A New Year And A Time To Overcome Old Struggles

OldMe_NewMe

First I have to say, Happy New Year to you as we enter 2018. No way to not date a blog post as you can look right at the date of the post right?

After a long 2017, I’m very glad to at least have the opportunity for a new start. This year, I’m all about trying to get more content posted. One error I may have made in prior years was not posting in the midst of struggles as I want to help others through the hardships of homeschooling as well. Over the years, people have said, “It’s so easy for you all to do it, but for me…” and then the excuses start flowing. Well, let me tell you, it’s not so easy for us.

The 2017-2018 school year started with me taking over the role as the sole educator. My wife is focusing on building her career as a doula. Therefore, I started teaching my 13-year-old, 11-year-old and to a certain extent, my 16-year-old as well (much less work is required with her as she is in college full-time right now as well). This has been more challenging than I first anticipated for a number of reasons.

First, my “9 to 5” workload did not see the expected decrease. For over a year, I have been playing more of a significant role in our group after the loss of two veteran colleagues. That means more meetings (some useful, most not) and more responsibility to make sure money gets made and customers notice very little of our internal changes.

Second, my Big Homie and Boney have completely different learning styles (although  I am hearing there is no such thing…more on that in a future post) from each other and different motivations than my oldest two. While this should be obvious, unlike society’s school, my job is to motivate, meet and lead them in their optimal learning sphere, not just from my learning sphere, a curriculum or other students sphere. Big Homie, once he focuses and if he’s engaged, is a tremendous problem solver. The struggle is to keep him focused. Of course, I’m so glad to be his teacher because if he were in society’s school, he’d likely be doped up on meds to make him “conform”, I mean…pay attention. Boney’s attention span is equally short as well, but she struggles with reading so more hands-on help is necessary for focus and explanation of lessons.

I’m going to be honest with all of you. I confess that there have been many nights I have felt like a failure.

As I have been focusing on work, other household challenges and my own health, there have been too many nights I have gone to bed feeling like I should have done more. I have been trying to at least get seven hours of sleep before starting my 6 A.M. workday in the home office, but that means I’ve gone to bed knowing I need to check work, but I’m exhausted and just don’t have much in me to push through.

I am a big goal person, so now this is one of my top priorities for 2018. I have a personal standard to do better because they deserve more and I know I can do much better. Don’t get me wrong, I think they have learned a ton over the last four months but I know we can do more and accomplish more.

So let me start this year by remembering one of my favorite Fredrick Douglas quotes,

If there is no struggle there is no progress.

I am standing on that quote right now. If you are homeschooling and struggling, or wondering if you can do this, I want you to stand on it as well. No, this is not easy financially; it takes time, resources, energy to bring it EVERY DAY. There are no days off in this game. But we focus on the payoff at the end of the race, knowing that the years will be gone before we know it.  We will look back knowing we have left our footprints in the drying cement of their hearts and minds. My size 12s are there, flat-feet and all saying,

“You have been taught at an incredible price because you are a worthy investment. Live like one and carry our new tradition from generation to generation. A new family tree and legacy with minds filled by Dad.”

It is not easy, but thank God for the grace to keep striving to get it right and for seizing this new year he has given us.

 

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5 dream jobs that pay a good amount of money

Becoming an engineer, doctor, or lawyer can sound like a boring, and in the case of a doctor, disgusting job. Throughout my childhood, I have changed my mind a lot on the famous question asked to kids…what do you want to be when you grow up? The first thing I remember I wanted to be was a fireman. Because when I was little my mom took me and my siblings to the fire station on a field trip. After that, I wanted to be a doctor, but I grew out of that quickly because I can’t handle seeing people throw up.

The last thing I wanted to be for a couple of years was a veterinarian because I love animals. But after thinking about it for a while I realized that becoming a veterinarian can be just as disgusting as a doctor. Now that I’m 16, in college, and people are starting to ask me what career I want to go into in just a few years. So I ‘m on a quest to find I job that will fit my personality or talent (which is another thing I need to figure out), so I looked up the top five dream jobs that pay a good amount of money.

5.  Hollywood Stunt Person

stuntman

  • This job has fun written all over it if you like to get hurt. A Hollywood stuntman takes all of the explosions, punches, and risks while pretending to be a famous actor/actress. Stuntman work is not steady work because you need to find movie after movie to work in.
  • A stuntman gets paid as much as $100k for doing their stunts
  • Must attend a stunt training school.

4. Power Line Helicopter Pilot

power line

  • If you like heights and technology then this job is perfect for you. They fly next to power lines to inspect them by cameras attached to the helicopter.
  • They get paid around $101k
  • Must get a helicopter pilot license with 2000 hours of flying.

3. Race Engineer 

F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain - Practice

  • Race Engineers talk to the driver and tells him or her what they can do to achieve maximum performance in a race.
  • They can get paid around $134k
  • They need A-levels in math and Physics with a university degree and proven experience.

 

2. Ethical Hacker (a.k.a Computer Hacker)

computer hacker

  •  They are hired by governments and security firms to help design ways to keep hackers out of their systems.
  • They can get paid around $140k
  • Hold a relevant qualification and meet the additional requirements of The Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) check scheme.

 

1. Unexploded Ordnance Technician 

UOT

  • Mitigate the threat of an unexploded object
  • They get paid around $150k
  • Professional Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) qualifications are needed to increase in rank

None of these jobs interest me so I will have to keep looking, but I learned some pretty interesting things when I did research for this blog post. I learned that ice cream tasters can get paid as much as $60k to taste ice cream and that you can get paid $32k to dress up as a Disney character. So there are a lot of fun and crazy jobs that sound really easy and you can get paid pretty well “working”.

 

 

 

My Views on Starting College

At the start of this year, I had a goal of getting into an Early College program so I can graduate high school early and have a head start on college. I didn’t have many options when looking for such a program in Arizona, especially since we live in a city that is like an island. I narrowed it down to two programs, the Move On When Ready program and a local community college’s First Step program.

The Move On When Ready program focuses on you graduating from high school when you’re ready. After your sophomore year in high school, you can take a test to see if you can graduate from high school. If you pass, you receive the Grand Canyon Diploma that says you have met the requirement for high school. The First Step program is where a high school student can take classes for the summer semester, and still attend high school. In the end, I decided I would do the First Step program. Mostly because going to school always seemed like a fantasy, rather than a reality. I really wanted to get the school experience and find out what my friends say I miss not going to school.

So I started to gather as much information that I could about the program, then I told my parents and they were fine with the idea. The process of getting started wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be overall. I filled out the First Step form, then went to the campus to take my placement test. The placement test was what I was worried about mostly. Even though you cannot fail the placement test, I thought I might get a low enough score that I would not be able to join. I cannot speak of what was on the test, but I did do well. I then met with an advisor and he told me all about college and what classes I should take. So now I’m taking three classes for the summer to start my college adventure in late May.

The College Writing Series: Translating Your Evidence

Now that we have gone through the first step of the essay process (picking evidence), it’s time to analyze your evidence. As I’ve said in past posts, college writing is about creating your own insight, rather than writing about other individual’s insight (for example, writing a book report). Professors do not want a review of the reading, they want to know what you thought about it. Being able to present your thoughts in an organized, easy-to-understand manner will earn you the better grade.

“How do I go about analyzing my evidence,” you ask? In CEA format, there are three steps:

Continue reading “The College Writing Series: Translating Your Evidence”

The College Writing Series: How to Pick Great Evidence For Your Essays

A few weeks ago, I started the first true series of Teach Them Right, called The College Writing Series. My first post for the series gave a very brief overview of the format I will be using (CEA – Claim, Evidence, Analysis), and what to expect in future posts.

Now on my second post of this series, I would like to touch on the first step of writing a college-level essay in CEA format, picking evidence for your paragraph. By picking your evidence before doing anything else, you are able to form your argument based off of the evidence instead of picking evidence that fits your argument.

Continue reading “The College Writing Series: How to Pick Great Evidence For Your Essays”

3 Reasons Why College Textbooks Are So Expensive and How to Save as Much Money as Possible

The ever-rising costs of college tuition have caused many to rethink their education, but one subject that has gotten under many noses is college textbooks. According to the Huffington Post, in 2014 college textbooks had increased in price by 812 percent since 1978, beating medical services, new house prices, and inflation.

CollegeBoard estimated that last year’s average undergraduate spent about $1,300 on textbooks over two semesters, as seen in the image below.

2015-2016 college expenses

I can personally say that my textbooks have cost more than that this semester. I spent over $700 on three classes and thankfully, I already had the book for my fourth class. That sets me up to pay about $1,400 by the end of the school year.

So why are college textbooks so expensive and what can you do about it to save money?

Who’s to Blame?

Wonder who to point fingers at when it comes to expensive books? It’s both the publishers’ and schools’ fault.

Continue reading “3 Reasons Why College Textbooks Are So Expensive and How to Save as Much Money as Possible”

The College Writing Series: An Overview of CEA Format

I’m happy to announce that I will be starting the first true series of Teach Them Right called The College Writing Series, aimed to assist you in teaching your child the basics of writing in college! In my last post, 7 Rules to Writing in College, I pointed out a few things that differentiate high school writing from college writing, so it is best to check out that post before reading this one.

In this new series, I’ll teach what is called CEA Format, and is essentially a method to help your body paragraph structure. CEA (which stands for Claim, Evidence, and Analysis) was taught to me in my first semester of the Early College Alliance, the college prep program I entered in the 10th grade. Over the past few years of writing for college professors, I have found that when I use CEA format my essays are generally complimented for their flow and logical progression, both of which are important for a reader. Now I use CEA in almost all of academic writing, sometimes even in short answer questions.

“So why should I use this format?”

CEA format is extremely helpful when it comes to organization of an essay.

Continue reading “The College Writing Series: An Overview of CEA Format”

7 Rules to Writing in College

As the summer starts to wind down and supermarkets start their “Back to School” sales, that can only mean one thing… the start of a new school year.

Maybe you have a high schooler that you’re going to homeschool, and you’d like to prepare them for college. One of the biggest things that I had to learn is that high school writing is not the same as college writing. Usually, freshmen get slapped in the face because the same essays that were earning “A’s” in high school start to be labelled as “not really there yet” in college.

Here are a few rules that you can start using in your teaching to help your student prepare for college:

Continue reading “7 Rules to Writing in College”