August, 2013

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


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Homeschooling Teen Profile: Thessalonika Arzu-Embry


College-Bound: Union Institute & University


Career-of-the-Month: Ultrasound Technician


Teen Tech Talk: The Problem with Pirates


Guest Column: Lessons Teens Can Learn From Harry Potter, by Jason Miner


Homeschooling High School: Steps on Writing an Essay, by Sandra Miller


College Life: The Ultimate Guide to Writing a Research Paper, by Lois Weldon


Laughter, Tears, and Our Teen Years: by McKennaugh


The World Around Us: by Nick Maker


The Razor's Edge: by Madeleine


The Sports Report: by Caela


Emily Rachelle Reviews: A Change of Fortune


Nonfiction Feature: Philosophy Adventure


Game Review: Age of Empires 2 HD


Anime Review: by Xbolt


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.  
Find a participating Sylvan by clicking
or visit
to find a center near you.   



Family Fun Month

National Catfish Month

National Golf Month

National Eye Exam Month

National Inventors Month

National Back-to-School Month

National Water Quality Month

National Peach Month

10-12 Perseid Meteor Shower

13 International Lefthanders Day

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Socratic [suh·KRAT·ik, or soh·KRA·tik] adj.- of or relating to Socrates, his philosophy, or his method of teaching.


"The Socratic Method is a teaching technique based on questions and answers; used by Socrates to elicit truths from his students."  


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


- Can you guess what movie this quote came from?


"Students will rise to the level of expectation, Senor Molina."


(Answer: Stand and Deliver)



Visit Homeschooling Teen Magazine online at !







"Silence is one of the hardest arguments to refute."

-- Josh Billings, American humorist

Homeschooling Teen Profile: Thessalonika Arzu-Embry



At just 14 years old, Thessalonika Arzu-Embry is set to graduate from college on August 30th! The teen scholar was homeschooled from the ages of 8 to 11 by her mother, Wonder Embry. "My mother is a strong inspiration to my success," Thessalonika acknowledged. "She is a veteran of the United States Navy and when she finished her tour, she homeschooled my brother and I."


Thessalonika's mother explained that by instilling discipline in her daughter, and encouraging her to strive for more than just a mediocre education, she was just doing right by her daughter. "The parents are the most influential force in their own children's lives, and they have the power to influence them to do good and to go forward," Mrs. Embry declared.


After earning the equivalent of a high school diploma through homeschooling, Thessalonikapassed the entrance exam for the College of Lake County at age 11. She said that the reason she chose college at such a young age was because she loves studying (she started reading textbooks at age 5 or 6). She also has an interest in psychology that goes far beyond just general knowledge.


Thessalonika will receive her Bachelor's Degree in psychology from Chicago State University, completing a four-year degree in just three years by taking summer classes. If that's not impressive enough, she carries a 3.9 GPA and is a member of CSU's Honors College, a program designed for talented and highly motivated students. Thessalonika also serves as a student senator.


Education is a family affair for the Embrys, and Thessalonika credits much of her success to the strong support that her family provides. Professor Kathryn Rogalski, associate dean of social sciences at the College of Lake County, told The Daily Herald that whenever she met with Thessalonika, her mother, brother, and father would all come along. "It's important to have a support system, especially when your peers are in a different place than you are," Rogalski said. "My biggest take-away from working with her is the importance of family."


Thessalonika and her mother even go to school together. Mrs. Embry is a graduate student in clinical psychology. Mother and daughter get up at 5:00 am most weekdays. Their morning routine consists of prayer and Bible studies, followed by working out at a local fitness center before starting the hour-and-a-half commute from their home at the Great Lakes Naval Station to the CSU campus, located on the city's South Side. During their long commute, they study theory together and discuss their homework assignments.


Despite being barely into her teens, Thessalonika says her college experience hasn't been much different from that of any other university student. Except perhaps, for wild parties - not an option since her mother is there - but that's fine with her. Thessalonika told The Daily Herald: "My college experience is a traditional college experience for me - it is just that I have completed it faster. I am very excited about joining others in having the opportunity to contribute to society in a significant way."


Thessalonika believes that a person's college experience is what one wants to make of it, and for her that means working hard. She spends much of her time studying, reading, and working with other students. While fellow classmates are often surprised by her young age, they generally don't treat her any differently, especially since she helps them study.


After graduation, Thessalonika plans to pursue a graduate degree in Clinical Psychology at Stanford University or Rosalind Franklin University of Medicineand Science. Her ultimate goal is to help people through a clinic she hopes to establish with her mother and her brother, Jeremy. Check out the video link below in which Thessalonika provides insight on how she navigated college.





  Union Institute

Union Institute and University



Union Institute & University (UI&U) is a private non-profit institution specializing in limited residence and distance learning programs for non-traditional college students. Their mission and vision statement reads: "Union Institute & University empowers adults to acquire, apply, and create knowledge through interdisciplinary, flexible, and collaborative programs focusing on social relevance, personal enrichment, and professional advancement. Union Institute & University aspires to educate generations of highly motivated adults who seek academic programs that engage, enlighten and empower them in their pursuit of a lifetime of learning and service."


Union Institute was founded in 1964 as a "university without walls," where adults could have the opportunity to pursue a degree regardless of where they lived and worked, through flexible scheduling and individualized programs. Many of today's commonly used terms in higher education - nontraditional students, interdisciplinary study, distance learning, mentoring, and social relevance - refer to innovative concepts pioneered by Union nearly 50 years ago.


Today, Union has a total enrollment of 2,000 students including 1,162 undergraduates. Students may study online or at one of Union's academic learning centers. The main campus headquarters is located in Cincinnati, Ohio. Union's satellite campuses are located in Brattleboro, Vermont; Miami, Florida; Los Angeles, California; and Sacramento, California. In addition, a hybrid delivery model combines on-campus classroom learning with online distance learning.


Union students come from across the country and around the world. They generally range in age from their mid-twenties to their late sixties. While many of the students have full-time jobs and families, Union classes are also a good fit for young homeschool graduates. Most courses are one-to-one and individually guided, allowing students the flexibility to study at a comfortable pace that suits their busy lives. Students are able to schedule their own meeting times to communicate with faculty when it's convenient for them.


Union faculty members understand that your life is already full of commitments, so they support the most efficient use of your time and resources through innovative teaching methods and individualized programs of study. Union has 400 full-time and part-time instructors, with a low student-to-faculty ratio of 9:1. The experienced and caring faculty consists of recognized scholars and experts in a diverse range of academic fields and professional backgrounds. You can view their bios and photos by going to and choosing an academic program of interest, then clicking "faculty" on the drop-down menu.


A Union education honors your life experiences and helps you to achieve your personal and career goals, while providing you with a transformational education that helps you make a difference in your own life and the lives of others. Relevant coursework promotes critical thinking, problem solving, and the professional growth necessary for advancement. Personal achievement, accountability, and a productive leadership attitude are just some of the characteristics that learners possess and continue to develop throughout their Union experience.


Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Liberal Studies degrees are offered with concentrations in: Arts, Writing & Literature, Education, Environmental Studies & Sustainability, Global Studies, History & Culture, Psychology & Human Development. Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degrees are offered in: Business Administration, Business Management, Child Development, Criminal Justice Management, Early Childhood Studies, Elementary Education, Emergency Services Management, Maternal Child Health: Lactation Consulting, Organizational Leadership, Secondary Education, Social Work, and Special Education.


When students have interests that cross the boundaries of academic disciplines, they may work with an advisor to devise a self-designed concentration. Such a concentration may involve a concept, idea and/or theme such as "freedom," or focus more closely on a subject that does not fit easily into other concentrations. For example, topics such as "environmental design," "studies for the ministry," or "entrepreneurship" may incorporate an inquiry into two or more disciplines such as science and art, history and philosophy, or economics and political science.


Students can accelerate their program and still gain a high-quality education. To assist students in completing their degrees on a timetable that best accommodates their needs, Union offers its academic programs in a three-semester per year format. By avoiding the rigid time schedules of traditional campus-based courses, students are able to take a greater course load each semester than would otherwise be possible, and earn a bachelor's degree in less time than it would take in a traditional college program. Thanks in part to this flexibility, Union has a first year retention rate of 79%, and approximately 66% of undergraduate students earn their degrees from the university.


Since its inception, Union's founders recognized that learning is often integrated with life. They didn't see any need for students to spend time sitting through classes that teach them what they already know. Thus, the undergraduate programs have liberal policies for acceptance of prior learning credits, honoring both professional and personal achievements and the knowledge gained through previous employment, military training, volunteer efforts, and other life experiences.


Union is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Students may transfer academic credits earned at other regionally accredited colleges and universities. These credits are not subject to any time limitations, but if enrolled in the Bachelor of Science program, they must be applicable to your program of study. Union can also award credit for CLEP, DANTES, and other learning assessments. Although prior learning must be documented and evaluated by the faculty, this process is less time consuming than taking conventional college classes.


Union only requires a high school diploma or GED to apply, so you are free to get started on your bachelor's degree right away, with or without previous credits. A full range of federal and state financial aid programs, including grants and loans, are available to Union students who are eligible for them. A growing number of scholarships are also available. Union makes it easy to apply online and create a user profile that gives you the ability to save partially completed applications for completing at a later date.


Union offers a number of student services including a virtual bookstore, Writing Center, and library. The Union Library is fully online and provides access to a growing collection of more than 50,000 electronic full-text periodicals via 150+ online licensed research databases. In addition to electronic journals, they offer access to 150,000+ e-books and 1 million+ doctoral dissertations from colleges and universities worldwide, as well as over 5,000 dissertations produced by Union students.


Union Institute & University will be hosting an open house at the Cincinnati academic center on August 15, 2013. The event is free and open to the public. This is an excellent opportunity to learn about Union's flexible undergraduate programs. University representatives will be available to answer your questions and discuss your academic goals. Light refreshments will be provided. Questions? Contact Nikki at 513-487-1261 or or visit


A Student's Perspective


"Union Institute and University [offers] an online or low residency option for BA in Liberal studies that is test-free. There are many concentrations available from teacher licensure to self-directed. No SAT or ACT required for admission. Evaluations are narrative based rather than grade based. I am in my second year at Union. I was homeschooled from grades 1-12 and find the program similar to my homeschool experience. The transition was fairly easy for me. Students choose topics that interest them. Students are required to read a minimum number of scholarly resources (16) and complete a minimum number of pages of academic writing (32). High School students interested in this school should focus on critical thinking, reading comprehension, and academic writing. They also offer a number of BS degrees, but I believe these courses are more traditional." ~Amanda Dunlap


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



The Problem with Pirates, by Jon

The Problem with Pirates, by Jon  

 (Image Credit: Shamus Young, an unschooling dad, programmer, gamer, cartoonist, and husband of  the founder of Christian Unschooling.) 


"We are the pirates who don't do anything. We just stay home and download games. And if you ask us to purchase anything, we'll just tell you we pirate everything." This is what one would call a "pirate's theme song" (sung to the VeggieTales' "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything" tune). Pirating is also known as illegal downloading. Sometimes software pirates use the argument, "I am going to pirate this game, because the company that developed it is going to get millions of dollars regardless of what I do." This is one of the dumbest and immature excuses I have ever heard. It's still the developer's game and the game is still their profit. Regardless of how much the company makes, it's wrong to pirate someone else's hard work.


First, to say that your reason for pirating is justified because the companies that make the game are making millions anyway is not only irrelevant, but also an immature way of looking at it. It would be like saying "I'm going to rob a bank, because millions of people give them millions of dollars and they have plenty to spare." Do you see what's wrong with that logic? Just because the bank has money to spare, does not give you the right to take some of it from them. (Unless, it's your money you're taking out.) If everyone thought like this, companies would be making pennies from their products. Furthermore, if every possible consumer had this same idea and pirated a game, the company would not be getting ANY profit.


Second, we've already talked about what some people say about stealing from a big business company, but what about the small, independent companies? These would be companies such as 2-D Boy, FrozenByte, and Exor Studios. They generally don't make the same amount of money as the larger companies like Valve, EA Games, and Activision. Quite the contrary really, independent companies have to sell as many copies as they can to make a living. Major companies like Activision have huge game franchises like "Call of Duty," in which they release a new game about once per year and every year they make millions off the copies. Independent companies, however, usually start out with much less publicity and generally sell their games at cheaper prices. So the indie companies are selling less games and making less money.


Third, some of these pirates say that they will download the game now and donate money later (I personally have had one tell me this). The game developer(s) spent much of their time to make the game, so they should be the ones to say how you get to download the game (for example, either purchasing or playing freely). Who does the pirate think he is to decide for himself how he gets to play the game? He didn't work on it and he definitely didn't pay for it. Besides, when the pirate says "I'll pay later," does he think anyone will believe him? Most definitely if it came to such a situation he should pay later. But stealing the game in the first place shows that he is dishonest and thus, not trustworthy.


In conclusion, using the excuse "I'm going to pirate this game, because the company that made it is getting millions anyway" is a childish, selfish act - and NOT a valid excuse. Just because a company is making money, does not mean pirates can take the game for free. Independent companies need the money even more than major companies and yet pirates still steal games from them. If a pirate says he will "pay later," he is saying this because he is hoping everyone will believe him so he will feel better about what he did. Pirates may be cool in the media, but in the real world they are nothing more than thieves. --Jon

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:






Lessons Teens Can Learn From Harry Potter


By Jason Miner

The ever popular book and movie series Harry Potter might not be on your top ten list of teachable films, but actually there are quite a few lessons that teens can draw from them. Teens always need a lot of guidance and they will not always accept it from their parents or guardians. If you can help relate those lessons to your teen through the lens of something the love they are often more open to your ideas. Here are some lessons that the Harry Potter movies can teach your teen:


1. Friends come in all shapes and sizes

- One of the things that are impressive about the Harry Potter story is the fact that three such unique individuals could become friends. Ron, Hermione and Harry all come from different walks of life and seem to have little in common and yet they form long lasting friendships that help them through many struggles. Teens are often exposed to the idea that people have to look or act a certain way to be accepted. By showing them how different people can be and still be friends the trio sets a good example.


2. Your friends make a big difference

- Still going on with this idea of friendship is how important who you chose to hang around with is on your life. No one character, besides Voldemort, is inherently evil. Instead they are affected by the people they choose to associate with. Would Draco have done the things he did wrong if he was not influenced by the Death Eaters? Would Harry have been as successful without the help of his friends like Neville and Luna? Teens need to be taught that who your chose as friends at a young age can affect the rest of your life.

3. It is never too late to turn around

- One of the aspects of Harry Potter that offers hope is the fact that no one is truly lost. Even the most evil of the bad guys are given a chance to turn around and do good. At the end of the story Draco and his mother decide to abandon their evil cohorts. Likewise Snape turns from his path for the love of Harry's mother and decides to do good with his life, even with no reward. Teens often think that once they do something wrong they are marked for life and can never be redeemed. Thankfully this is not the case and it can help them to see that it is never too late to stop and do the right thing.

4. Even 'bad' people can be loved

- Speaking of Snape, his character was one that can inspire teens to see past the surface. Even bad people deserve to be loved and that love can change their lives. Harry's mother saw who Snape really was and her love helped him to become a better man. Dumbledore also saw through Snape's harsh demeanor and became good friends to the point that he trusted Snape with his life. Teen often rebel and put up a tough front but underneath they are in desperate need of love. Showing them that love can be found even when it is not easy is a great way to open their eyes.

5. Empathy pays off

- The thing that really separated the good guys from the bad guys in Harry Potter is empathy. The bad guys killed and tortured without feeling anything. It was only the characters that had empathy for others that ended up being redeemable. Draco's squeamishness showed that underneath his dark robes he still had a heart and could be reached and turn his life around. Harry's empathy for the house elves helped to turn the tide of battle at a crucial moment. Neville, though he was picked on constantly, still had room in his heart for others and he turned out to be the true hero in the story. By emphasizing to teens that feeling for others is not a weakness you can help them to become responsible and charitable adults with an attitude of helpfulness instead of self-centeredness. Like Voldemort, the more wrapped up in yourself that you are the more evil, hateful and untrustworthy you become.

6. Even the smallest person is important

- From Dobby to Neville and Luna it is the small people who count. The big trio gets a lot of the glory in the stories but the truth is that they could not do it without the help of others. Pointing out that even the weakest person at the beginning can be a hero at the end is a great way to show teens that they do not have to be the brightest and best to be successful. Sometimes it is better to be happy with who you are and change the world a little at a time.

7. Don't be afraid to be who you are

- Throughout the stories the characters were trying to find out who they were. Harry was trying to be the hero because he thought that was his destiny. Hermione was the smart one, Ron the silly one, Luna the ditzy one, Draco the bad one and so on. Eventually as they grew up they found out that life does not work like that. We are all complex individuals with many facets to our personalities. It is important for teens to remember that they do not have to fit in a mold. They are an individual, whether a jock or a nerd or a Goth they can be who they are without a definition. Everyone has to become who they are eventually and the less time they spend trying to force themselves into a mold the better off they will be.

These are just a few of the things that teens can learn from the Harry Potter series. Although some of these ideas are difficult to bring up in casual conversation they are important to cover with your teen or pre-teen. Using Harry Potter to do so can mean an easier conversation where both of you listen and discuss rationally.


Author Bio:

Jason Miner plays a vital role for .He is an expert in writing topics of different categories. He is helping the carnival team to grow & working on making this an even better place for bloggers.




Writing essays is one of the most basic skills you will need to learn in order to succeed in high school, college, and beyond.

This article by Sandra Miller provides tips on how to write a good essay.



A lot of people avoid essay writing just the same way as a lot of people avoid Mathematics. Mathematics and essay writing do have two things in common. First is that, they are both hard to learn and second is, they are unavoidable. Wherever you may go and whatever career you will choose, essay writing will always come along the way and you will have no choice but to learn how to do it. But there is no need to worry, the only key on having essay writing as your skill is to know the simple steps discussed in this article and follow them.


Do research

It is not always that you will be the one to choose your own topic depending on your mood and interest. Especially for students, a specific topic is already given and you need to write an essay about such topic, regardless if you do not have any idea on what it is. The good thing is we are now living in a world where a few clicks and typing will do for you to do some research. If you have more time to spend, then go to the library, more time on reading and taking notes, the easier it will be for you to store the information in your memory. This way, you will be confident that readers of your essay can say that you really know everything about the topic.


Check other writers' essays and analyze

Since you are now an expert on your topic, try to find and read other people's essays about the same topic. Take note of the claims, reasoning, and proofs. Also check out the logic and the positive side of the essay that you are reading. Analyzing and sometimes criticizing the essay written by others is a big help on learning on writing your own.



Write down 12-15 questions and pretend that your readers are the ones asking them. Write down your answers and spend time on thinking on what else to write for the topic on your essay.


Make a thesis

Think of a single sentence that you think can be followed by questions, clarifications, and arguments. You cannot expect to produce a quality essay without a thesis



It is time to create guides for each paragraph that you are about to write. Write down sentences that will serve as descriptions to each paragraph and decide which paragraph should come first.


Introduce your work

This is just the same as making an introductory talk as a speaker to ensure that the audience will not walk out because they got bored. This is your chance to get the reader's attention and be confident that they will read your entire essay up to the last sentence.


Write the paragraphs for each topic sentence in your outline

Make sure that each paragraph discusses and focuses on the topic sentence that it is belonging to. Pretend that you are talking to a person about the topic sentence and write down what you are verbally saying to that imaginary person.


Modern Language Association Style

If you happen to put a single sentence or any information borrowed from another writer, you have to state from whoever you have got that information within the essay that you are writing. It should also be indicated at the source list at the work cited page of your essay.


Double check the language

This is the polishing part. Check out for any misspelled words, wrong grammar, flow of the sentences, and incorrect punctuation. Read the essay aloud and you will know which part of it will not sound right and needs to be changed or fixed. 


About the Author: Sandra Miller is a New York University graduate who lives in Brooklyn. She is a freelance writer and uses professional editing services to make her writing perfect.


College Life


The following article by Lois Weldon provides an overview on how to write a good research paper.


The Ultimate Guide to Writing a Research Paper 


In its essence, the research paper is an argument or discussion based on a well-developed thesis, which uses several authoritative sources in order to provide valid evidence. When students are faced with such task, it usually seems like a monumental project to them and their first reaction is being overwhelmed with the amount of work in front of them. However, the process of writing a research paper is pretty straightforward and if the researcher follows this step-by-step guide, it will be easier for them to deliver high-quality work that will be useful in terms of the topic it elaborates.

Organization is the first step to success!


You won't be able to achieve anything if you don't get organized before you start the process of researching and writing. First of all, you should choose your topic. These are the steps that follow after that initial decision:


Find several high-quality sources


Get some index cards and start brainstorming and taking notes


Organize those notes and divide them by subjects


Work on the project's outline


Start with the actual writing


Review the work and improve it


Work on the final proofreading (pay a professional service to do this for you if you are not certain in your language skills).

Research before you select the topic!


It is very important to conduct a decent library research before you choose the topic of the research paper. Find a spacious table in the library and go through many sources that have the potential to provide you with quality material.

When you are certain that you'll have enough sources for it, you can choose your topic. It is recommended to write about something you are really interested about, because you are never going to be able to deliver great work if you're not motivated by its subject of interest.


You will need to develop three main questions about the topic and think about their answers. This needs to be very specific, as choosing a topic that is too general won't enable you to develop a useful and focused research paper. Choose one of these three questions and develop the paper's thesis on its basis.

Work on your sources and take notes!


Besides using online sources, you will have to use the real library in order to find authoritative books on the subjects. Academics rarely accept research papers that are based on online sources only, so make sure to locate at least three books that will be relevant to your subject of interest. Go through those sources and make sure to take plenty of notes during the process.


While you are reading those books and going through online sources, millions of ideas will start going through your head. Some of them will be extraordinary, while others will be useless. Write them all down! Use different colors in your notes in order to stress the most important thoughts.


Make sure to organize those notes. Go through every single one of them and place the really useful ideas aside. Then arrange them by topic and relevance, in order to make the paragraph outlining much easier.

Start with the actual writing!


Now that you have the needed material, you can finally start writing the research paper. Your first step of practical work will be writing an outline, using the arranged note cards. Make sure to plan the word count within these paragraphs, because that will make your writing process much more organized and effective.


After you have the outline, use it to write the first, draft version of your project. The introductory paragraph has to be strong enough to catch the reader's attention, and you have to develop a strong thesis statement that will flow through the paper and lead to final conclusions. The first draft may not be perfect, but don't get discouraged by that fact. Read it many times and make improvements and re-arrangements of sentences or entire paragraphs. Don't be too attached and edit down the writing if necessary. Keep working on your research paper until you are totally satisfied with it.

Final step: Proofreading


Academic writing is not all about providing work that will be useful for the academic community. Your research paper has to be written in academic language, which means that you will need to do an effective proofreading. If you are not too certain about the typographical, grammatical or spelling errors, pay a professional proofreading service to do the work for you, or ask a friend who is capable enough to help you.


Lois Weldon is writer at She lives happily in London with her husband and lovely daughter.


Career of the Month



Ultrasound technicians are also known as diagnostic medical sonographers or simply sonographers. Because of the unique duties and skills contained in an ultrasound technician job description, the U.S. Department of Labor considers ultrasound technician jobs to be distinct and separate from radiology jobs.


Sonographers are responsible for a series of activities related to successfully completing diagnostic ultrasound procedures on patients. The ultrasound technician job duties and responsibilities include:

  • Verifying patient clinical history and health status, evaluating related tests and images
  • Communicating comfortably and clearly with patient to explain the procedure, answer questions and relay information about what to expect during the procedure
  • Communicating any concerns to the referring or interpreting physician as needed prior to the planned ultrasound procedure
  • Consulting with medical professionals and independently assessing any possible need to adapt the planned procedure to achieve optimal results
  • Administering contrast media through an intravenous line as needed after receiving appropriate approval
  • Upholding quality patient care standards as professionally defined before, during and after the procedure
  • Operating the ultrasound equipment and analyzing findings in real time during the examination to ensure optimal data is obtained
  • Physically moving or assisting the movement of the patient as necessary to ensure comfort, a successful procedure and minimal patient exposure to high-frequency sound waves
  • Evaluating ultrasound exam results to identify expected and unexpected outcomes given the procedure plan as well as whether appropriate test guidelines and protocols were followed
  • Identifying and documenting unexpected results that may indicate the need for further testing or immediate medical attention
  • Completing ultrasound technician worksheets that explain test findings to the physician

While performing these duties, ultrasound technicians help preserve the integrity of the profession by adhering to a professional code of ethics designed to protect patient wellbeing, competent practice, professional standards and public trust. They take active roles in assessing the safety and effectiveness of the equipment they operate as well as the work environment and all aspects of their involvement in the profession. As discussed in the section of ultrasound technician education, they also undertake professional sonography certification and continuing education to maintain a high level of knowledge and skill in this rapidly evolving field.


With the advent of increasingly portable equipment, some ultrasound jobs now take place in locations away from hospitals, physicians' offices and other facilities to which patients normally travel. A mobile sonographer operates and secures the van in which ultrasound equipment is transported and may either bring patients to this van for ultrasounds or roll equipment out to locations such as a clinic, a patient's home or a nursing home. Bedside sonography technicians also use rolling equipment but do so within hospitals in instances where a patient is unable to leave an intensive care or cardiac care unit or a hospital room. This mobile technology also has tremendous benefit in emergency medicine and battlefield medicine. Ultrasound can offer rapid evaluation of a variety of traumatic and life-threatening conditions as well as provide internal visual guidance during some emergency procedures.


In performing mobile sonography services, ultrasound technicians must often devise creative solutions in order to effectively position patients and achieve technically adequate images under challenging circumstances. Travel sonography, in which technicians relocate to different geographical areas for extended periods of time, requires a particular commitment to adaptability in the face of unknown and unpredictable working conditions. Traveling ultrasound technicians encounter new living environments and diverse people in locations around the globe and sometimes choose to increase their marketability in these settings by being certified in related fields such as radiology as well.


If you are going to start an ultrasound tech career, visit Ultrasound Technician Career Center to get free resources on this occupation.


Article Source:


Laughter, Tears, and Our Teen Years, by McKennaugh


Pursuing Dreams ( With the Help of a Volkswagen, a U-haul, and Some Hay Bales)


I happened upon a bunch of old papers from quite a few years ago. There were scribbled pictures of "Herbie cars" (Volkswagen beetles) drawn by my little brothers and I with "Texas or Bust" flags attached to them. Tucked in with the Herbie pictures was something I had written about how we wanted to move to Texas and start a farm with goats and chickens and all. We wanted to be homesteaders. I can't actually remember when or why Texas came into our dreams, but it did, and, for quite a while, it stayed. I think it may have had something to do with the fact Austin is homeschool and organic friendly. Anyway, we were boxing stuff up, getting ready, painting, and searching for property. We wanted to move. But we didn't. We never quite got to the part where we actually listed our house, packed stuff into storage and took off into the unknown.


After we gave up on moving for a time, a tiny bit of the "homesteader" part came true when I got goats for my eleventh birthday. They were named Swirl, Cream Puff, and Horizon. Shortly after that, we got a couple of Indian Runner ducklings and collected a handful of chickens from a local organic farm. The farm wanted to get rid of those certain chickens because they kept on leaping the fence. Mom and Dad weren't worried because our chickens were to be completely free range-no fence at all. We'd just lock them up in the coop at night. It turns out that free range chickens are a real pain. They stand on the porch and leave behind reminders of their presence and they congregate under the picnic table waiting for somebody to leave the food unguarded. At least we had as many eggs as we could eat!


But we had a few problems. Horizon the goat bucked and attacked my brothers and I. She left my parents alone, I'm not sure why; perhaps the goats felt that our mom and dad were bigger and thus more intimidating. So my very pregnant mother was left caring for Horizon and the rest of the "Goat Girls" while my dad was at work, since I couldn't get near them without risk of injury. The tiny barn that my Dad had built into a hillside during the fall gave us all a big surprise in the spring. That hill happened to be where all those little run-off streams trickle down. We went to do the morning chores one day only to find chickens that were practically floating away and ducks that were loving every minute of the sloppy mess. After that, we spent most of our time bailing smelly water out of the barn until the summer months came. I couldn't stand cleaning out hay covered with you-know-what from the chickens and ducks and I dreaded lugging 5-gallon buckets (those are really heavy to an eleven-year-old) down our giant hill so that the animals could have something to drink. Because of the danger the goats were to my siblings and I, we sold them back to their original owner. The chickens, old before we got them, started dropping dead. My dad accidently forgot to close the coop one evening and something had our ducky, Pip, for a midnight snack.


Eventually our mini "farm" dwindled to nothing. We had no animals anymore. When they left, the messy coops and water buckets were in the past, too, and I can't say I missed them. One stage in our life had happened and closed.


But we still hung onto the moving thing. We wanted to move to a place that wasn't on a hill covered with trees with no room for a garden or improvement and my dad wanted a home business. Time passes. Lots of time. I'm seventeen now, not eleven. By this time, my dad has worked in the automotive field for 25 years. We still hold onto moving dreams, although Texas is now out of the question. We want to live someplace with trees. When you grow up in Pennsylvania you just can't live without trees. The scraggly bush and palm things don't count. Real trees are tall and green and shady. Real trees make forests...they don't spring up overnight in desert oases after a long-awaited rain.


Anyway, this spring my parents decided that they were going to put our house on the market and go on a cross-country trip with us to see where our family should settle down. We rented a storage shed. A big one. I thought, Wow, maybe my parents are serious. Then, with the help of U-hauls, we moved most of our stuff to that storage shed. Yep, they're serious, I decided. One morning, my brothers and I awoke to a Volkswagen Van (complete with the pop-top and seats that folded down into a bed) parked in our driveway. Mom was beeping the horn. We blinked. Then we screamed and shouted and ran out the door in our jammies.


There was even a huge trailer that attached to the back of the van. Now Mom could pack to her heart's content. California, here we come!!


We painted some of the walls in the house again. We packed. Today there are bins and boxes all over the yard that we're squeezing into the back of the Pathfinder to take down to the storage shed. I'm driving a carload of stuff to our local Salvation Army store.


Tonight my dad will come home from work and, for the first time in ten years, he won't have to worry about going back to that place on Monday. He has quit his job so that we can all move and go on that trip. Together.


Now we're hopefully going to jump in that Volkswagen soon, pursue some highways, some dirt roads, some dreams. Perhaps we'll settle down, build that timber frame and straw bale house we've always wanted. We'll grow a garden and be more self-sustainable. My brother, Brennan, wants to get some livestock. Maybe we will build dreams out of straw and clay and family and laughter. Some people scoff at our plans; that's fine. Yes, we could fail. But, if we take the jump, we can't ever say that we didn't try. My parents won't have to say, "We wish we had taken that trip before the kids were grown up and gone." They won't have to say, "We wish we had tried to build that house."


Because it's not always whether or not you succeed that matters, it's whether or not you tried. --McKennaugh


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


The Razor's Edge, by Madeleine Richey   




Cigarettes are small. They fit perfectly into your hand, right between your fingers, and often you can find groups of smokers lingering together outside the doors of public buildings, around the little ashtrays that seem to become more and more scarce nowadays, engaging in conversation while savoring the smoke.


It seems harmless, though I'm sure you know otherwise thanks to the anti-smoking propaganda that has circulated over the years. But some of us are still tempted to try a cigarette. Just one. It's so small. One can't hurt. You can't become addicted with just one. The fact is, most people start that way.


But there are immediate and long-term health effects from smoking that you might not realize. We're often shown the extreme cases as deterrents, but there is always a voice we like to call 'common sense' in the back of our head, nagging at us. "That's not going to happen to you. Look how many people smoke and it never happens to them." This is, in a way, true. The vast majority of smokers never experience the issues displayed as the fate that awaits us if we choose to smoke, but they still suffer nonetheless.


According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention website, smoking carries with it risks that are by no means small.


  • Smoking is estimated to be the cause of 90% of lung cancer deaths in men, and 80% in women.


  • Smoking is the cause of up to 90% of all deaths from chronic obstructive lung disease.


  • If smoking were eradicated, one out of three cancer related deaths in the USA would not occur.


  • Other factors, such as increased risk of developing possibly fatal health problems are as follows:


  • The risk of developing coronary heart disease in smokers vs. non-smokers is 2-4 times higher.


  • Women who smoke risk developing lung cancer 13 times more often than women who don't.


  • Men who smoke risk developing lung cancer 23 times more often than men who don't.


These risks should not be taken lightly. And when you do develop lung cancer, or some other health problem, either directly or indirectly as a result of smoking, who do you have to blame but yourself?


Besides the obvious risk of lung cancer, there are many other cancers that have been proven to have an increased risk of development with the habit of smoking. Some of these are: bladder, stomach, pancreatic, esophagus, cervix, mouth, and kidney.


Another risk, which carries with it the chance of damaging, if not taking, two lives, is that of pregnant women who smoke. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, smoking can damage the reproductive system and lead to infertility. It could also lead to complications such as low birth weight, stillbirth (when the child is born dead), premature birth, or SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.)


The effects of smoking stated above are just a few of the many complications that can result from smoking. That small cigarette is actually a death stick. If you breathe in the smoke now, chances are that later on you won't be breathing at all.


Madeleine, 16, says: "I want to help people and I want to tell stories, especially the stories of people who don't have a voice of their own. Some of them have faces we recognize-the faces of family and friends, maybe even the face we see when we look in the mirror. I want to share with you the information I have about all these things, so that maybe you can recognize them and walk away from danger or help out a friend who doesn't see it or saw it too late." Visit her blog at


The Importance of Connecting with Grandparents Before It's Too Late!


By Nick Maker  

Nick Maker  


I just went to Orlando to visit Disney World and Universal Studios, (try to not get jealous,) but not only that, I visited my grandparents who came all the way from Colombia. It was a grand happy time to see them once again after 3 ˝ years. I had seen them in my last vacation. I love them so much that I think it is a wonderful time to talk about the Importance of Grandparents.




Since we were small we cared about our parents so much. Do you ever wonder about how our parents have parents as well? Introducing the grandparents! They love us and care for us, (most of the elderly folks do) and they give us small gifts every visit (most every visit).


However, with advancing age we have to give them more love. Ask them about their past, so maybe you'll know about your great great grandfather who fought in the Civil War, anything to learn your parents' roots.  Spend a day listening to them, help them when they have no strength to carry their load, and finally say what your heart tells them of how dearly you love them.


Because they can't live forever even if we wanted them to, anything can happen. The moment they are gone we will feel a burning coal in our heart that won't cool down because we didn't say "I love you, thanks for everything of your love and support of my present and future."


Don't think of them as old Kooks who don't know how to manage a computer. They have a lot of knowledge from their past that we didn't grow up in. Their past teaches us the future and our future becomes the present. Grandparents have most of their lives behind them. Teens have most of their lives ahead of them. The connection between the two is for both to listen. No matter our age we all fear, we all rejoice, we all be saddened, and we all hope.


Don't be ashamed to cry. I cried when I shared these words with my grandparents and with my mom too, both quietly and publicly. If you want a private moment, go ahead. Just don't take too long to find the right moment. Hug them, kiss them on the cheek, and take as many photos as you want. It's your choice and your choice alone of how you manage the final moments of their lives - or regret it for life. Don't wait; act now.


The Sports Report by Caela 


The 2013 Open Championship


This years' Open Championship was at Muirfield in Gullane, Scotland.  The winner of the 2013 Open Championship was Phil Mickelson. Here are some things about Phil Mickelson and his career. Phil is 43 years old; he was born June 16 in the year 1970; in San Diego, California. He grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona; he graduated from the University of San Diego High School in 1988. He got a Golf scholarship at Arizona State University (ASU). He won three NCAA individual championships and three Haskins Awards in 1990, 1991, and 1992. He won a total of 16 tournaments in his college career. He graduated from ASU in 1992. After he graduated he turned pro and started to make his way to the big tournaments. He married his wife Amy in 1996; they have three children Amanda born in 1999, Sophia born in 2001, and Evan born in 2003. Phil has 42 PGA Tour Wins five of them are Majors. He has 9 European tour wins five are also Majors. One win on the Challenge tour and 5 on different tours. The five Majors he has won are the 2004, 2006, and 2010 Master Tournament; the 2013 Open Championship, and the 2005 PGA Championship. Phil holds the record for most second place finishes in the US Open with six. He has finished in second place or tied for second place in the 1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2009, and 2013 US Opens. He was inducted in The World Golf Hall of Fame in 2012. Congrats to Phil on his fifth major. Good luck with the rest of your career. Hope your children are health and doing well; I also hope that you and you wife live a happy and full marriage for many years to come. Good luck in the rest of the season as well. In this tournament we are going to follow Phil Mickelson, Henrik Stenson, Tiger Woods, and reigning champ Ernie Els.


Round 1:

In Round 1 Phil Mickelson shot a 69 2-under par after one round. Tiger Woods shot a 69 2-under par after one round. Henrik Stenson shot a 70 1-under par after one round. Ernie Els shot 74 3-over par after one round.


Round 2:

In Round 2 Phil shot a 74 3-over par for a total 1-over par after two rounds. Tiger shot a 71 even-par to stay at 2-under par after two rounds. Henrik shot a 70 1-under par for a total of 2-under par after two rounds. Ernie shot a 74 3-over par for a total of 6-over par after two rounds.  


Round 3:

In Round 3 Phil shot a 72 1-over par for a total of 2-over par after three rounds. Tiger shot a 72 1-over par for a total of 1-under par after three rounds. Henrik shot 74 3-over par for a total of 1-over par after three rounds. Ernie shot a 70 1-under par for a total of 5-over par after three rounds.


Round 4:

In Round 4 Phil shot a 66 5-under par for a total of 3-under par to win the Open Championship. Tiger shot a 74 3-over par for a total of 2-over par to finish in a tie for sixth after four rounds. Henrik shot a 70 1-under par for a total of even par to finish in second place after four rounds. Ernie shot a 74 3- over par for a total of 8-over par to finish in a tie for 26th after four rounds.


The 2013 MLB All-Star Break


The All-Star events were at Citi Field the New York Mets Stadium. The first event of the All-Star break was the Home Run Derby. The Home Run Derby was on July 15th and the All-Star Game was on July 16th.


The players that participated in the Home Run Derby were: Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees, David Wright of the New York Mets, Prince Fielder of the Detroit Tigers, Pedro Alverez of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Chris Davis of the Baltimore Oriels, Michael Cuddyer of the Colorado Rockies, Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals, and Yoenis Cespedes of the Oakland A's.


In the first round Robinson Cano hit 4 home runs, David Wright hit 5 home runs, Prince Fielder hit 5 home runs, Pedro Alverez hit 6 home runs, Chris Davis hit 8 home runs, Michael Cuddyer hit 7 home runs, Bryce Harper hit 8 home runs, and Yoenis Cespedes hit 17 home runs. Advancing on to round two was Chris Davis, Michael Cuddyer, Bryce Harper, Yoenis Cespedes.


In round two Chris Davis hit 4 home runs for a total after two rounds of 12 home runs. Michael Cuddyer hit 8 home runs for a total after two rounds of 15 home runs. Bryce Harper hit 8 home runs for a total of 16 runs after two rounds. Yoenis Cespedes hit 6 home runs for a total of 23 home runs after two rounds. The finalists were Bryce Harper and Yoenis Cespedes.


In the finals the slate is wiped clean. In the finals Bryce Harper hit 8 home runs and Yoenis Cespedes hit 9 home runs to win the Home Run Derby. Yoenis is from Cuba; he has only been in the states for two years. He is also the first player to win the Home Run Derby that did not play in the All-Star Game.


The All-Star Game was very uneventful; there were only three runs and all of them where for the American League. The first three innings were scoreless; this marked that the last 17 innings in All-Star games the American League has not scored. Then in the fourth inning Jose Bautista made a sacrifice fly to Bryce Harper of the National League to let Miguel Cabrera score. In the fifth inning J Hardy grounds out to let Adam Jones score to make the game 2-0. The 6th and 7th innings were scoreless. In the 8th inning Jason Kipnis hit a ground double to left field. Salvador Perez scored to make the game 3-0. The 9th inning was scoreless so the game ended 3-0 American League. The American League has not won an All-Star Game since 2009.


2013 Wimbledon


The 2013 Wimbledon was from June 24 to July 7. This year's winner was Andy Murray of Great Britain. He is 26 years old; he was born on May 15 in the year 1987; in Glasgow, Scotland. He turned pro in 2005, within three years he made it to the finals of the 2008 U.S. Open and lost to Roger Federer of Switzerland. Two years later in the Australian Open they met again and sadly Roger beat Andy again. The next year he made it back to the Australian Open but lost to Novak Djokovic. In 2012 he made it to the Wimbledon and the US Open final. He lost Wimbledon to Roger Federer for the second time in two years; and in the US Open he won his first Grand Slam Title beating Novak Djokovic; a few weeks before that he beat Roger Federer at the Wimbledon stadium for the 2012 Olympic gold medal.  He also won a silver medal with Laura Robson in the mixed doubles they were beat by Victoria Azarenka and Max Mirnyi. This year he made it to the Australasian Open final for the third time, and for the second time he lost to Novak Djokovic. He also made it to the Wimbledon final in which he beat Novak Djokovic to become the first British man to win Wimbledon in 77 years.  The last British man to win Wimbledon was Fred Perry who won it three years in a row from 1934 to 1936. Congrats to Andy Murray on his second Grand Slam Title and his first Wimbledon. I am sure that many people including me hope that there are many more Grand Slams to come. This year's Women's winner was Marion Bartoli of France. She is 28 years old; she was born on October 2nd in the year of 1984; in Le Puy-en-Velay, Haute-Loire, France.  She has been playing tennis since she was six years old. Her father Walter introduced her to the game. She turned pro in February of 2000. She has 14 professional wins. This is her first Grand Slam Title. Here are her best finishes in all the Grand Slams: the Quarter Final in the 2009 Australian Open, the Semi Final in the 2011 French Open, the winner of the 2013 Wimbledon, and the Quarter Final of the 2012 US Open.


Here is how Marion Bartoli made it to the Finals and won the 2013 Wimbledon. In the first round she beat Elina Svitolina of Ukraine in two straight sets. In the second round she beat Christina McHale of the United States in two sets. In the third round she beat Camila Giorgi of Italy in two sets. In the fourth round she beat Karin Knapp of Italy in two sets. In the Quarterfinals she beat Sloane Stephens of the United States in two sets. In the Semifinals she beat Kirsten Flipkens of Germany in two sets. In the Finals she beat Sabine Lisicki of Germany in two sets to win Wimbledon.

Here is how Andy Murray made it to the Finals and won the 2013 Wimbledon. In the first round he beat Benjamin Becker of Germany in three sets. In second round he beat Y-h Lu of the Taiwan in three sets. In the third round he beat Tommy Robredo of Spain in three sets. In the fourth round he beat Mikhail Youzhny of France in three sets. In the Quarterfinals he beat Fernando Verdasco in five sets. In the Semifinals he beat Jerzy Janowicz of Poland in four sets. In the Finals he beat Novak Djokovic of Serbia in three straight sets to win Wimbledon.


Sport Events in August



There will be 406 Baseball games in the month of August.



There will be 66 Preseason Football games in the month of August.


PGA Tour:

The Reno-Tahoe Open and the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational are from Aug 1-4. The PGA Championship is from Aug 8-11. The Wyndham Championship is from Aug 15-18. The Barclays is from Aug 22-25. The Deutsche Bank Championship is from Aug 30-Sep 2.


European Tour:

The World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational is from Aug 1-4. The US PGA Championship is from Aug 8-11. The Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles is from Aug 22-25. The ISPS Handa Wales Open is from Aug 29-Sep 1.


Ladies PGA Tour:

The RICOH Women's British Open is from Aug 1-4. The 2013 Solheim cup is from Aug 16-18. The CN Canadian Women's Open is from Aug 22-25. The Portland Classic Presented by Safeway is from Aug 29-Sep 1.


Men's Tennis:

  The ATP Bet-At-Home Cup Kitzbuhel is from Jul 28-Aug 3. The ATP Citi Open is from Jul 29-Aug 4. The ATP Rogers Cup is from Aug 5-11. The ATP Western & Southern Open is from Aug 11-18. The ATP Winston-Salem Open is from Aug 18-24. The US Open is from Aug 26- Sep 9.


Women's Tennis:

The WTA Citi Open is from Jul 28-Aug 3. The WTA Mercury Insurance Open is from Jul 29-Aug 4. The WTA Roger Cup presented by National Bank is from Aug 5-11. The WTA Western & Southern Open is from Aug 12-18. The WTA Texas Open is from Aug 17-23. The WTA New Haven Open at Yale is from Aug 18-24. The US Open is from Aug 26-Sep 9.


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.



Philosophy Adventure


DO YOU NEED to teach advanced writing and speaking skills to your homeschool teen?


DO YOU WANT to be equipped to discern the truth about the ungodly messages and false philosophies that bombard us every day?


DO YOU WONDER how you can possibly cover all of this academically as well as practically?


Philosophy Adventure is the perfect solution!


Philosophy Adventure is a program designed to help 6th-12th grade students cultivate and defend a biblical worldview by teaching them how to write skillfully, think critically, and speak articulately as they explore the history of philosophy and the impact of ideas. Philosophy Adventure is engaging, easy to use, and empowering!


Philosophy Adventure is designed to be flexible. You can use it as a primary curriculum, as a supplement, and it's interesting enough to make for enjoyable leisure reading! I always wanted to learn about the history of philosophy, but most philosophy books I found to be either dry and boring, or incompatible with my Christian beliefs. Philosophy Adventure is like a breath of fresh air! Homeschool mom Stacy Farrell has created an educational product that makes philosophy fun AND is written from a Christian worldview!


Much More Than Philosophy...


Philosophy Adventure is really unique in that it is not just a philosophy course. Using the lives of the philosophers as a starting point, Philosophy Adventure covers a wide range of subjects: History & Geography, Vocabulary & Composition, Logic & Critical Thinking, Presentation & Persuasion, Apologetics & Worldview. This comprehensive curriculum would be a great humanities elective for homeschool students!


The author provides a guideline of what is needed to use Philosophy Adventure for high school credit in English Composition, World History/Geography, Speech/Communications, and Logic/Critical Thinking. She even incorporates a bit of art appreciation with close-up images of philosophers taken from "School of Athens," a masterpiece painted between 1510 and 1511 by the Italian Renaissance painter Raphael.


Philosophy Adventure is the most interactive curriculum I've seen that isn't a DVD or computer program. The user-friendly layout, visually appealing pages, conversational text, colorful images, interesting stories, and challenging exercises are engaging and easy to follow. You and your student both will be fascinated by these lessons on the philosophers as you enjoy studying them from a Christian worldview and then writing and speaking about their ideas.


Meet the philosophers and read interesting anecdotes from the life of each philosopher, the time and place in which he lived (with references to biblical figures and others who were alive at that same time), the School of Thought identified with each philosopher, how his ideas played out in his own life, and how his ideas ultimately impacted the world. The ancient Greek philosophers featured in Philosophy Adventure: Pre-Socratics include: Thales, Pythagoras, Xenophanes, Heraclitus, Parmenides, Empedocles, Protagoras, and Democritus. (Additional titles featuring other famous philosophers are currently in progress.)


"Write Think Speak" sidebars are intentionally woven throughout the lessons with writing and discussion prompts to complement the concepts presented, while reinforcing the critical importance of developing communication skills and getting students thinking so they can proactively combat false theologies. Each lesson concludes with a "Contrast" section, the first part of which presents a snippet of actual source material, and a second part which explores whether the ideas presented by the philosopher align with a biblical worldview.


The Philosophy Adventure curriculum consists of three volumes:


The Reader is a spiral bound, 8.5 x 11, colorful text filled with relevant images, philosopher stories, writing lessons, critical thinking lessons, public speaking lessons, historical geography, primary sources, and a biblical worldview analysis. Significant persons, places, works, and dates are set in bold type throughout the lessons, often accompanied by phonetic pronunciations or other helpful information. The Reader also contains detailed writing checklists designed to help students move through the writing process with clarity and confidence - while equipping you to effectively evaluate the writing that your students produce.


The Student Workbook includes philosopher notebook pages, journaling pages, timelines, mapping assignments, quizzes, tests, glossary chart, and more.


The Teacher's Resources contain answer keys to the quizzes, tests, and mapping assignments, memory cards, timeline resources, a glossary of terms and definitions, and "at-a-glance" instructions designed to simplify teaching.


Philosophy Adventure is completely self-contained and ready to use, although the author does recommend a few resources (Philippians in 28 Weeks, The Wise Woman with Literary Analysis Journal Questions, and Mere Christianity) to complement her philosophy curriculum. The Reader also includes lists of Recommended Resources (she draws upon some of the finest resources available from such great Christian thinkers as C.S. Lewis, R.C. Sproul, and Ravi Zacharias) and Works Consulted (books and websites) for anyone who wants to delve deeper into one or more topics.


Hal and Melanie Young, authors of Raising Real Men, had this to say about Philosophy Adventure:

"When Paul urges us not to be blown about by every wind of doctrine, a knowledge of what drives those winds will blunt their impact. Philosophy Adventure™ will give students a grasp of the foundations of Western philosophical thought and do it in an accessible and engaging way, but even more, its integrated approach will give your students the rhetorical skills to communicate the important differences between that which is "falsely-called wisdom" and a truly Biblical worldview. Philosophy Adventure™ is more than a course on thinkers, it's a course in how to think for yourself and how to effectively share those thoughts with others. And it's a course you and your students won't be able to put down!"


About the Author: Stacy Farrell is a homeschool mom, conference speaker, and workshop leader. She has taught a variety of classes including world history, philosophy, creative writing, essay writing, critical thinking, and speech communication. As both a writer and a teacher, she has a passion for empowering teens to recover territory lost to fuzzy thinking and low expectations.




Enter the Philosophy Adventure's HUGE homeschool giveaway August 1-31, 2013 for a chance to win some great prizes! (Go to and enter via the Rafflecopter widget.)


  Philosophy Adventure


Do you like to write?
Well, why don't you send us something! Become a part of Homeschooling Teen magazine and submit a letter, article, poem, short story, report, or review to:


Emily Rachelle Reviews,

by Emily


Change of Fortune


A Change of Fortune, by Jen Turano


Comedy of manners meets comedy of errors.


This book was highly praised by a friend of mine, and the cover looked beautiful and very high-end and professional.


Before I start being a Debbie Downer, let me point out that there were moments when this book had me laughing out loud.  So it's not all bad... just mostly.


The story premise was good.  The writing was not.  Everything felt choppy and confusing, and there were several times when I had to take a break or reread something just to understand what was going on.  I really struggled with visualizing the story.  It felt like I was reading a first draft, where just the bare bones are scribbled down and explanation or description is lacking.  The parts that did contain explanation or description came across as ridiculous, info-dumping, or both.


The characters didn't seem realistic.  There was way too much jumping around - one minute Eliza's blinking back tears, and then one sentence later she's grinning, and two paragraphs later she's furious with someone.  (Repeat. And again. Another time. Let's go backwards now!)  The dialogue felt forced, pretentious, extravagant.  The language was flowery and old-fashioned, but to the point where it seemed ridiculous.  As the quote goes, there were several places where a ten-cent word was used and a five-cent word would be better.  (Something like that.)


The time setting was odd and imbalanced, too.  There was a huge amount of snorting, hissing (she's not a cat!), quirking brows, muttering, and rolling eyes, which felt all wrong for both the writing and the time period.  Then there were other points that were written fine but didn't fit the characters or society.  Instead of listing those myself, I'll direct you to two other Amazon reviews that put it exactly right:


"I think the author was trying to keep things high-spirited and fun, but it only made the characters seem too modern, both in speech and actions (such as the overuse of `snorting,' eye-rolling, and under-the-breath muttering in supposed women of refinement - and I couldn't imagine any high society woman of that era having trousers on, even under a skirt)!" ~Stephanie


"There is so much about our time, and our way of thinking in this story that one can almost imagine it taking place in the 1950s or 1960s, especially the part about the girls being arrested for prostitution. While I am sure that this could be possible, the horror of it happening to two young women who were more used to the parlor than the seedy part of town is not fully explored. The surprise of harlots being on the corner is just short of shocking to the reader given that the house the young women are going to is supposedly of very high caliber. The reader must untangle from the incongruence before jumping back into the story flow." ~ Gina Burgess


Basically, I feel like this was a great idea that was published before its time.  I think it could have been so much better with revision and maybe a tad more research - like it had great potential but wasn't edited to its best.


I give it 1.5 stars.


I received this book for free through LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program in exchange for a review.  All opinions expressed are entirely my own.

~Emily Rachelle


Find me every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at my blog,

Emily Rachelle Writes ( where I discuss books, family, media, faith, and life as an atypical American girl.


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Age of Empires 2 HD

   Age of Empires 2 HD


Age of Empires II is an old game from 1999, and the following year they released the expansion "The Conquerors." When I got my hands on this game I played it for hours on end; it quickly became my second favorite game (the only one I love more is Chex Quest). But enough about my love for this game, let's get to the review. I will be reviewing about the expansion only, since that was what I played and it really is the same game, only with more stuff to do.


Age of Empires II is a 2D RTS game that takes place in the Middle Ages (mostly). It has a large collection of campaigns that are about many different people over hundreds of years. The voice acting is superb, the gameplay is some of the best you can get, the terrain... it has some issues. As I said before, this is a 2D game, but the world generator has a 3D element. You can alter the landscape, and this causes issues. Like when you place walls along each other on a non-flat part of the world, the walls look kind of wonky. Moving on, being a 2D game you can probably imagine that by today's game standards Age of Empire's graphics aren't too good. I, on the other hand, love the way it looks - but I'll let y'all decide on the graphics.


Finally the best part, Age of Empires II was recently released on Steam, in HD! And that's not all - since it was put on Steam it now has better multiplayer compatibility and access to the steam workshop! So you can download mods and even more HD skin packs for the game (if you want to). The game currently costs $19.99 on Steam; personally I don't think it's worth that price. I bought it for $10 during the summer sale (which I believe to be a much fairer price). But again, I'll let you decide.


In conclusion, this game is by far one of the best I've played and I would recommend buying it if you love RTS games. P.S. If you decide to buy the game, while playing singleplayer press enter and type in "how do you turn this on?" Trust me, it's worth it. -Super Searcher



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  Fractale Anime Review

Fractale is set in the distant future, in what appears to be Ireland. In this future, there is something called the "Fractale System," which is the backbone for just about everything in your average human's life. Fractale supports "doppels," which are 3D holographic beings that users can control. So people can go anywhere at any time, free from a physical body.


Clain Necran lives alone. His parents, and even his dog, are doppels. He doesn't use a doppel, preferring to live more old-fashioned. He likes collecting technology from the pre-Fractale era. He reminds me of a friend of mine, being excited over old tech.


One day, Clain runs into Phyrne, a mysterious girl who is running from some people trying to capture her. Injured in a fall, Clain takes her home because she refuses hospital treatment. She disappears shortly thereafter, leaving behind a pendant. Clain examines the pendant, finding, much to his surprise, that it contains data for a doppel.


Clain sets out on a journey with the girl-shaped avatar and they go looking for Phyrne, uncovering some facts about Fractale along the way...

As far as the story goes, it's not the greatest I've ever seen. But it's not horrible, either. Kinda average. However, I did find the major bad guy extremely cookie-cutter and boring. He's a bad guy, you know he's the bad guy, and nothing sets him apart from all the other garden-variety bad guys. So I make fun of him.


On a side note, the airship used by Phyrne's would-be captors is a very interesting design.


Watch Fractale free on Hulu at


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