Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Homeschooler accepted to at least 7 top schools

Congratulations to her! This was great news to read today. Please go to the Chicago Tribune website by clicking this link to read the entire story:

Home-schooled Evanston teen accepted by Harvard, Yale, more

7 of the nation's top universities want her

In what has been called the most competitive year ever for college admissions, Chelsea Link defied the odds to get accepted into Yale. Then Harvard.

Then came the fat envelopes from Princeton, Columbia, University of Chicago, Stanford and Northwestern University.

Making that feat still more extraordinary, Link has been home-schooled since age 5.

"I was a little nervous," the Evanston 18-year-old said. "I was worried that I might not get into even one school."

This isn't false modesty on Link's part, but an acknowledgment that many stereotypes about home schooling—think barn raisings and "Little House on the Prairie" wardrobes—are still entrenched.

True, she had nailed perfect scores on the SAT and ACT, is the reigning world Irish harp champion, aced all her AP exams and enjoys nothing more than kicking back with the latest copy of Scientific American.

But being both first and last in your senior class poses a challenge for colleges accustomed to comparing credentials from conventional high schools.

"There's a built-in conflict of interest when the person evaluating your performance is Mom or Dad," said Barmak Nassirian of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.

Still, many admissions officials say they are becoming more at ease with applicants who took alternative paths, if for no other reason than it's a booming market. Almost 2 million American students are educated at home, and more than 80 percent of colleges have formal policies for assessing these applicants—up from 52 percent in 2000.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Inbox Goodies

Found this in my inbox and wanted to share. It is a great opportunity so I really hope the teens will participate

Teens! Don't miss the Expo!! There's still time to register so
that you don't miss out on the dance, the Guitar Hero competition,
college info, fun, and the high school graduation!
Please help by forwarding this message to other homeschoolers and
other email lists:

The CHN Family Expo is coming in August, and you have until July 1st
to register, but why wait? If you register before May 1st (next
Thursday!), you'll get a FREE canvas tote bag!

If you stay at the Marriott, you also may be eligible for terrific
prizes like 2 round trip airplane tickets or a $5 Marriott hotel room
for one night! Check the CHN website (
to see the rules. Remember, if your registration is postmarked by
May 1st, your family will get a heavy duty canvas tote bag! Your
early registration helps us a lot, and especially this year, because
of the court case, so register by Thursday and CHN will thank you
with this valuable gift!

Most of the sessions are online right now, but we're still working
out the details of some more really great sessions, so keep checking
the website. And be sure to check out the speaker's page too. We
think you will enjoy the photos, along with the descriptions of our
guest speakers!

The Expo's theme is "Trust the Parents", and it couldn't be more
appropriate given the legal challenge California homeschoolers have
been facing! We know this is going to be an extra special Expo, and
that we'll be appreciating our freedoms all the more. Don't miss this year!

Just what is the Expo? It's something different for each homeschooler:
* It's a mom's resource for continuing education either for her
needs or because her ISP requires it (and if she needs something to
give to her ISP, CHN can provide a customized documentation for her).
* It's a rejuvenating mom's getaway weekend alone or with friends
so that she can kick off another great homeschooling year.
* It's a mom and dad's time away from the kids so they can learn
about homeschooling together.
* It's a super family vacation, where Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa
and the kids all have fun together, along with shopping and attending
a few enrichment sessions or some how to homeschool sessions.
* It's where parents come to learn if homeschooling will work for
their family.
* It's the place to hang out and absorb the joy of homeschooling
for parents who are either retired from homeschooling, or whose
children are almost grown. They may not need sessions any more, but
they use this time to catch up with longtime friends.
* It's a place to shop for curriculum, books, and games at the
vendor hall and also the Sunday used curriculum/children's entrepreneur sale.
* It's where homeschooled teens graduate from high school and it
has also been the initial meeting place for hundreds of homeschooled
teens over the years!

Bottom line is that the Expo serves the diverse needs of California
homeschoolers in one convenient weekend, where everyone gets to
customize the Expo to suit themselves!

Date: August 1-3, 2008
Location: Ontario Marriott Hotel
Reserve your hotel room

See you at the Expo!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Pretty interesting Op-ED on Education in US: Clueless in America

source and complete article via The New York Times:

April 22, 2008
Op-Ed Columnist

Clueless in America

We don’t hear a great deal about education in the presidential campaign. It’s much too serious a topic to compete with such fun stuff as Hillary tossing back a shot of whiskey, or Barack rolling a gutter ball.

The nation’s future may depend on how well we educate the current and future generations, but (like the renovation of the nation’s infrastructure, or a serious search for better sources of energy) that can wait. At the moment, no one seems to have the will to engage any of the most serious challenges facing the U.S.

An American kid drops out of high school every 26 seconds. That’s more than a million every year, a sign of big trouble for these largely clueless youngsters in an era in which a college education is crucial to maintaining a middle-class quality of life — and for the country as a whole in a world that is becoming more hotly competitive every day.

Ignorance in the United States is not just bliss, it’s widespread. A recent survey of teenagers by the education advocacy group Common Core found that a quarter could not identify Adolf Hitler, a third did not know that the Bill of Rights guaranteed freedom of speech and religion, and fewer than half knew that the Civil War took place between 1850 and 1900.

“We have one of the highest dropout rates in the industrialized world,” said Allan Golston, the president of U.S. programs for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In a discussion over lunch recently he described the situation as “actually pretty scary, alarming.”

Roughly a third of all American high school students drop out. Another third graduate but are not prepared for the next stage of life — either productive work or some form of post-secondary education.

When two-thirds of all teenagers old enough to graduate from high school are incapable of mastering college-level work, the nation is doing something awfully wrong.

Mr. Golston noted that the performance of American students, when compared with their peers in other countries, tends to grow increasingly dismal as they move through the higher grades:

“In math and science, for example, our fourth graders are among the top students globally. By roughly eighth grade, they’re in the middle of the pack. And by the 12th grade, U.S. students are scoring generally near the bottom of all industrialized countries.”

Many students get a first-rate education in the public schools, but they represent too small a fraction of the whole.

Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, offered a brutal critique of the nation’s high schools a few years ago, describing them as “obsolete” and saying, “When I compare our high schools with what I see when I’m traveling abroad, I am terrified for our work force of tomorrow.”

Said Mr. Gates: “By obsolete, I don’t just mean that they are broken, flawed or underfunded, though a case could be made for every one of those points. By obsolete, I mean our high schools — even when they’re working as designed — cannot teach all our students what they need to know today.”

The Educational Testing Service, in a report titled “America’s Perfect Storm,” cited three powerful forces that are affecting the quality of life for millions of Americans and already shaping the nation’s future. They are:

• The wide disparity in the literacy and math skills of both the school-age and adult populations. These skills, which play such a tremendous role in the lives of individuals and families, vary widely across racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups.

• The “seismic changes” in the U.S. economy that have resulted from globalization, technological advances, shifts in the relationship of labor and capital, and other developments.

• Sweeping demographic changes. By 2030, the U.S. population is expected to reach 360 million. That population will be older and substantially more diverse, with immigration having a big impact on both the population as a whole and the work force.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day

Monday, April 21, 2008

2008 JPL Open House: Great Opportunity

Official Website

The 2008 JPL Open House will take place on Saturday and Sunday, May 3rd and 4th, 2008, 9am-5pm both days.

Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Open House

This popular event celebrates JPL's accomplishments with exhibits and demonstrations about the Laboratory's ongoing research and space exploration. Many of the Lab's scientists and engineers are on hand to answer questions about how spacecraft are sent to other planets, how scientists utilize space technologies to explore Earth and how researchers are searching for planets beyond the solar system.

The Open House is a fun and educational experience for children too, with special hands-on activities designed for kids.

Admission and parking is free. Please be advised that we will not have buses to and from the parking lots. There are also no internal bus tours this year. JPL will provide special needs vans for guests with mobility challenges throughout the day.

The following items are not permitted at this NASA/JPL Event: weapons, explosives, incendiary devices, dangerous instruments, alcohol, illegal drugs, pets, all types of skates including skateboards, segways and bicycles. No bags, backpacks or ice chests are allowed, with the exception of small purses and diaper bags.

Your entry on NASA/JPL property constitutes your agreement that you, your vehicles and your personal belongings are subject to inspection.

+ Accommodations for Individuals with Disabilities

JPL is located at 4800 Oak Grove Drive in Pasadena, off the 210 (Foothill) Freeway at the Berkshire Avenue/Oak Grove Drive exit. Parking is available near the Oak Grove main gate and the eastern boundary of JPL, accessible from Windsor Avenue via the Arroyo Boulevard exit off the 210 Freeway.

For more information, please call (818) 354-0112

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Another Goodie I found in my inbox: SoCal: 4-H Fair in Chino - April 26 and 27

The annual 4-H fair for this portion of Los Angeles county is this
coming weekend at the Chino Jr. Fairgrounds. Yes, we know the
fairgrounds aren't in LA county :)

There will be animals to meet and pet, activities for all ages,
auctions and prize drawings, yummy snacks, and lots of exhibits from
the kids. It is a free event and a great way to learn more about 4-H
in your area as there will be clubs there from Blythe to San Diego to
San Fernando to Palos Verdes.

Saturday's key events include a homing pigeon release at 2pm, cat
show at 3pm, show by some wonderful performers that have agreed to
put on some of their current musical, and a barbeque (even vegi
options) in the evening.

Sunday's key events include the dog show, hobby horses for the 9 and
unders, the guide dog show, and the large livestock round robin where
kids get to try their hand at showing steer, pigs and sheep (it's
safe, honest!)

The exact address is 5410 Edison Ave in Chino.

The fair opens at 8am each morning and ends at 7pm on Saturday, 2pm
on Sunday.

Disney World Homeschool Trip

I received this in my inbox. I hope those homeschoolers who have considered visiting Disney World consider going with this group. More information can be found in the links included in message:

Hi everyone,

I'm trying to spread the word about my Disney World trip this fall (Labor
Day week). Disney has finally confirmed they're offering free dining again
during the time we'll be there and we can start reserving the free dining
packages now. I'm trying to reach as many homeschoolers as possible so they
can take advantage of it before availability runs out. (They said that there
would be fewer packages this year.)

I'm located in South Carolina, but all homeschoolers are welcome to join us
on our trip. We're trying to get more older homeschoolers to join us this
year, if possible, so that we can reserve the higher level educational
programs (with more of a career and behind-the-scenes focus) in addition to
the elementary and middle school programs. We're not travel agents and don't
make a commission on rooms (as a matter of fact, all of our travelers choose
their own hotels and reserve themselves). We just want the opportunity to
enjoy more of the educational programs this year and need more older
homeschoolers to make the minimum for the programs.

Our tickets will be heavily discounted, and will include theme parks, water
parks, Disney Quest, and special educational programs. The free dining just
makes the deal even better!

For more information, please visit

To receive trip updates, join our Traveling Homeschoolers mailing list at


Encyclopedia Britannica Widget

Combines my love of Knowledge & widgets

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Quote for the Day

What can be learned, can be unlearned