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As we approach our “high school” years, I am reconfirming our belief that homeschooling has been and continues to be the best choice for us. I feel that in the school system my student might have been falsely praised into underachieving, or shamed into the idea that being smart (or geeky as he describes it) is not “cool” or even worse, pushed ahead or aside. At home we have been able to do all the same things they “do” in “school” and more.

In our second year of "high school" we have found that homeschooling for high school isn't the daunting task we thought it would be.

Our third year of "high school" has pretty much become auto pilot for my student but yet a new learning curve for me. As I explore what it means to be a guidance counselor, I'll update these pages with what I find.

As always, on these pages you will find the things I am learning about homeschooling a gifted teen.


Homeschooling Teens: Nuts & Bolts
High School Curriculum
High School Record Keeping
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The Path to College: You
                    (The Guidance Counselor)
Teens & College:My Questions (so far)
Ideas: Homeschooling Teens
Ideas: Homeschooling Gifted Teens
Carved in Stone: What you need to do

The Path to College: Your Teen
Ideas: Teens & College
The College Game: Money
The College Game: Getting In
Carved in Stone: What your student needs to do
Managing Priorities


Teen Issues


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What I Have Learned About Homeschooling A Teen

Are Your School Records Private?
by Amy Cortez - Editor The Eclectic Telegraph
If you are a student at a private school or a public school you probably ought to know that your records are not really yours. This holds true for homeschooled students in most states in less you take care of this little detail. A little item called the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) allows a school to release personal informational items such as: your name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance to pretty much anybody, including the military...[read on]

Public School Violence: Since When is Violence Entertainment?
by Amy Cortez - Editor Eclectic Telegraph
The interesting thing to me about all of the recent press about ending school violence, is that there is no mention of the ease in which a teen can get a gun, or other item of violence, nor did anyone utter anything about the idea of how teens are inundated with violence in our society.
Since when is violence entertainment? [read on]

Children With a Wild Streak
by Amy Cortez, Editor - The Eclectic Telegraph
I read an article with the title: "Raise Children With a Wild Streak" by Mark Pruett in the Charlotte Observer recently. The article was a plea from a college admissions counselor wishing for an interesting applicant. My reaction to the article was that clearly not enough homeschoolers had applied to this college! [read on]

Dumbing Us Down: The Dead Students Society
by Amy Cortez - Editor, The Eclectic Telegraph
Well now that the election is over and a new batch of rascals are "in" perhaps we can get back to status quo, where what we read and hear on radio and see on TV doesn't offend or make us think. Our society is not set up to encourage people to think. Resistance is futile, especially as the dumbing down process started when we were in elementary school and continues through to high school. If our college days don't snap us out of it, we are are then right on schedule to be the citizen our politicians want us to be. I wondered if anyone else feels the way I do. Here's what I found [read on]

Dumbing Down American Students: Really Bad Textbooks
by Amy Cortez, Editor - The Eclectic Telegraph
In general, we do not use textbooks in our homeschool and recently I was reminded why. My student is taking a US Government course through a correspondence high school that uses a textbook I would have definately NOT chosen. [read on]

High School Core Curriculum - What You Might Need to Know. Or Not.
In most states, there is a definition of what you are supposed to learn in high school in order to graduate. Some homeschoolers fret about the idea that their student doesn't have a "diploma". Who needs one? These days some of the top Universities are recruiting homeschoolers simply because they are some of the more interesting applicants.

A diploma is simply a piece of paper that says you did what the public (or private school) thought you needed to do to graduate. The beauty of homeschooling is that your student can do what he thinks he needs to do to "graduate" into adult life away from home. However, I would recommend that if your student wants to attend a University, you start early in his "high school"career determining the "subjects" he may need to master in order to apply to the University of choice. [Read on]

But what about socialization?
Well the Holidays are over and that question that involves the "S" word, has finally died down in the circles I travel in. But I thought I'd post about a tidbit I found recently just so I'd have it the next time the topic comes up....[read on]

What's up With YouTube?
by Amy Cortez, Editor - The Eclectic Telegraph
Feeling "out of it?" The world of technology is mind boggling and there are so many more places for our kids to find the "boogey-man" these days than when we were kids.

What's YouTube? Founded in February 2005, is a consumer media company for people to watch and share original videos worldwide through a Web experience. YouTube originally started as a personal video sharing service, and has grown into an entertainment destination with people watching more than 70 million videos on the site daily.[read on]

Teens & Technology is it KPC?
(translation: Teens & Technology is it Keeping Parents Clueless?)
by Amy Cortez, Editor The Eclectic Telegraph
Now that summer is here, many schooled kids are hanging out getting to do what homeschooled teens get to do every day - experience life. Teens these days are far more hi-tech than our generation ever was, heck we only had 3 channels on television and transistor radios were about as close to an iPod as we got. We did our best to explore the world in our teen years, enough to scare the heck out of our parents, but today, technology can bring new wonders, but also new dangers and places where kids can get into really different kinds of situations than we did. Often teens are spending their time more in the digital world than in the real world and that sometimes makes me wonder just what "socialization" has become.[read on]

Give Your Kid a Sport They Can Love Forever
by Amy Cortez, Editor The Eclectic Telegraph
One of the saddest things I have seen lately was on a soccer field. A kid about 12, had a throw in that was OK by my standards, but not OK by the coach's. He yelled from all the way across the field "What was that? What's the matter with you? And you are my granddaughter!"
Needless to say, I was horrified. [read on]

Trashing Teens: Some Food for Thought
Amy Cortez, Editor -- The Eclectic Telelgraph
Too much togetherness with your teen this summer? Consider these ideas from an article I read recently in Psychology Today:[read on]


Not Back to School: A Dancer With Many Hats in a Thankless and Undervalued Job
by Amy Cortez, Editor Eclectic Telegraph
As a parent, sometimes we feel that in raising teens we have a thankless job. Often your teen is too busy to recognize all the things you do, all the support that is there for them. Just for them. They don't ever really look at all the hats you have to wear to all the groovy dances you attend on their behalf. [read on]

What I Have Learned About Homeschooling A Gifted Teen

What Does One Teach a Smart Teenager These Days?
by Amy Cortez - Editor The Eclectic Telegraph
How about to be aware of how desensitized we Americans have become to things that are about common sense. [read on]

Perfectionism:What A Man Can Do, What A Man Can't Do.
by Amy Cortez, Editor - The Eclectic Telegraph
If you are homeschooling a gifted student, you see it at least once a week, and sometimes, daily. I know I do. Your student will be chugging along, full speed ahead on a task and then stops cold. Or, perhaps they just don't start the task at all and as the master procrastinator, gives you many very intelligent reasons why they haven't started it yet, even displaying those signs of ADD sometimes gifted students are misdiagnosed with, flitting from one task to another, getting nowhere near the task at hand. When I first started homeschooling, this phenomenon dumbfounded me. How could a kid this smart just fall apart on a task like this one? It wasn't until I started reading in detail about giftedness that I realized this is what perfectionism looks like on the surface... [read on]

The Awesome, Ever Amazing, Disappearing Brianiac.
by Amy Cortez, Editor - The Eclectic Telegraph
Picture the Looney Tunes character Taz, the Tasmanian devil.
If you're parenting a gifted, highly gifted or even profoundly gifted student I am sure you can make the connection. Go ahead and allow yourself that small indulgence of a chuckle at your situation. Then give yourself a high five because that job, parenting a gifted child, is a tiring job. If you are parenting and homeschooling a gifted student, give yourself a box of expensive chocolates and a huge high five because your job is an exhausting one. Trust me. I know. [read on]

The World is Your Oyster: Cow Prodding Teens to Success
by Amy Cortez, Editor -- The Eclectic Telelgraph
How many times have you had this discussion with your teen?

You: "You pay entirely too much attention to [your favorite worthless pursuit goes here], it will never get you anywhere."

Your Teen "So, I am only [his age], this is what I want to do right now. There is plenty of time to get serious." [or some version of this response].

When we were in St Barths in February we saw the ugliest sailboat in the world. It was ugly. So ugly I didn't photograph it or give it much thought until recently when I saw an article in Newsweek about that very sailboat. To use a quote from that article, "If Darth Vadar had an intergalactic yacht, this is what it would look like." I bring this sailboat into this discussion because as it turns out it belongs to Tom Perkins. You may be wondering who Tom Perkins is. [read on]

Teens & College: My List of Questions (So Far)

What is the difference between Regular Honors classes, AP classes and the International Baccalaureate (IB)?
What are are the benefits to taking honors & AP courses?
Why Advanced Placement?
Do Colleges Really Care if Students Take Honors and AP Courses?
Can I take the AP Examination if I haven't taken an AP course?
What subjects can my student take AP tests in?
What are the steps required to register for an AP test?
What are the SAT Subject tests?
What's the difference between the SAT Subject tests and the AP tests?
When should my student take SAT Subject Tests?
What is the High School Profile?
What Are the Elements of a High School Transcript?
When Should My Teen Take the PSAT/NMSQT® ?
What is The College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)?
What is the timeline for college enrollment and application?



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