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A Simple Guide to Answering Essay Questions   

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The Old Schoolhouse® 

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Who We Are:


The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine


May 22, 2013 


College, Trade School, Apprenticeships--what to do after graduation.    



Deborah's  Picture
Deborah Wuehler 
and family


When preparing your children for life after homeschool, there are so many options to think through. You may be helping them to consider things such as trade schools, college, apprenticeships, entrepreneurial ventures, or just plain preparation for life.


Our first graduate took a year off after high school to consider his possibilities. He decided that would be a good time for extended mission trips and trying out future job possibilities in the form of volunteer work in those areas. He eventually decided he needed a BA to proceed in the direction of his life goals.


Even if you don't have older children, what should you add to your teaching now to prepare your children for life after homeschool? Whether it is college life or marriage life or employment, there are ways that we can help our children prepare. In answering three questions, we will gain insight into what is necessary: what will they need to be ready to do, what will they need to be ready to face; and what is most important for life?


Ready to Do:

Do they have good study skills?

Do they know how to research information?

Can they write an essay?

Do they communicate clearly?

Can they balance a checkbook or know how to use an online program?

Can they cook a meal?

Do they know how to clean and organize a household?

Do they know how to care for young children?

Are they teachable?


Ready to Face:

Do they have a Biblical worldview?

Are they strong in their faith?

Can they articulate their convictions?

Have they read the Bible through?

Are they influenced by peer pressure?

Do they know how to handle stressful situations?

Are they fervent in prayer?

Are they serving the Lord with the gifts and abilities He's given them?


Most Important:

Do they love God?

Do they love others?


These are definitely not comprehensive lists as I am sure I have overlooked something, so ask God for wisdom for your child. Don't be anxious; pray.


"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6, 7


TOS Senior Editor   


Christian Home Educators of Colorado Presents:
The Rocky Mountain Super Conference on the Family, coming to the Denver Mart June 13th to 15th. Highlights include dozens of workshops led by nationally known speakers . . . 200 vendors . . . a used curriculum sale . . . and free family film night. Register today! Go to


Sponsor Article
 Getting Scholarship Gold

Scholarships are not always for college--some awards cover vocational school, job training, or travel abroad. No matter what you plan to do after graduation, there is probably a scholarship available that is perfect for your situation. Looking for scholarships can seem like a marathon, but students can open huge doors in the form of finances with the right knowledge and some persistence.


Finding the right scholarships is not as hard as you may think. Begin looking in your own community. Local businesses and organizations often have contests for area students. These programs usually sponsor small competitions that can be worth a few thousand dollars each year.


Look for scholarships on the Internet. With sites such as and, you can find scholarships that fit your specific interests and background.

Now it's time for the scholarship essay. This single element can determine the difference between winning and losing, so your essay needs to be compelling. Put yourself in the place of the judges and ask yourself how they might feel after reading your paper. What makes your application special and/or unique?

Make sure to keep the topic positive and upbeat. Read some previous winning essays to help identify clues about the judges' preferences. Judges like winners: How in the past have you proved yourself in competitive situations? Did you get any academic recognition, music award, sport achievement, or even an A+ in a really hard class? How are you already a champion? Do not be afraid to brag a little on yourself, but don't go overboard.


Be sure to communicate clearly about who you are, where you are going, and what you have to offer to the scholarship program. Also include in your scholarship letter lists of your volunteer work, extracurricular activities, leadership positions, and awards received. Provide several letters of recommendation from teachers and employers. Attach a cheerful picture of yourself so that the judges can connect your face with your application.

Scholarships can be within your reach. Searching out little-known contests and creating a standout application can help you triumph in getting study money. Victory can be yours, so good luck and go for the gold!


Click here 

Jean Burk is homeschool mom and author of College Prep Genius: The No Brainer Way to SAT Success. To learn about more incredible scholarship secrets, download her E-Book 15 Secrets to Free College for only a penny at Use this code: OSHNEWS



 Laurel UniversityLEARN & GROW at Laurel University ( to IMPACT your world for God, no matter how you serve! Grow intellectually, spiritually, and professionally at a Christian university where you're more than just a number. Study in face-to-face classes, online, or a combination where learning is affordable, convenient and cost-effective. 


Colleges, and trade schools, and apprenticeships--oh my! Wait--don't panic! has a teacher who can help. Denise Ames of College Common Sense brings weekly lessons to the site to help you lead your child through the maze of college preparation. From helping him identify his passions to applying for scholarships and applying to schools, let Denise help you help your child during this exciting and scary period of his life. Not a member yet? What are you waiting for? Join today: your first month is just $3. After that, $12.95 a month serves your entire family. Or get the best deal--12 months with 10 percent off: just $139


The Familyman

Todd Wilson
Todd Wilson
Todd Wilson, Familyman Ministries 

As I type this on my iPhone, everyone else

in the RV is asleep. Yesterday was a long day. We left Des Moines, IA, drove 400 miles home where we stopped for three hours to reload, and then started the thousand mile trip to Orlando for the big FPEA convention. We're super pumped because Dean Butler of Almanzo Wilder fame is going to be there. In fact, The Old Schoolhouse® is hosting a meet 'n greet on Friday night of the conference, and if you're in the neighborhood, you're invited. Diana Waring and I will be there as well.


Now onto the topic of what to do after high school. Not to sound super spiritual here, but you should ask God. I know when we first started homeschooling, I was sort of anti-college. I had earned a Master's degree and my wife had her Bachelor's. In fact, everyone we knew had a college degree, but I knew there were better ways to be trained, that colleges were pricing themselves out of business, and that everything I learned in college wasn't worth learning.


So I was against it. Then one day my spiritual wife said, "What if God wants our child to go to college? Why don't we ask what He wants for each of our children?" That changed everything. Since then, the question for us hasn't been college or no college, but what does God want for THIS child after high school.


You might want to ask HIM the same question and then be open to the answer. It might not be the same as your plan.


Be real,



P.S. First person to come to my table at the FPEA convention gets a cool You 'da Dad cup.


Ohio Christian University 
Earn college credit through OCU's Dual Enrollment Program. Open to qualifying students grades 9-12, with courses available online and on campus. Visit or call 740-420-5932. 

in the latest issue of

The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine.
Hal & Melanie Young

Raising Real Men  


Sometimes You Do Have To Go To College


I had been speaking to a leadership conference when a mother came up and introduced herself and her teen-aged sons.


"You mentioned you are a consulting engineer," she said. "We are really interested in entrepreneurship and we'd like to avoid the whole college thing, so we were wondering if you ever take on apprentices?"


I shook my head sadly and told her, "I'm sorry, but no. You can't do it that way in my field."


I explained that to be an independent engineering consultant, you had to earn a professional license from the state. It requires successfully passing an eight-hour exam, then completing five years of supervised experience under the direction of a licensed engineer, and then a second eight-hour exam. And the first step of all is earning a four-year degree from a certified engineering college.


It's true that in many jobs, you will learn more on the job than you did in college. Many jobs are over-specified, requiring a bachelor's degree for tasks which a well-educated high school graduate can grow into with great success. Many of today's college graduates, lacking realistic guidance in their studies, find themselves with prestigious degrees and large student loans but few career prospects.


But there is a place for college and sometimes there is no substitute. In fields like engineering, the knowledge is so specialized that your average well-educated customer really can't evaluate whether a professional is competent or not. When you're building a dam or managing a chemical process, the consequence of bad design workmanship can be a risk to the environment, health, or safety of large numbers of people. So to protect the public, state laws are put in place to require certain professionals--engineers, doctors, lawyers, and accountants, for instance--to meet standards of training and experience before they can offer their services to the public. In most cases, that started with a college education.


Now most engineers don't take the extra step to secure a professional license, and usually it's not necessary. When you work in a manufacturing company, as I did for many years, the company takes on the risk and liability for your work. The state assumes your employer has the know-how to pick competent staff, and any risk or damage is most likely to fall on the company rather than the unsuspecting public. And many engineering tasks can be performed by technicians without degrees--as long as they do not represent themselves as "engineers" in a regulated professional sense. There are many levels in these professions, and a student who doesn't want to go the entire route might study to become an engineering technician, a physician's assistant, or a paralegal.


But for some professions, and for certain ways of pursuing them--like my young, entrepreneurial friends--you may just have no other option. Sometimes, you just do have to plan on going to college. 


Hal & Melanie Young


Will we be in your area? Find out here--and let us know if you'd like us to come! 



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Coming up in May . . .
Homeschooling the High Schooler--You Can Do It!

Featuring Ray and Charlene Notgrass     

Homeschooling a high school student can seem intimidating, but it is simply the next step in training your child to live well as an adult. Ray and Charlene Notgrass homeschooled for twenty years. They will have words of encouragement and practical wisdom to help you be confident about this phase of your child's educational journey. Ray and Charlene are homeschool curriculum writers with


Transcripts Made Easy: 
The High School Transcript as a Marketing Tool  
featuring Janice Campbell

A high school transcript may be the most important piece of
paper created during your student's homeschool experience. More than just a list of what your student studied or an outline of the grades received, it's like a résumé--a marketing tool that should highlight your student's strengths and skills. Join Janice Campbell, from, as she teaches us how to select the best format, effectively name classes, decide on weighted grades, and present information in a clean, professional style that is easily comparable to others. You might find yourself getting fan mail from college admissions counselors who appreciate your work!        


Sign up for the Expo here!


Join our Free Online Schoolhouse Expo on 
Tuesday, May 28, at 7 p.m. EST! 

(6 p.m. CDT, 5 p.m. MDT, 4 p.m. PDT) 


Check out all the details at


Reserve your FREE seat now--only 1,000 available! 





Creation Revolution     


". . . what makes these designer cats so special and desirable?

They are all hybrids between a domestic breed of cat and a breed of wild cat that is supposed to be a different species." 


Contest Corner 

For the month of May, 2013  


52 Weeks of Family Spanish


Learning a foreign language is a goal of most homeschooling families. And there are many options to choose from; ranging from traditional worksheet/textbook curriculums, to verbal immersion programs. 52 Weeks of Family Spanish, by Eileen McAree, follows more of a verbal approach and is meant to be used with the whole family. The small weekly lessons are practical and built into daily family life. This simple approach makes teaching Spanish to young ones fun and easy.


The sub-title of this book caught my attention right away: "Bite-sized weekly lessons designed to get you and your family speaking Spanish today." (. . .)


Read the rest of the review here.


TO ENTER: Email Heather with your name, mailing address, and phone number for contact purposes, with the subject line, "52 Weeks of Spanish" for a chance to win* the book for your homeschool! 

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine