Homeschooling Teen



Homeschooling Teen Profile: Tonya Schulte


College-Bound: Azusa Pacific University


Generation Lost: by Leah


The World Around Us: by Adrianna


His Story, His World: by Aubrey


The Razor's Edge: by Madeleine


Laughter, Tears, and Our Teen Years: by McKennaugh


The Sports Report: by Caela


Libbi's Nonfiction Book Review: To Heaven and Back


Bookshelf of a (Maybe) Teen Author: Rippler


Anime Review: by Teri O.  


Game Review: by Andrew


Cartoon: "Know Brainz," by Savanna and Devin


New Column! Horse Breed Heaven: by Kayla


Homeschooling High School: Do Your Homework before Heading to College


Career-of-the-Month: Nurse


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


And much more!!!





College Bound 

Preparing For College - ACT & SAT Information  

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


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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)


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


E-mail Etiquette Tip of the Month


When it comes to E-mail Etiquette and Proper Technology Use, understand that you will be on a continual learning curve. All of us are!  


This gig is changing constantly. The only consistency is change! If you do not have the desire to learn and do not make the effort to understand the "culture" of the technology in which you are participating, you will not be taken seriously by your fellow Netizens.  


We all make mistakes; it's how you handle them that makes all the difference both in how you are perceived and how you learn.


You may get some terse e-mails from other Netizens pointing such issues out to you - some may not be as nice as others. Don't fire back at them! Use situations like this as an opportunity to learn what you are doing wrong so you do not anger others and offer your humble apologies.


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





"To teach a man how he may learn to grow independently, and for himself, is perhaps the greatest service that one man can do another." ~Benjamin Jowett





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Laughter, Tears, and Our Teen Years, by McKennaugh


On Growing Up...


Next week, I'm turning 16. For some reason, 16 seems... well, old. Maybe just because I can drive, but it still seems different than my other birthdays. Strangely enough, it's like it was just yesterday that I was playing "imaginary friends" with my brother and building my treehouse. And, yet, the years have passed in the blink of an eye. It's like only a few moments ago that I was choking down a "pumpkin pie" made by my brother, Brennan... a pumpkin pie that was made out of goo from the pumpkin we had received from our grandfather. He mixed it with flour and put it in the oven. I'm pretty sure that he didn't even add a lick of sugar. My mother, being the good mom that she is, told my little brother that it was soooooo good-while I nearly got sick downing one tiny square of the stuff. But, now, Brennan can crank out a pie that's so yummy, I believe he could win a baking competition.


I've become older, too. I no longer find a scrap of rotting cloth under the porch and excitedly show my mother the "wonderful" thing I found. I no longer save my cookies as long as I can to make my siblings jealous. (Now they save their treats the longest to make me jealous). I no longer play with my towel after my shower and say that I'm a bat and it's my wings.


I remember the year that Nevin (who is now nine) finally got big enough to join his brother in everything. Brennan and Nevin ran off to play every day and left me behind. Whenever I asked Brennan to do something with me, he'd say, "I promised Nevin I'd play with him right now." I had never felt so alone. It was like losing my best friend. After that, though, we became more of a trio and Nevin was included.


My brothers and I used to do everything together. There was almost never a minute that we were apart. From picking wild strawberries on early summer mornings to "camping" in the van in the driveway on summer nights, we never left each other's sides. I think some kids decide not to do things because someone tells them it's not "cool," or they finally realize it's not "cool" themselves and so they put away Barbies and no longer make mud pies. But for me, it wasn't like that. Because I am homeschooled, there was no one to tell me to stop creating imaginary lands and running barefoot. (Well, my mom always yelled about the barefoot part!) I don't know, but long past when other kids would have put their childhood away little by little, I held onto mine and I was proud to be a tomboy with my brothers or play dress up with my mom. It seemed like it was one summer when it all escaped me. It wasn't a choice, more like I had to give it all up. It started with not being able to play imaginary friends with Brennan anymore. I couldn't think of a story to pretend. "Just pick something!" Brennan said, but I wasn't able to. I didn't pretend with them all summer, although I usually did every day.


Then, slowly, other things changed. I couldn't stand to wear matching clothes with my brothers. We used to all wear identical tees, but I suddenly was painfully aware of this.


I didn't play in the dirt anymore and I didn't run in the rain. 


Then we stopped being the trio. I guess it was me. I obtained different interests, I stopped wanting to play chase and catch lightning bugs in the dark. My childhood was slowly bidding me goodbye, almost before I had time to notice.


It was just the other day, that I was walking up the driveway with all my little brothers and, suddenly, I wanted more than anything to be able to play "imaginary friends" again, to be able to be little again, to be able to laugh and run through the brush in our woods playing hide-and-go-seek.


But ...I couldn't.


It wasn't like it was by choice, just something had snapped inside of me, something called growing up. It's not that getting older is a bad thing, it's just that one day you wake up and find things will never be the same...even if you want them to be.


So, next week, I'll be 16. I used to say on the night before my birthday that I was taking my current number and saving it for later use. So, for example, when I turned ten, I said I was using my 1 again. A few years back, I stopped talking about "saving my numbers", but I think it's just about time for me to take out my six and place it with the 1 I've been using.   


McKennaugh Kelley ( is fifteen years old. She lives in Troy, Pennsylvania with a handful of crazy, creative, but mostly wonderful little brothers.



The World Around Us,by Adrianna Kuzma


Nanofiltration May Help In Reaching Target UN Water Goals


Quantity is every bit as much an issue as quality when it comes to water for developing nations. In my last column, I talked about the benefits of using a nano-teabag technology as a short term solution to global water problems in third world countries where infrastructure is unavailable. Many developing countries lack roads, plumbing, and electricity. Where there is infrastructure, however, nanofiltration can be very effective at catching micro bacteria and other contaminants that could be harmful to human beings.  Looking at the benefits and the drawbacks of nano-membranes is necessary to decision making about this new technology.


Just as a reminder to my readers, nanotechnology is so small that 6000 of the nano-particles could fit on the head of a pin. Nanotechnology is the science of using these nano-sized molecules to catch micro-organisms and contaminants such as those found in river water. To help visualize this, picture a fine mesh kitchen sieve. The sieve is like the filter or membrane  used to clean water. In using nanotechnology, the water cleaning filter acts as a semipermeable membrane, with holes or pores to allow some items through-in this case, letting water molecules through but catching bacteria and viruses.   The large food items in the kitchen sieve stay, but water passes through the sieve.




This image illustrates how small nanotechnology is compared to DNA, bacterium, and a large water droplet.  The Future of Nanotechnology.  Web. 22 June 2012.   


There are primarily four types of membranes, each representing a smaller pore size and increased ability to capture contaminants. Moving from largest to smallest (in terms of pore-size): microfiltration (0.1 microns ) and ultrafiltration (0.01 microns) are good, but nanofiltration offers even smaller pores (0.001 microns) to filter out pollutants and bacteria, and reverse osmosis (at 0.0001 microns) provides the smallest pores. Although it sounds small, microfiltration does not remove bacteria, and viruses can move right through the pores. Whereas microfiltration cannot remove viruses from the water, ultrafiltration can. And whereas ultrafiltration does not stop bivalent ions (two or more charges of ions), such as lead and mercury, nanofiltration is able to remove toxic metals and unwanted bivalent ions.   




This image shows a sponge-like nano filter and a close up of the pores. Nanomembranes can be tailored to catch specific contaminants or bacteria by incorporating into the membrane nanoparticles toxic to the specific bacteria targeted. Nanosense. Stanford Research Institute. Web. 22 June 2012.


Nano-particles jointly form a large surface area or net to catch pollutants in water. One type of nano membrane can be explained by a further analogy. Imagine a volleyball net stretched across the pipe where the water enters. With a nano membrane that builds in ion-repelling materials, the net of nano particles catches the contaminants (the volleyballs) by electrifying the ions in the contaminants, such as toxic metals. This produces a net of electricity that basically organizes the ions into channels based on their negative charge. This allows the neutral water to pass through the channel with the negative toxic ions lined up at the end of the channel (Gen). So, in terms of the volleyball comparison, the volleyball toxins line up along the surface of the net. Each hole in the volleyball net represents a channel where the water molecules (the golf balls) line up and pass through. 


As with reverse osmosis membranes, nano-membranes can filter out ions and small contaminates. At this time, reverse osmosis is perhaps the most common type of membrane on the market for such water treatments as desalinization. Reverse osmosis, or RO, is a process whereby water is put under great pressure to flow through a polymer membrane which strains out contaminants or pollutants in the water such as salts, bacteria, and lime. In reverse osmosis, water flows to the solute or brine side of the tank.   Pressure is required to push the water back through the membrane. The diagram below shows this reverse flow of water back through the membrane. If no applied pressure is introduced, the two tanks will reach equal height.




This illustration shows reverse osmosis in the three stages: 1) water that is not safe to drink because it contains a dissolved solid such as salt flows through the membrane from right to left, 2) the concentration of dissolved solids mixes to become uniform across the membrane but the solute, such as salt, stays on the left until 3)  pressure must be applied on the left tank to move the water in the reverse direction, to the right side.  "Nano filtration and Reverse Osmosis." Water Treatment Solutions: Lenntech.  Web 24 June 2012.


While the technology for such reverse osmosis membranes have become conventional in desalinization, nanofiltration is less common. The big difference--and the reason for the interest in nano membranes--is that nanofiltration is much less expensive--about half the cost of reverse osmosis, because nano membranes do not require the high pressure that reverse osmosis membranes do. As seen in the diagram above, showing a reverse osmosis membrane, the water must be forced back through the membrane in the reverse direction, requiring more extensive energy inputs than nanofiltration.   


When coupled with nano-filtration or NF membranes, reverse osmosis membranes are called dense membranes. These two membranes can remove a whole range of "dissolved species such as ions" in water (Müller). In other words, while combined RO and NF membranes are more effective at removing contaminants (than traditional desalinization processes) when they have smaller pores, they require more energy to push the water through the membranes. So, the energy costs of electricity presumably go up once membranes are combined. In some cases, the addition of membranes to the system may serve as a pretreatment to prevent membrane fouling.




This diagram (big pores on the left and smaller pores on the right) describes how each of membrane filters out specific contaminants that would harm the human body and how they can be combined to have the maximum effect. Nanosense.  Stanford Research Institute Web. 22 June 2012.


A membrane that catches nano-particles before they go out into the environment is NSM, which means nano-sized membranes. In simple terms, Muller states that this means "NSM do not contain any nano-particles and must be clearly distinguished from membranes with integrated nano-particles (nano-enhanced membranes)" (Müller).  Apparently, the NSM membranes have nanosized pores to allow the water through but catch the nano-particles out of the water. As a result, this membrane does not have environmental impacts or adverse effects on human health and ecosystems because it does not allow nano-particles to move through the membrane (Müller). While this would be the best choice for cleaning water to standards safe for drinking (and to avoid adverse environmental impacts) this membrane may require greater energy and electricity inputs.


Requiring less time than conventional water treatment, nanofiltration typically occurs in a single treatment and produces cleaner water. Nanofiltration seems particularly well suited to treating ground water because of its ability to soften water and remove pesticides. Those developing nations where salt removal is not the top priority and where farmers use nitrates seem especially good candidates for low pressure nanofiltration systems. As water from wells and underground sources is less available, rivers and lakes become a source of water. Agricultural run-off  from food crops and livestock make surface water more difficult to purify because of such occurrences as bacteria from livestock (Nicoll). Nanofiltration utilizes several polymer layers or sheets of filter materials. Most often, these sheets are rolled vertically to fit into a cylinder, as seen in the following diagram.



Illustration of a nano-membrane that shows the layers of filters as they are rolled around a collection pipe. "Membrane Technology and Research." 2011.


In the past, poor people have been forced to purchase water tokens as a result of the World Bank's making loans to developing countries conditional on the privatization of their water. Although intended to get water into poor regions quickly, privatization did not work because the people did not have the means to pay even modest water fees and instead went to other sources (i.e. polluted surface water). Nanotechnology involves high tech costs and demands. Upfront costs include the following: research, upgrading equipment and training personnel as well as building infrastructure such as roads (Berger). Taken collectively, these expenses can become a barrier to introducing nanotechnology.


There are other problems when introducing high-tech methods into impoverished areas. According to the authors of "Nanotechnology and The Challenge of Clean Water," when a company goes into on area without clean water to build a plant, the employees often expect to build and go home. The success of such a facility, however, requires that the people living there understand how nanotechnology works. In a pilot program in which the scientists set up workshops and involved the native people in discussions, each member of the community took a role to keep the water clean (Hillie, Hlophe). Although the UN does have volunteers who can be sent in to help set up nano-membranes for water treatment, long-term commitment by the community receiving the assistance is essential.


There are environmental and health concerns about nanotechnology as well. These include contamination resulting from the technology itself, the difficulty of containing the nano-particles, and the absence of studies about the effects on humans. Within the water cleaning membranes are nano-filters made of polymers that hold the nano-particles inside. This cleans the water with the nano-particles going into the main stream of fresh water. In 2008, there was a concern that the nano-particles are staying in the water, and scientists have not yet studied the effects on humans (Dickson). Some membranes use nano-particles such as metal, dendrimers, and clays to clean the water. These are usually not considered toxic materials; however, the concern is that their accumulation in the body could be toxic.


There are several health concerns about cleaning water with nanotechnology. One of these concerns is its size. Since nanotechnology is so small, it can be hard to contain the nano-particles.  Researchers would need to make sure nano-particles do not contaminate the environment and harm aquatic life. Because of its size, moreover, scientists do not know what nano-particles can do to a human body once they are consumed in water or concentrated in the body of fish. By comparison, pregnant women are warned not to eat clams, for instance, because of the accumulated mercury contained in them. This means that there may be traces of nano-particles in the water left behind after it is cleaned. People are concerned that nano-particles may be toxic because there has not been a study showing that they are not.


A related concern is public acceptance, and as Maclurcan points out, nanotechnology is not universally embraced. People might view nanotechnology as science fiction or not even real. It might look like a high-tech solution or a quick fix that is highly impractical for Third World countries where it would cost a lot of money to implement (Maclurcan). However, despite the need to overcome misconceptions, the use of nanotechnology for water treatment is not as radical an application as it might be in other fields. In fact, the concept itself is basic even to conventional water cleaning which works by filtering out or in other ways contaminants.


For this reason, the concern about regulation is critical. The nanotechnology may not be monitored effectively. According to Dickson, for instance, a nano filter could fail to disinfect the water and if not monitored this would be a serious problem. In effect, there is a need to oversee the nanotechnology in progress (Dickson). Therefore, it is crucial that the UN scientists do not set up a nano-system in a development region and then leave without teaching people how to monitor and maintain the technology. There is a potential for membrane fouling, which means that the particles are strained out and eventually accumulate on the membrane itself, clogging up the pores in the process of cleaning water. To stop this fouling from happening, the manufacturers can install a backwash and micro bubbles to clean the membrane completely for reuse.


As with the introduction of any new technology, there are issues related to market failure, intellectual property rights, and non-cooperative groups. If nanotechnology is accepted, these concerns need to be addressed. From a strictly business perspective, the introduction of nanotechnology may result in market failure. For example, as with the teabag technology discussed in my last column, if the nano-membrane were only marketed to those who already have access to good water, it will not provide safe drinking water to the most impoverished people. In addition, intellectual property rights are a concern. If the company making the nano membranes finds their technology being duplicated by others, there may be little incentive to sell this technology in the future. Finally there is a concern that groups may not cooperate. Getting various groups of stakeholders, such as government officials, private companies, and end-users (consumers), to cooperate is largely a matter of educating everyone involved concerning the benefits of safe drinking water. Companies selling nanotechnology materials and services, such as nano-membranes, to developing countries need to provide the long- term commitment to assisting both with implementing and maintaining these systems. 




This photograph shows the relative size of the membranes, seen in a shelving unit. The man pictured is holding one of the membranes. "The State Government Kicked Off the Commissioning of RO facility between Gogha in Saurashtra and Dahej in South Gujarat." The Times of India 25 Jan. 2012.


Although these concerns need to be addressed, there are distinct benefits that make nano- membranes particularly attractive for developing countries. Where there is minimal support infrastructure, nano-membrane filtration systems compare favorably to conventional water treatment due to their compact design and automation. One clear advantage of nanotechnology is its ability to target specific contaminants or pollutants in water. Nano-membranes can be designed to eliminate particular contaminants in the water, and this may result in a pinpoint system that is more cost effective than selecting a membrane containing separate filters for every potential contaminant. The relatively small size of nano-particles allows the membranes to strain out specific contaminants that would harm the public at large. For instance, some of the contaminants are bacteria, salts, mercury, and arsenic. Conventional water purification uses membranes but not to the degree of these nano-scaled membranes that can target and strain out micro-contaminants but also disease-causing organisms (Müller). The flexibility in cleaning specific contaminants in water makes nano- membrane especially desirable, allowing it to be tailored for the needs of developing countries. 


The long-term savings make the initial costs worth the investment. By putting in water-cleaning technology, people can stay healthy; therefore, they can avoid losing wages due to sick days and thus maintain support for their families. In addition, the government is not overloaded with costs of healthcare for the poor. Over the long haul, these savings could mount up, and all these hidden but nonetheless real benefits could cover some of the costs of setting up nanotechnology facilities and equipment that saves lives. Because of such long -term savings, governments should be encouraged to take a lead in implementing nanotechnology. India, for instance, is working to build private and public cooperation (Fostering 7). Government officials should be involved in the development of nano-membrane water treatment to make it affordable for the public. This is because a government only needs to pay for the supplies and the workers while a private company would additionally have to pay their shareholders.


"Technology adaptation" means that the people must be taught about nanotechnology-- how it works, and how it can benefit the community at large (Hillie, Hlophe). When teaching people, it's important to keep the steps simple (Hubley 234). Although people must also be taught that not all water is safe to drink. It's not enough to stop there. Hubley states: "water-related diseases such as cholera, typhoid, and diarrhea cannot be eliminated by providing clean drinking water alone, but by increasing the quantity of water available, promoting the use of latrines and a comprehensive range of hygiene measures" (234). Teaching people about the consequences allows them to become wiser about the direct health benefits.


Nanotechnology is going to be important in the future because the natural supply of fresh water is dwindling. The 2015 goal of water safety will probably not be met, but the UN should keep progressing with this goal by facilitating nanofiltration systems for recommended locations in developing countries where sufficient infrastructure exists. The UN can provide guidelines to insure that nanotechnology is judiciously introduced. Whereas the nano teabag technology discussed in last month's column meets the goal of providing an immediate point source of clean water, it does not address the long-term and large scale need for safe water. Nanofiltration systems can answer that bigger problem by providing high quality water in a way that can be more readily upgraded than conventional water treatment facilities. In addition, because membranes are enclosed in tanks, water security is less of a concern than it might he with conventional systems that are open to the elements. Some view nanotechnology as not just a secure and safe water cleaning method but as a way to help developing nations advance their leadership (Maclurcan). Developing expertise can improve the economic life of these development communities. So there are many benefits beyond just delivering clean water.


For a complete list of Works Cited, see:  


About the Author: Adrianna is a homeschooler from Indiana. She loves to sew and has made Regency ball gowns as well as fleece pet beds. She plays the cello, loves cats, and is passionate about caring for the planet. She recently produced a video on bottled water that won a national award.


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

 Libbi's Nonfiction Book Review


To Heaven and Back by Mary Neal   

To Heaven and Back, by Mary Neal


Mary Neal was an aspiring spinal surgeon, who had loved the outdoors since she was a small girl. It comes as no surprise when she begins to kayak. In a kayaking accident only a few months later, she supposedly dies and goes to heaven. She writes this book as her autobiography. 


The Truth


Usually I write reviews in four sections:  The book condensed into a paragraph; I liked; I didn't like; and overall. This time, I only found need for two of them. I was excited to get this book in the mail, thinking it would be like the other books on heaven I have read (Heaven by Jesse Duplantis; I Believe in Visons by Kenneth Hagin; Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo). I started it, disagreed with some of her statements from the beginning, but gave her book the benefit of the doubt. I continued reading, and I was in disbelief how depressing her book was. I have listened to sermons and stories, read books and watched TV specials about people who went to heaven and came back, and all of them were extremely uplifting, and made me happy, which brings me to my next point. Her story does not line up with the Bible, and neither does it line up with the hundreds of other stories about heaven. In all the times people have gone to heaven and come back, what makes their stories legit is when they are years apart, but they still have the same basic outline. Hers was VERY different from the others I have read. Here are the statements that I disagreed with, and found to be somewhat of heresy.


She spoke of when she first died, she went up the hallway with "human souls" while she said she could not recognize who they were personally, she did in fact say they were human. I am fairly certain (in fact, completely certain) that the Bible says nothing about being met when you die by your great aunt Josephine. Just saying.


She also said that when the souls were leading her to "heaven," she heard her friends begging her to take a breath, and so she repeatedly would go back and forth to take a breath. This is not the problem. The problem is when she said she began to get annoyed at her friends. In heaven, we will be so filled with the love of God, that there will be no room for anything else, such as irritation, anxiety, and tiredness. She also spoke of the process of returning to her earthly body and back with the souls as being tiring. Here are a few scriptures to combat her statements.


Ephesians 5:11 - Have nothingto do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. If God is saying to have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness (such as irritation) why would He have them in heaven? 


1 John 1:5 - This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.


1 John 1:6 - If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 


In her entire account of going to "heaven," she never mentioned anything giving praise to God, nor did they speak much of anything besides her still having a job on earth. In EVERY single account of heaven that I have read/listened to, they all say how the angels, and everything in heaven says, "Glory to God." just about once per sentence.


Acts 7:55 - But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. It didn't mention him seeing souls, or a hall filled with beings, it focuses on God.


Revelation 21:23 -  The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.


Revelation 4:8 - Day and night they never stop saying, 'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, Who was, and is, and is to come.


Revelation 7:11-12 - All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, "Amen! Praise, glory, wisdom, thanks, honor, power, and strength be to our God forever and ever. Amen!"


She mentioned speaking to an "angel" in a field. Funny thing is, she said she did not know whether it was an angel, some other spiritual being, or Jesus Himself. I strongly believe that it would be impossible to not know it was Jesus if He was standing next to you.  


 2 Corinthians 11:14 - And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. Just to clarify, I am not saying that she saw Satan (although it is possible). And, the doctrine that the "angel" gave her was not correct.


Revelation 1:13-17 - Among the lampstands was someone like a son of man dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said, "Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last." Just going out on a whim here, but I believe if you experienced Jesus in a supernatural setting like the one she described, it wouldn't be very hard to figure out who it was.


She talked about how God knew her son was not going to live to be eighteen, and it was in His plan, and said that angels guide our every move, and we are predestined to do whatever it is we do. This is very touchy subject with the church, to be predestined, or not to be?  I will hopefully be able to approach this subject in a future post, but for sake of time, let us just say I disagree with it. However, the part I will write about is this: God did not plan for her son to die before he was eighteen, and I have the scriptures to back up my point.


Jeremiah 29:11 - "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." I think it is awful that her son died so soon, but I also stand by the fact that it was not God's will for him to die.


I am not a skeptical person, and I am very trusting. I cannot recommend this book to anyone, because the doctrine is really flawed. I sincerely hope the best for Mary Neal, but I would discourage you from reading this book. I give this book 0 out of 5 stars.


Libbi H. 

Philippians 4:8
- "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things."



Note: Waterbrook Multnomah gave me this book in exchange for an honest review.


Libbi is a homeschooler who runs the Life is Funner blog at 

She likes peacocks, the color pink, hair accessories, and reading biographies.




/know brainz/


know brainz 

 By Devin and Savannah Hicks


Anime Review by Teri O.





Honey and Clover


Honey and Clover is a comedic drama that combines heartfelt storytelling with a unique visual style. The voice acting, pacing, and soundtrack are all excellent. Like its name, the anime is down-to-earth and super sweet. It also has deeper themes geared towards high school and college aged youth. Honey and Clover is very touching and heartwarming as it deals with many issues that teens and young adults know best.


The series depicts a group of students enrolled at an art college in Tokyo. Like a true slice-of-life anime, the storyline basically follows the day-to-day trials of adolescence and life in general. It's fascinating to watch how these students gradually mature in their thoughts, feelings, and relationships. All of the characters are wonderfully

developed and much more complex than they initially seem. The main characters are:


Hagumi "Hagu" Hanamoto - a shy blond art prodigy who's rather small and immature for her 18 years of age; Ayumi Yamada -a nice older girl who's a talented potter and is popular with many young men but falls in love with the one who doesn't love her; Yuta Takemoto - a somewhat shy gray-haired boy who befriends (and secretly loves) Hagu; Shinobu Morita - a black-haired perpetual student who's kind of crazy and moonlights at a mysterious high-paying job; Takumi Mayama - a hardworking architecture student with glasses who's in love with an older woman but is protective of Ayumi as a dear friend; Shuji Hanamoto - an art teacher and Hagu's cousin; Rika Harada - a widowed friend of Professor Hanamoto who runs an architecture studio she founded with her late husband.


An interesting thing about this anime is that the thoughts and emotions of the male characters are explored just as well, if not more so, than the females. Much of the story is narrated by Yuta as seen through his eyes, with every character getting his or her moment in the spotlight. Yuta himself is a struggling student who can't find a job and doesn't really know what he wants to do. But even though he spends most of his time as a neutral observer, he closes out the first season with an inspiring personal triumph.


Honey and Clover is one of the most realistic animes I've seen; nothing magic, sci-fi, or supernatural happens in this series. Though the characters could be university students anywhere, the settings provide a good feel for the Japanese country and lifestyle, from summer festivals to sleeping on futons. You will need to know that about 100 yen = 1 dollar. Japan has a lot less regulation about cigarettes than America does, so don't be surprised to see some characters smoking. They also drink too much on certain occasions. When not at school, Ayumi helps run the family liquor store. The characters don't use any bad language, but when emotions run high they will sometimes call someone an "idiot" or "jerk."


Like real life, the show isn't entirely serious but can turn hilariously witty and just plain silly at times. The mood switches effortlessly from madcap comedy to utter heartbreak and everything in between. General themes in this anime focus on the joys of friendship and the pain of unrequited love. Teen themes include "finding oneself," graduating from college, and interviewing for jobs. Summer themes include going to the zoo, riding a Ferris wheel, playing carnival games, watching fireworks, searching for four-leaf clovers, and taking a cross-country bike ride. The show is riddled with pop culture references to things like Twister, Star Wars, other animes, the Mario Brothers, and even Bill Gates.


Episodes 1-13 start out with one of the weirdest openings ever, where spinning plates of food behave in very un-foodlike ways, but it doesn't really have anything to do with the show so don't let that turn you off. It's a homage to Czech stop-motion animator Jan Svankmajer, so in a way it represents the creativity of the art students. The Honey and Clover animators themselves are talented artists adept at instantly switching from subtle scenes of soft watercolors to bold surreal strokes of broad physical comedy.


If Honey and Clover has any faults, it's that there should have been more episodes because you wish it would keep going. Without realizing it, you've become part of that circle of friends: you've shared their heartbreaks and triumphs, walked alongside them as they poured out their feelings, and watched each of them grow in some way. The second season went off in various tangents with the development of some new characters, and there's so much more that could have been done with them. But the story ends just like it begins - right in the middle of things and leaving the possibilities wide open.


This series will make you laugh, cry, and think about what's important in life. Whether in school or not, who hasn't asked themselves at some point: "What do I want to do? Who do I want to be?" Honey and Clover may not have the answers, but it's all about trying to find them. If you're a fan of Clannad, you will surely like Honey and Clover. You can see Honey and Clover for free on Hulu right now: . There are 36 episodes of 23 minutes each - and you can't just watch one at a time, trust me! - so it would be a pleasant way to spend some lazy summer days.


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Copyright 2012 - Homeschooling Teen Magazine





July 2012


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


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Homeschooling Teen Profile: Tonya Schulte  





Tonya is a second generation homeschool wife and mother who graduated from homeschooling in 1998. She operates a home business called Journal in a Box and wrote JournalUp: Teaching Teens and Tweens the Power of Journal Writing for Life Enhancement. See Tonya at the Arizona Families for Home Education Convention in Phoenix on July 20-21!


My mom asked my dad for a Mercedes Benz for her birthday. And thus began our homeschooling journey. She really said it as a kind of joke. He asked her what she wanted and she said a Mercedes, never thinking that he might take her seriously. But he did and they ended up at the home of a couple who were selling their used luxury car. While there, the couple shared with my parents that they were planning to homeschool their young daughter. As my mom drove away in her new-to-her car, she told my dad how sorry she felt for that poor young girl. How would the girl ever make any friends? Wasn't she pretty unlikely to get a quality education at home? And that was the end of that discussion for a while.


It just so happened that I began reading at the age of three. My mom was really surprised by this and so she decided that I needed to be in school as soon as possible. At the age of four, my parents placed me in a private school kindergarten class. There were many things about the school that were not a good fit for our family.


So, off to the public school I went the next year. That year didn't turn out so well either. By the end of that kindergarten year my parents were determined to try something new. What about this homeschooling idea?


So, she contacted the local superintendent of school's office and informed them of her intentions. The woman who answered the phone told my mom that she would not be able to homeschool because it was illegal. A very small amount of research by my mom proved that to be completely untrue. Soon, the proper paperwork was filed and my mom and I were sitting across from each other in her office ready to do this homeschooling thing. Now to figure out how.


At this point, my mom had some decisions to make: What materials would she use to teach? What would be the proper method? And so she began to read. And read. And read. And read. And read. 


Sometime around the start of that first year, my parents got a phone call from the trucking company where they had first met. (Yep, my parents are both truck drivers who met when they went to work for the same trucking company, but that is a different, albeit fun, story.) The owner of the company spoke to my dad and told him they were in need of good drivers and wanted to know if Mom and Dad would be interested in returning to his employ. Dad said they would indeed be very interested, except they just had one small problem and she was six years old. Well then, the owner said, we'll just have to add a new rider to our insurance policy, won't we? Our cross-country adventure was about to begin!


Our first year of homeschooling was spent on an 18-wheel semi truck. During that year we saw 47 of the contiguous states. There are so many funny stories from that first year. One morning my dad, excited about a beautiful view of the Statue of Liberty in the early morning sun, woke me up so I could look at it. My little six year old self just grumbled, "I've seen it, Dad." 


It was a fun and amazing year during which many many good memories were built, but by the end Mom and I were ready to go home. We headed home just before Christmas and settled in for the next chapter of our homeschooling experience.


Shortly after we settled back in at home, my parents decided to purchase a computer. It was still a fairly new phenomenon to have a computer in your home. They headed down to the local Apple store and talked to the salesman. The first thing he asked them was why they wanted a computer. "Well, why do people have them? What do they do with them?" my mom asked him. We ended up with an Apple IIGS with a word processing program and a spreadsheet program and a Tetris game. (My new Mac has quite a few more programs!)


Sometime before that my parents had hired a tutor to teach me a bit about computer programming. He taught me the basics of the Logo programming language and how to draw with the "turtle." It wasn't very long after my parents purchased the Apple computer I was playing around with the Apple BASIC programming language. I was thrilled when I was able to get the computer to output "Hi, my name is Tonya" from a PRINT command in a four line program I devised. The practice I got with the BASIC language beginning at age 7 was definitely in my favor ten years later when I took a VisualBasic course at the local community college and the instructor had me tutor some of the other students on the programming concepts.


Another great learning opportunity that arose around this time was my grandparents opening up a thrift store. That store along with a retail business my mom had owned several years before and a couple of antique stores she owned subsequently were great training grounds for concepts I would later use in my career. Things like inventory control, accounting, and customer service. Adults were often surprised when I processed their sale on the cash register and counted back correct change to them. Once again, my parents could have found no program to teach me as much about these real world concepts as I was able to learn just by living life with my family.


Along with all of those experiences and learning opportunities, my mom continued to read and research everything she could get her hands on regarding education and learning styles. She wasn't afraid to try something different when it came to helping me learn a concept. Once she either devised or read about a method for learning multiplication tables. She made 'hurdles' out of folded card stock and laid them out in a 'course' throughout the house. On each was written a multiplication problem. When I had the right result I hopped over the hurdle and moved on. It was a great and kinesthetic way to ingrain the facts into my head. My mom was a big believer in the now widely regarded Charlotte Mason idea of 'real books.' Not a textbook was to be found in our house unless it had been purchased at a yard sale to use as material for cutting out the pictures to use in art projects.


The older I got, the more we moved into a relaxed and child-led homeschooling style. Mom and Dad encouraged me to find subjects I was interested in and explore them to the fullest extent. Mom also continued to look for ways of interesting me in subjects with which I wasn't always immediately enthralled. Before I entered the high school years, she hired a tutor for algebra who really opened up the world of math to me and introduced me to entirely new ways of understanding that topic.


At the age of fourteen my parents handed the 'reigns' over almost exclusively to me. I made all decisions regarding which materials we would use and they just approved my choices. By allowing me to have ownership of the curriculum decisions they encouraged me more than ever to pursue my passions and to take control of my education. It was empowering and exciting and made me want to pursue excellence.


During these years, among other things, I did a four year inductive study of the monarchy of England, I completed a self-led college level course in accounting and I took two courses at our local community college. I also began working at age 15. I was interested in ranching, so my mother suggested I interview some ranchers in the area and write about the subject. I did so and ended up being offered a job on one of the ranches.


I spent two years working on the ranch - as the official peon. The ranch was a working cattle ranch owned by a European conglomerate. I did all the grunt work (washing vehicles, scooping poop, scrubbing feeding containers with bleach, vacuuming floors, weeding and watering plants.) But, I also soon got to work with the ostriches that they owned and boarded there and even occasionally got to work in the clean room and lab where they candled and hatched the ostrich eggs. After working there about a year and a half I was asked by the manager if I would be interested in working more in the office on a new project that the owners were starting. They would be selling off some of their land to form a new housing development and I was asked to do some marketing research and help plan some of the magazine ads that would be run in major national magazines. I much preferred this indoor, air-conditioned position and soon grew tired of the other outside duties I still had to perform.


By the end of my junior year, I took up the offer from another homeschooling dad and business owner to be his full time office assistant/accounting clerk. My senior year of high school consisted mostly of learning real life principles in his office that carried me into the construction accounting career that I had for eight years before I came home to be a stay-at-home mom. These days I am busy running a household of my husband and two homeschooled kids with one on the way and also managing our home-based business. 


Our business grew out of a desire by my mom and I to share our passion of journaling. She and I are both longtime journalers. One day she came to me and expressed her desire to help others journal without being scared of the blank page. "I wish we could give people a Journal in a Box," she said. And, so our homegrown business came to be. Managed by my parents, husband and I, Journal in a Box has a growing line of guided journals designed to make journaling easy and fun and we also recently began to offer home studies and online courses for those that want to take their journaling to the next step.


Tonya Schulte






terminal[TER-mi-nal] -adjective


Of, forming, or situated at the end or extremity of something.


"A terminal degree, such as a Ph.D., is the highest academic degree in a given field of study."


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

I  D  E  A  S

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Modest Summer Fashion




The Bible says that "women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control" (1 Tim. 2:9 ESV). Would you go out in public wearing only your underwear? I know I'd sure feel embarrassed and self-conscious! And yet people wear swimsuits that cover less then their underwear does! It makes no sense to me why it would be okay to wear revealing garments at a pool or the beach and not somewhere else.


In today's bikini culture, people get stuck looking at our bodies and not any further. Sometimes even we become overly concentrated on our own bodies, which can result in self-objectification. But few of us look like the perfect supermodel that bikinis are apparently designed for, so that can lead to a poor self-image. A relaxing day at the beach shouldn't have to feel like being on display in a swimsuit competition.


Most modern bathing suits also pose a problem for guys when they see you in them. Jesus said that anyone who looks at a woman to lust after her has committed adultery already in his heart (Matt. 5:28). Young Christian men shouldn't have to walk around with their eyes pointed down at the ground just to stay pure in their thoughts. So modest swim apparel is not only appreciated by girls who wish to honor God with their bodies, but also by guys who wish to honor God with their minds. (To learn more about the virtue of modesty, read Katharine Birkett's Modesty Series at .)


The value of modesty notwithstanding, it still would be prudent to cover up in order to limit your overall sun exposure and help reduce the risk of long-term skin damage. Scientists say that no sunscreen can completely protect you, and a tan does not protect against wrinkling or skin cancer. Desert-dwelling nomads throughout the ages have known that covering up their bodies provides the best sun protection. You never see them trekking across the hot Saharan sand dunes half-naked!


Unfortunately, you won't find many modest swimsuits at regular stores. For an athletic alternative to revealing swimsuits, sporting goods stores often carry tank suits that appear more "sporty" than "sexy" - after all, swimming is a sport, not a fashion show! You might want to consider surfer tops and board shorts. They're available for both men and women. The guys can put on shorty wetsuits or swim trunks and shirts.


You can still wear your bikini to the beach, but just think of it as summer underwear. Bikini tops work great as swim bras. Be sure to cover it up with a fast-drying shirt (a cotton t-shirt gets cold and heavy when wet), or a light summer dress or beach cover-up. To hide a bikini bottom or make a one-piece suit a little more conservative, you can wear athletic shorts, a sports skirt, or a sarong wrap over it.


You can be active and look good while having lots of summer fun with your family and friends, without compromising your principles or sense of self-dignity. You don't have to be bogged down by soggy clothes, either. Whether it's for sun protection, modesty, or other reasons, several online companies sell nice-looking outfits made of swimsuit material that are specially designed to provide decent coverage.


The price range for this type of apparel can run a bit high, but you'll get a better value for your money than you would if you were buying a designer-brand bikini in which you pay an exorbitant price for virtually nothing! You will notice that the swimwear listed below comes in varying degrees of modesty to suit all tastes - from ultra-modest to as modest as possible while still looking like regular swimsuits.


Simply Modest was started by Crystal Huyben, a Christian homeschool graduate from Ontario. Huyben sewed her first swimsuit when she was a teenager, wanting to create one that was not only modest, but pretty and feminine as well as comfortable to swim in. She began with one design, but now she has a whole line of products! She also sells swimwear fabric and elastic by the yard, perfect for sewing your own swimsuit!


Swim Modest got its start when Diane Hopkins, the mother of seven children, began making modest swimwear for her girls. She designed her swimwear to be playful and colorful, with bright floral patterns. The Lycra fabric is lightweight, stretchy, quick-drying and comfortable, making her swimsuits fun to wear. 


Dressing for His Glory has a unique collection of swim skirts, swim skorts, swim culottes, swim tees, swim tights, and surf shirts made by a born-again Christian who also is an experienced fashion designer in the garment industry. 


Stitchin' Times is a home-based sewing business that makes modest swimsuits with several different options (skirts, shorts, sleeves, no sleeves). You may also choose between coordinating or contrasting fabrics. These swimsuits are sewn-to-order but she also has ready-made swimsuits in limited quantities. 


WholesomeWear, an Oregon-based swimwear company founded in 2002, is geared toward conservative Christians. They make three styles of modest swimwear: culotte, skirted, and slimming. The well-known Duggar homeschool family wears this brand. 


Princess Modest Swimwear has been providing fun and fashionable modest bathing suits with UV protection since 2006. But they're based in Israel, so shipping to the U.S. can take 2-3 weeks. 


HydroChic is a line of modest "swim-to-gym" activewear founded in 2006 by two modern Orthodox Jewish women in New York. All of their products are made from a high quality lightweight quick-drying fabric so you can switch easily between water sports and land sports. 


Solartex Sun Gear was launched in 1999 by two moms. Their products include swim shorts and shirts (including long sleeve surf shirts) that are chlorine resistant and offer 50+ SPF / UPF sun protection. They're available in many different colors and styles for the whole family. The prices are reasonable, and you can get stylish sun-protective hats here too. 


Girls4Sport, a California company run by women for women, are proud purveyors of sport bathing suits and modest swimwear that offer UV sun protection and adjustable coverage for your active lifestyle. You can mix and match tops and bottoms in cute prints and colors to create the outfit that best suits your needs. 


DivinitaSole is the swimwear line of modest clothing retailer Diviine Modestee, a Utah company that caters to Mormon women. Their swimsuits provide a perfect fit for every body type, and their designs flatter every shape while maintaining modest coverage. Choose from mix and match separates to create the perfect suit. 


Lands End tankini and tunic bathing suits are relatively modest and attractive, with lots of different choices and sizes for everyone. You can also mix and match bikinis, camis, and skirts for a stylishly modest layered look. The company has a reputation for long-lasting, high quality apparel. has a nice selection of modest boyleg swimsuits, swimdresses, and swim separates. 



Generation Lost, by Leah Kmosko


I'd Rather Be Beautiful

A friend of mine recently explained to me the difference between a "hot" girl and a "pretty" girl.

"She's hot," he said, pointing out a tall, thin girl in our class who dressed like she was from some Hollywood fashion show. "She has that body...ya know, she could be a model. But her face isn't particularly...pretty or anything."

"But don't models have to be pretty?" I asked, which he responded to with one of the most condescending looks I've ever seen.

I should have known. It's fairly obvious that, to be hot, you could be faceless and brainless too and the guy wouldn't even care. All you need is that "perfect" body that most guys desire.

I know that this isn't a particularly new concept or anything, I'm sure this has been going on years and years before I was even born. But what is new is the extent to which it's being taken to in society today. Girls and women are under constant pressure from every direction to lose weight so they can achieve that ideal body, which according to ANAD (National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders) is possessed naturally by only 5% of American females. TV shows, ads, magazines, and people are all telling the other 95% that they're supposed to spend most of their time dieting, exercising like crazy, and doing whatever it takes to be like the 5%. That's ridiculous!

Now obesity is a growing problem in this country and some people do need to diet and lose weight to maintain their health. But we're not even talking about that! We're talking about girls wanting to get surgeries to alter their bodies. We're talking about girls starting all the way back in 1st grade who are so influenced by TV and magazines that they want to be thinner. First grade. Do you realize how insane that is? My little sister, Anna, is in 1st grade and I can't even imagine her thinking about stuff like that at this age. No wonder women are so much more likely than men to develop eating disorders. If you're thinking about yourself and your body this way from the time you're 7 years old, that will definitely influence you throughout the rest of your life.

I don't see anything wrong with exercising and eating healthy. But if you're a healthy teenage girl, you should not be obsessed with losing weight and changing your body because people have said mean things to you or so you can get a boyfriend who's only interested in "hot" girls! People are not worth it, and a guy who thinks like that is not worth it. And I know how it feels to be teased about your weight. When I was 10 probably until I was 12 I was a little on the fat side. I got made fun of by lots of kids my age about it too. But it never affected me in such a way that I was driven to not eating or purging or obsessively managing my weight. I did end up losing a lot of that extra weight anyway, and I still don't have that body!

Don't get me wrong, it's not like I don't wish I did from time to time. That's how society has affected our generation. It's like built into your brain or something, "Your worth is determined by the way you look." But you have to be able to look past that and realize that you are worth SO much more than that. Especially as a woman, you have to believe that you don't have to be a supermodel to get places in life. I mean, look at Oprah! She's one of the most influential, rich, powerful women in the world, and she's not thin. Because that. Doesn't. Matter.

So what I'm about to say is so cliche and overdone that you will probably roll your eyes BUT...what each and every girl needs to remember is that she is beautiful. Beautiful is not hot. Beautiful is not pretty. Beautiful is what you are inside and what you become on the outside. If you are a confident, happy, nice, good person I guarantee you people will look at you (guys and girls) and know that you are beautiful. Of course, there are always those who will hate on you. That's unavoidable no matter what you look like. But it's your attitude toward them that matters. Forget about what people say. (Okay, extremely corny moment is OVER.)

After that conversation with my friend, I couldn't help thinking back to that "hot" girl he had pointed out. Sure, plenty of guys probably look at her all the time and call her that. But is that necessarily a good thing? Think about it: she has tons of guys lusting over her body, calling her unpretty, and completely ignoring the fact that she is a person with a personality and a mind. Wow. I think...I'd rather be beautiful.


Leah Kmosko, 16, has been homeschooled her entire life. She has always loved writing, and plans to pursue it (in some form) as a career. Generation Lost consists of her views and opinions about what's going on with teens and young adults in the world today.



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The Razor's Edge,by Madeleine Richey


A Different Reality: Bipolar Disorder


There is a world very different from ours in which some of our friends live. It's a world that is within ours but strange to us; a different reality.


I had the unfortunate opportunity to witness what Bipolar Disorder can do to a life. It's funny how those little pills can hold our lives in the balance. Without them some of us spiral out of control. Our eyes deceive us; even though they seem on the outside to recover from an episode, their world is still unstable, and in an instant it can go bad and there is nothing anyone can do about it.


Bipolar Disorder is commonly known as Manic-Depressive Disorder; it is a mood disorder, which is commonly diagnosed by a Physiatrist. It is recognized by elevated moods, or Manias. Sufferers of Bipolar Disorder often experience Manias, states of depression, or combinations of the two, punctuated by periods of normal moods. In cases of rapid cycling, the mood swings occur at least four times within a time period of twelve months; some might experience ultra-rapid cycling, where they could have mood swings up to several times a day.


When a severe mania occurs, a person suffering from Bipolar Disorder might also become hallucinatory, a symptom of a psychotic episode. Linked to creativity, many people famous for creative minds and goal-driven accomplishments have suffered from Bipolar Disorder.


The exact cause of Bipolar Disorder has yet to be discovered, but chances of a child being diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder have been shown to be higher when the father is of advanced age at the time of conception. Unbalanced levels of Serotonin, Dopamine, and Glutamate (some of the hormones most affected with the use of common street drugs) have been proposed as causes for Bipolar Disorder, but studies have not been able to replicate results or come up with consistent factors for a possible cause.


Mood changes are often associated with periods of stress that can trigger a manic or depressive state in a bipolar person. Environment has also proven to play a role in Bipolar Disorder: adults diagnosed with Bipolar disorder reported a higher percentage of stressful occurrences in their youth, such as abuse or traumatic experiences, and, the higher the number of abusive or traumatic experiences, the earlier the onset of Bipolar Disorder.


The medicines used to treat Bipolar Disorder are most commonly mood stabilizers, the most prominent of these being lithium carbonate, which is used to treat acute manic episodes; it is more effective in treating manic episodes than depressive states. The use of lithium carbonate shows a reduced risk of suicide, death, or self-harm. Lamotrigine is used in the treatment of depression, most effective for severe depressive attacks. Carbamazepine, an anticonvulsant, was commonly prescribed for the treatment of manic episodes in the 1980s and 90s, but was then replaced by sodium valproate, another anticonvulsant, which is also effective in treating manic episodes.


Unfortunately, the use of such drugs as sodium valproate, have been shown to have a high risk of birth defects in pregnant women. They also can also cause unpleasant side effects; sedation, uncontrollable shaking, or hair loss.


People who are experiencing a manic episode often have a huge increase in energy, spending hours at a time on their feet and participating in vigorous exercise without ceasing, never feeling tired or the need for sleep, sleeping three to four hours a night, or going days with none and no lapse in their energy levels. They might become aggressive, or intolerant of other people; sexual drive may increase, and they easily slip into substance abuse. When suffering a manic episode, they are easily distracted with a short attention span, and may go on spending sprees with no self control due to impaired judgment. They might also feel as if they have been specially chosen for a special mission, and express other such delusions.


A depressive episode is recognized by; anxiety, severe sadness, hopelessness, an indifferent attitude, short attention span, morbidity, and/or loss of interest in sexual activity and other activities usually found to be pleasurable. A major depressive episode can last anywhere from two weeks to six months. A depressed state of mind can often lead to suicidal thoughts or actions and self harm, sometimes leading to hospitalization.


Bipolar Disorder often becomes apparent in adolescence and young adulthood, but is sometimes diagnosed in children. Often misdiagnosed, it can take more than ten years for a correct diagnosis and for treatment to begin, putting those suffering from Bipolar Disorder, and those around them, at risk from their uncontrollable behaviors. Bipolar Disorder shares many symptoms with Schizophrenia.


Bipolar Disorder is a misunderstood mental illness, often leading to the feeling of isolation. Unfortunately, self-treatment in the form of stopping medicine is common in Bipolar Disorder, and, without the stabilizing effects of the drugs, many people lose control of their lives, leading themselves in a downward spiral of self-destructive behavior, becoming paranoid and unable to make educated judgments, and further leading themselves astray.


Dealing with a person struggling with Bipolar Disorder, especially when they are experiencing a manic or depressive episode, is taxing on a relationship. When off their meds, paranoia often makes bipolar people hard to trust; it might be the truth, or an invention of their imagination. What seems like a normal world to us can be a strange place to someone with Bipolar Disorder. It is truly a different reality.


Madeleine, 16, says: "I want to help people and I want to tell stories, especially the stories of people who don't have a voice of their own...The people who we brand as crazy or criminals, addicts, or damned for homicide or suicide, are people just like you and me."



  Game Review, by Andrew






Diablo 3


I find Diablo3 deeply troubling. On the one hand, it's a blast to tear through the beautiful isometric environments and it feeds my nostalgia for Diablo2. On the other hand, it crushes any and all enjoyment under the weight of bad game design, poor story writing and a development team that apparently has zero interest in what their community likes and dislikes. 


At first glance, Diablo3looks and plays very much like its predecessors. So much so that I found myself drawing comparisons in innovation and development time to the likes of Duke Nukem Forever. But those brash first impressions would be wrong. Yes indeed, quite a lot of time and thought went into making Diablo3, or at least into making its real money auction house. You see the auction house is the root cause of most of Diablo3's problems, from the server issues at launch and always on DRM to the anti-cheating measures that punish players more than cheaters. All are measures to safeguard Blizzard's precious 15% cut off all real money auction house transactions. 


You see, it's no longer good enough for them to simply take your sixty dollars, or even to come right out and add a subscription fee. No, the sad fact is that Diablo3 is the face of a game designed for generating profits to the exclusion of all else, and it is an ugly face indeed. Bad design and broken mechanics litter the game to such an extent that a very large portion of end game content is simply not possible for whole sections of the community. Patch 1.0.3 is now the latest in Blizzard's long string of mis-steps, not only continuing the mediocrity, but worsening it. This patch destroyed the value of hard earned items and now forces players to spend most of their in-game gold on nothing more than equipment maintenance. 


Surprisingly, despite the design team's best efforts to derail the game, the level designers and artists are clearly masters of their trade. Cut scenes and concept art are lovingly rendered with such gorgeous detail that it really is a treat to view them. 


The level designers have mastered the isometric perspective both for game play and for story-telling, delivering rich environments with varied and interesting enemies for you to fight. Visually, Diablo3 is without a doubt the best in its class. 


But the shining beacon of hope from the visuals is quickly tarnished by awful writing. From start to finish, you will see the game's vain attempts at plot twists long before the characters do and the dialog is generally very bland and unimaginative. Overall, the "story" really does feel like a decade old game. We've been there and done that. 


The final question when reviewing a game must always be "Is it fun", and the answer is yes. For an old fan of Diablo2, it felt good to get back to my gaming roots for a while. But bad game design and broken mechanics make short work of the enjoyment, leaving a lingering bad taste that is exceedingly hard to shake. This goes to show that designing a game for nothing more than profit, with no interest in player feedback, will always be a sure way to doom a game.



Andrew Epps is an 18 year old life long homeschooler with a love of reading, writing, and video games.






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


Rippler by Cidney Swanson 


Rippler, by Cidney Swanson    


What if you could become invisible? Samantha can - and someone wants her dead. 

Just when Samantha Ruiz finally starts making friends and feeling happy again, an alarming problem arises: she becomes invisible at random intervals. After such an occurrence during a kayaking adventure, a teammate reveals that this is caused by a very rare gene. She and her teammate, Will, begin an adventure of research and secrets in an attempt to help Sam take control of her Rippler's Syndrome while Will and his older sister try to find answers to the scientific mysteries and strange murders surrounding research of this gene.


For a self-published book, this was amazing. Actually, for any publication method, this book was amazing. The cover and description themselves drew me in, and everything kept going up from there. The characters were easy to relate to and realistic; the back stories were believable and true to the character's present situations. The plot was original and very well-backed-up, although the ending was somewhat a cliffhanger. The scientific aspect was amazingly created. This is one teen book with the perfect blend of romance and adventure - the perfect mix of originality and truth.


From what I understand, this is the author's debut novel. I must say that if she knows how to market her work, the stunning quality of her work will do the rest of the work. I expect to see her climb the ladder of teen fiction popularity soon. My only complaint was the use of curse words. In several areas, the author hinted at cursing without actually writing the words - this shows taste and reality at the same time. However, as the book progressed, the hinting shifted to use of the actual words, and this just turns me away. Why ruin a great story with bad language? Simply because it's in the real world doesn't mean it has to be on the page. 
I give this book four stars, and am absolutely dying to read book two. 
I received this book for free through LibraryThing in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.



Emily Rachelle is a homeschooled sophomore in love with Jesus and the world of words. You can read more book reviews, as well as poetry, opinions, and everyday chatter at her blog, Blog of a (Maybe) Teen Author (

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College Bound:

Homeschool Friendly Colleges



 APU Logo


Azusa Pacific University


"After being homeschooled for six years," says Homeschooling Teen columnist Catherine Munoz, "My next step is to attend nursing school at Azusa Pacific University." She reports, "Azusa Pacific University is considered a homeschooler-friendly private Christian college. I LOVE it: took a tour of the school with my mom and my boyfriend. It is really exciting: this next chapter of education-- attending a university will be different from my current homeschool approach. Now, I will be talking to professors, interacting with fellow students, taking tests, learning new study techniques and-- best of all-- come closer to realizing my dream of earning my nursing degree."


Azusa Pacific University (APU) is one of the top Christian colleges in the nation and it was the first Bible college on the West Coast. The main campus is situated in the San Gabriel Valley, 26 miles northeast of Los Angeles, near Pasadena. The university also maintains seven off-site regional centers in Southern California and offers online degrees. Ranked as one of the nation's best colleges by U.S. News & World Report and the Princeton Review, APU holds regional accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.


The college was founded in 1899 as the Training School for Christian Workers, with classes starting on March 3, 1900 in Whittier, California. In 1939 the Training School became Pacific Bible College and began offering four-year degrees. In 1956, the name was changed to Azusa College. Azusa College merged in 1965 with Los Angeles Pacific College and became Azusa Pacific College, and Azusa Pacific College merged with Arlington College three years later. Upon its achievement of university status in 1981, the college changed its name to Azusa Pacific University.


During the 1990s, APU began offering not only undergraduate but also graduate degrees, and during that decade the university's first three doctoral programs were awarded. Student enrollment doubled, and graduate programs quadrupled throughout the decade. In addition, the school began offering accelerated degree programs and non-degree granting training for working professionals. The university currently offers 53 undergraduate majors, 37 master's degrees, 14 certificates, 21 credentials, and 8 doctoral programs.


The schools and colleges at APU are well-known for excellence in higher education among top Christian colleges and universities. 74% of full-time faculty holds doctorate, first professional, or other terminal degrees in their field. With over 5,000 students, APU's undergraduate student body is the largest in the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (although Indiana Wesleyan University has a larger total student body) and the second largest evangelical undergraduate student body in the U.S., behind only Liberty University. APU's total student population is nearly 10,000 and yet the university still provides a low student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1.  


APU emphasizes a commitment to partner with the local community, so a service-learning component is included in many courses where students are sent outside the classroom. The Neighborhood Wellness Center, for example, is a university-run clinic that brings student nursing services to the public, and the Azusa Reads Program enlists students to teach local children how to read. A unique off-campus academic alternative, the High Sierra Semester (formerly Great Works) lets students study classic Western art, music, and thought in the scenic setting of the Sierra Nevada mountains. APU also offers the Los Angeles Term, Azusa Oxford Program, the South Africa Semester, and more than 40 other national and international study opportunities.


On campus, APU students have the opportunity to form new relationships through common interests by joining various clubs and organizations. There are social clubs, service clubs, academic clubs, athletic clubs, intramural sports, music ensembles, theater productions, student publications, ethnic organizations, and ministry opportunities. In addition, an Outdoor Adventures program provides participants with recreational day trips, weekend trips, and special events that include rock climbing, hiking, bike tours, beachcombing, skiing, kayaking, canyoneering, geocaching, and canoeing.


APU is for students with a strong Christian faith and a dedication to spreading their faith once they graduate. The school's mission statement reads: "Azusa Pacific University is an evangelical Christian community of disciples and scholars who seek to advance the work of God in the world through academic excellence in liberal arts and professional programs of higher education that encourage students to develop a Christian perspective of truth and life."A strong, clear, unswervingly evangelical Christian worldview permeates the university and guides its activities. Applicants must show evidence of sympathetic appreciation for the standards and spirit of the university, and exhibit moral character in harmony with its purpose.


Newly-enrolled student Catherine Munoz says "APU is generally known for being a relatively easy school to be accepted into [and] is actually very lenient in regards to homeschooled applicants." According to the official APU website, admission for homeschool studentsis based on the completed application with emphasis on the student's SAT or ACT scores. Homeschool graduates who don't have an official high school transcript are not required to take a GED test or the California High School Proficiency Examination. If no transcript is available, the student will be sent a transcript evaluation form to be completed by the primary teacher. The transcript evaluation and academic reference may be completed by a parent if that individual was the primary teacher. In assessing the applicant's potential for success, his or her academic capabilities as well as involvement in church, school, and community activities will be reviewed.


For more information about how Azusa Pacific University can help you reach your goals, go to


His Story, His World by Aubrey Tuggle, 17


A Day in Spain: A Day in the Life of Spaniard Jose Real


Hola! Mi nombre es Jose Real! (My name is Jose Real) That's pronounced "hose-ay ray-all," by the way. I live in Madrid, the capital of Spain. It is a very busy place with over five million people. That's packed!


Another neat fact: While it often reaches 105 degrees here in Madrid, in the winter it often falls to below zero! According to the TV, however, it should only be about eighty-three degrees tomorrow. I'm on vacation, and I'd love it if you spent the day with me tomorrow. You will? Okay, see you bright and early!


Sabado (Saturday) 8:00 am - Time to wake up! Breakfast for me today will be a slice of fresh bread (bought yesterday at a local market) with butter and some coffee. I take it black, and it's called cafe con nero. Don't worry, I won't get hungry with such a light breakfast because we Spaniards eat a lot of snacks.


8:30 am - I turn on the TV to watch an exciting and suspenseful game of soccer between Spain's two primary teams: FC Barcelona and Real Madrid. Of course I am rooting for my home team. Go, Madrid! I will wear my cap with the team's colors, white and blue, today.


9:30 am - Hit the Cafe Madrid for another cup of coffee and some polvoron cookies before heading to the Museo del Prado (art museum).


10:30 am - Well, here we are! The Prado museum! It is very large.


The Prado museum 


1:30 pm - Boy, is it late! The museum was awesome. There were a lot of paintings by native artists, especially Velasquez and Goya.


2:00 pm - I stop by a little outdoor market to buy some fresh avocados. I will make fresh salsa soon!


1:45 pm - Home at last. It sure is hot! Excuse me while I take a siesta.


4:45 pm - Wakey, wakey! I'll never make it 'til dinner, so I am going to dish up some omelets. Would you like some? Here is my special recipe from my Tia (aunt) Margarita.


Omelet Espanol


1/2 pint of olive oil

5 medium (40 oz each) baking potatoes, peeled, sliced and lightly sprinkled with salt

1/2 yellow onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

5 eggs



Heat the olive oil in a 9-inch skillet and add the potato slices carefully, because the salt will make the oil splatter. Try to keep the potato slices separated so they will not stick together. Cook, turning occasionally, over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the onions and garlic and cook until the potatoes are tender. Drain into a colander, leaving about 3 tablespoons of oil in the skillet.


Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the eggs with a pinch of salt. Add the potatoes, and stir to coat with the egg. Add the egg-coated potatoes to the very hot oil in the skillet, spreading them evenly to completely cover the base of the skillet. Lower the heat to medium and continue to cook, shaking the pan frequently, until mixture is half set.


Use a plate to cover the skillet and invert the omelet away from the hand holding the plate (so as not to burn your hand with any escaping oil). Add 1 tablespoon oil to the pan and slide the omelet back into the skillet on its uncooked side. Cook until completely set. Allow the omelet to cool, and then cut it into wedges. Season it with salt and sprinkle with lemon juice to taste (optional). Serve warm or at room temperature. Yummy!


6:00 pm - We'll get a snack at the Balzac restaurant. You may have noticed that we passed it on our way to the Prado; it is quite near. I think I will order the tuna and tomato dish. It is very delicioso! We'll make our way to that big market over there to hang out. Don't worry, Spaniards usually stay up quite late. You will meet some "gypsies" there. They try to tell my fortune with Tarot cards, but I'm not superstitious! Most of these scarves and things you see hanging up are homemade, and they sure are pretty--Wait! Do I smell quesedillas cooking? I think they're in that stall over there. Let's get some!


7:30 pm - Dinner at La Monterrey (the mountain). There is a show with cowboys and flamenco dancers. Fun!


9:30 pm - Home at last, and time for bed. Thanks for spending the day with me!


About the Author: My name is Aubrey Tuggle, and I am a seventeen year old freshman. I am the oldest of three siblings under seven, so the house is never quiet! However, I still find time to pursue my hobbies of reading and writing. I would love to become a freelance writer, and am pursuing a writing career. 





The Sports Report, by Caela


What Happened at the Belmont? - Well unfortunately there will not be a Triple Crown winner because I'll Have Another had to pull out of the Belmont due to a sore muscle in his right leg. The horse that won the Belmont was Union Rags. I'll Have Another is the fourth horse to win the first two races and not run or finish the Belmont. Thus give up their chance at the Triple Crown. So congratulations to Union Rags and his jockey and management team on a huge win in the equestrian world.


NBA Championship - This year's NBA Championship was won by the Miami Heat. To get to the finals they beat the New York Knicks in the first round, the Indiana Pacers in the second round, and the Boston Celtics in the semi finals to go to the finals. In the finals they had to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder to win the second NBA Championship in their team's history. In game one the Thunder beat the Heat 105-94 to make the series 1-0. Game two the Heat beat the Thunder 100-96 to tie the series 1-1. Game three the Heat beat the Thunder 91-85 to make the series 2-1. Game four the Heat beat the Thunder 104-98 to make the series 3-1. Game five the Heat beat the Thunder 121-106 to take the series 4-1. Lebron James ended his quest for his first NBA Championship. He also won the MVP of the finals. Congratulations to the Miami Heat on winning the Championship; enjoy the next year and good luck next season.


Stanley Cup Winner - The 2012 Stanley Cup winners are the Los Angeles King. The Kings got to the Stanley Cup finals by beating the Vancouver Canucks in the first round, the St. Louis Blues in the second round, and the Phoenix Coyotes in the semi finals. To win the Stanley Cup they beat the New Jersey Devils. In game one the beat the Devils 2-1 in overtime to make the series 1-0. Game two they beat the Devils again 2-1 in overtime to make the series 2-0. Game three they beat the Devils 4-0 to make the series 3-0. Game four the Devils beat the Kings 3-1 to make the series 3-1. Game five the Devils beat the Kings 2-1 to make the series 3-2. Game six the Kings beat the Devils 6-1 to take the series and the Stanley Cup for the first time in the team's history. Chris Brown, the King's captain, is the second US born captain to lead his team to the Stanley Cup. The other is Derian Hatcher for the Dallas Stars. Congratulations to the Kings on their first Stanley Cup. Enjoy being the Stanley Cup Champions for the next year and good luck next season.


The 112th U.S. Open - The second major of the year and this year's US Open went to Webb Simpson. In the first round Webb shot a 72 +2 over par six off the lead at -4 under par. In the second round he shot a 73 to go to +5 over par six off the lead again, but the lead was at -1 under par. In the third round he shot a 68 -2 under par to go to +3 over par four off the lead that was still at -1 under par. In the final round he shot another 68-2 under par to go to +1 over par to win the US Open. Now I know what you are thinking how is that possible if the lead was at -1 under par. Sad to say the leaders didn't do very well in the final round and ended up losing by one shot. This is Webb's first Major and the third win of his career. If you want to know more about Webb go to my March Article. He is in my paper about the Christian Golfers. Webb's wife Dowd is now seven months pregnant. The baby is due in early August. Since the baby is due in early August Webb will not play in the next Major, which is the Open Championship that is held in late July. Well, congratulations to Webb on his first major and the coming of his second child. God bless and the best wishes for the rest of Dowd's pregnancy. 


The 2012 French Open - The French Open was won by Rafael Nadal of Spain. This is the seventh French Open of his career. In the First Round he beat Simone Bolelli of Italy. In the Second Round he beat Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan. In the Third Round he beat Eduardo Schwank of Argentina. In the Fourth Round he beat Juan Manaco of Argentina. In the Quarter Finals he beat Nicolas Almagro of Spain. In the Semi Finals he beat David Ferrer of Spain. This meant he would meet Novak Djokovic in the Finals for the fourth major finals in a row. In the Final Round he won the first set and finished half of the second set before a rain delay. After an hour and a half rain delay they finished the second set. Rafael Nadal won the second set and they started the third set but half way through the third set there was another rain delay. This delay pushed the match to the next day. The next day they finished the match without any delays. Novak Djokovic won the third set but Rafael Nadal came back to win the fourth set and win the match and his seventh French Open. Here are some cool facts about Rafael Nadal throughout his career and the tournament. He has the most French Open wins in Tennis History with Seven Wins. During the French Open he only lost one set the whole Tournament and that set he lost to Novak Djokovic in the Finals. This French Open win gives him eleven Major Titles. His is one of only two male tennis players in Tennis History to win all the Majors and a Gold medal in the Olympics, the other is Andre Agassi. He is the World Number Two right behind Novak Djokovic. Well, congratulations to Rafael Nadal on his win and Good Luck in the rest of the Majors this year.


Sports Events in July


MLB: In July there will be 382 baseball games; except on July 6 through July 10, because it is All-Star Weekend.


Men's Tennis: Wimbledon June 25 to July 8, there is four different tournaments from July 9 to July 15 the Skistar Swedish Open, Campbell's Hall of Fame Tennis Championships, the Mercedes Cup, and the Studena Croatia Open. There are three tournaments from July 16to July 22 the German Open Tennis Championships, the Allianz Suisse Open, and the Atlanta Tennis Championships. From July 23 to July 29 is the Farmer's Classic and the Legg Mason Tennis classic July 30 to August 5.


Women's Tennis: Wimbledon June 25 to July 8, the XXV Snai Open and the Band of the West Classic are both from July 9 to July 15. The Sony Ericsson Swedish Open and the Mercury Insurance Open are both from July 16 to July 22. The Baku Cup July 23 to July 28 and the Citi Open July 30 to August 5.


PGA Golf Tour: AT&T National June 28 to July 1, The Greenbrier Classic July 5 to  July 8, John Deere Classic July 12to July 15, True South Classic and The Open Championship July 19 to July 22, and RBC Canadian Open July 26 to July 29.


European Golf Tour: The Irish Open June 28 to July 1, Alstom Open de France July 5 to July 8, Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open July 12 to July 15, The Open Championship July 19 to July 22, and Lyoness Open July 25 to July 28.


Ladies PGA Golf Tour: Walmart NW Arkansas Championship June 29 to July 1, U.S. Women's Open July 5 to July 8, and Evian Masters July 26 to July 29.


Summer Olympics: The Summer Olympics start on July 27 and end on August 12.


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



Career-of-the-Month: Nurse


Nurses take care of people who are sick, injured, convalescent, or disabled. Many nurses work in hospitals and doctors' offices. Nurses help doctors examine and treat patients. They ask patients about their symptoms and keep detailed records. They treat wounds, administer medicine, monitor medical equipment, and perform routine medical tests. They also help keep patients comfortable, and provide emotional support for patients and their families. Besides working in health care facilities, nurses can work for public health agencies, schools, camps, prisons, industry, the military, and in other venues.


Nurses can focus on treating one type of patient such as babies, children, or women. They can also specialize in a particular type of problem such as cardiac care, oncology, or mental health. Operating room nurses assist doctors during surgery. Other nurses work in emergency rooms or intensive care units. Some nurses run clinics and immunization centers. Home health nurses visit people's homes to help them. Many nurses work in nursing homes and care for the elderly. Some nurses have special training and can do more advanced work. Nurse midwives help with the birth of babies. Flight nurses fly in helicopters to reach sick or injured people in emergencies. Experienced nurses can become head nurses or directors of nursing.


Non-bedside nurses teach people how to take care of themselves and their families. They inform people about diet and exercise, how to prevent disease, and how to follow doctors' instructions. Telephone nurses answer phones and triage patients for health insurance companies and doctor's offices. Some nurses do lab work, and others do office work. Clinical research nurses perform research and analyze data. Legal nurses work with attorneys to review medical documents and determine if medical negligence occurred. Nursing informatics is a relatively new field that combines nursing knowledge with computers and information technology.


There are multiple entry levels into nursing. Some nurses start by completing a state-approved one-year training program. It takes two years of college to attain an associate degree in nursing. A hospital-based nursing diploma program usually takes about three years. It takes four years to finish a bachelor degree in nursing. There are online nursing degree programs, as well as Master of Science in Nursing degrees and Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees. Nurses that study at a post-graduate level are called Advanced Practice Nurses. Nurse practitioners are advanced practice nurses who have obtained their masters degree and can prescribe medications. Nurses at the Ph.D. level are most likely to move into education and research positions.


All nurses study anatomy, biology, chemistry, nutrition, pathology, physiology, pharmacology, psychology, and nursing theory. Prerequisites include basic math and English. Nursing education includes classroom lectures and hands-on learning with experienced nurses in hospitals and other places. This is called clinical training. Even online students are required to complete applied learning projects in a healthcare setting. Nursing students must complete rigorous assessments (tests, papers, assignments) to demonstrate competence in each subject area. After graduating, nurses need to pass an exam to get a nursing license. Then they have to take continuing education classes to keep their skills current.


A registered nurse (RN) is a nurse who has graduated from a 2- or 4-year nursing program at a college or university and has passed a national licensing exam. Many nurses first start out as a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or licensed vocational nurse (LVN). LPNs are considered, by most state boards of nursing, to be basic care nurses who work under the direction of registered nurses and physicians. RNs are considered, by most state boards of nursing, to be professional nurses. But the scope of practice of RNs and LPNs, including what tasks they may or may not perform, is regulated by each state. Also, different facilities can have varying job descriptions and roles. Some LPNs may supervise nursing assistants and aides. Many doctor's offices hire LVNs, while many hospitals prefer RNs.


Nurses must be patient and kind when dealing with sick people and uncooperative patients. They need to be good at recognizing problems and remembering details. Nurses may have to help many patients at once, and the job can be stressful especially when managing medical emergencies. Hospital nurses may be required to work nights, weekends, and holidays. They spend a lot of time walking, standing, and bending over patients. Nurses with specialized training or experience are often in high demand. If you are a compassionate, caring person with good communication skills and like to help people, nursing may be the right career for you.


Related Occupations:

Dental hygienist



Medical lab assistant

Pharmacy assistant

Physical therapist

Physician assistant




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


"If we can stop him, we shall prevent the collapse of Western civilization... No pressure."


(Answer: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows)



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



Horse Breed Heaven  

By Kayla Bignall  



  Hi, I'm Kayla and I am going to start writing an article about horses each month. Each article will have a certain breed that it focuses on. This article is my first so I am going to start by telling a little about me and a few general horse facts.  


I have a Morgan horse named Babylon Dark Jezebel1 (we call her DJ). She is my first horse and we just got her in November. She is 20 years old but she still is able to be ridden. Her birthday is March 30. I plan on having a horse farm when I am older and giving riding lessons. My birthday is August 24. I am new to homeschooling; I have only been doing it since February. I think it is very fun and an interesting experience! 


I am going to list some general horse facts below. 


First off, don't confuse a pony and a horse. They are very different. Horses tend to be thinner and are usually 14.2 hands or taller. Ponies are usually stockier with shorter legs and head and are less than 14.2 inches. Do you ever wonder just how many horse and pony breeds there are? Well,there are over 600 horse and pony breeds in the world today. There are natural and also man-made breeds that come from breeding two horses of different breeds. 


Horses can seem gentle but still be cautious around them. If they see or hear something they think is a predator and run away, they don't care who or what is in front of them, either it moves, or they move it. Also, don't stand in their blind spots. They cannot see directly behind or in front of them. They may kick out if they don't see you. You should never run up behind a horse. Remember, horses are prey animals so they have a natural fight-or-flight response, so they could think you are a predator if they cannot see you.


This month we will be discussing the Abtenauer:


Horse - Abtenauer 


The Abtenauer originated in the Abtenau Valley in Austria. They are normally used for draft work, because they are cold-blooded horses (Muscular heavy-set horses). Theses horses are about 14.3-15 hands high. They can be black, brown, or blue roan. The Abtenauer is very willing and quiet but there are only a little over 100 left! They were bred in an isolated area so they are totally pure-bred, no other breed has edited or changed it. They are a mountain breed and are known for their flowing trot. They have strong legs and a well-shaped head. Sometimes, a baby will be born with a curly coat that is lost when its baby fur sheds.


Kayla is 13 years old and lives in Columbiaville, MI. She has a younger sister; two dogs, Macy and Emmy; fourteen chickens; and a Morgan horse named Babylon Dark Jezebel (we call her DJ)! 


Homeschooling High School: Helpful Tips


Do Your Homework before Heading to College


With the high cost of tuition today, many families of college-bound high school seniors wonder how they are going to afford their college education. Credit Union West encourages you to do your homework to find creative ways to reduce costs. Here are some ideas to get you started:


1. Take as many Advanced Placement (AP) courses as possible. Encourage your student to take AP courses and prepare well for AP exams. High scores on AP exams can save considerably on college tuition. Many colleges award course credits for them, which can reduce the amount you need to pay in tuition.


2. Pay less for a four-year degree. You can save on costs if the student attends a community college for two years and then transfers to a pricier school for his or her remaining two years. However, be sure that the college to which the student plans to transfer will accept the credits from the community college.


3. If you have to borrow, pursue federal loans first. Avoid having the student take on private loans.


4. Take advantage of education tax benefits. After all, a dollar you can save on your taxes is worth the same as getting an additional dollar in grant or scholarship aid. Visit to learn more.


6. Refrain from putting tuition on a credit card. If you put large tuition payments on credit and do not immediately pay the amount in full, you will end up spending significantly more money in the long run due to the credit card interest rates.


5. Check out the Department of Education's College Navigator ( ), which lets you search for details about colleges throughout the U.S., including tuition and housing costs, majors and degrees offered and typical SAT scores of students attending. You can even build a list of schools for side-by-side comparisons.


Visit to download our free BudgetSmart Software. By planning now, sticking to your goals and reviewing your progress, you should be able to help with your children's college education.


Source: Accel Financial Services; Contributed by: Credit Union West