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Month: July 2012

Re-post: Is it Time to think of Homeschooling Your Child?

Re-post: Is it Time to think of Homeschooling Your Child?

This article is long, but I highly recommend you read it.  It was posted in the Orlando Sentinel by Jack Chambless


For the past 21 years I have taught economics to more than 14,000 college students here in Central Florida. During that time I have made a concerted effort to glean information from my Valencia students as to their educational background preceding their arrival in college.

Drawing from a sample size this large multiplied by two decades multiplied by hundreds of thousands of test answers has put me in a good position to offer the following advice to any reader of this paper with children in Florida’s K-12 public schools.

Get them out now before you ruin their life.

While this may seem to be a bit harsh, let’s look at the facts.

First, my best students every year are in order — Chinese, Eastern European, Indian and home-schooled Americans, and it is not even close when comparing this group to American public-school kids.

Since it is highly unlikely that any of you plan to move to Beijing, Warsaw or Bangalore, you might want to look at the facts concerning public vs. home-schooled American students.

(In Florida, more than 60,000 students in about 42,000 families study in home education programs, which meet the requirement for regular school attendance and were protected under state law in 1985.)

All of us have seen or heard about the annual disaster that is called FCAT results. Thanks to government officials in Washington, D.C. and Tallahassee, kids in government-run schools are failing miserably in a wide range of subjects while teachers face bureaucratic nightmares that strip them of their status as professionals and relegate them to servants of standardized testing.

It is also a fact of public education that incidents of bullying, teacher-student sexual misconduct, abusive behavior by teachers and incessant protection of poor teachers by education unions have put students in public schools in the unenviable position of dealing with issues that no learning environment should impose on them.

Moreover, the public education system in Florida and other states is one of the worst forms of monopoly power.

Everywhere in our lives as citizens we have free consumer choice as to where we shop for food, clothes, cellphones and more. However, if you are economically disadvantaged you rarely have this choice in education.

Poorer families in Florida are instead given the school district that their children are forced to attend. Rather than give poor parents choices so that competitive pressure is imposed on public education, we have lower-income families — mostly minorities — who are condemned to 13 years of inferior education just because they live in the wrong zip code.

Everywhere in America where vouchers or other forms of school choice exists, we see competition forcing the unionized public schools to adapt, or lose students.

This used to be the case in Florida, but those options are now lower than in past years and the victims show up in my classes woefully unprepared for challenging college course work.

t is routine that students from Florida’s worst high schools make failing grades in college. These kids have been lied to by a system that tells them that a diploma from an “F” school will not impact them in college.

Meanwhile, the more than 2 million home-schooled kids around America (my two sons included) routinely appear in America’s colleges with an education that prepares them for virtually anything.

The home-education movement has unleashed the forces of capitalism in such a way that anyone can find dozens of types of curricula for any grade level to help educate their kids in areas where one might not be an expert.

Home-school conventions like the one coming at the end of this month in Orlando offer thousands of options and professional speakers who can help guide willing parents through their child’s formative years.

The home-schooled kids who show up in my classes usually arrive at the age of 16 or 17, score in the high 90’s on their exams and then go off to places like Harvard, Penn and other world-class universities.

My Favorite Argument (a funny post)

My Favorite Argument (a funny post)

One of the favorite things people tell me when I try and explain the way I’m doing college is…

“Well, how are you ever going to find a spouse that way?  I met my husband/wife at college!”

Now I have NOTHING against meeting your spouse at college.  My parents met at college.  It’s a great place to meet guys and gals.

But if that’s the ONLY reason I’m going to college (and the only reason you can think of for why I should go to college) than we have a serious problem!  That is one expensive husband.  🙂

And if I have loads of debt so that I can find him, and he has loads of debt so that he can find me… how are we going to feed the kids?

Besides think of all the other places you could meet your future spouse.  Menial places like CHURCH!  Or family friends.  Or a conference.  That will save you about 60,000 dollars right there, and the whole family gets to share in the memory!

I’m not bashing finding your spouse at college.  It worked for my parents, and it continues to work.  But, unless you have money to throw away, try some other options first.  🙂

CLEP List!

CLEP List!

Here is the list of all the CLEP test I have taken or plan to take.

  1. College Composition with Essay – Taken (62)
  2. College Mathematics – taken (59)
  3. Analyzing and Interpreting Literature – taken (78)
  4. Social Sciences and History – taken (52)
  5. English Literature
  6. Humanities
  7. American Government
  8. Natural Science
  9. Accounting
  10. American Literature
  11. Microeconomics

For an English major, I’m taking a lot of math!

In the future I might possibly change Accounting to Management, but as of right now that is my list!

Divide and Conquer!

Divide and Conquer!

How should you earn your degree, when you don’t know what you’re doing?  Easy!  Pray, pray, pray, and talk to people!  🙂  See how easy that was?

I have divided up my degree into different parts so that I can divide and conquer.  The lines between the parts are a little gray, so don’t take my word as law.  But this is what I’m shooting for.


  • Part 1: 57 Arts and Science credits.  Earned through CLEPing, and not on the upper/advanced level.  This means a total of 13 CLEPs which I will list in another post.
  • Part 2: 30 Upper/advanced level credits.  Earned through… I don’t know yet!
  • Part 3: 29 Applied professional credits.  Earned through online courses.
  • Part 4: 3 Capstone requirements and 1 Information Literacy requirement. Taken through Excelsior.

Total Credit Earned: 120 Credits


So there you go!  Now to figure out all the fine print.

What ObamaCare means to College Students

What ObamaCare means to College Students

This article is a repost from the CollegePlus blogTaryn DiMartile does a wonderful job of reminding us of the reality we are facing as a country and as students. Taryn works and writes for CollegePlus, to read her original article, visit here.

Please be in prayer for our nation as we celebrate Independence Day this Wednesday.

I know you all know (doesn’t everyone know?) that student debt is a problem of tsunami proportions. And it’s a problem that doesn’t seem to have a solution coming anytime soon. What you may not know is, with today’s ruling on Obamacare, college students have another wave of expenses hitting them – health care costs.

According to a recent Forbes article, costs of college student’s health care could rise 1,112%. Yes, 1,112 percent.

Why could costs go up 1,112%?

Many colleges offer their students health insurance plans with very limited benefits that cover expenses to a specific “capped” amount that is usually pretty low. Most college students are young adults in great health (well, beside the massive amounts of caffeine they consume), so this is normally not a problem and the result is low premium costs for the students: usually only a couple hundred dollars a year.

However, with ObamaCare, insurance companies will be required to substantially raise the coverage “cap” (whether or not people want to pay for that much more coverage) for 2013-2014 and beginning 2015, insurance companies will not be allowed to sell health insurance plans with a “cap” at all. This is what will cause insurance costs to go through the roof.

The cost reality

Curtis Johnson is a student at a small, private Christian college in Florida. Last year, the health insurance through his school cost him $600. This coming year? $1,130. Considering his tuition is already $25,000 a year, the additional cost is unaffordable for him and he has to look into alternatives. However, he’s one of the lucky ones!

Students at Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, N.C. paid $245 for a year of health insurance last school year. Next year, they’ll be paying over $2,500. And that’s on top of tuition, room, board and everything else that comes along with being a college student.

Another problem facing students

To make matters worse, because of the rules, regulations and penalties now placed on businesses regarding health care for their employees, finding summer or seasonal jobs (a main source of income for college students) will become harder, making the increased cost even more difficult to bear.

Whether or not all the rules and regulations will indeed stay in place remains to be seen, but the future does not look as bright as it once was for college grads. And with the already declining morale and financial situation of today’s college students, things are looking bleak for those who were told they could do anything they wanted to at a high school commencement speech not too long ago.

June Updates and July Goals

June Updates and July Goals

June Updates

My goal for June was to finish 2 CLEPs.  The Natural Science and the Social Science and History (SS&H).  Due to a number of factors, that involved my proctor having serious surgery, schedule constraints, and some basic unpreparedness, I was only able to finish one of those tests.  On Friday, June 29th I took and passed SS&H.   While I am disappointed that I never got to Natural Science, I am trusting that God has a plan for me and my college plans.  So, I am trusting Him, and grateful that I passed!

July Goals

My goals for July are simple and easy to keep up with.  The first week of August is the Film Festival, and I have a lot to do for that.  However, I am keeping up with my studies and I hope to have more updates on this blog for you.  I plan to research Excelsior a lot, and plan my fall school schedule.  You will get to come with me on that journey!

I am reading and researching the English Literature CLEP, and the Humanities CLEP.  I plan to be prepared to take these in August, after the Film Festival.

I also plan to map out my remaining exams and the college courses I am going to have to take.  I’ll post those here.

Join me as we study through July!



As of today the price of your CLEP goes up $3.00.

Your CLEP exam is now $80.00 + proctor fee.  For me that means an even $100.00, but make sure you do your math before your next test!


June Updates and July Goals are coming soon!

Today's the Day!

Today's the Day!

Butter and sugar aren’t the only prices rising.

As of today the price to take a CLEP exam is $80.00.  Keep this in mind the next time you go to pay for your test.