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CLEP Exams List for Homeschoolers

Study for CLEP Exams Online


Have you heard of CLEP? CLEP is an acronym for the College Level Examination Program. Students can take CLEP tests to earn college credit and test out of certain subjects. Studying for CLEP Exams is a great way to save money on college expenses. But before you take the tests, you'll want to be sure that you know the material. A great way to prep for CLEP is to find a CLEP Exams list for homeschoolers, high school, or any one wanting to do continued studying in college. Click the following link for more information about their online homeschool program.



This post contains affiliate links.


CLEP Exams List for Homeschoolers


Study.com is an education company dedicated to making education accessible and helping students lower the cost of their higher education. They've just launched a bunch of comprehensive credit-by-exam prep products that can help high school homeschoolers earn college credit.


What Are CLEP Exams?

CLEP exams measure a person's knowledge of college-level material for college level subjects. These exams can benefit continuing education students, military personnel and college students.


CLEP exams are taken through a college or at a local testing center. Exams take between 90 to 120 minutes to complete and each one is around $85. The test is free for men and women serving in the military.

CLEP and DSST exams are prior knowledge assessments that allow students to earn real college credit just by passing a test. Study.com educational resources include comprehensive study guides and practice tests to help students prepare for these exams, earn college credit, and save money on their education. Not only is this a great way to prep for the CLEP and DSST exams, it's also a good educational resource for homeschool education. 

We were given a 90-day free trial of Study.com. I took some time to peruse the resources. The site is very easy to navigate. I like how all of the CLEP study guides are organized with a listing of the most popular exams up front. After you do a study guide, you can take a practice exam. 

There are exams for both CLEP and DSST. In case you don't know, DSST or the DANTES Subject Standardized Test, is  a test to help the U.S. Military earn college credit outside of a traditional college setting. DSST scores are accepted at over 1900 institutions across the United States and are a great way to accelerate progress on a degree, prepare for a post-military career, or transfer real life experience into more affordable university credit.

The CLEP exams list is extensive, offering study guides in many areas that contain comprehensive CLEP curriculum for your exam. The lessons are short and engaging and break down the written material into short, 8-minute videos. My twelve year old homeschooler, started with a psychology study guide session. She won't be taking the CLEP exams any time soon, however, she enjoyed the lesson and wants to continue to do all of the study guides as a part of her daily homeschool routine. I'm on board for that! She thought the videos were easy to comprehend and even mentioned that she didn't get bored! Score for Study.com.

You might also be interested in ECE programs for continued education.

On the Study.com site, you'll also fine quiz assessments that help students find any learning gaps that they may still need to prep for before taking the CLEP exams. Another thing we noticed is the study guides allow users to go back and review the material. Some other programs we try don't allow you to rewatch videos, so this is nice bonus. If you're still not doing well on the assessment, you can take advantage of their Instant Answers feature and get a quick reply from a subject matter expert.

We truly enjoyed everything Study.com had to offer and recommend that you hop over and check them out before you sign up for the CLEP exams.


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Preparing Teens for Life after High School

How Your Teen Can Prepare for Post-High School



Your teen has spent the majority of their childhood getting an education. Deciding what they're going to do post-high school is often a challenge. However, to ensure that the senior year is less daunting than they expect and that they're ready for whatever the world throws at them, here are some of basic ways to prepare teens for things to come.

This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

preparing for future life roles after high school teens career choices


Look at College Options
Around 67% of high school graduates enrolled in college in 2017, and so it's extremely likely that your teen is looking at college as a viable future option. While this is an important stepping stone toward their careers, it's vital that they spend time considering the right college options. 


To do this, you should consider looking at Cornell University GPA requirements on CampusReel, among others, as this will help your teen find a college where their application is likely to be accepted. You should also take them to open days and apply for brochures that can help your teen find out what each college can offer them.

Take AP or Honors Classes
If your teen wants to stretch themselves academically and be in a good position for the level and type of learning that college offers, consider enrolling them in AP and Honors classes. Not only will these types of classes assimilate the types of projects that they'll commit to at college, but they can also help boost their qualifications and grades so that they can apply for higher ranking colleges and job positions in the future.

Visit Their School’s Career Team
One of the benefits of establishing your teen’s plan for the future while they're still at high school is they will have access to their school’s career team, who can help them plot their goals and long-term dreams. Not only can the team discuss a number of careers with your teen, but they'll also be able to give high school students advice for their college applications and help them find future work experience within the job sector holds their interest. Our local college career center offers things like: building trades, welding, nursing, childcare, broadcasting, and graphic design.

Study online to get a certificate in Early Childhood Education.

Get a Part-Time Job
Is your teen lacking in real-world experience? If you're concerned about how your teen will cope with their sudden entry into the real world, you should consider encouraging them to take on a part-time job. Not only will this force them to improve their time management skills by having to balance this job with their studies, but it will also allow them to boost many of the necessary skills for adulthood, such as independence and communication. It also allows them to experience working for and learning to follow the rules of other adults. So, it can change their attitude toward following your intstructions too.

Study for Exams

However, the most important thing your teen should do before they leave high school is study for exams, which gets them in a good position for their future, whether they want to go to college or go straight into the world of work. To help teenagers achieve their full potential, there are many resources online that can help teens study and excel at their end of high school tests. CLEP tests are great tests for college.


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Ideas for Care Package List for College Students

College Care Package Ideas

Are you looking for ideas for College Care Packages? We're sharing ideas for your care package list to make your shopping trip easier. Scroll down for a link to our free printable care package list for college. Enjoy!

College care package complete with Schick Supplies
College care package complete with Schick Supplies. 
My nephew has already moved into campus, so I wanted to send him a care package to spoil him. I wondered what to send and started looking at Pinterest for ideas. I wanted to think outside of the box and send items besides just food and treats.

Free Printable College CARE PACKAGE list
Free Printable College CARE PACKAGE list.  Click link for printable doc.

Here is what he is getting for his first care package surprise box:
I decided to include the shaving supplies because a starving college student may forego shaving his beard for food. I want to help him always look his best. Since he is starting out his freshman year at Purdue, he has so many new things to remember! He may not get around to all of the comforts of home. So, when I stocked up for my daughter, I thought it would be a perfect time to grab some for his college care package.

Shopping for care package and Schick Supplies
Shopping for care package and Schick Supplies.

These products are great for the whole family. Our family has some unique skin allergies, and the Schick Hydro Shave Gel is great for us. We have no issues with this shave gel. That is such a relief. Below, are the benefits of Schick Hydro Shave Gel. We love that Schick Hydro Shave Gel is hypoallergenic and dermatologist tested.



  • Anti-irritation formula soothes even sensitive skin

  • Infused with aloe and made with beard softening emollients

  • Forms a hydrating layer that helps soften, soothe, and protect your skin from the redness and irritation caused by shaving

  • Protects and soothes

  • Hypoallergenic and dermatologist tested


  • I can't wait to ship this care package of to college. I know he will be excited to get a surprise care package from his favorite Aunt. :)




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    This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Schick®. The opinions and text are all mine.

    N/A

    Essential Dorm Supplies for College Freshmen Girls: Checklist

    Dorm Supplies are Essential for College

    It's time for college students to go back to school. For College Freshmen, this will be a new experience. The list of dorm supplies to bring is daunting, but it is important to remember the simple things to help boost your confidence, the essentials, and the extra cash. Enjoy!


    The number one essential supply for college dorms is a well packed Shower Caddy. Even if you have to make a last minute run to Walmart before you get on campus, don't forget your caddy, and don't forget the flip flops! Flip-flops are a necessity to get back and forth to the shower. You may even want to wear them in the shower.

    The last time we traveled for a campus visit, we forgot our razor- not good! No one wants to feel self conscious about their stubbly legs or under arms when talking to department heads, or even worse, cute collegian tour guides. We think razors are an essential for Freshmen Girls.


    Off to campus with Schick Dorm Supplies for College Freshmen.
    Off to campus with her 
    Schick Dorm Supplies for College.

    This time, we are prepared with the Schick Hydro Silk for Women. Our legs feel soft and smooth with no nicks or scrapes! This definitely takes care of the stubble, and leaves you feeling confident. 


    Schick Hydro Silk Razor = Awesome Smooth Legs
    Schick Hydro Silk Razor = Smooth Legs and a confidence boost! 

    The Schick Hydro Silk for Women offers the following:
    • Five curve-sensing blades
    • Gives back moisture
    • Dermatologist tested
    • Comfortable grip that you can keep a hold of when using   (note: this is my personal opinion and not advertised by Schick)
    • Another added benefit (in my opinion) is it's a confidence builder, because your legs feel smooth and fresh.

    Schick Hydro Coupon
    Great Coupons for Schick Hydro Silk 
    and Hydro Shaving Gel in flyers and magazines.
    
    When she gets ready to leave for college, she has her stash of Schick supplies and her dorm room supplies already to go. Along with the Schick Hydro Silk for Women we also got the Schick Hydro Gel. Love it too! It's perfect for her sensitive skin.





  • Anti-irritation formula soothes even sensitive skin





  • Infused with aloe and made with beard softening emollients





  • Forms a hydrating layer that helps soften, soothe and protect your     skin from the redness and irritation caused by shaving





  • Protects and soothes





  • Hypoallergenic and dermatologist tested



  • Now, she is all set to pack up, although she is nervous about college, she will be able to take comforts from home to help her feel clean and confident- thanks to her Schick Campus Supplies.

    Good Luck!


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    This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Schick®. The opinions and text are all mine.

    N/A

    Educational Scholarships for Homeschoolers

    College Scholarships for Homeschool



    How do homeschoolers get a proper undergraduate education? Wondering how to pay for college? As long as the parent/learningcoach/teacher/caregiver/ keeps track of their student's classes and attendance with a transcript, college applications are no different for a homeschooler than for a public school student. In fact, the word on the street is that many universities seek out homeschooled students because of their enrichment activities, volunteerism, and community service. But, how do homeschoolers pay for college? Of course, a job is a great way to start, but students can supplement their college tuition with an educational scholarship. Are there specific educational scholarships for homeschoolers? Sure, homeschoolers can apply for most college scholarships.


    Educational Scholarships for Homeschoolers
    Educational Scholarships for Homeschoolers.


    Be sure to check the entrance requirements to see if the school requires SAT or ACT scores. Many students score better on the ACT. Perhaps, this is because the ACT allows the use of a calculator for all math questions. The higher the score, the more likely you will win a scholarship. Here's an article that does a great job of explaining the differences between the ACT and the SAT and why one might be better for your homeschooler than the other. The SAT gives diagrams with math formulas, whereas, the ACT expects these formulas to be set to memory. However, this gift of formulas doesn't mean the overall score will be higher on the SAT. Do your research. Despite the cost, it is often a good idea to take the test more than once to improve the score. Sure, it's a hassle, but the second time around, the student knows what to expect, has less nerves, and will likely improve their score. Even a few points can improve chances for an educational scholarship for your homeschooler.

    So, the schooling is done. The tests are taken. How do homeschoolers apply for scholarships for their education? Are homeschoolers eligible for scholarships? Of course, when reviewing college scholarship opportunities be aware of the applicant requirements. Also, think about your homeschooler's background, even consider their quirks and hobbies. While most educational scholarships are athletic, academic, or need based. there are many scholarships with completely random requirements. Write an essay about motivation to keep goals for the Dr. Summit Shah scholarship. Skilled in duck calling? Have a strange name? Yes, there's a scholarship for that. Check out these unusual scholarships for college.

    Scholarships for College


    Federal Financial Aid is available for those in need. Always, fill out your FAFSA first. Federal aid is available for colleges and technical career schools. After that's done, it's time to think outside the box. Start searching for the perfect scholarships for your child's personality.

    Many homeschoolers love to teach themselves music. Got a ukulele player? Yep, there's a scholarship for ukulele.

    Want to run a grocery store? Then, you'll want to apply for an Asparagus Scholarship for Grocer Students.

    Like to sculpt? Apply for an Ice Sculpting Scholarship.

    Chicken keeper? Poultry Scholarship.

    On a bowling team? Bowling Scholarship.


    You get the idea. The educational scholarship options for homeschoolers and public school students are endless. Do the research early and score as many scholarship opportunities as possible for you secondary education goals. If you're lucky, you'll get more than one scholarship, so apply for as many as possible.

    Concerned you aren't preparing your child with the proper homeschool high school education? There are many online homeschool high school options to help you keep track of attendance, transcripts, and the courses necessary for college. Here's a list of our favorites: Time4Learning High School, Acellus, (they also have a less expensive app option for high school) and Connections Academy (free online public school.)


    Open Letter to Future Homeschoolers: Free Homeschool Lesson Plans Curriculum

    Free Homeschool Lesson Plans and Curriculum Resources We've Tried

    Disclaimer: This is my homeschooling journey story. To avoid my open letter to future homeschoolers and the homeschool haters, just scroll down to the bottom for the free homeschool lesson plans and curriculum resources. This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. Enjoy!


    Anime Art Lessons and Curriculum for Homeschool Elementary Cartoon Animation Keroro

    Homeschool Elementary Art: How to draw Cartoon Animation

    Allow your kids to watch cartoons on tv with sketch book. Here is our favorite anime character Keroro. The kids study the drawing style and copy it. Try different cartoons for different techniques.

    Keroro Anime Cartoon Characters How to draw lesson
    Homeschool Art Lesson with Anime Cartoon Drawing and Keroro.

    If your kids are like mine they love to watch cartoons. My kids love the obscure cartoons found on Netflix. One of their favorites (which is questionable if you pay close attention) is the Japanese Anime cartoon, Sergeant Frog or Keroro. For Wikipedia Description Click Here


    He says lots of wacky stuff. Luckily, most of it is difficult to understand, and it rarely makes sense. I'm not advocating watching the program, but I am advocating allowing them to watch cartoons while working on an ART LESSON.


    Keroro or Sgt. Frog
    Sgt. Frog a.k.a Keroro

    When I was a kid, I wanted to become a SPECIAL EFFECTS ARTIST.  My younger cousin wanted to become a VIDEO GAME DESIGNER both of us were shot down by parents, teachers, and principals. Who said things like, "Do you know how many people want to be that and how many people actually are?" or my favorite from my high school principal, "Well.. they told Johnny Cougar he'd never make it and he did, but still I don't think you should drop Band for more Art classes." Say what?

    Healthy Family Advice

    Can't We All Just Get Along?

    The last few articles have been on the subject of mental health and the breakup of the family unit. As the family situation changes, so do the matters of family concern. Of course, how you deal with these changes affect the future mental health of your children, but don’t forget to take care of yourself. As mentioned in a previous article, “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” My advice is this, self-care is a key element to a happy, healthy family, but be careful, don't over do it.

                                                      This post contains Amazon and other affiliate links.

    healthy relationships how to get along self care  quote


    If you’ve come off a long-term, unhealthy relationship, chances are you’ve been neglecting self-care. Self-care is key to your happiness. Newly separated or divorced individuals might choose to jump out into the dating scene. At first, it's exciting and new. If you've been in a bad situation, going out on dates and having fun can feel like self-care, but you need to be careful that all that good time fun having doesn’t lead to an even more unhealthy rebound relationship. Just like our children, we need to make healthy choices.

    Practice being alone. I can’t emphasize this enough. Spend time alone. As much time as it takes for you to get over the pain. And as much time as you need to grow as a person. Learn from your mistakes and take care of yourself.  As I age, I see intelligent women jumping into relationships. Perhaps, they’ve been a stay-at-home mom. Maybe they’ve never held a full-time job. Some never had the chance to go to college. They’ve never managed their own finances. Often, they feel like they just can’t handle the responsibilities of taking care of themselves and their children. So, they go out on a man hunt. The goal is to find a better man than the last one. Some are looking for a man to meet their financial expectations, others are looking for companionship, and some are looking for a father figure for their children. Whatever the reason, they jump into a relationship too soon. Been there done that. 


    Healthy Family


    I got married while still in college. It was okay. Just okay. I wanted to be happy, but we were young and a lot was missing in the relationship. At that point in my life, the idea of a wedding was more important than the idea of a marriage. We were friends and companions struggling to find common ground, but something was always missing. Both of us had placed our focus on gaining knowledge and prepping for a career and little attention was given to intimacy. As starving college students, there was no money for fun things and then we jumped into buying a house, and then another house, and then it all just got way too overwhelming. There was simply no fun to be had.

    Eventually, we talked to friends, family, and clergy. We attended counseling. It all pointed to the same thing, we just didn’t have the same goals or the same outlook on life. We ended the relationship in an amicable fashion. And that’s when my real troubles started. I briefly dated, but playing the field has never been my thing. Dating in your late 20’s is an experience that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Ugh. It’s a brave new world. With my thirtieth birthday looming over my head, I really wanted to settle down and start a family before it was too late. I had some great men to choose from, two were truly amazing with interesting careers. One was neither amazing, nor did he have a great career. He was lucky to hold down a job. But he had what I wanted. A little girl. My family doctor and the counselor both advised against any serious relationship or even dating after the first year of a breakup, but my biological clock was ticking. Tick tock. Having been told I likely could never have children, I jumped at the chance. 

    However, that wasn’t the only thing. He was fun. Oh so fun! He loved to dance, hike, bike, play sports, cook, and clean. One day, he called me one of the “cools.” I had been feeling lost. I was never cool. I wanted to do all those things I felt I’d missed out on in high school and college. Except I didn’t. I was still that goody two shoes inside. His risky lifestyle stressed me out. We fought. Among other things, he drank. He was verbally, emotionally, and physically abusive. It was like a dark movie from one of those cable tv channels for women. That was my first rebound.

    After that, I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to pick myself up again. I had a lot of counseling. I saw a psychiatrist. I took various medications. Was I suicidal? Not really, but it seemed like life had gotten the best of me. I felt like a failure in every way imaginable. No kids, no career to speak of, and no real chance to recover from all the despair because, in my head, I was old. Oh, so old. I turned to online dating. It was uplifting to have so many men interested in dating me. It was also terrifying. That was the start of rebound number two. Not only did I not wait a year to date, in only a few short months I had moved in with a man and was pregnant. At the time, it seemed like he had everything I wanted. A good job, two kids, pets, a nice home. He was a widower and that (like the alcoholism before him) fulfilled my need for codependency. I had something to do, people to take care of, and dreams to fulfill. Except, we were less compatible than the previous rebound relationship. Shortly after my son was born, I became pregnant again.

    Things weren’t ideal, but I always questioned myself. Why not? Maybe I was the problem. I should’ve been content. I was determined to make it work. I mean, after all, he wasn’t abusing me. He yelled a lot. It triggered old feelings from the previous relationship. I cried a lot. It made him mad. I cried more. It was an endless cycle. We barely knew each other. We met online. We were both lonely. As it came to be that he was my only friend for many years, we were really never friends. We both tried. The harder I tried, the more difficult it got. And now, there were kids involved. I didn’t want to break up the family unit. I didn’t want my kids to come from a broken home. Ugh, the damage I did to all of us by trying to stick this one out. We were the absolute opposite of compatible. I will spare you the gory details.

    I had so many health issues. I spent months in bed, with nothing more to do than reflect on my past. I knew it had to end. But I was scared. Could I do it alone? Was I strong enough? I started stepping up my game, working harder from home, seeing various specialists and improving my health, and building credit. Once I knew what had to be done, I still wasn’t ready to do it. Things finally worked out in a way that made ending the relationship the most logical decision. It was difficult, but I didn’t need to seek counseling. I threw myself into my work, my writing, and the remodeling of my new house.

    After years of thinking about it, deep down, I knew if I were ever to have another relationship again, I’d have to be strong. I’d have to take care of myself first, I’d need a break. I wrote down the pros and cons of dating. Months passed. I thought about what I wanted. What I needed, who I wanted and why. I realized I didn’t need a man to be happy. But I wanted that companionship that had eluded me for most of my life.


    Why it's okay to Need a Man


    It was always the same set of traits that had always led me to the same conclusion. But, I didn’t want to make the wrong choice with the right choice. So, naively, I  attempted to play the field again, but I didn’t date. I just talked. I talked to several old friends and acquaintances. This time no online dating, no strangers. I weaned them all out. I settled on one for an attempt at dating. We talked for weeks before meeting in person. I knew him from high school. He seemed to fit the criteria. But low and behold, it was a mistake. A big mistake, but one I wanted to cling to because I was sad and lonely. I had basically given up. I was about to turn fifty. There was no more time for mistakes. If I thought dating in my late twenties was hard - whoa. In your fifties, it’s a whole new frontier. Casual dating wasn’t an option for me. 

    I took a few weeks to get myself together. I pulled out my list again, and this time, I realized what I always needed had always been there. Sometimes, you just need a friend.


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    Step on a Crack Break Your Mother's Back Dealing with OCD

    Dealing with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) ~ "Step on a crack break your mother's back"


    Living with OCD Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Step on a crack...
    My musings on life and obsessive compulsive disorder.



    Sunday Food for Thought

    I write with the human spirit in mind - Christians, Agnostics, Atheists, and Others:

    This Sunday, I take a moment to reflect on the eccentricities of me.  Please be gracious and ignore any typos or grammatical errors today.  I will edit them later after I've had a break from writing.  Read on to learn why-

    Last week my little ones and myself were baptized.  We are four, six, and forty-one.  The other members of  our family were baptized as infants in the Catholic church long before we met. They stood up for us.

    I am not a religious person.  I am, however, extremely spiritual.

    You might be wondering, Why?  Why haven't we been baptized yet.  Or why do it at all?

    I have some peculiar answers to those questions and I have decided to share the deepest interworkings of my brain on OCD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I am a recovering Obsessive Compulsive. These days, it has become a popular turn of phrase.  So many people joke about it- maybe they joke because they fear it.

    I expect Tom Cruise has an opinion on OCD and religion, but I digress.

    Most of us can find something about ourselves that is compulsive or even obsessive.  It may be embarassing but it is unlikely that it greatly reduces the quality of your life or well-being.  My brain on OCD stifled my quality of life in many ways.

    For example, as a child I had been an avid reader.  I read most of the classics by the fourth grade.  I.E.  Jane Eyre,  Wuthering Heights, Tom Sawyer, Pollyanna, Of Mice and Men, etc.  I read the Communist Manifesto in sixth grade, you get the picture. 

    In college, I became incapable of reading.  I could not read the Bible, a text book, a script, or even a newspaper.  My life had changed.  I sat in class and struggled to stay awake taking explicit notes that I would not be able to study later.  I had hoped writing the information down would help my brain retain it for the test.

    Before this particular OCD trait afflicted me, I made the Dean's List with a 4.0.  I was accepted into the College of Architecture and Planning.  My future looked bright.

    One day, I woke up with numerous health concerns all of which grew worse with stress.  Suddenly, I could no longer read.  As I read, the words would mock me and block me from reading any further.  A simple word like 'but' was impossible to get past.  In my head, the word didn't read correctly and I'd have to read it again until it fit the right pace. 

    This is difficult to explain.  It makes no sense.  As I type, I can akin it to my typing issues.

    I type a sentence. I type a sentne   I type a I type a sen   I type a senten   I type a sentence.  If I catch a typo, I must immediately correct it.  I do not erase only to the misspelling.  I must erase the entire word or sentence depending on my level of stress.   Currently, that level is low.  I misspelled level like this levle.  I deleted only the last l and completed the word lev- level.  Are you with me?

    This type of compulsion is frustrating.  It slows me down and takes up time, but it does not affect the quality of my life- at this time.  If I were to become obessesed with writing this post perfectly and completing it quickly, conceivably I could sit here for hours without eating lunch or dinner or cleaning the house.

    Luckily, I have learned to work around these blips in my brain.  Sharing the affliction with others helps too.  Family and friends can hold me accountable.  Jokes work but shame just aggravates the disorder.  It's a very fine line.

    Remember in grade school when you said, (Yes, I am talking to YOU) "Step on a crack, break your Mother's back?"  Did you step on cracks?  I remember kids jumping over them on the sidewalk, I remember other kids stomping on the cracks, still others just walked across them without thinking anything of it at all.

    What did I do? I struggled.  I didn't want people to stare at me.  I didn't believe if I stepped on a crack my mother's back would immediately break.  I shut my eyes.  Sometimes, I held my breath.  I had to step over the crack to get to class.  I couldn't draw attention to myself. 

    When people teased me or even just looked at me funny, I turned pomegranate.  So, I developed a pace.  Walking with my stride paced perfectly I could avoid all pre-planned cracks. If the sidewalk had cracked from the elements I could not avoid jumping or bumping into my neighbor.

    As a teenager, I tried switching off my bedroom light and jumping into my bed from across the room before the light went out.  Of course, I knew this was impossible. I hoped to avoid walking on the floor in the dark.  Apparently, the monsters under my bed stayed idle until the lights were off. 

    Luckily, I was a smart cookie.  I would go to bed early and read until my brother or parents came to bed then I would holler at them, "Can you please turn my light off?"  Problem solved.

    OCD has nothing to do with intelligence or the ability to tell right from wrong or sanity from insanity.

    Intellectually, I knew the act of stepping on a crack would not break my mother's back.  Spiritually, I believed God was watching over me.  I could pray to save her back.

    But there is always that 'What if?'  What if a coincidence occured and something bad happened after I stepped on a crack?  What if something bad happened if I stepped on my floor in the dark?  Perhaps, I'd step on a spider or a mouse?  What if I read the word wrong and I failed the test?  What if I made a mistake and someone I loved died.  What if...

    Coincidences are grueling.  Oprah says there are no coincidences.  Don't tell that to an OCD.  The strand of logic is broken.  If this = that, then that caused this with no relative cause to rhyme or reason.

    In fourth grade, (I've discussed this before) we were given a card to fill out.  One of the questions asked for religious affiliation.  My parents never went to church, occasionally I went with an Aunt.  Distraught over the question I took it home and asked my mother what to say.  I didn't want to write n/a.  What would people think? 

    "We're Christians, write that."
    "We don't go to church!"
    "We believe in Jesus.  That makes us Christians."
    "They want to know what church we go to!  I go to different churches."
    "Just, put Protestant on the line.  It will be fine."
    "I don't want them to know I'm Protestant!"
    "We are not Catholic.  We believe in Jesus.  You are Protestant."

    I didn't exactly understand.

    "I haven't been baptized. I'm not Christian."
    "You've been baptized."
    "When?"
    "Oh, I don't know, but you've been baptized."
    "Were you there?"  "How come I don't remember?"
    "It was a long time ago."  "Just drop it.  I'll fill out your card."

    After that, I went to church as much as I could. I had several offers to be baptized. I wanted to be baptized.  I didn't want to be a sinner.  I  had heard the stories.  But I felt my family should be there with me. I was also filled with fear.

    I saw kids slammed in the head, and people immersed in creeks, and holy water splashed in faces, and hands hovered over heads...  Pastors, Preachers, Priests, Ministers, Reverends.  The only thing I didn't see was a Rabbi.

    I didn't want to do something so important without my family there. 

    They weren't coming.  People, asking me to persuade them to come, only stressed me out more and kicked in my fears that something bad would happen.  I couldn't think about that- it would greatly reduce my quality of life. 

    Besides, what if I did get baptized and some ironic twist of fate took my life.  I know, I know, I know...   Christian friends.  Nothing to fear.  But I had something to fear, losing my family forever.
    To believe or not to believe- That IS the question.

    OCD was mostly controllable throughout my life; afflictions came and went.  If you'd like to learn more about them or share some of your own drop me a note and we'll swap odd stories.  thehollyjollyone@yahoo.com

    In college and after, I did a bunch of Catholic stuff.  Marriage classes, counseling, and etc.  Not only must you have documentation of baptism but you must be confirmed and generally a member to take part in communion.  I'd sit in the pew as everyone filed past me.  Singled out as a sinner, oh the humiliation, oh the OCD reactions it would bring.

    A twist of fate, a project  to design a church, introduced me to the Episcopalian Church.  The bridge between Catholics and Protestants.  Although I frequented many churches since the initial introduction, this version of Christianity had struck a chord of acceptance in me.

    My mother once told me that she did not want to baptize me into a particular religion.  It would be my choice and not a label that someone else had imposed.

    I grappled with this idea when my children were born.  I also feared death.  What if they die without being baptized.  Do I care?  Does it matter? 

    The  twenty-minute ride home from the hospital after their birth was the longest drive of my life and the lowpoint of my OCD.  I am surprised that I lived through it without suffering a nervous breakdown.

    I guess, I didn't.  It was insane. Totally insane... and I did it twice.

    I couldn't breathe, I couldn't sit still, I couldn't look out the windows, I couldn't look away from my child, I couldn't live and enjoy the moment.  OCD had taken its toll and sheer panic had taken hold.  I didn't sleep for four years.  I had to make sure the children kept breathing throughout the night.  You laugh, you think surely I jest.  I can assure you this is no joke.

    When the unreligious/unchurched die my mother often says, "Don't worry a preacher was there."  "They were baptized before they died."  Who is worrying me or you?  I suppose it matters somewhere to someone but does it matter to me?  I've heard a lot of people say, "Well, it can't hurt."  That's true, isn't it?

    Forget about me, I wanted to baptized the children.  No matter what they decide later on they will be saved as long as they believe in their hearts, right?  But, OCD kept blocking me.  What if I baptize them and they get killed in a car accident on the way home?

    Yeah, yeah, yeah - God and such.  BUT what IF?
    Oh, the irony.  Oh, the dread, how could I live with myself?

    Either way, I live in fear.  I live in shame.  What if they get sick and die before they've been baptized? 

    Can you feel the stress building?  It's been six long years with very little sleep.

    At the height of my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, I lived with an alcoholic.  I attended AA meetings. I took away the best lessons ever, "Let go and let God" and "Live and let Live".

    Choose a phrase that best fits you - it works.

    I am a recovering Obsessive Compulsive.  I lived in a funk.  A fog of worry hovered over my life.

    I let it go for too long.  The biggest fear I had  last week, while getting baptized at the age of forty-one, "What would the congregation think of me?"  I have become an active member of the church.  I was embarassed and ashamed that I had waited for so long.

    Irony is to blame but there is something else too -

    My family and friends.  What if something happens to them before they get the chance?  Do I care?  Do they?  Does it matter?  The problem is, I just don't have an answer.

    I don't care what you believe or where you go or where you don't go, but I want to go with the people I love and I want them to go with me.  Wherever.

    I know some people don't like church.  I know some people fear it.  I know some people feel ashamed. I know some people don't care.  I know lots of those people have Jesus in their hearts and lots of them don't but most of them are good people, either way.  What I don't know is if any of it matters.

    Some people need more.  I needed more.  A heavy weight has been lifted from my back.

    Now, I can not only live and let live but also let go and let God.

    If my children choose something different, that's okay. 
    If they go astray and come back another day, that's okay too.

    I no longer have to worry about the What if's.  For me, no matter how many cracks I step on, it's in God's hands now.  I can't change fate.

    Years of habits will take years to break- don't be surprised if you catch me pacing my steps to avoid the cracks.

    And what did the congregation say?  "Congratulations on your baptisms." 

    That was that, so simple, so easy, and so many fears washed away with a simple splash.

    This Sunday, I breathe easier than last. 

    What's on your list?  Keep moving forward!

    Free Online Homeschool Curriculum Recommendations

    Curriculum Recommendations for Online Homeschooling


    Whether you're new to homeschooling or you've been doing it for years, you're probably on the hunt for new, exciting, and engaging curriculum ideas. We get bored with the daily grind and change it up from year to year or even season to season. Here's a list of mostly free online homeschool curriculum recommendations that we've used and enjoyed. We've tried MANY other options, but these are our favorites.

    This post contains affiliate links.

    Free Online Homeschool Curriculum Recommendations
    Free Online Homeschool Curriculum Recommendations.


    Brainpop Jr. is my favorite program for younger elementary and preschool. The videos are fun to watch, and the kids always looked forward to using Brainpop Jr. for Homeschooling

    Brainpop has a an online homeschool for middle school and high school, but we often found topics we wanted only on Brainpop Jr. The upper grade version is nice for supplementing classroom curriculum. If you use the paid version, you have access to more functions and all lessons.

    MobyMax is a great online homeschool app to find out where your kids are in their homeschool learning experience. They can take placement tests in all subjects and then the program finds learning gaps and helps kids focus and build on the areas where they may be struggling. The content isn't as fun and engaging as Brainpop. It is a more definitive tool for classroom use, helping teachers to keep all students on track. MobyMax can be used as a supplement or as full homeschool curriculum up to eighth grade.

    Khan Academy is (or should be) a household name for homeschoolers. In the beginning, Khan Academy targeted older students and even offered SAT prep. Now, they also offer more curriculum for elementary school. It keeps track of their lessons and lets you know when students are struggling or when they are ready to move to the next level.

    The kids prefer Khan Academy math to any other online homeschool math program, but homeschool mom always liked to supplement with free Brainpop math videos to make sure the kids understood the talking points. Khan Academy can get monotonous for day to day homeschooling. Sal does a great job, but it can get a little boring after awhile. We also supplement our Khan Academy math with Life of Fred textbooks. These books are easy to read and tell a fun story while sneaking in practical math lessons.

    Now, there are new instructors and new curriculum on KA. My daughter enjoys studying high school and college level psychology and art history through Khan Academy.

    My son does well with virtual homeschool. So, for online high school homeschooling, we are sticking with Connections Academy. In Indiana, it is a free online public school. Connections Academy offers group gatherings and field trips. He gets through the assignments quickly (though, I'm told many homeschoolers struggle to get their lessons done on time) so we supplement with weekly enrichment including museum homeschool programs and educational YouTube videos like John and Hank Green's Crash Course in American History.

    Sometimes, when he's struggling on a particular topic, (for high school all text books are online) we find a compatible Life of Fred homeschooling book to fll in any gaps. It's nice to have a good, old book that you can hold in your hand and flip through the pages. He enjoys reading them outside while enjoying his hammock.

    Sure, Connections Academy has teachers and attendance to keep, but when it's all done, he'll have official transcripts for college. 

    I prefer Connections High School to their Elementary program. The elementary program seemed a little too intense. Especially, when you want the freedom of homeschooling. They're still working out the bugs and it gets better every year, in the past, we had to have weekly check ups with the elementary teachers. For high school, signing in and doing your work suffices. As it should...

    In 2017, this homeschool mom broke her leg. That made planning homeschool curriculum and doing enrichment activities difficult. So, my daughter was pretty much on her own. She did great with MobyMax (so I could keep up with her learning) and supplementing with YouTube videos of her choosing. But, homeschool mom felt like maybe she was failing her daughter by not being as involved. So, this fall, we are trying something new! Acellus. I stumbled upon Acellus last year when I was laid up in bed. Many other homeschoolers told me it was expensive, but I was sure I found a free or nearly free version. 

    But whenever, I looked it up, I found the paid online homeschool version, which seems to be set up like Connections academy, but with a private school fee. That's not for us! I gave up for a while, and recently tried again. It seems they also have a homeschool app which is found on a separate website, PowerHomeschool. The homeschool app differs from the online homeschool version, because the videos are canned - meaning they are pre-recorded 

    That's just what we wanted! We like working at our own pace. These videos are similar to videos my daughter finds on YouTube, but these organized by grade level. We'll choose math, science, language arts, foreign language, and music this year. At the time of this posting, the app is $9.99 per month, basically the same as the paid homeschool version of Brainpop. We're looking forward to starting her in the homeschool middle school program this fall. 

    The PowerHomemschool website describe the homeschool curriculum like this: "Students proceed through the course in a step-by-step fashion watching a video lesson and then completing assessment problems. Students receive reviews and unit, mid-term, and final exams as they proceed through the course. Learning gaps are assessed and filled as students move through the course concept by concept."

    Seems like a fair option to give it a test drive before you jump into their online school curriculum. 

    We'll also supplement with Life of Fred fractions and beginning algebra. One thing I've missed the last few years, is doing hands-on science experiments. After previewing the Acellus app's science curriculum, I was excited to try it. With a Google search for online homeschool curriculum, the app is hard to find. They have moved it to a new website with a different name. Find it here: PowerHomeschool

    Bottom line, don't break the bank to homeschool. We have SO many books, every year, I'd go out and buy new books. We never got through most of them. Find a free online homeschool curriculum, that works for you and stick with it. Then, supplement with fun enrichment activities and family outings.

    We also involve the kids in day to day household concerns. We talk about finances, debt, and even recently including them in every step of the home buying process. That included going to a lender, saving for a down payment, creative ways to find extra money like garage sales, selling off items no longer needed, the highs and lows of Craigslist and eBay, getting a water and septic test at the state level, watching our credit scores, budgeting for groceries, finding ways to cut costs to save for the new house, and even going to a county courthouse to pick up documents needed to close. So many lessons here. At the courthouse, we all had to go through the security, empty our pockets, etc. The next steps, include renovating the new house. 

    Family struggles and life lessons are often kept from kids. In my opinion, this tends to give the kids an unrealistic view of what it is like to be a grown up. They can't wait to get out of the house and start their own life, but reality gets in the way of their happiness. Keeping kids life lessons and keeping them in the know, helps them better prepare for the future. Isn't that what homeschooling is all about?

    So, what do you think of this list of free online homeschool curriculum recommendations? Do you have something you really love? Tell us about it in the comments or find Kids Creative Chaos on Instagram and chat with us there!


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    Free Online Homeschool Curriculum Recommendations