Pre-Holiday Links and Resources -Advent 2018 and Christmas

With Thanksgiving this week, Advent is following quickly behind it!

But besides the busy preparation for Christmas, there are a lot of things we can do to really observe the season of Advent! Over the years I have collected links and resources for the holidays that I thought would help me and my family prepare our hearts and spirits to celebrate the birth of Baby Jesus.  I haven't done everything on this list.  Some of it is a wish list, but there was something in every link that I thought was worthwhile.

Perhaps first on the list is actually getting our homes ready for the holidays:
Holiday Grand Plan or join their Yahoo Group E-mail List Declutter and Clean!
Also DeClutter and Organize on Facebook. 

and get your planner ready~  Advent and Christmas Planner from Catholic Icing or Advent Planner from Wildflower and Marbles. 

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Ohio's College Credit Plus and Homeschooler Prep


In the State of Ohio, post-secondary classes at local universities are FREE  - even for homeschooled students under the College Credit Plus Program 

In the past, I was reluctant to participate in post-secondary programs. I blogged about that here.  These days there are so many high-schooled students on the college classes it's almost like going to a regular high school. Noah sees several younger friends at his campus, and even has one in his Latin 2 class last year. So I don't think the worry of having young kids with older college kids is as much of a concern as it was a few years ago.

For homeschooled students, there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • April 1 is the deadline for getting in your letter of intent. 
  • You must also be accepted by the college you wish to attend.
  • Your student may have had to take the ACT or SAT already to be able to submit the score to the college.
  • If you haven't created a transcript for your student, you'll need to create one now.
  • Sign up for a SAFE account. 

My daughter is in 7th grade. Because she is academically advanced I do plan to have her take the ACT next December. Then she will be ready next spring to retake that test if necessary and apply to college under the College Credit Plus program.

It's important to look into the requirements of the college you wish to attend as well. One of the colleges near my home requires a score of 18 or higher on the English section of the ACT. Other colleges have similar requirements or may want a higher math score. Some ask the students to take the Compass test.  So getting the student up to the required college level while in jr. high or the early high school years may be challenging. It's something to consider when making plans.

Right now, I have Rosie working through Easy Grammar Plus and she will take Easy Grammar again in 8th grade. She is also doing a lot of reading and writing. I'm hoping that will prepare her for the ACT and for College Composition. But of course, her score on the ACT will tell me more and it will be a good baseline. By starting early I'm hoping to keep her stress level and anxiety down.

It's worth mentioning that there are also other less expensive options of earning college credit from home. My family has been successful with CLEP Testing.  Each CLEP test runs roughly around $100 including the cost of the test and whatever the testing center charges.

AP is also a good option. In his senior year, Noah took an AP Course online for roughly the same cost as what Homeschool Connections/ Franciscan is offering.  His course was through Dr. Stobaugh at For Such a Time As This.  It was rigorous and I think it prepared him very well for college. Noah tells me that learning to write an effective opening paragraph and thesis statement last year for Dr. Stobaugh gave him an advantage over some of his classmates who are still struggling to master that skill - so for that alone, it was worth it.

The HSLDA offers a list of other AP classes that can also be accessed online. Student Athletes who wish to participate in college sports should pay particular attention to the Pennsylvania Homeschoolers AP courses as they have done the extra work of becoming NCAA approved!