Strengthen Your Family Through Biblical Homeschooling

Tag: Homeschool To College

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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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The summer before a student’s senior year of high school is akin to taking a spot at the starting line for college. The next five years will seem to pass as quickly as a 100-yard dash and alternately seem like a long-distance race.

The summer break is the optimal time for the student, in concert with his/her parents, to identify or assess interests and goals, review options and/or begin preparations for the college application process. This groundwork will make it less harried and less stressful for the entire family in the ready-set-go autumn.

Here are five helpful items for a student summer checklist:

1.) Identify or hone your course of study interests that could develop into a career path.

What are you interested in? Health sciences, graphic design, robotics? Or maybe forensics  thanks to the CSI TV franchise? Have you been prompted by God to explore Christian ministry?

Primarily linked to technology, there are a multitude of career branches that didn’t exist 10 or 20 years ago. And more technology- and need-based career saplings will flourish in the next decade because of Web 3.0.

The point is if there’s a subject of interest to you or ministry you’re passionate about, there’s either already a college program of study or one you can tailor to meet your objectives. There are undergraduate programs that are structured, such as Engineering and Nursing. Others, such as Communication, have a core that allows for multiple electives that augment the major or can be taken for fun.

2.) Narrow your prospective college list.

Studies indicate that about 40 percent of students decide to attend a particular college before their senior year of high school. Don’t feel as if you’re being left behind; a college choice is a big decision and requires inspection and introspection. Time is a consideration, however, as most colleges have application deadlines or rolling admission guidelines.

After discerning a course of study, identify the schools that offer the major and how effective they are at seeing you succeed (graduation rates, internships, professional exam pass rates, full-time employment).

There are a number of steps that can be taken this summer, including:

  • Pray
  • Research and request information
  • Make an in-person visit
  • Research financial aid opportunities

Comb the websites of schools under consideration, which should provide detailed information about majors and course descriptions, their mission, student-to-teacher ratio, service opportunities and their accreditation, among other items. An admissions counselor will be able to answer questions, too.

An on-campus visit will give you a good idea of whether you like the campus, whether you could envision yourself attending this school, and whether the school would be a good fit for you. Ask pertinent questions, talk to a financial aid representative, staff and students, and take in the surrounding area. If you’re weighing several options, scheduling a campus visit for early fall will provide the opportunity to see the school at full speed.

3.) Take a college course online.

Many colleges offer half-price online courses to high school students, which is a great opportunity to get college credit for an introductory class and/or dual credit. Check if the credits are transferable to another college.

Also, it will provide an understanding of what’s expected from a college course and sharpen your study habits.

4.) Take or retake the SAT or ACT.

If you haven’t earned an SAT or ACT score that you are comfortable with yet, this summer or the first semester of your senior year will be your final opportunity to retake the test for a higher score before your college applications are due.

SAT and ACT scores are one measure that colleges use to consider candidates, and often test scores are tied to scholarships and grants offered by the school.

5.) Draft an application essay/personal statement.

The personal statement might be the most difficult part of the college application because it is the most open-ended and has the least guidance. Research online the guidelines for what makes a great essay. Basically, it requires structure and execution—knowing how to tell a good story that is free from technical (grammar, spelling) errors with a starting point and conclusion.

A reader can learn a lot about you from whatever you choose to focus on and how you describe it. So, jot down ideas that would make an eye-catching personal story and commence writing on a rainy day. When you are developing an essay to submit as part of a college application, you’ll be prepared to tailor it to the prompt.

By Dave Lewandowski for Marketing Communications at Bob Jones University, which is committed to providing an outstanding accredited Christian liberal arts education purposely designed to inspire a lifelong pursuit of learning, loving and leading. Visit bju.edu for more information.

 

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Long gone are the days of being limited to simply deciding which college to attend. Today’s incoming college freshmen have the choice of an on-campus program, an online program, or a combination of the two. But which option best fits you?

In order to choose what fits you best, there are important considerations for each option.

Location and Setting

When you consider going away to college, it is important to not only consider the qualities of the school but also the location and the setting. How far away from home is optimal? Do you want to be close enough for parents to visit you easily or further away to truly get a sense of being out and on your own? In addition, do you currently live in an urban or rural setting, and do you want to also experience that type of college setting or would you prefer to experience something different?

An online college program allows you the flexibility and independence to remain in your current location and setting. Will you have the space and quiet time you might need in order to set aside time for studying and completing assignments? Consider talking with those in your home about how this might be an adjustment of roles for both you and your parents and/or siblings.

Community

Moving to a college campus appeals to many students. There are many opportunities to meet new people and make new friends in the dorms, in classes, and at campus activities. Does moving away and meeting new people sound exciting to you?

Even in online programs, many colleges build in community experiences or options. Would you prefer to interact with your peers in an online environment through chat sessions, virtual meeting rooms, and discussion forums? In addition, some online programs offer travel and study learning experiences such as internships and study abroad opportunities. If this appeals to you, be sure to ask college reps what the online learning community offers their online college students and what opportunities there might be for traveling and learning.

Time Management and Study Strategies

On-campus programs typically require attendance in on-campus classes. Do you prefer to attend face-to-face classes? Do you learn best when you participate in hands-on activities and listen to direct instruction and lectures? Would the accountability of required attendance at set times and in set locations help you best manage your time and achieve your learning goals?

Online programs typically offer content in weekly modules, with mid-week and end-of-week due dates to guide students through the course. Some online programs do offer a live, virtual meeting option or videos of lectures and direct instruction to help guide learning. Does having the flexibility to adjust your weekly schedule to meet due dates appeal to you? Do you have the skills to learn independent of in-person instruction?

Faculty and Learning Support

On-campus faculty are typically available in an on-campus office throughout the week, and most campus locations offer student support offices with services such as tutoring, study skill development, and services for students with specific learning needs. Would you take advantage of these in-person services?

Online faculty are typically available via email and phone, and sometimes for virtual office hours via a virtual platform. Most online programs also offer student services for their online students with specific learning needs and to support online learning overall. Does being able to access these services from home appeal to you?

Blended and Hybrid Options

Blended and hybrid options typically allow students to choose both on-campus learning and online learning based on course offerings and specific needs and situations. Benefits of a blended or hybrid college program are that you get the best of both worlds, having the flexibility to study from home some semesters and the benefits of studying on a campus community other semesters. Be sure to ask if this is an option when you are considering your college options!

Ohio Christian University Programs

Consider Ohio Christian University’s Residential Undergraduate program, an Associate or Bachelor degree program at our main campus in Circleville, Ohio. Students can either commute or live on campus, attend weekly chapel services, participate in small groups, and more! For more information visit ohiochristian.edu/undergrad.

Consider Ohio Christian University’s Online Plus program, an online Bachelor degree program allowing you to complete 100% of your program online plus choose from options to study abroad, complete internships, spend a semester on campus, and more! For more information visit ocuonlineplus.com.

 

 

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Why I Chose the University of Mobile

There are a lot of things to consider when choosing a college, and one of the most important is something you may not know to look for. It’s why I chose University of Mobile.

University of Mobile is not your typical college. UM has deep convictions and a strong foundation that set it apart. As a high school student considering what college to choose, you may think that convictions and foundation may not matter to you now, but those are two things that drastically affect the mission of those in leadership and the message that they send to students.

The mission and message of the leadership at University of Mobile is clearly gospel-centered in every area. Some claim accolades on a football field, but we claim a distinctly biblical worldview – and that is what matters in light of eternity.

In my years here, I have noticed that faculty and staff are focused on more than simply academics. An example of this in my own experience has been with my professors who not only prepare us academically, but also care deeply about our walk with the Lord and that we exhibit faithfulness in every area of life.

The gospel and its implications are what drive the faculty and staff here, and their distantly Christian worldview is evident in how they care for their students.

In any establishment that claims to have a Christian worldview, the first question to ask is: Are they gospel-centered above all else? For me, the evidence is clear for University of Mobile, and everyone who gets to be a part of this university is blessed because of it.

Students that go through this school will make an impact in the world through their counter-cultural views that were strengthened or even established at University of Mobile. A.W. Tozer describes how the Church effects change in the world, and I think his words are applicable to those who choose this school based on its distinctly Christian values. He states, “The Church’s power over the world springs out of her unlikeness to it, never from her integration to it.”

Gospel-centered leadership matters for so many reasons, but the most basic is that what we do with the gospel affects every facet of our life. The leadership here at UM is saturated with the gospel of Jesus Christ, and it drives everything they do and every decision they make.

It’s just different here. That’s why I chose University of Mobile.

 

Luke Criss is a senior at University of Mobile. Here is his advice on choosing a college. You can read more student blogs at umobile.edu/know-um.

 

 

 

 

See for yourself!

Schedule a campus visit at umobile.edu/visit.

Visit our booth at Teach Them Diligently Homeschool Conference in Mobile, May 9-11, 2019.

Learn about co-op courses for homeschoolers through our College of Arts & Sciences.

Discover more about faith and learning at umobile.edu/mission.

 

 

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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truett university college

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 www.GotQuestions.org.

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By: Jerry Yandell, TMU Dual Enrollment Program Director

 

 

 

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bob jones university success

Maybe the prospect of applying to college riddles you with so much nervousness that it makes your stomach turn. Or you’re just so excited for the next chapter of your life to start that your fingers can’t move across the keyboard fast enough. Maybe it’s a bit of both. Whatever you’re feeling, know that millions of high schoolers across the world are feeling the same exact way.

You might be confused about where to even start applying. You might be overwhelmed by the sheer enormity of the task ahead of you. You’re not alone. That’s why we’ve broken down the college application process into manageable steps, to make it easier for you as you embark on this next part of your life.

Do Your Research

Before you begin applying to colleges, you have to know where you want to go. This may seem like a daunting task, but it really doesn’t have to be.

First, consider what you’re looking for in a college. Would you like to live close to home or far away? How big of a school would you like to attend? What college is best suited for your major? If you can, try to visit some schools you’re interested in to see if you like the environment.

However, even if you’re unable to go, you can still do a lot of research. Check out school social media accounts and scour their website. Another good resource is online forums where students post about their experiences at the college. Try to piece together the life you might lead at the college and whether you will be able to prosper and grow there.

Make a List

At this point, you should start compiling a list of colleges you would like to attend. One thing to consider while making this list is having at least a couple of “safety” schools—universities that may not be your top option, but ones where you are likely to be accepted.

The key to safety schools—which should be obvious—is making sure that these are schools you would actually enjoy attending. Many students apply haphazardly to safety schools, not expecting their other plans falling through, and end up stuck at a college they don’t like. That’s why it’s important to research, research, research.

While you’re researching, it’s also a good idea to start looking for scholarships and grants to see if you qualify for any the school offers. The U.S. Department of Education awards an estimated $46 billion of grants and scholarships each year to high school students, a good portion of which tends to go unclaimed. Pursuing higher education is not a cheap endeavor, so it’s important to be diligent in your search.

Go Online

Once you’ve figured out which colleges you want to attend, it’s time to do the actual applying. Many colleges have you apply through websites such as the Common Application or Coalition. Others, like Bob Jones University, have you apply directly through their own website.

A lot of schools will also charge a significant fee just to apply. It’s a good idea to narrow down your list of colleges so it doesn’t get to be too much. Or look for ways to get the cost waived.

Be aware of the deadlines for applications. Some colleges have deadlines and others rolling admission, but it’s smart to apply as early as possible. The later you apply, the less financial aid you’ll get and the less engaged you’ll seem in the process.

Fill in Your Application

Once you’ve filled out the basic information, it’s time to start on the real application—the essays and the short answers.

The importance of the essays varies from college to college. But though the essays are significant, they’re not so much so that you need to agonize over them during every waking moment.

You don’t need to exhaust a thesaurus in order to write them, either. The entire goal of the essays and short answers are to see a glimpse of you as a person. To see what you’re passionate about, to see if you’d be a good fit at the university. That’s why it’s crucial to be articulate and sincere.

Get Everything In

This is probably the least exciting portion of the process—and unfortunately the longest. This is the part where you submit your high school transcript, your SAT or ACT scores, and your recommendations. It’s important to get all of these things in on time, as most colleges won’t even review your application unless they have them all in.

After you’ve done this, the only thing left to do is to review your application and submit. Then you can breathe.

Once your application is in, there’s nothing else to really do except sit back and wait. Though it’s excruciatingly difficult to be patient as you wait on the decisions, there is assurance in the fact that you can trust in God (Proverbs 3:5–6) because no matter what happens, His plans are the best for you (Jeremiah 29:11).

College, though it may seem otherwise, is not the end of the road. Even if you don’t get the answer you want, there are still a million paths to take sprawled ahead of you. Regardless of whether you get accepted into every college you applied to or none of them, your life is still in God’s hands and He is constantly molding you according to His will.

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By Andrew Redding for the Office of Admission at Bob Jones University, which is committed to providing an outstanding accredited Christian liberal arts education purposely designed to inspire a lifelong pursuit of learning, loving and leading. Visit bju.edu for more information.

 

 

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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!


[1] https://www.cccu.org/news-updates/new-study-reveals-economic-impact-christian-higher-ed/

[2] https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2017/01/12/pay-gap-between-college-grads-and-everyone-else-record/96493348/

[3] Ibid.

Written by: Chris Eppling, Vice President of Student Services

 

 

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PREPARING OUR CHILDREN FOR LIFE AFTER HIGH SCHOOL — AND WHAT DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH CHRISTMAS ANYWAY?

erskine college Preparation is a huge part of Parenthood. Joseph and Mary had to prepare the way for Jesus’ birth by traveling to Bethlehem, and once he was born, they were entrusted to raise Him in a way that was honoring and pleasing to God. Just like parents today, Joseph and Mary had no step-by-step instruction manual – they had to figure it out as they went along. Thankfully, parents today can look to the Bible for insight on raising Godly children and preparing for their future. Here are five ways we can imitate Christ in preparing our students for life after high school:

  1. Cultivate a strong work ethic. Even though the Bible doesn’t explicitly say it, Jesus probably worked in Joseph’s shop. As a carpenter’s son, he would have been expected to learn the family trade and to help provide for his family until he began his ministry. Work prepares our children for their future by teaching them:
    • Responsibility – by doing chores or summer jobs, students learn that they are accountable to others. This also helps build stronger family bonds as everyone pitches in to get things done.
    • Time management and learning how to say, “No,” in order to balance a schedule. Sometimes that means saying no to ‘good’ things in order that a greater ‘good’ can be accomplished.
    • Appreciation for what they have earned instead of contempt for what has been “handed” to them. We all remember how much more we valued the things we purchased with our own money – it is a gratifying experience and makes one grateful for the blessings in life.

Work helps students to recognize and develop their strengths.

  1. Teach Time & Money Management. There are many verses throughout the Bible that discuss stewardship. Jesus, himself, provides a perfect example of time management, as he consistently split his time between prayer with the Father and ministering to others. Here are some ways we can teach our students about time & money management:
    • Budgeting – creating a budget with our students will teach them about the reality of debt and loans – looking at long-term implications and learning to be a good steward of what God entrusts to us.
    • Setting up bank accounts.
    • Taking responsibility for financial transactions and focusing on saving up for large ticket items, where practical, are good ways to practice skills learned in consumer math type courses. Finally, living these principals out in the real world, such as shopping for the best deal and knowing when to say no to a particular purchase, enables our children to avoid possible debt traps.

Management also encompasses budgeting time in certain allotments, scheduling work/school/recreation opportunities and learning balance across these areas. Obviously, all this must be done in light of prioritizing God and family above all else.

  1. Engage Curious Minds. Have you ever wondered why Jesus used parables to get his point across instead of answering questions directly? By responding in parables, Jesus gives his followers a great gift: discovery. When we take time to think critically about things, we connect with the material in a way that is much more powerful than if someone just gives us an answer. You can engage your students by:
    • Encouraging the questions that cultivate critical thinking (example: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How)
    • Addressing social issues together from a Biblical perspective.

This mindset assists in supporting logical argumentation and learning to support opinions with facts. A Biblical worldview incorporates logical reasoning with the truth of God’s Word to form a complete understanding of our world.

  1. Encourage Ownership. Jesus was fully engaged in the work of the ministry; He wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty, and he took opportunities to do things for others that he could have easily delegated to his disciples. An often-overlooked example of this was His commission of the 70 to go out and preach. He gave parameters but then sent them out to tackle the actual mission. Similarly, you can encourage ownership of the college selection process in your students by:
    • Having your child make the necessary phone calls and inquiry through various sources.
    • Having them write the letters to search and apply for admission and scholarships.
    • Making the research of college and majors a project and have them use the critical thinking skills and research capabilities you have instilled in them to complete the work. This can go a long way toward narrowing your list of colleges to consider and determine how much your child will need to save toward college expenses.
    • Praying with your child for wisdom and guidance throughout the process.

When we allow students to be fully involved in the admissions process, we give them an opportunity to become invested in their education.

  1. Pray for a Teachable Heart. Jesus spent time as a boy in the temple engaging the scribes and Pharisees in conversation. Even though He was God’s son, He took the time to listen and learn. Take the time to sit down with your student to help them:
  • Develop goals – Only God-given goals are worth pursuing and if He has called your child to something, he will provide the strength to complete the task. Philippians 4:13 states, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
  • Create a plan – Be a diligent planner in correct correlation to God’s will in order to meet their goals. Proverbs 21:5 says, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance…”
  • Follow His lead – Allow God to direct their steps. In Proverbs 16:9, the Bible tells us, “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.”

Jesus had a teachable heart, that’s why he spent three days in the temple questioning the scribes and Pharisees. The Bible makes it plain that inquiry is a spiritual pursuit, so it is a natural progression for our children to seek guidance.

So, what does preparing our students for the future have to do with Christmas? As parents, we want to give our children good gifts, and this Christmas, one of the best gift parents can give their children is a good foundation on which to build their future.

 

By Dr. Tim Rees and Kendra LaGreca who both serve in the admissions department of Erskine College in Due West, SC

 

Register to attend the Teach Them Diligently Homeschool College Fair at one of the 2019 spring events and reserve a meeting time to connect with Erskine and other sponsoring institutions whom will answer your questions, give you advice, and provide information about their college to your students.

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About David and Leslie Nunnery

Leslie Nunnery and her husband David founded Teach Them Diligently, the nation’s premier source for gospel-centered homeschool events. With seven years of homeschooling experience from preschool-high school and a passion to encourage and equip homeschool families, this mom of 4 shares her know-how and insights weekly through Teach Them Diligently media and on TeachThemDiligently365.com.

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