Homeschoolers Outshine Their Peers in College

There was a debate on pubic television recently on how children who are educated at home experience a more difficult time adjusting to college than teenagers who transfer from public or private schools. The discussion didn’t trouble me too much until the two “so-called” professionals began mentioning how homeschoolers may have difficulties interacting socially and how many of these kids may well encounter freshman-shock.

Let me tell you … why folks make these types of inferences, we homeschoolers may never know. Take a minute, and think about it. Isn’t online schooling identical to home schooling? Certainly, the majority of the more than five-million people who obtain their college degrees at-home have no problems making friends or meeting new people, “Right?”

Can Homeschoolers Succeed in College? 

This is actually a far more important concern nowadays considering that, based on nationwide studies, the number of homeschooled freshmen students in the U.S. have really exploded. Forty years ago, there were just thirteen thousand undergraduates in higher-education institutions who were educated at home; in 2010, this number increased to just over two million.

After doing a little online research, what parents of homeschooled children can be sure of is that 

The short answer to the above question is,


The Journal of College Admission released a report a couple of years ago indicating that homeschooled students experienced higher than average SAT scores, higher GPAs and greater college graduation percentages compared to university students who transferred from public or private high schools. The reports were particularly intriguing because that there really has been a shortage of studies devoted to exactly how homeschooled undergraduates make out in college.

Approximately, two million U.S. kids were home-schooled in 2010, making up for almost four percent of all school-aged students, based on a report from the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI). Some of these same reports indicated that those home schooled individuals who proceed to higher-education institutions surpassed their classmates in many areas of study.

NHERI additionally published that homeschooled, PhD students from 2004-2009 finished college at greater percentage rates compared to their classmates –– over sixty-five percent contrary to fifty-eight percent –– and obtained elevated GPAs throughout college.

Therefore, right away our question develops into: 

Exactly, Why Do Homeschoolers Adjust to College Better?

Undoubtedly, the major slam on homeschooled university students is that they rarely blend into college-society because of their past educational settings, which in the eyes of most people were dining tables and parent instructors.

Such is utterly not accurate because the anti-socialization factor is definitely not a matter of concern for the majority of homeschooled folks. In the real world, teenagers who are educated at home participate in sports and enjoy a great deal of quality time to engage in their other passions.

Homeschooled folks usually spend less time in the classroom, granting them much more leisure time to interact with grownups and teenagers. Homeschoolers, similarly, are more socialized than the majority of secondary school kids since they never near large groups other kids, which forces them to interact more one-on-one with people.

Additionally, thanks to the extra time on their hands, homeschoolers have the ability to actively and carefully match up their college and university choices through working with online, college search engines like Performing detailed internet research in advance helps homeschooled freshmen adjust to their hand-picked university much easier.

So, never feel discouraged or disheartened if you catch people whacking or comparing home education and college entry. The truth is, these folks most likely never had a chance to look at the facts.

Below are some other NHERI facts and statistics that may interest you.

Homeschoolers obtained better ACT results (270) compared to (25.0) with respect to other inbound freshmen.

Homeschooled students gained far more university credits (15.0) just before entering their freshmen year in comparison to other college students (7.0).

Individuals educated at home completed their freshmen year with much better GPAs (3.40) than the others of their group (3.10).

Homeschooled young adults earned college degrees at more elevated rates (70.0 %) compared to their classmates (58.0 %).

About the Author:

Geoffrey Harrison is an experienced education writer specializing in career path guidance and scholarship acquisition. A frequent contributor to education resource site DegreeJungle, Geoffrey enjoys spending time with his family at their home in Madison, Wisconsin.

Editors Note: Geoffrey, Thanks so much for your excellent post in the Homeschool Families Blog. :)

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Christmas Crafts for Family Time Fun!

Editor’s Note: If you’re looking for a few fun Christmas crafts for family time, I’ve found a few ideas you might like in the article below:

Christmas Crafts

article written by: Vicky Dean

Christmas is the perfect time to dig out the glue and scissors and get crafty. There are so many things that you could make over the festive season that you will never run out of inspiration. Christmas crafts are great for the whole family and provide a great opportunity of spending quality time together whilst doing something fun. Here are a few ideas for Christmas craft projects.

Homemade greetings cards

Why not break away from generic shop bought cards and make your own this year. Make the cards that you make extra special by personalising them with names and special messages. Buy a pack of rub on alphabet letters in a colour that matches your designs. This way you can spell out each name really professionally on each card. Your friends and family will love receiving cards like this and they are sure to treasure them long after the festive season has passed. There are lots of great Christmas paper craft supplies available such as tree shaped punches, packs of Christmas themed papers, stickers and ribbon.

Paper wreath

Wreaths are very traditional and are usually found hanging on doors and in windows during the Christmas period. You can buy traditional wreath bases from craft and floristry shops if you want to have a go at making an outdoor wreath. If you don’t feel brave enough to try your hand at that then you should consider making a paper wreath for one of your internal doors. All you need to do is cut a ring from a large piece of red or green card. Use large flower punches to cut out flower shapes and then layer them together to create beautiful 3D flowers. Mount these flowers on to the ring base. Finish the middle of the flower off with a button or sticky gem for extra embellishment.

Hanging tree decorations

There are so many possibilities when it comes to hanging tree decorations. You can buy the pre shaped polystyrene balls and either paint them or cover them with fabric. Pin a length or ribbon in the top in order to hang them from the branches. For something a little bit different try making decorations from lolly sticks. Decorate each stick as a Christmas character, such as Santa, using paper or paint and again attach some ribbon. You could also try bending jewellery wire into stars and threading beads down the wire.

For lots of crafty card making ideas click the link.

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Kid’s Christmas Store – Christmas books, music, dvds, nativity sets, and more…just for kids!

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The Nativity Story Book – On Sale!

The Nativity Story book is on sale for a LIMITED TIME only for only $6.99. This is a fantastic price. The Nativity Story is a 250 page paperback book. It has great reviews. I bought several to give as Christmas gifts and I love reading mine every year during the Christmas season.

314620: The Nativity Story The Nativity Story
By Angela Hunt / Tyndale HouseThe story of Mary and Joseph is one of a miraculous pregnancy, an arduous journey, and the birth of a son who would forever change the world. In her adaptation of the movie screenplay, Hunt applies historical accuracy and her imagination to show how the greatest of all gifts came from a humble beginning. 250 pages, softcover from Tyndale.

See More Christmas Books >>


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Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween

Just want to wish all you ghost and gobblins a Happy Halloween! Stay Safe!


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How to Make a Pop Ghost and other Halloween Crafts

Easy Halloween Crafts For Kids


In order to make easy Halloween crafts for kids one only has to use their head. Do you remember when you were in the scouts or other group of friends and you use to make crafts for Halloween? In does not take a lot of money to accomplish this.

We would make them and take them home and hang them in the window or on the storm door. We would also tape them to windows around the house. The same thing applies today but we also tape these crafts to ceiling fans to make them look like they are flying or give off some mysterious colors.

Pop Ghost – To make a pop ghost you will use a piece of tissue paper. Preferred colors for Halloween would be black, orange, and white but, any color of tissue paper will add to the creativeness of the individual. Center the tissue paper over the pop and then tie off at the base of the pop, and there you have your pop ghost.

Paper Bag Creature Puppets – Cut out ears, eyes, lips, mouth, scars, stitches, beard, mustache, and hair from construction paper. Glue these to your paper bag to make your creature. You can also use yarn to make your beard, mustache, and hair. Put your creation on your hand and make creature sounds and move its mouth.

To make more easy Halloween crafts for kids you can use black, orange, and white construction paper. Black paper can be made into witches and cats. Orange paper can be made into pumpkins. White can be used to make ghost and mummies. Draw the picture on the paper and cut out. Tape to windows so they can be seen day or night.

Chalk pictures on black construction paper will stand out and you can tape these to your door at home. The black construction paper gives you the idea these adventures happen at night.

Moms and Dads, Teachers and Teachers Aides, Room Mothers and Fathers, Brownie Leaders, Cub Scout Leaders, Girl and Boy Scout Leaders, and Camp Leaders who are looking for more craft ideas need to go to to find many craft options.

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Halloween Fun for Preschoolers 

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Easy Jack-O-Lantern Plates Craft

Jack O Lantern Plates

How to Make This Easy Jack-O-Lantern Plate Craft

The kids made these cute Jack-O-Lantern plates at our last year’s Halloween party. It was very simple. Just use orange paper plates (easy to find this time of year) and some stick-on face parts. You can buy these at any discount store. If you want to get more inventive, you could use markers and draw silly or scary faces. You could also use the small pumpkins (real or fake) and draw faces on those.

The kids had a lot of fun with these. It’s not all that educational, but it is a creative art activity. And, it could even be used to demonstrate emotional faces (happy, scared, sad). In fact, you could use this at any time of year for that, with other colors of plates. It’s amazing what a paper plate can do besides hold food!

Halloween Craft Ideas for Kids

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Cheap Halloween Craft Ideas

Halloween Craft Ideas for Children


There are so many different Halloween craft ideas that can be done at Halloween and many can be created out of simple materials like paper, egg cartons and paper plates. The kids enjoy making them and best of all you can also use them as decorations for the classroom or at home.

Here are a few different Halloween crafts that won’t cost you a fortune.

Spider Webs
These webs can be used in the window where they will look great catching the sunlight during the day or indoor lights during the night. Start with a large sheet of wax paper or thin white paper. With a pencil draw a spider’s web on the paper. Use curving lines to make a pleasant design. Next go over the lines of the web with white glue then sprinkle with glitter. When the glue is dry it should be invisible and only the glitter will be seen. Hang in the window or in a corner somewhere. They also look good hanging in a doorway.

Egg Carton Bats
There are also some great Halloween craft ideas the only require egg cartons. Bats are easy to make and will look effective especially when several are hang together. Use three egg cups still attached in a row. Cut out the fronts and backs of the two end cups to simulate wings. Paint the bat black and add some googly eyes. Then hang your bat from the ceiling or in a doorway. Add a few friends for him and you’ll have an effective display.

Halloween Masks
Here are a few Halloween craft ideas for using paper plates. Of course Halloween isn’t Halloween without a few pumpkins and with a paper plate you can make a great pumpkin mask. Draw the pumpkin shape on the plate and trim it up. Cut out the eyes, nose and mouth to resemble a Jack O’ Lantern. Paint your pumpkin orange and add tie string to either side to hold it on as a mask.

There are also many different animal masks that can be made with a paper plate. Add ears and paint in black and orange stripes and you have a tiger. Add long ears and paint with grey and white and you have a rabbit. Be creative and there are many different animal masks that can be made with a paper plate.

If you are looking for Halloween craft ideas the main rule is to keep it simple. With simple crafts the kids will be sure to succeed and you’ll have happy kids and effective decorations all in one. There is no need to go to a lot of expense as you can often use household items for your Halloween crafts. Use your imagination, and almost anything can be used for Halloween crafts.

Teresa Evans is a parent and teacher who has created a collection of Easy Halloween Crafts for Kids. For more Halloween craft ideas visit

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Halloween Craft and Activity Ideas for Kids 

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Unit Studies and Homeschooling

Unit Studies and the Power of Homeschooling


Empowering, enlivening, energizing-all words that bring to mind a sense of power and energy-invigorating. The power of homeschooling is all of that and more for our generation of parents, the generation that we are teaching, and many yet to be born. After sixteen years of homeschooling, I thought that it would be helpful to share the some of the lessons that we have learned along the way.

I used to be a typical working mom, employed outside the home, struggling to find any time to catch my breath, while juggling schedules, family demands, finances, and dreams of retirement. With the switch to the amazing position of homeschool mom, I discovered both the rewards and fascination of following our interests, from studying the stars to tracking the ocean tides, from planting a vegetable garden to learning to cook, from following the routes of the explorers to tracking the paths of the men that walked on moon, from learning to quilt like the pioneers to learning how to build a fire, and so much more. No one ever made learning “interesting” for me when I was a child, but I have discovered that this is a powerful gift that I can give our children on a daily basis-a gift that will keep on giving for the rest of their lives.

In the beginning, homeschooling was a nerve-wracking choice-am I doing the right thing, what will I teach them, what books shall we use, will they be able to get into college, and on and on. Then, through trial and error, we discovered unit studies-and the light turned on, and away we went. The choice of homeschooling is a wonderful choice to make for many families, and the combined power of learning and following interests together is a life-changing force.

First, let me tell you just a bit of my story. We began homeschooling in the middle of a school year, so we chose to keep using the textbooks that the children had been using in school. That was an easy enough decision, but it quickly became obvious that they were well trained in the use of textbooks-they read for bolded and italicized words, answered the questions at the end of the chapter, and memorized just well enough to take the test. There was no interest in schoolwork other than getting it done-no joy and certainly no curiosity. Another problem that I became painfully aware of was that there was not much long-term retention of the material covered in the textbooks. If I was going to take the time to homeschool them, I wanted to make sure that the lessons were going to be lasting and useful.

Rote memorization of textbook material is no replacement for thinking skills and logic when it comes to leading a satisfying and fulfilling adult life. If the knowledge is not there to stay, there is no foundation or framework to build on for the rest of their lives. For example, if they memorize the names of the parts of a plant, but never get to take one apart and investigate the pieces with a magnifying glass or microscope, how will the controversy of genetically engineered crops ever begin to make sense? If the framework is not there, the new information isn’t connected to anything, and it is difficult to use new information in a meaningful way.

With unit studies, we found a very powerful tool that has helped build a strong tree of knowledge for our children. Remember, your curriculum should be a shaping tool, not a vice grip. In my opinion, the strength of a unit study approach is that the student looks at a topic from all different directions. For example, when studying gardens, we look at the basics of plant science, the history of gardens, the gardens around the world, the art of Monet and other artists who were famous for their garden paintings, and much more.

To show the difference in textbook learning and unit studies, realize that nothing ever occurs in the vacuum of just being a historical, geographical or scientific event. When something happens, it happens in a particular place (geography), at a particular time (history), involving certain people (biographies), and has an impact on life in many ways (art, science, economics, etc). However, when using a history textbook, events are presented chronologically, in a somewhat condensed and dry format. When we read about the first American landing on the moon, the typical history textbook will not include any information about the exciting scientific discoveries that were made to achieve this great feat. In this same textbook, we probably would not read about the astronauts and their individual contributions and sacrifices. The textbooks usually won’t include the thrilling descriptions of all that has been gained from putting a man on the moon-from the world of computers to the amazing breakthroughs in medicine. These exciting and interlinked accomplishments are not typically included in the brief paragraph on the American space program. See what we would have missed if we had relied on a typical history textbook to learn about the space program? And yet these missing pieces are the ones that open up the universe to our children, showing them how to dream big dreams and understand how all things work together.

So, what do you do next? First and foremost, remember that every child is a blessing, uniquely gifted by God. Unit studies help us to help them discover their own gifts and talents, as they learn about the world while we are right there beside them. I will never forget the time that the chemistry experiment blew silver nitrate all over my brand new white curtains, and just how our daughter looked when it happened! I will never forget the thrill of the kids when they met some of the astronauts in person, and heard about some of their space adventures. To use unit studies is to begin a trail of discovery for both you and your children-a powerful journey of discovery.

Give them a chance to follow their interests and you might just be surprised at the outcome. With unit studies, our children have obtained a better understanding of the way things work, the history of the world, their own abilities, and much more. I am always asked about “holes in their education” if unit studies are used. First, I ask the audience if anyone ever remembers completely finishing a textbook when they were a child-not many hands have ever been raised. I share my personal experience that we never finished a textbook when I was a child, and I was so disappointed-the “good” stuff was always toward the end of the book.

The concept of education is not just to fill their heads up with any and all information available – that would take hundreds of years in these days of ever-expanding information. The concept of a good education, in my opinion, is teaching the child to be able to think, to help them build a sound foundation of learning-a strong tree of knowledge where they can place more information over the course of their lives.

I will never be able to teach my children about all things, but I will teach them how to think, to investigate, to research and dig for answers. In the years ahead, it is my opinion that this will be a priceless education for those who will be successful in a rapidly changing world. Unit studies can do just this, and that is my intention when I write them and use them-getting the child to think and explore, letting curiosity get the best of them. Try to help them develop a love of learning and enjoy the wonder of the world-it is quite an empowering accomplishment.

As powerful as homeschooling can be, it is not a result of all homeschooling families being just alike. Realize that you will never be “just like” other families in your homeschool group or those at your state convention. I have traveled all over the country as a speaker at homeschool conferences, and I have met all kinds of people. I am frequently asked by many parents, “Are we like typical homeschoolers?” I have to smile at this point-I do not think I have ever met a “typical” homeschooler. That would be like having a “normal” day of homeschooling, whatever that is.

Enjoy the uniqueness of your family and your approach to homeschooling. Some families use textbooks, while others use unit studies. It isn’t as important to follow the crowd anymore, now that the crowd is just you and your clan. Our family has done so many things since we started homeschooling-we have traveled all over, met some amazing people, and followed our dreams to all kinds of places, and I can honestly say that we have never had a boring day-and certainly not a “normal” day.

As a former engineer, I am well aware of the concept of having goals and a mission statement. What is my mission statement these days? To help the children discover their own gifts and talents, whether in botany or veterinary science, athletics or orthodontics, who knows what the future holds! Now, as a homeschooling mom, what is my goal? To work myself out of a job by helping them become self-motivated learners-to have them out there, learning and challenging and thriving within the realm of their own very unique gifts and talents. These are the real lessons of homeschooling that we have learned, priceless and powerful, and there for the taking.

Amanda Bennett is the author of more than 30 books, marketing consultant, Christian wife and homeschool mom of more than sixteen years. She speaks at conferences and retreats across the country, sharing her faith, homeschool experiences, and a contagious love of learning. With two that have graduated from college and one teenager at home, she and her husband stay busy on their tree farm in Tennessee. Visit her website or find her on Twitter @AmandaBinTN

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Unit Study Resources

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How to Plan a Unit Study

Homeschool Unit Studies: Plan a Unit Study in 7 Steps

Article Written By

1. Choose a Topic and Time Frame

What will your unit study be about? How many days or weeks will you spend on the unit? A topic for a home school unit study can be about almost anything, from frogs to roller coasters to Ancient Egypt. Consider your child’s age and interests when choosing a topic. For a kindergartener, a fun unit study might be on dinosaurs, our five senses, nursery rhymes, insects or princesses. An older student might enjoy a unit study on government, horses, Australia, baseball or even the Narnia books.

2. Choose Sub-topics

If possible, try to find a resource that you can use as a spine for the unit study. A spine is simply a book that provides the structure of your study. Children’s encyclopedias or non-fiction books with good illustrations, charts and diagrams make good spines.

Whether or not you use a spine, you need to choose relevant sub-topics for your unit study. An example of a subtopic for a unit study on China might be the history of China, landmarks of China, Chinese food, Chinese language, Chinese fairy tales, Chinese holidays, the Chinese zodiac, etc.

3. Gather Resources

Look for resources from the library, the internet or you may already have resources on hand. Resources can be novels and non-fiction books, websites, videos, craft books, cook books or music. Look for a variety of resources. It’s better to have more materials on hand but don’t get overwhelmed by the amount of information out there. Choose a few books or videos for each sub-topic and then move on to the next step.

4. Choose Activities

Let your imagination go and think of all the hands-on activities your kids might enjoy related to the topic. This can involve cooking, experiments or arts and crafts. Also try to plan at least one field trip based on your unit study topic. Great field trips destinations include local businesses, parks, restaurants, neighborhoods, history, art or children’s museums. With a unit study on China, for example, you could plan a trip to China town or a Chinese restaurant.

5. Create a Plan with Academic Objectives

What learning objectives and life skills will you cover in the unit? You’ll want to use a planner and schedule your activities out over time. You can be as specific or as loose as you want in your planning. It may be helpful to list academic areas (Geography, History, Language Arts, Writing, Fine Arts, Math) and document what standards you will address in each sub-topic. Keep in mind that skill-based subjects such as Math, Grammar and Spelling should be scheduled as a daily activity. Other subjects may work into your schedule a few times a week, such as sports or fine arts.

6. Begin the Unit Study

Start with enthusiasm! It’s a good idea to keep a journal of the activities to record your notes and observations. Remember to be flexible; don’t be afraid to follow a few rabbit trails. Education is about discovery, encourage your kids to become active participants in the process of learning.

7. End with a Bang

Make the last activity stand out. You can throw a themed party, take a special trip, watch a documentary and invite the home school co-op. Your kids will remember the culminating activity and look back on the topic with positive memories.

And now I’d like to invite you to join me at for more planning ideas and resources to create your home school unit studies.

From Sym at

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Homeschool Curriculum Sale!

Hello everyone, hope you’re having a great summer! Now is a great time to take advantage of the great sales on homeschool curriculum. is offering 35% off retail prices on Wordly Wise from August 1 – 16th! So don’t let the time slip up on you, and order early. They also have Apologia resources on sale for 33% off retail.

I know it’s hard to start thinking about the new school year, but it’s that time again!

I just had to let you know about these sales! Have a great day!

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