Homeschooling Teen



Homeschooling Teen Profile: Jonathan Woodbury


College-Bound: Regent University


Stepping Stones: by Michaela


The World Around Us: by Adrianna


The Razor's Edge: by Madeleine


Catherine's Column: by Catherine


Laughter, Tears, and Our Teen Years: by McKennaugh


The Sports Report: by Caela


Libbi's Nonfiction Book Review: Not a Fan - Teen Edition


Bookshelf of a (Maybe) Teen Author: Taken Away


Anime Review: by Xbolt


Game Review: Garry'sMod


Horse Breed Heaven: by Kayla


Homeschooling High School: Answers for Teens


Career-of-the-Month: Optometrist, Ophthalmologist, Optician, and Orthoptist


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.   


Sylvan SAT/ACT® Prep can help you prepare.  
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Laughter, Tears, and Our Teen Years, by McKennaugh




Dear Friends,


My column is called Laughter, Tears, and Our Teen Years. Well, this month it's on tears. Yuri and Viktor's tears. Some of you may have read Teri Olsen's article that spoke of my site and the children that I was trying to advocate for. One of them, Levina, had received a family awhile before the article went into Homeschooling Teen. Today, her family will be meeting her for the first time. They will hold her and kiss her and love her like she has never been loved. They will try to give her back all the life that she was denied in the Ukrainian orphanage. Levina has so many special needs you can't pronounce them. She is as stiff as a board. She can't even bend at the waist from lying in a crib for over 7 years. She is 15 pounds from starvation. She will never walk or speak or play. Her gorgeous eyes will never see. Despite all this, a family chose to bring her home. She is one of the very few Ukrainian special needs children who will be rescued from a life-and death-in a crib.


  Ukranian Orphans


I came home from Ukraine with the goal to find families for three, though, not one.

The other two are boys, Viktor and Yuri. In the next 2 months, both of them will turn six. Last year, I held these little guys and made them laugh in a world where there's nothing to laugh at.


Due to Teri's article in March, a family decided they would try to adopt Yuri. However, they are missionaries, and thus have very low income. Because of this, they were not allowed to proceed with his adoption. (Ukraine has no income requirements, but the US does.)




Yuri, with his sparkling brown eyes and beautiful smile, is still living behind bars. And soon he will be sent to a mental institution. Almost all children with ANY special need in Ukraine (even if it is not a mental disability) are sent to these institutions at age four to seven, depending on the orphanage. At Yuri and Viktor's orphanage, the children are lucky; they usually get to stay until age 6 or 7. Yuri was due to be transferred already, however. He has microcephally and other special needs. Because the family was coming, the orphanage tried to put a hold on the transfer. But now they can't come. What will happen to Yuri? Will he go to a mental institution? If so, there is a chance that he will soon die, due to the terrible conditions there.




Viktor will also be transferred before long. He has microcephally, spastic tetraparesis, and partial atrophy of the optic nerves. We were also told at the orphanage that he had Down Syndrome. I believe his ankles are deformed and he cannot walk. Perhaps in the US he could get an operation that will allow him to run across the room. He desperately needs the love that a mommy and daddy can give him. He needs someone who can be patient and willing to help him with all the problems he has. Someone who has lots of time to teach him how to cuddle and walk and enjoy life.


 I'd be thrilled if I got just 10 people to tell Yuri and Viktor's story.


Will you be the first one to share? Call a friend! Post on your website, blog or Facebook! Send out an email to all the contacts in your email account and ask them to pass it along, as well!


If you decide to help get the word out, can you please let me know that you are telling their story? Email me at


You can go to my site, to find out more about these two children. Remember, there ARE people out there that would be willing to adopt them... it's just up to us to reach those people. Levina's family didn't fall into my lap. It took months of advocating, hours and hours and hours of computer time, exhausting failures, and never giving up, to finally have someone read her story and say, "Yes. I can do this. I can take her home." Somewhere, someone would be willing to give these little guys life-but on my own, I can't find the family that will say, "Yes." I need you. Please help me. --McKennaugh  


Download a flyer to print out and distribute at church or in your homeschool group: 


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

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National Eye Exam Month


National Inventors Month


National Back-to-School Month


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10-12 Perseid Meteor Shower  


13 International Lefthanders Day


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

The Razor's Edge,by Madeleine Richey


Forbidden Pictures: The Effect of Pornography on Our Lives


Everyone has heard of pornography. Everyone knows what it is. But how many know what it does to us?


Pornography has become a problem in our country. Not only for those of us who consider ourselves to be part of the many faiths that frown upon such sexual exploitation, but even for those who do not. Some forms of pornography are illegal. I repeat; illegal. The laws of our country forbid it. Not only that; it destroys us.


Pornography is defined as sexually explicit material designed to cause sexual arousal. The court has also ruled though, that the making of pornography is not prostitution, but a different offense as a whole. The porn industry in the US alone is estimated to be worth anywhere between $2-$13 billion every year. Unfortunately, pornography is often regulated by "soft core" or "hard core," and as such the courts are often faced with the decision of what is lawful and what is not, depending on the material in question. Not all forms of pornography are illegal, but child porn is an offense punishable by heavy fines and jail time.


Child pornography; being defined as sexually explicit material featuring minors (under the age of 18), is an offense that not only destroys the innocence of childhood for our children, but brings us down to the lowest level. Have we sunk so low that we are using children for our pleasure? Child porn caters to pedophiles, an offense for which other criminals have no tolerance. Criminals have their own form of justice; child abusers often end up dead even in jail, so hated and despised are they by thieves and murderers.


As a whole pornography is vulgar and disgusting, depicting human beings, who are entitled to human dignity, as sex objects for our pleasure. It makes them less than human; and it makes us less than what we deserve to be.


Every faith teaches that humans are entitled to be treated with respect and as a person in their own right, not a toy twisted and turned in a camera lens and photoshopped to appeal to the base desires of others.


The arguments against pornography consist mostly of immorality and legality; what is not commonly argued is the effect it has on our daily lives. The term sexual addiction is rarely used. It is far less commonly heard that crack addiction or weed-fiend, but it is an actual addiction that affects far more people than most of us realize.


A sex addiction is often used to define hypersexuality, where thoughts, feelings, or actions pertaining to sexuality occur more frequently than is considered normal and are often out of the person's control. Many experts classify a sexual addiction as the same as an addiction to nicotine or crack cocaine, while others are still unsure as to whether a sexual addiction does really exist or if it is just a form of hypersexuality or poor self-control. Oftentimes it is associated with bipolar, obsessive compulsive, or narcissistic personality disorder, as some of the symptoms of sexual addiction are the same as with some of these and other disorders.


The disturbing effects of pornography and sex addiction can destroy us. Not only is pornography wrong, it is dangerous. Soft porn leads to hard porn and to a pornography addiction that consumes lives, often blinding those addicted to the people around them. If found in possession of child porn, you can spend years in jail and pay hefty fines. But even beyond the fines and jail time, is its effect on us and the people in our lives. Losing a loved one to a sex addiction is even more shameful than losing them to an addiction to crack cocaine or heroin; it irreparably damages our relationships with the people we love and who love us through hurt, shame, and loss of trust.


Some people say that as adults, entitled to free choice by the laws of our country, we should have the right to view pornography, even child porn, if we see fit. Though the possession of pornography, excepting child porn, is legal in our country, that doesn't make it right; we should remember that those involved in the making of porn are someone's sister, daughter, brother, or son. What if it was someone you loved?


Madeleine, 16, says: "We need to be aware of the problems from which our world suffers; if we're not, we'll never do anything to fix them."




Game Review, by DuneJumper


Garrys Mod  


If you like physics, creativity, and building things, you will like this game!


Garry's Mod (aka Gmod) is a first-person sandbox physics game that's more like a whole playground, there's so much stuff you can do. Gmod was originally created by Garry Newman, an amateur C++ coder living in Britain, as a free mod for Valve's Half-Life 2 game. Gmod became so popular that it was officially released as a full-fledged Steam game on November 29, 2006. (Steam is kind of like iTunes, for PC games.) Half of Gmod's $10 selling price goes to Valve; the other half to Garry and his team. Newman has made over one million dollars from his mod!


Even though it's a stand-alone game, Gmod requires the user to have a Steam account and own at least one game based on the Source engine (such as Half-Life 2, Day of Defeat, Counter-Strike, Portal, Left 4 Dead, or Team Fortress 2). Most of the weapons and props used to build things in Gmod are from Half-Life 2. Many of the household items such as furniture, plants, etc. are from Counter-Strike Source. You can use Gmod with something other than Half-Life 2 (as long as it's a Source game), and you will have all the basic items. But Counter-Strike is recommended if you want to build houses and furnish the rooms. Props can also be selected from any other installed Source game or from a community-created collection.


Unlike most games, Gmod doesn't have any particular objective. There is no "right" way to play and pretty much anything goes. Players create their own fun and entertain themselves through their ability to do whatever they wish in the game world. Players are free to design, build, and experiment by manipulating "props" - various objects that can be placed in-game. Multiple players can work together to build large structures like rollercoasters, fortifications, or even Rube Goldberg devices. You can expect the unexpected when you join a multi-player server, but there are servers for every interest including parkour and role-playing.


Gmod takes advantage of the Source engine's modified version of the Havok Physics Engine, which allows players to build virtual contraptions that follow real laws of physics. You spawn objects and create your own inventions limited only by your imagination. You can make realistic objects like cannons and catapults, or come up with a completely new creation like a bathtub car or a rocket chair. Some players have performed virtual physics-based experiments, like tying together bundles of explosives to see how high they can blast objects into the sky.


Gmod features two "guns" for manipulating objects - a Physics Gun and a Tool Gun. The Physics Gun allows objects to be picked up, adjusted, and frozen in place. The Tool Gun is a multi-purpose tool for performing various tasks. You can use it to weld objects together, install wheels and thrusters, attach ropes and pulleys, make ball-and-socket joints, add balloons, change colors and textures, paint on decals, and make push-buttons that turn things on and off.


Another unique Gmod concept is ragdoll posing. So if you're not too great at construction, you can always play with dolls! You can place the ragdoll characters in silly positions and even adjust their facial expressions. This is a popular method for making Gmod videos. I've had a lot of fun making animations by posing ragdoll models in Gmod, recording the screenshots using Fraps, editing the footage in Sony Vegas, and then posting my videos on YouTube at  


Gmod has a huge community of followers and a multitude of fan-made props, models, skins, maps, and other add-ons. You can find ships, cars, tanks, fireworks, monsters, and just about anything else you can think of! Download some or upload your own at Gmod is a REALLY fun game, and the possibilities are ENDLESS. Watch a gameplay demo:  .  



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Stepping Stones:  

A Monthly Devotional, by Michaela Popielski


Hello guys! Sorry I didn't write last month. I was on a mission trip and in all the craziness forgot to finish my article. But I am finishing it this month. The subject this month is I think going to be about bitterness. Bitterness is horrible and kind of goes along with condemnation and mercy. So don't be surprised if some verses about those subjects pop up too. Well, bitterness is obviously what it means: a feeling of ill will or grudges or wounds that fester and end up destroying us for years if we let it. I've struggled with bitterness and still am at times but I think about how Jesus died on the cross and how he didn't hold any grudges or bitterness against us even though we should have suffered the same fate. Really, pretty cool, right? This brings me to, Mercy. 


Mercy is something that I think human beings as a whole struggle with. If someone ticks us off to a severe degree are we likely to forgive them instantly? Probably not. But God calls us to be merciful so we have to at some point. Or we don't and risk losing everything. Is it easy? Nope. Mercy also has to do with putting pride down. Anyway, back to subject. I know this is short but it is all I can think of. God is a merciful God and that's wonderful. Not having mercy or forgiveness can lead to bitterness. And bitterness is very difficult to get rid of because it literally becomes a part of you and can make you totally different. And it can be a single incident. Like a fight or a tragedy that can totally change you for either good or bad. I've had to learn to give my bitterness to God and to not hold onto it. It is hard but worthwhile. Though as I have said, it is a struggle. Well, I guess I'll start the verses. Also since school is starting soon if it hasn't already started the verse load will be lighter. Adieu, Michaela


Aug.1:  2 Sam. 24:14. Ps. 86

Aug.2:  Ps. 91

Aug.3:  Ps.145. Nehemiah 9:17

Aug.4:  Isa. 20

Aug.5:  Esther 2

Aug.6:  Ps.37

Aug.7:  Josh.11:19-21.  Deu. 13:16-18

Aug.8:  1Chron. 21:12-14. 1 Kings 8:49-51

Aug.9:  Heb.1:1-15

Aug.10: Heb.1: 16-26

Aug.11: Heb1:27-39

Aug.12: Esther 3

Aug.13: Ps.1.

Aug.14: Ps.127

Aug.15: Habakkuk 1:1-11

Aug.16: Habakkuk 1:12-17

Aug.17: Matt. 6:14-16. Luke 16:36-38

Aug.18: Habakkuk 2:1-10

Aug.19: Habakkuk 2:11-20

Aug.20: Isa.21

Aug.21: Esther 4

Aug.22: Jonah 4

Aug.23: Rom. 3:9-19

Aug.24: Rom.5:1-9

Aug.25: Isa. 22

Aug.26: Habakkuk 3:1-10

Aug.27: Habakkuk 3:11-19

Aug.28: Ps.62

Aug.29: Esther 5

Aug.30: Ps.78:1-16

Aug.31: Isa. 23

Catherine's Column


By: Catherine Amaris Munoz


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


"A wise man is full of strength, and a man of knowledge enhances his might." ~Proverbs 24:5


How interesting it is to realize what the loss of a pet can do to ones sense of self... A pet can become so much like part of a family. In late June, my kitty passed away, and he took a piece of my heart along with him-- wherever it is that his sweet, little kitty soul went to. I was at Disneyland celebrating my graduation with my boyfriend when I heard the news that my kitty (who had been unwell for a while) passed away. At the moment when my mom called me and said that he may not make it through the evening, my boyfriend and I both had the same thought: "Dear God, please don't let this precious kitty suffer." We prayed and prayed about it. No more than 15 minutes after the initial phone call, as we were leaving Disneyland and making our way back home to possibly prepare to say our goodbyes, I received another phone call... My kitty hadn't made it. He was in "kitty heaven," and although it pained me to understand that I would never have him back, I was comforted by the idea that God had heard our prayers. My mom said he went "to sleep" as peacefully as anything: even to his last breath he was in the loving arms of his owners who adored him, and even after his last breath he will be adored by us. I'm sure the feeling of loss after the passing of a pet is not uncommon. Chances are, if you are reading this right now, you can relate in one way or another. It was difficult to deal with, but as each day passes, I am able to recall more and more memories of my baby kitty; I was so blessed to have had his companionship for over 16 years. In my opinion he lived a purposeful life, and I am sure that in God's opinion, he is being just as pleasant a pet up there in heaven with Him... Watch over our pets dear Saint Martin de Porres and Saint Francis of Assisi! Amen.




This month's featured Christian music artist is: Mainstay


The Christian rock group Mainstay is comprised of lead vocalist Justin Anderson, guitarist Scott Campbell, bassist Dan Ostebo, and (last, but not least) drummer Ryan DeYounge. Their music is compared to the familiar artists: Kutless, Goo Goo Dolls, Lifehouse and Sanctus Real. They began in 2001 but have been on hiatus since 2008. Hopefully Mainstay will start up again, but until then you can visit their MySpace page at for more info!


August Recipe ~ Easy Blueberry Ice Cream Sandwiches


Servings: Makes 8-10 sandwiches


What you'll need:

1 pint (about 3 cups) blueberries

3/4 cup sugar

Pinch salt

1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

1 cup whole milk

1 cup heavy cream

16 to 20 graham crackers



(1.) In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine berries, sugar, and salt; cook, stirring often, until sugar dissolves, 3 to 4 minutes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 2 to 3 minutes. Add lemon juice.

(2.) Puree cooked berries in batches, filling blender no more than halfway each time. Strain into a bowl; refrigerate until chilled.

(3.) Stir milk and cream into berry mixture. Pour into ice cream maker, and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer to freezer until firm enough to hold its shape, about 30 minutes.

(4.) To assemble, spread about 3/4 cup ice cream on one graham cracker; top with another cracker. Press lightly, and freeze again until firm.


August Movie Review ~ Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted: 3-D (2012)


In my opinion, Madagascar 3 was the best of all three Madagascar movies, so far! Thought there was some innuendo which was unnecessary-- I mean come on, we're dealing with animals here!-- but besides that, I'm sure kids of all ages will enjoy seeing the original "Furry Fab Four"-- Alex, Marty, Gloria, and Melman-- on the big screen as they venture to Europe. As usual, they find themselves away from their New York zoo home. Consequently, they encounter new animals as well as familiar buddies (i.e., King Julien and those unorganized penguins who somehow remind me of the green aliens from Disney's Toy Story movies... What I find similar is their simpleminded way of going about things). Oh, and those pesky monkeys always wreak havoc too. Well, needless to say, a chimp in a costume turns an okay situation into a wild goose (or should I say "zoo animal"?) chase. In between these cuckoo situations, some European circus animals are found, and so the troop gains influence from the Madagascar crew. It was adorable to witness our Alex fall in love with the feline from the circus. By the time the Furry Fab Four reach their hometown, they aren't as enthusiastic to return to the containment of the zoo. I enjoyed Madagascar 3 because it was pieced-together quite cleverly (and hilariously, I might add)! Any child would find it a silly, colorful 3-D delight; any adult would find the inside-jokes, wit, and the imagery to be entertaining as well! It was a treat to see at the movie theater!



The World Around Us,by Adrianna Kuzma


Water Rocks: Guitars Help Rid Developing Nation of Waterborne Diseases


A popular game allows kids to play with a band and score points by playing notes on the screen. Guitar Hero is popular because a person can sing, dance, and perform to be part of their favorite song. Today in Mozambique, there is a man who actually is a guitar hero.


In my last column, I discussed how nanotechnology is an important water-cleaning method, but if the people - especially children - do not have sanitary habits fully established, then access to improved water sources may make little difference. Without an understanding of water safety, even the newest technologies may fail as diarrhea-related illness and death overtake a community. The World Health Organization reports that a leading cause of death for children living in developing countries is a lack of access to clean water, hygiene, and sanitation (World). 


There are various ways of teaching people about safe water habits, but an especially innovative one was developed by a man named Feliciano dos Santos, who incorporates uplifting, inspirational rock music in his lessons on hygiene and sanitation. Four years ago, dos Santos won the prestigious international Goldman Environmental Prize for his grassroots work in one of the poorest regions in Africa. In the rural Niassa region of Mozambique where he lives, dos Santos formed an Afro-pop band and named it after a regional fruit called Massukos. The band's name reflects the history of the country. After a sixteen-year long Civil War ended in 1992, development was possible again, and dos Santos chose the band's name to stress its role of providing spiritual nourishment.


As a toddler, dos Santos caught polio, losing part of his leg due to contaminated water.  He heroically overcame the loss by pouring his energy into his work to solve the polluted-water crisis in his region. He formed the nonprofit organization Estamos to coordinate community-based educational music and theatre productions as well as installing pumps, building wells and composting latrines.


Feliciano dos Santos  


Feliciano dos Santos is pictured here wearing a shirt with the word "estamos" printed on it. Formed in 1996, this nongovernmental organization NGO was founded specifically to address water safety issues in Mozambique. (Feliciano dos Santos. The Goldman Prize Recipient. Mozambique: Sustainable Development, 2008. )


In partnership with Water Aid, dos Santos has carried health messages to rural areas lacking water infrastructure.  Specifically, dos Santos works side by side with the people of Mozambique to build low-cost composting latrines that consist of two brick-lined pits for a household. Located away from wells, the brick or cement lining prevents contamination of ground water.  Preventing odor and flies, ash collected from the cook fire is sprinkled after each use of the latrine. 


There are added benefits not directly related to water safety. The family sprinkles ash and soil down after each use. They wait approximately eight months while the harmful pathogens die off, leaving rich, essentially free, fertilizer behind. Producing beyond subsistence levels, the resulting crops afford the farmers an income to allow for improvements or such things as school supplies (Feliciano). Farmers in the area report that this organic compost produces higher yields, and unlike expensive artificial fertilizers, this compost enriches the soil for better retention of nutrients and water (Nourishing).




Feliciano dos Santos is seen with residents of a local village. Concerts are followed by workshops explaining villagers' options for water and sanitation. (Feliciano dos Santos The Goldman Prize Recipient.  Mozambique: Sustainable Development, 2008. )


Described as the Elton John of Mozambique, dos Santos uses music to promote safe behaviors because people love music, and music is a part of every community.  Music has rhythm, melody, and voice. Dos Santos takes these powerful elements to create his message music. Rhythm is a key element that makes music enjoyable to dance to. Rhythm is the foundation of music in Africa. It is rather simple; therefore, it is important to make sure that when a person is strumming a chord on a guitar that it is regular in the sense of being easy to dance to. In a PBS Frontline video about Massuko, children are seen dancing excitedly to the band's bouncy rhythm (Mozambique). It is also good if the rhythm allows the audience to clap their hands to it. If the music does not have a rhythm, then the mind would not be able to remember it easily. A good rhythm will stick in the minds of the audience. In an interview, dos Santos explained: "in every song we use the rhythm of some traditional music -- for the people it's 'ah this is our song' and it speaks to them, it's in sync with their culture. We weave in melodies from the community to the songs and then introduce a new idea like clean water systems" (Pryor).


Feliciano dos Santos  


Feliciano dos Santos shown performing with his band Massukos.  In combination with his outreach, his music effectively communicates about water safety. (Feliciano dos Santos. The Goldman Prize Recipient.  Mozambique: Sustainable Development, 2008. )


Local melodies give Massuko's songs spice, color and taste. Combined with traditional rhythms, the songs are fresh yet accessible. At times, the music utilizes the distinctive reggae rhythmic accents on the off-beat. Melody and rhythm comes together to help the audience recall the song and sing it so that others can enjoy it, thereby spreading the water safety message throughout the community. In this way, the song's melody is taught to others and the simple life-saving messages about hygiene, sanitation and HIV/AIDS are quickly broadcast to everyone in the Niassa region. Dos Santos points out that the Massukos Song "Washing Hands" uses village melodies and phrases to motivate hygiene. The song can be heard here: (Explorers: Feliciano dos Santos, Musician and Activist. National Geographic Videos. Web. 22 July 2012.)


Let's wash our hands

Let's wash our hands

For the children to stay healthy

For the uncles to stay healthy

For the mothers to stay healthy

We build latrines.


These lyrics provide a life- saving message in a catchy way because of the melody and rhythm. Commenting on how rapidly the song becomes part of the local culture, dos Santos comments: "When we were driving there, all the children began to sing this song. So that idea stays in people's heads and stimulates a process. Whenever a mother hears that song, she remembers that she needs to wash her hands. Music stays in our head. If we observe the feelings that have an impact on people - when they are sad, when somebody dies - they are all portrayed by music" (Interview). The voice is like a human touch. The human voice is the glue that holds everything together in the song. The chorus often becomes an anthem of the Niassa region of Mozambique, conveying a post-Civil War jubilation while conveying the message of the song. The message might be pride in Niassa, how to keep the environment clean, or how to clean hands to keep people healthy. Feliciano dos Santos plays on the guitar, sings about sanitary matters, and follows up by facilitating the building of wells and latrines.


  Mass Band Mem


Members of the internationally-acclaimed band, Massukos. (Massukos Band Members. Poo Productions. 2007. Web. 22 July 2012.  To hear Massukos go to: )


On the web site for the band, the purpose of their music is defined: "Massukos was conceived as a way to preserve and communicate the rhythms and culture of Niassa, the band's home province in northern Mozambique. They sing in Yao, Nyanga and Makua (Massuko). Although music does not command action, people can absorb its message at a deep level and dos Santos notes this mnemonic character of songs: "Music has a potential to remain recorded in the mind. As long as the music starts, people remember what they forgot [such as washing their hands], so music becomes effective. And it is effective not only because it stays in people's minds, but also because it can be carried wherever they go - [its message] is part of them" (Interview).  Not all popular music is equally memorable, so it is a measure of the band's originality that its traditional Mozambican elements combine with reggae elements in a unique but memorable way.


Of course, Estamos is not the only group doing this work. Church-affiliated groups, such as New Hope International (partnering with 100 Wells) and Catholic Relief Services have also been very involved in community water projects that include a similar range of efforts not just in the area of construction but education as well (One; Catholic). Convincing people to change water behavior around the taboo subject of latrines involves more than providing point of source water purification. Especially since children are often most dramatically affected by water and sanitation issues, presenting the hygiene message in a simple, yet lively and memorable way is very motivating. The point is that this untapped type of teaching could be employed in many developing countries because music is part of culture in every country. Through music, Dos Santos is able to convey a life-saving message that keeping clean means staying safe from waterborne diseases. To the people of Mozambique, he is indeed a guitar hero.


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.




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


Taken Away,by Patty Friedmann


Taken Away, by Patty Friedmann

Summer's little sister went missing in Katrina - and her mother blames Summer.


Summer Elmwood's parents don't believe in television, computers, cell phones, air conditioning, or caller ID. They don't believe in evacuation, either - which is how they ended up living in their local Baptist Hospital when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. Summer's little sister, Amalia, was having open-heart surgery a week before the storm... but when Summer's family is forced to evacuate, Amalia is gone. Now they're living with shallow, selfish, rich Aunt Sharon, and Summer's family is convinced she hid or murdered Amalia. With a secret cell phone, her best friend Haydn, and a new friend Robert, it's up to her to find her sister.


I had a mixed reaction to this book. On the one hand, the language and several things about drugs and other activities were simply unnecessary. Yes, Summer's parents were strange ex-hippies. Yes, Summer was a 'normal teen.' This doesn't mean a lot of the content really needed to be in there; the story was perfectly fine without it. Another problem I had was the writing; the story is told from Summer's point of view, and her thoughts are often confusing. Half the time you feel like you're a stranger trying to understand a small-town inside joke. Other times Summer just seems fickle or unrealistic. (Example: going from "I love my baby sister and must
find her!" to "I have to find Amalia because my parents won't pay attention to me if I don't.")

On the other hand, the story itself was amazing. It protrays the various facets of the tragedy called Katrina, along with other issues in New Orleans. The events pull you in; whether or not you like or care about Summer's family, something makes you want to know - need to know - if they ever find Amalia. Depending on your feelings towards the Elmwoods, you also end up wondering what happened to Amalia - did someone take her? murder her? who? why? - and who finds her, if she's ever found - Summer? her parents? one of her friends? the FBI? 

For a compelling and honest story about a real-life tragedy, I give this book two and a half stars. (I received this book for free from the author in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.)


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 ( ).


Send your book reviews to: 



Libbi's Nonfiction Book Review

Not A Fan

Book Review: Not a Fan - Teen Edition by Kyle Idleman


Are you a follower of Jesus? Many would say so. What does a follower really consist of? If held up to the light of the Word, many "followers" would turn out to be fans. Being a follower is much more than just attending church, having a Christian ringtone, or staying pure until marriage. Being a follower means to have a personal relationship with Jesus, not to follow some rules. It means having a DTR talk, and seeing how committed to Jesus you really are.


I liked:

  • The premise.  I really loved the book as a whole. It was interesting enough to keep up with a teenager's attention span, but profound enough to make you think. Hard.
  • The prologue. I could not believe how insightful it was. Literally. I read it a few times just to grasp the profoundness therein. Free bread? Ouch hallelujah.
  • The down to earth writing style. Wow. It is really hard to maintain the balance between profound and approachable. Kyle Idleman did it well.
  • The prologue. I know I wrote it twice, but seriously. It was fantastical.

I disliked:

  • How much it challenged me. Just kidding. That was my flesh talking, my spirit loved it. :)



I would 100% recommend  this book to anyone. Literally. While it is meant for teenagers, I think anyone could benefit from reading once, or twice, or a lot. (There is an adult version, which I hope to read soon.) I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.


Libbi H.

This book was given to me for free from Zondervan in exchange for my 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.




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Dear Parents,   


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


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


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Copyright 2012 - Homeschooling Teen Magazine




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


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  Jonathan Woodbury



Homeschooling Teen Profile:


Jonathan Woodbury, first ever homeschooled Flinn Scholar!


More than 550 high school seniors from throughout the state of Arizona applied for the 2012 Flinn Scholarship, but only 22 of Arizona's most talented students were admitted to the 27th annual class of Flinn Scholars. This distinction includes in-state tuition, room and board at any Arizona public university, mentorship by a university faculty member in the Scholar's field of study, opportunities to study abroad, and additional benefits. Each award, provided through a partnership between the Flinn Foundation and the universities, has a total value of more than $100,000. Jonathan "Jonny" Woodbury, 17, is the first homeschooler in the program's history to receive this honor.


Being awarded the prestigious Flinn Scholarship involves an application and interview process even more competitive than that for the most selective colleges and universities. Candidates must complete a thorough application form, and participate in two interviews with a selection committee comprised of distinguished Arizona leaders. Jonny's two older sisters had also applied for Flinn Scholarships and his eldest sister made it to the first round of interviews. "I was really shocked," Jonny admitted, "because both of my sisters are really smart so if they didn't make it to the end, how can I?"

According to Matt Ellsworth, Flinn Scholars Program Director (and a 1993 Flinn Scholar): "Every year we have a number of homeschooled students apply for the Flinn Scholarship. The qualifications they need to attain are equivalent to those required of students at public and private high schools." He further explained, "Our interviewers on our final selection committee were struck by Jonny's thoughtfulness and capacity to discuss articulately a wide variety of topics, from the U.S. space program, to constitutional law, to the philosophy of Søren Kierkegaard."


The Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard is one of Jonny's role models along with such varied individuals as the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs, President Calvin Coolidge, the dancer Fred Astaire, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German Lutheran pastor who spoke out against Adolf Hitler. Jonny's deep and diverse knowledge can be credited in part to his homeschool education, as well as his regular habit of reading the New York Times, the New Yorker, and other news media.

Besides being a Flinn Scholar, Jonny is a National Merit Finalist - one of the top high-school students nationally - and has long been a member of the Math Counts team. Jonny, who says "I love numbers and patterns," had his sights set on MIT and CalTech for a degree in math and computer science, but he was also considering ASU because "I've always liked the idea of not going far away for school." Jonny is thinking of pursuing a career in data journalism (analyzing data for the purpose of creating a news story).


Jonny is the youngest of three children to be homeschooled by their engineer parents, Pam and Dave. The Woodburys decided to begin homeschooling when their oldest daughter was four years old. Because of her fall birthday, she would have had to wait to start kindergarten until she was nearly six, but she was already reading. Pam, an electrical engineer who retired to stay home with her children, never regretted their decision to homeschool. "There are just so many options, so much opportunity, so much fun to be had," Pam declared. "In homeschool, you have flexibility. Jonny was always able to pursue his interest," she added.


The Woodburys took advantage of the many different learning paths that are available to homeschooling families, from co-ops and groups to online courses and community college classes. Although Pam was responsible for providing most of the academic instruction for her son and daughters, she gives much of the credit for Jonny's success to others - his music and percussion teachers, a friend's parent who taught English courses, and the community college professors who helped shape her son's education.


Jonny took a chemistry class at Chandler-Gilbert Community College during his sophomore year of high school. For his junior year he enrolled in Spanish as well as additional math and science classes. Jonny completed his senior year of high school studies entirely at the community college. This fall he will attend the Barrett Honors College at Arizona State University to undertake a dual major in math and computer science. "College shouldn't be too different with all the classes now at CGCC," noted Jonny about his transition to the university.

  Jonny is a self-described "Writer, poet, musician, composer, and general art lover, but I get paid to do math." (He's been a math and physics tutor at Chandler-Gilbert Community College.) Jonny has many extracurricular interests including music composition, jazz, and right-to-life activism. He is the editor of a pro-life blog run by teens, called Voices for the Voiceless, for which he spends countless hours dedicated to protecting the rights of the unborn. Jonny looks forward to continuing with his community involvement and musical interests while at ASU.


As an accomplished musician and composer with a diverse musical background and eclectic influences, Jonny's primary musical study has emphasized vibraphone and hand percussion, but his musical training includes classical percussion, drumset, and piano. He performs regularly as a member of a local community percussion ensemble and several jazz combos - both in school settings and professionally - and has been featured as a soloist with these groups. Additionally, he has performed as a guest with the Chandler-Gilbert Community College Big Band, and played percussion with the CGCC College Singers at the Arizona Music Educators Association Convention.


Among his musical activities, Jonny has participated in numerous local and national jazz and percussion camps including the Arizona State University Latin Jazz Camp and the University of Central Florida Mallet & Percussion Camp. He was a member of the inaugural AZPAS High School Honor Percussion Ensemble, and was recognized as an outstanding performer at several AZPAS Days of Percussion. Jonny also plays percussion and drumset with his church worship team.


Jonny recently co-published a book titled Outside the Box with Josh Gottry, Adjunct Professor of Music at Chandler-Gilbert Community College. Available from C. Alan Publications, it's a collection of percussion compositions including four progressive solos and one duet for cajon. Each piece is intended to develop comfort with a variety of sounds and to assist the performer in creating a vocabulary of idiomatic and creative grooves for the instrument. The duo can be seen performing one of the songs at .


About Flinn Scholars


Flinn Scholars is among a handful of statewide or regional merit-based undergraduate scholarship programs run by private philanthropies. The Flinn Scholars Program began in 1986 and is supported by the Phoenix-based nonprofit Flinn Foundation. The Flinn Foundation is a privately endowed, philanthropic grantmaking organization established in 1965 by Dr. Robert S. and Irene P. Flinn to improve the quality of life in Arizona to benefit future generations.


The Flinn Scholarship is considered to be one of the top merit scholarships in the country, providing for a world-class undergraduate education. In addition to the financial benefits, which include college tuition and funding for study abroad, it provides mentorship from faculty; exposure to community and world leaders; and fellowship in an extraordinary community of current and alumni Flinn Scholars. The Class of 2012 is only the second to have more than 20 students.


In addition to U.S. citizenship and Arizona residency, baseline requirements for this year's Flinn Scholarship applicants included: a minimum 3.5 grade-point average; a ranking in the top 5 percent of their graduating class; a minimum score of 1300 on the SAT test or 29 on the ACT; and demonstrated leadership abilities. As a group, the 2012 Scholars averaged 1470 out of 1600 on the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) and 32 out of 36 on the American College Test (ACT). Merit, demonstrated by academic and personal achievement, is the only factor in selection. Financial need is not a consideration.


The online application for the Flinn Scholarship includes a form that collects biographical and family data; a personal-information sheet on school and community activities, employment, and current studies; and three essay questions. Two teacher recommendations and a report from a guidance counselor are also required to be submitted electronically. In addition to the online report, guidance counselors must mail a copy of the student's transcripts, including information on course work, class rank, grade-point average, and scores on standardized tests.


For homeschooled applicants, the required counselor recommendation and transcript are typically provided by the parent who took primary responsibility for the student's education. That letter must provide information about the curriculum and homeschooling approach. The other two letters of recommendation must be from persons who taught the student in an academic course at an accredited institution: high school, community college, or university. "It is essential that we receive this independent assessment of the student's academic and social performance in a group context like those he/she will encounter at university," states the Flinn Scholarship website.


Flinn Scholars come from every corner of Arizona, and they choose concentrations in virtually every discipline - athletics, business, creative writing, education, filmmaking, law, medicine, music, politics, science, etc. "These students have impeccable academic records, though that alone is not sufficient to become a Flinn Scholar," concludes Matt Ellsworth. "Equally important is what the student has done outside the classroom-in school clubs, within the community, and through their own pursuits. We're looking for well-rounded individuals who will make a mark on Arizona and the world."


Applications for the 2013 Flinn Scholarship are available starting in mid-August. The application deadline will likely be in mid-October. Learn more about the application process, criteria, and strategies by reading "What it Takes to Earn a Flinn Scholarship" at .








innuendo[in-yoo-EN-doh] -noun : an indirect (and usually malicious) implication or accusation with an intimate and incriminating connection.


Speaking in innuendo is when you say something indirectly - often of a hurtful or sexual nature. If you say, "I'm going to ace that test!" and your friend replies, "The way you did before?" his remark is an innuendo - referring to the math test you recently failed. Innuendo in Latin means to point to or nod to. When you refer to something indirectly, you point at it without mentioning it, making an innuendo. If your friend who recently stopped speaking to you glares at you across a room as she says to someone else, "I would never lie to someone I called a friend," she's making an innuendo. Without accusing you directly, she's saying she thinks you lied.


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


I  D  E  A  S

What do YOU want to see here?

Send your ideas to us at :  


E-mail Etiquette Tip of the Month


When e-mailing a Web site or contact for information or assistance, always do so in a kind and professional manner. Be clear and use proper grammar and sentence structure.


Yes, Web sites are online for you to use--but they are not there to serve your every whim. Such as is the case with all my E-mail Etiquette sites, they are at no cost to site visitors and are provided as an easy way to get information on an important topic. 


Site owners are not there to answer your questions because you are in a hurry and don't want to read. Everyone is in a hurry now-a-days--that doesn't make one person's time more valuable than the other.


Make a reasonable effort and then e-mail with courtesy if you still have questions. Note that you looked and where you looked for the information you sought but couldn't find. Not only will the site owner appreciate this information so they can improve their site, but by doing so and by asking nicely for the information you seek you will probably get the answers much faster.


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


"Practice is the best of all instructors." ~Publilius Syrus

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:




 Nikelle Mackey   


Homeschool Graduate Receives $80,000 Scholarship


Mesa, AZ - Nikelle Mackey, a 22-year-old Mesa Community College Art student, was recently awarded the Presidential Scholarship at Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida. She was ranked in the top one percent and selected out of 1400 total applicants.


The Presidential Scholarship, the highest award given at Ringling College, will provide Nikelle with a total of $80,000 based on a four year degree plan. The scholarship will cover two-thirds of the cost of her education.


"Words can't describe it. I never thought I would get accepted or be awarded this type of scholarship," commented Nikelle.


Beginning in the fourth grade, Nikelle was homeschooled until she graduated high school. She began taking classes at MCC in 2008, participating in early college courses while home schooling. She recalls her first class at MCC was a Japanese language course. She also took classes at Central Arizona College while in high school.


Nikelle stated, "The early college courses and home schooling were grueling but it prepared me for the expectations placed on College students and made it an easier transition for me."


While at MCC, she has not only excelled as an art student but was also involved as a Phi Beta Kappa member and served as a past Vice President of Service. In addition, she dedicates numerous hours volunteering time in her community.


Nikelle already has an Associate of Arts degree, which she earned in May 2011 from MCC. This spring, she graduated with an Associate of Applied Science in Digital Arts with Distinction and Certificate of Completion in Digital Illustration.


She states, "I am looking forward to starting a new chapter in my life. MCC has given me the boost needed and laid out opportunities for me. Now I can move forward. Without MCC, I couldn't have gotten this far. I will be sad to leave one of the best art programs and its teachers here, but I want to make them proud."


Nikelle will begin classes this fall at Ringling College of Art and Design, majoring in Business Art and Design. The College is well known for its connections to DreamWorks, Disney, Pixar, MTV, and others.


Nikelle hopes to one day start her own business working with talented artists, providing opportunities to help them advance while promoting art and design.






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


"Princess or not. Learning to fight is essential!"


(Answer: Brave)  

College Bound:

Homeschool Friendly Colleges

  Regent University 


Regent University is a private coeducational interdenominational Christian university situated on a 70-acre campus in sunny Virginia Beach, Virginia. The school was originally founded by televangelist Dr. M.G. "Pat" Robertson in 1978 as Christian Broadcasting Network University. In 1990, the name was changed to Regent University. The name refers to a regent, someone who exercises power in a kingdom during the ruler's absence. According to the school catalog, "a regent is one who represents Christ, our Sovereign, in whatever sphere of life he or she may be called to serve Him."


The mission of Regent University is to provide an excellent education from a Christian perspective; and to graduate exceptional students deeply committed to Christ's calling to cherish character, challenge culture, and serve the world. In 1995, the liberal Harvard theologian Harvey Cox called Regent "the Harvard of the Christian Right" and characterized Regent's mission as continuing in the tradition of religiously trained professionals by various Catholic and Protestant faiths such as Jesuit universities and (originally) Harvard. At Regent, all faculty are expected to sign a statement binding them with Regent's Christian beliefs. Regent University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, as well as the Association of Theological Schools.


Dr. Robertson's original vision was that of a graduate institution offering advanced degrees to nurture and encourage its students toward spiritual maturity, and to engage the world through Christian thought and practice. For example, the School of Psychology & Counseling has five graduate degrees as well as a Certificate of Advanced Counseling Studies, all of which are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The School of Psychology & Counseling also holds the distinction of being the only institution in the U.S. to house a Master's program in Counseling (Community/Clinical or School Emphasis) delivered both on-campus and online, and an online Doctoral Program in Counselor Education & Supervision.


Today the university offers associate's, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in over thirty courses of study through its eight academic schools: the School of Education, the Robertson School of Government, the School of Global Leadership & Entrepreneurship, the School of Communication & the Arts, the School of Psychology & Counseling, the School of Law, the School of Divinity, and the School of Undergraduate Studies.  


Since Regent's undergraduate education program started in 2006, it has grown into a full-fledged degree completion program for traditional age students offering degrees in Accounting, Biblical and Theological Studies, Business, Christian Studies, Christian Ministry, Communication, Criminal Justice, Elementary Education, English, General Studies, Government, History, Human Resource Management, International Business, Marketing, Mathematics, Organizational Leadership and Management, Psychology, and Religious Studies.


Regent University has more than 4,000 students studying on its Virginia campus and online around the world. Freshmen intending to study on campus full-time are required to dorm there if they live outside of a 25-mile radius from campus. Regent offers traditional sixteen-week on-campus courses, but on-campus students may choose to take eight-week courses and online courses as well. The optional six eight-week sessions per academic year include two in the fall, two in the spring, and two in the summer. Students may enroll in either one or two eight-week sessions per semester. Regent's extensive distance education program with its online degree option adheres to the same rigorous academic standards as their traditional on-campus programs.


When Dr. Robertson established the university in 1978, he envisioned a high-caliber institution that would attract a leadership team that would be superior both in professional experience and academic credentials. In just three decades, that vision is being fulfilled. Regent has 165 full-time and 465 part-time faculty members with degrees from Yale, Harvard, Oxford, Duke, Johns Hopkins, Notre Dame, Vanderbilt, and others, two of whom are Fulbright Scholars. Regent University's faculty and deans are nationally and internationally noted political authorities, scholars, theologians, historians, authors and business executives.Distinguished faculty and guest lecturers include John Ashcroft, former U.S. Attorney General; Vern Clark, former Chief of Naval Operations; Steve Forbes, president and CEO of Forbes, Inc.; and Dr. Gary Collins, known as the father of Christian counseling; and others.


Many of Regent University's graduates have had success in public service and the legal community. Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell obtained an M.A./J.D. there in 1989. Law students with a passion for the protection of human rights can gain valuable resource training along with other advocates around the world from Regent Law's Center for Global Justice, founded in 2011. The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) is an integral part of the campus community, as is ACLJ Chief Counsel Dr. Jay Sekulow, distinguished professor. Students with the highest academic potential are invited to participate in the ACLJ Spring Semester Program in Washington, D.C. According to Regent University, more than 150 of its graduates were hired by the federal government during the George W. Bush presidency, including dozens in Bush's administration.


Regent graduates have also been successful in the broadcasting and entertainment industry. Notable alumni from the School of Communication & the Arts include actor Tony Hale, best known as Buster Bluth on the TV show Arrested Development, diabetes spokesperson and former Miss America Nicole Johnson, screenwriter Cheryl McKay who wrote the script for The Ultimate Gift based on Jim Stovall's novel, and Antonio Zarro who won an Academy Award for his student film Bird in a Cage. Regent's School of Communication & the Arts offers bachelor's and master's degrees in Animation, Cinema-Television, Journalism, Theatre, and Communications, as well as a Ph.D. in Communication. Furthermore, terminal degree offerings are available with a Master of Fine Arts degree in Acting, Producing, Directing, and Script & Screenwriting. Regent University and the Christian Broadcasting Network jointly produced the film First Landing to commemorate the 400th Anniversary of Jamestown, Virginia.


While Regent University is strongly conservative and evangelical with a charismatic accent, Regent's students represent a spectrum of religious denominations and political beliefs. Student organizations at the school include the student divisions of the American Bar Association and the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, Association of Black Psychologists, Black Law Student Association, Business Transactions Law Society, Christian Legal Society, College Republicans, Regent Democrats, Intellectual Property & Entertainment Law Society, Federalist Society, International Law Society, International Student Organization, Law Wives Association, Moot Court Board, National Law Student Association, Newman Club, Public Interest Law Association, Regent Students for Life, Students in Free Enterprise, Student Alumni Ambassadors, and The King's Knights.


Regent University has been ranked by The Princeton Review as seventh in the country for quality of life, as well as the most conservative school. The 2011 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges ranking for Regent is "National Universities, Tier 2." Regent University is listed as a "Tier 1" homeschool-friendly school by the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) for its homeschool-friendly admissions policies, rich varieties of bachelor degrees, available learning opportunities (both online and on campus), and accessible early college program for motivated homeschooled students. Regent's reduced-tuition Early College Program provides high school students an opportunity to take college courses at a substantially discounted rate.


Regent University recently revised its current admissions policies for homeschooled graduates to allow for a more meaningful recognition of homeschool credentials. Regent accepts homeschool transcripts and only requires the submission of one standardized test score in the form of the SAT or ACT. Regent also offers HSLDA members a 25% discount on tuition for degree-seeking students.Michele Wilcher, an Admissions Counselor at Regent, is a veteran homeschool mom. View Regent's homeschool-friendly admissions policy at 




Optometrist, Ophthalmologist, Optician, and Orthoptist


Ophthalmologists, optometrists and opticians are the three main disciplines of eye health. A lesser known profession is that of an orthoptist. Each provides a different kind of service but all play an important role in providing vision care to people. The levels of training and expertise, and what they can diagnose and treat, vary for each type of provider.




When you go to have an eye exam and get fitted for glasses or contact lenses, you will most likely see an optometrist. Optometrists are health professionals who provide primary vision care ranging from sight testing and correction to the diagnosis, treatment, and management of vision changes. An optometrist is not a medical doctor but is a doctor of optometry, or O.D. Optometrists can work in private practices, vision clinics, optical stores, hospitals, as teachers at optometry schools, in research or government positions, and other venues. Some optometrists specialize in a particular field such as primary care optometry, hospital-based optometry, family practice optometry, pediatric optometry, ocular disease, vision therapy, or contact lenses.


Optometrists are specially trained to diagnose eye abnormalities and treat vision conditions like nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia; and to provide general eye-health services such as checking the eyes for cataracts, glaucoma, and retinal disease. Optometrists also do testing to determine the patient's ability to focus and coordinate the eyes, and to judge depth and see colors accurately. They can prescribe eyeglasses, contact lenses, low-vision aids, vision therapy, and some basic eye-related medicines. Optometrists do not perform eye surgery, but in some states they are allowed to perform non-incisional laser surgery. Optometrists are skilled in the co-management of care that affects the eye health and vision of their patients and can make referrals to other health care professionals.


Optometrists have to attend four years of post-graduate training after college at an accredited school of optometry. There are currently only seventeen optometry schools in the U.S. and they all have very competitive admissions standards. Pre-requisites often include having taken basic English, Mathematics, Physics, Biology, and Chemistry. Another requirement is taking the Optometry Admissions Test (OAT). After successfully completing optometry school, optometrists must complete the State Board Examination of the state they wish to work in, to receive a license in that state. Licenses must also be renewed every one to three years depending on the state. All states require continuing education credits to maintain an optometry license.




If you have special eye problems, you may need to see an ophthalmologist. Ophthalmologistsare physicians who specialize in vision care and the prevention of eye diseases. They have an M.D. (medical doctor) or D.O. (doctor of osteopathy) degree. They perform eye surgery and prescribe medications in addition to all of the tasks that optometrists do. An ophthalmologist can also diagnose general diseases of the body and treat ocular manifestations of systemic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. Many ophthalmologists are involved in scientific research on the causes and cures for eye diseases and vision disorders.


An ophthalmologist has completed four or more years of college pre-med education, four or more years at an accredited medical school, one year of internship, and a residency in ophthalmology that includes three or more years of specialized medical and surgical training and experience in eye care. The final step is to pass the licensing examination or, for those specializing in a certain field, to pass a final examination for certification by the American Board of Medical Specialists or the American Osteopathic Association.


Admission into medical school is extremely competitive. Admission requires a good score on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) as well as clear goals, a caring personality, a strong work ethic, recommendations, and much more. Those lucky enough to get accepted into medical school will take classes pertaining to basic anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, medical ethics, medicine, pathology and practice management. They also attend clinical rotations, learning different aspects of the field such as family practice, pediatrics, internal medicine, and others.


Some eye doctors complete one or two years of additional, more in-depth training called a fellowship in a subspecialty area such as glaucoma, retina, cornea, pediatrics, neurology, or plastic surgery. This added training and knowledge prepares an ophthalmologist take care of more complex or specific conditions in certain areas of the eye or in certain groups of patients.




Opticians are technicians trained to fit and adjust eyeglass lenses and frames, contact lenses, and other devices to correct eyesight. Opticians are not eye doctors, so they are not permitted to diagnose or treat eye diseases, test vision, or write prescriptions for visual correction. They use prescriptions supplied by ophthalmologists or optometrists to dispense eyeglasses, frames, and contact lenses. An optician usually just has to attend a two year college or do a special apprenticeship.


There are actually two types of opticians: manufacturing opticians and dispensing opticians. Manufacturing opticians are involved in the process of making eyeglasses and contacts. They produce the lenses from start to finish according to specifications or prescriptions. Manufacturing opticians learn their trade through apprenticeship. They start with simple tasks like measuring lenses and eventually move to the end result of completing the lenses through surfacing, smoothing and beveling. Manufacturing opticians also use automated systems so they must learn how to operate machinery.


A dispensing optician must have the patience and care to meet the needs of clients, from helping them to select eyeglass frames to making sure the frames fit properly. Opticians take eye measurements to insure proper fitting of glasses and contact lenses. They tell clients know how to properly care for their eyewear. Dispensing opticians learn their skills through apprenticeships or college classes, and may receive a two year associate degree or a license depending on the state. Some states require certifications, which must be renewed every three years through continuing education.




Ophthalmologists often hire pediatric orthoptists to measure the vision of young patients and perform diagnostic tests to evaluate disorders such as strabismus (cross-eye) and amblyopia (lazy eye.) The orthoptist helps the ophthalmologist develop a treatment plan which may include eye exercises, drugs, or surgery. The orthoptist also teaches patients, who usually are kids, how to do the eye exercises. This position requires an ability to relate to children, including those with disabilities beyond the ocular. An orthoptist is not an M.D., but does take national board exams to become a C.O. (certified orthoptist). Two years of post-bachelor's training are required, but there are currently less than ten programs in the U.S. accepting students for the two year training program. An orthoptist studies pediatric ophthalmology in depth, along with the treatment of binocular visual disorders.


Did You Know...? August is National Eye Exam Month! To learn more about the eye care professions, visit





Horse Breed Heaven  

By Kayla Bignall 


Hi there horse fans! This month we will be discussing the Akhal-teke (Ah-cull Tek-y)



The Akhal-teke is a breed that originated in Turkmenistan and is now part of their national coat of arms. These beautiful horses are thought to be one of the oldest surviving horse breeds in the world. They are abundant too; being at a high number of 3,500 in the world. They are located in their home country, Turkmenistan, Russia, Europe, Australia, and North America though they are an Asian breed. Their name is very unique and has an equally unique origin. "Akhal" means "pure" and Teke is the name of the tribe that has bred them as far back as recorded. They are most commonly a golden dun (photo) but are accepted in all colors including a beautiful palomino. They have a metallic sheen to their coat in all colors due to hair structure. The opaque part of the hair is smaller and nonexistent in some spots while the transparent is excessive. These hairs bend the light making a gold-like or silver-like sheen. It is also quite common for them to have one or both eyes blue, not just in albinos. They also can have a speckled blue eye(s). They can have white marking on their face, legs, and body. There are no color limitations. These horses are fairly large, standing at 14.2 to 16.3 hands high and weighing from 900 to 1,100 pounds. The Akhal-Teke also has a unique temperament. They are excitable, vigorous, and restless but also sensible. They are also very sensitive, it has been said that they are so sensible that they will respond to mental signals. Though these horses were originally used as a war horse, they are now most commonly used in eventing, dressage, jumping, and pleasure riding. These horses are noted fro their speed and endurance over long distances. All in all, these horses are beautiful, ancient, and unique.


Here is a map link:




Turkmenistan Coat of Arms


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Information found at  and   


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 Jezebel1 (we call her DJ)!  

The Sports Report, by Caela


MLB All-Star Weekend - The MLB All-Star Weekend is a combination of the Home Run Derby and the All-Star Game. The Home Run Derby is when eight of the league's best hitters compete to see who can hit the most home runs in three rounds of competition. Four players are from the National League and four are from the American League. In the first round all eight players try to hit as many home runs as possible. At the end of the first round the four players with the least amount of home runs are eliminated and the other four players move on to the second round. The second round is the same as the first round but there are now only four players. In the second round the player's home runs from the first round carry on to the second round. After the second round the two players that hit the least amount of home runs after both rounds are eliminated and the other two move on to the Finals. The two finalists start with zero home runs in the final round, and whoever hits the most home runs in the final round wins the Home Run Derby. The All-Star Game is pretty much like any other baseball game but both the teams consist of all the best players in the league and all the players get to participate in the game. Whichever team scores the most runs wins the All-Star Game and that league gets home field advantage in the World Series.


2012 Home Run Derby - The eight players in this year's Home Run Derby were Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays, Carlos Beltran of the St. Louis Cardinals, Mark Trumbo of the Los Angeles Angels, Prince Fielder of the Detroit Tigers, Carlos Gonzalez of the Colorado Rockies, Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburg Pirates, Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees. In the first round Cano hit zero home runs, Kemp hit one home run, McCutchen hit four home runs, Gonzalez hit four home runs, Fielder hit five home runs, Beltran hit seven home runs, Trumbo hit seven home runs, and Bautista hit eleven home runs. Cano, Kemp McCutchen and Gonzalez were eliminated and Fielder, Beltran, Trumbo and Bautista moved on to the second round. In the second round Fielder hit eleven home runs for a total for 16 home runs, Beltran hit five home runs for a total of 12 home runs, Trumbo hit  six home runs for a total of 13 runs, and Bautista hit two home runs for a total of 13 runs. The two finalists were Fielder and Bautista. They both start with zero home runs. Bautista hit seven home runs for second place and Fielder hit 12 home runs to win the Home Run Derby.


2012 All-Star Game - The All-Star game was won by the National league, they won 8-0. In the first inning they scored five runs and here is how they did it. Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers hit a double to let Melky Cabrera of the St. Louis Cardinals to score; Pablo Sandoval of the San Francisco Giants hit a triple to let Ryan Braun, Carlos Beltran of the St. Louis Cardinals, and Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants score three runs; Dan Uggla of the Atlanta Braves singled to let Pablo Sandoval score. In the fourth inning they scored three runs. Matt Holiday of the St. Louis Cardinals hit a single to let Rafael Furcal of the St. Louis Cardinals to score and Melky Cabrera hit a two run homer to left field to let Matt Holiday score for the winning run. Congratulations to Prince Fielder on his winning the Home Run Derby, and congrats to the National league on a third straight win of the All-Star Game.


Wimbledon - Wimbledon was won by Roger Federer for the men and Serena Williams for the women. This will be Roger Federer's 17th Major and his 7th Wimbledon. For Serena Williams this is her 14th Major and her 5th Wimbledon. Roger Federer has won Wimbledon more times than any other Major and Serena Williams has won Wimbledon and the Australian Open five times. Roger beat Albert Ramos of Spain in the First Round. He beat Fabio Fognini of Italy in the Second Round. He beat Julian Benneteau of France in the Third Round. He beat Xavier Malisse of Belgium in the Fourth Round. He beat Mikhail Youzhny of Russia in the Quarter Finals. He beat Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the Semi Finals. He beat Andy Murry of Great Britain in the Finals to win Wimbledon. Serena beat Barbora Zahlavova Stycova of Czech Republic in the First Round. She beat Melinda Czink of Hungry in the Second Round. She beat Jie Zheng of China in the Third Round. She beat Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan in the Fourth Round. She beat Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic in the Quarter Finals. She beat Victoria Azarenka of Belarus in the Semi Finals. She beat Ahnieszka Radwanska of Poland in the Finals to win Wimbledon. Well I want to Congratulate Roger Federer and Serena Williams on winning Wimbledon and the great careers they have had and still have to come.


The Open Championship - The third Major of the year is The Open Championship. The Open Championship was held at Royal Lytham St. Anne's Golf Club in Lytham St. Anne's, Lancashire near Blackpool, England. Ernie Els of South Africa won the Open Championship by one shot. For this tournament we will follow Ernie Els, Adam Scott, Tiger Woods, and Brandt Snedeker. First here is some information on Ernie Els. Ernie is 42 years old. He married Liezel in 1998 they had their first child Samantha in 1999 and their second child Benjamin aka Ben in 2002. He has 62 professional wins in his career and four of those wins are Majors. Two of them are the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997. Two of them are the Open Championship in 2002 and 2012.


First Round: In the first round Ernie Els shot a 67 -3 under par three off the lead. Adam Scott shot a 64 -6 under par. Tiger Woods shot a 67 -3 under par three off the lead. Brandt Snedeker shot a -4 under par two shots off the lead. At the end of the first round Adam Scott had the first round lead.


Second Round: In the second round Ernie Els shot a 70 even par to stay at -3 under par seven off the lead. Adam Scott shot 67 -3 under par to go to -9 under par one off the lead. Tiger Woods shot a 67 -3 under par to go to -6 under par four off the lead. Brandt Snedeker shot a 64 -6 under par to go to -10 under par. At the end of the second round Brandt Snedeker had the second round lead.


Third Round: In the third round Ernie Els shot a 68 -2 under par to go to -5 under par six off the lead. Adam Scott shot a 68 -2 under par to go to -11 under par. Tiger Woods shot a 70 even par to stay at -6 under par five off the lead. Brandt Snedeker shot a 73 +3 over par to go to -7 under par four off the lead. At the end of the third round Adam Scott had the third round lead.


Fourth Round: In the fourth round Ernie Els shot a 68 -2 under par to end the tournament at -7 under par. Adam Scott shot a 75 +5 over par to end the tournament at -6 under par. Tiger Woods shot a 73 +3 over par to end the tournament at -3 under par. Brandt Snedeker shot a 74 +4 over par to end the tournament -3 under par. At the end of the tournament Ernie Els was our winner, Adam Scott was the runner-up, Tiger Woods, and Brandt Snedeker were both tied for third. Congrats to Ernie Els on his fourth Major and better luck next time Adam Scott. I know you will win a Major someday because you are that good. God Bless.


Sport Events in August


MLB: There will be 427 baseball games in the month of August.

Men's Tennis: The ATP Legg Mason Tennis Classic is from July 30 to August 5, the ATP Rogers Cup is from August 6 to August 12, the ATP Western& Southern Open is from August 13 to August 19, the ATP Winston-Salem Open is from August 20 to August 26, and the US Open is from August 27 to September 9.


Women's Tennis: The WTA Citi Open is from July 30 to August 5, the WTA Rogers Cup presented by National Bank is from August 7 to August 13, the WTA Tour Western& Southern Financial Group Women's Open is from August 13 to August 19, the WTA New Haven at Yale is from August 19 to August 25, the WTA Texas Tennis Open is from August 19 to August 26, and the US Open is from August 27 to September 9.


PGA Golf Tour: The Reno-Tahoe Open and the World Golf Championships- Bridgestone Invitational are from August 2 to August 5. The PGA Championship is from August 9 to August 12, and the Wyndham Championship is from August 16 to August 19.

European Golf Tour: the World Golf Championships- Bridgestone Invitational is form August 2 to August 5, the UA PGA Championship is from August 9 to August 12, the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles is from August 23 to August 26, and the Omega European Masters is from August 30 to September 2.


Ladies PGA Golf Tour: The Jamie Farr Toledo Classic Presented by Kroger, Owens Corning and O-I is from August 9 to August 12, the Safeway Classic Presented by Coca-Cola is from August 17 to August 19, and the CN Canadian Women's Open is from August 23 to August 26.


Summer Olympics: The Summer Olympics started on July 27 and will 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.



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Anime Review, by Xbolt






The name "Bakemonogatari" comes from two root words. Bakemono, meaning monster, and monogatari, meaning story.


The story centers on Koyomi Araragi, a high school student who is 90% human again after briefly becoming a vampire as a result of an attack. One day, Hitagi Senjogahara, a classmate who never talks to anyone, falls down a flight of stairs, and Koyomi catches her. But to his surprise, she weighs almost nothing. However, that was something she'd rather have had nobody find out. Despite being threatened by her, Koyomi helps her out anyway. He takes her to Meme Oshino, the man who cured his vampirism, in order to have him cure Hitagi as well.


After that, Koyomi just has one encounter with an apparition after another. Ghosts, demons, spirits, mythological beasts, you name it.


The art direction in Bakemonogari is very odd. Well, I suppose you could say the whole show is a bit odd, though. But this is the good kind of odd. Unlike certain other shows, I was able to follow the story along pretty well.


Bakemonogatari is also (in)famous for having its final three episodes horribly delayed. The first twelve episodes aired on TV, and the final three were to be streamed on the Internet. But what should have been a 15-week show, was instead spread out to almost an entire year, after the online episodes were delayed, delayed, and delayed again. It kind of reminded me of Valve, actually...


Was the ending worth the wait? Well... I'm going to have to say that it was. I didn't feel let down at the end as I have with many another show. Now that's an achievement.


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 Homeschooling High School: Helpful Tips


Answers... for Teens




Teens have big life questions and demand solid answers. But as any Christian teen knows, we live in a skeptical society. Peers, teachers, and the world in general will tell you that Christianity is old-fashioned and out of touch with today's culture. Even worse, false claims and erroneous conclusions about the Bible are often repeated. Too many unanswered questions combined with so much misleading information can affect one's acceptance of the Bible as authoritative and trustworthy. But what if we were to raise a generation of people, as Ken Ham envisions, "who knew how to defend the Christian faith and stand solidly on the Word of God? They could answer the skeptical questions of this age and present the gospel in a powerful way. Wow! It would change the world." To help teens firmly establish a biblical worldview, the experts at Answers in Genesis offer the Answers Books for Teens, volumes 1 and 2.  


The Answers Book for Teens: Vol. 1

contains 15 chapters, each based on a question such as:

*How do we know the Bible is true?

*If God's really so great, why does He let so much pain and bad stuff happen in the world, like earthquakes, floods, and wars?
*I believe God created the earth, but does it really matter how old the earth is?
*Who has the most evidence - creationists or evolutionists?
*Why would God punish the whole world for one guy's mistake?
*If God really loved the world, why would He make a flood to kill everyone off?
*If Christians are supposed to love everybody, why do they always seem to hate gay people?  

*How can we be sure Jesus is the only way to get to God? 
*Why would God ever want to save someone as messed up as me?


The Answers Book for Teens: Vol. 2 contains 15 chapters, each based on a question such as:

*Did creation really take just 6 days or did God use the big bang?

*Noah's ark...Really?

*What about cavemen and missing links?

*But the Bible is full of contradictions...isn't it?

*Don't fossils prove evolution?

*The Bible was written by a bunch of men, right? What makes it so special?

*But doesn't the Bible support slavery?

*Unicorns and the've got to be kidding!

*How can we be sure the 66 books of the Bible are the only ones from God?

*What about abortion, cloning, and stem cells?


In both of these books, the chapters are about 4-6 pages in length which means that each and every question has a thoughtful, thorough answer. The questions are relevant to today's culture and the answers are solidly supported by scripture (be sure to have your Bible handy for looking up the verses). These books will not only help Christian teens to understand core truths of the Christian faith and give an answer for what they believe, but may also help skeptical and unsaved teens to hopefully see the light - so perhaps with this in mind, the books also contain a clear gospel message.


The Answers Book for Teens (Volumes 1 and 2) cover some significant concepts, and yet the books are written in an engaging manner that teens will understand without being overwhelmed by details. Each 7 x 9" volume is only 96 pages in length and the text on those pages is broken up with lots of artsy illustrations, making these books fun and easy to read. This series was definitely made to appeal to teens with its stylish "grunge" look, creative fonts, word clouds, and modern conversational tone of writing.


These books will answer all of those tough questions that Christian teens are confronted with by their peers, teachers, media, etc. - as well as questions that teens personally may be wondering. The suggested age range is 13-17, but I think The Answers Book for Teens would be useful for college students and pre-teens, too. They would also be a useful resource for Christian youth leaders and anyone who works with young people, as well as an excellent reference for church and family libraries.


Each chapter in The Answers Book for Teens is "stand alone" and can be read in any order. These are good "coffee table" books for rooms where teens gather, since they might prompt a serious spiritual discussion.The series also makes a great study for youth ministries, small groups, and family devotions.


The introduction to Volume 1 defines some important key terms: secular humanism, evolution, astronomical evolution, geological evolution, chemical evolution, biological evolution, natural selection, mutations, Jesus Christ, Trinity, Biblical Christianity, The Bible, atheism, agnosticism, creationists, and created kinds.


The introduction to Volume 2 contains useful advice on spotting false claims and misconceptions, and at the end of the book there is a must-read bibliography of ten great books for teens. I would add two more to the list: The Answers Book for Teens: Vol. 1 and 2.


I loved the second book even better than the first. Volume 1 deals with more abstract faith issues, while Volume 2 covers many concrete scientific concepts making it a must-have supplement for science class. Hopefully there will be additional volumes to come!


NOTE: The publisher provided a complimentary review copy of this product, but I was not obligated to write a favorable review. ~Teri