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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

PSAT SAT ACT Test Taking for College Entrance

October 13, 2010 is the big day...time for my 11th grader to take the PSAT / NMSQT (Preliminary SAT / National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test).  He had the PLAN test  for college readiness last year at this time in preparation for the ACT.    SAT means Scholastic Assessment Test and is referred to as the SAT Reasoning Test.  This is NOT the same as the SAT which students from grades 1-10 take.   That is the Stanford Achievement Test.  (I know, it's confusing.)  

If you and your student(s) are about to begin the adventure of meeting the requirements for college admission, be sure to go to THIS LINK to begin practicing now and make sure your student does a little on it EACH DAY.

The 2010 PSAT/NMSQT test dates are:
 Wednesday, October 13, and Saturday, October 16.

Homeschoolers, click on THIS LINK for more details if you are registered with the county in which you live rather than an umbrella school.  The cost is about $13 to take the test although we are paying  a little more since it is being administered by a school.

We are doing an SAT Prep class ourselves as part of our homeschool curriculum  this  year using the book Cracking the SAT put out by Princeton Review. There is also one for the ACT.   Don't wait.  There are many scholarships available to high school students headed for college.  We neglected to search them out for our older son who received 100% scholarship to his college but with the tuition increases over the years, is now beginning to pay a portion for education.  Our state keeps raising the tuition so even the 100% scholarship is not covering all the costs.  Thankfully our son has only about three semesters left.

Our registration packet included practice tests as well as a list of sponsoring corporations from whom we can apply for additional college $$.  We will be beginning that process soon.

Study hard and prepare!  We have had some young friends who opted out of  taking  any of these college entrance tests when they were in high school and they (and their parents) regret it now.  Tests are generally  priced at about $60 for each test you take (SAT / ACT) but it is SO worth the cost if you get several thousand $$ in scholarship money.  The differences between the two tests are outlined below.

ACT Facts

  • What you learn in class will help since this college entrance exam is curriculum-based. That means you'll be tested on grammar, trigonometry, science reasoning, etc.
  • The ACT exam is in four sections -- English, math, reading, and science. The writing section is optional.
  • There are no "ACT IIs" -- the ACT is one test for all.
  • The ACT is popular among students in Midwestern and Southern U.S. regions.
  • Unlike the SAT, there is no guessing penalty, meaning you're only scored on correct answers.
Top score = 36

SAT Facts

  • The SAT exam is based on logic, critical thinking, problem--solving, and it tests vocabulary level.
  • Math, verbal and writing are the three main sections of this college entrance exam.
  • You may be required to take additional subject tests (called SAT IIs) for some colleges.
  • The SAT is most popular among students in Eastern and Western U.S. regions.
  • You are penalized for wrong answers, so wild guessing won't help you.
Top score = 2400

You are allowed to combine the scores for the various portions to achieve the required score for scholarships (75% or 100% funding in most cases).  Our older son who is now a senior in  college took each test while in high school.  He scored 100 points below the requirement for 100% scholarship on the SAT; and 1/4 point below the requirement for the ACT.  He took the ACT a second time.   He took the Language score from Test #1 and combined it with the math score on Test #2  to get the required score needed for the 100% funding.  :)  So, basically $180 in testing = several thousand $$ in college funding.

Students, do your best and prepare ahead of time; parents, help them prepare and encourage them along the way. Be sure not to neglect the WRITING preparation as this year, I believe, is the first year that an essay is required to qualify.   Not everyone is meant to go to college but, in my opinion, ALL high school juniors and seniors  should try taking both the ACT and the SAT at least once to determine this.   There is no better time than this to max out on generous funding to defray the costs of college which are ever increasing.  Once you graduate high school, you are ineligible for these two particular sources of funding.

Proverbs 21:5 
The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage...

Monday, August 30, 2010

Two New Blogs for Women: Submission, Frugal Living

Here I am again introducing two new blogs written by friends of mine.

1.  Submission is Not Silence: how women should respond to what the Bible says about submission by Elizabeth Pent Julin.    Liz was part of a large Christian family whose father was a traveling evangelist.  The family was one of the original homeschooling families which was almost unheard of at that time.  They traveled often with their father and sang in his ministry.  Her eldest brother wrote a book when he was a teenager about their experiences  titled Ten Peas in a Pod.  I have been blessed in knowing  several members of her  extended family over the last three decades.  Liz has written a book (the same name as her blog)  which has now been released [3.4.11].  To view the trailer for this book, go to THIS LINK.  My friend, Virginia, has written an excellent review of Liz's book on her blog at THIS LINK.

To visit Liz's blog, go to THIS LINK.   

2.  Healthy Frugal Happy by Patty Morman, wife, mother of two and missionary.  We live near each other and attend the same church together where our husbands are both elders.   Patty enjoys ministering to other families, especially young moms.  To visit her two blogs, go to THIS LINK for her blog about living frugally and THIS ONE about hope...

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday: Worship the Lord

I hope  you are worshipping at your church today.  If you can't make it out this morning or evening, there is some good teaching on the radio to encourage your spirit.  Some of my favorites are:  Alistair Begg, James Dobson, Billy Graham, Ravi Zacharias, John MacArthur, David Jeremiah, Charles  name a few.  They can be heard on Sunday mornings (weekdays, too) at WTLN 950 AM or at THIS LINK

I typically do not watch pastors  on TV unless I am  home sick on a Sunday morning. In that case,  I usually like to see  In Touch with Charles Stanley and/or First Edition / First Baptist of Orlando.

The church I attend does not have a radio or TV broadcast but sermons can be heard online at THIS LINK.

For women, there is an excellent broadcast on radio and TV called Precepts for Life with Kay Arthur that you might also like.  She's very Southern but quite good and easily accessible through her broadcasts.  Beth Moore is a p0pular teacher for women but her studies have to be purchased.  My favorite female Bible teacher no longer teaches as she is quite elderly now but you can read transcripts of some of Elisabeth Elliot's devotionals or any of her excellent books.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Yearbooks for Sale Ebay Store Community School FTU Park Maitland

Just wanted to let you know (since many of my readers are local) that I have a few unusual items you might like-- three school yearbooks-- for sale in my Ebay store.  Just click on the links to see each one.

1.  Park Maitland Yearbook (2008-2009)
This is a pre-owned annual yearbook from Park Maitland School in Florida dated 2008-2009. It has a student name label in the front, a few signatures of students on the front pages and one teacher note in the back. There is a small indentation on the top edge of the book (it may have been dropped). Very clean, good condition. 

2.   The Community School  (2000-2001)
Thisi is a  pre-owned (but appears new) yearbook from The Community School titled IN HIS HANDS.  This yearbook is from 2000-2001.  The Community School is now called ICS or International Community School located in Winter Park, Florida.  Excellent, like new condition.  If you did not buy one at that time, this is a great price.  No autographs or writing inside.  A nice heirloom gift for a student or teacher.

This is a college catalog / bulletin dated 1972-73 from Florida Technological University (FTU) now known as the University of Central Florida (UCF). 224 pages. Measures about 8 1/2" x 8". Pre-owned, some shelf wear and age spots inside. Good condition. 

Friday, August 27, 2010

Christian Networking Business / A Job Well Done

This has been a week for repairs and maintenance for us.   [I never misspell maintenance since I lost a spelling bee in the 6th grade because I missed it!]   An expensive week (over $1,000 worth by the time my husband buys tires for his car), but necessary.  Occasionally I do business referrals in my blog here since most of us are often looking for someone dependable and trustworthy to do work when needed.

I like purchasing from Christian-owned (and run) companies. We have a good friend who is a mobile mechanic who has serviced our cars ever since he started his business in 1979.  In fact, I was his very first customer long ago.   He is trustworthy and does excellent work.    We've known each other since we were in our 20s.  He comes to your home or workplace to service your car rather than you driving it or towing it to a service center.  He was at our house this week servicing the air conditioning on my car.   It sure runs cool now!

Earlier this week I also mentioned another friend who has a   home maintenance business.   He and his partner were over this week repairing our garage drywall ceiling that fell down  a couple of weeks ago and replacing our leaky kitchen faucet  AND repairing another pipe leak under the kitchen sink.   Our home was built in the 1970s so repairs and maintenance is expected but who would have thought that the ceiling would fall down?  And on top of my husband's car!

Our accountant is also a Christian whom we have known for about 30 years or so as well.  His son and our older son played together as babies / young children and his wife and I  worked together in banking for about five years.  He and my husband work out together at the YMCA and enjoy sports programs together also.  We have trusted him with our finances and tax returns for many years.

It hurts to pay out $$ in the hundreds to anyone sometimes, but we'd much rather give it to another Christian or someone I know well who does work for us than to a stranger.  

Many people feel the same way when they hire me as a pianist for a wedding, funeral or competition or as a music teacher to  teach piano to them or their children... 

...or when they retain my husband to do architectural designs for them on their offices, churches or homes.    Clients feel more comfortable knowing someone who knows someone who knows us as in Linked In.   

My college-aged son is also discovering this in his graphic design business as well.  Some have seen his artwork displayed in our home and have  hired  him to do a drawing or graphic for them.    Others have found him via his websites or by word of mouth.

The Linked In networking site has helped more than one friend obtain employment or job referrals but word of mouth is a big plus for anyone with a business, home or otherwise.

We all strive for excellence in the things we do best.

It is good for Christians to support each other with our time and our finances whenever possible.  We try to do so as often as we can when needed when they are recommended to us or are people that we know well.

Galatians 6:10 
So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, 
and especially to those who are of the household of the faith. 

Please note:  We are doing our best to live beneath our means in order to keep money set aside for unexpected expenses like those described above.  We pay for them with credit cards because we get good rewards with our card but the balance is paid off each month.  Sometimes a "savings" account can become your emergency fund as ours has many times i.e. trees falling, storm damage, unexpected medical bills, car repairs, etc. I used to worry about this but now, am just thankful for God's provision and  that  the money has been there when we need it.   We save up, then spend down as life happens.   We have had the blessing so far of not needing to take on debt to pay for daily life happenings for many years...and I hope you are trying to do the same no matter how old or young you are.

Proverbs 6:6-8 
Go to the ant, O sluggard, observe her ways and be wise, 

Which, having no chief,  officer or ruler, 

Prepares her food in the summer 
And gathers her provision in the harvest. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

New Blog: Coupons Make It Free

Just introducing you to a new blog by my friend Esther.  She is married and is a working mom with one young son.   We know each other from church and Titus 2 Moms. She's really learned well how to save $$ at the grocery, even Publix, which I have always thought was way overpriced.  I'll be checking back in to see her tactics frequently.  I love her blog title!  :)  :)

To take a look, go to THIS LINK.  This blog is also on Facebook.

Here is Esther's business card if you'd like some GREAT  tips from a Coupon Master.    You can also find her on Facebook at THIS LINK.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Homeschool Curriculum and Classes 11th Grade High School

Well, the planning is over and school has begun.  I thought you might like to see what we are doing for 11th grade this year.   Although college and most schools began classes this week, we actually started last Monday, August 16.  I like to plan our school calendar with 1-2 days off each month, one week off in October, November, and March and about three weeks off in December, finishing up the first or second week of May.  To do that, we have to begin a little early but it is SO worth it.  

Courses for this year and most of the books we are using:

Three classes are taught by others; a couple are primarily reading and some is independent study work.  By 11th grade in high school I hopefully have taught my children to be able to work well independently for the most part in preparation for dual enrollment in the senior year and college.  I review the lesson plans, answers to my questions/comments and devotional notes at the end of the week (some things daily) to make sure that everything that needs to be done has been completed.  I read the government and humanities myself to keep current and help with questions if there are any.  I also read any literature that my son is reading if I have not already read it previously.

I like to follow up on the SAT math reviews and help with vocabulary as needed to help him prepare for the SAT which is crucial for college scholarships. A full load this year but I think we're both up to it and ready for the adventure to begin.    :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Back to or First Day of School and/or College

Jeremiah 29:11

‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope..."

Ah, the first week of college classes. And the first week for school to begin in our area.  For my younger son who is homeschooled (with three group class sessions a week), we began 11th grade last Monday.  For my older son, Monday was the beginning of his senior year in college.   We have other young friends who have their very first day of college life today, some via dual-enrollment while still in high school. I remember when I began. It was bittersweet leaving high school although my college (as well as my son's) is in our hometown.  Lots of changes in college, both fun, exciting and a bit scary, too...
  • New responsibilities--no one to remind you to do your homework or projects, choosing your own classes and making sure that two don't occur at the same time, budgeting your money, working part-time, paying bills on time, taking charge of your bank account
  • New friends--many of them several years older and most do not live in your neighborhood
  • New instructors who are called professors, not teachers
  • New course requirements--blue-book essay tests, online classes, one test can sometimes determine   your grade, and their strange letter/number format (AR101)
  • New grading system--it is more difficult to get an A (93-100)
  • Finding your way around campus and getting to classes on time
Every large group (student enrollment) needs its share of smaller groups so students can really feel a part and make solid friendships to encourage you during this stage of life. Some choose fraternities or sororities as I did (I was not a Christian during my college years); some choose athletics / intramurals; some choose clubs based on personal interests and others choose religious non-profit groups i.e. Campus Crusade for Christ which my son and many of his friends participate in. Whichever group you and/or your students find themselves a part of, be careful of the company you keep. If you make a mistake and choose a group that later you discover is not for you, by all means, be bold and leave that group. Make decisions ahead of time as to what you will do when the temptations come--going along with the crowd, drinking, skipping classes, taking drugs, having premarital sex--to name a few.

Nowhere is it more apparent than in college, that bad company corrupts good morals, so do not be deceived. 1Corinthians 15:33

My thoughts and prayers are with all who are beginning this initiation into adulthood and time of testing called college life. It can be a wonderful adventure as long as you make wise choices. More than likely, loving parents are on their knees constantly during this time in their child's life.  Often this is a time when children/young adults begin to appreciate home more than they may have in the past.  For parents, let them go, struggle and learn; for students, no one loves you quite like your parents do and they are always there to help when needed or asked.   :)   THIS SONG says it all. 

Monday, August 23, 2010

Shepherding a Child's Heart FREE Seminar / Orlando Area / August 27-28, 2010

I've been publishing this in our church newsletter for weeks but forgot to post it here as well...Tedd Tripp's books are excellent in helping parents train up their children.  I have read two of his books and highly recommend this seminar if you are in the Orlando area.  Here are some of those that he has authored or co-authored:

*Free Seminar—Shepherding a Child’s Heart.   Tedd Tripp is presenting a seminar on Shepherding a Child’s Heart. It will be held at the Rolling Hills Community Church [4407 West Orange Blossom Trail, Zellwood, FL 32798]. This two-day seminar begins at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, August 27. The Friday evening sessions will end at 9:15 p.m. The Saturday sessions begin at 9:15 a.m. and end at 12:30 p.m. The seminar is free but a love offering will be taken.
TO REGISTER: Susanne Love 407-880-4321.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Sending Children Off or Back to College

Today I hosted a baby shower for a friend.  This was so much fun and a great distraction for me since...

...also today, my 21-year-old moved out to a house with three other young men near his college.  


Packing up

New home away from home

Yes, I cried. But only  for about 5 minutes which is amazing since this time last year I was a wreck for weeks (it was the first time).  See previous blog #1 and #2.   For us, thank the Lord, our son's college is in our area and he lives only about 25 minutes from our home.   Even so, the good-byes are still hard as we are close and I just simply enjoy the company of our son.  We are blessed that he also enjoys time with us as well.  

For all you parents out there sending your "child" off for the first time, especially those whose students are moving far away or out of state, you'll get through this and next year will be better.  I promise.  We raise them to be out on their own one day and this is good training for them to begin that stage of life--making choices, paying bills, making new friends, etc.   It's also good for us moms to begin releasing the young arrows one at a time.  They cannot stay in the quiver forever...but we will always welcome them home no matter how long or brief a time that may be.  :)

Psalm 127:3-5 
Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, 
The fruit of the womb is a reward. 
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth. 
How blessed is the (wo)man whose quiver is full of them... 

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