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Homeschooling Today® Magazine Review by Karen Houston

Sept/Oct 2002 issue
(281) 492-6050
Publisher: Maureen McCaffrey,
Production Editor: Marian Kromberg
Senior Editor: Joan McCaffrey

Ms. McCaffrey produces her farewell issue before the new owner, Family Reformation, takes the reins. James McDonald will assume the role of publisher, and his wife Stacy will be Editor-in-Chief. Maureen relates they are first-hand experienced homeschoolers with writing and conference experience, well able to provide insight into needs of home educating families (like us!). She credits this magazine issue to the people who have contributed to it during the last 10 years. She places pictures of many families in the middle of the magazine, showing us who has been writing to us over these years, and how their families have grown. She ends by thanking the editors, staff, business partners, and many others (as well as the magazine readers!) for making her time so rewarding.

We wish Maureen well in all future endeavors, and look forward to what she may bring us.

As a mom of three teens, whose ages are 18, 16, and 14, many of our new magazines get tossed onto the coffee table, as we're so busy running our freebie limo service we hardly have time to actually READ something not helping us put bread on the table! Do you ever feel that way? This time, though, I resolve stoically it won't happen, and promptly delve into our new magazine! Heads up, all you homeschoolers with teens and preteens - this is your long-awaited special college issue! I really appreciate the content of this magazine, and even if your precious ones are much younger (our littlest is nine), go get this issue and keep it for them. It will still be relevant and useful, believe me!

This fall, Homeschooling Today® Magazine studies a total of 60 colleges, listing them along with a short description, their strengths, the number of homeschooled student applicants accepted in the past five years, and their entrance requirements. Shari Henry, author of Your Complete Guide to Successfully Homeschooling the 8- to 12-Year-Old Child, writes her "Heart of Homeschooling" column, thanking the writers of Homeschooling Today® who contributed to this issue; and she also authors the "Second Great College Roundup," or, what today's colleges want from homeschoolers. What a great job! This is precisely for what high school junior and senior parents have been looking! Shari Henry quotes the colleges as observing their now college-enrolled previously homeschooled students as being independent learners, disciplined, and performing well without oversight - also noting some mixed reviews regarding these students' social adaptation, along with struggles dealing with deadlines, and other classroom environment nuances. Good feedback to have as a homeschool mom, eh?

Margaret P. Allen writes a more in-depth look at colleges taking a classical approach to education, currently a popular movement within our homeschool groups. These schools reviewed were Thomas Aquinas College near Los Angeles and St. John's College with campuses in Maryland and New Mexico, along with Patrick Henry College in Washington, DC. According to Michael Farris, President of Patrick Henry College, "There is a leadership vacuum in America... We are beginning to train many who will fill that vacuum at the highest levels."

Jodi Decker authors a college instructor's viewpoint of higher education, delineating eight skills to prepare your homeschooler for college or university learning. She discusses acumen regarding current events, critical thinking skills, citizenship and civics, comprehensive reading, competent research skills, composition skills, communication skills, and computer skills as being areas she recommends parents specifically target to incorporate into their teaching; and she advocates that if you're already doing these things, continue! While working on these areas along with your academic programs, your high school student will be well prepared to excel (not only survive, but thrive!) in their chosen university or college environment.

Last, but most definitely the proverbial "not least," in the series of college-peeking is a short article by Brad Voeller about taking online and correspondence courses. Folks, this type of education just keeps growing and growing, with no advertising apparently driving it whatsoever. What a statement to its need. You've really got to check this one out! Read the fine print, and see what he did! Amazing.

For our mommy souls, Gail Felker pens a year in the life of a homeschooler "Going Upstream," wondering if we all have what it takes to homeschool a teenager - or if any of us do! Are we up for it? What a welcome respite and encouragement for us all.

"For I am convinced that neither school districts, college admissions offices, grandparents, or neighbors can separate us from the love of God." Romans 8 FRV - Felker's Revised Version. Hah! A teenage mom after my own heart!

Are you still looking at my silly review? Honestly, you need your own magazine.

-- Product review by: Karen Houston, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine