Sunday, August 28, 2016

Rethinking Four Year College

My son was graduated from homeschool earlier this year and has been working toward passing a CLEP for English and math. He has only a vague idea of what he might want to study. So, instead of spending $30,000 toward a random four-year degree, I think he's going to pursue an applied associates degree in either IT or Accounting, two areas where he had some general interest. This way he can gain employment with a decent salary in two years for less than $8000 tuition. He can CLEP some classes the first year, so this reduces the cost.

Upon graduation, if he decides he likes his chosen field and wants to advance, he can always return to school. If he finds it's not a good fit, he hasn't wasted his time. He'll have a decent salary, no student debt, some savings, and the ability to return to school for another degree/training in the evenings.

Both two-year degrees are practical with medium to high demand and a decent entry level salary.

Times have changed. Getting any four-year degree was a door opener and tuition was affordable when I was in college, so one could afford to get a degree in just about anything. I remember large corporations were recruiting English and political science majors when I was close to graduation. Employment in the corporate world was relatively easy to obtain as long as you had your degree. Now there is less of a guarantee that a job will be available after graduation. I figure it is better to let him figure out where his interests lie before we spend $30,000 on a four-year degree.

At this point, he will be happy to find almost anything where he can excel. He's taking an accounting course
free online, and so far likes it. He'll try some free IT classes as well.

Image source.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Monday, August 15, 2016

CLEP Progress and Homeschool

Oldest is still working on his CLEPs. We decided to work through Time for Writing to give him some review. It seems he has forgotten a lot of what he learned through Rod & Staff English, which was excellent for language mechanics, but weak on writing papers.

He's working through Khan Academy in preparation for his math CLEP.

Starbuck now pays for four years of college through ASU, so I am strongly encouraging him to apply there in the near future. He is still learning to drive, and will be going to a driving school to push him ahead toward a license.

For job experience, he is working as a volunteer with a cat rescue once a week. He's registered with as a pet sitter, but he needs a license to get to regular assignments. There hasn't been a lot of short-term offers.

For career exploration, he signed up for a free accounting class online, and seems to like it! I think he's found something he might pursue. Computer science may still be an option as well, but he seems more suited for accounting.

My youngest continues to use Time for Learning and Brain Pop for homeschool.

For learning adventures, we've been using Airbnb for inexpensive places to stay. So far it has been a good experience staying at people's homes. None have been shared arrangements, so we had the places completely to ourselves. Our next trip is to NYC where we will be staying near Chinatown(inexpensive food) in a small apartment. Good deal and much nicer than staying at a cheaper bedbug hotel.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Free ebook: Keep Simplyfying

See here.
HT to Annie.

Free Comprehensive Homeschool Program: Discovery K12

I'll add this to the sidebar. DiscoverK12 covers all subjects from grades K-12, free online. See here.

My daughter wants to continue Time For Learning(paid), but I will keep this program in mind for the future. Time for Learning seems to be good for her attention issues.

Free Algebra and Calculus Video Lessons

See here.

"My videos cover the entire year of Algebra 1&2 and AP Calculus AB."

Friday, April 15, 2016

Classic Novels and Food

See here,

The Little Library Café

Kate Young cooks and bakes food inspired by her favourite works of fiction. This is her blog, recipes included, as part of the Guardian Books Network. You can also follow her on Twitter and Instagram

Thursday, April 14, 2016

College English Composition CLEP

I am helping my son with CLEP preparation materials. I'll be sharing information here as I find it. If any one wishes to add helpful links, please do so in the comments. No advertisements, please. Free resources only, unless it's for tutoring

CLEP® College Composition Book + Online (CLEP Test Preparation)

How to Write an Effective Essay: The Introduction

Trying this site out: free)

Simplified Writing 101: Top Secrets for College Success

A Writer's Guide to Powerful Paragraphs

Saylor Academy

Thursday, April 07, 2016

And Then There Was One...

One little girl left to homeschool, and she's taken off with online school, so I'm not left with much to share in the homeschool department.

The fourth grader is working on Khan Academy and Time For Learning for her core homeschool. She does a lot of self directed learning where I help her with books and materials in her spare time.

I'll be signing her up for art class soon, and we've been taking day trips to museums, parks, and historical areas.

For some reason, it's not as exciting with the second child, and even a bit exhausting, but that might be my age. I think I miss the challenge which was invigorating. Homeschooling is old hat now, and the homeschooling community has grown and matured. We are no longer pioneers piecing together creative homeschool curricula and researching learning approaches. What was a homey grassroots endeavor is now big business, and educational materials are much easier to find. The internet has matured over the past 15+ years. Everything you need for school, almost everything, is accessible with a search. There's no longer the need for consulting and brainstorming with other homeschoolers. The ubiquitous tight knit communities have scattered. Those blog communities is what I miss.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Homeschool Graduate!

My oldest officially graduated earlier this week. Wahoooo! I won't miss accounting for his progress to the state. It is so pleasant to be out from under the education regulations. Not much has changed other than the legalities; he still continues to learn and work toward a career.

New short term goals are CLEPing out of Algebra, Calculus, and English Composition.  We take a tour of the local community college campus in April. He's leaning toward an Associate's in Computer Science with a transfer across town to the four year college to finish up with a Bachelor's degree. The community college is very liberal with accepting CLEP credits. He could CLEP out of as many as are available for his degree.

This link is super for finding free college classes online, then there's Khan Academy, and official CLEP study guides. All appear to be helpful for acing the CLEP.

All about the CLEP, only $80.00! This beats the cost of a class.

I'll be sure to update here with the CLEP experiences and results.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Preparing for the Spring Garden

Our dollar store has seeds out!  I picked up veggie and wildflower seeds, and I'm preparing the beds with leaf and twig mulch, kitchen scraps, Starbucks used coffee grounds, and wood ash.

Pinning gardening ideas at Pinterest. Check it out here.

Our small pond sprung a leak, so I'm turning it into a veggie garden in the spring.  I've been prepping it with aquarium prunnings, leaves, sticks, and kitchen scraps. In the spring I'll add a few bags of soil.  Source.
 The idea of this layering method is from this book:  
Lasagna Gardening: A New Layering System for Bountiful Gardens: No Digging, No Tilling, No Weeding, No Kidding!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Etsy Store Experiment

I started selling on Etsy in April, and it's been slow going since that time. My expectations were to sell at least four items a week, but that has not happened. I'm lucky to sell two a week.  You can make slightly more per item over ebay, but sales are much slower.  So, I'll be closing shop in April at the latest.

My next venture will be clothing on ebay. I may fare better with these items. Although access to quality items in my area is limited, there may be a better return at ebay with the clothing. If so, I'll need to stock less at home - always a good thing. Etsy is great if you sell upscale sought after collectibles, or are talented with handmade. I find ebay easier to figure out as far as learning what sells, and it casts a wider net with the non-vintage sales. There's more opportunity for me there.

The remaining books in my Etsy store will be kept for our homeschool, and the other items will go to a yard sale and/or charity.

I'll probably list a few thing on Etsy in the future, but only unusual highly sought after items. I do find these a few times a year.

3D Geography Ideas

See here.

About Me

My photo

I'm a homeschooling mom of two, a teen and a little. I hope this collection of mine helps you as much as it has helped us. I have an Etsy shop here: And a blog: