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Top Community Colleges in the U.S.

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — Tags: , — dailynews @ 4:00 am


With the U.S. community-college industry undergoing major changes — such as the prospect of a free associate’s degree and 22 states authorizing their community colleges to offer bachelor’s degree programs — the personal-finance website WalletHub conducted an in-depth analysis of 2016’s Best & Worst Community Colleges then drew upon its results to identify the States with the Best & Worst Community College Systems.

To help students weigh their community-college prospects, WalletHub’s analysts compared 821 schools across 12 key metrics. Their data set ranges from the cost of in-state tuition and fees to student-faculty ratio to graduation rate.

  Top 20 Community Colleges    
  1 Helene Fuld College of Nursing (NY)   11 Southwest Wisconsin Technical College (WI)
  2 Ilisagvik College (AK)   12 Mesalands Community College (NM)
  3 Pamlico Community College (NC)   13 Moorpark College (CA)
  4 Cochise County Community College District (AZ)   14 Pratt Community College (KS)
  5 State Technical College of Missouri (MO)   15 Coastline Community College (CA)
  6 Fashion Institute of Technology (NY)   16 Northern Oklahoma College (OK)
  7 Rend Lake College (IL)   17 Whatcom Community College (WA)
  8 Lake Area Technical Institute (SD)   18 Barstow Community College (CA)
  9 Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture (NE)   19 Manhattan Area Technical College (KS)
  10 North Central Missouri College (MO)   20 Turtle Mountain Community College (ND)


  States with the Best Community College Systems    
  1 South Dakota   11 Georgia
  2 Alaska   12 New Mexico
  3 North Dakota   13 Nebraska
  4 Florida   14 California
  5 Montana   15 Iowa
  6 Wyoming   16 Arizona
  7 Washington   17 Arkansas
  8 Wisconsin   18 Mississippi
  9 Connecticut   19 New York
  10 New Hampshire   20 Maine

Just thought you’d like to know!

Homeschooling – A Boost in Life

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — Tags: , — dailynews @ 4:00 am




Homeschooling – A Boost in Life

This is a guest blog post from Beth Fine, Tennessee author of middle school mystery series Picaresque of Ímagine Purple.





Recently, on my way to Detroit to teach a library workshop for young writers on “Turning Adventures into Stories,” I met my god-family to have our own biblical adventure in Kentucky.

We went to Ken Ham’s newly-opened Ark Encounter to see a full replica of Noah’s Ark skillfully built by craftsmen and artists. Stalls and cages for animals filled the lower levels. Researched, archaic, yet ingenious techniques demonstrated how the Ark trapped/dispensed fresh water; collected/removed waste products; and stored/distributed food for animals and people alike.

We also went to the Creation Museum and viewed exhibits of creation vs. evolution models with full apologetics for each perspective. However, in an interview, renown atheist Richard Dawkins explained evolution as happening because, “Nature found a way, “a strange admission from an earth scientist!

Since my god-children grew up under home school instruction, took field trips to watch whales, served as pages in the state assembly, and participated in HS musical productions, they matured in wholesome, expansive atmospheres. As young adults, one served in the Marines and now studies journalism at Cedarville University. The other matriculates an online college so he can practice daily for the 2020 Olympic swimming trials.

The breadth of experience these two young men had, came not from great wealth but their parents’ approach to home school enrichment. Suddenly, I realized how their life preparation differed from the inner-city kids set to attend my workshop. Could I somehow enrich them with this library experience?

Once in Detroit, I saw faces hungry for attention and knowledge! I can say that because the library’s air conditioning broke down that week, but only one kid left. Those persevering to the end received a sleuth’s magnifying glass, an E-book, and a motto label: Have Fun. Get Smarter.™

After hearing my brief autobiography and a summary of my novel written in the fourth grade, the kids recognized story details from my real life as a Texas tomboy who lived near a bayou in the woods. They surmised a writer’s first rule: “Write what you know!”

Next, they learned the wagon-wheel method of displaying story details, explored possibilities why the main character disappeared, and discovered I had obviously posed a mystery to make readers wonder if the tomboy drowned, ran away, hid in a secret place, got lost, or was kidnapped.

Then, the children shared adventures, wagon-wheeled details, and borrowed outside hints to expand their concepts. I encouraged them to let imaginations fly freely to release the story within. Like flowers growing in sidewalk cracks, the results surprised me and clouded my working premise!

Beth Fine, Tennessee author of middle school mystery series Picaresque of Ímagine Purple.

Homeschool Academics in Numbers

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — Tags: , — dailynews @ 4:00 am



Homeschool Academics in Numbers: Useful Research Data and Takeaways


The Number of Homeschoolers Continues to Grow!

What was alternative a decade or two ago appears a mainstream today. Homeschooling has become the fastest-growing form of education in the United States.  In spring 2010, it was estimated that two million kids were home educated in the U.S.. In the spring of 2016, 2.3 million kids (estimated again) were being homeschooled.

Homeschooling is growing in other countries as well, including Canada, Japan, France, the United Kingdom, South Korea, and Russia.

Homeschoolers Like the Experience!

The Home School Legal Defense Association asked over 11,000 homeschooled adults their thoughts on their parents’ choice  to homeschool. Results speak volumes:

  • 95% were glad they had been homeschooled
  • 92% considered homeschooling advantageous to them
  • 82% would homeschool their kids, too

Homeschool Students Do Well!

Back in 2009, Dr. Brian Ray from the National Home Education Research Institute invited 11,739 homeschooled students from all 50 states to take three tests. He wanted to learn their academic achievements compared to those of public schools students. The tests they took were the Stanford Achievement Test, the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills, and the California Achievement Test.

Results impress, and here is the takeaway:

Overall the study showed significant advances in homeschool academic achievement as well as revealing that issues such as student gender, parents’ education level, and family income had little bearing on the results of homeschooled students.”

Average scores:

Reading – 89

Language – 84

Math – 84

Science – 86

Social Studies – 84

In 2016, Dr. Ray published additional research facts on homeschooling.  He found that “the home-educated typically score 15 to 30 percentile points above public-school students on standardized academic achievement tests” and they “typically score above average on the SAT and ACT tests that colleges consider for admissions.” 

Dr. Brian Ray also confirmed that homeschoolers do well on measures of social and psychological development. Engaged in social activities outside their homes, students develop leadership skills, self-concept, and self-esteem. Several studies takeaways support Dr. Ray’s statements:

  • “The average overall score for the homeschooled children on communication, daily living skills, socialization, and social maturity subscales was at the 84th percentile compared to the 23rd percentile for the traditionally schooled students.”
  • “Applying a Social Skills Rating System to evaluate thirty-four pairs of homeschooled and traditionally schooled children between the ages of five and eighteen, researchers found that homeschooled children achieved higher scores on this scale than conventionally educated students.” 
  • “The study using the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale, a well-tested diagnostic tool for measuring communication and daily living skills, found that homeschooled students substantially outperformed traditionally schooled students.”


About the author:

Mike Hanski is a writer and former research associate at USC. You can check out his article 48 Ideas on How to Improve the US Education System here.




Five Tips for Surviving an Online Geometry Course

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — Tags: , — dailynews @ 4:00 am



This is a guest blog post from

One of the best things about choosing to take an online geometry course is the freedom it affords you. That being said, geometry, online or otherwise, is a difficult subject and acing it won’t be as easy as just reading the material and taking the exams. The following tips will help guide you in your approach to an online geometry course and get you better prepared for those tests:

1. Budget your time

Acing a test starts with taking the right overall approach to a course. When you are given the freedom to study, practice, and review at your own pace, it is easy to procrastinate. Make sure you budget enough time to learn the material properly and that you’re not rushing into the next exam. James Madison High School lets you study at your own pace and take the exam when you are ready.

2. Make a plan

Don’t just say you’re going to spend “x” amount of time working on your online geometry course. Make a schedule that includes study, practice, and taking advantage of any opportunity to confer with real teachers. Stick to that schedule.

3. Take notes

Many students undervalue the note-taking process. This can be especially true when you’re taking an online course and all of the material is made available in a written format. However, you don’t need to be listening to a lecture to benefit from note-taking. Note-taking can help you zero in on key concepts and reinforce ideas by taking the time to rewrite them.

4. Multiple choice does NOT mean easy

When taking multiple choice exams required by online geometry courses, don’t be lulled into a false sense of security. Many students mistake “multiple-choice” for “easy.” They allow themselves to speed through the test picking what looks like the best answer. It is better to treat each question as if it were an open-ended one and actually do the math. Then you can compare your answer to the choices.

5. Always show your work

While taking an online geometry course, it is easy to get complacent, but the best way to learn is to keep practicing, and practicing the right way. When you study or take practice exams, and especially when you take real exams, always do the math. Do it so much that you can do it in your sleep.

The most important thing to remember when it comes to mathematics of any kind is that there is no real shortcut. Online geometry courses may give you the freedom to blaze your own trail, but that doesn’t mean you can rush through and expect real results. There is no substitute for practice.

James Madison High School

James Madison High SchoolJames Madison High School loves providing interesting and compelling blogs to students, prospective students, alumni, parents and guests. Blog topics include study tips, student and alumni success stories, teacher profiles plus a variety of other topics.

5 Ways to Eliminate Homeschool Distractions

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — Tags: , — dailynews @ 4:00 am


Little black girl learning to read learning the alphabet

5 Ways to Eliminate Homeschool Distractions—For You and Your Child

This is a guest blog post from


You’ve already taken the most important step—you’ve decided that you wish to educate your student at home, rather than at a traditional brick-and-mortar school. Once you’ve come to this conclusion, however, there are many smaller decisions that must be made, such as which curriculum to use and where in your home to create a classroom. Another aspect to consider is how to eliminate distractions for you and your child, as they will inevitably arise. Here are five suggestions:

  1. Gather your materials in advance

One of the largest homeschool distractions is when you or your student must leave the room to find another school item. Perhaps you’ve left a textbook in the kitchen, or your child has forgotten his or her calculator in his or her bedroom. This distraction can be eliminated by thoroughly preparing for each school day the evening before. In addition to writing a lesson plan, consider what you will need to carry out that lesson plan, and ensure that all of your materials are in your classroom.

  1. Adhere to a schedule

In addition to a lesson plan, a schedule is essential to staying on task throughout an entire school day. If you have not yet created a daily schedule, do so as soon as possible. Homeschooling may seem like a more casual arrangement, which may prompt you or your student to feel as though you can accomplish tasks on your own time as long as they are completed, but try to avoid this impulse. Children thrive with structure and routine.

  1. Emphasize engagement

If you have multiple students in your home, their greatest distraction may simply be one another. This is why it is so important to ensure that each child is always engaged in a task. This includes students who you are homeschooling, as well as children who may be too young for school just yet.

  1. Eliminate background noise

Homes are full of noises from a variety of sources. Before you begin your lesson, have everyone turn off their mobile phones, including yourself. You may also need to strictly enforce rules that disallow younger children from watching television or playing on the computer. Even if your student is able to do classwork in front of the television, remind him or her that homeschool is still school, and it should be treated as such.

  1. Keep snacks on hand

Hunger can be extremely distracting for you and your child, and a lesson paused for food can quickly become derailed. So, ensure that you have any snacks that you or your student might need in the home classroom in an easily accessible location. Consider designating periodic snack times throughout the day so your child isn’t thinking about a rumbling stomach instead of a math problem.

There may be other distractions in your household that you also need to eliminate. If so, set aside time to brainstorm ways that you can avoid them. If your student is older, he or she may even be able to help you with this task.


Catherine Martin is a contributing writer for, a global marketplace for finding independent tutors.


They’re HERE…..

Back-to-homeschool-200x200-16’s Back to Homeschool Resource Awards  are here!

Want to check out some of the companies/websites/resources that made the list?  Here are just a few:

The Keystone School – The Keystone School offers flexible education programs for K-12 students. Whether your student wants to study full-time or just needs individual classes, they offer more than 170 courses from credit recovery to world languages and AP.  Students can enroll at any time.

Learning Advantage – Learning Advantage offers a variety of hands-on teaching aids and educational products (games, toys, manipulatives and more). Based on the concept of learning by doing, sensing, and feeling, their products complement various learning styles and are designed for grades Pre-K to adult. You can check out their many products here. The company offer free shipping on orders over $75.00 to the contiguous U.S.

Learning Technics – Learning Technic’s Physio-Neuro Therapy helps reprogram the brain, allowing students with all types of learning difficulties learn and enjoy learning.  It helps “problem learners” improve their basic ability to learn. For sample tests that can be conducted at home to help determine if your child has neuro-processing weaknesses, click here.  You can download their free e-book, When Bright Kids Can’s Learn here.

Lindamood-Bell – Lindamood-Bell teaches children and adults reading and comprehension.  The company believes all students can learn to their potential—including those previously diagnosed with dyslexia, autism spectrum disorders, or general learning challenges.  You can click on the following links to learn more about all what they offer: Their ApproachTheir InstructionTheir CentersTheir Academy.

Want to see even more companies that made the Back to Homeschool Awards list?  You can – just check out this link.




Tips for Successful Online Homeschooling




Tips for Successful Online Homeschooling

This is a guest blog post from Forest Trail Academy


Many parents are slowly moving away from conventional schooling and are adopting online homeschool programs for their children. The reasons are simple – more flexibility, more engagement and yes, more success!

However, for your endeavor with online homeschooling to be successful, you need to ensure that you do a few things right. The sheer volume of information available can be overwhelming and sifting through it can take a considerable amount of time and effort on your part. With these few tips, your job is sure to get a lot easier.

Tips to keep in mind when choosing an online homeschool

While there are several different aspects you need to keep in mind when selecting an online homeschool program for your child, these key areas will help you avoid some of the major pitfalls.

1.    Accreditation, accreditation, accreditation

This particular aspect cannot be stressed upon enough. Make sure the online homeschool or high school you plan to enroll with has all the necessary accreditations. There is nothing worse than finding out that the diploma your child has earned is worthless just because the school doesn’t have the right accreditations. Schools with the right accreditations as stipulated by state and federal regulations provide students with access to certified online homeschool curriculum. This ensures that the online homeschool program your child has enrolled with meets certain standards of quality.

2.    Choose an online homeschool program that’s best for your child

Every child is unique in his or her own way. This is primarily where online homeschooling scores over traditional schooling. Different schools offer different types of homeschool or high school programs that cater to different needs. You need to find one that is best suited for your child’s learning abilities and one that offers online homeschool curriculum that will maximize your child’s potential. Make sure that the program offers engaging learning methodologies since nothing kills a child’s learning aptitude like boredom.

3.    Pick an online homeschool that works for you

Most online homeschools offer flexible scheduling in terms of completing coursework and assignments. Make sure you find one that is flexible enough for your needs. Being able to schedule study time around your own work schedule can be extremely advantageous for working parents and for children involved in extracurricular activities like sports or music. Some students tend to study better in the mornings while others in the afternoon. With online homeschooling, these aren’t concerns since your child can log in to the course material at any time and virtually from any place with a good internet connection.

4.    Make sure the online homeschool offers support

For parents accustomed to conventional learning environments, adapting to online homeschooling can be difficult. It is important that the online homeschool program you select for your child comes with support integrated into it such as an online tutor or student advisor. This can prove to be extremely useful during the initial stages when you’re trying to figure out the ropes of your online learning environment.

5.    Mix it up

Ensure that your child is exposed to a variety of activities at regular intervals. Boredom is a primary cause for children losing interest in their studies, which is why online homeschool curriculum has been designed to be interactive and engaging. So make sure you make the most of it!


Do you want to know?




Do you want to know what homeschooling companies made the list?

Here are just a few:

M is for Monster –  M is for Monster makes preschool a breeze.  That’s because the company delivers preschool curriculum and materials  to your door every month.  Now you can play with your child and foster a love of learning WITHOUT stressing out about curriculum and whether you have enough glue! Plus, your child will love the activities!  You can read reviews here. You can sign up now and save $15 off your first order of $40 or more, and you can join their Monster Club for ongoing savings and news.

Math-AidsMath-Aids.Com is a free resource for homeschoolers, students, parents, and teachers. The site contains over 100 different math topics with over 1,200 unique math worksheet generators covering Kindergarten through 12th grade. These generators allow you to customize and create an unlimited number of PDF printable math worksheets to your specifications instantly. You can print them immediately or save them for later use.

NextLesson – NextLesson helps connect learning to the real world – thus making learning more relevant and fun.  The company offers over 10,000 K—12 resources on topics that students care about. These topics include sports, movies, books, technology, and more.  The lessons are aligned to state standards.

Ogburn School Online  – The Ogburn School provides quality education to students seeking a non-traditional approach to learning, providing a challenging curriculum that engages students from primary through secondary instruction.  You can click here to learn about their various programs.

Pioneer Drama Service – Pioneer Drama Service offers over 1,000 wholesome plays – perfect for homeschoolers, homeschool co-ops, community groups, church groups, and more.Pioneer’s script prices and affordable royalty fees give homeschool groups the opportunity to put on a production that will bring their community together – and make for a true creative learning experience.

Want to see even more companies that made the Back to Homeschool Awards list?  Check out this link.



Back to Homeschool DIY Lap Desk

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — Tags: — dailynews @ 4:00 am



I love a lap desk!  I bet you do too.

Here are some links for DIY  lap desks –

You can make this a back to homeschool project!

Fun – and fun learning is forever learning!

Homeschool Resource Awards



Have you heard?’s Back to Homeschool Resource Awards have published!

Want a peak at some of the companies/websites/resources that made the list?  Here are just a few:

Global Student Network – Global Student Network offers fully accredited K-12 online curriculum – you can choose from 7 full curriculum programs.  They also offer  Honors courses, ACT/SAT prep, and Career & Technical Education.  GSN choices include: Plato, Accelerate, GradPoint, Apex Learning, A+ Courseware, Odysseyware, Ignitia (Christian), and more. These options fit all learning styles, interests and needs and everything is under one roof.  Global Student Network has  served thousands of families worldwide since 2004.

Harrisville Designs – Harrisville Designs is a small, family owned and operated business specializing in the design and creation of children’s fiber arts craft products.  They offer premium quality, Made in America products including fun potholder kits as well as traditional knittingweaving and felting projects. –, the #1 homeschooling community on the internet, is your go-to resource for everything homeschooling. We offer a vast array of homeschooling resources for beginning-advanced homeschoolers. These include our resource guide listingsmagazinesnewslettersblog posts, podcastsproduct reviewsTop 10 lists, homeschooling events and so much more.

Homeschool Complete – Homeschool Complete offers an all-inclusive curriculum for K-1st graders, which has a Biblical worldview.  The curriculum integrates all subject areas within thematic units. These thematic units appeal to children and provide activities for all learning styles.  The company offers curriculum, curriculum bundles, flashcards and more.  Plus, the curriculum was developed by a homeschooler.

Want to see more companies that made the Back to Homeschool Awards list?  Check out this link.


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