Homeschooling Teen

Homeschooled Teen Profiles: Laura Lee Moore  
Homeschool Friendly College: Union University
College Bound Reading List: The Screwtape Letters
Special Feature: Celebrating our 1st Anniversary!
E-Mail Etiquette: Tip-of-the-Month
Homeschoolers Write: The Hidden Agenda of Advertisers 

HST Columns: Webcomix & Anime Reviews
Homeschooling High School: SAT & ACT Prep
Preparing For College - ACT & SAT Information
Parents Column  
Plus a whole lot more!!!

College Bound 

Preparing For College - ACT & SAT Information

Another school year has begun, and 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
 Sponsored in part by
Sylvan SAT/ACT Prep can help you prepare.
Find a participating Sylvan below 
  or visit
to find a center near you.

Perfunctory (adjective) - unenthusiastic, routine, or mechanical.
"When the play opened, the actors sparkled, but by the thousandth night their performance had become perfunctory."
SYNONYMS: disinterested, impersonal, indifferent

 Did You Know...? Thanksgiving was first U.S. Holiday to be declared by Presidential Proclamation - George Washington did it in the year 1789: "Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor - and Whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me 'to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.' Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be - That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks - for his kind care and protection of the People of this country previous to their becoming a Nation - for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war -for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed - for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us."

A column by Peter in AZ  
Quentyn Quinn - Space Ranger!
The last comic from RH Junior. FINALLY.
Quentyn Quinn, Space Ranger is about a descendant of the other Quentyn Quinn, Questor of Freeman Downs.
The Racconans have ventured out into space, and Quentyn is a Space Ranger. Space Rangers are:
Brave warriors, explorers, frontier lawmen who push the boundaries of civilization and justice out across the stars every single day.
In the opening sequence, I am very much reminded of Spaceman Spiff. (Except his spaceship was red.) I would be not at all surprised if RH Junior was a Calvin and Hobbes fan. (It's one of the greatest comic strips ever. Whad'ya expect?)
There are, as I write this, 26 strips in the archive. That's because instead of just making the strip and putting it up, the author makes three new pages every time he collects $500 in donations. 

College Bound Reading List
The Screwtape Letters, by C.S. Lewis
C.S. Lewis wrote The Screwtape Letters in an epistolary style, as a series of letters providing moral lessons. In this story, he portrays a typical human life with all of its temptations and failings, as seen from the demon/devil's viewpoint. Wormwood, a junior tempter, has been given his first earthly assignment, to secure the damnation of a young man. He seeks the advice of an experienced demon, his Uncle Screwtape. Their correspondence discloses the psychology of temptation from the other side. Wormwood and Screwtape live in a peculiarly morally reversed world, where individual benefit and greed are seen as the greatest good, and neither demon is capable of comprehending or acknowledging true human virtue when he sees it. Although written in 1941, the book's theme rings remarkably true today.
Did You Know...? C.S. Lewis dedicated The Screwtape Letters to his friend, J.R.R. Tolkien. Cartoonist Bill Watterson named the character of Mrs. Wormwood, Calvin's teacher, after Wormwood in The Screwtape Letters.
Send your book reviews to:  

Pilgrim Timeline
Plymouth Colony existed from 1620 until 1691 when it was incorporated into the Massachusetts Bay Colony. During this time period, the Dutch artists Rembrandt and Vermeer were painting masterpieces, the Three Musketeers were guarding the king of France, Isaac Newton was making scientific discoveries, the First Folio edition of Shakespeare's plays was published in England, and pirates of all nationalities were using the island of Tortuga as their base of operations in the Caribbean.

Aviation History Month
International Creative Child & Adult Month
National Novel Writing Month
International Drum Month
Peanut Butter Lover's Month
National Raisin Bread Month
National Pepper Month
Good Nutrition Month

  Veterans Day, November 11
International Day of Prayer,
November 11
World Hello Day, November 21
National Bible Week,
November 22-29
November 26

GIVING THANKS (Author Unknown)
For the hay and the corn and the wheat that is reaped,
For the labor well done, and the barns that are heaped,
For the sun and the dew and the sweet honeycomb,
For the rose and the song and the harvest brought home-
Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving!
For the trade and the skill and the wealth in our land,
For the cunning and strength of the workingman's hand,
For the good that our artists and poets have taught,
For the friendship that hope and affection have brought-
Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving!
For the homes that with purest affection are blest,
For the season of plenty and well-deserved rest,
For our country extending from sea unto sea;
The land that is known as the "Land of the Free"-
Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving!

"Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved." - Helen Keller

E-mail Etiquette:
Tip of the Month
Never send a commercial e-mail to anyone without their permission to do so.
Unless an onliner provides you with their e-mail address through your site or specifically to receive information about your commercial enterprise, you simply should not e-mail them.
Regardless of how much you think they need your product or service or how desperate you are to market your business, blindly e-mailing strangers is not an acceptable marketing practice.
Doing so can get you blacklisted and labeled as a spammer and your ISP can cancel your account and shut down your Web site.
This E-mail Etiquette Tip is provided as a courtesy by:  
November 21, 2009 is the 37th annual World Hello Day.  Anyone can participate in World Hello Day simply by greeting ten people. Learn how to say Hello in 37 different languages!
1.  Afrikaans - haai (hello; pronounced Ha-i) 
2.  Apache - Ya'atay Arabic - marhaba (hello; pronounced mar-ha-ba)
 3. Australian - G'day
4. Arabic - marhaba (hello; pronounced mar-ha-ba) 
5.  Azerbaijani - salam (hello; pronounced sa-lam)
 6. Basque - kaixo (pronounced kai-show)
7. Cajun - Bon jour
 8. Congo - mambo
 9. Czech - ahoj (informal; pronounced ahoy)
10. Danish - hej (informal; pronounced hey), god dag (formal)
11. Dutch - hoi (very informal), hallo (informal), goedendag (formal)
 12. French - salut (informal; silent 't'), bonjour (formal, daytime use), bonsoir (formal, evening)
13. Gaelic - dia duit (pronounced gee-ah ditch; literally "God be with you")
 14. German - hallo (informal), Guten Tag (formal; pronounced gootan taag)
 15. Greek - yia sou (pronounced yah-soo; informal)
16. Hawaiian - aloha 
17. Hebrew - shalom (means hello, goodbye, and peace)
 18. Hindi - namaste (pronounced na-mus-thei)
19.  Italian - cio (pronounced chow; informal; also means goodbye)
20. Japanese - ohayoou (pronounced o-ha-yo); moshi moshi (pronounced moh-shee moh-shee; when calling/answering the phone)
21. Latin - salve (pronounced sal-way; when talking to one person), salvete (pronounced sal-way-tay; when talking to more than one person)
22. Luxembourgish - moen (pronounced MOY-en)
 23. Mandarin Chinese - ni hao
24. Maori - kia ora (kia o ra), morena (good morning)
 25.  Middle English - Gode dai
26. Mongolian - sain baina uu? (pronounced saa-yen baya-nu; formal), sain uu? (pronounced say-noo; informal)
 27. Navajo - ya'at'eeh
28.  Norwegian - hei (hi), hallo (hello), god dag (good day)
29. Persian - salaam
 30. Portuguese - oi, ol or al (informal)
31. Romanian - salut
32.  Russian - Privet (informal; pronounced pree-vyet)
 33. Spanish - hola (pronounced o-la)
34. Swahili - jambo or Habari (hello) 
35. Swedish - tja (very informal; pronounced sha), hej (informal; pronounced hey), god dag (formal)
 36. Vietnamese - xin cho
37. Welsh - shwmae (pronounced shoe-my)
Have you ever stopped to consider how many people are saying "hello" to each other today, and in how many different languages? If you wanted to say "hello" to everyone on the planet, you would have to learn at least 2,796 languages and greet at least 6,500,000,000 people.
Are you a cartoonist and would you like to see your work published in this magazine? Please write and tell us about the type of cartoon you create, (single pane, strip, etc.) the topics you cover (current events, humor, homeschool life, etc.) and send us a sample along with your name and age. Contact:

MOVIE QUOTE- Can you guess what movie this quote came from?
"Paulie, it's Thanksgiving. I got a turkey in the oven." Paulie says, "Oh, a turkey in the oven!" He opens up the oven, grabs the turkey, and throws it out the back door. "You want the bird?" he hollers, "Go out in the alley and eat the bird!"  
(Answer: Rocky)


How have YOU benefited from homeschooling and/or traveling? ... Tell us about it! Send your responses to

Homemade Family Videos

 Popcorn & Family Movies
Thanksgiving is a good opportunity to gather the family together to make a video as a gift to send to faraway relatives and friends. You can write an original script in which everyone has a part, or just follow people around like in reality TV. Another option would be to have a talent show in which one person sings, another recites a poem, etc. You might even dress up in costume. It's a fun and easy way to spend quality family time while sharing the holidays with distant relatives. If you can, edit the footage on your computer, burn it onto a DVD, and design a personalized label for it. Be sure to mail the DVD in a padded envelope so it won't get broken. You might also want to have a home video party starring your family. We never laugh so hard as when we're watching our own movies! 

You too 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: 

The Hidden Agenda of Advertisers
By HST Reporter: Peter, 19 
On September 16, 2009, Dr. Jean Kilbourne presented a lecture at Phoenix College on the topic of Advertising and Addiction. Dr. Kilbourne is internationally recognized for her pioneering work on alcohol and tobacco advertising and the image of women in advertising. She wrote a book, "Can't Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel," and is also known for her award-winning documentaries "Killing Us Softly," "Slim Hopes," and "Calling the Shots."
In her speech, Dr. Kilbourne explains how affluence can solve some issues such as malaria and smallpox but can contribute to other maladies such as obesity, addiction and compulsive shopping. According to Dr. Kilbourne, the culture in which we live is toxic. Images from advertising bombard and abuse us in an effort to persuade us. It has been shown that children as young as six months old can recognize a corporate logo. An average person spends three years of his or her life viewing advertisements. The advertisers say they are selling freedom, but in fact they are selling slavery and addiction.
More people die of cigarettes than all other addictions. As 1,000 smokers are dying from their product each day and 2,000 are quitting they need to get 3,000 new smokers a day. People rarely start smoking over the age of 25. Almost every adult smoker is a child smoker who grew up. Children are the target of cigarette advertisements. The advertisers say it's to get smokers to change brands. But this is not likely since the money spent by people changing brands is less than the amount spent on advertising. And 90% of kids who smoke buy the three most heavily advertised brands. Coincidence? I think not!
Girls are targeted by implying that smoking keeps you slim. All cigarettes aimed at women have words like slim, slender, etc. in the name and/or advertisement. This isn't just the case with cigarettes; a woman's insecurity in her appearance is exploited in many types of product ads. Ads portray women as inhumanly perfect. Women are turned into objects, or parts of them are morphed into objects; sometimes even disembodied body parts are used to sell.
Girls are told to look thin, to become nothing. Advertisers sell the "V" look which is in 5% of our female population's genetic makeup. 95% have a pear shape and they are taught through advertisement and entertainment that this is unattractive to men. Dieting cannot change this. Diets frequently fail and people gain more weight later. Yet many young girls are dieting and causing permanent damage. Obesity is a complicated problem with many contributing factors and it can't be solved by people selling something.
Alcohol ads are just as devious. Alcohol is a depressant, yet the advertisements show young drinkers as excited and exciting. Booze ads promise good stuff but nothing good can come of it. The distillers depend on drunkards and problem drinkers for their livelihood. Their ads touting "drink responsibility" and "use a designated driver" even contradict themselves - if people drank responsibly, they wouldn't need a designated driver. The fact is, if everyone drank responsibly, sales would drop and the alcohol industry would lose 80% of their business.
College drinking in particular is a big business. But most addictions start early. The distillers want underage kids to drink. They want kids to break the law. They target the youth and deny that they do. Note that the energy booze drinks are sugary/fruity and are appealing to kids. Drinking is made to look cool and fun. Eric Clapton advertised Miller Beer but now wishes that he had not become a drunk. Clapton said he regrets having spent a good portion of his life anesthetized. Unfortunately, his statements are not widely disseminated.
Advertising is such a lucrative business that television shows and magazine articles are not the important part; it's all about the advertising. Time magazine minimizes emphasis on cigarettes as the primary cause of lung cancer in women because they do not want to lose tobacco company dollars. Cosmopolitan as well as Family Circle magazines promise liquor companies that their readers will buy more of their products if they advertise with them. The deregulation of children's television allowed advertisers to use popular characters to sell things. Advertisers actually hire psychologists to design their ads.
Dr. Kilbourne brings to light the unspoken, subliminal impulses and feelings that the advertisers want to keep silently operating under the surface. When people see an advertisement, they need to think critically and uncover its purpose. By discussing advertisements openly, one can dissipate the mist. What does the ad say and what is it really trying to do?
Dr. Jean Kilbourne is an interesting, engaging, and enthusiastic speaker, obviously passionate about her subject. Even though she didn't say so, she addressed many concepts that are based on biblical principles. For example, if everyone would just follow the Ten Commandments - the 7th and 10th commandments in particular, which say "Thou shall not commit adultery" and "Thou shall not covet" - most advertising would be
dead. It's also amazing how some of Dr. Kilbourne's ideas seemed to come right out of C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters.
For more information, visit her website: . To view actual video clips from her lectures, see:

 [Peter is a 19-year-old homeschool graduate, currently enrolled in the honors program at the local community college.]

Veterans Day - November 11
eorge Orwell once said, "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." It is those "rough" men and women who have been America's sentinels of liberty for over 200 years. We can best pay tribute by recognizing what they have achieved and joining them in their resolve to keep America strong and free. The modern patriots who wear the uniform today in our armed services deserve our appreciation, support, and recognition. Most people probably know someone - a grandfather, uncle, father, brother, friend - who fought in a war or otherwise served in the armed forces. Take a few minutes out of your day to personally thank them for keeping your country and your family safe. Invite a veteran to share his or her personal experiences with your homeschool group. Many of our veterans have exceptional first-person accounts of what defending liberty really means. (If you do not know a veteran, your local American Legion or VFW post may be able to recommend one in your area who would be willing to speak.) You may also want to do some research to find out about your ancestors who served in the armed forces. Perhaps you will find some who date back to the Civil War or even the American Revolution! Learn more about Veterans Day at: 


Help Project FeederWatch Track Backyard Birds
Bird watchers needed to help scientists discover changes in bird populations
Ithaca, NY-What happens in the backyard should not stay in the backyard-at least when it comes to bird feeders. By sharing information about which birds visit their feeders between November and April, backyard bird watchers can help scientists track changes in bird numbers and movements from year to year, through Project FeederWatch, a citizen-science program from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Bird Studies Canada.
Project FeederWatch begins on November 14 and runs through early April. Taking part is easy. Anyone can count the numbers and kinds of birds at their feeders and enter their information on the FeederWatch website. Participants submitted nearly 117,000 checklists last season. Since 1987, more than 40,000 people from the United States and Canada have taken part in the project.

"To get the most complete picture of bird movements, we always need new sets of eyes to tell us what species are showing up at backyard feeders," says David Bonter, leader of Project FeederWatch. "Participants always tell us how much fun it is and how good it feels to contribute to our understanding of birds by submitting their sightings."

Project FeederWatch is for people of all ages and skill levels. To learn more and to sign up, or call the Cornell Lab toll-free at (866) 982-2473. In return for the $15 fee ($12 for Cornell Lab members) participants receive the FeederWatcher's Handbook, an identification poster of the most common feeder birds, a calendar, complete instructions, and Winter Bird Highlights, an annual summary of FeederWatch findings.

Participant Nancy Corr of Harrisburg, Oregon, sums up her Project FeederWatch experience: "Thanks for the wonderful opportunity to share our love of birding and to participate in something meaningful!"
Regional highlights based on 2008-09 FeederWatch reports:

Southwest & California: On most lists: House Finch. Fewer reports: Western Scrub-Jay. Increasing: Lesser Goldfinch and Eurasian Collared-Dove.
 Southeast & South-Central: On most lists: Northern Cardinal. Increasing: White-winged Dove and Eurasian Collared-Dove. Rare bird: Yellow-headed Blackbird (Florida).

Pacific Northwest & Rocky Mountains: On most lists: Dark-eyed Junco. Increasing: Anna's Hummingbird and Golden-crowned Sparrow. Rare bird: Yellow-throated Warbler (Alberta).

Northeast quarter of U.S. & Southeastern Canada: On most lists: Black-capped and Carolina Chickadees. Fewer reports: Evening Grosbeak. Rare bird: Green-tailed Towhee (New Jersey).

North-Central & Mid-Central: On most lists: Downy Woodpecker. Fewer reports: American Crows. Increasing: American Robin and Cedar Waxwing. Rare bird: Cape May Warbler (Saskatchewan).

Alaska & Northern Canada: On most lists: Common Redpoll. Increasing: Pine Grosbeak and Bohemian Waxwing. Fewer reports: Steller's Jay. Rare bird: Purple Finch (Alaska).

PAJAMA SCHOOL - stories from the life of a homeschool graduate
Pajama School 
o you get to wear your pajamas to school? Do you have recess or snow days? What about socialization? Like many homeschoolers, Natalie Wickham has heard dozens of questions like these - from curious bystanders, parents considering homeschooling their children, and even homeschool parents. Natalie, who was homeschooled from fourth grade through college, explains, "As soon as they learn that I graduated from high school as a homeschooler, the questions begin to flow. From what curriculum we used, to how we handled P.E., to what we did for socialization, at the heart of them all is the unspoken search for the assurance that if they homeschool their children they will turn out okay."
Ten years after graduating from high school, homeschool graduate Natalie Wickham looks back and candidly shares the struggles and triumphs which led her to conclude that education is about more than just academics. Her new book, "Pajama School - stories from the life of a homeschool graduate," answers many of the most-often asked questions - not with dry facts, but with engaging and entertaining stories from real life. Natalie goes beyond providing simple answers and shares the daily experiences that she and her five siblings encountered as a homeschool family. Readers of Pajama School will join Natalie and her family as they make the difficult transition into homeschooling, endure the challenge of having a mentally ill Grandma live with them, get involved in grassroots politics, turn sibling rivalry into lasting friendships, pursue higher education without going the traditional college route, and much more. Whether you've been homeschooling since the days of the New England Primer or are just embarking on this educational adventure, you will find hope, humor, inspiration, and an ample dose of reality in the pages of Pajama School.
About the Author - With a passion for equipping upcoming generations of homeschoolers to be godly leaders, Natalie loves challenging children and teenagers to embrace these years of their life and make the most of their homeschool experience. She also owns and operates a successful piano studio.
Read the first chapter of Pajama School:

The National Christian College Fairs exist to provide students and their parents with information and guidance concerning the opportunities available at Christian colleges/universities and Bible colleges located throughout the United States and Canada. We look forward to seeing you at one of our events! Please visit to view a list of colleges represented and to find a fair in your region.

Homeschooling Teen
November 2009
Welcome... Homeschooling Teen is a free e-zine for homeschooled high schoolers and young adult alumni. Published once a month, each issue is full of fellowship and fun, human interest and humor. Much of the content is written by other 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 favorite websites for the links section. Additionally, in each issue we feature a profile of a different Homeschooling Teen subscriber and/or a famous homeschooled teen. Write to us at

Reflecting upon her experiences that led to being crowned Homecoming Queen, Laura Lee Moore wrote a personal story that portrays the love for education first instilled by her parents and how it prepared her to thrive in university life:
The Homeschooler Away from Home: Surviving and Thriving in College
By Laura Lee Moore
Laura Lee Moore 
The silver tiara sparkled in the gym's overhead lights and its twinkle transported me from a basketball court decorated for a college homecoming to a medieval court awaiting a coronation. As the loudspeaker burst forth with a warbled version of my name and major, I stepped forward to allow our university president to crown me Miss Union University.
As I felt the crown's weight pressing against the back of my scalp and listened to my introduction, I felt far away as if I were eavesdropping on someone else's story. All the memories that brought me to this moment flashed through my mind. As I grasped my father's arm and proceeded across the gymnasium, I felt it appropriate to celebrate this significant milestone of my senior year with the man who has been both my father and teacher for 22 years.
I thought back to the time he grasped my hand across the dining room table as our family learned Spanish together, or the way he taught me to sing the Greek alphabet with his booming bass blending perfectly with my 9-year-old soprano. I looked up into his face and saw the same quiet pride I had seen in high school as I stole and devoured theology books from his desk and talked with him about politics and government.
Looking across the crowd, I spotted Dr. David Gushee, my ethics professor, and thought of the endless after-class discussions about worldview and the Christian's role in social ethics. I saw my mom in the crowd wiping tears from her eyes and thought of all the times we had laughed and cried together as she read to me for hours and helped develop my love for reading and learning. I noticed Heather - a freshman - sitting toward the top of the bleachers. Last semester I helped her study for Old Testament and introduced her to mnemonic devices. I will never forget the song we made up about the twelve tribes of Israel!
Homeschooling Enhances Higher Education
I have to admit, I wondered at times during high school if I would truly be prepared for higher education. I thought of the concerned questions from strangers about our decision to homeschool. They wondered if I would be well prepared for college or if socialization skills would be harder. As I gazed on the sea of faces of friends and mentors watching the homecoming awards, I smiled at the question, "What about socialization?"
Closer to the end of my formal education than to the beginning, I can confidently say my doubts are quieted and my burning questions answered. Not only was I prepared to survive as a homeschooler in college, I was prepared to thrive. Sure, I have to spend more time picking out clothes, taking notes and carrying backpacks than I did in high school, but the key principles of learning were already instilled in my character. I find my experience in home education has enhanced rather than hindered my capacity to learn, the depth of my experience and the quality of my relationships.
Interaction with a variety of people
Tte ttes with my dad prepared me well to engage in healthy debate with adults and students alike. As I helped new freshman transition to college life or sipped coffee and discussed key issues with my professors, I realized what an asset it is to grow up interacting with a variety of age groups rather than becoming accustomed to socializing with one set peer group. As a homeschooler, I interacted with adults at a high level, taught my younger brothers and spent significant time with people of all ages in our community. While I observe some students isolating themselves from professors they see as the enemy, I naturally expect my professors to be mentors and friends who want me to learn.
Independent Study
Growing in the discipline of independent study was an absolute necessity in a house with four children all learning at different grade levels. My mom encouraged a natural curiosity, a love for reading and self-motivation. Each semester we developed goals and identified subjects we wanted to learn about. As I tackled projects related to my goals, I discovered my education is primarily my responsibility - a truth that has carried me through many semesters of challenging classes. Professors respect a student who is actually motivated to learn. College students cannot survive by merely depending on a traditional classroom setting to gain all their information. Reading outside of class, independent research and asking good questions of the right people are survival skills for the student who wants to excel.
Foundation of Faith and Learning
The sound of my dad slowly turning the weathered pages of his Bible, our family discussion of Revelation in the van on the way to a field trip and the precious hours our family spent in prayer together are a part of the memories of my school days. Learning the tenants of Islam by witnessing to Arab friends in our local gas station and discussing the value of sanctity of life in a Postmodern culture helped me think critically, know what I believe, and integrate my Christian worldview into all aspects of my life - including education. As my primary teachers and mentors, my parents had the greatest shaping role in my values. No one has had a more significant impact on my character. Because of their investment in my personal walk with Christ as well as sound biblical teaching, I am grounded in my faith as well as academics. I learned from my parents early on that faith and learning are inextricably tied.
Not Surviving but Thriving
Growing under my parents' instruction as well as learning independently has allowed me to walk away from my college experience with a new level of articulation in my beliefs, a treasure of quality relationships and a reinforced foundation in addition to my degree. As I hugged my dad on Homecoming Day and looked out across the crowd of fellow servants, friends and teachers, I realized I could victoriously affirm my home education as a preparation in more than facts and figures. At the climax of my college experience, I celebrate my unique education as a lesson in living life to the fullest.
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, or review to:



Homeschooling Teen ~ Celebrating our 1st Anniversary!
Homeschooling Teen has featured quite a few famous teen homeschoolers and homeschool graduates beginning with our first issue! Check them out:
Alyssa, Rebecca, and Lauren Barlow are three talented sisters best known collectively as BarlowGirl. Now in their 20's, the trio from Elgin, Illinois were homeschooled before becoming the popular Contemporary Christian group they are today. Although at first glance the threesome may look like typical rock stars, they are radically different role models than most young women in the public eye. In today's culture, the fact that they boldly stand for purity, modesty, and commitment is considered extreme by many. The three Barlow sisters pattern their lifestyle around Romans 12:2 which says, "Do not be conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." For these young women, the main thing isn't being a celebrity and getting rich; it's living godly lives, having a sense of self-worth, and being true to who they really are even when they're not perfect.
Christopher Paolini is a homeschool graduate and best-selling author. Paolini states, "Everything I did was only possible because my parents were dedicated and loving enough to homeschool my sister and me. My mother, a former Montessori teacher and author of several children's books, took the time to instruct us every day. Aside from textbook lessons, she had us perform many exercises designed to stimulate our creativity." Christopher was able to pursue his passions and develop his talents to a higher level than is possible in an ordinary school setting. Like many homeschoolers, he wasn't afraid to tackle projects by educating himself. He also learned that a little hard work and persistence pays off. His Eragon book was even made into a major motion picture.
Victoria Kasten is a homeschooled author who has sold thousands of her books worldwide. She writes historical fiction and stories about horses, and on her website she also sells matching t-shirts to go with the books. In addition to horses, history, and writing, Victoria enjoys 4-H, music, and playing the violin. Victoria donates a portion of her profits to Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary, Betsy-Tacy Society and the Northfield Historical Society. Victoria has participated in many events such as homeschool conventions, book tours, and book signings. Since 2007, Victoria has also been teaching at Young Writers Workshops about character development in a story. In 2008, Victoria was chosen as a finalist for the Women, Inc. Magazine contest "The Difference is You" in the "Rising Young Star" category.
The 5 Browns - all homeschooled siblings - are piano virtuosos, adept at performing individually or together in various combinations from duo to five-piano arrangements. It's their ability to play in perfect synchronization on five grand pianos at once that makes them really stand out. These brothers and sisters are breathing new life into the classical music genre with their youthful exuberance and dynamic stage presence, awakening the joy of classical music among audiences of all ages. While most teens would consider classical music to be "old and boring," the 5 Browns consider it to be current and relevant. Desirae says, "When you start playing without thinking or feeling, then I can see how it could get really boring. But when you're throwing yourself into it, somehow you find new things in the music and new things that come up in your mind or how you're feeling that make you come alive.... It's all about love and hate and anger and joy, all these things that teenagers experience... so... translate it to your emotions, to your experiences."
The Jonas Brothers are known for their straight-laced, squeaky-clean image despite their foray into the world of rock 'n' roll - long a refuge for teen angst and rebellion. Although they are evangelical Christians, the Jonas Brothers decided not to go the Contemporary Christian Music route. One of the reasons for the genre direction was to reach more teenagers. The Jonas Brothers are aware of the positive impact they can have on millions of kids, and it's a responsibility they take seriously. The Jonas Brothers abstain from alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. In addition, they are committed to remaining chaste before marriage and they all wear purity rings on their left-hand ring finger. Nick Jonas says, "We use it as a chance to witness. We want to be a Christian influence in the pop music world. It's definitely a mission field."
Erik Demaine, named "one of the most brilliant scientists in America" by Popular Sciencemagazine, is a rising star in the area of theoretical computer science - specifically computational geometry, data structures, and algorithms. As a child, he had an unconventional educational background of homeschooling on the road followed by entering college at a young age, earning his bachelor's degree at age 14.  Describing formal school as "just an excuse to meet kids and hang out with them," Erik says, "I learned to read early, but it never was as interesting to me as personal experience. I didn't read textbooks as an undergrad. My father, Martin Demaine, had home-schooled me until I went to university. He was against the whole school thing, [and] wanted to be engaged in my education. Also, my father wanted to travel, so around Grade 2 we started traveling around North America, Canada, and the United States. I got to see a lot of different cultures, meet lots of different kinds of people, different backgrounds, different ages."
Tim Tebow is the first homeschool graduate to be awarded the Heisman Trophy for most outstanding player in collegiate football. Tim's parents, Pam and Bob Tebow, have been called "homeschool pioneers" because they began homeschooling in 1982 before this form of education became popular. Teaching their children to honor God was the main reason for their decision to homeschool. "If I could get my kids to the age of 25 and they know God and serve God and had character qualities that pleased God, then I knew God would be happy and I would be happy," explained Bob Tebow. "The only way I could do that was to do it myself, commit to God that this is my job," the senior Tebow continued. "Traditional academics had to take a back seat to God's Word and character building." In addition to family values and character training, the Tebows focused on each child's individual learning styles, interests, and goals. All five of the Tebow children went on to receive college scholarships. In addition to the Heisman Trophy, Tim earned the Maxwell Award as the nation's top football player twice. He also won the Davey O'Brien Award as the nation's best quarterback, and the James E. Sullivan Award as the nation's most outstanding amateur athlete in any sport.
Zac Sunderland, born to a family of yachtsmen and shipwrights, has been sailing since an early age - a sailboat was literally his first home. This 17-year-old from Southern California, the eldest of seven children, recently made history by being the first person under 18 to sail around the world alone - a remarkable journey that took slightly over a year. Zac was inspired by the story of Robin Lee Graham, who at 16 years of age departed on his own solo global circumnavigation in 1965, but Graham did not finish his voyage until the age of 21. Graham was unschooled at sea for many of his teen years. Zac, a homeschooled straight-A student, brought books along to study on board so that he could finish his high school education during the 40,000-mile journey: "I have all my books with me. I have one more year to finish at high school and I have to send back my tests (via e-mail) to my mum. She's going to grade them and make sure I am doing well." Zac's solo circumnavigation may be just the beginning of many more adventures to come, as he is already planning on climbing Mount Everest. In the meantime, Zac also hopes to write a book and put together a documentary using video footage of his voyage.
Akiane Kramarik is a homeschooled teen and art prodigy. Self-taught in painting, Kramarik has seen her artwork exhibited in museums around the world since she was 10. From an early age, Akiane showed a high degree of technical skill in the making of her strikingly realistic paintings. They appear to have been made by the steady hand and experienced eye of a much older, professional artist. It was this fine quality of her art that led her to be labeled as a child prodigy. She is a member of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children, and was selected as one of the twenty most accomplished visual artists in the world. Akiane gives a substantial portion of her sales to various charities.
Olivia Bennett is a 19-year-old nationally recognized art prodigy who found her unique visual gift after being diagnosed with leukemia at age 5. Her colorful floral and wildlife paintings have been compared with such masters as Georgia O'Keeffe and Claude Monet. Olivia was homeschooled through high school in a K-12 program offered by Texas Tech University. This allowed Olivia to concentrate on her art career, which is what she really wanted to do. She could "just drop everything and paint" whenever she was in the mood. Homeschooling also gave her freedom to travel. As a cancer survivor, Olivia is dedicated to helping others who are suffering hardships whether it's from illness, hunger, or poverty. In 2003, Olivia was named "One of Twenty Teens Who Will Change the World" by Teen People Magazine.
In addition, we featured two famous homeschooled teens from history:
Joan of Arc - Only 17 years old when she was put in command of the French army, Joan of Arc is the youngest person to ever command a national military force - a feat that is all the more remarkable considering she was a girl.
John Quincy Adams - Homeschooled by his gifted mother and tutored by his distinguished father at the time of the American Revolution, this teen was already an experienced foreign diplomat at age 19.
Now it's Your Turn!
This year we want to include more profiles of HST subscribers - so that means we need to hear from YOU!
If you are involved with an amazing project, 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!  

First in Flight: Wilbur & Orville Wright
ilbur and Orville Wright were brothers who built the first successful airplane which they launched on December 17, 1903. Wilbur was born in 1867 and Orville was born in 1871. The sons of a circuit preacher, the boys grew up in a home that had two libraries-the first consisted of books on theology; the second was a large, varied collection. The Wright household was a stimulating environment with parents who nurtured creativity, constructive play, and all sorts of academic pursuits. Both boys were free to experiment and explore whatever interested them. Orville wrote of his childhood: "We were lucky...there was always much encouragement to children to pursue intellectual interests; to investigate whatever aroused curiosity." Learn more about the Wright brothers here: 

  College Bound:
       Homeschool Friendly Colleges
 Union University
 Union University
nion University of Jackson, Tennessee is a private, four-year, coeducational liberal arts university offering bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees. Founded in 1823 shortly after the opening of West Tennessee for settlement, Union is the oldest institution affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. The roots of Union University can actually be traced back to three antebellum schools - West Tennessee College, Jackson Male Academy, and Union University - and it is the inheritor of another college in 1927, Hall-Moody Junior College.
Union University's core values are synonymous with those of many home educators:
Excellence-Driven: Students grow spiritually and academically under professors who impact their lives with rigorous academic training. The student-faculty ratio is 12:1, and 83% of faculty members have earned the highest possible degree in their field. Homeschooled Union graduates are pursuing master's and doctorate degrees at universities such as Notre Dame, Vanderbilt, Purdue and Baylor.
Christ-Centered: Union integrates the Christian faith with top-tier academics in a way that is rare in the world of higher education. Whether studying accounting or art, engineering or English, students understand their role in that field within the context of a Christian worldview. Combine this type of classroom experience with outstanding chapel services and student ministries, and the result is a comprehensive approach to life and learning.
People-Focused: From the moment freshmen arrive on campus, they begin building friendships that can last a life-time through FOCUS, residence life activities, and Life Groups. Over 70 campus organizations provide opportunities to get involved at Union. Students are dinner guests in the homes of their professors. Faculty members enjoy conversations with students over coffee at Barefoots Joe, a favorite gathering place for students.
Future-Directed: With about 4,000 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 40 states and 35 countries, at Union we are preparing the next generation of shapers and thinkers. We are equipping tomorrow's leaders to integrate intellectual thought and Christian truth into their life service. Students hear internationally recognized speakers, conduct research, and grapple with ideas in more than 100 programs of study.
In the past decade, more than $90 million in improvements to the Jackson campus have been completed, including 19 residence halls, the Miller Tower, Jennings Hall, Hammons Hall, Fesmire indoor and outdoor athletic facilities, White Hall, and the Carl Grant Events Center.
Besides the traditional academic offerings, undergraduate majors have been added in political science, physics, theology, digital media studies, church history, ethics, sports management, sports medicine, and engineering. There are new graduate programs in education (M.Ed., Ed.S., and Ed.D.), nursing, intercultural studies, and social work in addition to pharmacy (Pharm.D.), Doctor of Ministry (D.Min), and Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) programs.
About 10% of incoming freshman students were home educated. Union University and homeschoolers are a great match because homeschoolers not only fit in at Union, they excel. The Elizabeth Tigrett Medal is the most prestigious academic award at Union. The entire faculty votes on the award, and it is given to only one graduating senior each year. In the past six years, four of the six recipients were homeschooled. Union students who were home educated have participated and led in a variety of campus activities including research, media, theater, academics, residence life, honors and more.
Ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the best universities in the south each year since 1997, in 2009 that publication named Union one of 77 national "Universities to Watch" and one of only 80 national schools "where the faculty has an unusual commitment to undergraduate teaching." Union has been recognized by Peterson's Competitive College Guide, the Time/Princeton Review, and Templeton's Colleges that Encourage Character Development. Union is a recipient of the President's Higher Education Community Service Award and has been listed among America's Colleges of Distinction, as well as one of America's Top 100 College Buys.
For more information, visit their website:  
Tell us about your favorite homeschool-friendly college, and we will feature it in an upcoming issue!

 Sole Providers
Who we are: college students dedicated to helping the homeless by providing them with socks and "soles."
Socks and shoes are a basic need that most of us take for granted, but they are precious items for the homeless. Homeless people can go through shoes and socks quickly with so much time spent out on the streets. Shoes and socks protect their feet from scrapes, cuts, contaminants, and the elements. However, footwear can be hard to come by for the homeless. Used socks are not readily available at second-hand stores, since people usually just wear them out instead of donating them. Shoes are expensive, and yet many of us have extra pairs of shoes sitting in our closets. We are "The Sole Providers" - Cierra, Suzanna, Adam, Zack, and Peter. This is our group Service Learning Project for the Honors Forum at Paradise Valley Community College. Our goal is to collect 1000 pairs of socks and 200 pairs of shoes by Thanksgiving. You can help! Monetary contributions received by the Sole Providers will be used to purchase new shoes and socks for the homeless. For more information or to donate online, visit  

 What are you doing to help your community? Tell us about it! Send your volunteer stories to

The Pen is Mightier Than the Sword
     This year, Patrick Henry College invites aspiring writers to answer the call - more specifically, A Call to Pens. PHC's first short story competition for students ages 12-18 was set in motion last year by PHC student, Peter Forbes (now an alumnus of PHC) who wanted to support the college and give young writers an opportunity to create original works of fiction that thoughtfully reflected a Christian worldview. Over 250 students nationwide responded to the "call" with mature, well-written stories, and we eagerly await the response of participants this year.
A Call to Pens is a contest with a broader mission than winning prizes. If we wish to shape the culture, we must first engage it - in all aspects of life. Quality Christian literature engages the culture in a less direct manner than other vocations, but it is no less important.
"The pen really is mightier than the sword," says Dr. Gene Veith, Provost at PHC and author of several books regarding Christianity and culture. "Writers really are the unacknowledged legislators of mankind. Writers played a major role in bringing down the Soviet Empire simply by writing stories that changed people's sensibility. Changing our own culture in a more God-pleasing direction cannot be done by political action alone. Changing the culture is a cultural task, and for that we need Christian writers. The Call to Pens contest is designed to help raise up those writers."
For those interested in entering the contest, please visit  .There will be two separate divisions, each with a separate theme, based on age. Several cash prizes will be awarded to the top writers in each division. All proceeds of the competition will be given to PHC's Annual Scholarship Fund. The entry deadline is December 30th, 2009; winners will be announced in March, 2010. 

Homeschooling High School: Helpful Tips
From Homeschool Into College: Does it Work?
By Janice Campbell
Now that homeschoolers have proven to be high achievers in both academic and social realms, they are being actively courted by many colleges. However, just as many homeschool parents paused before placing their young children on the big yellow school bus, they are now considering whether the traditional model of sending young people to live on a college campus for four years is an ideal way to meet the goal of higher education. Homeschoolers have blazed trails in elementary and secondary education, and they are now earning early college credit through exams or dual-credit classes, completing college at home, or simply choosing to attend a local college while living at home.
Why Not Live on Campus During College?
According to Dr. Jeff Myers of Inspired Leadership, spending four impressionable years of life living closely with the world is similar to the immersion method of learning a foreign language. If parents are willing to have their child absorb the good, the bad, and the ugly along with academics, four years in a dorm is the way to go. Most parents feel that older teens still need daily mentoring, stabilizing family relationships, and spiritual answers to the questions that inevitably arise when studying academics presented through a secular filter. According to Anne Miller of the Home Educators Association of Virginia, whose four oldest children were attending college at the time of this writing, living at home keeps young people from developing a self-centered attitude as they continue to serve the family through helping with home chores and interacting with younger siblings.
Earning College Credit in High School
Students who are capable of undertaking challenging work can accumulate a year or more of college credit while still in high school. Traditional-school students take Advanced Placement (AP) classes, followed by an AP test, in order to place out of entry level courses in college, but homeschoolers can go a step farther and earn actual credit by taking a CLEP (College-Level Examination Program) test, rather than the AP exam.
Students can prepare for exams by doing extra study on their own, taking an AP or honors class (online or traditionally), or by participating in an advanced co-op. Advantages of earning college credit while still in high school include:
Time - One 90-minute CLEP exam covers one or two semesters of a subject, and by taking several carefully selected exams, it is possible to shorten the time it takes to earn an associate's or bachelor's degree by a year or more.
Money - The cost of earning 3-6 credits is about $75.
Advanced placement - Instead of sitting through a basic class that covers material learned in high school, students can skip directly into more advanced and interesting classes.
Students who plan to use CLEP exams to get a jump start on college need to create a high school curriculum plan that includes advanced-level course material for subjects in which tests will be taken. These subjects will be recorded on the high school transcript as AP or honors courses, and students receive weighted grades (one extra grade point) for each class. College credit is awarded by the college the student attends in the future, and it is based upon a passing score on the CLEP exam. Not all colleges award credit for exams, so it is important to select a school that does.
Dual-credit classes are another way to get a jump start on college. To earn dual-credit, a student studies a subject in a community college class instead of a high school class, and earns both high school and college credit. Mature teens may be ready for the challenge of the classroom atmosphere, and taking dual-credit classes can provide a gradual transition into a more structured learning environment.
College From Home
If you have heard of the Swann family, you know the idea of college from home is not new. Each of the Swann's many children was homeschooled, not only through college, but also through graduate school, receiving their master's degrees at an age when most other teens are graduating from high school. This family used traditional correspondence courses for each level of schooling, and this is still possible, but the Internet has dramatically increased the number of options available. Students at home can participate in classes which include a variety of online elements, including virtual labs and real-time discussions. The degree earned at home is just as marketable as a degree earned on-campus, and it often comes with less spiritual risk.
Attending College While Living at Home
This final option is probably the most familiar - students attend a traditional college, but live at home, rather than on-campus. While this option limits the choice of a college to one within reasonable driving distance, it provides several advantages. In addition to being more economical than on-campus living, this option provides students with the familiar, supportive environment of home and family in which to process all the new information they are receiving. Second, they have instant access to spiritual, academic, or personal counseling from someone who knows and loves them, and who shares their spiritual worldview. Third, the presence of other family members of various ages with various needs helps to remind young people that they are not the center of the universe - self-centeredness can be a problem for students whose primary consideration is "my schedule, my classes, my choices." And finally, this option enables students who are academically ready for college, but younger than traditional college age, to benefit from the home atmosphere while they mature.
Just because our teens are growing up, it isn't necessary to follow the path of the world in their education. If we don't want the results we see in the culture around us, we can change the input. The purpose of college is an education, resulting in a degree, and each family has many options for achieving that goal.
Janice Campbell, author of Get a Jump Start on College! A Practical Guide for Teens, Transcripts Made Easy: The Homeschooler's Guide to High School Paperwork, and the Excellence in Literature series, has been writing and speaking in central Virginia since the late 1980's. She homeschooled her four sons from kindergarten into college, using the principles she now shares in her books, her blog, workshops, and e-newsletter. To order Janice Campbell's high school materials, see:


First in Flight: Wilbur & Orville Wright
ilbur and Orville Wright were brothers who built the first successful airplane which they launched on December 17, 1903. Wilbur was born in 1867 and Orville was born in 1871. The sons of a circuit preacher, the boys grew up in a home that had two libraries-the first consisted of books on theology; the second was a large, varied collection. The Wright household was a stimulating environment with parents who nurtured creativity, constructive play, and all sorts of academic pursuits. Both boys were free to experiment and explore whatever interested them. Orville wrote of his childhood: "We were lucky...there was always much encouragement to children to pursue intellectual interests; to investigate whatever aroused curiosity." Learn more about the Wright brothers here: 

Anime Reviews by Xbolt
Kanon tells the story of Yuichi Aizawa, a young man who has forgotten much of his childhood past.
It is based on a visual novel of the same name. There have been two anime adaptions made, done by different studios: one aired in 2002, the other in 2006. I will be talking about the 2006 version, but I'm sure the two are similar, since they are both based on the same thing.
Yuichi often visited the city where the story takes place during his childhood, but after seven years, many of those memories have been forgotten. As the story progresses, he gradually remembers more about what happened during those times.
There are five heroines, each with their own story arc. In the visual novel, the five were separate, but the anime weaves them all together into a continuous story.
Ayu Tsukimiya is a friend of Yuichi from way back during his childhood days in the city. She is a short girl, but very energetic, often pouncing on Yuichi without warning. She loves to eat taiyaki, a fish-shaped cake. Her catchphrase is 'Uguu~', which she mutters as an expression of frustration, anger, or fear. Yuichi loves to tease her about it.
Naiyuki Minase is Yuichi's cousin, with whom he moves in with at the beginning of the story. A heavy sleeper, she collects dozens of alarm clocks that still fail to wake her up, and wake Yuichi instead. (Finally, somebody who's even worse in the morning than I am!) She loves strawberry sundaes, but don't mention her mom's "special" jam. I don't know what's in it, but anyone unlucky enough to have some feels sick afterward.
Makoto Sawatari is a young girl who attacked Yuichi early in the story, but he was able to defeat her by simply holding his arm out. She has lost all her memories, and only remembers that she holds a grudge against Yuichi from his childhood days in the city. She has a mischievous personality, leading her to perform various pranks on Yuichi. However, he always manages to turn the pranks back on her, making her even more determined.
Shiori Misaka is a girl with a perpetual cold. Even though she's always sick, she thinks nothing of waiting around outside the school in order to meet someone she knows. To make matters worse, she insists on eating ice cream. In the middle of winter. (Okay, so maybe I can understand that bit...)
Mai Kawasumi is my favorite character. You gotta love someone whose first appearance is at night, alone, in a dark school building, holding a sword. She takes it upon herself to fight demons that infest the school at night while it is deserted. Due to this, she is often blamed for accidents that happen at the school, and she never denies it. In fact, she never says much of anything at all. Yuichi considers it a triumph to get her to answer a yes-or-no question.
Watch Episode One of the series here:
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