Skip College?

cap and gownIt is hard to believe that my eldest is a college graduate with a BS in Psychology and a minor in music.  She finished her studies just shy of her 21st birthday and is now working to save money for grad school, studying for the GRE, leading classes for homeschool students,  planning her next international travel adventure, and for added fun auditioning at local community theatres.

My daughter never stepped into a traditional brick and mortar classroom until her first day of dual enrollment college classes at the local community college during her junior year of high school.  She homeschooled from Kindergarten all the way to high school graduation.  She was accepted into every college she applied to, earned scholarships, performed well on the SAT and ACT tests and passed the CHSPE at the ripe old age of 15.

Why do I share all of this?  It is my prayer that it will ease your fears.  Yes, you can successfully homeschool your child, even through the high school years.  And yes, your student will be well prepared for sophisticated academic pursuits at the college level – IF he or she decides to go to college and IF it is God’s plan for her to attend a four-year university!

Statistically speaking, homeschoolers perform on average or above average on standardized college entrance exams and are accepted into top-tier universities at the same rate as traditional students.  They also have the same or better university graduation rate as their traditionally schooled peers.  It is clear home education prepares students for college.

But dare I say not all high school students need to go to college!  Yes, I said it and I’m sticking by it!  I hate the expression, “He’s just not college material.”   The implication is that the student isn’t smart enough to succeed in college.  Hog wash!  I think the more accurate expression is “He doesn’t need college material to succeed!”  Not all students need college degrees.  Not all students need a college education to succeed in life and in the workforce.  If your child wants to be a doctor, an engineer, a therapist, a lawyer, an accountant or a teacher, then yes, a degree and certification are necessary, therefore, college is in his future!  However, in today’s modern workforce and in the age of information, many jobs, skills, and careers can be learned via internships, apprenticeships, internet, or trade schools.  Experts also predict that many of the jobs our students will possess have not even been invented yet!

disney-traditions.jpgAh, I hear you saying, “My son at least needs a degree of some kind just to get his foot in the door of any company or job.”  Dare I say, this is no longer true.  Mega companies like Apple, Google, and IBM no longer require a degree for higher- level and higher- paying jobs.  Then there are companies like Nordstroms, Disney, Home Depot, and Lowes that allow employees hired at entry- level positions to move up to the highest ranks of their companies, withOUT a degree.   Don’t forget about companies like Starbucks and Chick-fi-La that encourage their employees to train for manager positions and then encourage them to own their own IMG_6586franchises in the future.  In today’s market, creative and hard- working individuals who have an entrepreneurial spirit can build a portfolio, invent a new app, start a new company, publish their own book, produce their own album, or get paid just for using social media.  Some of the world’s greatest thinkers and inventors dropped out of college or skipped college altogether to pursue their dreams and passions or to develop a business model they started during their high school years.

Dare I say it again- Not all high schoolers need to go to college!  It takes just as much courage to NOT attend college in order to pursue a passion or to start a new business as it takes to attend college and pursue a college degree.  If your student needs a degree or wants to attend college, then go for it!  My daughter loved college so much she intends to pursue a master’s degree and perhaps even her Phd.  But her calling requires a degree (or two).  If your student wants to pursue an acting career, a sports career, a writing career or even an art career, consider skipping college.  If your student has no idea what he wants to do, or he has tons of ideas of what he wants to do, then consider skipping a four -year university.  Attend community college to save money and explore options.  Attend a trade school to learn a dying art or to get certified in welding, woodworking, or mechanics.  Find a mentor or an expert in a field for your son or daughter to train under.  Then encourage your teen to work his/her way up the ladder.  Not going to college does not limit their career possibilities; it might just make the possibilities endless!

skip collegeIf one of the main reasons you decided to homeschool was to instill in your child a love of learning, then one option might be to allow that child to use his ability to learn and to use his natural curiosity in the workforce instead of on a college campus.  If you are still not convinced it is ok to say “It’s okay to skip college” then I highly recommend you read the book Skip College:  Launch Your Career Without Debt, Distractions or a Degree by Connor Boyack.  You will be pleasantly surprised.  Boyack does not speak poorly of college. He actually spends the first few chapters discussing how important it is to determine IF college is something you want or need to do.  Then he spends the rest of the book speaking to the person who has decided to skip college.  The book is full of logical reasons to skip college and great ideas on how to succeed in the workplace without a college degree.

Where is God calling your teen to go?  What is God calling your teen to do?  Pray, pray and pray some more!  Then begin exploring other options for your teen who may want to skip college.  If your teen is ready, willing and able to step onto the campus for the academic rigor of a four -year university, then be assured your decision to homeschool high school will give him all of the tools he needs to get accepted and to succeed in college.  If, however, you feel God is leading your high schooler on a different track, one that does not necessarily involve the traditional college experience, take heart.  God designed your teen.  He knows his strengths.  He ignited those passions in his heart.   Be open to the fact that God’s plan for your teen’s life may not look like the plan you had envisioned.  Listen to your teen’s heart.  Listen to the soft whispers of the Holy Spirit.  Rest assured your decision to homeschool high school will also give him all of the tools he needs to follow his passions, learn important skills, and succeed in the workplace.  Perhaps skipping college is just what God is calling your teen to.

God bless,

Carrie

**For more information on how to homeschool the high school years to prepare your teen for either college or the workforce, attend our special weekend for homeschooling moms on March 27th and 28th. On Friday evening, our first session is “How to Homeschool High School.”  Our panel of homeschool graduates will share their high school journeys, what they did (traditional and non-traditional) to meet the CA requirements, what they are doing now in the workforce and/or on the college campuses, and how homeschooling through high school helped each of them achieve their personal, academic and spiritual goals.  Dads and teens are invited to attend Friday night’s session.  Special Guests- Carolyn and Martin Forte.**

Click here for more information or to register

Click here to register.

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Registration Begins TODAY!

map suitcase 2Our 3rd annual special weekend for homeschooling moms will be on Friday evening, March 27th and Saturday, March 28th!  This year’s theme is Homeschooling Adventures:  A Weekend to Rest, Refresh and Rejuvenate. “Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths”  (Ps 25:4).  Come journey with us as we explore how to follow God’s path for educating our own at home and how to turn our homeschool calling into an adventure! Pack your bags, take a little stay-cation, and spend the weekend with other homeschooling moms.

Registration begins TODAY, January 1st!  Click here to REGISTER

Follow our website and IG for event updates, important announcements, and daily homeschooling encouragement.

ced69723-b520-4a99-aed1-7fcad0d1b7ae.jpgFRIDAY, MARCH 27th:  6:30-9:30 PM  Homeschooling High School 

Our first session will share helpful hints and legal advice on how to successfully send your high school students out into the world!  Yes, homeschooling through high school is not only possible, but it is a gift and a blessing from God.   First, Carrie De Francisco will explain what is needed to meet the CA graduation requirements and then our panel of homeschool graduates will share their individual paths to meeting these requirements.  We will end with a Q & A session. Our panel of homeschool high school graduates will share their high school journey, what they did (traditional and non-traditional) to meet the CA requirements, what they are doing now in the workforce and/or on the college campuses, and how homeschooling through high school helped each of them achieve their goals.    Homeschool graduates and Carrie and Mike De Francisco will share how to get into college, meet some of those UC requirements and how to create a homeschool high school experience that builds on your high schooler’s God-given strengths and talents. Husbands & High School students are welcome to attend our 1st session on Friday night and to ask tons of questions!

SATURDAY, MARCH 28TH:  Worship, Speakers, and Fellowship

8:30   Doors open and Fellowship Time

9:00   Worship

MORNING SESSIONS:  

41e9b4c0-fd14-438c-b860-63b8814823b9.jpgThe Jonah Journey:  When God’s Plans Don’t Match Ours  (Book of Jonah Study)

Like Jonah, are you traveling this homeschooling journey kicking and screaming or are you running in the opposite direction filled with fear, doubts and down-right apprehension?  Has God called you to homeschool or has He called you to homeschool another year?  Don’t run away!  Accept the call!  In our first session, we will delve deep into the Book of Jonah and learn lessons from the prophet on how to be joyful (and obedient) when God’s homeschooling “itinerary” doesn’t match ours!  If God has called you to homeschool, He will set the course and not only will His plans will be perfect but they will bring joy and blessings. “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence, there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Ps 16:11).  We will also learn from Jonah how anger, bitterness, unforgiveness and disobedience (even delayed obedience) can turn an adventure and a holy calling into a long, exhausting and even torturous trip.   Carrie De Francisco will share biblical principles from the Book of Jonah that can be applied to your ministry of motherhood and calling to homeschool.


Passport to Learning:  Using Travel, Field Trips and Literature to Learn History, Science, Art, and So Much More

3863F637-2FFF-42E9-A6D7-7CAD94FE613CUse the world as your classroom (literally)!  Is your pocketbook to small to use your passport?  Then travel around the world in 80 Books, one page at a time!  Whether you have a severe case of wanderlust, or you love to travel the world without leaving the comfort of your cozy pj’s, you will love this eclectic, how-to session! Carrie and Francesca De Francisco will share their love of traveling, literature, and games as a way to learn history, geography, and economics, appreciate different cultures, art, and music, and enhance science, environmental and global studies.   Francesca will share how traveling with family around the United States and around the world in high school and college not only enhanced her academic studies but ignited a passion in her for God’s people and His creation.  She will share how she used family vacations, world travels, and mission trips as a way to meet academic requirements, learn self-reliance and how to navigate in the real world (literally and figuratively).  Carrie will share one of her favorite books, Give Your Child the World by Jamie Martin and then will share how you can travel around the world (and back in time) in 180 books and how to use local field trips and family favorite games to explore countries, cultures and God’s creation.  You don’t want to miss this one!

12:00  Lunch Break & Fellowship 

1:00   Worship 

AFTERNOON SESSIONS:  

One Mom’s Journey:  A Testimony

andy desireeFellow homeschooling mom, Desiree Lang, will share her powerful testimony of how God’s plans were radically different from hers.  However, He led her one step at a time along the path He chose for her and her unborn child.  Desiree’s “Andy Story” is a powerful story of how choosing life and trusting God can bring honor and glory to God while sharing the love of Jesus and His miraculous power with those who don’t believe.  When others told her to give up and move on, Desiree chose to believe in God and his promises.  Seventeen years later, her miracle is not only surviving but thriving and is a walking testament to the power of choosing life and choosing God’s plans for our lives.  Bring your doubts.  Bring your kleenex.  Bring your friends.  If you hear one talk this weekend, make time for this one.  You will leave inspired and ready to walk any path God is calling you to.

10 Essentials for ANY Homeschool Journey:  What to “pack” while on this Adventure

10-Essentials-PostWhen planning a trip, packing wisely is essential!  Any traveler will tell you how important it is to never leave home without the “ten essentials”.  What are the “ten essentials” you should “pack” on this homeschooling journey so that at the end of it, your children are filled with a love for God, cherished memories, and life-giving relationships?  Our desire is that through our homeschooling and parenting our children will have the confidence and curiosity to leave home but will have the desire and devotion to come back.  We want them to love the Lord, love each other and love learning.   If you are embarking on this adventure we call homeschooling, if your homeschooling travels are taking a different course, or if you are extending your homeschooling journey for another season, you should have these Ten Essentials for the “trip”! “You, Lord, are all I have, and you give me all I need; my future is in your hands.” (Ps 16:5 GNT).   In our final session, Carrie De Francisco will share the ten essential things every homeschooling mom should do or possess in order to make their homeschooling journey God-honoring, Christ-centered, Spirit-filled, and even fun, memorable and enjoyable! Tons of “how – to’s” and tried and true ideas will be shared so that at the end of the homeschool journey, your Master will say “Well done good and faithful servant.”

3:30  Closing and Fellowship

Check out our Upcoming Events Tab for details of each session and links to register.  See you in March!

 

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Mark Your Calendars​!

map suitcase 2Our 3rd annual special weekend for homeschooling moms will be on Friday evening, March 27th and Saturday, March 28th!  Pack your bags, take a little stay-cation, and spend the weekend with other homeschooling moms.  This year’s theme is Homeschooling Adventures:  A Weekend to Rest, Refresh and Rejuvenate. “Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths”  (Ps 25:4).  Come journey with us as we explore how to follow God’s path for educating our own at home and how to turn our homeschool calling into an adventure!

Registration will begin on January 1st @ Eventbrite! Click here for reminders!

Follow our website for event updates, important announcements, and monthly homeschooling blogs.  Check out our Upcoming Events Tab for details of each session and links to register.  See you in March!

Check back next month for our 3-Part Series on “Around the World in 80 Books!”

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REFRESH & REASSESS

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Happy New Year! It is official.  We are almost half way through this 2018-2019 school year!  Ringing in the a new year also brings reflective thinking.

my goals list on napkinAs we think about our own personal New Year’s Resolutions, we should also assess how our homeschooling year is progressing.  Are we on track?  Are we behind?  Do we need to redo a few things?  Do we need to skip ahead and change course? Do we need to change curriculum?  Do we need to scale back on outside activities?  Are there heart issues we need to address?

The new year can be full of fresh starts and new ideas but for a homeschooling mom, it can also come with a little extra stress.  It is hard to get back into the swing of things after the hustle and bustle of the holidays.  While we may finally see the light at the end of the homeschooling tunnel, we may also wonder how in the world we will get done everything that is still left to do!

 

homeschool fran purpleThis January, take a little time to reassess your homeschooling.  Take an honest look at your heart, your children’s attitudes, your homeschool and your family time.  However, don’t be so hard on yourself (or your kids) that you forget to laugh at the missteps, the mishaps and the mistakes that have happened along the way!  Sometimes we just need to laugh at the history project that turned into one big giant purple (and beautiful) mess!

 

Determine what is working, what needs to change, and what needs to be deleted.  Then put some much needed time aside for you to recharge and refresh.  Join us for our Weekend Event for Homeschooling Moms!   Put this event on your calendar NOW!  Make plans to attend with a few friends.  Let your husband (or mother-in-law) know now that they will be entertaining the kiddos the weekend of March 29th – 30th.    Set this much needed time aside for some encouragement, fellowship, and worship.  Trust me! Come March when we are tired and need a little extra boost to get us to the homeschool finish line, you will want this special time with fellow homeschooling moms.  Our prayer team has already been praying for you and for our weekend together.  Read below what we have planned for you this year.   Then register NOW to receive the Early Bird Special!

Building HEARTS & HOME (Schools) for Christ:  A Homeschooling Mom’s Weekend to Fortify, Edify and Refresh

cap and gownFRIDAY, MARCH 29TH:  6:30-9:30 PM  Homeschooling High School (Date Night:  Dads are invited!)

Husbands are welcome to attend our 1st session on Friday night!  It is always best to start homeschooling with the end in mind so this year, our first session will focus on the high school years.  Yes, homeschooling through high school is not only possible but is a gift and a blessing from God.  First, our host, Carrie De Francisco, will explain what is needed to meet CA graduation requirements and how to build a college worthy transcript if your student is college bound.  Then our panel of homeschool graduates will share their individual paths and how they each met these requirements.  Our panel of homeschool high school graduates will share their high school journey, what they did (traditional and non-traditional) to meet the CA requirements, what they are doing now in the workforce and/or on the college campuses, and how homeschooling through high school helped each of them achieve their goals.    Knowing that homeschoolers are accepted into major public and private universities and even Ivy League schools, this year we will spend less time on how to get into college and more on how to create a homeschool high school experience that meets the needs of each student and helps build his/her God-given strengths and talents.  We will end with a Q & A session.  Dads are welcome to attend and to ask tons of questions!    **Dads are FREE!**

SATURDAY, MARCH 30TH:  8:30 AM- 4:00 PM Worship, Speakers, and Fellowship (Mom’s ONLY)

Wrecking ball1st SESSION:  Demolishing Walls and Obstacles (Book of Joshua Study)

“By faith, the walls of Jericho fell” (Hebrews 11:30).  For many of us, homeschooling seems like a crazy idea, an impossible task,  and an impossible wall to scale.  For some of us,  homeschooling may feel like we are marching in circles day after day not really understanding God’s plans and methods.  Carrie De Francisco will teach the story of Jericho from the Book of Joshua, and how we can apply the principles of Joshua 5-6 to our ministry of motherhood and our calling to homeschool.  On this journey to the “promised land,” we will encounter many Jerichos.  We will face insurmountable walls.  Sometimes, God will give us “strange” commands to follow and will require us to quietly obey while waiting for our next set of “marching orders.”  We are building the next generation of Joshuas!  In order to build hearts and home(schools) for Christ, sometimes we need to totally demolish walls and strongholds before we can begin the rebuilding process.  In our first session, you will be encouraged to follow God’s commands and will be given modern-day tools to “bring those walls tumbling down.”

fun times scrabble2nd SESSION:  Parting the Red Sea (Gameology & Games Curriculum)

Our second session will be full of fun and games!  There comes a time in our homeschooling journey when we encounter that “Ah Ha!” moment.  It is in these moments it seems the “Red Sea” is parting and our youngster is confidently and willingly walking through an obstacle to victory (and with ease!)  These are the moments we long for, we pray for and we wish for. And yes, these moments can be achieved through games!  Games are not only a wonderful way to build family memories, but they also help struggling readers to spell better or budding writers to push past a writer’s block.  Games can awaken in a child’s heart and mind a curiosity in history, art, science and even math!  Carolyn and Martin Forte, founders of Excellence in Education PSP and Co-Creators of The Games Curriculum, will share how to use games to achieve these “Ah Ha!” moments on a weekly or even daily basis.  Carrie De Francisco will also share how to learn and reinforce math facts and skills by playing a few math games with a simple deck of cards or a few pair of dice.eie_logo   In our 2nd Session, we share how to put the FUN back into learning the FUNdamentals by using games to teach, review and reinforce skills in all academic areas.  Excellence in Education (EIE) will also have their Games Curriculum and many of the games we will play in this session on display and for sale.

alex mountain top3rd SESSION:  Miracles and Manna (One Mom / Daughter Journey & Testimony)    

In our third session, fellow homeschooling mom, Alexandra Strauss, will share her powerful story of how God has provided daily the manna needed for her and her daughter.  She will also share how God has used miracle after miracle to physically heal her beautiful daughter, Bella, and how these miracles have been used to bring glory to God.  Through Alexandra’s testimony, we will learn how to expect and to accept God’s daily provisions (His manna) and how to see and appreciate God’s big and small miracles in our lives.

lego heart pic4th SESSION: Character Over Curriculum (Building Hearts & Homes for Christ)  

“Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33).  The main reason many of us choose to homeschool is because we feel God is calling us to do so.    Building godly character is more important than finishing curriculum.  Creating traditions is more important than mastering timetables and choosing relationships over straight A’s is more important.  In our final session, Carrie De Francisco will share how to build godly character through any curriculum you are using (or if you are using no curriculum at all), how to create traditions that give children cherished memories and a place of belonging, and how to strengthen relationships through reading and meaningful discussions.  By focusing on first building God’s kingdom, your child’s academic and social needs will eventually fall into place.  Tons of “how – to’s” and tried and true ideas will be shared.  God does redeem the time, reward our efforts and turn our ashes into beauty when our homeschool focus is truly on building Character over finishing Curriculum. 

EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION HAS BEGUN  for our next homeschooling mom event!  It will be Friday, March 29th & Saturday, March 30th at the beautiful Pasadena Courtyard Marriott in Monrovia, CA!  Click HERE to REGISTER.

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