Five Steps to Improving Study Skills and Time Management

At a visitation day at Bryan College several years ago, we had a question and answer session set up with a panel of ten college students who were homeschooled. A parent asked, “What was the most difficult adjustment to college life and, what would you recommend to incoming students in order to be better prepared?” All ten students said that time management was the most difficult adjustment. The recommendation made by the students was for high school students to either participate in a co-op or a class where they answer to someone other than mom or, if able, to take dual enrollment classes. Unless the student is taking a class on time management, this skill is not learned through the curriculum but, rather, through the process. The flexibility that homeschooling allows, although advantageous, is often a contributing factor to poor time management. Having to complete homework, turn in assignments, take tests, and participate in group forums (or activities) with deadlines forces students to sink or swim. We don’t want them to sink, so let’s help them swim.

Although dual enrollment is a great way to introduce high school students to the rigor of college classes, your students will do better if they have learned how to manage their time beforehand. Students who are able to organize their schedules, develop good study skills, and manage their time well will have much less stress than students who fly by the seat of their pants, hoping everything will come together in the end. In several of the articles I’ve written, I point out that there are neglected subjects that may be as important, or more important, than the core classes for high school students. Time management is a skill that should be taught long before students head off to college, so let’s talk about the nuts and bolts of how to do this.

  1. Set the Environment: Because students are very diverse in how they learn, there is no black and white, one-size-fits all method, but the principles are similar. Where to begin? Let’s start with where your students study. Encourage them to prepare a study environment that works well for them. When studying, students should put their phone on silent, and put it away so they won’t be tempted to pick it up and check notifications. Create a ritual that enhances their ability to concentrate. For some, that will mean working in total silence while for others, background music may be helpful. Running a diffuser, lighting a candle, or turning on a fan are other suggestions that could be incorporated into the process. Some students can sit at a dining table with activities going on all around them and not be distracted, while others need a setting with as few distractions as possible. When I was in college I doodled while I took notes. It helped me concentrate. For others, that would be a distraction. Do not impose on your students the environment that works best for you if it does not work for them. On the other hand, if a student insists on a certain study environment, but work is not getting accomplished, then changes may need to be made. If your home does not allow for a quiet place, yet that is what your student needs, then purchase a noise blocking device such as headphones, ear muffs, or ear plugs. If you are not familiar with Cynthia Tobias and her book, The Way They Learn, I highly recommend it. This video is part 1 of a two part series that is well worth listening to when you have time. Not only does Cynthia help you understand the differences in how we learn, but she’s quite funny and entertaining too! This site contains free resources from Cynthia including multiple tips for parenting!
  2. Manage Study Periods. Making the best use of the time allotted for study is crucial to successful studying. If possible, it is helpful to schedule specific, consistent study times. One method many students have found helpful is called the Pomodoro method. This method has the student set a timer for short, intense periods of study. When the timer ends, the student takes a break and then resets the timer. According to William Wadsworth, “The benefits of working in intense, timed bursts separated by breaks includes:
  • Better motivation: bolster determination to achieve your goals by having an external motivator (the ticking clock) to get you fired up.
  • Enhance focus and concentration, encouraging you to cut out interruptions and stay on task.
  • Strengthen your determination to keep on trying even when you don’t feel like it, or the work is tough, because you can’t quit while the timer is ticking.
  • Higher levels of energy and intensity because of the mild time-pressure, with breaks serving as opportunities to pause and refresh before going again.”

The Pomodoro method may not work for everyone, but it’s worth checking out. It helped one of my sons when he began using it while in college. The article includes specifics regarding this method, so check it out.

3. Discover the Most Effective Way to Study. There are several types of learners and, for that reason, some methods of study are more effective than others, depending on the student’s learning style. Some students are visual, needing to see notes on the material being presented. Handwriting notes for review is most helpful for many. More than a few college professors do not allow students to take notes on laptops and, for that reason (among others), knowing how to take handwritten notes effectively is important. There are many articles that defend the value of handwritten notes and this article, from NPR, shares research results while giving more than a few reasons for this stance. For those who do take notes while studying, this article describes the Cornell method of notetaking. This video summarizes the Cornell method in less than a minute. Until my son told me about the Cornell method, I had never heard of it. In my opinion, the concept is simple, and brilliant!

While some students are visual learners, others are auditory learners and, for those students, dictating information that they can repeatedly listen to is beneficial.

Thanks to modern technology, studying, regardless of the type of learner, has become easier. There are free phone apps that help with a variety of study methods. When my daughter, Courtlyn, was in nursing school, needing to learn to identify parts of the body visually and by name, she used Chegg to create flashcards that included photographs as well text. She is a kinesthetic learner (absorbs information through touch, movement and motion) and she found that hand writing each slide from her professor’s powerpoint presentations helped her commit the information to memory. Quizlet is another popular app. In addition to learning tools, this app has flashcards and pre-set quizzes (which may have been added by professors or by students). Quizlet even allows professors to create in-class games. According to this article, with Quizlet you can:
– Get test-day ready with Learn
– Put your memory to the test with Write
– Race against the clock in a game of Match
– Share flashcards with classmates (if you’re a student) or your students (if you’re a teacher)
– Listen to your material pronounced correctly in 18 languages
– Enhance your studying with custom images and audio

4. Set a Schedule. If your students do not set aside specific times to study then, more than likely, time will slip by with little or no studying taking place. When setting a schedule, break up assignments into time increments that are doable and that allow for on-time (or early) completion. Be sure to highlight important deadlines and test dates. Set aside a liberal amount of time to be used exclusively for studying and for homework. The time set aside need not be one block of time. If a student has time in the morning, afternoon, and/or evening, several blocks of time can be set aside. Using a white board to write down the student’s schedule creates a visual reminder for the student while allowing the parent to be aware of whether the student is sticking to the schedule, or not. Online calendars are also great for setting up schedules because reminders and alarms can be put in place, ensuring the student’s awareness of the schedule, avoiding missed deadlines.

5. Prioritize. Students need to be intentional about scheduling time to study and time to complete assignments. If your students are not self-disciplined, then they may need to be held accountable for their time and if that is the case, withholding privileges until work is complete may be adequate motivation. Work first, then play.

With intention, good study habits can be learned, time can be managed, and as a result, stress will be lessened.

TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE! Important Dates for Seniors and Juniors

Let’s talk about the FAFSA for seniors and the PSAT for juniors!

The FAFSA is a free application for Federal student aid. Most colleges use the information from the FAFSA to determine the financial aid amount each student will receive. The Pell Grant, Federal loan amounts, and work study qualification is determined by the financial information provided by the family on the FAFSA. In years past, this form was not filled out until January of a student’s senior year. That has changed, and now October 1st is the first day of the students’ senior year that the form can be filled out. The parent(s) and the students each have an ID they use to sign in so that the form can be completed. They cannot share the same user name and password.

TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE: There is no penalty if you fill out the form at a later time but, because there are certain scholarships that are awarded on a first-come-first-serve basis (and certain funds are limited), you will want your senior students’ FAFSA completed on October 1st or soon after. The FAFSA will ask for income from the previous year. If you are filling out the FAFSA this academic year, you will report your family’s income from 2018.

WARNING: There is an option to have the IRS import the information from your tax return and, although this makes filling out the form easier to do, you may want to input your information manually if you rolled over an IRA, bought or sold stocks, or had a job change.

The FAFSA determines your EFC (expected family contribution). The EFC is an index number the colleges use to determine how much financial aid your student is entitled to receive. It is used to determine Pell Grant amounts, work study opportunities, and subsidized loan amounts.

Even if you do not plan to accept any Federal funds or take out loans, most colleges use the information provided by the FAFSA (the EFC) when awarding financial aid and, for that reason, the FAFSA needs to be filled out. There are one or two colleges that are an exception to this expectation.

In addition to filling out the FAFSA during your students’ senior year, you will want your students to begin applying to their top colleges of choice. Some colleges offer opportunities that are only offered during the students’ senior year of high school. Bryan College hosts a scholarship event each semester for qualified seniors who have been accepted to Bryan College. Each participant has an academic interview and receives another $1,000 to $3,000 based on that interview. At one of the events an essay contest is included and one winner receives four years of tuition. There are state grants in Tennessee that seniors may be awarded, if qualified, but knowing about and applying for at least one of those awards early in the senior year is advised. Check with the colleges to which your students are applying, and find out about the grants offered in your state early in your students’ senior year (or before) so that you do not miss out on any of the opportunities that are time sensitive.

For juniors, you will want them to take the PSAT because the scores from that test determine National Merit Scholarships (NMS). Even a semi-finalist will receive four years of tuition at Bryan College. The test is offered in October and it is a very affordable test. Students in 9th and 10th grades can take the PSAT (if they can find a location that allows their participation), but the scores will not be counted towards the NMS. Two changes have taken place this year. Because of COVID, and the resulting protocols, homeschooled students are having a difficult time finding a location where their students can take the PSAT. Before you are too discouraged, the College Board has added a January PSAT date! If your students cannot take the test in October or January, then they can take the SAT and use a code to have that test count as the PSAT. The NMS is determined state by state, according to the number of students taking the test in each state. Students with disabilities may be eligible for accommodations, but the time it takes to process a request is lengthy, so plan ahead.

Although, not as time sensitive as the PSAT, juniors should begin narrowing down their college choices in order to plan visits to the campus and to find out what will be required for admission. They will also want to find out if their colleges of choice have time sensitive scholarship opportunities, if scholarships stack, if the college requires a college exam score for admission, or if they are test optional. The CLT is a newer college exam that over 200 Christian colleges accept. Because the CLT is an online test, this test has been offered virtually during the time when COVID protocols shut down both the SAT and the ACT. For this reason there are more colleges, including secular colleges, accepting scores from the CLT. Bryan College is test optional at this time. Students are being accepted and awarded scholarships based on their GPA, instead of a test score. Test optional does not mean test blind. If your students have a test score that will qualify them for more scholarship awards than their GPA, then submit the test score.

Seniors, get the FAFSA filled out and apply to top college choices. Juniors, find a location to take the PSAT and begin narrowing down your college choices. Your college planning experience will go better if you are prepared ahead to take advantage of available opportunities and requirements.

If What You Believe About Money Turns Out Not to Be True, When Would You Want to Know?

If what you believe about money isn’t true, when would you want to know? I first heard that question from Don Blanton, the founder of PEM life. Most of us would want to know right away if a belief we held was not, in fact, true. Many of us have been taught a thing or two about money that may not be true! 

Mr. Blanton has worked to educate more than 20,000 financial advisors in his nearly 30 year career as president and founder of MoneyTrax Inc., and still maintains a successful personal practice as a financial advisor today. The core concepts, tools, and principles which he has developed to teach and train financial services professionals are now being made available through PEM LIFE curricula in an effort to extend financial literacy.  Many families spend quite a bit of time and money on their students’ education yet many students graduate with little to no understanding of how to manage the money they will earn. 

It is amazing that society puts so much emphasis on reading, writing and arithmetic, but excludes a need for practical lessons on personal finance.  This class, available as a three hour dual enrollment class with Bryan College, or as a stand alone class without college credit, is now available to homeschooling families. This class is life-changing.

student with moneyIn sharing my personal experience with you, you may be surprised at the lessons I learned through this course. It is certainly different than the advice I had received from several Christian money management programs.

So, what is it that we have we been taught to believe that may not be true? Most of us have been led to believe that taking out loans should be avoided and that we should pay cash for everything when possible. We have been taught that we should pay off our loans, including mortgages, as soon as possible. We have been taught that having and using credit cards should be avoided. That’s the advice we have heard for many years. My husband and I were introduced to Don Blanton and the PEM class via my son (who was taking the class at Bryan College) right before we were to close on one house and purchase another. My son encouraged me to read the chapter on mortgages and my mind was blown. Mr. Blanton suggests that it might be preferable to take out a 30 year mortgage with a lower down payment rather than using cash on hand for the purchase. What? Don’t invest all the money from one home to another? Don’t go for the lowest loan amount possible? Don’t try and pay off the mortgage sooner rather than later? After reading the chapter I was almost convinced, but not quite  — so I called Mr. Blanton and, after asking me a few questions about our situation, he convinced us that it would be wiser to have a higher mortgage amount at a low interest rate so that we would have access to cash for investment, emergencies, ministries, etc.  Of course this decision was based on our ability to handle the mortgage payments. That was a year ago. We heeded his advice and have no regrets. We are currently refinancing at a lower interest rate and our monthly payments will be reduced by over $100 each month. We will leave the table with more cash. Do not interpret this as a condemnation on those who choose not to take out loans. Everyone needs to decide what is best in light of their finances and the options available.

We have been led to believe that if we take out a loan, then we are in debt. That is not necessarily true. Debt, as defined by Don Blanton, is when you have an obligation to pay with money that is yet to be earned. That is debt. Taking out a loan does not put you in debt unless you borrow more than you have. You may finance a new car at a low interest rate even though you have enough cash to be able to buy it outright. In that case you have a loan, but you are not in debt. Make sense? You are not having to make payments with future earnings. 

Debt is an obligation to pay with money that is yet to be earned. It may take a little time to wrap your head around that. It did for me. When talking to Mr. Blanton about my hesitation to finance any purchase, he pointed out that we finance many expenses, not just those that require a loan. We pay monthly for our electric, wifi, gas, phone, and similar products and services. Those expenses are financed. We do not ask to pay up front in order to avoid a monthly payment, do we? Another lesson your student will learn in this class is that there are always additional costs associated with material possessions. A house is never truly ‘paid off’ because you will always have upkeep, insurance bills, and taxes to pay. Even when a car is purchased for cash or paid off, there are always additional transportation costs including upkeep, repairs, insurance and more.

spencer-davis-hi1Iq4x_ldM-unsplashLet’s talk about credit cards. Some money management programs suggest one should never get a credit card and that cash only should be used. Currently, that is turning out to be a problem since the pandemic has created situations where cash is not accepted for certain purchases. Credit cards are not, in and of themselves, an evil thing. Credit cards are a tool that many use for convenience, in order to earn points or get cash back, have purchases insured, or to simplify bookkeeping. When credit cards are procured without annual fees and paid off monthly, they offer many advantages to the card holder. Wisely using credit cards builds credit scores and having a credit card enables the card holder to be able to rent cars.  One of my daughters uses a particular credit card to earn a free vacation annually. Another daughter was glad her husband used a credit card to rent a car when in Ireland because, when they had a flat tire, the repair was covered by the card.  Even though credit cards can be beneficial to those who use them wisely, not everyone should have a credit card. Many people, especially teens, do not handle credit cards wisely and they end up owing more than they can afford (putting them in debt), and the late fees and interest charged for non-payment rack up. Is there a danger in having credit cards? Yes! Just like there is danger in driving a car. One does not get behind the wheel of a car (hopefully) until licensed, insured and prepared to drive. Credit cards in the hands of an irresponsible person is a recipe for disaster. 

avery-evans-RJQE64NmC_o-unsplashEnrolling your students in this introduction to personal finance is a great first step in making sure they are ready for independent living. If your student takes the class as a dual enrollment class then they will be in an online class with other students. If you purchase the homeschool version, great care has been taken to provide everything you need to easily and successfully deliver the course material. From interactive lessons and resources which will challenge students, to the tutorials and coaching designed to assist instructors, all of the hard work has been done for you. The course practically teaches itself, and you’ll surely find that your students won’t be the only ones learning!

One of the best features of this course is the interactive visual model that Mr. Blanton has created for this course which allows the student to observe what actually happens to their money. This visual is called the Personal Economic Model (PEM). It shows the students exactly what happens to their money, depending on the choices they make. There are investments and savings that may defer taxes, but all money is taxed at some point. (Another belief dispelled is that there is no such thing as tax free earnings.) The visual model includes several tanks that represent money earned, money spent, money invested, and money saved. When students fully understand the financial lessons taught in this class they will be well prepared for life after high school. There is both a biblical and a secular version available. The price is amazing considering the students will have access to many tools and calculators that cost financial advisors a lot more.  There are 15 core units, 64 individual lessons, 30 financial calculators, and hours of video instruction.

PEMStudents who have completed the 10th grade with a 3.0 GPA can take this class online with Bryan College, for college credit. If you live outside of Tennessee, a $200 scholarship is available, making the three hour class only $300. For Tennessee students, the DE grant will pay for the class if it’s one of the first two classes taken by the student. After the DE grant is used, a $200 scholarship will be offered to Tennessee students as well. The cost of materials is only $75. If you would like to have your student apply to Bryan College as a DE student, use the code bryanhss to waive the application fee.

Students who want to take the class without college credit, or who do not yet qualify for dual enrollment, may take the class at home with a substantial savings. The course is priced at $199 and that includes the materials fee, but if you use this introductory offer code, Intro50, you can save $50 making this course only $149. Parents will appreciate how little work they will have to do with this course. 

Take a look at the PEM website. There are a couple of videos worth watching. If you have any questions, let me know and I can put you in touch with Don Blanton, the founder of PEM Life. If what we believe about money isn’t true, the sooner we find out, the better. 

Choosing Curriculum: A Guide to Planning for Elementary, Middle and High School Students

Whether you are new to homeschooling or you have been homeschooling for a while with students moving up to another level, this article will provide guidelines to consider when making plans for your students.

Although the suggestions I make in this article are general and eclectic, it may be worth your while to take a look at the multiple styles and methods of homeschooling. You may be surprised at the many choices and philosophies available for your consideration. There is no right or wrong choice. You may try out one style only to discover it is not the best fit for your family. In the end, you may find the best plan is to pick and choose from various styles in order to design a plan that works for you and your family.  Two books that will encourage you in your homeschooling journey are Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler’s Guide to Unshakable Peace by Sarah McKenzie and Mere Motherhood by Cindy Rollins.

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

For elementary students, keep it simple and keep it fun. Creating a love of learning is the key to raising students who are academically successful. Do not worry about curriculum. It is available for your use, but you have done well teaching your children from birth to age 5 without curriculum, so if you want to continue in the same manner, jerry-wang-0qmXPnZKeLU-unsplashgo for it! The freedom and flexibility of homeschooling allows you to plan your students’ experiences around their learning style and their interests. If you do purchase a curriculum and it is not working the way you envisioned, feel free to set it aside, sell it, or give it away. Do not become enslaved to curriculum. If you feel a need to make purchases then purchase Legos, critical thinking games, a globe and maps, and fun items that inspire the imagination. During the younger years, a huge emphasis should be placed on reading aloud, enjoying nature, having discussions, and playing games. Go on fieldtrips. Visit museums, science centers, and zoos. Oftentimes, the cost of an annual family membership is not much more than the cost of a one-day visit, and many zoos and museums have reciprocal memberships! Involve your children in meal planning and grocery shopping. Reach out to your community and volunteer for opportunities to serve that allow your children to participate. Encourage your students to ask questions, and then guide them towards learning how to find the answers to their questions. No one can know everything, but students who learn how to find the answers to their questions become independent learners, allowing parents the luxury of not worrying about whether their students will succeed academically, or be left behind. Look for an upcoming article with specifics on how to encourage inquisitiveness and how to teach your students to find answers from reliable resources! When you have a few minutes, listen to Sir Ken Robinson’s Ted Talk on How Schools Kill Creativity.

MIDDLE SCHOOL

Although planning for middle school is not quite as important as the high school years, parents should begin getting serious about their students’ academic studies. During the elementary years you have, hopefully, instilled in your children a love of learning as well as having equipped them with the ability to find answers to their questions. The middle school years are challenging because of the physiological changes that start taking place and those changes often result in undesired attitudes surfacing. Expediting an academic plan may be fraught with the need to address character issues. Be sure you address the character issues. If you need to set aside academics in order to restore relationships or repair damage done by students who are acting out, do so. Do not be afraid to have non-negotiable parental mandates, but explain to your students the reasoning behind the decisions and alex-michaelsen-4jcZiXH63fM-unsplashdirections you pursue. They do not have to understand or agree with your decisions, but your students should be required to respond respectfully to you (and to others).

In addition to teaching your students how to answer questions, middle school is a great time to encourage students to question answers, but to do so respectfully. (Are you seeing a correlation to middle school and character issues?) If you have already lived through the middle school years you may chuckle at the advice to encourage your students to question answers because that tends to be natural for middle school students. They tend to question everything, particularly rules and expectations set forth by parents. Avoid answering with, “Because I said so,” if possible. You will gain respect if you take the time to share your heart and, even if your students are not mature enough to understand or agree with your explanation, they are apt to be less frustrated than they would be otherwise. Now that character issues have been addressed, let’s talk about subjects to cover.

Math: During middle school make sure your students have a firm understanding of basic math facts so that they will be adequately prepared to be introduced to algebra and geometry in high school. Being able to multiple mentally, whether by memorizing the times table or using another method to achieve that result, is imperative. Knowing how to divide without using a calculator is also important. Understanding percentages and fractions is equally important to having a firm foundation for higher level math classes.

English: In high school your student should begin writing essays so while in middle school introduce your students to simple writing assignments such as book reports, short stories, testimonies, and more. Continue to read aloud, but assign great literature to be read by your students as well. You may find your students are willing to read more if they are allowed to read the biographies found in the juvenile section of the library. Rather than reading one biography that is over 200-300 pages long, your student can read five or six, or more, biographies that are of much shorter length. There are many resources for literature-driven curriculum.

History: I was that student who thought history was the most boring subject on the planet until I began homeschooling my students and discovered historical fiction! Reading books that brought history to life led me to have a deep love for history! Introduce your students to history through literature or through unit studies! For American history, the House of Winslow series is very historically accurate. If your students are reading biographies, then chances are they may want to further pursue information about the period of history being covered by the biography they are reading. With one of my sons (who loves history), we went through the Timetables of History (a chronological record of history from the beginning of written records) and when something sparked further interest, we looked up videos and articles pertaining to that event. For those looking for a literature-based history curriculum, TruthQuest may be just what you need.

Science: Because your student will be taking biology and chemistry in high school, the middle school years should include an introduction to basic science that includes life, earth, and physical science. If you are going for a more literature based approach, include biographies of great scientists. One of my favorite books to read aloud is Carry On Mr. Bowditch. Books about George Washington Carver were enjoyed as well. As far as text books go, many families choose to use Apologias books for science.

Electives: In addition to the basics, you may choose to add in any number of electives from physical education to music, foreign language, leadership, religions and worldviews, shop, cooking, or anything else that particularly interests your students.

group of people sitting on stairs

HIGH SCHOOL

Now is definitely the time to make specific plans for your students. Although you will have some flexibility, in order to ensure that your students are adequately prepared for life after high school, it is important to plan ahead. Be sure you prepare your students for college, whether they think they need college, or not. It is better to be prepared and not need it, than vice versa. I wrote an blog post that will help you avoid eight common mistakes that homeschooling parents make. If your students have no idea what they want to pursue after high school, help them discover their gifts, talents, and passions. Narrow down top college choices so you can find out what is expected from those colleges as far as admission requirements, transcript expectations, and scholarship potential. Feel free to download The Journey, a free e-resource that will help you plan ahead.

Transcripts: Although most states have suggested guidelines for high school graduation, there are no set-in-stone laws, so you have the freedom to plan according to what’s best for your student. The expectation is that a four-year high school transcript will include 22 to 24 credits. Most states expect a student to take at least 3 math classes, 3 or 4 English classes,  3 science classes (with at least 2 labs), 3 social studies, ½ credit for personal finance, 1 or 2 physical education credits, 2 foreign language credits, and the remainder as electives. Some states are more rigorous while others are more flexible but, again, these are guidelines and not mandates. Be aware that as flexible as you are allowed to be from a homeschooling point-of-view, you may find particular colleges have requirements that your student must fulfill in order to attend that college. For this reason, narrowing down college choices is vital to planning the courses for your students. Some homeschooling families have their students take a 5th year of high school and, believe it or not, colleges will accept a 5 year transcript from homeschooled students.

Curriculum: When I began homeschooling (in the 1980s) our curriculum choices were very limited. That is not the case today. There are online programs that are totally free (Easy Peasy and Kahn Academy are two programs often recommended) and there are many programs that can be purchased. There are textbooks available for every subject imaginable and there are products galore for the students who prefer learning without textbooks whether that is with CDs, videos, or with real books.

Course Selection: It is presumed that your student will take English, math, science, and social studies. Most state guidelines suggest two years of the same foreign language, although there are colleges that do not have that requirement. If you know what major your student will pursue, you can better plan which courses to choose. For instance, students who plan to become engineers should take as many math and science classes as possible while in high school. If your students show a particular interest in a subject, then have them take classes pertaining to that subject in order to confirm or refute that interest. If your students have no idea what they want to do after high school, then provide a well-rounded high school experience while trying to nail down a plan for after high school. My next article will include suggestions for helping your children discover their gifts, interests, and passions.

Beyond the Basics: Although we have all been conditioned to believe that including the classes mentioned above are sufficient for a proper education, I would like to suggest that there are classes worth considering that are equally (if not more) important to a well rounded education. Taking classes in current events, speech and debate, apologetics, logic, entrepreneurship and personal finance are classes that will help prepare your students for life after high school whether that includes college, or not. One of my regrets is not having my students involved in debate clubs until the 5th child (of 9) was in high school.  Once I became aware of the skills gained being involved in a debate club (there are at least three Christian homeschool debate leagues), my students were required to participate in a debate club for at least one year.

Books:  To help plan for the high school years read Celebrate Highschool: Finish with Excellence and More Than Credits: Skills Highschoolers Need for Life both written by Cheryl Bastain.

Test Prep. Because COVID has disrupted the ability for colleges to require test scores for admission and scholarships, many colleges are now test-optional. Whether these colleges will remain test-optional is yet to be known. Before COVID, the highest scholarships were awarded to students with high test scores (ACT, SAT and/or CLT). For that reason, spending time and money on your students so that they could adequately prepare for these tests and, taking the tests multiple times in order to raise their scores, was essential to families needing scholarships for their students (and, to be honest, most of us need all the financial help we can get). At this time, GPAs are being used by test-optional colleges when test scores are not available. For that reason, your students should be encouraged to achieve high grades even if that means repeating classes with poor grades.

Dual Enrollment. Taking college-level classes is a win/win for students who are ready and able to pass college-level classes. Not only will your students receive both high school and college credit, but one college class is usually counted as a full high school credit, meaning your students will earn a year’s worth of high school credit in one semester. This will either allow your student to graduate early or to continue taking college classes during high school. Dual enrollment is free in several states, discounted in some states and, oftentimes, discounted by the college. Bryan College offers dual enrollment classes on line four times a year with a $200 scholarship for out-of-state students and, for Tennessee students, the same scholarship is offered once the state DE grant is used. In fact, a Tennessee student can take 30 credit hours with Bryan College for as little as $600 if the student uses the DE grant, the school scholarship and the HOPE. As wonderful as the dual enrollment opportunity is for high school students, it is not without dangers.

As you make plans for your students’ academic future, take comfort in knowing that you have both the freedom and the flexibility to make adjustments as needed in order to improve your students’ homeschooling experience. There is no black-and-white, or right-or-wrong way to do this. Plan, pray, talk to friends, and research options and everything will eventually come together!

Matt and able at graduation

Ten Steps for Beginning Homeschoolers

Congratulations! You have decided to homeschool. Making such a decision is huge and you may be wondering where to start. This article will cover the basics while guiding you to multiple resources to help you plan successfully.

  1. Find out if homeschooling is legal in your area. Homeschooling is legal in all 50 states of the US, but it is not legal in every country. Research state requirements in adolfo-felix-4JL_VAgxwcU-unsplashthe area in which you live. Some states require that you sign up with the local superintendent of education while others require you to join an umbrella or covering school. If you live outside of the US, there are also international homeschooling laws in each country.
  2. Choose an approach. Take a look at the many different approaches to homeschooling. You may be surprised at the many choices of how to homeschool from unschooling, relaxed, structured, online, co-op, classical, Charlotte Mason, Wild and Free, unit study style, roadschooling and many more. One of the beauties of homeschooling is that you can either choose an approach used by others or create an entirely new approach that fits your family better than anything else. Another beauty of homeschooling is that you are free to switch gears anytime you want in order to improve the experience.
  3. Find local opportunities. Take a look at the many opportunities on-line and in your area. You might be pleasantly surprised at the activities available in your area from co-ops, to library programs, hybrid opportunities, and more. One of the best ways to get the inside scoop on your area is to ask local friends who have been homeschooling for a while. Most states, and many cities, have homeschool associations that you can join. Using Google as a search for local opportunities works well too! Each state has a directory of homeschool organizations, and many of the state organizations have representatives in the major cities of that state. devon-divine-Hzp-1ua8DVE-unsplashMost libraries, as well as associations such as 4-H, offer programs that are either free, or very affordable. Oftentimes, local homeschool organizations have organized sports teams, theater groups, bands, speech and debate clubs, and more. Joining local Facebook groups is another way to connect with homeschooling families in your area. In addition to local groups, there are a few rather large Facebook groups with members from all over that you may consider joining, depending on which approach to homeschooling you choose. Two of the larger Facebook groups are Hip Homeschool Moms Community,  and It’s Not That Hard to Homeschool Highschool. Take a look at those, as well as at The Ultimate List of Homeschool Facebook Groups, to find groups that might fit your specific homeschooling interests. Many private schools, as well as certain public schools, offer opportunities for homeschooled students. The options offered may include the chance to participate with athletic and fine arts activities, take tests, attend classes, and more.
  4. Research learning styles. Talk to your children about how they best learn. This is an important step to take before you buy any materials or sign up for particular programs. There are more than a few books available on this topic and many can how a child learnsbe checked out from your local library. Cythnia Tobias is an expert. Attending one of her workshops years ago helped me understand my children and how they learn. It also helped me understand how I learn! Check out her 25-minute talk about learning styles and prepare to have your eyes opened!
  5. Develop a philosophy of education. Write down what you plan to achieve so that you will know how to set goals as well as how to measure success. After a few years of tweaking and changing my philosophy of education this is the end result: Encourage my children’s inquisitiveness so that they will develop a love of learning. Teach them to ask questions and question answers. Help them learn how to find information from reliable sources. Help them discover their gifts and talents so that they can make a plan for life after high school. Create independent learners so that they can achieve anything they want or need to achieve. It was also important to my husband and I that we, as Christians, raise our children to know and love God, so that they would understand a develop a biblical worldview of life.
  6. Make a plan. After deciding what approach you want to take, make lists of estee-janssens-NzukYmIQOps-unsplashmaterials needed for the approach you have chosen, and set goals. Will you homeschool for 9 months out of the year, or will you homeschool year around? Will you dedicate a certain part of each day to study or will the daily schedule be flexible? Join the groups you find helpful and register your students for any opportunities you’ve discovered that will be beneficial for your family.
  7. Be prepared. Acquire the materials you plan to use, whether purchasing or borrowing (either from a library or from friends). There are many opportunities to purchase materials used at low prices, both online and at used book sales that usually take place late spring or early summer. If the materials you plan to use are expensive, I would suggest that you borrow them from a friend before purchasing in order to be sure they will work for your family before making a pricey investment. If you keep your curriculum in good condition, you can make some money reselling it at the end of each school year.
  8. Be flexible. Realize that if your students have been in school, it may take time to find what works best for your family, so be prepared to be flexible and make changes accordingly. Some say that it will take the same number of months equal to the number of years your student has been in traditional school for them to adapt to homeschooling. Whether that is true, or not, know that there will be a period of adjustment for everyone involved. Don’t be afraid to talk about what is working and what isn’t working and find a solution to the problem whether that means tachina-lee--wjk_SSqCE4-unsplashadjusting an attitude or switching approaches and/or curriculum.
  9. Think outside the box. The reason that schools have a scope and key is because they have to have a level of continuity across the board. Having twenty plus students of the same age in one room does not allow room for accommodating to each child’s learning style much less any learning disabilities. As a homeschooling family with children of multiple ages, you do have that privilege — so make the most of it and don’t be afraid to be different. For one of my daughters-in-law, Megan, thinking outside the box means doing a lot of school outside, or laying down on a blanket instead of sitting at the table, or letting her son pick the order of what he wants to work on first so that he can take ownership. For me, I allowed the children to play with Legos quietly during read aloud time. I was not committed to a daily schedule that required our schoolwork to get done during particular hours. My daughter, Kelley, uses her family’s time in the car to listen to audiobooks together or to work on memorization projects. Discover what works best in your situation!
  10. Have fun. Keep joy in the journey. You do not want your decision to homeschool ruin your familial relationships. If life becomes miserable, something needs to change. Granted, every day won’t be stress-free and fun, but that should be the goal. I homeschooled for more than 32 years and, although I would make a few changes, I would do it all over in a heartbeat.timon-studler-BIk2ANMmNz4-unsplash

This is a broad overview for those of you new to homeschooling. I am writing another blog that will address academic goals for students of all ages. What you plan for elementary students will look much different than what you plan for high school students. And, if you have children of all ages, then you may need some guidance there as well. When I began homeschooling I was blessed to have a mentor guide me towards which books to read, philosophies to consider, and curriculum to use. Hopefully I can do the same for you! Stay tuned!

 

Engineering with a Missional Emphasis

Engineer postersAs I travel to college fairs and conferences, sharing Bryan College with homeschooled students, one of the often requested majors I hear students ask for is engineering. Two years ago when Bryan College announced the addition of an engineering school, I was thrilled. When our department was introduced to Dr. Marshall, the new Chair of the engineering school, I became even more excited about this program. Why? Because Dr. Marshall, being aware that engineers are able to get into places all over the world, even places that are often closed to Christians, has a heart for “missional engineering” (a term he may have coined). His vision for missional engineering is quite contagious.

Bryan College’s engineering school is a biblically based, grounded and personalized academic experience. Bryan is doing something atypical here. The course  created entitled “Engineering the Great Commission” is an example of the emphasis on missional engineering.  Bryan is integrating everything in a serious and meaningful way as students are being prepared for the kingdom work. Bryan offers a Bachelors of Science in Engineering (BSE) degree which provides flexibility for the student by offering several concentration areas including: civil engineering, mechanical engineering, biological engineering, computor engineering, chemical engineering, environmental engineering and even business engineering!

Being able to speciate within that program in multiple directions will be advantageous to the engineering students. For now, Bryan College is focusing on civil, mechanical, engineering- rulercomputer science and bio-medical concentrations. Tailoring those concentrations for individual students, Bryan will actually offer course work credit for internship experiences so the students can work with engineering professions in the field in an area that dovetails with their concentration.

Combining an individualized curriculum while working alongside experienced seasoned engineers will enhance the student’s academic coursework.  For instance, if students are interested in designing prosthetic devices, they take the bachelors of science engineering core along with bio-medical concentration classes and then they actually work in a bio-medical setting, working on a project to design prostheses. This all comes together in the student’s degree.

The genius of this program is its breadth. The universe is the possibility. We offer the best academic core possible, using the same textbooks as MIT.  Recognizing the diverse needs and desires of our students,  we work with students to tailor their degree to best fit their individual interests and goals.

Engineering students working in the labStudents who enjoy using their knowledge of math and science to solve problems are often successful as engineers. Students involved in robotics, STEM, Lego or Minecraft clubs are also great candidates for an engineering program. For high school students planning to major in engineering, having a strong math and science foundation is recommended. Math up to pre-cal is expected, and going beyond is suggested. In addition, having strong speaking, listening, and critical thinking skills is an advantage.

Here are a few remarks from students currently enrolled in Bryan’s Vogel School of Engineering:

What I appreciate about the engineering department at Bryan College is the relatively small size. I prefer one-on-one relationships and small groups as opposed to large crowds. I also appreciate the biblical approach to engineering. The fact that I am surrounded by like-minded people who truly love God is something incredibly special and I wouldn’t give it up for anything.

bryan engineering awardI love that this is a starting program. Being a part of the first class and getting to help shape the program for the years to come is very exciting and encouraging to me. Then there’s the faculty. The faculty at Bryan College in general, and specifically the engineering program faculty, are so genuinely invested in our education, character as a whole, spiritual life and future that anyone who is a part of it cannot help but feel supported and encouraged. Being in engineering school is intimidating. It is such a demanding field, but knowing I have godly leaders surrounding me that will set me up for my future in the best way they know how, again, brings that peace that only can come from God.

For more information about Bryan College’s School of Engineering, go to this link.

 

 

 

Seven Reasons to Consider Homeschooling after Covid19

annie-spratt-ORDz1m1-q0I-unsplashWhether it was in anyone’s plans or not, every family in the United States that has school age children has now experienced a taste of homeschooling. However, to be fair, those of you who were forced into this situation were not able to experience what it is like to be a homeschooling family that has time to plan ahead, order the materials that best suits your students, organize field trips, or take part in the co-ops and enrichment programs that are offered to homeschooling students. Most of you experienced distance learning in a stressful environment. In many situations both mom and dad have been working from home and in between the Covid19 restrictions and sharing computers and WIFI (while arbitrating phone, t-v, and video game usage), the experience has been less than ideal. On the other hand, some of you have enjoyed the benefits of getting to know one another again. You’ve spent quality time together and that’s been great. You may have discovered how quickly your students can get their school work done without having to change classrooms, share a teacher with 20+ others, or wait for disruptions to be handled. There are more than a few families who have been paying quite a bit for private school and some of you are now realizing that if you invest that same amount of money in a creative academic plan (one that could easily include trips to places of interest as well as purchasing equipment to enhance learning) homeschooling might be a preferred choice!

What are the benefits of continuing to homeschool your students? Let me share a few primary reasons that many us homeschool our kiddos.

  1. Homeschooling encourages having a close knit family. I have nine children, all grown now, who are truly great friends. When my youngest daughter was in a near fatal wreck in Texas several years ago 7 of her 8 siblings were there with us court in hospitalwithin 24 hours (coming from TN, FL, TX and CO). Although they did experience their share of sibling rivalry and silly arguments while growing up, they have been there for each other in time of need as well as in time of celebration.
  2. Homeschooling allows for designing an educational program that best fits your student’s learning style, interests, and, in many cases, learning disabilities. You are in control of the materials ordered and used. There are many, many products available to help parents with this process. In addition to a wide variety of materials to purchase, there are also many educational websites, videos and more. So much is offered either for free or at very affordable prices, that almost every family can afford to homeschool.
  3. Homeschooling families have flexible schedules. You can begin when you want and end when you want. You can get up at a certain time and have everyone dressed and ready or you can stay in your PJs until you decide everyone needs to get dressed. Several of our sons participated in Civil Air Patrol and they often conducted search and rescues at all hours of the day and night. They appreciated having the diana-satellite-Aw0mbE5HOJ4-unsplashhomeschooled students in the unit because we were more likely to allow our students to take part in a search and rescue at any hour because we knew they could catch up on sleep or school work at another time. If you homeschool you will not be rushing out the door to get to the school (or to a bus stop) and you do not have to make sure your students are picked up (or brought home) each day, five days a week. No packing lunches (or providing lunch money). You want to take a vacation? Schedule it! If your parents are sick and in need of your help, you and yourdavid-preston-mW2NETqR49A-unsplash children can be there for them. Are there conferences and camps you would like to attend? Schedule it!
  4. Contrary to the age old concern, “What about socialization?” you will discover that one of your biggest challenges as a homeschooling family may be coordinating the schedule of events because you may find that your students will want to participate in athletic activities, music, theater, dance, speech and debate, STEM clubs, Lego clubs, co-ops, and more! Our family homeschooled co-op style and met once a week with several other families where children of various ages learned together. It was a preferred socialization experience when compared to having 20+ eight-year-olds all in the same room, all day. Homeschooled students, for the most part, adapt very easily to a variety of situations.
  5. How well do homeschooled students do in college and/or careers after high school? Glad you asked! The proof is in the pudding. Research shows that the average college exam scores and GPAs are higher for homeschooled students. So many graduation 2colleges have experienced how well homeschooled students do on campus that they seek out homeschooled students. In fact, my position was created at Bryan College for this purpose! When parents are intentional about preparing their students to succeed after high school, and when students are equally invested, the results are often quite impressive.
  6. Outside of the siblings bickering, there is little peer pressure and no bullying when you homeschool. Your students will not be exposed to school shootings. They will thrive in a safe environment. Anxiety, stress, and depression are likely to be reduced.
  7. If you have a child with an amazing talent who needs hours on end of training, practice, competition or performance, then choosing to homeschool is definitely the best option. This is the exception, and not the rule, but it is another great reason to homeschool!

Because of our flexible schedule, homeschooling allowed my children to take part in many additional activities they would not have been able to experience had they been enrolled in traditional school. They have visited foreign countries, campaigned in several states, attended and worked at several different camps, helped the homeless, protested unfair laws, gone to many conferences and conventions, started businesses, volunteered to help with hurricane clean up, and so much more. When a new niece or nephew is born, they try to be there. When a brother or sister is in need, they show up. When grandparents needed help, they were there. Now that my husband and I are getting older, we are blessed by our children’s care for us (their help is usually needed when experiencing technology issues). Although we know that our children are not who they are solely because of our homeschooling experience, we do know that it has made a big difference in their lives. Should you decide to continue to homeschool, talk to your homeschooling friends to find out what programs are offered in your area. You may be pleasantly surprised at how rewarding this choice can be for you and your children!

Stacey and fam

Links, Links, and More Links (Resources for the high school years.)

Information is available at our fingertips, but finding (or re-finding), a resource on-line is often time consuming and aggravating. Let me make this a little easier for you by posting often used links for preparing your students for a successful high school experience! Feel free to share these links (or this article) with your friends and/or on social media!

Testing materials:  Any test prep will help with all of the college exams to some extent so even if the program is an ACT prep, it will also help with the SAT and CLT in many areas. ACT is the only test to include science, but the student’s scientific knowledge is not being tested, rather the student’s ability to analyze the data provided is what is tested.
Test prep books:  Princeton Review (publisher)
Test prep programs:
College Prep Genius (There are many testimonials from parents and students on their FB page. Impressive!)
Use the code bryan to save $3 a month, making the cost only $12 a month! 36U ACT Prep is offering prospective Bryan students a free note-taking guide workbook ($20 value) with their 6 months program ($65) or $10 off a note-taking guide with a monthly subscription ($15/mo). To take advantage of the offer, enter the code BryanLionsNT when you register at 36university.com.
ADA Accommodation information is here. All three college exams offer accommodations for students diagnosed with disabilities.
Books to help plan for the high school years (written by Cheryl Bastain):
Ebook: The Journey is a free ebook with information on transcripts, testing, scholarships, dual enrollment, and more. Scroll down to the ebook inquiry.
Programs to consider:
TeenPact is a four day government class that takes place in the capital city of each state.
STOAUSA and NCFCA are two Christian homeschool speech and debate clubs. Find a club near you and visit. If you can volunteer to be a community judge at a tournament you will not only be appreciated, and fed well, but you will be amazed at what you observe.
FAFSA form (fill this out in October of senior year).

Video presentations:

Conquering Post-Holiday/ Winter Doldrums

alex-michaelsen-4jcZiXH63fM-unsplashLast August (or September) the new school year began and everyone was excited and off to a good start. Fall soon arrived, and the cooler weather was invigorating. And then, before you knew it, it was time to celebrate Thanksgiving and then Christmas! (This year, with Thanksgiving being celebrated so late in the month, these two holidays fall almost back-to-back.) After Christmas the fun and excitement wains and the clean-up begins! Before you know it, the new year will begin and it’s time to get back to the books, resuming a regular schedule. For some families this transition is easy and exciting (particularly for those who function much better on daily routine), while for others — well, let’s just say they’d rather stay in bed with a good book, putting things off for another day or two.  If you fall into the later category, this article is for you!

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In order to avoid mid-year burn out, it will be helpful to intentionally plan ahead. Realizing that you are in control, and knowing that your attitude and actions are important to returning to a semblance of organization while maintaining joy is a great first step! We all know that if mama ain’t happy, no one is happy.

There’s no need to jump from holiday mode to school mode in a single day. Find time to be alone to pray and prepare yourself before starting back to a full schedule. One of my regrets is not communicating my plans (and/or my heart) to my children, assuming they would somehow know exactly why I did the things I did with pure motives, centered around what was best for them. Take time to explain your plans for getting back on track and encourage your kiddos to be invested in the process without complaining. You may want to ask for their ideas to may make this process easier! Start off slowly, perhaps beginning with a morning time routine as you read, sing, pray, and discuss plans for returning to your academic schedule. If possible, begin re-acclimating to your academic schedule a week or two before co-op begins (if part of a co-op). For older students who are involved in outside classes, getting back into a routine the week before will be helpful for them as well. When I organized co-ops, I purposefully did not begin the co-ops until late January, allowing for time after Christmas to get back into the swing of academic schedules.

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Be sure to plan for fun with events such as field trips, or watching documentaries or movies that enhance academics. Reinstating a schedule does not mean you have to be strict. Be unpredictable now and then. Change the times or location for study (outside, parks, etc.). Add exercise to your routine (jump rope, obstacle courses, bike rides, etc.) If family members get sick, slow down and do what needs to be done to restore health. Schedules are tools we use to organize our lives, but sticking to a schedule should not take precedence over necessary interruptions or unforeseen opportunities.  Burnout is often caused by a parent’s obsession with sticking to a schedule (or a particular curriculum) whether it is working for their family, or not. Be flexible. Re-evaluate and make changes that will restore joy to everyone!

Getting back into the swing of things after a holiday can be stressful so be proactive and make plans that will enable a smooth, and joyful, transition. You will be glad you did and I am fairly certain your kiddos will be glad as well.

 

 

 

 

 

Choosing a College

student planning visitSome students know from an early age exactly which college they plan to attend and they never waver! Others are not so sure they even want to attend college. Many students are open to looking at all options and would appreciate help narrowing down their choices. Choosing a college is not a decision lightly made and many agonize over this decision, yet armed with the right questions, the fields can be narrowed down to two or three top choices by a student’s junior year in high school.

Below is a list of questions to consider when choosing a college. Following this list of questions will be a suggested time-line of events for high school students who are headed to college and, lastly, when you are visiting colleges, a list of suggestions is included to make the most out of student making listyour visit.

Depending on how many colleges your student is considering, it may be worthwhile to set up a spread sheet with each category listed in columns to easily compare information acquired.

Questions to help narrow the list:

  • Does the college offer the intended major? (If the student is undecided then find out of the college offers career counseling to help the student choose a major.)
  • What is the size of the college? Number of students? Student to faculty ratio? (Your student may know whether they prefer a smaller college or a large university. If they are not sure, include colleges of all sizes in your original list as long as they fit the other criteria.)
  • Secular or Christian? If Christian, which denomination or is it non-denominational?
  • If Christian, is church required? Chapel offered? Dress code? Curfews?
  • What is the housing situation? Are there dorms and, if so, what are they like? Are students required to live on campus? What are the room and board costs?
  • What scholarships are offered and do they stack? Academic, athletic, music, theater, sibling, ministry, need based, out-of-state, etc.
  • Does the college host specific scholarship events? (Bryan College hosts a scholarship event each semester for seniors who have been accepted and who qualify. An additional $500 to $2,000 is offered and, the winner of an essay contest receives full tuition.)
  • Does the college require testing for either admission or merit scholarship?
  • Which tests does the college accept? SAT, ACT, and/or CLT? Do they super score?
  • Are there unique opportunities? ( For instance, Bryan College offers a tuition free master’s degree to students who attend Bryan College out of high school and graduate with a 3.5 GPA.)
  • Does the college host specific and/or personal visit days and, if so, how does one register for a visit?
  • What is the cost for tuition, room and board?
  • Does the college accept federal funding? Military benefits?
  • Is there a difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition? If in-state is lower, is it worth having the student become a resident of that state either before attending or while attending?
  • For students who plan to attend an in-state college, are there state grants for which the student is qualified? (In Tennessee there are several grants that provide money for college, but students must plan ahead in order to qualify.)

Time-line of events (flexible depending on the goals and schedules of each family)

Ninth  and tenth grade:student goals

  • Begin discussing areas of interest and majors which pertain to those interests.
  • Take the CLT10 (offered 2 or 3 times a year).
  • Take the PSAT in October as practice.
  • Begin discussing college options.
  • Discover in-state grant opportunities.
  • Attend college fairs.

Eleventh grade:

  • Take the PSAT in October for possible National Merit Scholarship.
  • Take either (or all) the ACT, SAT, or CLT exam. More about testing here.
  • Attend college fairs.
  • Begin narrowing college choices and find out if they super score exams.
  • Begin visiting colleges.
  • Consider dual enrolling.
  • Raise test scores by taking prep courses and take practice tests.

Twelfth grade:

  • Attend college fairs.
  • Continue visiting colleges.
  • Apply to top college choices.
  • Apply for state grants and independent scholarships.
  • Take part in scholarship opportunities.
  • Fill out the FAFSA October 1st, or soon thereafter
  • Attend scholarship events

25659875_1917257178288593_1346852226346834466_nCollege visits:  The best time to visit a campus is when classes are in session, but try to avoid exam week, if possible. You can visit when classes are out of session, but the visit will be better if that can be avoided. Being on campus while students are on campus and being able to sit in on classes are experiences that weigh heavily on the decision making process. In order to make the most of a college visit, call the department of admissions and find out if the college has a visit coordinator on campus. Ask when the visit days are available (you may be able to find this information on the college website). Ask to attend classes and talk with faculty. Tour the campus. Eat in the cafeteria. Observe current students and, if you have the opportunity, stop and talk to the students. Meet with the admissions office and financial aid. Ask about the application process and scholarship opportunities. Be prepared with questions to ask so you get all the information you need.

Additional opportunities to consider: Many colleges offer sports camps, fine arts workshops, conferences, concerts, talent shows, plays, and summer camps. If one of the colleges your student is interested in offers an opportunity that resonates with your student, sign them up and get them on campus! What better way to get a real feel of what it’s like to be at the college, then to attend an event on campus? Students who attend camps during the summer often meet their future roommates! Bryan College offers all of the opportunities mentioned including a Summer Institute that highlights four academic tracks!

With proper planning and purpose, finding a college does not have to be overwhelming or stressful. If Bryan College fits your needs, we would love to have you come and visit! Happy hunting!