the motions. But I don't know that for sure so I'm not going to assume they're faking it. Me, I'm not so bold. I don't know how many people are bold or not. That depends on who you are and whether you're reserved or not, God can still use you for his works. Sure people say you need to be bold about your belief but its not that easy and often what people say we should be isn't the best.


Don't be ashamed of who you are. Some of you may be fine with preaching and being bold and that's awesome. God gave you that personality. But if you're reserved that's fine too. Being outspoken though isn't bad if you're quiet. God does put you outside of you comfort zone but it helps you grow. That's something I've had to come to terms with. Your life is yours but God made it. And obviously if we fall out of His way, life can suck. But ultimately, how we live is our choice. God wants us to serve him of our own free will. All of you probably already know that but it's important that we remember it. Not only for now but for our future. So, with that said I think its time to get onto the verses. One last thing; I hope you guys enjoy this devotional and have an awesome holiday season. :)


Happy reading! ~Michaela


Dec.1. Prov.19

Dec.2. Dan. 8; John 1:12

Dec.3. Ps. 10; John 15:15

Dec.4. Phil.1:3-10; Rom. 5:1

Dec.5. Acts 2:14-28; 1Cor. 6:17

Dec.6. Acts 2:29-41; 1Cor. 6:19-20

Dec.7. Zep.2:4-7;  1Cor.12:27

Dec.8. Eph.1:3-8; Ps.4:8

Dec.9. Ps. 119:25-32; Col.1:13-14

Dec.10. Ps. 119:97-104; Rom.8:11

Dec.11. Prov. 20

Dec.12. Heb.4:14-16; Ps. 119:9-16

Dec.13. Rom.8:31-39; Isiah 1:11-20

Dec.14. Col.2:9-10; Col.3:20.

Dec.15. Phil.1:6; Isaiah 3

Dec.16. Phil 3:12; Matt.5:13-16

Dec.17. Prov.21

Dec.18. Isaiah 45:5-9; Eph.2:6

Dec.19. Jer.1; Gal.4:1-7

Dec.20. 1Cor. 5:17-21

Dec.21. Ps.119:161-168; 1 Cor. 3:16

Dec.22. Ps.121; Eph.2:6

Dec.23. Prov.22

Dec.24. Luke1:26-38; Luke1:46-56

Dec.25. Luke 2:8-20

Dec.26. Phil 4:13; Ps.77

Dec.27. Acts 9:1-19

Dec.28. Ps.119: 65-72; Eph.2:10

Dec.29. Prov.23

Dec.30. Judge 21:25; 1 Cor. 6:17

Dec.31. Matt 7:1-12; John 15:15






rubric [ru ·brik] - noun - A rubric is traditionally a word or section of text that is written or printed in red ink to highlight it for either decorative or instructional purposes. The word derives from the Latin rubrica, meaning red ochre or red chalk, and originates in medieval illuminated manuscripts. In modern times, rubrics have come to refer to an assessment tool used in academic grading, as well as any guide or rule of conduct listing specific criteria. For example: "A popular rubric among jewelers is that a man should spend a month's salary on his fiancée's engagement ring."


See if you can find the word "rubric" used elsewhere in this issue!



E-mail Etiquette Tip of the Month


When it comes to the Subject field of your e-mail, Always be brief and concise. For example if you sell widgets, for a first time contact or Web site request you could use: "Widget.com Information You Requested."


The person on the other side should be awaiting your information and recognize that Subject field as being your response.


Typos, all caps or all small case can give the impression you are a spammer - or worse yet, someone who isn't literate enough to want to do business with.


If the conversation is ongoing back and forth and the focus changes direction, make a point of changing the SUBJECT: field to reflect the conversation's new direction.


This E-mail Etiquette Tip is provided as a courtesy by: www.NetManners.com 

"In the realm of ideas, everything depends on enthusiasm; in the real world, all rests on perseverance."

 Johann von Goethe



Charitable Christmas Ideas


Celebrate Christmas and the joy of giving with 12 Days of Charity!



Provide a complete Christmas - including a tree, decorations, presents (toys, clothes, or practical gifts), and dinner - for a family down on its luck.



Anonymously leave a special poem, a small gift, flowers, potted plant, or holiday story at the door of a homebound or elderly neighbor.



Bake a batch of cookies for someone special in your life - such as a neighbor, teacher, friend or relative - to say "thanks for everything."



Fill a shoebox with small gifts and a card for a homeless child or someone who will be spending the holidays in the hospital.



Make a festive holiday centerpiece or decorative place mats for a local senior center. You can print out paper placemats from your computer using Christmas clip art and a holiday border design.



Participate in a Christmas Angel, Angel Tree, Toys for Tots, or similar campaign.



Donate a bunch of soups and other canned goods to a holiday food drive.



Deliver handmade holiday cards to a nursing home.



Collect blankets, shoes, socks, and warm clothing for the homeless.



Go Christmas caroling at a children's hospital or nursing home.



Bring cat and dog food, clean old towels, blankets, newspapers, and paper towels to an animal shelter along with some extra "treats" or toys. While you're there, consider adopting a homeless pet for Christmas!



Decorate a tree for the birds! Make garlands of popcorn and cranberries. Cover pinecones with peanut butter, dip them in birdseed, and tie on the tree. You can also hang apples, oranges, and other fruits on the tree, or hang a birdfeeder for them to enjoy.


Courtesy of KnowledgeHouse.info 


Did You Know...? Sabbath mode is a feature in many modern home appliances (such as ovens and refrigerators) that enables the appliance to be used on the Jewish Sabbath and holidays. (Jews are forbidden from doing any work from Friday sundown until Saturday sundown, which would include turning on or off an electrical appliance or light switch.) Sabbath mode usually includes a self-starting and/or a self-shutting timer and disables the lights. In more recently designed ovens, Sabbath mode will often feature the ability to automatically adjust the temperature of the oven without any feedback to the operator of the oven.


The Sports Report, by Caela


NBA Lockout Update


In the past month the players and the owners have been negotiating the revenue split and what they are going to do so that the season would start by Christmas. They had a two day meeting on November 22-23. They finally came to an agreement on November 26th. The players will get 51.2 % instead of 57%. The owners will get 48.8 % instead of 43 %. According to the new revenue split the players gave up 3 billion dollars over the next ten years. They said that training camp is starting on December 9th and the season should be 66 games. The season starts on Christmas day with a tripleheader, Boston Celtics at New York Knicks, Miami Heat at Dallas Mavericks, and the Chicago Bulls at L.A. Lakers. Well to sum up this lockout was pretty much about greed and more money. So what we can all get out of this is, that it is all about money and how greed can control us. Greed is something that God says to not let it control us, yet in some way or form we do.


The Presidents Cup


History: The Presidents Cup was established in 1994. This is four days of matches between the U.S. Team and the International Team. The International Team doesn't include any player from countries in Europe. Europe plays the U.S. in a similar tournament which is called the Ryder Cup. Which is held in even years and the Presidents Cup is held every odd year. It used to be the opposite but when 9/11 happened they canceled the Ryder Cup. This is the 9th President Cup. Here are the previous winners: United States (1994, 1996, 2000, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011), International (1998). In 2003 they tied and it went to sudden death and the United States won.


Rules: Each match won gives their team a point. If you tie it is called halved, each team gets a half point. At the end of day four, if it is a tie the captains for each team will reveal who on their team will play in a sudden death match. Day One: They play foursome, two players from each team U.S. and Int'l, where two golfers on one team use one ball, alternating shots until the ball is in the hole. Each hole is won by the team with the lowest score or the lowest number of shots. Day Two: They play four balls, which is when four players, two from each team, and each player plays his own ball. Each hole is won by the team with the lowest number of shots. The team with most holes won per round or match wins the point for their team. Day Three:Consists of two sessions and two players from each team sit out each session. The morning session is played foursome, and the afternoon session four balls. Day Four: They play singles which is when one player from each team play each other. Again each hole is won by the person that has the lowest score and the player with the lowest overall score gets the point for their team.


2011 U.S. Team: U.S. Captain Fred Couples. Members: Matt Kuchar, Steve Stricker, Dustin Johnson, Webb Simpson, Nick Watney, Phil Mickelson, Babba Watson, David Toms, Hunter Mahan, Jim Furyk, Tiger Woods, and Bill Haas.


2011 International Team: Captain Greg Norman. Members: Jason Day, Adam Scott, Charl Schwartzel, K.J. Choi, Kyung-tae Kim, Retief Goosen, Geoff Ogilvy, Ernie Els, Y.E. Yang, Ryo Ishikawa, Aaron Baddeley, and Robert Allenby.


2011 Results: At the end of round 1: four points U.S. and two points Int'l. At the end of round 2: seven points for the U.S. and five points for Int'l. At the end of both rounds on day three: twelve points for the U.S. and nine points for the Int'l. At the end of round four: U.S. with nineteen points and the Int'l with fifteen points. Congratulations to the U.S. on their win!


Greg Halman


Greg Halman was born and raised in Haarlem, Netherlands. Greg started playing baseball at a very young age. Greg comes from a very athletic family. Greg, his father and brother all played baseball for the Dutch National team and his sister plays college basketball in the states. Greg's first baseball debut was at the age of sixteen. He played for Corendon Kinheim. Greg came to the United States in 2005. Greg could speak four languages, Dutch, English, Spanish, and Papiamento (spoken in the Caribbean and Netherland). Greg was signed as a free-agent for the Seattle Marlins on June 26, 2004. For six years he played in the minors until September 23, 2010 was the day of his MLB debut. Greg hit his first homerun on June 15th in a 3-1 victory over the L.A. Angels. He only played one season and in that season he scored two homeruns had nine runs batted in, and a batting avg. of 207. Greg also has won a gold medal with Spain in the European Baseball Championship in 2007. On November 21, 2011 Greg was found in a house in Rotterdam, Netherlands, with a stab wound. When the police got there they tried to stop the bleeding but couldn't save him. The police arrested his brother as the primary suspect, who is twenty- two years old. The police think that what caused Greg to go down stairs to his brother's apartment was loud music playing. Greg was only twenty-four years old when he died. Greg's funeral was on November 29th 2011 in his home town of Haarlem. I send all the best to his family, and will be praying for their happiness and closure.


Caela's byline: I am the oldest of six children. I am a Christian. I love watching movies, playing on my computer, and I love watching sports. I want to go to Syracuse University, and eventually become a sports journalist. My favorite sports are hockey, football(soccer) ,and golf.


Send your book reviews to: mail@homeschoolingteen.com

Bookshelf of a (Maybe) Teen Author, by Emily Russell


Catching Santa, by Marc Franco

Forget everything you know about Santa, because it is just not true!

When eleven-year-old Jakob's best friends said they didn't believe in Santa, they never expected anything to happen. But when their neighbor, Tiff, tells them of a Christmas curse; Jakob dreams of a man who turns children to wood or coal; and snowmen deliver magic letters to his friends' doors, the children of Central Florida start to wonder what's the truth behind Santa and Christmas.

This book is an amazing first story in a series called The Kringle Chronicles. The plot is completely unexpected and just barely believable; the characters are fairly well created, although there are some 'loose' bits and pieces. I was actually sucked into the story; at many parts I couldn't put it down - for an indie author, that's an achievement!

While the story itself would deserve all five stars, there were some mechanical issues that call out for adjustment. Most were small, isolated incidents - the wrong form of a verb, or mixing up he's and she's. A couple things, though, seemed to stick out through the whole book.

The first problem would be 'big words.' When you consider that the story is being narrated by an eleven-year-old, some words simply don't belong. I think this problem is emphasized by the fact that the kids get a mystery email and have to look up words like 'portly' before they understand the email. Later, though, Jakob - the narrator of the story - uses words like 'hyperactive,' 'disintegrating,' and 'contemplated' without hesitating. These are normal 'book words,' but not normal eleven-year-old words. (Trust me, I have twelve- and nine-year-old brothers.)

Also, the storyline itself had one problem: it jumped. During an action scene, the readers want to hurry on from one part to the next - they want to see what happens. We do not, however, want to feel like we're reading at a clipped pace. Near the beginning of the book I noticed a lack of transitions, mostly between paragraphs. This did improve as the book progressed, though.

All in all, this was a stellar story that just needs a little maintenance. I give it four stars, and I can't wait to get the sequel into my Kindle!

I received this book for free through LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.   

~Emily Rachelle


Check out my blog! Struggles of a (Maybe) Teen Author http://www.maybeteenauthor.blogspot.com/


/know brainz/


By Devin and Savannah Hicks






P.S. from Devin ~ We have a cartooning blog now! It is mainly so my sister and I can post a cartoon once a week in our blog that are probably not as good as the ones we send to the magazine. Here is the link: http://thelifeandtimesofdevinch.blogspot.com/ 


Homeschooling High School: Helpful Tips


Making the Grade


Grades are standardized measurements indicating the quality of a student's work based on varying levels of comprehension within a subject area. Grades can be assigned in letters (A, B, C, D, F), in percentages (0% - 100%), as a numerical range (4.0 - 1.0), or as descriptors (excellent, great, satisfactory, needs improvement).


To arrive at a final grade, teachers often use a points-based system for evaluating student work, in which each question in every assignment is assigned a certain number of points. A simple homework question is usually worth one point while a lengthy project, such as an essay, is worth many more points. The final grade for the course is calculated as a percentage of points earned out of points possible.


The points for a large project, in turn, may be further divided into smaller areas of evaluation; for example: 10 points for writing the correct length of an essay, 5 points for a well-written introduction, 5 points for spelling and grammar, 10 points for reasoning, etc. An assessment tool of this type listing each of the specific criteria for grading or scoring academic papers, projects, or tests is called a "rubric."


Many nations have individual grading systems unique to their own schools. Although there is no standardized system of grading in the United States, most schools, colleges and universities follow a five-point system using the letters A, B, C, D and F, in which an A equates to a numerical value of 4.0. But what exactly do these grades mean?  


Here is a detailed breakdown of the various grades:


A = 4.0 = 90-100% = Excellent

Superior understanding of course material evidenced by almost no errors in fact and the ability to analyze that material critically, synthesize creatively, and evaluate carefully. Creativity, imagination, and intellectual curiosity in relating the course material to other courses and concepts. Clear, effective ability to communicate ideas from the course to other students and teachers. Complete, sound techniques of scholarship in all projects.


B = 3.0 = 80-89% = Great

Good understanding of course material evidenced by very few errors in fact, and the ability to state generalizations and implications from the material learned. The ability to communicate concepts and implications from the course to other students and teachers. Understanding of and consistent application of techniques of scholarship in all projects.


C = 2.0 = 70-79% = Satisfactory

Adequate understanding of course material evidenced by some errors in fact or internal connections when discussing or testing on course material. Satisfaction of the minimum standards for the course in terms of reading, preparation, and class participation. The student can articulate several main themes from the course material. Adequate competence in techniques of scholarship: reasonable logic, consistent effort to document sources, reasonably clear writing, etc.


D = 1.0 = 60-69% = Needs Improvement

Minimal understanding of course material demonstrated by many errors in fact or internal connections when discussing or testing on course material. Less than adequate reading, preparation, and participation in and for the course. The student has difficulty articulating major themes or concepts from the course material. Minimal competence in techniques of scholarship.


F = 0 = 0-59% = Failing

Inadequate understanding of course material demonstrated by frequent errors in fact or internal connections when discussing or testing on course material. Failure to meet the course standards. The student cannot articulate major themes and concepts. There is minimal or no evidence of increased knowledge or skills. Inability to use sound techniques of scholarship: plagiarism (accidental or intentional), irrational or fatally flawed logic, inability to communicate in writing, etc.


Grading Alternatives

In homeschooling, especially in the early years, children can be free to learn without the pressure of being graded. At home, the emphasis tends to shift from striving get the best grades - and either feeling like winners or losers as a result - to becoming self motivated individuals who are truly excited about learning and mastering the material. Grades do become more important in high school, and they are absolutely necessary if there is a desire to obtain scholarships. However, even some schools, colleges, and universities are rethinking the value of a graded system in an effort to avoid having students place more importance on the grades rather than on the education those grades are supposed to represent.


Authentic Assessment is one alternative to the traditional grading system. One of the main goals of authentic assessment proponents is to emphasize curriculum substance rather than test-prep in the classroom, ridding schools of the misuse and abuse of standardized tests by supporting meaningful, reliable and descriptive alternatives. Assessments consisting of work samples, portfolios, and presentations have been used by some alternative and private schools for decades. For example, to graduate from Sedona Red Rock High School in Arizona, each senior must successfully complete one exhibition. "We are judged in the real world by how we present ourselves, and so it should be in school," asserts Massachusetts educator Deborah Meier.


Narrative Evaluation is a form of performance measurement and feedback which can be used as an alternative or supplement to traditional letter and number grades. Narrative evaluations generally consist of several paragraphs of written text about a student's individual performance and course work. The style and form of narrative evaluations vary significantly among the educational institutions using them, but a narrative evaluation typically describes the course objectives, requirements, and related learning outcomes; includes an assessment of how well the student has achieved or failed these objectives; evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of the student's performance in the various areas of class activity including discussion, laboratory work, presentations, term papers, examinations, and general understanding of the course content; and allows recognition of supplementary work or particularly noteworthy performance.

Anime Reviews by Xbolt

The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya 

Anime Review

This full length anime film based on the Haruhi Suzumiya franchise is one of my top ten favorite animes.


December 16th. Christmas is one week away, and Haruhi decides to throw a Christmas party. She's going to bring home-cooked food.


December 18th. Haruhi has apparently vanished from the face of the Earth. Kyon is the only person who retains any knowledge of her existence.


Kyon actually impressed me a lot in Disappearance. After the series, where he was a mostly reactionary character, here he's actually the main guy who drives the plot forward. And what a plot it is. I'm not sure how much I can talk about that without spoiling something important. I will say there are a couple interesting twists you need to watch out for, though. And the final climax? PURE. EPIC.


Some people have complained that the movie was too long at 2 hours and 40 minutes. But I feel that that time was put to good use.


You might want to re-watch the series before watching Disappearance, though. I, who watched the series twice (including Endless Eight, making Endless Sixteen,) was able to follow the story along nicely. But someone who has forgotten a lot of the series, or has not seen the series at all, will have a hard time following what's going on. (Endless Eight is optional.)


After this movie came out last year, I decided that I'm going to make it a point to watch "The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya" every year around Christmastime. Right after "It's A Wonderful Life"... Yep, it's perfect.


Visit Xbolt's blog: http://blog.xboltz.net 




Recreation & Fitness Workers


Recreation and fitness workers enjoy working with people. They also need to have good health and be physically fit. Recreation workers conduct activities with groups in public, private, or volunteer agencies or recreation facilities. This may include camping, sports, arts and crafts, dance, or drama. Recreation workers organize these activities for people of all ages.


A large number of recreation worker jobs can be found in the parks and recreation departments of local municipalities. Others work for social groups such as the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. Recreation workers also hold a variety of jobs in places such as health clubs, cruise ships, and camps. Camp directors supervise camp counselors and plan the camp's activities. Camp counselors lead and teach child activities such as swimming, archery, hiking, horseback riding, and camping.


Full-time recreation jobs usually require a college degree with a major in parks and recreation or leisure studies. Special training or experience in a particular field such as art, music, drama, or athletics, is important for certain jobs. Many recreation workers hold part-time jobs during the summer. Those who work outside must sometimes deal with extreme weather.


Some fitness workers may work outdoors, but most personal trainers and group exercise instructors work indoors at fitness centers, health clubs, and gyms. They can also be found in some companies that offer recreation and fitness programs for their employees. Other fitness workers have jobs in rehabilitation centers and facilities for people who cannot completely take care of themselves.


Fitness workers show people the proper way of doing various exercises such as weightlifting, aerobics, and karate. They also teach classes that help people improve their physical conditioning. Many fitness workers become personal trainers. As personal trainers, they help people train and meet their individual fitness goals. Fitness workers may have more than one job, teaching or doing personal training at several different fitness centers and in private homes.


Some jobs as a fitness worker require certification. One may be certified in a particular area of exercise such as personal training, strength training, or aerobics. More employers are requiring fitness workers to have a college degree in a field related to health and fitness, such as exercise science or physical education.


Job opportunities should be good for fitness workers because of rapid growth in the health and fitness industry. But recreation workers may face tough competition for jobs because so many people want to become recreation workers. Those with formal training or experience will have the best chances. A large number of temporary and seasonal recreation jobs are often filled by high school or college students.


Related Occupations:



Professional athletes

Recreational therapists

Social workers



Game Reviews by Super Searcher






Trine is a very interesting and beautifully detailed side-scrolling 3-D platform game that takes place in a medieval fantasy setting. The main story revolves around three unlikely heroes (a thief, a knight, and a wizard) who are brought together by a strange artifact called the Trine. In the single player campaign, you can play all three of the heroes at the same time. You have the ability to do this from the Trine which allows you to switch from one hero to the other simultaneously. This enables you to win and defeat any obstacle or objective that you come across. Dangers include skeletons, bats, and other creatures as well as lava, fireballs, and various booby traps. So it is also a physics-based action / puzzle game. But I don't want to give away any of the great plot. You'll have to play it and find out for yourself. Trine is one of the best platform games I've ever played, and I highly recommend it to anyone who likes that genre. The graphics are top-notch, the music is well-done, and the voice-acting is fun to listen to. In December, the sequel to Trine is coming out. So if you decide to play Trine, be sure to play the sequel as well. I pre-ordered Trine 2 and got early access to the game. It is awesome!


-A game review by Super Searcher.

Parent's Column


Dear Parents,   


Thank you for taking the time to view Homeschooling Teen Magazine. We hope that you and your homeschooler enjoyed reading with us. That is our goal, after all! It is also our goal to provide homeschooled teens a place of their own, to highlight their accomplishments, talents and thoughts. Here at Homeschooling Teen Magazine, our articles and information are written exclusively by homeschoolers, for homeschoolers. We strive to make this a safe place for your teens to join in and express themselves in accordance with Philippians 4:8. We will never share or sell your information with any third party. Content is a top priority for us and articles will always be age appropriate. Our magazine will only allow sponsorship logos and links that are family friendly. However, the opinions expressed in our magazine are not necessarily those of Homeschooling Teen Magazine and we cannot be held responsible for any information listed or actions from our sponsors. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.


Our magazine is free to all homeschoolers. If you know someone who would like to view a sample copy, please have them send us an e-mail to request one. If you would like to forward this issue, please feel free to do so; however do advise the person you are sending it to that all the links may not work when forwarding. If this copy has been forwarded to you and you would like to have Homeschooling Teen Magazine sent directly to your inbox each month, just click on the link below:


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Copyright 2011 Homeschooling Teen Magazine







Merry Christmas & Happy New Year


We're combining the December/January issues so we can take time off with our families during the holidays. Meanwhile, you can check for updates at HomeschoolingTeen.com and on our Facebook Page.


Be Somebody...Be Yourself 

Homeschooling Teen Profile: Roya Dedeaux



My name is Roya Dedeaux. I am a "grown homeschooler" currently working on my Master's thesis at California State University, Long Beach. I was homeschooled from the age of ten on, growing up with my parents and two sisters in Southern California. I have a Bachelor's degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies from CSULB. I am now 26 years old and working on my Master's degree in Counseling in order to obtain my Marriage and Family Therapy license. I will graduate in May of 2012, and will then become a Marriage and Family Therapist Intern on my way to licensure.


My thesis will discuss the results of a national online survey, administered to adults who were homeschooled or homeschooled their children. The survey measured the influences on homeschooler's attitudes towards seeking professional mental health services, along with several measurements of mental health (depression, anxiety, character strengths and overall happiness). As a homeschooler myself, I have heard many stories from my community about negative experiences with the mental health profession, so my motivation for doing this research is to gather information to teach therapists that will help our population, while painting an accurate picture of the homeschooling culture. The answers were anonymous, and only my thesis advisor and I had access to the results. I was overwhelmed by the support I had on my survey - over 1000 individuals responded within 7 days, from 48 different states. My survey closed on Nov. 1st, but I am looking for further support in the form of stories and anecdotes from homeschoolers regarding their experiences with seeking counseling, or why they have or have not chosen to. These can be emailed to homeschoolingsurvey@gmail.com. My thesis defense will be in March, 2012 so keep your eyes out for the published results of my survey!


Until just a few months ago I worked as the Access to Adventure Coordinator at a non-profit organization planning special events, travel opportunities, healthy living workshops, and art activities for adults with developmental disabilities. I have also worked as a teacher at the Young Adventurers daycare which focused on hands-on, experiential learning for approximately 250 children ages four through thirteen. I currently work at Mariposa Women & Family Center, a non-profit which provides low-cost counseling in Orange County, CA. I am an MFT trainee, working towards the 3000 hours I need to get my license, and I also am the Outreach and Prevention Counselor, and go into the community leading groups and workshops for underserved populations.


I live in Southern CA with my husband and our animals, and I love to MAKE STUFF!!! My passion lies in the heritage arts - knitting, quilting, crocheting, cross-stitching, candle making, and ceramics - things that used to be a necessity but now are an art form with utilitarian value. My goal is to one day own an art therapy camp with heritage and expressive arts as the focus. I specifically would like to better help people who have difficulty communicating verbally express themselves through a variety of different creative mediums.


Another interest I have is outdoor recreation and wilderness therapy. In the summer of 2007 I worked as an Assistant Back Country Ranger at Alaska State Parks maintaining 3 miles of trail, 4 cabins and campsite while interfacing between public users, park staff, and private land owners. This and other wilderness expedition adventures I have had are a large part of why I want to own a camp one day.


My personal interests include: swimming, hiking, camping, singing, gardening, cooking, unschooling, and positive psychology. I'm also interested in goal setting and motivation, and am very active on sparkpeople.com, and am usually working towards a 5K or fun-run. I sell my handmade arts and crafts at royaboya.etsy.com. I make bags, earrings, ceramics, coin purses and more! You can follow me at facebook.com/royaboya for more frequent updates.


Finally, I would like to extend an extra thanks to everyone who has responded to my survey, helped pass the link along, and who has expressed interest in me and my research. I am full of warm and fuzzy feelings for my fellow homeschoolers. Thank you also to the Homeschooling Teen magazine for their energy and support!



Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!





Please share your story!  


If you are involved with an amazing project, volunteer in your community, have a special interest that you're passionate about, possess a unique skill, talent or ability, or have accomplished something positive and extraordinary for a person your age or in your situation - be sure to tell us about it and we will feature you in our magazine! Contact: mail@homeschoolingteen.com 





College Bound:


Homeschool-FriendlyColleges and Universities that Don't Give Grades


A number of reputable liberal arts colleges either de-emphasize the use of grades or do not issue any grades at all. They often use narrative evaluations as an alternative measurement system. In most cases, the rationale is that grades do not provide a clear picture of academic aptitude or the potential for success - and that the goal of a liberal education should be learning, not achieving the highest score. These colleges range from private to public, conservative to progressive, and Christian to secular, but they share a common educational philosophy in that they don't follow a standard letter or number grading format.


Alverno College (Milwaukee, WI) is a private Roman Catholic college with a student-centered approach to education, relying on lengthy and highly personalized performance assessment systems that provide feedback to students based on eight areas of development: communication, analysis, problem solving, valuing, social interaction, developing a global perspective, effective citizenship, and aesthetic response. Alverno college has admitted homeschoolers and shares their philosophy of hands-on learning.


Antioch College (Yellow Springs, OH) utilizes the process of evaluation as an integral part of both learning and teaching, and an essential ingredient of the Antioch College experience. Faculty members provide a narrative evaluation detailing the student's performance in each course based upon a set of standards and learning objectives, in addition to recording letter grades. Students are also expected to actively participate in the evaluation process of their learning, by writing a self-evaluation for inclusion in the narrative evaluation. The self-evaluation should include an assessment of the student's own accomplishments in the course, both with respect to the stated course objectives and the student's own expectations. The narrative evaluations become part of the student's permanent academic record on file in the Registrar's Office. When transcripts are requested, the student may elect to have some or all of these narrative evaluations reproduced to accompany the official transcript. Antioch College "welcomes applications from homeschooled students wishing to pursue a liberal arts education. We recognize the important contributions made by homeschoolers both in the classroom and as part of student life, and make a deliberate effort to accommodate the special circumstances of homeschoolers during the admissions process."


Bennington College (Bennington, VT) uses a unique structure called the Plan Process which enables students to design and evaluate their own education in close collaboration with faculty. Letter grades are available in addition to narrative evaluations upon request on a per course basis. This college welcomes homeschoolers, since homeschoolers have often already had the experience of taking personal responsibility for their education.


Bard College (Annandale-on-Hudson, NY) is located in the Hudson Valley, housed in two historic riverfront estates. Bard is known as a haven for highly liberal education and radical political action. The college provides students with both letter grades and written comments via "criteria sheets" given mid-term and end-of-term. The "capstone" of the Bard undergraduate experience is the Senior Project in which the student presents whatever work is required to a moderation board of three professors, and is subsequently interviewed, examined, and critiqued. "Bard regularly receives applications from students who have been homeschooled for some or all of their education. Since their experiences and curriculum vary tremendously, our requirements for home schooled applicants differ somewhat from our requirements from more traditional high school students. It is hard to standardize these requirements and we are willing to work with you to tailor the admission process."


Brown University (Providence, RI) allows any course to be taken on a satisfactory/no credit basis. In addition, there are no pluses or minuses in the letter grading system, and students do not have a grade point average. A report on the accomplishments of homeschool students was published in Brown University's January/February 2002 edition of its alumni magazine. In an article titled, "Homeschooling Comes of Age," Dean Joyce Reed states, "Homeschoolers are the epitome of Brown students. They are self-directed, they take risks, and they don't back off."


Burlington College (Burlington, VT) is a progressive liberal arts institution that offers highly individualized academic planning and allows students the option of participating in a narrative evaluation system or traditional transcripts. Burlington students work in small discussion-centered classes. The college integrates learning, personal development, and community engagement. Burlington College "seeks to admit students who are independent thinkers and share a commitment to collaborative, authentic learning." Burlington College's application process is highly personalized and holistic. "The College believes that the best assessment of an individual's ability to succeed and benefit from our programs results not only from an evaluation of written materials that are part of an application file, but through meaningful communication with the applicant."


College of the Atlantic (Bar Harbor, ME) is an environmental liberal arts college community. They utilize a three-part evaluation consisting of a course description, instructor evaluation, and a student self-evaluation. These evaluations form an ongoing portfolio and permanent record for use by the student and advisors, and comprise the student's official transcript. As a summary and synthesis of work over a period of years, this transcript is an effective way to show how courses and projects mesh into a coherent education of the student's own design. There are also several degree requirements that must be fulfilled: community service, internship, human ecology essay, and final project. "We're looking for imaginative, idealistic, and intellectually curious people who want to make a difference in the world - people who will appreciate COA's unique community and enlarge it with their thoughts, opinions, and spirit." This college has admitted homeschoolers.


Evergreen State College (Olympia, WA) is a unique public liberal arts and sciences college in which the professor writes a one page evaluation of the student's activity in the class, and has an end-of-program evaluation conference with each student. The professor also determines how many credits should be awarded to the student, and students can lose credit. Letter/number grades are never used. Evergreen State College has admitted homeschoolers. The college website states that "admission applications for Home School students are evaluated on an individual basis" according to their homeschool transcript, SAT or ACT scores, a personal statement, and high school or college transcripts (if applicable).


Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies (Bellingham, WA) is an undergraduate division of Western Washington University. Its purpose is to offer students the opportunity to take an uncommon degree of responsibility for the structure and content of their own education. Students do not receive letter grades but instead receive a written evaluation from the instructor in addition to writing their own narrative self-evaluations for each class. Academic credit is granted after course requirements have been satisfactorily completed and the student has submitted the narrative self-evaluation to the faculty. The student self-evaluation, combined with their faculty member's narrative assessment of the student's work, become part of the student's academic file and form part of the student's academic credentials. Students must apply to both Western Washington University and Fairhaven College simultaneously. Although it's unclear whether they have accepted homeschool applicants, "If you're a student who shows initi

ative, intellectual curiosity that crosses traditional academic boundaries, and tends to take a different path than others, then Fairhaven College - one of the seven colleges at Western Washington University - may be a place for you!"


Goddard College (Plainfield, VT) offers a progressive education for creative minds. Students design their own curriculum for a self-directed, individualized study plan, supported by faculty advisors who offer feedback and guidance. Letter/number grades are never used. The Undergraduate Program for Homeschoolers at Goddard offers young people, ages 14-19, who have learned independently outside of schools, an opportunity to begin earning college credit while continuing to learn in a self-directed style. Students design their own courses in collaboration with a faculty advisor, and may choose one or two 3-credit courses per semester. Students attend a 3-day intensive residency on Goddard's beautiful Vermont campus, and spend the rest of the semester working from home. They send their work to their mentors periodically for review and support. Students entering the program may apply for scholarships to help offset the tuition cost.


Hampshire College (Amherst, MA) was founded as an experiment in alternative education, and it is also one of the most politically liberal colleges in the United States. The college emphasizes a curriculum centered on student interests, with students taking an active role in designing their own concentrations. Part of earning a degree at Hampshire College is completing a major independent study project. Instead of letter/number grades, detailed written evaluations and portfolio evaluations are given for courses and projects. For homeschooled applicants, "it is the student's responsibility to present her or his home schooling program in a manner that will enable the admissions committee to get the strongest sense of the high school program and level of achievement. At a minimum, home-schooled candidates are required to submit the Common Application's Home School Supplement." However, they also suggest that the student's homeschool portfolio include a brief description of learning activity or course taken, the dates and amount of time spent on the activity, texts read and work produced related to the learning activity (i.e. papers, projects, etc.), a grade or narrative assessment of your work and progress, and a self-assessment of the nature of your work and how it contributed to your intellectual growth.


Johnston Center for Integrative Studies (Redlands, CA) is one of those colleges that has a "radical vision for undergraduate education." The Johnston educational process recognizes that students have a great variety of interests and seeks to give each person extensive ownership of their education. In this alternative education program offered by the University of Redlands, students have the ability to design their own courses in consultation with faculty. Also instead of traditional numeric grades, students receive written faculty evaluations at the end of each class and write a self-evaluation for each course. Once a separate college, the Johnston Center is now fully integrated into the College of Arts and Sciences and one of the college's largest academic programs. Homeschool students must submit a "Home School Supplement" to their admissions application. The college website states, "Occasionally, homeschooled students have difficulty completing the counselor or teacher recommendation forms. If this is the

case, please contact our office and an admissions counselor will be happy to guide you through the process."


Marlboro College (Marlboro, VT) students follow an individual study plan designed in conjunction with a faculty member. Plans can be single subject or they can incorporate multiple subject areas. The college requires a written portfolio and an independent project which is put on permanent file as a reference work in the college library. The results of this work are defended in an oral examination before two professors and one outside evaluator who has expertise in the student's field of study. Marlboro College welcomes homeschoolers. "Often, homeschooling engenders the same qualities that make for successful Marlboro students: self motivation, a passion for learning, and original thought. As such, homeschoolers have been among our strongest candidates for admissions. The application procedure for homeschooled students is the same as for other students with the notable exception of the high school transcript requirement. In lieu of a transcript, we ask for a description of the homeschool curriculum. This would

include lists of books read, projects completed and areas of study."


New College of Florida (Sarasota, FL) is a public honors college specializing in student-centered learning through collaborative curriculum development and independent research. New College has an academic philosophy that students are responsible for their own education, and students' progress should be based on demonstrated competence and real mastery of an area of interest rather than on the accumulation of credits and grades. At the start of each semester, students negotiate a contract with their faculty adviser, specifying their courses of study and expectations for the semester. For each course taken, students receive an evaluation written by the instructor critiquing their performance and course work, along with a satisfactory, unsatisfactory, or incomplete designation. At the completion of the term, the academic adviser compares the student's performance with the requirements defined in the contract, and determines whether the student has "passed" the contract, or not. Completing seven contracts is a p

rerequisite to graduation by the college. In addition, each student is required to write an original and lengthy thesis in their discipline, and to defend it before a committee of at least three faculty members. Letter grades and grade-point-averages are not used. The New College of Florida has accepted quite a few homeschoolers.


New Saint Andrews College (Moscow, ID) is a classical Christian liberal arts college, modeled after the Harvard College curriculum of the seventeenth century. This curriculum stresses learning from Great Books and developing the skills to be a lifelong learner. Rather than using textbooks, the college requires reading of primary works in the classical and Christian literature of Western civilization. The college uses "Oxford-style" small group recitations, in which six to eight students meet with individual faculty members to discuss the assigned readings. Students have examinations every eight weeks, many of which are conducted orally. Seniors are required to write theses and defend them before a faculty panel. Short evaluations are given in addition to a system of Latin letter grades. New Saint Andrews is homeschool friendly with approximately forty percent of its students coming from home schools. The college even has a graduate program designed for homeschooling parents. New Saint Andrews College is inten

sely independent and refuses to accept federal funding; but the cost of attending New Saint Andrews is one-third the tuition of the average private college.


Prescott College (Prescott, AZ) gives students an exceptional amount of freedom in creating a degree plan that reflects their own interests. Much of the learning is experiential in nature and is often field based, with in-depth study of one topic at a time. To graduate, each student must design and complete a senior project. Letter grades are available in addition to narrative evaluations upon request on a per course basis. For homeschooled applicants, a portfolio reflecting all four years of high school equivalent education is required. The portfolio should include course titles and descriptions, a bibliography, and writing samples.


Reed College (Portland, OR) gives letter grades to students, but grades are de-emphasized and students are encouraged to focus on learning rather than on grades. Papers and exams are generally returned to students with lengthy comments but without grades affixed. Many students graduate without knowing either their cumulative GPA or their grades in individual classes. There is no dean's list or honor roll, although Reed does note academic commendations on the transcript and confers awards for academic achievement at the time of commencement. This college is homeschool-friendly. "We realize that home-schooled students may find that our application forms do not fit their individualized high school programs. Although individual students may not be able to submit everything that we ask for, they should send as much information as possible about their academic background and capabilities... There are no "cutoff points" for high school or college grades, or for examination scores."


St. John's College (Annapolis, MD and Santa Fe, NM) follows a Great Books program and avoids modern textbooks, lectures, and examinations. Instead of textbooks, in addition to primary materials, the college relies on a series of manuals. While traditional (A through F) grades are given, the culture of the school de-emphasizes their importance and grades are released only at the request of the student. Grading is based largely on class participation and papers. Tutors, as faculty members are called at the college, play a non-directive role in the classroom, compared to mainstream colleges. St. John's welcomes applications from homeschooled students; homeschoolers should submit the results of either the SAT or ACT, and they should submit an outline of the curriculum they have followed, arranged in chronological order by conventional subject matter, with brief descriptions of the course content and texts used.


Sarah Lawrence College (Yonkers, NY) provides students with written academic evaluations. Letter grades are recorded only for transcript purposes and are given to students upon request. Additionally, Sarah Lawrence College completely disregards SAT scores in its admission process. Dr. Michele Tolela Myers, the former president of Sarah Lawrence College, explained, "We are a writing-intensive school, and the information produced by SAT scores added little to our ability to predict how a student would do at our college; it did, however, do much to bias admission in favor of those who could afford expensive coaching sessions." This college is homeschool-friendly and has one of the lowest student/faculty ratios in the country. Seminars of no more than 15 students are combined with individualized and independent study.


Soka University of America (Aliso Viejo, CA) offers narrative evaluations and P/NP grades for up to five courses. A capstone project is required of all students in their senior year, drawing upon the research and academic skills and experience that they have developed during their careers at SUA. The university accepts applications from homeschooled students; all applicants before enrolling must have earned a high school diploma or its equivalent.


University of California, Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz, CA) has adopted the use of faculty-authored narrative evaluations as a supplement to letter grades. UCSC instructors write a personalized narrative evaluation of each student's academic performance in all courses in which the student earns credit. Once made part of the permanent electronic record, the narratives are maintained indefinitely and sent, on request of the student, to potential employers, graduate and professional schools, and other agencies as part of the student's official transcript. UCSC has admitted homeschoolers; eligibility is appraised on basis of entrance examination or previous college-level work.


Tell us about your favorite homeschool-friendly college, and we will feature it in an upcoming issue! mail@homeschoolingteen.com  




Do you wish you were a better writer? Well, how about making a New Year's resolution to write more! Below are a couple of articles to inspire you. Send your stories, poems, articles, reviews, etc. to  http://www.HomeschoolingTeen.com and we will publish them!



Writing Can Be Fun!


I am a homeschooling Mom that is always on the hunt for exciting curriculum and neat sites for my teenage daughter. I stumbled across your site the other day. It is a neat site for teens and parents alike. I noticed you have an anime review page. My daughter LOVES anime. She reads tons of anime books, watches AMV's,  makes her own anime movies for YouTube, listens to Japanese anime music, writes fan fiction, and has lots of cosplay outfits.
This short article is mostly directed at the teens who enjoy anime and the parents of those kids. Since my daughter is so involved with anime, I decided to incorporate it into her schooling. One of the ways we use anime is for writing practice. My daughter started her very own blog. She writes fan fiction. She tries to post a new chapter each week or two.   


My daughter is responsible for writing each chapter on her own. I am available for help if she needs or wants it, but she is quite capable of creating her own stories. She rarely asks me for input. That's a good thing since I don't know all that much about the characters she writes about. Once she has completed a chapter, she sits with me as we co-edit the story. We discuss punctuation, spelling, grammar, adjective use, story flow... Fan fiction is written a bit different from regular story writing, but it serves well for teaching writing and grammar.   


Since my daughter is writing for a real audience, she is more than willing to sit with me for editing. The ownership factor creates pride in her work. YEAH! My goal is for her to one day edit on her own with me only doing a quick check of her work.   


There are free sites for hosting a blog. Blogger, Wordpress, and TypePad are probably the top three. Wordpress is what my daughter and I both use. 
If your child is hesitant about writing, a blog just might be the answer. They can write about anything they choose. Some suggestions are:  poetry, animals, mysteries, politics, fashion, movie reviews, book reviews, food/cooking, sports, comic books, devotionals, astronomy ... the possibilities are endless. If they have a special talent or hobby they love, that would be a good start.

If your child is interested in writing but needs some help, you might consider a writing class. Time4Writing offers classes for second graders up through high school. The classes are held for 8 weeks, and the student is assigned a real live teacher. There are several different types of classes from which to choose. The site also offers super writing resources for free. Another great option for your child is to take a blogging course so they are accustomed to what it takes to write a blog. They need to know blogging lingo, blog design, how to get the word out so others will read their blog, how to schedule a post, blogging safety, different blog platforms, and so forth. Blog Writing Course offers a free introductory course and a Blogging 101 Course. I have taken both courses and they are excellent. Both courses are self-paced. The site also features super articles loaded with tips and support to help you with your blogging. Who knows, your child may become a blogging aficionado in no time at all!




Lets Talk About Writing


By Zeva Tayler, 16


Have you ever written a book report? How about a short story? Not super hard, right? How about a novel... now that takes some major time and effort. I've been working on my novel for a little over a year now and I'm SO close to being done, about ten to twelve more chapters. 


My best friend is done with writing her novel, which is around four times as long as mine is at the moment, and I am her editor. My parents are always telling me to work on my own book, but hey, there's this disturbing little thing called writer's block. 


I tell you what, writer's block is a pain in the neck, literally and figuratively! You sit there for long hours and try and try and try to think of something to write. You type a few sentences, probably erase them, then stare at the screen some more. You eventually go insane and start searching for videos of cats chasing lasers, then go back to the document again. You possibly let out a little shriek of frustration and begin to randomly hit buttons on the keyboard, coming out with a mess of letters and numbers that makes no sense at all, but definitely makes you feel better. 


You pound your head against the table and growl. There go your parents again, "Write your book! Write! Write! Write!" So you eventually just write and you think it's going to be awful and make no sense and you'll just have to erase it later, but then you read it and it actually works. You're shocked into writing more and more and before you know it, BAM! You've written another chapter. That gives you this amazing satisfaction that is really wonderful, until you hit the good ole' block again. Then you're right back where you were, hunched over the keyboard, glaring at the screen like it's the computer's fault because, when it comes down to it, it's just easier to blame it on a chunk of metal and plastic than on your own mind fizzling out. 


You'll go around and around this cycle, sometimes hitting a streak where you'll write late into the night and wake up in the morning to realize that you just wrote three chapters. And someday, far in the future, you'll finish. You'll write the final words of your novel and it'll be over (aside from the whole publishing process). For me, I completely ignored my outline and ended up with a novel waaaaay longer than I was expecting. I will end up with around 30 chapters and 400 to 500 pages. Really not that much to read, it would take me two or three days to read, but over a year to write. 


But, despite feeling insane and borderline psychotic, it's all worth it in those moments of triumph and, ultimately, in the finale. Bon voyage!   


Catherine's Column


By: Catherine Amaris Munoz


"May the Lord of Peace Himself give you peace at all times and in every way." ~2 Thessalonians 3:16


Hi there, all home-schooling teens! My name is Catherine Munoz. I am a homeschooler from Monrovia, California, USA. I am in the 12th grade. This is my seventh column for the "Homeschooling Teen e-zine", and I am looking forward to sharing more with you all in the future.


About 2 months ago, I shared that I would be attending two classes through the Disney Youth Education Series. The experience was great, and both classes were fun and informative. For the Leadership class, we did special activities that involved teamwork. We also learned how to make goals and attain them. A great way to do this is by making a timeline: This is helpful for setting long-term goals in the right order. For the Animation class, we were taught the fundamentals of animation. The very steps that Walt Disney first set in place are the same ones used today by not only the Disney Company, but also by others like DreamWorks animation!


Each class was between 3 to 4-1/2 hours long, so we were free to roam the park after the conclusion of each class! I recommend these classes to other homeschoolers who are fascinated by the Disney Company's ethics, since this is a great way to get one's foot in the door. And, for those of you who - like me!-are now just finishing high school, don't fret! The Disney College Program is also available. For more information about the Disney College Program, use this link: http://cp.disneycareers.com/en/default/ 


This year sure has gone by fast, hasn't it? But, thank God, it's not through just yet! Christmas is on its way, and that means a busy month is a head of us. Sometimes, it's hard to find time for prayer. When the alarm clock goes off in the morning, it's automatic for the train of thoughts to come rushing in: What we need to do, what needs to take place that day, etc. Personally, these thoughts and worries distract me from what is really important when I first wake up in the morning. Before ANYTHING else, I need to ask God to give me my daily bread: To give me strength for the day ahead. Sometimes, I get up without even taking a quiet moment for doing this. Even so, I still have the special opportunity to offer a peaceful and serene heart to Him throughout the day. God is everywhere: Even in those times when the world around us seems to be spinning like a top-- fast out of our hands! In the busyness of the Christmas season, when there is so much to do, and so much to see, God surrounds us with joy, peace, and happiness. A prayer is a simple smile to a stranger; a hug for your mom after she made dinner; a couple of minutes taken to read your little brother or sister their favorite book.


Let us take a few moments to remember the astounding words of Saint Theresa: "May today there be peace within. May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content knowing you are a child of God. Let this presence settle into your bones and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise, and love. It is there for each and every one of us. "


MUSIC CORNER ~ This month's featured Christian music artist is: Fireflight


Meet FIREFLIGHT! Most of their songs incorporate rock drums and guitar, together. Some are less rock and more ballad-like. After listening to just a few of their songs, like, "Brand New Day", and "You Gave Me a Promise", it is apparent that Fireflight is sending messages of survival after the trial and adversity that life may throw your way. They also remind their listeners that we are given a fresh beginning with every new morning. So, with a leap of faith, take a 'flight' through the fire. I believe you'll be pleasantly surprised with Fireflight!


December's Recipe ~ Miracle Bars


"Perhaps what is most miraculous about these bars is how the ingredients blend together perfectly for an ethereal taste experience like no other. These bars are originally called "Magic Bars". I found it more appropriate to name them Miracle Bars!"




Miracle Bars 


Yields: 24-36 bars/ Time: approx. 10 minutes for preparation; 25-30 minutes for baking.


What you'll need:

*2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

*1/2 cup butter

*1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

*14 fluid ounces sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)

*1-1/4 cups sweetened flaked coconut

*1 cup chopped nuts (i.e. walnuts, pecans, etc.)


Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (325 degrees if using a glass baking dish). In a 13"x9" baking pan, melt butter in oven. Sprinkle crumbs over butter and blend together; press on bottom of pan to cover. Top with remaining ingredients; press down firmly with fork. Bake 25 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool. Chill if desired. Cut into bars. Store covered at room temperature. Enjoy!


December's Movie Review ~

"The Lion King 3-D" (2011)


I recently went to see the Lion King 3-D in theaters. This is not a new movie... but it is definitely a re-run worthy classic! I decided to review The Lion King 3-D because I saw it this time through different eyes than I had probably seen through in my younger days. No longer was I just watching talking lions on a big screen: This movie deals with the battle between good and evil, and also shows the importance of stepping up to one's role in life, whether it's as a dutiful son or daughter, or as a great, trustworthy friend.


The Lion King brought tears to my eyes when lion cub Simba was first held-up on the summit of Pride Rock and the animals in the kingdom bowed down to him in veneration. This reminded me of Jesus, who is The Prince of Peace, and who is also The Son of The Most High King: God.


I have been known to flee from something that is important, only to come back to it and realize what a huge mistake I've made. In the same way, Simba was looking forward to becoming king: In the eyes of the young lion cub, the power he was soon to obtain seemed like not much of a responsibility. But, when lion king Mufasa died, Scar scared Simba into believing that all the lions would blame him for the incident. That was enough to cause Simba to run away and attempt to forget his past. In this sense, Scar's actions remind me of what havoc Satan tries to cause in our lives. In some cases, it can be a good idea to forget the past and start over. But, most of the time, we are only fooling ourselves if we think this is a realistic solution to our problems. In the same way that Nala gives Simba a wake-up call, God sends us reminders throughout life. He reminds us of all the blessings we have before us: He reminds us to open our eyes to what He has given us.


"Remember who you are", the spirit of Mufasa counseled Simba. This occurred after Simba denied who he truly was: The son of the fallen lion king, Mufasa. Therefore, Simba was, indeed, the rightful king of Pride Rock. When in search of answers, Rafiki told Simba to look hard into his own reflection. Rafiki was helping him to realize that a part of Mufasa remains and lives within himself. At this point, I was reminded of Saint Augustine's teachings. Augustine speaks of his personal searching for his Father: God. During the course of his searching, he goes to several of God's creations and asks them where he may be able to find God. Augustine is then directed to look into himself, whom God the Father created with His own mighty hand. Here, Augustine finds that, surely, he is not God, himself. But he recognizes what a big part of God is within his own human spirit. I did not believe it was possible to find a comparison between a cartoon dialogue and the philosophy of Saint Augustine. But now, I suppose it is!





The Christmas Bird Count: Citizen Science in Action


Every year from December 14 through January 5, tens of thousands of volunteers across the country take part in an adventure that has become a family tradition among generations. For over one hundred years, the love of birds and the desire to experience the beauty of nature has driven dedicated families, students, birders and scientists to leave the comfort of a warm house during the holiday season. Each of the citizen scientists who annually braves snow, wind, or rain armed with binoculars, bird guides and checklists makes an enormous contribution to conservation. Audubon and other organizations use the data collected in this longest-running wildlife census to assess the health of bird populations. From feeder-watchers and field observers to count compilers and regional editors, everyone who takes part in the Christmas Bird Count is making a difference.  


For more information and to find out how to join a CBC near you, see http://birds.audubon.org/christmas-bird-count  

New $5,000 Scholarship for Homeschooled Students


Minimum Requirements:

1. Minimum high school GPA of 3.0

2. Math/reading combined SAT score of at least 1100 or minimum ACT composite score of 24

3. Must have been homeschooled during the entire 11th grade school year and must currently be homeschooling in the 12th grade year, or have completed homeschooling the 12th grade year


Deadline: January 27, 2012


For further information, see http://www.landryacademy.com/scholarships.html



Millie's Column


For Such a Time as This


Yesterday I pondered on this sentence (the title of this column) as I prayed for the salvation of three of my supermarket colleagues. What if God sent me to this job just so three of my fellow co-workers could get saved? I am not saying that I am here only for that purpose, but asking rather. This question was inquired in the Bible by Mordecai to Esther in Esther 4:14 (where he retorted back to her after she explained to him her fate if she approached the king without being summoned) "For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?"  I feel this statement applies to me just as much as it applied to Esther over two thousand years ago. This I realized also meant that I must be knowledgeable on God's word about salvation and be ready as well as prepared for any questions that may be asked to me by my prayer interest. 1 Peter 3:15: "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have."  I also must ask God to reveal to me any given opportunity for me to witness to them. God has me praying for these co-workers for a reason and as far as whether I was placed at this job for their sake or not, I as well as all God's children must have an open mind and remember that we are here to serve Christ and to share the gospel with everyone. It is about prayer with action. As Christians our steps here on earth are ordered by God and we never know how or where He will lead us.


Millie is the youngest of three siblings. A Christian, she has been homeschooled for ten years and her favorite subject is math. Millie also enjoys reading, writing, cooking, studying, movies, comedy, dancing and exercising. Millie's career aspirations include either criminal justice or law school, and she hopes to attend college soon.


Tell us about your favorite homeschool-friendly college, and we will feature it in an upcoming issue! mail@homeschoolingteen.com  




Confessions of a Fifteen-Year-Old Film Historian, by Locksley Hooker


The Marx Brothers 




Hello people! I'm back again. First of all I want to thank you all for your considerate prayers and understanding. Secondly, Iwould like to note that I am going to continue writing this column. It's what I want to do; and I plan on keeping it up, hoping that someone will bother watching some of the things I ramble on about. The chance to branch out and get some feedback for my writing is a blessing beyond measure. Plus, who else is gonna tell you where to find the best black-and-white Christmas movies, I ask you? Point received.


Here I am today to finally talk about my favorite of all the people I am ever going to talk about. And that was a lofty thing I said right there. Harpo Marx, (which one he is I'll get to in a minute) holds the esteemed position of being one of the greatest comedy performers in the world. And when I say "comedy performer" don't imagine some guy standing on a stage with a microphone and a rubber chicken telling jokes, because he doesn't ever tell them. In fact, he never speaks at all. In fact, I highly doubt he ever stood still, on a stage or off. He MAY own a rubber chicken, but I digress.

Harpo Marx, along with his brothers Chico and Groucho (and sometimes Zeppo, but we won't confuse things) were all really brothers despite their looks. They grew up together in a very, very poor Jewish family in the immigrant section of New York City. Their names were Leo (Chico), Adolph (Harpo - even before the time of Hitler he hated it and changed it to Arthur) and Julius Henry (Groucho). Despite that two of them knew some music (Chico took piano and Harpo taught himself to play harp) the Marx's never considered show-business until their uncle Al Shean made it big in vaudeville. This is ironic since he is now entirely forgotten and they will live on in the world's consciousness for decades to come.


So their mother, Minnie, (who happens to have been immortalized in a Broadway play, Minnie's Boys -- I promise I'll stop going off on rabbit trails at some point) shoved and pushed them into forming a rag-tag act which involved Groucho as a boy singer (you'll laugh about this, trust me, if you ever watch a Marx brother's movie), Chico on piano, and eventually Harpo on harp. With another of their brothers, Herbert whom they called Gummo, backing them up. Gummo was replaced by Zeppo, so you can forget about him. Gummo went off to war then made it big in business -- and I'm rabbit trailing again.


Somehow or other, the Marx brothers' music gave way to comedy. This is not surprising, judging that the brother's favorite pastimes involved disrupting other people's meals in restaurants, playing dead on railroad tracks and stealing dogs at random intervals. That being said, it took a while for the brothers to each develop their own distinct act: but eventually Chico found he could get laughs by imitating a rather dim Italian who mangled the English language into some of the funniest word exchanges this side of "Who's on First." Groucho became the connoisseur of insults and wise-cracks, painting on a big black mustache and eyebrows and puffing a cigar, he reeled out witty word play like Milton Berle on espresso.


And Harpo, who had trouble saying lines and was no good at accents, got into the habit of just not speaking at all. His bushy red hair was leftover from an act where he played an Irishman, and the rest of his trademarks were his own add-libs. There's no good way to really describe Harpo's act: it's kind of like watching a naughty three year old child in a man's body during an extreme sugar rush. Unpredictable, random, ridiculous and hilarious are all adjectives that apply.


After vaudeville gave way to movies, the brothers had no problem adjusting to this new medium: with their first picture The Coconuts in 1929, Animal Crackers 1930, Monkey Business 1931, Horse Feathers 1932, to Duck Soup in 1933 the brothers terrorized the film world with some of the most plot-less, ridiculous and funniest acts the world had ever seen. Take a look at those titles again: they say a lot. Eventually their low-budget, do-anything-you-can-to-get-a-laugh schtick evolved into more sophisticated Hollywood thespian-ship. By their sixth, and by far greatest movie A Night at the Opera in 1935, they had lost Zeppo (don't feel bad for him though, he also had a knack for business and ended up an inventor) and gained a following and star-studded reputation that lasted them the rest of their lives.


Though Groucho went on to became the most popular brother due to his early 60's television show You Bet Your Life, and some other projects; as a team they lived out their golden years performing together and were by their own right, unstoppable. They changed the world of stuffy drawing room comedy during the vaudeville period, making it something new and altogether-- ridiculous (for lack of a better word). So if you get a chance, don't pass up the opportunity to catch a Marx brother's movie: you'll discover the 'random' trend around every corner today is all their doing.

P.S. I promised you Christmas movies. My supreme favorites will always be: Miracle on 34th Street (1947), the old black and white one starring Natalie Wood; It's a Wonderful Life (1946) starring Jimmy Stewart; and White Christmas (1954), with Danny Kaye and Bing Crosby. Also good are Holiday Inn (1942), and A Christmas Carol the (1938) version.

 Until I write again, merry Christmas and a happy new year! ~Locksley

Do you like to write? Well, why don't you send us something! Become a part of Homeschooling Teen magazine and submit a letter, article, poem, short story, report, or review to: mail@homeschoolingteen.com


MOVIE QUOTE- Can you guess what movie this quote came from?


"Well, you look about the kind of angel I'd get. Sort of a fallen angel, aren't you? What happened to your wings?"

(Answer: It's a Wonderful Life)



You can be a Homeschooling Teen reporter or columnist! Please send information about what you like to write about, the reason you want to take on the challenge of a monthly column, and an example of your work to: mail@homeschoolingteen.com 




by Katie, 14


Sharp, bitter, and cruel

It is spoken in haste,

Clawing and tearing

The heart.

A barb in the flesh,

Buried deep down inside

Never to surface again.


The words of yesterday, we 

Cannot retrieve, 

Though we wish to go back.

Put past the sorrows 

Of yesterday,

Live in the present

Hope for the future

Learn from the past.


A word has wings,

Longing for flight,

Once set free,

Forever Lost.


Learn, I say learn!

Once Lost,

Forever Lost.

Visit our new Homeschooling Teen Online Magazine at  http://www.homeschoolingteen.com!




Dear Nia,


I have gotten behind on my school work and feel that it is overwhelming. I am not sure that I am cut out for home schooling, what do you think? ~B.hine21


Dear B.hine21,


I think that you should have a conversation with your parents or guidance counselors about your options. At the same time it depends on whether you feel you have the means to catch up and get ahead in your school work. This is your decision and don't let anyone pressure you, not even yourself.


Work hard and play harder, Nia



Dear Nia,


I'm a home school student with serious problems. My boyfriend wants me to spend time with him while I am trying to focus on my school work. What do I do? ~Confusious


Dear Confusious,


I think you shouldn't let anyone take you away from what's important. Your schooling isn't to better your high school boyfriend, your friends, or even you parents. It's to better you. That's a factor you have to keep in mind. If your boyfriend doesn't get that than he doesn't deserve you.


Work hard and play harder, Nia


Shaniyah is an aspiring journalist who also writes poetry and is working on a novel. If you have a question you would like her to answer, email her at cakenyah1@aol.com.


Nonfiction Book Review by Libbi


Voices of the Faithful: Book 2, by Beth Moore


Imagine what a day in the life of a missionary is like. What about a year? What would it be like to witness hundreds of lives being changed, and multiple hearts being healed? What would you do if you could travel to a different part of the world, every day for a year, for less then the cost of a theme park ticket?

You can do that with Beth Moore's sequel to Voices of the Faithful, the devotional. 366 new stories, with a different theme for each month. Themes all the way from prayer to hope, and the constant encouragement throughout. Each day has both a scripture at the beginning, and a prayer at the end. Not to mention the incredible stories!

Incredible, miraculous stories inscribed on every page! One of the stories that stood out to me is the one on December 25th. So encouraging, and completely edifying! Mission work has always been on my heart, and this book definitely shared experiences of many different missionaries. I love books like this that have happy endings. Though this book had a few sad stories, they almost always turned out well, and everything written portrayed a purpose. I also liked that all of the royalties of the book were donated to support the International Mission Board. On a more vain note, the book is beautifully designed. I couldn't believe how incredibly striking it was! The font matched the book perfectly :)

Overall, I loved it! Great book, and it is 100% worth your money!


Libbi H.


Libbi is a homeschooler who runs the Life is Funner blog at http://lifeisfunner.blogspot.com . She likes peacocks, the color pink, hair accessories, and reading biographies.

Send your book reviews to: mail@homeschoolingteen.com