My Lent 2019 Book List Plans

Is this the year you really want to dive into Lent? Do you want to come out of this Lenten Season and truly feel that you've had a small share of living in the desert with Christ for 40 days? I know that I do. Maybe it's an upcoming birthday that's making me have more of a now-or-never type of attitude towards Lent. Or maybe I just acutely feel the necessity of truly modeling this for my children, and living it with my husband. Whatever it is, these are the books and resources I'm going to use this Lent to really LIVE the season from Ash Wednesday all the way through to Easter Vigil. Look them over. If something looks helpful to you, use it. If it inspires you, go with it. I hope all of these bless and encourage you.

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Is the ACT a better option than College Credit Plus for Ohio Homeschoolers?

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I was at a homeschool gathering a few weeks ago. The discussion among the moms was focused on the College Credit Plus Program and how it was impacting their families. The general complaint was that the program had not granted them enough credits for their students. In fact, it seemed that most of them had only received 4 credits for the semester, which is enough for one full class and 1/3 of another. Meanwhile, their public school friends had children receiving a full year's worth of credits for the school year. 

College Credit Plus is a program in the State of Ohio that grants high school students the opportunity to take classes at a college or university and earn college credit while they are still in high school - FOR FREE! With skyrocketing college costs, it is understandable that parents and students would want to take advantage of this program. 

In fact, many families are. In the beginning, I was very opposed to high school students taking classes with adult college students. I blogged about that here.  But now there are so many high school students in the program it is really just an extension of high school, at least socially.

But perhaps academically as well. I know of at least one college chemistry teacher who is providing a college course in a high school who has had to lower the requirements of her course because the students simply were not able to handle the rigors of a college-level class. That's a topic for another time. 

My friends were discussing the injustices of the College Credit Plus program as it relates to homeschoolers. They are probably right about that, but then homeschoolers have always been pushed to the back of the line when it comes to school programs in Ohio. They have only been allowed to participate in extracurricular activities for the past 6 years. Of course, they pay the same property taxes as parents who send their kids to public school, so I'm not sure what the justification is for this - except that the program has become so popular that even the public school kids are scrambling to get the funds they need for these credits. 

Homeschool moms are resourceful. A couple of them have put their children in online charter schools hoping to get the credits they wanted. I gather from the discussion, that didn't meet their expectations. More than a few of my friends have simply given up homeschooling and enrolled their students in the local public school. This is on paper only, as the students are taking all of their classes at a college under the auspices of that public school. On record, they will be graduates of that high school even if they never take a single class there. 

But what I never heard from any of the moms, not even once, was what they could do to save money on their college tuition other than College Credit Plus. 

I have blogged before about the CLEP tests and AP exams. I am still astounded that more parents aren't aware of these low-cost ways to earn college credit.

But there is another way that I'm sure everyone has heard about and that is the SAT and the ACT college entrance exams. I know that the CCP parents have heard of them because many of their kids had to take them before being admitted to a college for the CCP programs. But maybe what they weren't aware of is that many merit scholarship dollars are tied to the ACT and SAT test scores. My college student was awarded $13,000 per year at his college for his ACT score. It wasn't an extremely high score either but it sure saved him a lot of tuition money.

For my 8th grade college-bound daughter, I plan to spend more time preparing her to score well on the ACT. We also plan to take a baseline test this year just to see where we stand and what skills she needs to improve on. 

I see several advantages to this. First, we can continue the homeschool lifestyle that she has thrived in. I won't have to worry about her being exposed to thoughts and ideologies that she is not ready for while she is still a young high school student. Secondly, if we do decide to go the College Credit Plus route in high school, we won't be slaves to the credits the state decides to give us. By focusing on CLEP and AP exams, she can earn the college credits she needs. A higher ACT score will help her get scholarships for the rest. That seems like the best option for our family and my particular student. 

Here is a video from homeschool dad and educator, Dr. James Stobaugh about ACT and SAT preparation. My son Noah took his World History Course in high school - he is a fantastic teacher.