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Get a Jump Start on College! A Practical Guide for Teens Review by Wendy Walker

Janice Campbell
P.O. Box 549
Ashland, VA 23005

Homeschoolers are known for thinking outside the box, so it's no surprise that for degree possibilities, homeschooling families have discovered creative ways to think beyond the four-year university's walls. However, thinking creatively and possessing the tools to help students make the most of their high school years are not always the same thing. As our children neared their high school years, finding an affordable way to provide a college education while continuing to spiritually protect their hearts became a primary concern. We also knew that there had to be a way to use the high school years productively so that our kids could meet the educational goals we'd set forth while also meeting the requirements for at least some college credit. My husband and I spent countless hours perusing websites in search of online colleges, academic testing information, and degree plans, and we still felt overwhelmed and unsure of how to proceed with our teenaged sons. That's why we breathed a huge sigh of relief after reading Get a Jump Start on College! The hard work had already been done for us.

Author Janice Campbell provides both a philosophical foundation for early college and action steps that teens can take toward earning college credits non-traditionally--for a fraction of the cost of traditional schooling. Side-by-side charts make it easy to compare college costs and exams. An appendix lists available standardized tests that can be taken for college credit, and Campbell's reproducible worksheets make it simple for students to compare universities or begin a personalized degree plan. Campbell even explains community college units, financial aid, and portfolio credits and offers tips for teens to become successful as college students. Get a Jump Start On College! isn't just a book about how to take a CLEP or DSST test; it's a book that encourages teenagers to use their minds now for their futures!

In just the past few months, our sons have already saved us thousands of dollars (and saved themselves numerous academic hours) by employing Janice Campbell's guidelines for a streamlined upper education. This 80-page, softcover book doesn't take long to read but it's an invaluable resource (one that you'll grab as a reference again and again), and it is certainly worth its reasonable cover price. You can even order it as an e-book at a discounted rate.

Janice Campbell says, "Those who finish college early have an automatic head start on life. I found that the challenge of earning credits and the goal of early graduation motivates and focuses a busy teen in a way I would never have imagined." Motivated, focused teens plus a positive "cha-ching" in the family cash box? Good goals. Good book.

Product review by Wendy Walker, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November 2007