Homeschooling Teen


Homeschooling Teen Profile: Teresa Scanlan

Homeschool Friendly College: Christendom College

The Bookshelf: by Rebekah

The World Around Us: by Evangeline

Parallels: by Carly

Political Column: by Calvin

Anime Reviews: by Xbolt

Career-of-the-Month: Lawyer

Homeschooling High School: How to Be a Better Reader

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

Plus a whole lot more!!!




Join the Great Backyard Bird Count

February 18-21


Bird watchers coast to coast are invited to take part in the 14th annual Great Backyard Bird Count, February 18 - 21, 2011.  Participants in the free event will join tens of thousands of volunteers counting birds in their own backyards, local parks or wildlife refuges, and reporting their sightings online.


The Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual four-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are across the continent. Anyone can participate, from beginning bird watchers to experts. It takes as little as 15 minutes on one day, or you can count for as long as you like on one or more days of the event. It's free, fun, and easy - and it helps the birds.


Each checklist submitted by these "citizen scientists" helps researchers at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology , the National Audubon Society, and Bird Studies Canada learn more about how the birds are doing - and how to protect them. "Taking part in the Great Backyard Bird Count is a great way to get outside with family and friends, have fun, and help birds - all at the same time," said Audubon Education Vice President, Judy Braus. "Even if you can identify a few species you can provide important information that enables scientists to learn more about how the environment is changing and how that affects our conservation priorities." 


Bird populations are always shifting and changing. "Winter is such a vulnerable period for birds, so winter bird distributions are likely to be very sensitive to change," said Janis Dickinson, Director of Citizen Science at the Cornell Lab. "There is only one way - citizen science - to gather data on private lands where people live and the GBBC has been doing this across the continent for many years. GBBC has enormous potential both as an early warning system and in capturing and engaging people in more intensive sampling of birds across the landscape."


On the Bird Count website, participants can explore real-time maps and charts that show what others are reporting during the count. The site has tips to help identify birds, a kids page, and special materials for educators. Participants may also enter the GBBC photo contest by uploading images of birds and people taken during the count. Many images will be featured in the GBBC website's photo gallery. All participants are entered in a drawing for prizes that include bird feeders, binoculars, books, CDs, and many other great birding products.


For more information about the Great Backyard Bird Count, visit


Be Somebody...Be Yourself 

College Bound 

Preparing For College - ACT & SAT Information

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

Read more by clicking
 Sponsored in part by
Sylvan SAT/ACT´┐Ż Prep can help you prepare.
Find a participating Sylvan below 
  or visit
to find a center near you.


 Recycling Symbol



Groundhog Day - Feb. 2

Chinese New Year - Feb. 3

Make a New Friend Day - Feb. 11

Kindness Awareness Day - Feb. 12

Arizona Statehood Day - Feb. 14

Valentine's Day - Feb. 14

President's Day - Feb. 21

American Heart Month

Black History Month

Potato Lover's Month

National Cherry Month

American History Month

Wild Bird Feeding Month


Click here for more February holidays:    



AUSPICIOUS (aw SPISH us) adjective - favorable; promising; pointing to a good result. 


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:

[email protected]  

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


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 [email protected] to add yours to the list!





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: [email protected] 


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

E-mail Etiquette Tip of the Month


Choose your e-mail address wisely.  Your e-mail address in part determines how you are perceived by those who do not know you very well.


For the sake of credibility it is best to simply have a combination of your first and last name or initials as doing so also serves to verify your identity.


It is not uncommon for some to have more than one e-mail address that they choose from depending on who they are e-mailing.


If you have a cutesy e-mail address that reflects your hobby or point of view on a certain subject, it is best to have a secondary e-mail address to use for formal issues such as business or job related correspondence.


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



"If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours." ~Henry David Thoreau

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


"To defeat the darkness out there, you must defeat the darkness inside yourself."


(Answer: Voyage of the Dawn Treader)

February is for Friendship

As the saying goes, "A true friend knows everything about you...and likes you anyway."  Friendship is a special gift. It's a little part of yourself that you give to someone else. Every year around this time, friends and loved ones exchange cards, poems, flowers, candy and gifts for Valentine's Day. This month, be sure to let your friends know you care, and show them how much they mean to you. See if you can make a new friend too! For more friendly advice, go to:


Did You Know...? 

February is a popular month for homeschool birthdays!Besides George Washington and Abe Lincoln, the following famous homeschoolers were born in February: Ansel Adams, Thomas Edison, Wilson "Snowflake" Bentley, Charles Dickens, and Laura Ingalls Wilder. (Laura was taught at home when she was unable to attend school due to distance or weather, and she also homeschooled her own daughter Rose!)  


Learn more about these famous homeschoolers at


We want to hear from you! 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: [email protected]   


The Bookshelf, by Rebekah Hall


The Queen's Thief Series

Queen's Thief Series 

Gen can steal anything, or so he says.  Of all the claims made by self-confident fools, in this case a common thief off the streets of Sounis, this one seems the most empty-handed;  until the day Gen decides to prove it.  He was quite serious when said anything, and he aims for nothing less than the king's seal, which he steals right out from under the nose of the king's right-hand man, the Magus.


Naturally, the first thing Gen does is gloat about his achievement in every wine-shop in the city, and it's only a matter of hours before the Royal Guard apprehends him and locks him away in the dungeons.  Luck is still on Gen's side, though.  Months after Gen's capture, the Magus finds the survival of his career hanging on whether or not he can "steal" a stone known as Hamiathes's Gift from a temple of the gods.  The Magus is a scholar, he does not steal things; but, fortunately, he knows someone in prison who does. 


While the Magus finally believes that he has everything under control, though, the arrangement makes his young apprentice, Sophos, uneasy; because Sophos insists upon asking the one question the Magus thinks is ridiculous.  If Gen was really clever enough to steal the king's seal unseen and unaided, then wouldn't he at least have the common sense to keep quiet afterword?


Megan Whalen Turner's The Thief was first published in 1996, and since then she's written three more books, plus an expected fourth, and all five together make up The Queen's Thief series.  Despite its age, the series has never quite received the attention it deserves.  There could several reasons for this, not least of them being the very small amount of advertising the author does for her books; but probably one of the biggest was the fact that there never was much of a market for books based off of Greek mythology.  That is, there wasn't until the recent success of the Percy Jackson books; but whereas Percy

Jackson does little more than caricaturize the myths, The Queen's Thief series works more toward capturing the spirit of them.         


There are many ways to describe just how the series does this, but the easiest would simply be to say that it all comes down to Gen.  Gen is the perfect combination of every Greek hero whose name was ever mentioned in a story.  He has in his character Achilles' temper and pride, Hercules' confident audacity, and, most importantly, Odysseus' "resourcefulness".  The reason that last is so important is because the Greeks loved ingenuity.  More often than not, the heroic stories of the ancient Greeks depended not on whether the hero had the goodness and strength to overcome evil, but whether he had the cunning to outwit his opponent.  One need only watch Gen at his best to see just how well Turner understood that idea. 


Unlike a lot of heroes, though, Gen is thoroughly mortal.  There are gods in Gen's world, and they are powerful beings not to be fooled with.  However, they're not malevolent, but still their very existence puts Gen on edge.  He's not sure whether he can trust them, even though they've never given him a reason to distrust them; they're outside of the world he can so easily manipulate and navigate.  What's worse, Gen was actually named after a god, Eugenides, the god of thieves himself. 


It's here that Turner begins to stray from the original mythology, and for the better; it's certainly common knowledge that the Greek gods committed evil acts toward humans, and frequently did so.  The gods never play into any of the plotlines, but their existence follows Gen from book to book, and reveals one of the most interesting facets of his character as he changes.              


Yet, what's even more fascinating is how the series depicts Gen's relationship with his namesake, which is tinged with Christian theology.  Once again, it's not much, because of the small role that the gods play, but it's still there as Gen tries to cope with the idea of Eugenides as his patron.  Can he really trust Eugenides to look out for his well-being?  What if Eugenides grew bored of him and during Gen's more risky antics, like jumping from rooftop to rooftop, Eugenides simply let him fall to his death; or even worse, get caught?  The day comes that Gen does get caught, and Eugenides allows it (facilitates it, in fact), and the result includes a good deal of suffering for him; but, in the end, it brings about a much greater maturing of character than Gen could have ever achieved on his own.


It should also be noted that, while Turner strays from the mythology, she doesn't restrict herself to it, either.  Greek mythology by itself misses a lot of its value unless it's paired with ancient Greek history and literature, and the series brings together all three in one odd, but delightful smorgasbord of a fantasy story.


All the mythology, history, and literature is veiled in the books and given different names; so any reader concerned that they're not going to be able to follow along because they've never heard of figures like Odysseus, Xerxes, or Oedipus need not worry about it.  The elements in the stories are so well layered that anyone could read them and still get something out of it.  That can only be said of a very small number of books written recently, and Megan Whalen Turner more than deserves the compliment. 


Rebekah is a senior in high school who loves reading, writing, or anything that contains a story and a puzzle. She runs the review blog "And a Sweet Sound it Made" -


Anime Reviews by Xbolt


If you appreciate beautiful music and art, you will like these...



For New Year's, I stayed up watching Air until midnight. Air was the last of the "Key Three," three animes based on visual novels by Key Visual Arts. Kanon and Clannad were the other two.

The story is about Yukito Kunisaki, who travels around doing a neat puppet show, and lives off of the generosity of the people who watch. He's traveling around because he wants to find the "girl in the sky", that his mother searched for. Upon entering a small seaside town, he meets Misuzu Kamio, a girl who eagerly wants to become friends with him. Stuff happens, and they find themselves entangled in a story that began a thousand years before.

Of the Key Three, Air was actually my least favorite. In retrospect, I watched them exactly backwards. I should have watched Air first, then Kanon, then Clannad. Kanon was pretty good, and Clannad was a masterpiece.

Even though Air isn't one of my favorite shows, the opening definitely is. Here you can enjoy Air's elegant visuals and music: 


Kanon has a nice opening as well:

In Clannad, the art, music, and everything else all come together in a way that makes you just sit back and go: "Wow...":

5 Centimeters Per Second

5 Centimeters Per Second

5 Centimeters Per Second is a 2007 Japanese animated feature film by Makoto Shinkai. It's story about how the passage of time can cause people to drift farther and farther apart.

Takaki Tono and Akari Shinohara start off as elementary schoolers who grow to really like each other. At the end of their final elementary year, they have to move away from each other. But they write letters back and forth.

To be honest, the story is really nothing to write home about. It's your typical romantic tragedy deal. However, the art is some of the best art of all time. "OF ALL TIME!" Anyway, the art rivals even Clannad. I didn't think that was possible, but by golly it is.

Here is a short trailer of pretty scenes and beautiful piano music:

Sorry for two extremely short reviews in a row, but I couldn't help it. Next month's review will be longer. I promise.


Visit Xbolt's blog at:   


Parallels by Carly Anspaugh




How much do we, as Americans, know about our constitution?  Not much.  What is unknown?  A lot. 


In America today, it is especially important to have a firm grasp on the true meaning of what our country is supposed to be, because you will be questioned, confronted and shaken in your patriotic beliefs.  It is crucial to know where you stand, why you stand there, and how you will stand against any argument that comes your way.  We have a duty to our heritage to be as informed and educated as we can be in regards to the birth of our country.  If we don't know where we came from, how can we even begin to guess where we're going?  As Abraham Lincoln said in his House Divided speech, "If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could better judge what to do, and how to better do it."  The past doesn't have to be viewed as some deep, dark mystery, but as a clear record of what we stand for.  The introductory sentences of our constitution ought to be very familiar to you, but what exactly are they saying?


"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."


What is a "more perfect Union"?  More perfect than what?  Why not the most perfect?  What or who is uniting? 


Back in our colonial days, we weren't so good at all playing on the same team.  Our founders wanted so desperately for us to get along, but that was impossible when each state was concerned primarily for its own well being, with the nation's interest being secondary.  They knew that a perfect Union wasn't plausible on this side of the Jordan, due to our fallen nature, but they could inspire national patriotism, therefore binding America into a "more perfect Union." 


They then proceeded to "establish Justice."  What is justice?  How can one establish a quality that is merely relative?  What was their basis of the word "Justice"?   My present day dictionary describes justice as, "the quality of being fair and reasonable."  This is hardly a universal definition.  Fair in the eyes of the accused varies greatly from the accuser's definition.  So where did our founders dig for their underlying principals that established the meaning of questionable words?  They searched in the most historically accurate, the most internally and externally sound piece of literature, the Bible.  They realized that all mean are equal-equally flawed.  No man is more fit to rule than another based on his ancestry, race, wealth or social status.  Justice is an ambition of those who seek peace and peace will be granted to those who uphold their own morals, without the constant nagging, reminding, and prodding of others, including the government.  When our founders pictured justice they saw that a just heart cannot be forcibly placed in a man's chest, nor a just thought stuffed inside a man's mind.  It had to be birthed there, of it's own volition.  That is the heart of American beauty.  The men who worked, gave, loved and starved for this country saw that every other constitution was based on the ideal that man is bad, and must be ruled and punished.  But that in itself is a paradox.  If man is bad and is declared worthy of punishment, then how can the same man also be the one to discharge punishment that he himself is also deserving of?  Well, the problem was solved over and over again by some of the world's greatest rulers.  Cease to be a man.  And if one is no longer man, one is acclimated to the rank of god.  When you are god, you are free to use justice however you please.  You can define justice as your will dictates.  You can abuse the meaning of justice in order to get personal groundwork accomplished.  Justice is what god says it is.  Man cannot question god.  The tragic fact of this logic is that after these "gods" had utterly exhausted their force of "justice" they were left to face true justice.  And they were spared in that they received the true meaning of justice instead of their personal, warped form of it.


So then, justice in the eyes of our fathers was basically this:  A quality that can never be established by men, or changed by men.  Justice is a supernatural law that is.  It is not to be tampered with.  Justice may be upheld by men, as that is our God given option, but if we choose to do so, then we had better do it His way, for we will find true Justice, His justice if we abuse the law, and bend the rules to our own pleasure and will. 


"Insure domestic Tranquility" are the next few words of the preamble.  What are they saying?  What kind of domestic tranquility?  That is a very open statement and I believe it was left that way for a reason.  Our founders didn't want to dictate a man's personal life, only enable him to live it, if he found he needed help for a while.  They knew that if they kept the government's nose out of domestic life it would result in tranquility.  So, they established laws and ideas to protect the people from the government, because our wise founders had seen in history too many times nations that were destroyed from top to bottom, starting with the political end and working its way to the people.  They also saw nations destroyed by churches who fancied themselves government.  And here comes the issue of separation of church and state.  Where in the constitution is that mentioned?  Which amendment covers it?  None.  It is an idea, not a law.  The state uses it to protect itself from the church but in reality, the idea was first conceived to protect the church from the state.  Back in England, during the Middle Ages, government was a sticky web of confusion, selfishness, greed, and power lust.  I'm not saying it's not today, but it went on so long unchecked in that particular era that it was hidden less.  And the reason it was unchecked was because the "checker", or the church, was just as guilty as the rest of the politicians.  Why?  Because the church itself had become a political head.  The church was the main culprit, because it had the most power, the power of the name of God, and that my friends, is a dangerous power to misuse.  There was nowhere for the people to go to seek refuge from thieving Lords and Cardinals.  When only the church is corrupt, you can go to the State, and vice versa.  But the truth-seeking citizens were left with nothing.  So they came here, to America and started a nation, purchased at the high price of blood, sweat and tears.  They worked together to create a government where such abuse could never happen again, where the church could not be abused by the state, and the state could not be abused by the church, so that the people always had somewhere to go in the unfortunate event that one of the heads found itself with a nasty ruler.  Thus, there is no legal reference to the Separation of Church and state, just domestic Tranquility. 


Next we come to "Provide for the Common Defense."  Well, that is a beautifully self-explanatory statement that I think we can just breeze past.  The government makes it its job to provide a military.  Check.


Now we have "Provide the general welfare."  Hm.  Not my favorite topic.  But we'll investigate nonetheless.  The reason I don't like to talk about this too much is because people can really get infuriated if they think you are telling them that they ought to not mooch off the government, and that it is what I would tell them.  But why, would I say that if right in the preamble it says we ought to provide general welfare?   Well, what was it that the writers of the preamble meant when they said that?  Did they mean that tax-payers are to provide for families that can't do so financially?  Did they even mean financial welfare?  Or did they have something else in mind?  Where did we get the idea that welfare meant, "fill out an application, and take money from someone who has more than you"?  After all, the constitution does not constitute how the people live, but how the government works.  So, in matters of uncertainty we should look at the founder's source for everything else and see what it was they meant.  There are many verses that say a man is to care for his family.  If there is no man, then the extended family is to provide.  There is no mention of a government handout.  The Bible does encourage compassion for the poor, and it says we are to give them a coat if they have none, but it never says anything about taking money from middle and upper class citizens to weaken the poor with dependence.  We are to help them get on their feet again and then move on.  Also, we are to only except help if we truly need it.  So, what does "provide general welfare " mean then?  I think it means to look after the poor, see that they have work, and are not abused by the wealthy, as what happened in England.  I don't think that the statement had any financial meaning to it, mainly because pecuniary substance was not mentioned.   


The rest of the preamble is basically simple, and a delight to read.  "And secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."


~Carly, 16, has been homeschooling her whole life, and has two younger siblings. She has a summer catering business, a custom greeting card line, and she enjoys dancing - Ballet, Pointe, Ballroom and Celtic.


College Bound Reading List


The Elements of Style


E.B. White is best known for his three children's books: Stuart Little (1945), Charlotte's Web (1952), and The Trumpet of the Swan (1970). White was noted for his crisp, graceful style, and author James Thurber once wrote, "No one can write a sentence like White." In 1957, E.B. White wrote an essay for the New Yorker about his former English professor, Will Strunk, which inspired a reissue of the original 1918 edition of Strunk's grammatical usage and style text, The Elements of Style. This led to the 1959 edition in which White revised his essay on Will Strunk for the introduction, updated much of Strunk's advice and examples, and added a chapter titled "An Approach to Style."


The revised edition, which came to be known simply as "Strunk and White," combines the experience of a language scholar and classroom teacher with the expertise of a professional writer. The meeting of these two minds, Strunk and White (Strunk died in 1946; White in 1985), proved serendipitous. The Elements of Style has sold millions of copies, and today this small book is still a classic reference for students and writers. White revised the book again in 1972 and 1979. A modernized 4th edition appeared in 1999 (with minor revisions made anonymously, such as eliminating masculine gender "bias"). An illustrated edition was published in 2005 (not very practical but makes a good gift book). The 50th Anniversary Edition includes a brief overview of the book's illustrious history, but other than that the content is the same as the 1999 edition. I've always been partial to the 3rd edition myself.


Used extensively by professional writers as well as high school and college students, The Elements of Style is a must-have book for any conscientious writer. This fundamental work on the use of the English language is concise, direct, and comprehensive. There are no endless pages of explanations - just simple reminders about how to present the written word effectively. The book includes an overview of conventional rules and principles of composition (commas, conjunctions, independent clauses, sentences, paragraphs, etc.), as well as words and expressions commonly misused (too many people have not learned these to this day!). If you are serious about wanting to improve your written communication skills, if only for personal reasons, you should have The Elements of Style on your desk for ready reference.


The complete text of Strunk's original Elements of Style can be found online at




Doodle 4 Google


I want to...


...Become a doctor with my own TV show.

...Invent rocket shoes that let you fly.

...Open a zoo for the world's endangered animals.


Welcome to Doodle 4 Google, a competition where we invite K-12 students to use their artistic talents to think big and redesign Google's homepage logo for millions to see. At Google, we believe that dreaming about future possibilities leads to tomorrow's leaders and inventors, so this year we're inviting U.S. kids to exercise their creative imaginations around the theme, "What I'd like to do someday..."


Whether students want to find a cure for cancer or take a trip to the moon, it all starts with art supplies and some 8.5" x 11" paper. And, one lucky student artist will take home a $15,000 college scholarship and $25,000 technology grant for their school, among many other prizes.


Registration closes at 11:59:59 p.m. Pacific Time (PT) on March 2, 2011, and entries must be postmarked by March 16, 2011 11:59:59 p.m. Pacific Time (PT). The winning doodle will be featured on the homepage on May 20, 2011.


New! Changes to Doodle 4 Google in 2011


- Parents Can Register Their Kids: This year, based on your feedback, we are expanding the contest. Now, in addition to schools, parents and legal guardians can directly register their K-12 students in the contest and submit their doodles. Check with your child's school or After School Programs first to see if they are participating, since we only allow one entry per student. As always, public, private and home schools can register on behalf of their students.

- After School Programs: We are working with two After School Programs: Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Girl Scouts of the USA to register students.

- There is no cap on how many doodles each school, After School Program, or family can send in. Just remember, only one doodle per child.

- A Variety Of Guest Judges: This year, a group of guest judges, including Whoopi Goldberg, Actress/Comedian/TV Talk Show Host, Jim Davis, Creator of "Garfield", and Evan Lysacek, Gold Medalist for Ice Skating, and several other well known cartoonists, animators and illustrators will help judge the contest and attend the final awards ceremony to personally congratulate our winners.


For more information, visit



February 2011


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

[email protected]


Homeschooling Teen Profile:

Teresa Scanlan

 Teresa Scanlan

"Ladies and gentlemen, the 90th anniversary Miss America; your Miss America 2011 is... Miss Nebraska Teresa Scanlan!" The newly-crowned Miss America, 17-year-old Teresa Scanlan of Gering, Nebraska, is a mostly homeschooled Christian who lifted her eyes and hands heavenward in thanksgiving when she was announced as the winner on January 15, 2011. The pageant judges were awed by her confidence, saying she was quite poised for a person so young.

That came as no surprise to Miss Nebraska co-executive director Jay Engel. "Teresa is very, very well-spoken," Engel observed. "She's very intelligent and talented, so we knew that she had all the capabilities and characteristics that a Miss America would have." In fact, Teresa didn't place in the Teen Pageant two years ago because of the judges' reservations that she didn't act enough like a normal teen. "She...was too mature," Engel admitted.

Teresa Scanlan was born on February 6, 1993. Although she is the youngest Miss America to be crowned in 74 years, she is actually two years older than the very youngest winner. Marian Bergeron was the youngest Miss America in history, winning the title at age 15 in 1933. Others younger than Scanlan were Margaret Gorman in 1921 (the first Miss America) and Mary Campbell in 1922, both 16. Rules now mandate that a winner must be at least 17. The most recent teenager to claim the tiara was Kirsten Haglund, 19, who won the pageant in 2008.


Teresa is of Croatian ancestry. Her maternal grandparents are Frank and Nives Jelich, who immigrated to the United States from the island of Ilovik in Croatia, formerly Yugoslavia. Her parents are Mark and Janie Scanlan. "They really sacrificed a lot to do what they did," she says of her parents' decision to homeschool. Teresa is the middle of seven children. Janie Scanlan recalled that when Teresa was a homeschooled third-grader, she always tried to keep up with the schoolwork of her fifth-grade sister.


Already advanced for her age, Scanlan decided as a freshman that she wanted to graduate early. She began attending Gering High School part-time for half of her junior year. She graduated early from Scottsbluff High School in the spring of 2010 after taking a double load of classes throughout high school. While at Scottsbluff High School, she played the lead role in Disney's High School Musical Onstage. She also participated in choir, show choir, speech, and was named a Salutatorian for the Scottsbluff class of 2010.


Scanlan first started competing in pageants at age 13. A small-town girl (Gering's population is about 8,000), she beat incredible odds to make it into the Miss America pageant. More than 1,000 pageants lead to Miss America, and over 13,000 contestants compete for the title. Teresa won the title of Miss Nebraska on June 5, 2010, and got to travel around the Cornhusker State participating in various events as part of her duties.


Teresa is a politically minded student who plans to attend Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia, a Christian college popular with homeschoolers. Although she will have to defer enrollment until after her reign as Miss America is over, Teresa will be able to utilize the $50,000 Miss America scholarship to pay for her college education. She wants to study American government and eventually pursue a career in law and politics. "I am very interested in the political process," Teresa affirms. "I plan to register as an Independent," she declared, saying that partisanship in Washington is a lingering problem among our elected officials. Her dream goal is to one day become president of the United States.


Perhaps Teresa Scanlan is following in the footsteps of Sarah Palin, a Christian female politician from a small town who was formerly a pageant contestant as well. At age 20, Palin (then Sarah Heath) took second runner-up honors in the 1984 Miss Alaska pageant after winning the Miss Wasilla contest earlier that year. Palin was the youngest person and the first woman to be elected Governor of Alaska. From pageants to politics doesn't seem like too far a leap. The competitions are certainly as cutthroat as politics - and at times, just as dirty.


Scanlan's platform as Miss America is "Eating disorders: A generation at risk." She now has twelve months to educate children and adults about the signs and risks of eating disorders, as well as how and where to get help for themselves or a loved one. Her passion to combat eating disorders stems from a friend who struggled with bulimia. "Because I was home schooled, I didn't see the pressures," Teresa said. But after doing some research about eating disorders for her friend, she discovered how rampant the problem is among young women across the nation.


For the Miss America talent competition, Teresa impressed the judges and the audience with her piano performance of Calvin Jones' fast-paced "Whitewater Chopped Sticks." Although she was the only contestant who didn't dance or sing in the Miss America pageant, in her spare time she does enjoy singing and dancing as well as acting, playing the piano and guitar, composing songs, baking, participating in activities with her local church, and making clothes out of duct tape.


Scanlan didn't hide her dedication to religion during the pageant, and notes that she wasn't the only Christian contestant. "Many of the girls who made it very high [in the competition] had a strong faith because that shows...the substance and purpose behind what we're doing - and that's why we're driven," she shared. "We knew that whatever happened is His plan," Teresa acknowledged, "and now I'm just so excited to see what He has in store." Scanlan concludes, "And so every person that I meet I know God has a reason why I'm meeting them. I just want to embrace that as much as I can this year."


Many people think the new Miss America is too young. But when you hear her speak, she sounds so well-grounded and older than her 17 years. She has a sense of humor, too. When asked if she was dating anyone, Teresa pinched her face into a grimace and quipped, "17-year-old boys? ... Enough said."

Scanlan wrote on her blog, "I am so looking forward to sharing my experiences and travels with you as I begin this wonderful journey and represent this incredible organization during our special anniversary year. I hope to make not only Nebraska, but all of America proud, and will do my utmost to represent the amazing young women of this nation. Thank you for your support and for believing in the young people of our country. Love and Prayers, Teresa."

You can send Teresa Scanlan a note of congratulations or share your personal story about facing or overcoming an eating disorder by writing to her at: 2720 Applewood Road, Gering, Nebraska 69341. Follow Miss America 2011 on Facebook at and follow her on Twitter at


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!

The World Around Us, by Evangeline


This month, I want to write about something different. I have been writing about current events around the world, but I thought that for a change, I would write about reading current events.


I love reading current events, and yes, I am a teen. Some might think I am a weirdo for checking out the latest news instead of playing computer games or watching TV.


That's why I am here with a mission to change your perspective about reading current events.


Reading current events can be fun. When I say reading current events, I don't mean poring over the papers.


With the advent of technology, many newspaper companies have their news online. In fact, online news is better since there's always the latest.


Reading current events also does not mean going through a report of a robbery at a bank. No, current events is a much wider scope than that.


An example is the entertainment news. What goes on in the entertainment industry is also a part of current events!


For those who are sports fanatics, the sports news is also part of the current events scope.


I can go on and on about how interesting current events can be but no matter what I can say, ultimately you have to try it to know for yourself.


So here's the challenge: read a piece of current events every day. Try it for six weeks and I can guarantee you that you will start loving current events.


But here's the catch, you can't just read what you want to read. Here's an example schedule:


Monday: Sports

Tuesday: Local

Wednesday: Entertainment

Thursday: International

Friday: Business

Saturday: Technology

Sunday: Pick your favorite section


Why am I encouraging reading the current events? For the very same reason why I want to be aware of what's going on around me.


Right now, knowing the current events might not seem to be such a necessity, but current events that are happening today can either directly or indirectly affect our lives.

So do you want to be more informed in this year? It's your choice.


~Evangeline is a 16-year old homeschooler from Malaysia. She likes reading, writing, editing Wikipedia, listening to music and surfing the net. She is always on the lookout for new posts for her blog:

Homeschooling High School: Helpful Tips


How to Become a Better Reader


I know what you're thinking - you already learned how to read in kindergarten, right? Well, reading is more than just recognizing words on a page. It involves the ability to interpret text by recognizing a writer's intentions, perceiving what is implied but not stated, making connections between the ideas you read and personal experience or other ideas from outside the text, and drawing conclusions. In other words, efficient reading isn't the only skill you need; you also need to read effectively, and that means reading critically. Critical reading is not simply close and careful reading. To read critically is to make judgments about how a text is argued. To read critically, one must actively recognize and analyze evidence on the page. Especially when you conduct research, you cannot read a source without being critically aware of both the information it presents and the author's attitude, purpose, and reliability.


In this age of easily accessible information, it's great to be able to look up anything you want to know and be able to find the answer quickly. However, the amount of information available can be overwhelming and unfortunately, misinformation is rampant - whether in newspapers, books, or on the internet. Would you like to be able to distinguish between the good information and the bad? Or do you ever get to the end of a page or chapter and realize that your mind has been wandering and you haven't been paying attention to what you've been reading? The following tips will help you to read critically and become a better reader.


Pre-Reading Strategies - It's always easier to read a passage if we have a reasonably clear notion of what it's likely to be about. Here's how:


Survey the Text - Look over what you intend to read so you can place it in an appropriate context and anticipate what it is likely to contain.

Title - Take note of the title, which can be an important source of information to help you anticipate content.

Author - Information about the author and his credentials can enrich your reading of a text. Recognizing an author's name often allows you to make predictions. Professional titles, academic degrees, authorship of other publications, or information about a writer's occupation and accomplishments may provide clues about his expertise or bias.

Date of Publication - Knowing when a text was published can help you to evaluate it and the author's claims.

Length - Noting the length of a text can give you an indication of how thoroughly the author's point is developed.

Section Headings - Headings and subheadings are especially useful in longer passages. Accurately predicting a text's major ideas and organization makes reading more efficient.

Highlighted Statements - Important statements are often highlighted, providing clues to the central idea of a text.

Bold Type, Illustrations, and Captions - Words relating key concepts are often bold-faced. Other major ideas may be illustrated in charts, graphs, drawings, or photographs and explained in captions.


Recommended Techniques - Here are some suggested techniques for reading actively and with purpose:


-Look up definitions of words you don't know.

-Make note of impressive sentences or images.

-Examine the structure or organization of the text.

-Detect recurring ideas, images, or patterns of language.

-Boil the passage down to its key points.

-Study relationships among facts, opinions, generalizations, and judgments.

-Point out internal contradictions or inconsistencies.

-Examine the treatment of opposing views. Are they ignored? Tolerated? Refuted? Ridiculed?

-Characterize the audience that the text appears to target.

-Study the context - the background information and circumstances surrounding the text.


Critical Reading Strategies - As you are reading a passage, pay attention to what it is saying. Think about how you could apply it to life, state why it is not clear, examine its logic or evidence, argue with it, consider its unstated assumptions, explain its implications and significance.


Summarize - Try to summarize the author's ideas in your own words.

Questions - Ask questions to help identify gaps that may exist, causing confusion or arousing doubts and reservations, and places where there could be more detail or explanation.

Personal Reactions - Consider your reactions to the ideas presented in a passage or to the author's manner of expressing them (i.e., tone, vocabulary, bias).

Extrapolations - Take a given set of facts or ideas and project, predict, or speculate about other facts or ideas that are not provided in the text.

Inferences - Draw conclusions about how the narrator reveals his views and personal character.

Speculation - Making an inference often arouses further reflection and speculation.


Elements of Style in Writing


Writing practices differ among individuals and vary according to purpose and audience. It depends on the amount of tacit knowledge that writers and readers share - that is, how much a writer can safely assume his or her readers understand without explanation. Interpretation is also affected by the writer's ability to assess the needs and expectations of a particular audience. Good writers help their readers. They anticipate who those readers are likely to be, and they strive to be understood by them. They write clearly, using a vocabulary and style appropriate to their audience. They provide punctuation to signal pauses or to show when one idea ends and another begins. Through topic sentences and repeated key words, writers give readers clues to make reading easier. Writers also make choices in words and examples that reflect and convey their attitudes.


Diction - Study the words chosen by the author. Does the writer have a large vocabulary? High-level (formal) words indicate an intelligent target audience. Lower-level (informal) language indicates a more massive audience appeal. Does the author use emotionally charged words, or words with positive or negative connotations? For example, calling someone "skinny" produces a different response than calling someone "slender" or "thin" or "gaunt" or "emaciated."

Tone - Attitude is the writer's position on, or feelings about, his or her subject. The way that attitude is expressed - the voice we hear and the feelings conveyed through that voice - is the writer's tone. A writer's tone can be described as positive, negative, or (rarely) neutral. Authors often choose certain words to enhance the tone of their writing and express a particular attitude toward the subject. Studying the context in which a writer uses emotionally charged words helps us to understand the writer's attitude.

Sentence Structure - Note sentence length; are the sentences long, short, or varied in length? Short sentences increase the pacing of a paper, while long sentences slow a piece down. Are the sentences simple, compound or complex and what might these constructions say about the target audience? Does the writer use sentence fragments? An overly simplistic style?

Organization - How does the author's organization increase the audience's understanding of the piece? Is the paper neatly organized, or does the author jump from idea to idea quickly and without warning?

Repetition - Deliberate repeating of a key word for emphasis.

Symbolism - Use of an image or object to represent an idea or something else larger than itself.

Simile - A stated comparison of two unlike objects or ideas, using the words "like" or "as" ("cheeks like roses").

Metaphor - An implied comparison of two unlike objects or ideas, without using the words "like" or "as" ("rosy cheeks").

Alliteration - Consecutive words that begin with the same or similar consonant sounds ("sing a song of sixpence").

Onomatopoeia - Words that imitate a sound (bang, boom, tinkle, pitter patter, tick tock).

Personification - Human qualities given to non-human objects or animals (referring to a ship as "she").

Malapropism - Intentional misuse of words ("Mind your own beeswax.").

Puns - Humorous word use involving two or more interpretations of a word's meaning.

Quotation Marks, Italics and Capital Letters - Note how the author calls attention to certain words in the piece and study how those indicators affect your reading of that particular word. Authors often use quotation marks, italics, or capital letters to call attention to an important term, or even question the usage of such terms.

Point of View - There are three main modes of narration that an author may use: first person, second person, and third person. On rare occasions, something may be written in an alternating point of view, such as Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island which switches between third and first person.

First Person - Speaks through the "I" of one of the characters. An author who wishes to use a first-person narrative must decide which character's actions and feelings should influence the story. (uses the pronouns "I" and "we")

Second Person - Uses the pronoun "you" because instructions are being given directly to you, the reader. The use of second person should be avoided in formal or scholarly writing. It should be reserved for writings of direct address - such as personal letters or documents that give specific instructions.

Third Person - Provides the greatest flexibility to the author and thus is the most commonly used narrative mode in literature. A third person narrative mode ("he she, they, it") can be further subdivided into three distinct points of view:

Third Person Objective - This point of view lets actions speak for themselves. The author describes only the characters' actions, and readers must infer the characters' thoughts and feelings.

Third Person Omniscient - In this point of view, the author is not restricted to the knowledge, experiences, and feelings of one person. The feelings and thoughts of all characters can be revealed.

Third Person Limited Omniscient - This point of view concentrates on the experiences of one character but has the options to be all-knowing about other characters. A limited omniscient point of view may clarify conflicts and actions that would be less understandable in a first-person narrative.


These tips will help you to become a better reader. Want to become a better writer? Get the Elements of Style which is on this month's College Bound Reading list!


Worldview Academy Leadership Camps 2011


For the past 16 years Worldview Academy has been training, encouraging, challenging, and inspiring servant leaders across America. Worldview Academy Leadership Camp is five days of intense workshops, worldview training, and challenging activities. Students forge life-long friendships, solidify their faith, confront tough issues, and have a blast doing it. Recommended for teens ages 13-18, it is the premier leadership camp experience today. Worldview Academy Leadership Camps are held in 23 cities around the country. For more information, visit

Calvin's Political Column


The Five Pillars of American Restoration Pt. 3: Truth


By Calvin Lyman

This essay is the third installment of my five part series entitled: "The Five Pillars of American Restoration". Today I am writing on the subject of truth.

I have made it my goal in these writings to present you with an honest and accurate view of the subjects that I cover. Truth is a foundational concept in my efforts, and I want that to show. However, it is clear to me that truth is not a very sought out thing amongst many media and literary outlets. Truth has never been, and will never be, a popular thing.

In my last two posts, I expounded on the two most important "pillars" of our country that ABSOLUTELY need to be restored if our country is to retain it's heritage of observance of justice and liberty, as well as progress further towards those ideals. These two pillars were Faith in God, and reliance on traditional Family values. Today I add a third pillar: Truth.

We as human beings have a natural aversion to the truth whenever it becomes uncomfortable. From Adam and Eve's lie to God after the first sin, to Bill Clinton's lies about his relationship with a White House Secretary after being impeached in 1998, we as human beings tend to fib our way out of trouble when trouble comes. As we all know, our country is currently experiencing a lot of trouble. This trouble is running rampant in the form of terrible fiscal responsibility (This is true for households as well as government policies), eroding freedoms formerly guaranteed to be respected by our government, less respect for human life, and in many other forms as well.

I and many others have been making the case for quite a while now that we as Americans need to look to our Biblical heritage in order to find the solutions to the problems that we face. I hold to that premise more heartily than ever before.

Read this selection of scripture taken from John's account of Christ's ministry, beginning in verse 31:

31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

33 They answered him, "We are Abraham's descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?"

34 Jesus replied, "Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.

It is highly important that we don't lose sight of this reality. The truth is the only thing that can save us. The truth that was lived through the example, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the redemption of your sins and my sins.

In the next addition to this series, I will tell you why I think education is the fourth area in which we must make drastic change if our nation is to reclaim its lost ground in the battlefield of liberty.

~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.


Southwestern College becomes Arizona Christian University


We're excited to announce that by a unanimous vote of the Board of Trustees, Southwestern College is now Arizona Christian University (ACU)! According to the press release, "We are grateful for God's provision for 50 years with some form of "Southwestern" in the name of our school. But we recognize that at least four other colleges around America have exactly the same name, and that even in our own community, our name is not well known and we are often misidentified, even by our friends." Why Arizona Christian University?


ARIZONA: This clearly identifies our location, which is a plus! Arizona is one of the fastest-growing states in the country because of our climate and lifestyle. Other Arizona colleges draw thousands of students from around America who long to spend September through May in our desert climate. We should benefit as well by clearly and proudly identifying with the state of Arizona.


CHRISTIAN: While other schools may run away from their Christian heritage - we intend to run TOWARD our Christian commitment. We are choosing now, in 2011, to actively identify our school as a Christian institution, continuing to emphasize the teaching of biblical truth and created to train and equip followers of Christ to influence the world.


UNIVERSITY: We have regional accreditation and currently offer many different degree programs. We are pursuing the ability to offer additional majors and graduate level degrees in the near future. We choose to identify with who we are becoming, and believe this is a name that will serve us well for the next 50 years and beyond.


Arizona Christian University has plans to double enrollment over the next few years. (The school currently has 500 students.) Plans also call for adding intercollegiate sports teams on its 20-acre campus in north Phoenix. With a history of preparing students for careers in ministry, business, counseling and education, ACU adds degree programs including political science, communications and biology. ACU also offers pre-med and pre-law curriculums to prepare students for medical school and law school.


On March 16, the private Phoenix college will host a 50th anniversary celebration, featuring former President George W. Bush as keynote speaker. For more information, visit


Read our review of homeschool-friendly Southwestern College:


Kicking Off the Year of the Pro-Life Teen...


By Joleigh Little, Director, Wisconsin Teens for Life


I just got home from spending some time with my absolute favorite people on the planet. It's probably not going to shock you that they are teenagers. Nor will it come as a surprise that they are of the pro-life variety. They are my camp team at Wisconsin Right to Life.


These kids are a breed apart. They spend their time on behalf of others. They are knowledgeable on the facts of abortion and euthanasia. They are passionate about the cause of life and about protecting those who have no voice. They will, to a person, end up in careers that allow them to serve the pro-life cause in one capacity or another. Many will end up working full time in the movement itself.


I love them like they are my own. I could brag about them for hours. I could tell you why each is unique and amazing. I would probably weep as I shared just how much I appreciate all they have done and continue to do for unborn children and the medically vulnerable.


But here's the thing. As crazy as I am about "my" kids, I know that in every state in our nation, equally fabulous young people exist-kids ready to learn, eager to get involved, willing to give of themselves. All we need is to identify and train these leaders of tomorrow.


I know we have them in Louisiana. Our affiliate there, Louisiana Right to Life Federation, is bringing literal busloads-hundreds of teenagers-to Washington, D.C., this month for the March for Life. It hosts hugely successful leadership camps in the spring and summer that bring teens from all over Louisiana to learn how to be advocates for the unborn.


Under the leadership of Ben Clapper, they are working closely with National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) to develop a plan to bring youth camps to all 50 states over the next several years. To say that we are excited about this program would be a vast understatement ... but more about that in future issues!


Although Rhode Island is a tiny state in terms of land mass, it has a vibrant and growing youth program headed up by Rhode Island Right to Life's Education Director Becky Miller. We expect to see a few of their leaders at our NTL Summit the weekend of January 21-23 and look forward to working with Becky as we lay out our plans for our national camp program. She is a shining example of how one person with a passion for life and for youth can make a difference.


I just got a Facebook message (you have to LOVE social networking and all it can do to promote the cause of life) from Paul Maloney, the executive director at North Dakota Right to Life. He's eager to grow their youth program and they recently elected an incredible young man to serve as president of North Dakota Teens for Life. We look very much forward to working with them in the coming year.


Incredible right-to-life leadership camp programs already exist in a number of states. In addition to Louisiana and Wisconsin, camps are training youth in Oregon, Texas, and New York.


Rhode Island has a summer academy which meets every Wednesday night for eight weeks during the summer. Vermont Right to Life hosts a teen summit every October. Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life holds a huge rally at the state capitol every year-we can only assume that such a rally will be even more exciting in 2011 with Minnesota's new state Senate president in attendance. Sen. Michelle Fischbach is an example of what can happen when you train young people from an early age to speak out in defense of life.


And that, really, is the thought on which I should end. Every ounce of time, money, and effort we put into training and empowering the pro-life youth of today will have ripples and waves well into the future. I do not doubt for one moment that among today's youth-those who attend our camps, conventions, summits, and legislative conferences-are tomorrow's legislators, doctors, attorneys, journalists, and leaders.


This is the year. Now is the time. This is our opportunity to train these kids to speak out on behalf of a cause that has no equal. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, if we give them the tools they WILL finish the job. So let's do it!


Let's train them. Let's equip them. Let's encourage them, mentor them, laugh with them, love them, and lead them. If we do, we literally cannot lose. Will you help?


For more information on how you can help with our National Right to Life Year of the Pro-Life Teen, e-mail [email protected].


Joleigh Little is the Teens for Life Coordinator at Wisconsin Right to Life. Working with pro-life youth has been her driving passion since the age of 14. "I realized that this was the cause of my lifetime. It really was as simple as that. It was obvious to me, even at that tender age, that abortion was no mere 'problem' and would never go away if we just ignored it."





College Bound: Homeschool Friendly Colleges


Christendom College


Christendom College is a small Catholic coeducational liberal arts college in Front Royal, Virginia, which is located in the Shenandoah Valley. The main campus overlooks the Shenandoah River with scenic views of the neighboring Blue Ridge Mountains. Christendom College is committed to both academic and moral excellence. Rules governing student life include a dress code, under 21 curfew, and no intervisitation between men's and women's dormitories. Although there is a strong Catholic emphasis in all aspects of the curriculum and life at Christendom College, non-Catholics are welcome to apply.


Christendom College is institutionally committed to the Magisterium, or "teaching authority," of the Roman Catholic Church. The college was founded in 1977 by Catholic historian Warren Carroll in response to the devastating blow inflicted on Catholic higher education by the cultural revolution of the 1960s. At a time when other Catholic colleges were no longer following the guiding light of the Catholic faith, Christendom College stepped up and dedicated itself to the restoration of a truly Catholic culture.


The stated mission of Christendom College is "to restore all things in Christ." The college's vision statement reads in part: "The only rightful purpose of education is to learn the truth and to live by it. The purpose of Catholic education is therefore to learn and to live by the truth revealed by Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ....Only an education which integrates the truths of the Catholic Faith throughout the curriculum is a fully Catholic education."


With the vision of providing "a liberal arts education that would fully integrate natural and revealed truth," Christendom has a core curriculum of carefully selected subjects required for all of its students. The undergraduate curriculum consists of three years of study in Theology, three years in Philosophy, two years in English Language and Literature, two years in Classical or Modern Language, two years in History, one year in Political Science and Economics, and one year in Mathematics and Natural Science.


Christendom offers degrees in Classical and Early Christian Studies, English Language and Literature, French Language and Literature, History, Philosophy, Political Science and Economics, and Theology. Every junior has the option of spending a semester in Rome, living just outside the Vatican and across from St. Peter's Basilica. Students study Moral Theology or Apologetics, Art and Architecture, Italian, and Roman Perspectives while in Rome.

Christendom College does not participate in any Title IV Federal Student Financial Assistance Programs which includes federal student loans. This was a prudential decision made by Christendom College to protect its freedom to teach the Catholic Faith without hindrance. However, the College has developed its own institutional financial assistance program that is competitive with colleges who do accept federal financial aid. The College is also an active participant in the Yellow Ribbon Program for Veterans.

Successful applicants to Christendom College must show promise of being able to do serious intellectual work at the college level. Admission is determined by a variety of indicators including, but not limited to, high school grades, SAT or ACT scores, essays, and letters of recommendation. The normal scores that the Admissions Committee is looking for in order to accept a student are: SAT 1650 or higher (all three sections combined) and ACT 24 or higher. The Admissions Committee uses these numbers as standards but treats each applicant individually and takes many other factors into consideration before making a final determination.


Applicants will write essays on topics like the following: 1. Why do you want to attend Christendom College? State what you hope to gain from your experience at Christendom; what you hope to add to the College community; and what attracts you to the College. (500 word minimum.) 2. Describe your life within your family. Do you have brothers and sisters? What interests do you share? Have you discussed your plans for college with your family? If so, what do they think? (250 word minimum.) 3. Describe some person or experience who/which has had a deep impact on your life. Explain its value to you. (250 word minimum.) Essays are judged on content, grammar, spelling, and style.


Homeschoolers are encouraged to apply, and homeschool applicants follow all of the same admission procedures as other students. Your mother or father may fill out the academic letter of recommendation if they have been your teachers. Or have a teacher who has instructed you submit an academic letter of recommendation. Ask your parish priest, an employer or counselor to submit a personal letter of recommendation.


Christendom College recognizes accredited Catholic homeschooling programs such as Kolbe Academy, Mother of Divine Grace, Our Lady of the Rosary, and Seton Home Study. Homeschooled students who are not enrolled in one of the approved homeschool programs should provide documentation of completed course work. Homeschool transcript forms to be filled in are available from the college and may be downloaded at:  


Christendom does not require that a particular core curriculum be completed prior to applying for the college, nor does Christendom require a student to have graduated from high school or to have earned a GED. However, the following high school courses are recommended for students preparing to attend Christendom College: English/Literature (4 years) - Grammar and Composition, World Literature, American Literature, British Literature. History and related studies (3 years) - World History, American History and Government, Geography. Language (2 years of same language) - Classical or Modern Language. Mathematics (2 years) - Algebra I and II, Geometry, Trigonometry, Pre-calculus/Calculus. Science (2 years) - Biology, Chemistry, Physics. (Plus one additional year of either math or science.)


According to Thomas McFadden, Director of Admissions, "Homeschoolers do very well at Christendom College. Each year approximately 50% of the incoming class comes to us from a homeschool background, although many more have been homeschooled at one point in their elementary or secondary education. One of the things we have noticed about our homeschooled students is their incredible ability to read voraciously and also to comprehend what they have read. I think this is something particular to the homeschooled student because they tend to have a little extra time during their week to read for pleasure. This ability to read quickly and comprehend what they have read comes in very handy at Christendom. In all of our classes at Christendom, we require lots of in-class reading, [and] also out-of-class reading."


McFadden adds, "Many parents have made the choice to homeschool their children because they are not too happy with today's culture and they want to keep some of the bad aspects of today's culture out of their children's lives. At Christendom, the college seeks to help parents in their roles of primary educators and works hard to not only keep bad things out of the campus culture, but to provide a good Catholic culture in its place. In fact, at Christendom, one of the slogans used to advertise the school is, 'Catholicism is the air that we breathe.' It doesn't really get much more Catholic than that!"


Learn more about Christendom College at


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



Career-of-the-Month: Lawyer


"Attorneys and politicians are looked down on and have terrible reputations for being greedy and power hungry and I really think it's important for people who have their heart and mind in the right place get into those powerful positions." ~Teresa Scanlan


Lawyers, or attorneys, are some of the highest paid professionals. Lawyers give people advice and tell them what they can and can't do under the law. Some lawyers work for themselves, while others work for law firms, corporations, and governments.


There are many different types of lawyers. They can prosecute accused criminals, negotiate real estate deals, advise corporations, conduct lawsuits, help arrange adoptions, work to protect the environment, or teach law. Some people hire lawyers to take their side in court against other people or companies, or against the government.


Lawyers spend a lot of time doing research. To be a good lawyer, a person must be good at finding facts in books, on computers, and in other places. For example, lawyers may interview people to get information. After doing research, lawyers make arguments to show that the people they work for should win in court.


Although many lawyers speak in court, not all lawyers do. Some lawyers specialize in drafting legal documents such as contracts and wills, which need to be very specific and well-written. Lawyers do most of their work in offices, law libraries, and courtrooms. They may sometimes meet in clients' homes or businesses. Some lawyers even meet clients in hospitals or prisons.


All lawyers need a license from the state in which they want to work. To get a license, they need to get a college degree and then go to law school for three years. Finally, lawyers must pass a test called the bar examination. After they start working, lawyers need to continue learning about changes in the law. In addition, lawyers often work long hours, especially during court trials.


Related Occupations:

Court reporter


Law clerk





Financial Literacy Challenge Opportunity


The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Department of Education will be offering their 2011 National Financial Capability Challenge March 7-April 8. This recognition program uses a voluntary, online test to determine and recognize high levels of financial literacy among America's high school students in public, private, and homeschool programs.


Homeschoolers have participated in this challenge since its inception, and many homeschoolers have benefited from scholarships as a result. The top two scorers at each school, plus all students scoring in the top 20 percent, will receive National Financial Capability Challenge Award Certificates. All participating educators will receive an official certificate. This recognition will look very good on a job resume or high school transcript.


Students must be between the ages of 13 and 19. There are no prerequisites for student participation, and there is no charge to participate. But you must register before March 7.


To register for this challenge, please visit the National Financial Capability Challenge website at 


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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