Strengthen Your Family Through Biblical Homeschooling

Tag: Homeschool Guidance Counselor

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High school students have a lot of options to consider when choosing a college major, and it is more important that they get it right than get it fast. It is essential to start early and take this decision seriously.

Surveys indicate that 66% of college students change their majors more than once, and on the day of graduation, 40% of college graduates wish they had chosen a different major. In addition, the average freshman entering college only knows 60% of their options. This means they are making major life decisions without even knowing 40% of their options. Students often make decisions without much thought and with limited information. They will frequently choose a major based on a lifestyle and not their life work. Some people could sit in a cubical 40 hours a week for 40 years and love it. Others would be crawling the walls in 40 minutes!

During their high school years, students are often asked what their plans are after graduation.  The next question has to do with their choice of college and then their choice of a major. If they don’t know yet, they feel pressure to have an answer. To counteract these questions, they claim a major — not because they know what God wants them to do or even what they want to do with that major, but because they feel the pressure to have an answer when people ask.

Students should prayerfully consider all their options. Examine their interests, passions, and talents. Ask God to direct their path and submit to Him. Ultimately, it is not about a title, prestige, or money. It’s about being where God wants them, and using the gifts and interests that He has given them in order to have influence in the workplace and glorify His name.

Written by Jeff Reep, M.Ed., CPCC, Director of Career Services, Cedarville University


DID YOU KNOW? You can Register to attend the Teach Them Diligently Homeschool College Fair at one of our 2019 spring events and reserve a meeting time to connect with Cedarville as well as all of our sponsoring institutions in order to get your questions answered, gain insight into the college application process, and get information about majors, financial aid, and much more. Sign up today!

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Two weeks ago, while walking down a hall at Truett McConnell University (TMU), I was asked if I would be willing to write a blog on the value of dual enrollment (DE) for homeschooled students.

I quickly responded with, “You bet, no problem, my pleasure!”

For the next few days, I pondered some ideas. I should have plenty, right? After all, I’m not only the DE program director, but a father of a homeschooled DE student.

After researching dual enrollment data by area across the United States, I found steady growth in the funding of DE programs, student success rates in DE courses, and student readiness for post-secondary education after completing DE courses.

However, I realized there was a problem with the data. The majority of the information reflected the public school student, while the homeschool community was not even mentioned.

First and foremost, DE courses should not take the place of the individual student’s homeschool program. The value of DE courses should be used as a building block in conjunction with the foundations and walls of the individual student’s homeschool program. In doing so, the homeschool student can supplement a high school course with college credit accepted by university admissions counselors and by registrar offices. The DE student is then blessed with an awesome homeschool experience while getting their feet wet in the shallow end of the post-secondary academic pool.  

Secondly, DE students should start out slow with one or two courses per semester. In doing so, if a homeschool junior takes two DE courses in the fall semester and two DE courses in the spring semester, they would have achieved 12 college credits for their hard work. If the student repeats the same course load their senior year, they would graduate from high school with twenty-four college credit hours and have a jumpstart on his/her education.

As a homeschool father, I can add that my son found value in taking DE courses while he was finishing up his homeschool education. He graduated from college early and is fulfilling God’s calling on his life.  Over the years, I have seen thousands of students take courses as a dual enrollment student at TMU. Some students have found value by taking DE courses as high school students then continued on after graduation and earned degrees from schools of their choice with the confidence they could swim at any level.

I would like to challenge you to discover what the Bible says about education and the value of attaining a Christian education by visiting

Image result for truett mcconnell



By: Jerry Yandell, TMU Dual Enrollment Program Director




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Every semester students walk into my office and ask for financial help. The value proposition of higher education by and large is under question in many circles. Within the biblical worldview, there seem to be two competing ideas. The first is an aversion to debt. The second is a hope that we can better our lives through learning and education according to biblical principles. In today’s culture, these seem to be in conflict. Is Christian Higher Education worth it? What could possibly make this large expense valuable enough to justify the investment?

Christian Education is worth it! It can accomplish what no other form of education can – connecting a person to the soul as well as the mind. This may not speak to the outcomes-focused world we live in. The world can teach, train, and equip a student for a job. The world fails, however, to give a satisfying answer to the question of why it is important to be taught, trained and equipped for a job in the first place.

Christian Education enables a student to contribute to a cause that they are passionate about. God has designed within us a need to dedicate our lives to something that is bigger than the lives we dedicate. Revelation 12:11 says, “They overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb, and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives, even when faced with death” [NASB 95 update]. While, contextually, this talks about believers overcoming the enemy of their souls, the Devil, it is not stretching the text to point out that this verse does show us that there are causes, namely the glory and honor of God, that are worth our lives. A student may become a success in business, the arts, or athletics. They may even become prestigious as a doctor, or nurse, or as a counselor. Sadly though, if what a student dedicates her life to, does not outlast her life, how can that be seen as an investment and not merely a short-lived transaction? We have the opportunity, as Christian educators, to teach our students how to invest in the kingdom that will last for eternity. We can mobilize them to affect the eternal fate of souls.

Christian Education is worth it because Christian Education does provide a fully orbed educational gateway that propels students into opportunities that would not be available to them otherwise. Christian Education does provide for economic stability every bit as well as secular education. The Council on Christian Colleges and Universities commissioned a study in March of 2018[1] that showed, in part, that Christian Higher Education pumps over $60 billion into the national economy each year. USA Today, in an article in 2017, says, “College graduates, on average, earned 56% more than high school grads in 2015, according to data compiled by the Economic Policy Institute. That was up from 51% in 1999 and is the largest such gap in EPI’s figures dating to 1973.”[2] The article says that the pay gap between all college graduates and those without college degrees is at its widest point ever.[3] While these statistics are for all colleges, secular and Christian, they affirm the idea that students at Christian colleges are in no way at a disadvantage in the job market.

The real question to investigate is not, “What will I get for the money I pay to have a Christian Education,” it is, “What will I forfeit if I do not invest in an education from a biblical worldview?”

In short, yes, it is worth it to join with hundreds of thousands of students and families who are in Christian colleges and universities. Together, we can change the world for Him who gave His life for it!



[3] Ibid.

Written by: Chris Eppling, Vice President of Student Services



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Choosing which college to attend will most likely be the biggest decision your son or daughter has made so far. It can be an overwhelming — but not impossible! — decision. In today’s post, Matt Dearden, Director of Admissions at Cedarville University, offers Five Words of Wisdom for walking through the college decision process with your son or daughter.

Five Words of Wisdom

#1 Begin with the end in mind.

What kind of person do you want your son or daughter to be after four years of college? Identify the characteristics that you want to define your son or daughter — academically, socially, and spiritually — and then choose a university that is most likely to produce the results you desire.

#2 Recognize the significance of the college years from a developmental perspective.

Going to college is certainly about earning a degree, but that is likely not the most significant outcome. Students moving straight from high school to college will navigate the transition from adolescence to adulthood during their college years. Consider the following:

  • Who will be there to guide your son or daughter when they are making decisions about what they believe and who they are becoming?
  • Will these teachers and advisers share the core values you have been developing in your son or daughter for the last 18 years?
  • Will your son or daughter be encouraged to grow deeper in their Christian faith?

#3 Take time to understand the God-endowed talents, gifts, and abilities that your son or daughter possesses.

Do you believe that God endows every image-bearer with a unique set of gifts, talents, and abilities for a specific purpose? If so, then it is important to take time to understand what that means in the life of your son or daughter. As parents we are tasked with nurturing those God-given talents — even during the college years. Help your student choose a major and a career that are a good fit for his or her talents and abilities. Choose a college that is committed to helping your son or daughter develop their gifts for their God-ordained purpose.

#4 Ask the right questions to improve your chances of choosing the right college.

Develop questions that will help you determine a university’s ability to produce your desired outcomes and its interest in developing your son or daughter’s unique gifts, talents, and abilities.

#5 Visit universities during the academic year when you can experience the unique personality of the school.

Sit in on classes, attend chapel, meet with students and faculty, and get a sense for what makes each school uniquely different.

We will be praying along with you this year as you work through this incredible, life-changing decision. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if we can help in any way!

1,000 Days of Life-Transformation

Watch the video below to hear Cedarville’s president, Dr. Thomas White, speak about his passion for equipping students for Gospel impact during their approximately 1,000 days of our campus.

Be Bold.

Pursue Your Passion.

Proclaim Christ.

Cedarville University will equip you with the in-demand skills and biblical knowledge you need to be a bold influence for the Gospel in your workplace, home, and church. We’ll help you discover and pursue God’s call on your life. When you graduate, you’ll be ready to go boldly wherever He leads.

What Makes Cedarville Unique?

  • Biblical worldview built into every course.
  • Comprehensive academics, including liberal arts and the professions.
  • Dynamic daily chapel, plus local and global ministry opportunities.
  • First-rate career preparation – 97% job placement rate.





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Of the many thoughts racing through a student’s mind as he approaches high school graduation, two of his preoccupations are likely, “What do I want to do for a career?” and “How do I pay for this?”

The affordability of a college education is a determining factor in whether a student goes to college at all. ‘Financial Aid’ is a broad term used by colleges to encapsulate all financial options – from scholarships to grants to loans. Knowing how to combine financial aid options with responsibility and hard work will provide students with an answer to the question, “How do I pay for this?”

Here are some tips:

1. Federal Grants and Loans

Most colleges and universities will ask your family for the FAFSA: Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This is a federal form based on your taxes from the previous year which allows the government to determine a students’ Estimated Family Contribution (EFC). Based on the EFC, the government will designate an eligible amount of aid to that student. Some of this aid will be grants (do not need to be paid back) and some of it may be loans (must be paid back starting six months after graduation).

Students should read the fine print on the awards they accept to determine whether the amount is indeed a grant or if it is a loan. If taking out loans, students should pay close attention to the Loan Entrance Counseling required by the government, and would be wise to seek financial counsel on how much to borrow. It is better to keep loans as a last resort when other options (discussed below) have been exhausted.

2. State/Organizational Grants and Scholarships

Some states, like Florida, give out ‘Promise Scholarships’ to high achieving students. These scholarships may have limitations (GPA, location, or attending a specific university/college) but are worth looking into! Organizational scholarships are awards specific to certain corporations and businesses. Walmart, General Electric, Associated Press have all been known to have scholarships available. Smaller groups such as the Rotary Club or local businesses are also willing to help out students who show ambition and creativity. Look for awards in your hometown or search out corporations you have connections with.

3. Work Study/Campus Jobs

Federal Work Study is a form of aid for which students qualify through the FAFSA. This aid caps at $4000 per year and is earned by working a campus job. The funds can be sent directly to your loans or student account, or they can be given to you like a regular paycheck. A student can also determine the percentage of his paycheck he wishes to send toward his student account: i.e., 60% to account, 40% via paycheck. Regardless of whether a student qualifies for work study, he can very likely acquire a job on campus to help pay for books and incidentals.

4. School Specific Scholarships

University aid is aid through the school itself. Academic scholarships specific to the university with their own GPA and test score qualifications, scholarships based on ethnicity, and association with certain extracurricular groups and societies (such as Phi Theta Kappa) are all opportunities for additional aid. Both state and private colleges will list a wide variety of scholarships for which students can apply. For instance – Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan offers an award of $500 per year to Polish-American students. That’s enough to cover books!

5. Spend Wisely

It is very easy to spend money in high school and college, especially when everyone around you seems to have a bottomless bank account. Starting financial responsibility in high school (or even earlier!) will create habits that will last through a student’s college years. Saving money, budgeting for fun expenditures (eating out, shopping, travel), and avoiding debt are great ways to both fund your college education and guarantee wise decisions when paying for school. Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University is one option for financial education that comes highly recommended for soon-to-be college students!


Working hard and making wise decisions when it comes to college will pay off in the long run. Students who work for and through college tend to value their education more because it was earned! Be sure to check out sites like for additional scholarships from outside organizations.


Preparing Your Teens for College: Helping Them Face the Challenges: Faith, Finances, and Friendships - eBook - By: Alex Chediak



For more on financial assistance and preparing for college, you may want to look at the eBook, “Preparing Your Teens for College: Helping Them Face the Challenges: Faith, Finances, and Friendships“, available in the Teach Them Diligently store.

Sign up for our free Financial Guidance Counselor program!  

It includes a road map and live Q&A’s with financial industry experts.


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Article contribution by, Phylicia Duran, who is a 2008 home school graduate and alum of Liberty University, the world’s largest Christian university. Her educational background includes dual enrollment, CLEP testing, community college, online courses and residential study. She has filled the roles of Admissions Counselor, Social Media Coordinator and currently Coordinator of Group Visits at Liberty University and is passionate about spiritual and vocational discipleship, especially as related to home education.

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Many homeschool families make a drastic change when their children hit middle school or high school–they stop homeschooling.

Some make this change based on well-thought-through decisions and preferences. The choice is what they’ve determined is best for them, and that’s wonderful! Those families are not who I am writing to today.

I’m addressing those who really want to continue homeschooling but don’t think they have what it takes to homeschool into the upper grades, those who are fearful they might “mess up” their child’s education or chance of getting into college.

You DO have what it takes, and you won’t mess up anything!

One of the reasons I know this? RESOURCES. Resources abound, online and off, to help you through and lead you along the path.

Resources for Homeschooling Middle School and High School

Homeschool Guidance Counselor– Teach Them Diligently has set up a FREE homeschool guidance counselor program that is designed to give you all the information you need to homeschool your children all the way through high school. Starting with a downloadable road map for each year and continuing with monthly email reminders of what you can expect and weekly office hour videos, and culminating in onsite helps and information at Teach Them Diligently events, the Homeschool Guidance Counselor program is the most comprehensive help for high school available. Sign up today and get started homeschooling high school with a lot more confidence.

Homeschool Guidance Counselor Facebook Group— Through the free guidance counselor program, we also make available a private homeschool high school Facebook group, moderated by Matthew Bullington, the TTD guidance counselor. This is a great place to watch the weekly office hours videos live, interact with others who are homeschooling high school, ask your questions, and more. Join us there today!

*HSLDAThere is a ton of general homeschooling information here, but they also have links for specific state education websites where you can find graduation requirements. Very important stuff to know!

*The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling Teens by Debra Bell–Inside this incredible resource you will find: tools for developing critical and creative thinking skills, study-smart strategies for maximized learning, what to do if your child is behind or ahead, how to prepare your child for high school during grades 6–8, all the forms, charts, and resources you will need to teach your child through high school, and much more”. This is a fabulously detailed and encouraging book!

*Let’s Homeschool High SchoolThere are ways to connect with other high school parents here, ways for your kids to connect with other homeschool high schoolers, and an amazing amount of practical helps and tips. This is a great place to start if you’re just beginning to look into homeschooling through high school. They’ve got a beginner’s guide that is quite helpful.

*Lee Binz, The Home ScholarLee is a fantastic source of information and has answers for pretty much any question you might have about homeschooling into the upper grades.

*Homeschool High Facebook PageThis is a group on Facebook for homeschooling parents of high schoolers. Have questions? Ask away! Searching for curriculum ideas? Get a feel for what others have used. Not sure what subjects to include for what year? Hear from those who have tried different methods. This is a wonderful support community.

*Online Schools and Curriculum–If you prefer for your child to be accountable to someone other than you for their work, there are many options available for online schools and classes. Here are just a few: MorningStar Academy (an online Christian school), Apologia (offers online science and Bible/apologetics/worldview classes for grades 7-12), Alpha Omega Academy (an online Christian school), BJU Press (online distance learning). and Liberty Online Academy (online distance learning.)

*People who have “been there”–One of the great resources available to you is someone who has walked the path you are just stepping foot on! And there are many of them out there! Here is one, for example: Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. Kris has lots of curriculum posts and ideas, plus great encouragement for how to raise teens, homeschool them, and LOVE DOING IT!

*Your student–An exciting component to homeschooling your upper grade students is tailoring their education to their interests, passions, and strengths. As your children mature and get a clearer picture of where they may be headed after graduation, you can gear their years at home toward those goals and desires. Lee Binz who is mentioned above, really focuses on this aspect of homeschooling your older children.

*Yourself–Yes, you! You know your child and are still his or her best teacher, even into the middle and high school years.

Will you, as the homeschool parent, need to do your homework, a.k.a research and plan? Yes. Will you need to know the requirements? Yes. Will you need to keep track of curriculum and credits? Yes. Is all this really doable? Absolutely.


To find more helpful articles on middle school and high school homeschooling, and how to make it work for your family click here to search a multitude of blogs and sign up for our newsletter to stay informed on many homeschool topics.

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As you start to mull over which classes to take next semester, you may be hoping to get ahead in the college admissions race. So what options are out there?

There are honors classes, Advanced Placement (AP) classes and dual enrollment courses.

How do you choose?

Honors classes often offer the same curriculum as standard high school classes but are tailored for higher-achieving students — covering additional topics or some topics in greater depth.

Advanced Placement classes (AP) prepare you for college as well as for a standardized exam for college credit. It is possible, and not unusual for a student to pass the class with flying colors and still not get college credit due to varying college requirements. It is a good idea to do the research before committing to AP classes.

Dual Enrollment courses are quite different than Honors and AP classes. Dual enrollment provides an opportunity for you to meet your high school requirements and get a head start by earning college credits while experiencing academics in a higher educational environment.

Here are 3 benefits of dual enrollment:

  1. Save Money. Often, dual enrollment courses are offered at a lower rate than the same courses taken after high school.
  2. Get a head start on college. Dual Enrollment is a great way to take college courses and get      ahead before you have even put on that cap and gown. You will find that many courses are offered online. If you plan accordingly, you could earn up to half of the credit required for an undergraduate degree.
  3. Experience higher education. Dual enrollment will give you a chance to learn what it is like to be in college. Get to know your professors and experience college early so you can be more prepared to make important decisions that will shape your future.

If you are interested in dual enrollment, talk to your parent or high school counselor or even give us a shout. Ultimately, it is important that you choose the path that is right for you.

– written by the Truett McConnell University staff


Have you joined our Homeschool Guidance Counselor program? Starting with a free high school overview printable and continuing with timely updates each month for every year of high school, this helpful program is a must join for all families homeschooling high school students. Learn more here. 

Are you looking for even more high school helps? Check out these posts from the Teach Them Diligently Blog!

8 Things Every High School Student Should Know. 

• Tips for Writing A College Entrance Essay.

• A thank you note to mom from a grateful homeschool graduate   Mom and dad, if you’re discouraged and wondering if you are making the right decision by homeschooling high school, this is the post for you! :)


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5 Tips for Visiting Campus

So your teen is ready for college! The days of unit studies, phonics and book reports have been replaced by scholarship hunts and admission counselors. You’ve read the fliers, searched the websites and talked about majors. Now it’s time for you and your teen to see it all in person.

Lots of colleges and universities have special weekends or open house events so you can see the college before enrolling. You can also plan a personal visit on your own. Whatever you decide, remember these tips for getting the most out of your campus visit:

5 Tips To Remember As You Visit Colleges

Take a campus tour

Your tour will probably be led by a current student who will show you landmarks, dorms, dining commons, classrooms and at least one coffee shop. (College students are rarely far from coffee!) This is a great time to ask questions and get a student’s perspective.

Visit classes

Take advantage of your chance to experience the learning environment your teen will be in. See what the professors are covering and how they interact with the students. Are they approachable? Are they excited about their subject? Be sure to note class size and any projects the class is working on.

Stay overnight

If the college offers overnight stays, encourage your teen to do it! They can ask their roommates questions and experience dorm life. Quite a few colleges require freshmen to live on campus, so make sure both you and your teen are comfortable with the environment.

Schedule one-on-one meetings

Finally, put a face to that admission counselor! Pick the brain of a financial aid expert! Ask an advisor about academic accommodations! These people are here to help you along and make the whole thing less daunting.

Ask lots of questions

  • Why should I choose this college?
  • How is college different from high school?
  • What is something that surprised you about college?
  • What do you like/dislike about this college?
  • What kinds of academic accommodations are available?
  • What’s the area surrounding campus like?

This is an exciting time for your family! It can be complex, but it doesn’t have to be scary. Remember, colleges have teams of trained experts waiting to answer your questions. So try not to stress, and have fun exploring your options!

Click Here to learn how you can join our FREE Homeschool Guidance Counselor program and receive monthly emails, get access to our Homeschool College Fair and so much more!


Bridget Nee is a writer for Bob Jones University, a Christian liberal arts university in Greenville, South Carolina. After navigating the journey through homeschool and college herself, she enjoys sharing her insights with other homeschool families to help make their experience fun and exciting.

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