Surviving the Break with Your College Students – MBFLP 287

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

The holidays are upon us and we are looking forward to having our college students home again! But to be realistic, there’s always a transition to bringing our young adults back into the household – and often both the student and the family ends up frustrated. This episode we’re talking about things you can do – on both sides – to make the visit as smooth and pleasant as possible for everyone!

Parent Understanding

If you went to college, you remember the rush of exam week – and the mental and physical exhaustion at the end of it! Especially at Christmas and the end of the spring semester, your student will be arriving after a really tough week or two. We try to keep that in mind for their first several days home.


Our unspoken hopes and preferences can set us up for disappointment and conflict. Maybe we parents look forward to seeing our young adult, but we’re also looking forward having his help around the house again! For his side, maybe he’s hoping for some relaxation from the stress of college — or possibly, he has projects or homework to finish during his holiday. Maybe the younger siblings want a lot of attention from their big sister, when she really needs some peace and personal space – at least at first.

The best way to deal with these issues is to communicate ahead of time – gently, in love – and be willing to listen to one other and seek to accommodate everyone. All of those expectations are common and valid – the difficulty is how to address them all. If we cultivate patience and understanding together, we can probably find a mutually agreeable pathway.

Changing Channels

When Hal was working a corporate job, he had to remind himself on the commute home, “I have to leave the office door closed behind me and put on my family hat now.” No matter what stress or disaster he’d left at work, when he came in the door, he knew the kids would be excited to see him, Melanie would be tired and need compassion, and he’d have to be ready to show love and concern to everyone at home.

Our college students need to think about that, too. While they’re making the trip home, they need to consciously prepare themselves to be part of the family culture at the end of their trip. The way they live or even just survive on campus is a separate issue to what happens at home — and they need to change gears before they get here.

In both cases there will be time and opportunity to share their struggles and disappointments, to seek advice and sympathy, but that will come after the initial rush of returning. Everyone will be happier at the end if the wanderer is ready to greet and be greeted first, and then seek the serious conversations after!

We dig deeper into the questions in our blog post here

And a word from our sponsor, Affirm Films’ 5000 Blankets – coming soon to select theaters, December 12 and 13

Tickets and showtimes here!

Graduating from College Debt-Free, Interview with Kara Walker

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Graduating from College Debt-Free, Interview with Kara Walker.

Graduating from College Debt-Free, Interview with Kara Walker. She shares her debt-free college story along with tips for college-bound teens.

Graduating from College Debt-Free, Interview with Kara Walker

This has been a fun week because this week Vicki got to sit down with Kara Walker from Money and Mental Piece, who’s a homeschool grad and entrepreneur!

You and your homeschool high schooler may have thought about college, but have you thought much about the cost of college? Of course, you want your child to be whatever they want to be, but at what cost? Maybe it will be a lot cheaper than you fear! Because today we’re going to see exactly how your child can graduate debt free from college!

Kara’s Homeschool Story

Kara is a 20-something Christian entrepreneur who was homeschooled and transitioned to college after her homeschool journey. And, most significantly, she graduated from college debt free! 

Because of this feat, Kara’s on a quest to help other students do the same through her Money and Mental Peace podcast as well as her upcoming course called The Debt Free College Blueprint.

She’s an amateur snowboarder and recovering overachiever – something that she is working on wrangling even to this day. She likes goal setting, budgeting, and living a debt-free lifestyle. And her goal is to help kids, parents, and families to do the same. 

Kara’s mom is a public school teacher and was even a teacher back when Kara was homeschooling. During high school, she’d participate in co-ops and extracurriculars, which she believes was the foundation that set her up for college.

Kara and Financial Literacy

During high school, Kara took a Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, where she learned all about compound interest, investing, and making money. Through this course is when she realized just how impactful finances are and how much of a huge role they play in life. That’s when she fell in love with finances. (Shameless plug: take a look at 7SistersHomeschool’s interactive Financial Literacy course. Our teens find it life-guiding!)

As she was going through college, she learned ways to test out of courses with CLEP tests and SATs, among learning other neat tricks to save money, which helped her get the first two years of college free.

Savvy college credits and scholarships

She also got a full scholarship to her community college by simply calling the director and asking about scholarships. She says that initiating and bugging people politely is awesome in college when it comes to important decision makers of scholarships. Her friend ended up getting a full women’s scholarship, and he is a man – but no one else applied for that scholarship!

She also did an articulation agreement where she got to do two-thirds of her degree at her community college to transfer to a university. She ended up paying about $1,200 for her Associate’s degree in all because of her neat tricks that she’s going to share with us today!

When she did not know what she wanted to do next, she spent a gap year interning with the National Park Service, which got her an educational award scholarship. 

When she graduated from college at Eastern Michigan University with a BA in Marketing and minor in Math, she left with $10,000 in her bank account because she did not have to use that money she had saved for college tuition.

After graduation, she immediately became a business owner to help students find scholarships for college and guide them through. Since her graduation, Kara has found so many more options to help kids through college debt-free and that is what she is going to share with us today!

Tips For Graduating College Debt Free

Take advantage of doing CLEP tests

There are study guides specifically made for CLEP tests that aren’t that expensive ($20 or less) that you can find on Amazon. 

There’s also a website called to help kids study for these tests and probably a few other sites if you google. 

The company, Modern States, has CLEP test study guide programs online. If you sign up for them, they will give you a voucher to reimburse you for taking the CLEP test, which will also save you money for taking the test!

Once you study for a few weeks, you can schedule to take the test at a local college campus. The test is pass or fail. If you pass, you use those credits for college.

Find which colleges accept the most transfer credits

There are a few colleges that accept more transfer credits than others. You can check to see which colleges take the most transfer credits (for instance, credits from community colleges) and then work towards gaining these transfer credits.

Some kids go to specific colleges just because they accept the most transfer colleges, which helps them graduate from college a lot earlier. For example, one friend Kara knew got his Bachelor’s degree at the age of 19, a year after he graduated high school, because he specifically went to a college that accepted the most transfer credits.

A few colleges that accept higher transfer credits than others are namely:

  • Excelsior College
  • Thomas Edison State University

You can also google which colleges accept higher CLEP transfer credits and then see which programs they have, so your high schooler can start having a plan!

Look for internships and volunteer opportunities

AmeriCorps has internship and volunteer opportunities you can apply for. You can take awesome opportunities and all these rich experiences to help save on tuition.

Several companies and internships have scholarship opportunities, so just do google searches for companies like these.

By doing internships, you can trade time for tuition! 

Talk to Kara at Money and Mental Peace

Kara guarantees to find each child between $10,000 and $30,000 in opportunities and scholarships. 

  • Listen to Kara’s podcast called Money and Mental Peace, which is full of free information on saving money for college. You will discover scholarship and school hacks for Christian college girls to graduate debt free!
  • Learn more about her upcoming course where she will reveal all of the in’s and out’s of graduating college debt free.
  • Follow Kara on Instagram and Facebook to gain more knowledge about graduating college debt free.

On top of that, Kara will teach you how to go find scholarships, so you will be able to take this skill and use it for the rest of your life. (As in, the “teach a man how to fish” expression.) 

It is completely possible to graduate debt free from college. It sets your child up for life where he or she can focus on other avenues of life and not worry about being in debt from college. 

Connect with Kara

You can connect with Kara at Money and Mental Peace podcast, Instagram, and Facebook.


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Free Tools for Researching Colleges and Universities

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Free Tools for Researching Colleges and Universities

179: Free Tools for Researching Colleges and Universities with Holly Ramsey

Holly Ramsey from Thoughtful Homeschooling shares a number of free tools for researching colleges and universities in this episode. All the tools she suggests during the interview are listed below, but you can request her full free guide here.

Know Yourself: Tools to explore interests and aptitudes

Scoir: You Science assessment
Dr. Steven Antonoff’s exploration surveys: self-survey for the college bound, college planning values assessment, audit of college success traits

Know the Schools: Tools to build a list

Loper: new personalized list builder app
College Essay Guy Guide: How to Choose a College
College Matchpoint: monthly newsletter and blog with “Hidden Gems”
Collegewise Runway: free senior year course

Know Your Budget and the Cost: Tools to evaluate financial fit

Thoughtful Homeschooling:: “Best Free Tools to Find a Good School That Will Give You Money”
Thoughtful Homeschooling: “How Good is that Scholarship?”
Net Price Calculator
Estimate any Student Federal Aid
ROI of 4500 Colleges & Universities: Georgetown’s analysis

Know Your Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Concerns: Tools to refine a list

College Equity Index: assesses campus climate & culture for BIPOC students
Autism-Friendly Colleges: lists of schools adept at serving those with learning
First Gen College Partners

Know the Social Fit: Tools to evaluate the feel of a campus

● Look up a school’s mission and values
● Read the student newspaper
Campus Reel: student-driven virtual college students
Niche: includes student reviews of the colleges & universities

To get your teen to start researching and preparing for college, sign them up for sponsor FundaFunda’s annual summer High School Challenge for homeschoolers in rising 9th – 12th grade. This contest gamifies the learning and offers gift card rewards – as well as an overall cash prize.

If you as a homeschool parent want to interact with other homeschool parents on these topics, join the Homeschooling College-bound Teens Facebook group run by FundaFunda – Holly is one of the many members there with wisdom to share!

You can find Holly at her website, Thoughtful Homeschooling, and on Facebook and Instagram.

Take a look at show sponsor, FundaFunda Academy to see what they offer for online classes and web-based unit studies.

Join our Facebook Group especially for the listeners of this podcast! You can ask questions and get advice as you try integrating technology in your homeschool.

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review! Subscribing will help you make sure you never miss an episode

Free Tools for Researching Colleges and Universities

Post 2020 College

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Post 2020 College: One of the concerns I hear all the time from homeschoolers is worry that their students won’t get into college.Post 2020 College/Post Covid College Decision

One of the concerns I hear all the time from homeschoolers is worry that their students won’t get into college. Look, it’s actually easier than ever to be admitted into college; homeschoolers traditionally perform extremely well on standardized tests and do a great job of competing and winning in National Competitions, such as the National Spelling Bee, Geography Bee, etc.

Getting into college might be easier than ever but considering the ROI of college costs is also more important than ever.

College costs has sky-rocketed and on average cost between $22,000 and $50,000 per year! It’s time for Parents and Student to take a hard look at the ROI of college financial, social and spiritual costs!



Must Take High School Course!

Marketable Skills Classes at True North

FREEBIES From True North Homeschool Academy

The Dark Side in the World of Academia

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Finish Well Homeschool Podcast, Podcast #146, The Dark Side in the World of Academia, with Meredith Curtis on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast NetworkThe Dark Side in the World of Academia

In “The Dark Side in the World of Academia,” Episode, #146, Meredith Curtis reveals the challenges that await our child when they go away to college, especially if that university is secular. She talks about worldview, rejection of Christinaity, cancel culture, temptation, lowering of academic standards, and the money factor. If God has called you or your teens to go to college, there are ways to prepare so that you do not fall prey to the darkness, but instead shine your light brightly.




Autumn at Powerline Productions


Powerline Productions, Inc.

Bringing Homeschool Joy to Families Everywhere!

Show Notes

There are several challenges of college life that we don’t hear much about.

Academia’s Worldview

Combination of Marxism and Post-Modernism.

Neither philosophy can co-exist with biblical Christianity so there is a strong attempt to stomp out religious faith.

Worldview Resources

Understanding the Times by David Noebel

I had my teens read it before college and even created a study guide to go with it: Worldview 101: Understand the Times.

Apologetics to Face the Darkness

Study apologetics if you are sending your kids to college.

Have them study apologetics, too.

Apologetic Resources

Here are my favorite apologetics resources

  • More Than a Carpenter by Josh McDowell
  • Cold Case Christianity by J. Warner Wallace
  • Evidence That Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell
  • Demolishing Strongholds Dvd series from Answers in Genesis

Cancel Culture

While the world of academia, Hollywood, and technology define “justice” and “progress,” anyone who disagrees can be “cancelled.” That could mean fired, unfriended, beaten up, cyber bullying, or suspended. Healthy debate is out; adhering to status quo is in.

Christians can stand firm within a counter-culture if they keep their eyes on Jesus through prayer and Bible study while standing with others who are firm in the faith. If you are going away to college, find a nearby local church and plug in. Find fellow Christians on campus and pray for one another. Stay in the Word of God.


Students Face:

  • Sexual Immorality
  • Drunkedness
  • Drugs
  • Smoking
  • Filty Language
  • Depression

Stand firm in your identity in Christ.

Scripture Memorization

Identity in Christ Resources

It is so important to understand who you are in Christ and the basics of Christianity to be confidence in an ever-increasing hostile world. Here are some resources for high school teens that cause them to go deeper in their faith.

The Search for Significance by Robert S. McGee

God’s Girls 101: Grow in Christ by Meredith Curtis (1-credit high school course)

Real Men 101: Godly Manhood by Meredith Curtis (1-credit high school course)

Lowering of Academic Standards

As college focuses on imparting a philosophy rather than educating, the level of education suffers.

Critical Race Theory

Handling of Literature

Rejecting Constitution

Rewriting History

The Money Factor


Doesn’t necessarily prepare you to earn a good living—it depends on your major.


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100 Homeschool Hacks by Meredith CurtisSign up for our updates and get your copy of 100 Homeschool Hacks FREE. Sign up here.









How-to-Homeschool Books if you want to learn more about homeschooling or plan to homeschool 😊

Unlocking the Mystery of Homeschooling High School by Meredith Curtis and Laura Nolette Worldview Understanding the Times by Meredith Curtis Real Men 101: Godly Manhood God's Girls 101: Grow in Christ

These classes are all written from a Christian worldview for high school students.

Real Men 103: Leadership Economics, Finances, and Business Communications 101:Essays and Speeches High School Class HIS Story of the 20th Century by Meredith Curtis
American Literature & Research Government: God's Blueprint/Man's Agenda by Meredith Curtis Worldview Understanding the Times by Meredith Curtis HIS Story of the 20th Century: High School Workbook by Meredith Curtis

More Podcasts You Might Find Helpful

Finish Well Radio Podcast #030 with Meredith Curtis on the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network Finish Well Radio Network, Podcast #39, Should I Major in Music at College? with Meredith Curtis on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network Finish Well Radio, Podcast #074, How to Get Into College with Meredith Curtis


A Special Thank You to Our Network Sponsor:  Courageous Movie


From the Kendrick Brothers, creators of the No. 1 box-office movie WAR ROOM and OVERCOMER, comes the remastered re-release of COURAGEOUS Legacy, in theaters September 24. Celebrating 10 years of impact on families and fathers, this updated version of the film includes new scenes and an enhanced look and sound.

Filled with action-packed drama, COURAGEOUS Legacy will once again have viewers laughing, crying, and cheering as they are challenged and inspired by everyday heroes who long to be the kinds of dads that make a lifelong impact on their children. Protecting the streets is second nature to these men. Raising their children in a God-honoring way? That’s courageous.

Check out the trailer here!

How to Find Scholarships for Homeschoolers

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: How to Find Scholarships for Homeschoolers.

How to Find Scholarships for Homeschoolers


How to Find Scholarships for Homeschoolers

College is SO expensive! Scholarships can really help alleviate the financial burden. We are often asked to share tips for finding college scholarships, so that’s what we will do in this week’s episode!

Let’s start with some good news and bad news about college scholarships

There is good news, so take a breath! On the other hand, there is bad news, also. With that in mind, let’s get the bad news over with.

Here’s the bad news about finding scholarships for homeschoolers:

So many homeschool families feel a “keep up with the Joneses” pressure for their homeschool high schoolers. The pressure tells them that their teens must have a full-ride scholarship to college…or else they have all failed. Homeschool moms need to show their success by their homeschool graduates getting totally free college.

We know there are programs and people who peddle the idea that they can help you find those full-ride scholarships. However, the difficult truth is that VERY FEW teens get full-ride scholarships to college. Very few.

In fact, the National Center for Education Statistics’ recent National Postsecondary Student Aid Study found that in 2015-16 (the most recent study) seventy-two percent of undergraduates received some sort of financial aid. However, only 0.2 percent received $25,000 or more in scholarships.

So if your homeschool high schoolers do not go off to college with a full scholarship, that means they are normal. My advice to you? Get out of the comparison game. You and your family are supposed to be your family…not the Joneses.

(Also, bad news is there are scholarship scams out there. Here is a valuable post on how to spot scholarship scams.)

Here’s the good news about finding scholarship for homeschoolers:

The good news is that there is scholarship money out there. In fact, that NCES study also found that in the 2015-16 academic year, $61 billion in scholarships were awarded to 1.58 million students. Thus, there was scholarship money available. All told, approximately one in eight college students received an average of $4202 per student.

Every $4202 helps.

With that in mind, may I ask you a favor? Do not miss the joys of homeschooling high school because you are fretting about how on earth your teen can work hard enough and long enough to win a full scholarship to their favorite college.

Make the most of high school and help your teens do their best, but do not miss the fun of these wonderful years.

Neither you nor your teen are a failure if she doesn't get a big scholarship

So let’s look at scholarships and financial help for homeschoolers

There are a number of ways to help reduce your homeschool graduate’s financial stress about college. BTW- Here’s a college-planning timeline to keep you organized.

File the FAFSA

The first thing you need to know, is that many scholarships and most financial aid require you and your teen to fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). This is a long application that both you and your teen will complete online. It asks for your prior, prior year’s income (two years ago), as well as the same from your homeschool graduate.

The FAFSA helps determine if your teen is eligible for various Federal Aid programs and is the open door to many scholarships. For instance, some of the Federal Financial Aid programs include:

  • Federal Subsidized Loans (must be paid back)
  • Pell Grants (need-based grants, not required to be paid back)
  • Some other grants and opportunities such as SEOG grants
  • Work-study programs

Once the FAFSA is filled out, the government sends your information to the college of your choice. At that college, the financial aid committee hashes out the details of what you will actually receive.

Look at community colleges

Many states have free tuition for the first two years of college, or through receiving the Associates in Arts degree. Each state has different rules for these programs. Check your state department of education’s website to find out.

Tuition discount discounts at local colleges for local residents

Many colleges have tuition discounts for local residents. Check the college website to see if your local college includes one of these programs. Each college is different with its rules for these program (some require a certain GPA, for instance).

Merit-based scholarships

These are scholarships that vary from college to college. With that thought, you and your teen will need to see which merit-based scholarships are available. Which one fits your homeschool high schooler’s accomplishments?

Some merit scholarships include:

  • Academic (for very high GPA, SAT/ACT scores or academic awards)
  • Artistic (be sure to take your portfolio with you for college tours- ask for an appointment with the dean or academic advisors for that major)
  • Athletics (for high-performing athletes). Check with your teen’s coaches and college of interest’s athletic director to find out what they are looking for.

Demographic scholarships

Some scholarships are based on who you are, rather than what you have accomplished. For instance:

  • Children of military veterans
  • Special groups of people, according to the interest of a college

Needs-based scholarships

These scholarships, or tuition discounts, are given to students based on financial need.

One thing to know about these kinds of scholarships is that the amount of the needs-based scholarship is affected by (reduced by) other scholarships that come from other sources. This does not mean that teens should not apply for other scholarships.

Rather, it means that high school seniors should decide where they want to put their time and energy. Perhaps instead of spending hundreds of hours on scholarship searches, they might find a better use of their time and effort.

Other scholarships

Now, down to the actual scholarship hunt. Here are some ideas:

  • For teens who decide to go on a scholarship hunt, one resource to check out is It touts itself as “your connection to scholarships, colleges, financial aid and more”.
  • Look for local organizations who are investing in the community through scholarships.
  • Think about your teen’s niche. For instance, if your teens has a skill such as farrier that might earn them a scholarship from the National Farrier’s Convention (I just made that organization up, btw.)
  • If they are involved in a local organization, it might have small scholarships for local teens.
  • Scholarship competitions.
  • Our friend, Meryl, at Homeschooling with Technology podcast has even MORE information on tracking down scholarships.
  • Also, the College Prep Genius podcast has a bunch of little known scholarships.

All of these scholarships work well for homeschool graduates who will not be receiving needs-based financial aid.

Google these organizations and find out if they have scholarships available. If you find that they do, be sure to follow their rules to the letter.

The most important thing to remember is: You do not need to get an ulcer over this. The most important things are to educate your teens, train them for adulthood and help them become good people. God has plans for your teens.


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A Special Thank You to Our Network Sponsor:  Show Me The Father Movie

The Kendrick Brothers, creators of WAR ROOM and FIREPROOF, have some exciting news to share: they have TWO films coming to theaters this fall—SHOW ME THE FATHER on September 10 and COURAGEOUS Legacy on September 24.

Featuring a variety of amazing, true stories, the Kendrick Brothers’ new feature film SHOW ME THE FATHER takes audiences on an inspiring and emotional cinematic journey. Their first documentary film has something for everyone and invites you to think differently about how you view your earthly father story and also how you personally relate to God.

Check out the trailer here!


College Success Tips for Homeschool Graduates, Interview with John Lenschow

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: College Success Tips for Homeschool Graduates, Interview with John Lenschow.

College Success Tips for Homeschool Graduates

College Success Tips for Homeschool Graduates

Vicki is joined this week by John … He is a professor at John Brown University. He also teaches youth group in church and leads missions trips. John had a chance to be involved in the homeschooling world through his own college studies. He had a course in his Masters program on Christian education and learned about homeschooling in that light. This got him excited about homeschooling. Then his sister decided to homeschool her two children and he has had a chance to watch homeschooling in action there. So, although John has no children of his own, he loves the homeschool community and educational choice.

When John began to teach at John Brown University, he noticed in the ministry and Bible classes he was teaching that homeschool graduates shined. He was impressed with their ability to be self-starters and have a good attitude. (He has been teaching at John Brown University for fifteen years. BTW- this John Brown is not the famous John Brown of history class. Rather, this John Brown was an evangelist who started a trade school that became a university. They recently celebrated their one hundredth anniversary as a Christian university.)

When his niece and nephew started homeschooling high school, John’s sister asked him to teach his Bible classes to her kids. They were living in different states but he was able to teach them online.

Vertical Academy

John started Vertical Academy out of this project for helping his nephew and niece to shore up their biblical literacy and worldview, based on the courses he teaches at college. (The Vertical Academy offers self-paced digital and live zoom classes on the Old Testament, New Testament, and Foundations of Christian Faith.)

His classes work on teaching teens to see the big picture and historical context on Scripture. Then he helps his students learn skills for application to their lives. Check out Vertical Academy.

With John’s experience as a college professor, he has a heart to see young people succeed in college. You can check out Vertical Academy for these college success tips, too.

Here are the things that John has found are helpful for homeschool graduates who are starting college.

Start your journey to college success by reviewing the skills you are learning in homeschool high school.

Your college-preparation study and life skills (hone these skills in high school so you are ready to use them in college):

At college, think about each class as a series of relationships. Relationships take:

  • Time
  • Effort
  • You get out of them what you put into them

There are four relationships in a college class:

  • Best friend
  • Next best friend
  • Third and Fourth best friends

Your syllabus is your BEST friend in college classes.

Your best friend in the class is your syllabus

Therefore, treat this syllabus as you would your best friend. Spend time with it, read it, follow it

  • Syllabi might follow different formats: hard copy, email, moodle…whatever form it comes, follow it! It will inform you about important things you can use for success:
  • It will tell you which textbooks to get
    • Your syllabus will tell you what to read. Read it.
    • If you read your text before class, you will know some about what you are going to learn, this will help the information stick better.
  • Put due dates for assignments and tests on your calendar at the beginning of the semester. Schedule backwards from there.
  • Understand the policies and procedures of the class.
  • Know how much each assignment is worth.

If you know your best friend well, you won’t irritate your second best friend by asking questions about the class that are on the syllabus!

The second best friend in your college class is your professor

Professors are there to help students- not to punish or keep them from passing! Feel free to communicate with them:

  • Send emails with questions that are succinct, that state your case. Check your email for replies.
  • Visit your professor during office hours. Really. Do this, especially if you have a question.
    • Try not to linger after class to ask; he or she may have another class to rush to.
  • Remember, it is not a bother to your professor for you to visit during office hours. Teachers want you to come by during office hours.
    • It helps to get to know a student and give them a boost in their learning.

The third relationship is class content

Class content covers many things:

  • Books
  • Lectures
  • Videos
  • Discussions
  • Assignments and project
  • Any other content

Take advantage of the time you have. Use it and the class content to your advantage. This will help you treat each content area as an opportunity to learn.

The fourth relationship is your peers

Get to know them! You do not need to make them your best, best friends. However, your peers in class can help you succeed in college.

  • Find a study group (teach each other)
  • Do your best with group projects
  • If you miss a class, a good peer relationship can fill you in and share notes

Bonus tips:

John has some bonus tips for college success.

  • Get to class on time!
    • If you come late to class, it is distracting and says something about how you view the class.
  • Do not leave early.
    • Vicki is always reminding teens not to close their books or computers until the teacher is through teaching! This shows respect.
  • Remember, if you have had a bad relationship with a class in the past, give your college classes a fresh start. You may find you love these new relationships.

Join Vicki and John for a helpful look at college success for homeschool graduates. While you’re at it, check out Vertical Academy.

Also check out these helpful college-readiness episodes:


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  2. OR take this IMPORTANT STEP: Under our Homeschool Highschool Podcast logo, click on View in “…your favorite podcast source”
  3. This will take you to Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcast source and our own podcast page.
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Tips for completing online scholarship applications

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Tips for Completing Online Scholarship Applications

117: Tips for completing online scholarship applications

Guest, Monica Matthews, shares tips for completing online scholarship applications that will help students be successful. Monica has helped her own children and many many others win scholarships to college.

Find Monica at her website, How 2 Win Scholarships, her Facebook page and her Facebook group, Scholarship Help and College Talk for Parents.

Listen to the full episode to hear her explain the following tips.

Avoid Common Mistakes

  • Typing directly into the application
  • Text-typing
  • Nicknames/questionable email addresses
  • Not saving/time limits
  • Waiting until deadline
  • Required materials not sent in time
  • Proofread with trusted eyes
  • Submitting late at night
  • Use full word count and paragraphs

Know the Guidelines

  • What is required and how it should be sent
  • Different deadlines for extra materials
  • Follow directions exactly

Add Extra Information

  • Take advantage of “other” boxes
  • Insert a link to a personal website/blog/Pinterest board
  • Submit beautiful attachments
  • Polite email when submitting

Some of this info can be found in these blog posts and the rest is in Monica’s scholarship ebooks.

College Scholarship Tip: Vital Online Submission Advice

Crucial Tips for Submitting Online College Scholarship Apps

Be sure to also listen to our previous episode on Finding, Tracking, and Winning Scholarships.

Join our Facebook Group especially for the listeners of this podcast! You can ask questions and get advice as you try integrating technology in your homeschool. We would love to hear how you are using tech in early elementary homeschooling!

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review! Subscribing will help you make sure you never miss an episode.

Tips for Completing Online Scholarship Applications

Make the Most of Uncertain Times – MBFLP 258

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Coming out of the bunker - making the most of these uncertain times

“How do I encourage my young men to look forward to the future?”

In part 1, we talked about the reality of uncertainty as a part of every time and every life, though the immediate upheaval is a very real and very disruptive event!  (see episode 257, “Making Sense of Uncertain Times”)

But how can we provide some practical help to young men whose plans for college, work, nnd relationships have been upended and put on indefinite hold? What can we do as parents to help them make the most of these uncertain times?

Remember the pandemic hits everybody differently. People in stable relationships with established careers may be better able to adjust to the disruptions than young men who are just at the starting point.

Young single adults may be feeling real isolation and loneliness. They may appreciate more contact with family, in real life or online. Reach out! And plan to listen – they may be missing people they can talk through their concerns with.

A new socialization problem

Encourage them to be inventive about socializing online. We have young adult friends who have organized online prayer meetings, held conference calls for fellowship, connected through video gaming platforms, and more. Some video conferencing programs offer service for small groups for free, and messaging apps like Skype and Signal can be used for several people in a call.

If your teens don’t have a social media account, now may be the time to train them how to use it wisely. Social media has its pitfalls, for certain, but it is possible to use it for God-honoring purposes. Your teens will be expected to have some social media savvy when they leave your home; it’s widely used in business and academia as well as peer-to-peer. What better time to coach your teens than right now, while they’re still at home and open to guidance?

For kids too young for social media accounts, we may want to use ours to facilitate fellowship for them and their friends.  It’s worth remembering that our online friendships may be part of our own coping mechanisms; our younger kids may not have that connection for themselves. Maybe you can set up a game meeting, a virtual tea party, or some other way for the elementary and middle school kids to interact … with supervision.

Realize that all our social skills may be rusty – your young people may need encouragement and coaching when they can resume meeting people in person.

(jump to continue … )

What can you do with this time?

Parents and people in a more stable situation may be able to provide perspective. If we aren’t in the throes of the uncertainty faced by our sons, we may be able to think of alternatives and options that they haven’t considered yet. We also may be able to point out that life doesn’t end at 25 or 30 — in fact, the most productive and effective part of their lives and careers is very likely years in the future still. A few months delay at 18 or 23 is not going to stop the world for them!

Some practical ideas to consider: Start a business. Start something online. Begin writing the book you wanted to write. Read up a subject and take a CLEP exam for college credit. None of this has to be permanent or long term, but any of them will encourage you to be active, keep thinking, and avoid just giving up!

Give them hope! Your sons need encouragement and they need the benefit of your experience and your ideas. Remind them this is a just a passing time in their lives and it will soon be past. Rather than despairing, they can make the most of the opportunities they have in these uncertain days!

Resources We Mentioned

Skype messaging app

Signal messaging app

SKRAFTY moderated Minecraft server and more

Our free College Decision Resource Pack – click here to download your copy!

Planning for College Even During COVID-19 – MBFLP 246

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

How can you move forward with college plans during a pandemic?

How can you hunt for a college in the midst of a global pandemic? Colleges want students who demonstrate interest in their college. But how can you demonstrate interest in a college when you are sheltering in place under a “stay at home” order?  Join us for this special conversation with Lee Binz, “The HomeScholar”!

With our older kids (all five of them so far!), we spent a lot of time visiting colleges, touring campuses, interviewing professors and campus ministers … but emphasize, on campus.

And now, there are very few people on campus to visit – if the campus is even open, still.

Needless to say, suddenly the rules have changed! But have they?

Colleges still want to meet you, get to know you, and make an estimate whether you’d accept an offer from their school. In normal times, you take the opportunity to meet the admissions staff, walk around campus, and if they invite, absolutely positively show up for scholarship or honors college events!

So during this  time of quarantine, shelter-in-place, and stay-home orders, those in-person visits just aren’t going to happen.

Lee Binz has years of experience counseling and advising homeschooled high schoolers and their parents, on how to prepare for the college application process and how to maximize your chances of success. This episode, we talked with her about how the move to remote meetings and online gatherings has changed the traditional interview process. You’ll hear some surprising advice and some brilliant ideas how you can adapt to this strange, disrupted world, in some of the most traditional institutions.

About Our Guest

Lee Binz, The HomeScholar is a dynamic speaker and author of over 40 books on homeschooling high school, available on Amazon. She is an expert on homeschool transcripts and getting scholarships. Lee’s mission is to encourage and equip parents to homeschool through high school. Her free monthly homeschool e-newsletter is a great help, and she has marvelous homeschool freebies  on her website You can also find Lee on Facebook at

A Free Offer from Lee Binz!

Anxiety and feelings of insecurity can come and go. When you are faced with feelings of inadequacy, you may start wondering how to become a better homeschool parent. How do you become successful? Lee has a free ebook that she would like to share with you! Download How to Be a Better Home Educator and you can build a better homeschool with tools (and teens) you have around the house. Whether you are a newbie or veteran, this short ebook can help you become a better homeschool parent.

Other Resources We Mentioned

Lee Binz:  Coronavirus and College Admission

Lee Binz:  High School Tests During Coronavirus

Lee Binz:  How to Prepare for a College Interview (with practice questions)


Hal and Melanie:  Paying for College with No Debt and No Fortune

Hal and Melanie: The Unexpected Benefits of Graduation

Hal and Melanie: Entrepreneurship and College