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Barbara H

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About Barbara H

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    Hive Mind Queen Bee

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    I am a Certified College Consultant and a homeschooling mom
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    Founder Homeschool Success

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  1. Please take this seriously. The nurse should not have laughed. I had a partial Achilles tear on Cipro (as a young healthy person and many years back before the black box warning came out). Don't hesitate to go to Urgent Treatment or to be pushy to get past the screener on your doctor's phone. Also, I'm guessing it would be a good idea to avoid exercise or any strenuous or quick movements that could encourage a rupture or tear until you can get this resolved.
  2. It is frustrating when kids are grown fast and you wonder if you are purchasing a one time item. For black pants for boys we've had luck year round at Walmart - George brand runs around $10 and you can order them online.
  3. Ditto to the suggestion of the room humidifier. I hope you see improvements soon. I had mine out as a college student and this may sound ridiculous but I found it much more painful than natural childbirth!
  4. Not sure if this will help, but we've found a cooler bag that is insulated that is really slim and and doesn't take up as much room in a backpack. Lunchbox
  5. It has been a long time ago... but, the most important thing I learned from the experience was to start by looking at what people know first and as much as possible build on the strengths in the group. While you want to offer some structure, recipes, etc. people respond best and will make the most changes when the ideas come from within the group. I bet you'll find you have participants who are brilliant with budgeting and shopping and they may be able to share tips with others in the group who are just getting started. The two things we found most helpful were 1. Basic cooking techniques - such as making potatoes into oven fries - simple and a huge hit, easy egg recipes, making chili from scratch, stir frying, working with less expensive cuts of meat. 2. Kid-friendly ideas. One place the budget gets shot for a lot of families is relying on more expensive stuff (frozen chicken nuggets, boxed cereal, microwave mac and cheese, pudding snacks) because it is what kids will eat. When families try out something new and the kids love it, that's a great way to get buy-in and really make a difference. Good luck with your class. It is a great thing you are doing and much needed really for people of all income levels. I'd love to see more young parents confident in cooking at home.
  6. How to Cook without a Book is great for teaching basic cooking formulas. Lots of easy weeknight type of meals that can be adapted to different tastes and ingredients. Having designed a class like this ages ago, I would suggest beginning the first class with a survey of your audience and adapt what you teach from there. It would be good to get a sense where the skill level in the group is and what sorts of foods people enjoy.
  7. Thanks on the blog compliment... and big congrats to your son on National Merit. Is he looking at schools that offer bigger National Merit offers. For general information I don't suggest College Confidential, but I'm agreeing with Creekland that it is a good place to look for info about Questbridge and be sure to check out the threads on major scholarships for National Merit Finalists. There are some dedicated people really maintaining that information. I always think it is tricky "from the outside" (not knowing the student's full profile) for anyone to offer a lot of specific advice. If it was as simple as just stats colleges would not need to have a full application process. Here in cyberland we can't know all the other factors that might be coming into play to make your student more or less competitive - everything from great extracurriculars, to a compelling story, to regional diversity to an unusual interest, to brilliant essays, etc. Once you get to that super highest level of competition that stuff makes a significant difference. So, "from the outside" I'm never going to tell a student not to bother to apply to something that could be a huge scholarship. Good luck! ETA: I think Questbridge also pays for a free CSS/Profile. Whether your son does Questbridge or not please look at the CSS/Profile soon. A lot of families overlook that step and some schools want it is quite early.
  8. Not a scam at all. Yes, only a small minority get the full match scholarship. but that is a huge award - including travel and books. Free applications and the chance to apply to a lot of selective schools is worth a lot. Being able to multiple schools on ED for free is also a huge benefit. As you compare admission stats keep in mind overall stats for the applicant pool may be very different than average admissions rates for low income students. That's true even at need blind schools. It is harder for low income students to be as competitive on paper and Questbridge is one way for students to have more opportunity to do so.
  9. That's excellent. And, it is great to frame this as a victory. He was stressed out about the thin pages and the honest statement - but he totally got through it. That's huge! It is good that when they are ready they get the opportunity to learn this stuff because in other forms they will experience it again. In big university classrooms there is often quite a bit of test security with monitors walking around, ID checking, etc. Also, tests like GRE, MCAT, etc. have really intense security now. Dozens of cameras, electronic scanner or pat down, several honesty statements, etc. So, it is good for students to become aware so it isn't a surprise and they understand that's just the way it is done now.
  10. My understanding is that they only look at the honesty statement if there was some incident like they think someone is taking the test for money. Even then they would not care that the handwriting was weird or illegible. It would only be used as a means to verify identity and establish that the person indeed was aware they were violating the rules. I'm sorry he's stressed. Your comment that everyone else in the same situation is right on. While I understand why they've got so much test security right now because it was really ridiculous how much cheating was going on... it certainly can make already anxious kids who would never cheat feel worried.
  11. Yeah, I'd say once a student is doing well on an ACT practice test they are past the point where the EXPLORE is going to provide meaningful information. ACT/SAT scores can be very helpful to have on hand if a good college course opportunity becomes available.
  12. Yes and it was helpful. As you may know the SAT doesn't allow online registration under age 13, but if you call they'll talk you through it. Sometimes the ACT can be an easier entry point for younger students though because the test is a little shorter and the essay is optional. If you are just trying to get a ballpark if it is something to consider you could always try a sample test at home before registering for a formal test. Of course for younger ones, attention span and frustration tolerance can be as challenging as the content and you want to tread carefully so the child doesn't get overwhelmed. Some kids aren't bothered a bit by testing with much older students but it can be an overwhelming experience for others.
  13. One thing to consider is if your child is likely to be top scorer whether your student wishes to receive awards or be eligible for scholarships. I'm not sure this is still the current policy but we found Duke was unwilling to accept scores taken outside of talent search for scholarship purposes. JHU was glad to accept SAT scores for SET that were taken separate from talent search though.
  14. Yes, the programs making it so students can get instate tuition can be a good deal. Some require students to be majoring in something they can't study in their home state (so you live in a landlocked area and want to study marine biology for example). The Tuition Exchange Program is a good benefit for some higher ed employees because it may allow them a reduction in costs for their student to study at another institution. It is offered as a job benefit, but I will say the academic families I know who have tried to use it often find it is quite limited as it depends on the colleges making slots available.
  15. For people who are interested in pursuing community college, I suggest this website as one place to begin: Many states have what are called "articulation agreements". These are basically a contract between community colleges and four year colleges (most often public institutions, but in some states some private schools participate as well. Right now there is a big federal push to improve the transfer process and states are adopting new agreements all the time. So, I would not go based on what somebody experienced in another state or in your own state years ago. I've worked with transfers at our local community college. With a statewide articulation agreement it is definitely possible to complete a degree with two years at community college and two years at a state university. Students who earn an associate's of arts or associate's of science are certified to have fulfilled their general education requirements and they enter the four year school as juniors with 60 hours transferred. I would strongly suggest if your student is interested in this route that he or she be encouraged to choose their major as early as possible. They should meet regularly with the transfer advising staff at the community college to make sure they are on track. It is important to register for the right classes and keep the GPA up. Many community colleges host regular visits from admissions officers or transfer advisers from state universities as well.
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