Homeschooling Teen



Homeschooling Teen Profile: Abby Sunderland


Homeschool Friendly College: Ohio Valley University


College Bound Reading List: Surviving the Applewhites


Calvin's Political Column: by Calvin


The FUN Column: by Alannis


Anime Reviews: by Xbolt


Career-of-the-Month: Farmer


Homeschooling High School: Starting aTeen Book Study Group


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


Parents Column  


Plus a whole lot more!!!




Homeschooling Teen Opinion
Homeschooling Teen Editor Tells Abby:

"You Go Girl!"

It seems ironic that Abby Sunderland received so little press until she ran into trouble, and only then did the news really pick up on her story. Abby's parents have been criticized for being too permissive in allowing their 16-year-old daughter to be exposed to unknown perils alone on the high seas. However, Marianne and Laurence Sunderland's philosophy for building strong, well rounded adults is to mentor their homeschooled children into setting goals, creating a plan to reach those goals, and implementing them, allowing each of them to pursue their dreams. "We're a clan of adventurers, not accountants," they confess.

Children who attempt certain challenges are often suspected of being spurred on by ambitious parents who want to live their dreams vicariously through their offspring.
However, over the last three years Laurence Sunderland had taken his daughter sailing in nasty weather and bad sea conditions to see if she was serious about going on such a venture, and this just made her more determined. Prior to her trip, Abby received much helpful advice from her brother Zac, who completed his own solo circumnavigation last year. Abby said, "My parents would not let me go if I wasn't scared or if I didn't understand what I am getting myself into."

Most parents don't think twice about letting their teenager get a driver's license and risk potentially life-threatening, dangerous situations on the road every day. Why should a 16-year-old with excellent sailing skills not be allowed to venture out into her world? Abby was probably in less danger on the high seas than on the busy highways where she lives in Southern California. And compared to some of the behavior exhibited by other teens her age, there are certainly a lot worse things she could be doing.

By all accounts, Abby seemed well prepared and confident for her journey. It doesn't seem fair that in the wake of her misfortune, many are questioning Abby's competence. As Abby said herself, "I think that a lot of people are judging me by the standards they have for their teens and other teens that they know ... and thinking, 'She's exactly like them.' They don't understand that I've sailed my whole life and I do know what I'm doing out there."
Abby's experience cannot be considered a factor, since even the most seasoned mariner can run into forces beyond his control such as unpredictable weather and rogue waves. Those who say that Abby is too young seem to forget that cabin boys on tall ships were usually 14-16 years old. Cabin boys didn't simply run errands or help in the kitchen, either. The cabin boys did virtually anything and everything that needed to be done on a ship. They had to be familiar with the sails, lines, and other equipment - and know how to use them in all kinds of weather. They would have to climb the masts and scramble up the rigging whenever the sails had to be trimmed. A cabin boy would also stand watch while other crewmen slept or act as helmsman, holding the wheel to keep the ship steady on her course.

Unlike the sailors of old, Abby wasn't going to be gone away for years; she was planning on completing her trip in six months barring any complications. Abby wasn't really alone, either; besides God watching over her, she was in constant contact with her parents and support team via a satellite communication system. Abby had an electronic chart plotter, emergency beacons, a safety harness she wore on deck, and a special system that allowed her to sleep while it kept track of any object nearing her boat. The boat was also equipped with a heater, solar panels, batteries, and fuel for the engine, should the need arise.

Abby's supplies included a stash of Mountain House freeze-dried food and plenty of fresh water, as well as a device for making sea water drinkable. After two separate autopilot systems both failed, Abby had the wherewithal to make do with what she had by swapping parts between them so at least one would be fully functioning. When Abby wasn't busy guiding and maintaining her boat, she would be documenting the journey, reading books, doing homework, or listening to her iPod.

For those who complain about the cost of Abby's search and rescue mission, her dismasting was an unfortunate accident but it wasn't her fault. She was obviously well prepared, fully capable, and wasn't doing anything reckless. I wonder if her critics would have been so quick to complain if she had been a Hollywood celebrity, rock star, political figure, or other famous person - like the late John F. Kennedy, Jr., who was not qualified to fly a plane by instruments only; but he did it anyway, at night, over open water.

In 1937, during an attempt to make a circumnavigational flight around the world, aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart disappeared. The ensuing air and sea search by the Navy and Coast Guard was the most costly and intensive in American history up to that time. In September 2007, the month-long search for millionaire daredevil circumnavigator Steve Fossett cost $1.6 million, the largest search and rescue effort ever conducted for a person within the United States.

There was plenty of money in Fossett's estate to reimburse the authorities for his search effort, but they didn't demand repayment. Nevada State Emergency Management Director Frank Siracusa noted that "there is no precedent where government will go after people for costs just because they have money to pay for it. You get lost, and we look for you. It is a service your taxpayer dollars pay for." Why should Abby Sunderland - who is not rich, by the way - be any less worthy?

While Abby's plight was a high profile situation, search and rescue teams do important work all over the world every day rescuing people you never hear about - whether it's a lost hiker, stranded mountain climber, shipwrecked sailor, downed aviator, or trapped urban disaster survivor. All of these search and rescue missions use manpower, fuel, and equipment which must be figured into the cost. Although the non-combat duty pay of U.S. uniformed services (Coast Guard, Navy, NOAA Corps) is fixed, civilian search and rescue efforts could be thought of as providing extra opportunities for practicing their skills.

The Coast Guard reports that 95 percent of all sea rescue missions occur less than 20 miles from shore. The 10 percent of missions that involve a search cost the Coast Guard more than $50 million each year, an expense that is passed along to U.S. taxpayers. Each year, the National Park Servic­e spends $3 million on search and rescue operations in our national parks. Once again, the federal government picks up the tab, which of course comes from taxpayers. In a few states, search and rescue agencies have the option to charge people for rescue, though they rarely do.

The value of human life cannot have a price. If Australian teen solo circumnavigator Jessica Watson had broken down off the coast of North America, the U.S. Coast Guard would have rescued her and American taxpayers would have footed the bill. Australian authorities stated that they have no intention of asking American sailor Abby Sunderland to pay them back. Whenever and wherever anyone is lost or in trouble, people are willing to help - not just because it's their job but because they are Good Samaritans. That's the way it should be.

America was built by adventurers from the landing at Plymouth Rock to walking on the on the moon. Few people have the courage to think outside the box, challenge the culture around them, and take on the unknown; yet they are the ones who lead the way for the rest of us. When individuals set high goals for themselves they deserve acclaim, not ridicule. We should be encouraging teens; not stifling their adventurous spirit.

Families like the Sunderlands inspire other young people to get off the couch, go out and "Do Hard Things." In this age of video games and instant gratification, has our culture become so alienated from real achievement, so jaded by being handed everything we need, so dulled by our daily routine, that Abby's vision of adventure escapes us? Or could it be that her critics - the ones living safely and comfortably behind the walls of their gated communities and working overtime at sedentary office jobs - perhaps are jealous and don't want to admit it? - Teri Olsen

Be Somebody...Be Yourself 

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College Bound 

Preparing For College - ACT & SAT Information

Another school year has ended for some, 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 
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National Baked Bean Month

National Hot Dog Month

National Ice Cream Month

 4 Independence Day

11 E.B. White's Birthday (1899)

12 Henry David Thoreau's Birthday (1817)

16 First Atomic Bomb Test (1945)

16 Disneyland Grand Opening (1955)

19 National Ice Cream Day

20 Moon Landing Day

28 Beatrix Potter's Birthday (1866)

29 NASA Established (1958)

Click here for more July holidays:



quintessential "kwin-te-SEN-shel" (adjective) - representing the perfect example; the most typical manifestation of a quality or a thing.

Example: "Franz Liszt was the quintessential romantic composer."


Join our new Homeschooling Teen Forum! 

HST Forum

We have boards set up for every interest! Let's get some discussions going and stay connected!

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Homeschooling High School: Helpful Tips

Starting a Teen Book Study Group

If you're looking for a way to connect with your teenage daughter this summer, consider starting a girl's book study group with your daughter and her friends. You may think that teens would not respond well to this idea, but think again... you just might be surprised.


First, bounce the idea off your daughter and see what her thoughts are on the subject. If she shows any sign of interest, then brainstorm some possible book titles and/or topics. When my daughter and I started our group last summer, we had in mind to get some girls together from our church's high school youth

group. So we talked about some of the books that people were reading at the time.


Next, my daughter started calling her friends and acquaintances to see who she could interest in the idea. Almost everyone she talked to was interested in coming and liked the idea, but many were already busy with other summer activities. We narrowed the list to around four or five who committed to reading the book and getting together to talk about it. We all gave input into which book we wanted to read, and ended up with "What's So Amazing About Grace?" a popular Christian non-fiction book by Phillip Yancey.


I broke the book down into three- to four-chapter sections, and we decided to meet Wednesday evenings for six weeks. Overall, the study went very well, and it was very rewarding. We all have fond memories of it, and it was great to spend that quality time with my daughter.


If you think this is something you might be interested in doing, here are some tips I picked up along the way:


Don't take it personally if everyone doesn't come every week. Everyone has busy schedules and conflicts arise. Probably only one or two girls came every single week, even my daughter missed at least one. You'll find that conversations can greatly differ depending on the mix of girls, which is good!


Meet in a low-key, relaxed setting so everyone is comfortable and doesn't feel like they're in a classroom. We took blankets to sit on down to a local park and had snacks every week.


Don't pressure yourself into having to "lead" the group. You're not there to teach them, but only to facilitate the conversation. I found it helpful to choose a book that included group study questions. Some books have the questions in the back. This particular book had a companion study guide that had to be purchased separately. Just let the girls talk, and ask questions if there is a big lull in the conversation. Although you might be tempted to challenge "wrong" answers, let the girls challenge each other first and see what conclusions they come to. It is rare that you'll have to intercede. Instead of challenging someone directly, ask them more questions to help them reach another answer.


On the same note as the last point, don't feel you have to give advice or have all the right answers. Most teenagers love having someone, particularly adults, listen to their thoughts and feelings. They don't expect you to know everything, they just want you to listen. You'll find that the teens come from all different family backgrounds and don't always have other people to listen to them when they need to talk.


Encourage girls to come to the discussions even if they didn't do their reading for the week. You'll find that most are embarrassed if they didn't do their "homework" and don't want to show up. Encourage them to come even if they didn't read it, to encourage fellowship among the girls.


Dads can have book study groups with their teenage sons and their friends too! They may need to goof around some more and maybe burn off some energy before they get down to business (some kind of outdoor activity), but teenage guys like to get together and learn from each other also.


A book study group is a great way to get to know some of your teenager's friends. Encourage them to also invite people they don't know very well... people from youth group or work who they want to get to know better. It's a great way to make that first step towards friendship and teaches them to reach out to others.


Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and mom of five. For resources for the Christian family, including parenting, toddler and preschool activities, homeschooling, family traditions, and more, visit



Exciting News!


We have a new Homeschooling Teen FAN PAGE on Facebook!

Here is the link:


Please join us and let's keep in touch!

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:

E-mail Etiquette Tip of the Month


Never provide personal information or details until you confirm you are dealing with a reputable party.


If you don't know who an e-mail is from, never click Reply and start providing your personal information.  No reputable company will ever make this request of you.


Whenever you receive an e-mail stating your account is suspended or canceled it is most likely a hoax.  Especially if the e-mail instructs you to click on a link in that e-mail so you can resubmit all your personal or financial information.  Just hit delete!


Any service that needs you to verify your info will simply instruct you to visit their site (without including a link because they know you know what it is) and to log in as you normally do for further information.


E-mails like these are called Phishing scams where crooks make fake Web sites to look like well known sites to try and coerce personal information from you. 


Don't get hooked!


This E-mail Etiquette Tip is provided as a courtesy by:



American History Quiz

Find out how patriotic you are by answering these thirteen questions:

1. Despite saying that he had "no wish but that of living and dying an honest man on my own farm," which man became the first President of the United States?

2. Who was the first person to sign the Declaration of Independence?

3. Who wrote this statement: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal"? A. Benjamin Franklin; B. George Washington; C. Thomas Jefferson; D. Thomas Paine

4. Who said "I have not yet begun to fight!"? A. John Paul Jones; B. George Washington; C. Paul Revere; D. Patrick Henry

5. The first national capitol was located in what city? A. Philadelphia; B. Washington; C. New York; D. Boston

6. The British and Americans signed a peace treaty at Paris, France, on September 3, 1783. True or false?

7. How did the Liberty Bell get its crack? A. British troops vandalized it; B. It was struck by lighting; C. Someone dropped it; D. It cracked as it was being rung

8. Who wrote the Star Spangled Banner? A. Betsy Ross; B. Francis Scott Key; C. Patrick Henry

9. Who said "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country"? A. Nathan Hale; B. Patrick Henry; C. Thomas Paine; D. John Paul Jones

10. Who said "Give me liberty or give me death"? A. Paul Revere; B. Patrick Henry; C. John Hancock; D. George Washington

11. The British surrendered on October 19, 1781, at Yorktown, Virginia. True or false?

12. The Fourth of July commemorates what event? A. The end of the war; B. the firing of the first shot; C. the adoption of the Declaration of Independence; D. the signing of the Treaty of Paris

13. Can you name all of the original thirteen colonies?

ANSWERS: 1 = George Washington; 2 = John Hancock; 3 = C; 4 = A; 5 = C; 6 = True; 7 = D; 8 = B; 9 = A; 10 = B; 11 = True; 12 = C; 13 = Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia.

(If you answered all 13 questions correctly, you are a true patriot! If you answered 10-12 questions correctly, your forefathers would be proud. If you answered 6-9 questions correctly, history is probably not your favorite subject. If you answered 1-5 questions correctly, you'd better take a refresher course in American History. If you answered 0 questions correctly, you must be from a different country!)

Courtesy of

The Fun Column

From Alannis...

Strange but True!

Honey bees can be trained to detect EXPLOSIVES!

Peanut butter can be converted into a diamond!


A Camel can drink 500 CUPS of water in 10 MINUTES!


You can buy POTATO flavoured ice-cream in Idaho, America!


Calculators are MORE powerful than the world's first COMPUTER!


A road runs straight through the middle of a BUILDING in Japan!


A record - setting Box of Chocolates had 90,090 CHOCOLATES INSIDE!


A scorpion can glow in the dark!

AMAZING isn't it!

What get wetter and wetter the more it dries?

Answer: a towel

Alannis is our Fun Columnist. She lives in England and likes to write. She also loves to bake, take photos, and act.

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:  

  Writing for HST will look great on a college application or resume!


Traveling in the Southwest this summer? Be sure to visit for fun and interesting places to see and things to do!


College Bound Reading List

 Surviving the Applewhites

Surviving the Applewhites, by Stephanie Tolan


If you're looking for some light, fun, summer reading..."Surviving the Applewhites" is for you. In this 2003 Newbery Honor book, a juvenile delinquent named Jake Semple (with red spiked hair, piercings, and a bad smoking habit) is sent to stay with the Applewhites, a homeschool family living at Wit's End in rural North Carolina. The Applewhites call their school-at-home the Creative Academy. A banner on the wall states: "education is an adventurous quest for the meaning of life, involving an ability to think things through" (p. 27). Their learning style is more like unschooling, though, and the family is rather eccentric. The mother is an author in the middle of writing a book. The father is a play director and scriptwriter. The grandfather is a craftsman. Hal, the older brother (15), stays in his room all day sculpting and painting. Cordellia writes and choreographs her own dances. Destiny, the youngest at age 5, is talkative and messy, with paint in his hair. E.D. likes to study and collect butterflies, and she's so organized that she already has her curriculum planned out for the entire year. However, E.D. is the only Applewhite who isn't artistic so she feels kind of left out. Nevertheless, E.D. eventually realizes that everyone in the family - including herself - is special in their own way. The characters may seem self-centered, but they all pull together as a family to put on a play, "The Sound of Music." In the end, Jake also undergoes a major transformation and discovers his real talent. Children and adults of all ages will enjoy reading about this creative family and their crazy life, and homeschoolers especially will enjoy reading about other kids their age who share their schooling situation. The 216-page novel even includes discussion questions and activities, so it's perfect for a summer book club!


Send your book reviews to: 



Happy Summer!
What have you been doing so far this summer? Do you have anything exciting planned? July and August are the most popular months for summer vacations. Many people travel to the beach or mountains to cool off. Then of course there are backyard barbeques, picnics, camping, beach parties, sandcastles, sailing, swimming, family reunions, etc. Whatever your interests, be sure to make the most of your summer time! And if you're already bored, here are some ideas for things to do:

·  Clean, de-clutter, and re-decorate your room.

·  Gather up all of your loose photos, organize them, and place them in albums.

·  Put together a scrapbook of mementos from the prior school year.

·  Research your family history and interview your grandparents.

·  Set up an exercise program that you can do in hot weather. Perhaps you have an indoor exercise bike or even better, a swimming pool!

·  Begin a hobby or craft that you've always wanted to learn, such as sewing, quilting, painting, ceramics, scrapbooking, or playing an instrument.

·  Develop a skill such as cooking, baking, typing, or knot-tying.

·  Start a collection of rocks, stamps, coins, or whatever interests you.

·  Learn how to do some magic tricks.

·  Set up a blog or design a website.

·  Make your own movie.

·  Read books to your younger brother or sister.

·  Get two plastic wading pools. Fill one with water and the other with sand for a miniature backyard beach.

·  Build a solar oven and experiment with cooking different foods in it.

·  Get a field guide and learn about the wildlife in your area.

·  Keep a record of birds and other animals you see, or take an inventory of the plants in your yard.

·  Draw the layout of your house and a map of your yard on graph paper. Build a scale model out of cardboard or foam core board.

·  Memorize a favorite poem or Bible verse.

·  Keep a journal in which you write down your thoughts, feelings, and experiences, or a trip diary telling about where you go and what you do.

·  Write letters to friends and family.

·  Send care packages to military personnel stationed overseas.

·  Study a foreign language. Even if you don't become fluent, you will gain some familiarity with it. Research the regions and people who speak that language.

·  Learn sign language. Even young children will have fun signing the alphabet.

·  Have a chess or checker tournament, play a role-playing game, board game, or charades.

·  Put together a jigsaw puzzle.

·  Spend a leisurely afternoon in the air-conditioned public library and check out a variety of books.

·  Help out at a local child care center, church, or charitable organization.

·  Join a club or other group such as an astronomy club or reading group.

·  Enroll in a class at a college, community center, or on-line.

·  Spend a day at the science museum, taking time to do all of the hands-on exhibits.

·  Travel through time to a history museum, historical site, or living history village.

·  Take a tour of the state capital building and learn about the history of your state.

·  Visit an art museum. Decide which work of art you like best, learn more about it and the artist.

·  Arrange a trip to a factory or manufacturer that offers tours, such as a candy company.

·  Go to the zoo and choose an animal to learn more about.

·  Find a farm where you can pick your own fruit, or go to a farmers market to see the fresh produce.

·  Visit a tourist information website or Chamber of Commerce to obtain information on things to do and places to see in your state.

·  Plan a family vacation or weekend trip. Even short trips are great for family bonding and making memories.

·Look for a cool spot to go camping, hiking, canoeing, biking, or fishing.


Calvin's Political Column

Does My Generation Have a Role in America's Future?

Ronald Reagan, our 40th President, once said the following: "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children what it was once like in the United States when men were free."

The consequences of not following this piece of advice from the late President is dawning on us more clearer than ever in our nation today. It is becoming increasingly clear to more and more Americans every day that we have failed to raise a generation full of loyal Americans of faith who will fight for God and their Country to their dying breath. The complacency and inaction by the masses of Americans in recent years can be summed up in just a few words: The distortion of the American dream. When our founding fathers set up a Republic in which liberty could take the place of tyranny, and of which the entrepreneurial spirit would take place over the taxation without representation that existed under the rule of the British, they were pursuing the American dream! In the Declaration of Independence this was titled: The Rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.
Centuries later, Martin Luther King was to reiterate is in his famous speech, where he said: I have a dream that one day our nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of it's creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

It was that spirit of Americanism that broke free of the constraints placed on the people by the British Government that resulted in economic and religious oppression on the colonists, and replaced it with The Great Experiment, where  immigrants came from around the world  in order to pursue happiness in a country where government oppression was non-existent.

But sadly, over time the American dream has been distorted from its original meaning, and is now thought to mean something entirely different. Whereas the American Dream used to be interpreted as happiness obtained by thrift and hard work, now when many Americans hear of the American Dream, they think of it as a promise to instant riches.

Due to this shift in thinking, Americans have become lazy. They have failed as a whole to pass on the willingness to fight for and protect our freedom for future generation's enjoyment. They have grown complacent in their imagined security, convinced that it will always be the way it is now, that we will always live with the freedom and prosperity that we now enjoy and that there is no outstanding threat to that security that could take it away from them.

However, as a direct result of this complacency, we are seeing the demise of the freedoms that so many have fought and died for. We see the evidence of this demise everywhere, from the tragedy of 9/11, to the complete wall of separation of faith in God and the public arena. It is becoming obvious that our laziness has taken it's toll, and it is a hefty price to pay.

However, I for one still have faith in the future of America. Americans are slowly waking up to the battle at hand, and we are seeing more and more outcry from groups around the country who have had enough of the trampling of their rights, and demand the restoration of their lost liberties. The accessibility and abundance of information in this generation is staggering, however confusing the President may think it is for us to comprehend. I suggest to you that we are seeing an American Revival stronger than any in recent history. Americans are energized and ready to fight diligently (yet peacefully) in order to take back the liberty that has been lost. In spite of the hindrances that our opponents have placed that ensure difficulty for anyone who attempts to educate their children to be protectors of liberty, our citizens have succeeded in bringing up youth who will sustain the spirit of Americanism that used to be so abundant nationwide,

You may question my hope in the youth of tomorrow, after all, it has become clear to most of us that the majority of our youth are asleep to the issues that afflict our country, and either ignorant of or unresponsive to the duties of an American citizen to uphold the liberties of our citizenry. Instead of protecting those liberties that are granted by God and protected by the government and the people alike when the right balance of power is preserved, these entitlement seekers would rather stay asleep to the obligations that they owe their country because they either don't know or don't care about the implications of doing otherwise.

But in spite of the large group of opposition by entitlement seekers, I remain hopeful because of the presence of so many others who seek enlightenment rather than entitlement. These brave men and women are unafraid to stand up for what is right, and are prepared for the fight.

I remain hopeful because those who stand with me know their history, and they realize that it has been proven time and time again that when people abide by the principles of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all, there will be prosperity, but when they stray from those principles, there will be destitution.

And lastly, I remain hopeful because our side is faithful to God, and will pray for His supreme guidance every step of the way, comparing their thoughts and actions to that of His Word in case they are inconsistent with His Will for us.

It is the job of our generation to fix the wrongs of it's predecessors, and to uphold the principles of our founding.

However, it will most certainly not be an easy one. The opposition is large, and as has become obvious in recent times, they are good at organizing. If we are to defeat them, then we must actively oppose them at every turn. Those who would take away our freedoms have been long at work, and there is much to be undone.

We are outnumbered as well. There are few who are willing to join us in our efforts. But we can accomplish our task if we preserver. God bless us as we pursue the American Dream as it was originally conceived.

-Calvin Lyman

Calvin is fourteen years old and lives in Granbury, Texas. He is a devoted Christian, and regularly attends church worship services. Some of his activities include following political stories, reading, playing air soft and video games with friends, and doing school work. Calvin owns, a political site for American teens and young adults interested in politics.




Homeschooling Teen

July 2010

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 


Homeschooling Teen Profile:

 Abby Sunderland

Abby Sunderland

Abigail "Abby" Sunderland (born October 19, 1993) is one of those homeschool teens who believes in the motto "Do Hard Things." At age 16 she attempted to follow in her brother's footsteps and become the youngest person to sail solo around the world.

Zac Sunderland (born November 29, 1991) was the first person to have accomplished that feat before turning 18. Zac became a sailing celebrity when he finished his thirteen-month odyssey in July 2009. However, his distinction as the youngest person to solo-circumnavigate the globe was short-lived. Just six weeks later, 17-year-old British sailor Michael Perham (born March 16, 1992) set a new record as the youngest person to sail around the world alone, having started out after Zac in a much faster boat.

The record changed hands yet again on May 15, 2010, when a 16-year-old Australian homeschool student named Jessica Watson became the youngest individual to sail solo around the world non-stop and unassisted. Jessica had reached the halfway point in her voyage when Abby Sunderland was just finishing the first leg of her journey, following a delayed departure due to equipment problems.

Sadly, Abby was forced to call off her circumnavigation attempt on June 10, 2010, right after passing her halfway point. Abby's 40-foot racing sailboat was rolled by a giant wave and dismasted during stormy seas in a remote area of the Indian Ocean northeast of the Kerguelen Islands. Sunderland had been keeping in contact with her parents and support team by satellite phone, and on the morning of June 10th she reported that her yacht was being tossed by 30-50 foot waves and 70 mph wind gusts. An hour later, Abby's emergency distress beacons were activated. The teenager was feared lost at sea, or even worse.

Abby's yacht was adrift and incapacitated with its engine not working, satellite reception knocked out, and sail dragging in the water from the broken mast. That area of the ocean is rarely visited by merchant ships or other sea traffic, so Abby thought it would be weeks before she was rescued - but in just two days she was spotted by a plane about 2,000 miles west of Australia. Since setting sail from Marina del Rey 4 ½ months previously, Abby had grown so attached to her sailboat "Wild Eyes" that it was difficult for her to leave it behind, but the vessel had to be abandoned.

Sunderland stated on her blog that she would like to write a book about her adventures. "I started to think about all the good times Wild Eyes and I have had together," she said. "All that's left of the voyage of Wild Eyes are my memories, eventually they will get fuzzy and I won't remember all the details. I don't want that to happen."

Abby is the second-eldest of Laurence and Marianne Sunderland's eight children. Laurence Sunderland is a shipwright, sailing instructor, and captain, so Abby grew up in a seafaring family and has spent her whole life on and around boats. In fact, when the oldest four Sunderland kids were babies, a 56 ft. Tradewind sailboat was literally their first home. Additionally, living aboard a sailboat during a three-year family cruise was a formative experience for them.

Prior to her proposed circumnavigation, Abby accumulated thousands of miles of coastal cruising through a number of hazardous weather conditions and was trained in ocean sailing. She began sailing single-handedly when she was 13. That's when Abby first had the idea of sailing around the world, even before her brother did. She explains, "I had begun to think that dreams are meant to be no more than dreams and that in reality dreams don't come true. Then my brother (Zac) left on his trip. It was amazing to see all the support that he got from around the world and to see how everyone worked together to help make his dream reality. Watching him do this really made me believe that I could too."

The Sunderlands are devout Christians who homeschool their children through the Trinity Pacific Christian School program, a homeschool organization in Thousand Oaks, California. During his June 8 graduation at Calvary Community Church, Abby's older brother Zac said "God was with me every nautical mile" regarding his own historic voyage. Abby had written on her website, "I am taking my school books with me so that will keep me busy. I don't want to stay in high school another year so I'm motivated to get my school work done."

When Abby rounded Cape Horn - the southernmost point of South America - on March 31, 2010, she was the youngest solo sailor ever to have done so. She hopes to one day make another attempt at fulfilling her dream of a global circumnavigation, declaring "I'm definitely going to do it sometime." Her father says he would "absolutely endorse that wholeheartedly."

Visit Abby's website:

The Nitty-Gritty on Sand Dunes, by Peter Olsen

 Sand Dune Project

I'm a homeschool graduate attending Paradise Valley Community College in Phoenix, Arizona. As an Honor Student, each semester I'm required to do at least one Honors Project to maintain my honors status. In the Spring 2010 semester, I designed an educational website entitled "Sand Dunes of the Southwest" for my GPH211 Landform Processes class.

The purpose of my website is to describe the major southwestern sand dunes, to present a virtual field trip, and to provide a sand dune study guide. The site includes text, photos, maps, glossary, activities, and links. To complete this project, I visited several different sand dunes where I collected sand samples and took photographs. The virtual field trip is a step-by-step tour of one particular sand dune, the Kelso Dune in the Mojave Desert of California, which my family and I explored during Spring Break week.

Since I'm living at home, my college project was also able to serve as a unit study for my younger brothers. We all learned about sand dunes together. Sand dunes come in many different shapes, sizes, and colors. They are constantly changing and some even make strange sounds!

When I first started this project, I thought that I'd already been to all of the major sand dunes in the Southwest. But after beginning my research, I discovered even more dunes that I hadn't seen before. How many sand dunes do you think there are in the Southwestern U.S.? You will have to visit my site to find out!

The Landform Processes class is unique because it is an online lab course in which even the laboratory assignments are done on the computer. This semester was the first time GPH211 was offered at PVCC. Besides giving me an opportunity to utilize the observational skills that I learned in the labs, this Honors Project enabled me to practice what I was studying in my web design classes.

I think the best part of my sand dune study was hearing the "booming dunes" at Kelso. The worst part was being stopped and questioned by the U.S. Border Patrol while trying to track down some dune fields southeast of Yuma, Arizona. It was embarrassing having to explain what we were doing out in the middle of the desert so close to the border fence!

My professor, Dr. John Douglass, nominated my project for the 2010 Honors Projects Showcase. The Showcase was held during finals week on May 13, 2010, from noon-1:00 pm, in the PVCC Center for the Performing Arts.

I hope that my website will give people a whole new appreciation for these dynamic desert landforms. Visit my site at

College Bound:

Homeschool Friendly Colleges


OHIO VALLEY UNIVERSITY: For Learning. For Faith. For Life.


Ohio Valley University (OVU) is a private Christian liberal arts college that offers associate and bachelor degrees, as well as a Master of Education degree. The college has two separate campuses on 266 wooded acres located in Vienna, West Virginia, a small city along the Ohio River that was established by a Revolutionary War veteran in 1794. OVU is consistently recognized as one of the nation's top comprehensive baccalaureate universities in U.S. News and World Report's America's Best Colleges Guide, and was ranked as one of America's Best Colleges in 2010.

Founded by the American Restoration Movement's Churches of Christ in 1958 (with classes beginning in September 1960), the college has always integrated higher education with biblical faith and service to God and humanity. According to its mission statement, this is accomplished by: "Equipping students for life through quality academic programs. Encouraging life-shaping relationships among faculty, staff, and students. Fostering holistic growth through varied co-curricular activities. Promoting knowledge, values, and skills inherent in healthy families and quality relationships. Connecting students to the global community. Instilling a desire for life-long learning. Creating opportunities for growth in faith and service."

At OVU, every student is challenged to think critically, improve communication skills, and broaden his or her knowledge base. Those goals are driven by small class sizes and one-on-one relationships with faculty, staff and other students. OVU is organized into the following colleges: College of Arts & Sciences, College of Biblical Studies & Behavioral Sciences, College of Business, and College of Education.

OVU offers baccalaureate degrees in Accounting, Bible, Bible & Ministry, Biology, Business Administration, Elementary Education, English, History, Human Resource Management, Information Technology, Interdisciplinary Studies (Communications/Mass Media, Criminal Justice, Interdisciplinary Studies, Journalism, Math, Music, Spanish, Specialized Studies, Pre-Law), Management, Marketing, Organizational Management, Psychology (Pre-Professional, Christian Counseling, Human Services), Secondary Education (English, Math, Physical Education, Social Studies, Science, Wellness), Sports Management, Vocational Ministry/Missions, and Wellness.

An Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Nursing is offered through a collaborative arrangement with West Virginia University at Parkersburg. OVU also offers pre-Law, pre-Medical and pre-Dental programs, a Master of Education degree, Special Education endorsement, and other specialized certifications. The music department has many qualified teachers who are specialists in their fields, for those students wishing to minor in Music or seeking private lessons.

OVU students have the opportunity to participate in exciting semester-long and summer study programs off-campus across the United States

and around the world. U.S. opportunities include programs in Washington D.C., Nashville TN, and Los Angeles CA. International studies provide opportunities to live and study abroad, where students can experience the history, culture, and variety of foreign countries such as Australia, China, Russia, Egypt, Costa Rica, and Uganda. Honor students and other high-achieving students can even spend a semester studying in Oxford, England or Florence, Italy.

Facilities throughout the north and south campuses feature wireless Internet access, learning centers, computer labs, student housing, offices, smart classrooms, library, student center, university bookstore, athletic and health/fitness center, two gymnasiums, a theatre, student commons, chapel, dining hall and more. The main campus has one entrance/exit to the buildings, providing added security. OVU offers campus housing for 272 of its 542 full-time students. Freshmen are required to live on campus, and a meal plan of nineteen meals per week is available.

A student centered college, OVU strives to transform lives in a Christ-centered academic community. All full time students are required to take a Bible class each semester. Each member of the OVU community is expected to attend the daily chapel service five days per week. OVU residence halls are separated into male and female living spaces. OVU enforces a curfew for resident freshmen and sophomores. Curfew hours are midnight Sunday through Thursday and 1:00 AM on Fridays and Saturdays. The campus is a tobacco-free, drug-free, and alcohol-free community. Warm friendly faces and a down-to-earth atmosphere are the basic ingredients of the college culture.

OVU does not have fraternities and sororities. Instead, as is common with Church of Christ-affiliated colleges, the university has localized social co-ed clubs. There are currently five social clubs - Delta, Kappa, Sigma, Theta, and Omega Pi. Clubs compete in intramural activities, service projects, and a musical concert held annually in the Spring.

The university publishes The Highlander, the student newspaper; and Penumbra, a literary magazine. The university also offers opportunities in several performing groups. These groups include the A Cappella Singers, a traditional chorus composed of approximately 40 singers. This group performs at congregations, youth rallies, and other venues. Express is the college's contemporary Christian a cappella performing group. This group performs at over 200 events per year. The Ambassadors is a dramatic group that travels around to youth rallies, camps, and other church related events. The Chamber Players are composed of woodwind, brass, and string ensembles. The Chamber Players perform at two on-campus concerts a year and frequently give performances in the local community. OVU also has a community band and jazz ensemble.

The university's sports teams are called the Fighting Scots and they compete in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, a member of the NCAA's Division II. OVU offers the following intercollegiate men's sports: baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, wrestling, and soccer. OVU offers the following intercollegiate women's sports: basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, and volleyball.

OVU is only a short drive from several large metropolitan areas and major league sporting events. The Mid-Ohio Valley area is rich in culture and history, offering concerts, cultural events, festivals, theatres, shopping malls, road races, and other attractions. See a 1950's fighter jet and train caboose while picnicking in Jackson Memorial Park. Look for deer, turkey, foxes, coyotes, and waterfowl at McDonough Wildlife Refuge. Ride down the mighty Ohio River on an authentic sternwheeler and explore historic Blennerhassett Island with its reconstructed mansion. Visit museums, tour the local chocolatier and pasta maker's shops, learn the art of glassmaking, or take to the Rail Trails on your mountain bike. Other nearby recreational activities include: skiing, golf, camping, fishing, whitewater rafting, boating, and hiking.

The student body at OVU represents more than thirty states and ten foreign countries, but the university does not accept everyone who applies. Approximately 50% of applicants are accepted. The average verbal SAT score of students admitted falls between 420 and 490, and the average math SAT score is between 440 and 500. The average ACT score of admitted students is between 19 and 23. The ratio of male and female students is roughly 50/50.

APPLYING AS A HOME-SCHOOLED STUDENT - According to the OVU office of admissions, "If you are a home school student, we welcome your application to Ohio Valley University. Just follow the admissions process [outlined on the OVU website]. Your transcript should demonstrate completion of high school, but the University will be flexible regarding documentation of basic credit hours. Because the University believes in the validity of home school education, you will not be required to produce an accredited diploma or a GED in order to gain admission to the University."

For more information, visit

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

Homeschool Teen Selected for Journalism Workshop
 Weslie Swift
Weslie Swift, a 15-year-old homeschooled sophomore, wants to be a journalist. Since last fall, she has been volunteering for her local newspaper and has been published with her own byline several times in the Sonoran News. When Weslie submitted her application for the University of Arizona School of Journalism "Journalism Diversity Workshop for Arizona High School Students," she knew the competition from fall 2010 juniors and seniors around the state would be fierce. "I thought it would be great, but with only 15 students within the state being chosen, I wasn't expecting it," said Swift. So Weslie was happily surprised to receive an e-mail congratulating her on acceptance into the June 5-13 Journalism Workshop, celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. The program offers a reality experience in writing, reporting, editing, media law, digital design, photojournalism techniques and multimedia journalism. Participants engage in discussions on journalism ethics, write articles, and produce a student newspaper, "The Chronicle." The students are mentored by college faculty and journalism professionals, including a Pulitzer Prize-winning editor and former foreign correspondent. The Journalism Diversity Workshop for Arizona High School Students is an annual program and welcomes high school students from all over Arizona to participate in the 12-day intensive summer program in journalism. For more information, please contact program advisor Lisa M. Button at


American Sign Language - a unique foreign language credit

ASL Chart

Distinguish your homeschool transcript with a unique foreign language credit!

Do you want to learn a foreign language and earn community service hours at the same time?

Do you want to attend fun social events where you can improve your skills?

Do you have a flair for the dramatic?

Do you want to learn a great memory aide?

Do you often use your hands while you talk?

American Sign Language (ASL) is for you!

Sign language can broaden your communication skills, stimulate your senses, and increase your ability to be expressive.

Top Ten Reasons Why You Should Learn ASL

1. ASL is one of the fastest languages of study in the U.S. today!

2. There are already over 1,000,000 deaf and hearing impaired people using ASL.

3. ASL is the third most used language in the U.S. right behind English and Spanish!

4. ASL helps parents talk more easily to their hearing impaired children.

5. It can help people get jobs in the service industry.

6. Learning ASL introduces you to the Deaf community and its rich cultural experiences.

7. Learning a new language helps users appreciate the fundamentals of learning a language.

8. Many people say that ASL is a lot more fun to learn than other foreign languages.

9. You can teach it to a baby. Babies can learn to sign before they can learn to speak.

10. ASL helps people with limited verbal skills to communicate more effectively.


ASL Resources - About American Sign Language, from the Deaf Resource Library. - ASL Dictionaries & Quizzes (with video). - ASL resource site. Free online lessons, ASL dictionary, and resources for teachers, students, and parents. - Free online video dictionary of ASL signs. - States and colleges that recognize ASL as a foreign language (PDF format).


As with any foreign language, the best way to learn ASL is to enroll in a class with a qualified teacher who can guide you in such variations as regional differences and facial expressions. Your local community center, community college, or homeschool co-op may offer ASL classes.


Celebrate National Ice Cream Month with this easy recipe!

ice cream pizza

Ice Cream Pizza

To make this deep-dish ice cream pie, spread vanilla ice cream (or your favorite flavor) in a prepared graham cracker pie crust. Top with cherries, sliced bananas, coconut, cookie crumbs, chopped nuts, chocolate chips, M&M's, crushed peppermint candy, etc. Cover with marshmallow crème or chocolate fudge. Keep in the freezer until ready to eat.

For more ice cream ideas, click here:

13 Strange But True Facts About The American Revolution

1. Benjamin Franklin, who was by then 70 years old, wrote the first Declaration of Independence, but most of the delegates in the Continental Congress didn't like it. They voted for Thomas Jefferson's version instead. Then Franklin advised the colonial army that they should use bows and arrows rather than muskets, but no one took his idea seriously. Later, Franklin was again disappointed when the eagle was chosen as the national bird, because he thought the turkey was a better choice!

2. The first submarine attack in history took place in New York Harbor on September 6, 1776. David Bushnell of Connecticut invented a submarine and called it the Turtle, because it resembled two large tortoise shells joined together. The watertight barrel was made of 6-inch-thick oak timbers coated with tar. It moved when a propeller was turned by hand. The Turtle targeted the HMS Eagle, flagship of the British fleet, with the intent of attaching a cask of gunpowder to the hull of the Eagle and exploding it. However, since there was only enough air for thirty minutes underwater, the Turtle lost precious time when it got entangled with the Eagle's rudder and the mission had to be aborted.

3. Benedict Arnold was one of the best generals in the Continental Army. During the first three years of the war, Arnold's fleet brought the British fleet to a standstill on Lake Champlain, he forced the British army to surrender at Saratoga in 1777, and he came close to conquering Canada. In spite of his success, Arnold wasn't well respected and he was passed over for promotion by the Continental Congress while other officers took credit for his accomplishments. Arnold switched sides in 1780 after having been involved in several bad business deals and facing financial ruin. His wife liked to live lavishly and suggested that he would be better off working for the British.

4. George Washington ran a spy headquarters. The man who supposedly would not tell a lie was a genius at misinformation. He had dozens of espionage rings in British-held New York and Philadelphia, which constantly befuddled the British by leaking, through double agents, inflated reports on the strength of his army.

5. There were more Americans fighting with the British than with Washington. There were at least 21 regiments of Loyalists in the British army, estimated to total 6,500-8,000 men. General Washington had a field army of only 3,468.

6. On July 9, 1776, Patriots in New York City pulled down a lead statue of King George on his horse. They carted most of it to the village of Litchfield, Connecticut, where it was melted down and molded into more than 40,000 bullets for American muskets.

7. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow made a hero of Paul Revere in his poem, "The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere," yet Revere never got to finish his famous ride. He was captured by British officers between Lexington and Concord. A man named Doctor Prescott who had been riding with Revere was the one who warned the Concord minutemen to prepare for a British attack.

8. Some Revolutionary War battles were fought overseas. Instead of waiting in American waters for British warships to appear, John Paul Jones of the Continental Navy sailed across the Atlantic to attack British ships in their own territory. Jones captured the first British ship ever to be taken by an American man-of-war, along with seventeen merchant ships and more than 500 prisoners. In 1779, off the coast of England, Jones fought his most famous battle. While Jones' ship was badly damaged and sinking, Jones fought his way aboard the British ship and took it over.

9. Only two people signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th - John Hancock and Charles Thomson. Most of the rest signed on August 2, but the last signature wasn't added until 5 years later.

10. "Yankee Doodle" was originally a British song making fun of the colonists because they were not good soldiers. To be called a Yankee was considered an insult, and Doodle was a slang term for "fool." At that time, "macaroni" was considered stylish and it referred to the fancy trim on soldiers' uniforms. Even though the song was intended to ridicule the Americans, they liked the song so much that they sang it themselves!

11. The British soldiers' wool coats were dyed with carmine, a red coloring made from the pulverized bodies of cochineal scale insects that live on prickly pear cacti. This dye had originally been used by the Aztecs and Mayas in Mexico, Central and South America. The Spaniards who discovered the New World monopolized the cochineal market. The striking red color was the envy of England and Colonial America. In the 1700's, an English dyehouse obtained a contract to dye the Buckingham Palace Guards' coats with carmine. Today, carmine is used as a coloring in cosmetics and textiles as well as yogurts, fruit drinks and other foods.

12. Paul Revere wasn't the only one to take a Midnight Ride. In 1777, a 16-year-old girl named Sybil Ludington covered 40 miles in the pitch dark, from New York to Connecticut, to warn local militias that the British were coming.

13. Immediately following the Revolutionary War, patriotism was so popular that some people even gave their children patriotic names such as Independence, Liberty, and America.

"Courtesy of "


Anime Reviews by Xbolt

Ghost in the Shell

 Ghost in the Shell Anime Review

One more semester of college is over, and summer is here. Which means I now have time to devote to watching anime, and then writing about it.

To kick off the Summer 2010 season of Xbolt's Anime Reviews, I selected Ghost in the Shell.

Ghost in the Shell came out in 1995, and was a defining film in the cyberpunk genre. Cyberpunk is a type of science fiction that focuses on computer technology and robotics, usually depicting an oppressive futuristic society in which virtual reality (or at least some sort of artificial reality) has largely supplanted physical reality. Cyberpunk typically includes elements of massive urban decay and partial environmental collapse, and often involves a lawless violent subculture.

In 2029, cyborgs are abundant. The plot follows Major Motoko Kusanagi, a cyborg officer from Section 9, a network security force in Tokyo. Section 9 is on a mission to arrest the Puppet Master, an elite hacker who can hack into cybernetic bodies, and implant false memories in order to get people to do what he wants. Because the villain has the ability to hack into the minds of his enemies, he must be stopped as soon as possible. But as the cops close in on their target, Motoko realizes that she and Puppet Master seem to have a lot in common.

A stunning feat of modern animation, Ghost in the Shell was one of the earliest anime films to cross the Pacific to non-anime fans. It had a large influence on a number of Western filmmakers, notably the Wachowski brothers, who created The Matrix. I had already seen The Matrix, and I could definitely draw connections between the two.

Overall, I liked Ghost in the Shell. If you're into cyberpunk, you'll probably like this film too.

Visit Xbolt's blog:


Career-of-the-Month: Farmer


Farmers, ranchers, and agricultural managers own and operate farms, ranches, nurseries, timber tracts, greenhouses, or other agricultural establishments. Many are self-employed farmers and ranchers operating family-owned farms. Most farmers receive their training on the job, often by being raised on a farm. However, the completion of a 2-year associate degree or a 4-year bachelor's degree at a college of agriculture is becoming increasingly important for anyone who expects to make a living at farming. While most farm output is sold to food-processing companies, some farmers - particularly on smaller farms - may choose to sell directly to consumers through farmers' markets.


The type of farm managers operate determines their specific tasks. Farmers, ranchers, and agricultural managers oversee crop production activities, while others manage livestock and dairy production. On crop farms - farms growing grain, cotton, other fibers, fruit, and vegetables - farmers are responsible for preparing, tilling, planting, fertilizing, cultivating, spraying, and harvesting. After the harvest, they make sure that the crops are properly packaged, stored, and marketed. Livestock, dairy, and poultry farmers and ranchers feed and care for animals and keep barns, pens, coops, and other farm buildings clean and in good condition. They also plan and oversee breeding and marketing activities. Both farmers and ranchers operate machinery and maintain equipment and facilities. Agricultural managers usually do not plant, harvest, or perform other production activities; instead, they hire and supervise farm and livestock workers, who perform most daily production tasks.

Specialty farmers include organic farmers who rely on crop rotation, green manure, compost, biological pest control, and mechanical cultivation to maintain soil productivity and control pests without the use of synthetic fertilizers and synthetic pesticides, plant growth regulators, livestock feed additives, or genetically modified organisms. Horticulture farmers oversee the production of fruits, vegetables, flowers, and ornamental plants - including trees, shrubs, and turf used in landscaping. They also grow nuts, berries, and grapes for wine. Aquaculture farmers raise fish and shellfish to be sold for consumption. They also stock, feed, protect, and manage aquatic life used for recreational fishing.

As farming practices and agricultural technology become more sophisticated, farmers and farm managers are spending more time in offices and on computers, where they electronically manage many aspects of their businesses. Nevertheless, farm work out in the field can still be hazardous. Tractors and other farm machinery can cause serious injury, and workers must be constantly alert on the job. The proper operation of equipment and handling of chemicals are necessary to avoid accidents, safeguard health, and protect the environment.


Related Occupations:

Food scientist

Agricultural engineer

Agricultural inspector



HST Blogroll 

Are you a homeschooling teen? Do you have your own blog? You know you excel in your field of thought, right? ;) Would you like to get more visitors to your blog? Let us add your blog to our Homeschooling Teen Blogroll at ! You can write about anything you want in your blog, as long as it adheres to the standards set forth in Philippians 4:8. ("Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.") In other words, keep it nice and keep it clean! Take a look at a few of the blogs that are already there, and be sure to contact us at to add yours to the list!


USA Science & Engineering Festival

The first ever USA Science & Engineering Festival is coming to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., this October, and the organizers want to get the word out to the homeschool community.

The festival will offer hundreds of hands-on science exhibits, workshops, and performances. More than 400 of the nation's leading science, engineering, and academic organizations will participate in the festival and expo.

In addition, nationwide student contest opportunities are open to students now. These contests are being held in advance of festival events October 10-23, 2010, and the expo on the National Mall October 23-24, 2010.

Contest opportunities include:

"Why Science is Cool" K-12 Kavli Science Video Contest - This contest challenges students to use their love of science to inspire everyone. The winning videos will be broadcast on a large screen at the festival, as well as other venues, including potential media partners and websites. Cash prizes will support science education at the student's school or organization, and electronics certificates and software will be awarded to the students. Winners receive a travel stipend to D.C. to attend the expo. D.C. regional winners will be invited to a special Discovery Channel Mythbusters reception in D.C. in September. The Kavli video contest offers a great way to hone skills in digital storytelling, electronic journalism, and media production, while broadening students' understanding of science, and inspiring an appreciation for science through the art of communication. Deadline: August 31, 2010

"You Can Do the Rubik's Cube" - Regional K-12 teams will compete for the fastest time to collectively solve 25 Rubik's Cubes. The top six finalists will compete for the championship at the USA Science & Engineering Festival Expo on the National Mall on October 23. Prizes range from $100 to $1,000 and will be awarded by Dr. Erno Rubik, inventor of the Rubik's Cube. Deadline for team registration: October 1, 2010.

"Environmental Engineering Challenge: Design a Sustainable Dream House" - The American Academy of Environmental Engineers is challenging middle and high school students to design a residential home that a family of four could comfortably live in while taking advantage of sustainable design concepts such as energy efficiency, reusable natural resources, the sun, and much more. The top winner in each category will get a chance to present their submittal in Washington, D.C. during the USA Science & Engineering Festival Expo on the National Mall, October 23-24, 2010. Deadline for entries: September 15, 2010

Will you be there when science takes over the National Mall? For details, visit


13th Annual Bill of Rights Essay Contest: "Freedom and Civic Virtues"


Each year, National Foundation for Women Legislators' (NFWL) and the National Rifle Association co-sponsor an academic scholarship for seven high school juniors and seniors.  Winners receive a $3,000 award and are given the opportunity to attend NFWL's Annual Conference.  At the conference, the scholarship recipients will have the opportunity to learn about public policy, receive leadership training, and network with lawmakers from all 50 states.  Several winners said their experience through the program strengthened their passion for public service.  It is important to note that in order to enter the contest all applicants must be sponsored by a woman legislator from their respective state. Sponsoring legislators of the awardees will receive an NFWL travel scholarship to attend the Annual Conference in exchange for their participation in the entire conference with their student.


This year's essay topic is entitled "Freedom and Civic Virtues" in which applicants are asked to describe how moral principles and the U.S. Bill of Rights shape the role of young adults in civic engagement and politics. 


APPLICATION DEADLINE:  Friday, July 30th, 2010 by which time essays must be received or postmarked to NFWL. 


CONTACT:  The NFWL office at 202-293-3040, ext. 1005,






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: 

  • 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.
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