Must Know College Checklist

must know college checklistMust Know College Checklist with Jean Burk

When you are ready to visit a college do you know what to look for?  Here is the must know college checklist of important information to find the very best college for your child.

Celebrate with us! Jean Burk is a Fox News Contributor – she was recently a guest on Fox and Family with Lisa Brady!

Visit our sponsor – College Prep Genius 

Podcast #54


Must Know College Checklist Show Notes

  • Visit top two schools,
  • Ask yourself questions; Am I comfortable walking around? Can I be friends with these people?
  • Make a checklist to compare colleges
  • Apply to 5-6 schools, safe schools, reach schools, and dream schools

Links we disucssed:


  • Remember there is no perfect college
  1. Check the school website for visit dates
  2. Contact admissions counselor for personal date
  3. Go on a weekday to get a feel for the campus
  4. Try to schedule an interview while you are there
  5. Ask if the school offers reimbursement for travel fees
  6. Make travel arrangements as soon as you can
  7. Arrange for an excused absence to take college visits
  8. Try to talk to the dean or professors
  9. Sit in on one or more classes
  10. Take a tour of the campus
  11. Visit the bookstore student center or library
  12. Spend the night in a dorm to get a feel for the housing
  13. Eat in the cafeteria to see if you like it
  14. Meet with the admissions counselor face to face
  15. Wander around the campus by yourself
  16. Talk to students at the college and ask about their experience
  17. Visit around the school to get a feel of the area

Questions to Ask Academic Advisor –

  1. What is the average class size for the freshman
  2. How many of those students returned the following year
  3. What makes this college program special
  4. How easy is it to switch majors
  5. How does the school help the student adjust to college life
  6. Is there Greek life or social groups at this school
  7. Is the Greek System important to this school
  8. What organizations are the school partnered with
  9. What does the tuition cover
  10. Are there hidden fees
  11. Work study jobs
  12. How safe is the campus
  13. What does the housing scene look life
  14. Are freshman allowed to live off campus
  15. Are freshman allowed to have their own car
  16. Campus parking situation
  17. Does the school offer campus wide tutoring
  18. How big is the average class size

Things to ask the students at the college

  1. Thing they like most about the college
  2. The worst thing about this college
  3. Why did they pick this college
  4. Would you pick this school again if you had the chance
  5. If I need help how acceptable are the professors here
  6. Are the professors down to earth
  7. What do you like about your department
  8. Do you like the professors
  9. Are the professors teaching the classes themselves or is it done by a TA
  10. How diverse is the student body
  11. How is the cafeteria
  12. What do you do for fun here
  13. How close are the shopping center
  14. How are the dorms
  15. Which dorm is best
  16. Are the dorms nice
  17. What is the one thing you wish you knew ahead of time



Summer Activities For Kids

summer activities for kidsSummer Activities For Kids with Felice Gerwitz

Podcast #206

Summer is here and these summer activities are for kids no matter what the time of the year – with these ideas and suggestions you can enjoy hours of fun, create memories and best of all learn. (What else would a homeschool mom say?) Enjoy!

Show Notes: Summer Activites For Kids


  • Teach children basic cooking skills
  • Eat food from different countries
  • Make homemade ice-cream or yogurt
  • Make homemade smoothies
  • Homemade pizza – start with bagels or English Muffins
  • Popsicles with fruit juice and paper cups
  • Smore’s


  • Start collections, shells from the beach, rocks, bugs, etc.
  • Drawing – use paper and crayons to make crayon relief drawing
  • Take pictures and make a digital photo album – label photos
  • Canoeing, Kyakking
  • Swimming or

Learn to swim

Arts and Crafts

  • Outdoor crafts that are messy!
  • Sculpture with soap, or sand
  • Use recyclable items
  • Create a mural – hang a large sheet of paper and do a group art project


Backyard Parties or Festivals

  • Campfire Party
  • Set up a circus
  • Fourth of July Party
  • Mexican Fiesta
  • Seafood Festival
  • Renaissance Festival
  • Hawaiian Luau
  • Make up your own festival – ice-cream festival with candy toppings and games
  • Scavenger Hunts (I love these for birthday parties)



  • Learn how to play a new sport
  • Set up mini-golf in your yard or a friend’s yard
  • Play badminton or yard tennis
  • Tennis
  • Bowling
  • Roller skating, skate boarding
  • Handball,


Fun Activities

  • Water sports – slip and slide
  • Water balloons
  • Lemonade stand
  • Game night – once a week
  • De-junk room – yard sale – or give to charity
  • Study the night sky! Learn the summer constellations and identify specific stars (you may need to go to a local park with less light)
  • Camp in the backyard


Exercise Apps That Work

 exercise apps that workLet’s Talk About Exercise Apps That Work – with Felice Gerwitz and Sue Gross

Podcast 205

Do you use an exercise app? Do you want to know which exercise apps work? In this episode, we discuss exercise apps and exercise equipment that helps you stay on track with your health and keep off the weight.

Sponsor: MediaAngelsMembershipcom

Sue Gross:   – Sue talks about this wristband app: World Global Wellness – Fitness Band

Show Notes: Exercise Apps That Work and Help You Keep Off The Weight

With all the new exercise and tracking apps available how do you know what works? What do you invest your money in? If you listen to the typical commercials everything takes minutes and you are fit for life? But nothing is fast – it takes work in reality.

  1. Various Apps – look at what you want in your app
  2. Latest tracking wristbands that track your help
  3. Block negative rays (Sue Gross addresses this)
  4. Stationary bikes/
  5. Helio – Wellness Band World Global Wellness Fitness Band – as shared by Sue
    1. heart rate
    2. breath rate
    3. blood pressure
    4. steps
    5. moods, energy level
    6. EKG and ECG
    7. Quality of sleep patterns
    8. Titanium Plates -helps improve blood circulation

How do I Teach Politics to My Kids?

Politics today | How do I teach my kids politics? |homeschooling

Politics today | How do I teach my kids politics?Raising homeschooled teenagers in this current political climate is not fun, and that, my friends, is putting it mildly.

I’m frustrated. No, wait. I’m angry! Just think of all the years, I have spent as a parent raising children to love the Lord, do what is right, play fair, share, compromise, and think of others.

I teach my children to think, to form opinions that are sound. If they disagree, they can state these politely and without malice. It is the art of rhetoric and argumentation that is based upon evidence whenever possible. I work at modeling character qualities, not always successfully, but I try, because I know that character is caught more so than it is taught.

And what does the government do? It undermines my parental authority because I care. I care about my rights as a citizen… and my children have watched and listened as I’ve taught them how I feel about the following:

  1. The new health care plan.
  2. The raising of the debt ceiling only to hand a future generation the bill.
  3. Non-compromising politicians on both sides who use well-orchestrated press releases, and  buzzwords that incur the wrath of my remote control to change the channel.
  4. The disregard for many of the articles of the Constitution that leaves me stunned.
  5. The repayment of a fallen soldier’s loyalty with total disrespect of memorials and funds.

Who is to blame? We are.

As we waste our time blaming sides, our rights are being stripped away one by one, and my children see this, clearly. They ask: what can we do?

My parents were Italian immigrants who fled to this country because of Mussolini; they came to the United States of America, because it was the Land of the Free. My parents insisted I speak English and were happy they became American citizens. They taught my brothers and me that education was important and entrepreneurship was the key. They owned a bakery, ran a dress shop in the basement. My father finished the dresses in our home, for those who did not want to buy off-the-rack clothes. My parents  later purchased and ran a very successful restaurant. We lived many places: New York, outside of Ontario, Canada, and in Winter Haven, Florida. My parents were not afraid of hard work; they taught me that very well. They taught me that freedom was won with integrity and honor – and most of all we must be informed.

So can you imagine my chagrin when I heard my smart, beautiful, happy go-lucky, softball-playing teenage daughter told me, “I just don’t care anymore, Mom. I’m tired of being angry.”


This was her response to an invitation to watch the news with me, and, it was a conservative news station. She doesn’t care? How did that happen? Didn’t I teach her better? Didn’t my carefully-selected history and government classes with God as the focus and the Constitution as a pillar show her time and time again that if you don’t care your rights will truly be stripped?

Yes, I did teach her better, and I know her response was a defense mechanism because she was weary of hearing the bickering on T.V., and so am I! As a Christian I know my hope is in God, not politicians, but I will not stand idly by. I will be praying. Every single one of those politicians has my prayers, because my God is a righteous one and His ways are not mine. I continue to hope for my children and for my country, the Land of the Free.

How are you encouraging your children with our current political mess? I want to know.


Felice Gerwitz is the moderator of Current Issues & the Constitution with her brother-in-law, Professor Wilson. The show airs in the archives.

Sponsored by: Media Angels Membership Site

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Bored kids

bored kids Let’s Talk About Bored Kids with Felice Gerwitz

Podcast #204

Are your kids bored? Do they say…Mom, I’m bored! The word “bored” is on my “banned word list,” and my kids know it. But, what about kids who need some direction? In this podcast, Felice tackles the question head on with ideas and solutions.

Show Notes: Bored Kids

Here is a fast track solution for the “I’m Bored” syndrome:

  1. For the little ones, have things to do already planned. Rotate your toys. If you have everything out they get bored playing with them. If you take out some toys for a few weeks and change them out – watch the fun begin.
  2. Use a schedule. If you have a routine each day – there isn’t time to be bored. Typically a child becomes bored when we are busy or they are not used to finding things to do on their own. Giving a child a schedule (with pictures to begin with and words when they read, it will give them a routine and they will know what to expect next – it also gives them a sense of security.
  3. Older kids – have them help create a schedule
  4. Kids home for the summer (college) I have them create a schedule for the day. Yes they can have time to read, go see friends, to the gym (I have athletes) etc. They also have jobs – both work for me. So, they set their schedule with my approval, when they are working and when they will be on their own time.


Summer activities for kids to do: make a list with the kids help.

Check this out for a short list of ideas to combat bordeom:

Younger Kids

  1. Bubbles – give kids different size bubble makers and watch them go!
  2. Slip and slide or similar type of water activity in the yard. Little ones love sprinklers – weather permitting.
  3. Sand box/ water table
  4. “Retro toys” – jump rope, hoola hoop,
  5. Make tent indoors with sheets, blankets and towels
  6. Puppet show / hand puppets
  7. Impromptu plays

Middle school kids

  1. Reading
  2. Tag – freeze tags
  3. Water balloons
  4. Slip and Slides with a tarp (my son’s addition)
  5. Flying kites – making kites
  6. Bikes/ scooters/ skate boards
  7. Basketball/ soccer/ baseball
  8. Arts and Crafts – tie die
  9. Rubik cube

Park –kayaking/canoeing  – fishing – ice skating, archery, airsoft , paintball, trampoline parks *use to have one until our insurance provider made us take it down.

High school kids

  1. My kids said if you have not figured out what to do at this point in your life you need to work with them on
  2. SAT prep – look into college – career search

Photo Credit – 2017 Copyright -Natasha Fedorova




All About Mandatory Testing

mandatory testingMandatory Testing — Episode 52 with Jean Burk

Want to know all about mandatory testing? Or is testing even mandatory? Want to know all about mandatory testing? Or is testing even mandatory? In this podcast with author, Jean Burk you’ll learn what is expected for college entrance and the standard – as of now, that yes, testing is mandatory for college entrance. Learn more in this podcast.

Jean Burk is a contributor on Fox News – featured on Fox & Family with Lisa Brady

Sign up for Jean’s ezine to receive her free eBook: Goodbye student loans – visit her website here. Give Jean’s show a “star” rating on iTunes! Click iTunes above! Or listen on your favorite podcast app. – download free ebook from Jean Burk








Show Notes: Mandatory Testing

  1. What is a standardized test?
  2. Will people stop using standardized tests?
  3. Standardized tests are required for typical college entrance.
  4. SAT and ACT tests level the playing field
  5. 0 differs from high school to high school
  6. 85% percent of colleges admit and give scholarships on test scores alone.
  7. Use reliable sources, don’t believe just anyone who says students no longer need to take standardized tests
  8. Standardized tests level the playing field.
  9. Homeschoolers typically score higher on SAT or ACT
  10. Prep books don’t help as well as understanding strategies
  11. Roadmap to studying for tests – see Jean’s site at
  12. As homeschoolers, you can incorporate test prep in your homeschool curriculum
  13. Not understanding the test can be more stressful
  14. Once you understand the recurring patterns and standardization of the test you can answer the questions in thirty seconds or less.

Important information for college entrance – includes mandatory testing

  1. GPA
  2. Rankings – not as important but a factor
  3. Community Service, Sports, clubs, part-time jobs
  4. Test score

Need help? Look Up.

Need help look up | homeschool encouragement through faith

Need help? Look up!

Recently I’ve taken to looking at the sky. It isn’t a normal for me. I’m usually preoccupied with the many things happening in my life. I see the sky, but I don’t really see it. What is typical for me is the daily routine of life that I motor through, you know, the daily chores, teaching, cleaning, working, cooking, and shopping.

I don’t often stop to smell the roses or look at the clouds.

At church I’ve heard many sermons lately about being thankful in all circumstances, especially those in which we have no control. Our pastor unfolds story after story with real examples about people who have no reason to be thankful and yet they are. One of my long-time friends is a pediatrician. She stopped practicing long ago to be a full-time wife and mother. Her children are now adults and she took up missionary work. This was short lived as she was diagnosed with cancer. (In remission now, please join me in praying for Mary.) Yet she praises God in all things! At coffee one morning she shared how touched she was by the splendor of God’s work in the beauty of nature and how she feels it is a gift just for her.

How thankful am I?

Colossians 3:15 says: Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

And so I’ve been thanking the Lord for everything — and I mean everything. The fabulous days, and the not-so-fabulous ones as well. As a result, it is as if the blinders have been taken off and I’m seeing the clouds for the first time. I’m enthralled with the formations, the color, and the Lord seems to be blessing me with these beautiful arrays! Just as my friend shared, I feel that it is a gift just for me!


Need help look up | homeschool encouragement through faith Need help look up | homeschool encouragement through faith

The first photo was taken in the early morning. Isn’t that an amazing sky? I’ve never seen anything like it. Only the hands of God can create that type of pattern and beauty. The second is a late afternoon sky which is typical for this area.

By looking up, I see the beauty and majesty of God and it gives me time to pause and to wonder!

What ways do you combat depression– feelings of insecurity or general blah in your homeschool day? Please share your ideas and tips with me … or if you need help in a certain situation, let me know. Post your comments below.

Be sure and listen to Felice Gerwitz at Vintage Homeschool Moms podcast.

Weddings On The Cheap

weddings on the cheap Let’s Talk About Weddings On The Cheap with Felice Gerwitz and Meredith Curtis


Summertime Exercise & Weight Loss

exercise and weight lossExercise and Weight Loss with Felice Gerwitz

It isn’t every day that I’m excited to report my exercise and weight loss progress but today I am so excited! I hit a personal goal and my personal best – in fact, it was exceeded! And now I’ll share some ways you too can focus on the beauty of the summertime and not backslide gaining weight you’ve previously lost. While on vacation I knew I would eat, and eat, and eat. The big excuse is we are Italian and we “live to eat,” or so, that was my mother’s fame to claim. There is some truth in enjoying food yet this podcast is about how I could enjoy foods, while keep from gaining the ten pounds I lost, beforehand. Join me for the fun.

Visit our Sponsors – Media Angels Membership Site – Media Angels!

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Show Hosts Notes: Exercise and Weight Loss

  1. Plan – If you have a plan – on how you will maintain your walking/exercise routine it will help you lose weight, keep the weight off or maintain your weight. Prepare for the times you know you may over eat and either increase your exercise regime or plan to cut back on future meals. It’s okay to cheat if you have a plan on how you will overcome the setback.
  2. Focus – By keeping a focus on what you want to do and havign a plan you can keep that summertime promise! Focus on your goals: Is it to lose weight, is it to continue to exercies, or is it to do both? At times I would diet without exercising and it took ay longer than diet and exercise. If you lose weight exercise will keep that weight off.
  3. Accountabilty: you are my accountablity! Having this podcast and sharing my success and failure means that I have someone to report to! Who is your accountablity partner?
  4. Routine: Keep doing what you are doing. And be sure that you get back to your routine and if you get off the schedule. Ask your accountablity partner for help. If needed, start small and rebuild your routine untill you reach your desired outcome. Keep that plan in mind… and let’s do this together!


Family Celebrations

family celebrationsFamily Celebrations on The Cheap  with Felice Gerwitz Podcast 201

It is time to have a family celebration! Whether it is Veterans’ Day – Memorial Day – or the 4th of July there is always time to enjoy parties with the family on the cheap! In this episode, I’ll discuss including academics, the history of the celebration, planning fun activities for the kids as well as decorations and food.

Thanks to our Sponsor: Media Angels, Inc. Check out the new Media Angels Membership website here.

Show Notes: Family Celebrations on the CHEAP

Fun Kid Activities

  1. Historical significance of the holiday
  2. Memorial Day historical significance
  3. Veteran’s Day historical significance
  4. July Fourth historical significance
  5. Balloons – water balloons, punching balloons, helium balloons
  6. Craft ideas

Decorations – Include the Kids

  1. Themed decorations with holiday in mind
  2. DIY crafts – red, white and blue

Food – Plan Ahead

  1. Do as much as you can ahead and freeze
  2. Pulled chicken, pulled pork – BBQ
  3. Baked ziti
  4. Fresh vegetables and fruit
  5. Carved melon



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