From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


3/5/2009 10:05:25 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter -- March 2009

HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter
March 2009--The College Search

Dear Friends,

College--just the word conjures up many different images and questions
in parents' minds. Where in the world do you begin the search for a
college that is the right fit for your son or daughter? How do you
sift through the myriad of information mysteriously filling up your
mailbox from various schools? These are certainly legitimate
questions, so we've provided some practical tips and advice to help
you get started on this adventure.

Begin Early

If college is on your horizon, then use the years before high school
to begin discussing with your child why he wants to attend college and
what are his future goals. Even though your 13-year-old may not know
what career he wants to pursue, use his intentions to go to college to
motivate him to see that his studies do, indeed, have an end goal.
Encourage him to save monetary gifts or earnings he receives for these
future plans. College may seem far in the future, but it will be here
before you know it!

The 10th grade is not too soon to begin familiarizing your teen with
the college admission process. Attending a college fair in your area
will allow your daughter to talk with admission counselors from many
different schools all at the same time. She will be able to pick up
literature from the various schools as well as gather information
about the schools' admission requirements, required admission tests,
and financial aid. To find college fairs in your area, check out the
National Association of College Admissions Counselors website at .

If you will focus only on Christian colleges, visit the Council for
Christian Colleges and Universities website for a list of Christian
college fairs and also a college planning timeline .

List Your Parameters

Narrowing down your choices of potential schools can seem like a
daunting process. A good place to begin is to write down what is
important to you and your teen when choosing a school. Here are some
factors to consider.

Location and size: How far away from home are you comfortable having
your teen? Think about airfare or other commuting costs for visits
home. Does she feel more comfortable in large urban or small rural
settings? Each setting has advantages and disadvantages, so take time
to explore your teen's needs and desires.

Proposed major: If your teen knows what he wants to major in, then
that will naturally narrow down your selection. However, if he's not
at all sure what he wants to study, he may want to consider a larger
school offering a wider range of majors.

Cost: College is an expensive proposition. When calculating the total
bill, remember to add to the tuition and room and board those items
such as fees, books, a computer, school supplies, clothes, incidentals
and, of course, transportation.

Christian or secular: Another preference to think about is whether
your teen will apply to a Christian college, a secular school, or

Proximity to a local church: Take time to check out the churches in
the vicinity of the colleges you are exploring. Is there a nearby
church that will continue to feed and train your teen spiritually?
It's also worthwhile to take time to check if churches provide
transportation to the local colleges and universities.

Use Research Resources

The next step in choosing a college is to take the above parameters
and plug them into college search engines. Christian College Mentor,, is a good search engine to
find Christian colleges offering majors in your teen's areas of
interest. For secular schools, the College Board,, has a College Quickfinder and
College Matchmaker to help you narrow your search. Other search
engines include Princeton Review, Peterson's Guides, and College Net .

Once you have your list of schools in hand, visit each college's
website. Most websites today will offer a virtual tour of the campus
as well as email addresses of staff to whom to direct your questions.
They will offer you added in-depth information on the various majors
offered, admission requirements, and an application to download.
Online applications are preferred by colleges, and you may work on
various parts of the application, save the information, and then
complete the application in several sittings. The number of schools to
which to apply varies from two to three in most cases to more than
five if you are casting the net wide. Applying to at least a couple
of schools allows you to compare financial aid packages and also acts
as a safety net should your top priority school not offer admission.
Remember, too, that you will be paying an application fee for each

Plan Campus Visits

The next step is to schedule campus visits--usually during the 11th
grade. Even with virtual tours available, there is no substitute for
walking around a campus to gain a better feel for all the school has
to offer and to take in the ambiance that each school exudes.

The question is often asked, "How many schools should we visit, and
when should we plan to visit them?" The answer will depend on your
time and budget as well as your teen's interest. Some families will
use campus visits to help their teens narrow down the list of schools
to which to apply. Other families will make their visits after
applications are submitted in order to prioritize the choices while
waiting for the admission decisions. If your budget and time are
limited, you may choose to wait until acceptances are received and
then visit each of those schools in order to make a final decision.

It's usually a good idea to check with the colleges as to whether they
have special days for juniors and seniors to visit or if an
appointment is necessary. If there are special days planned and your
schedule permits, your teen will have the opportunity to hear from
many campus departments and organizations which will present helpful
information and answer questions. Also make arrangements to visit a
class or two, take a campus tour including the dorms, explore
off-campus housing (if appropriate), and eat in the cafeteria.

As you and your teen visit each college, it's helpful to make notes
during the visit about the advantages and disadvantages of each
school. Include your student's impressions, reservations, and fears as
well. These notes will keep each school distinct in your mind when you
return home and review your trip.

Last, be sure to view the college search process as an enjoyable time!
It's an opportunity to help your teen fine tune his post-high school
plans and provides the chance to dialogue about the spiritual
implications of his college decisions. Use these conversations to
encourage, edify, and equip your teen for all that this new phase of
his life will entail.

Next month, join us as we discuss preparation for teaching high school
by highlighting ideas for those who are either just starting out on
the high school adventure or those who will begin to teach high school
in a few years. Until then, we hope this quote by W. Aiken provides

Our object in life should not be so much to get through a great deal
of work, as to give perfect satisfaction to Him for whom we are the
doing the work.

You are doing a noble work in teaching your teens, and we pray the
Lord's blessings on your efforts,

Becky Cooke and Diane Kummer
HSLDA High School Coordinators

Second annual HSLDA High School Symposium:
Equipped and Encouraged to Teach High School

Join us for an all-day symposium featuring Becky and Diane and guest
speakers presenting a variety of high school seminars. Registration
deadline is March 27 or until maximum capacity is reached. For more

Patrick Henry College Summer Leadership Camps

PHC offers a wide variety of summer camps from a biblical worldview
for teens ages 14-18 years old. Check out these wonderful
opportunities for your high schooler in the areas of strategic
intelligence, constitutional law, Kuck's Camp (physics), journalism,
debate, international relations, and drama.

Quote to Encourage You

"He who begins, finishes. He who leads us on, follows behind to deal
in love with our poor attempts. He gathers up the things that we have
dropped - our fallen resolutions, our mistakes. ...He makes His
blessed pardon to flow over our sins till they are utterly washed
away. And He turns to fight the enemy who would pursue after us, to
destroy us from behind. He is first, and He is last! And we are
gathered up in between, as in great arms of eternal lovingkindess."
--Amy Carmichael, missionary to India

Becky and Diane's Upcoming Speaking Engagements

March 7, 2009 -- Central Savannah River Area Home Education
Association (CSRA HEA) (Augusta, GA),

March 27-28, 2009 -- APACHE (Peoria, IL)

April 2-4, 2009 - MACHE (Minnesota)
(Becky & Diane)

April 17, 2009 - HSLDA Second Annual High School Symposium
(Purcellville, VA)
(Becky and Diane along with other featured speakers)

May 22-23, 2009 -- CheNH (New Hampshire)

June 4-6, 2009 - LEAH (Rochester, New York)

June 18-20, 2009 - CHEC (Colorado)

July 17-18, 2009 -- AFHE (Arizona)

-> How long are you in for?

Some families are facing what seems like a lifelong commitment to
homeschooling, with children at both ends of the spectrum -- some
graduating and some just reaching school age. If you're going to
be "in" for a while, consider a lifetime membership with HSLDA.
It's a good deal for families with more than 10 years of
homeschooling ahead.

More reasons to join HSLDA...

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