History Alive Competition

Our History Alive competition is open! You have until February 15th to put together a video. I’m really excited about this. I think it could be a lot of fun.

There are two types of videos you could make. You could do a documentary-like video. For instance, you could use Power Point to make a video presentation. You could also put on a play and video it. It can just be in your living room. It doesn’t have to be fancy. We just need to be able to see and hear you! To do that alone, you could do a monologue. You could give a speech as a character or be several characters!

This is a history competition. You need to have research and bibliography. The more you can use primary sources, the better. Primary sources are straight from the source: photographs, maps, autobiographies, interviews, letters, speeches, etc. Try to show a point, an impact, of whatever history topic you are presenting.

We’ll be giving out cash prizes just like for our other competitions.

I hope this excites some of you! Can’t wait to see what people come up with. I may even be able to use winning videos in the curriculum!

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Life Update

We have a home!

In 2016 my family returned to the States after living overseas for fourteen years. In 2017 I told you that we were going to be getting an ADA compliant home from Habitat for Humanity since we have a son in a wheelchair. In 2018 I told you that it fell through and we weren’t getting a home. Since then we’ve been house hunting. We not only looked at homes for our own family, but we looked at homes to move together with my parents. We found a couple homes we really loved but never felt we could move forward on them. At one point, we made plans with an architect to build onto my parents’ home. In the end, my parents decided to move to a retirement community. It’s something they’ve thought about since long before we started living with them. In fact, they stopped thinking about it when we came back; they liked living together. But with the kids in one bedroom (resulting in the two teen boys sleeping on the couches downstairs) and the clutter of us squeezing into my parents’ 40 years of collections, something had to give.

We are taking over my parents’ house and they have moved just ten minutes away. We’re not really buying their house as much as paying what they needed to move into their new place. This is the only house I know, as they moved in when I was a toddler. My one son was even born here. The house is all paid off, so we are in a debt-free house, which was our hope. We have always lived without debt, so this was a big deal to us.

When my parents took their furniture, we took advantage of the emptiness and had the floors on the first floor redone to be level. Every room had a transition which made it impossible for our youngest son to get around independently. He now can wheel himself around the house and is loving the independence of it.

We’ve moved quickly to settle in, though there is a lot still for my parents to go through to decide what they want before we purge the rest. That year of working Saturdays at the Habitat store paid off and they’ve been giving us discounts on their discounted furniture, resulting in our getting six large pieces of furniture for less than $200.

We’ve got a lot to do in order to feel settled in (still don’t have a couch), but we’re getting there and are thankful that after all this time it happened at the end of the year when EP work is slow, so we’ve been able to pour time into cleaning and organizing as fast as we can, so we can get back to normal as fast as we can.

This was a huge thing for me. We’ve accepted the Lord has us here in the States for now, and are very thankful for our own place. I’ve had to guard my heart against longings for a home for years while we were overseas. I saw my friends getting homes and settling in and as a homebody, it’s what I wanted, but I knew it wasn’t what the Lord had chosen for us. In the first two decades of marriage, we lived in more than a dozen apartments, moving twenty times, with furloughs and such. When we got back to the States, I let myself start dreaming of my own home, but the wait was hard. I know the Lord has worked it out for the best in His placement and timing. We would have been willing to live anywhere in the world, but He’s brought us right back to where it started.

My husband and I just celebrated 22 years of marriage. He’s working for EP now. We work daily on replacing Flash activities and are making changes to some of our high school courses in order to see if it’s possible to get any of them approved by ACE for college credit. That’s a years-long process, so I can’t answer any questions about that. “To see if it’s possible” is where we are at right now, but those are some of the big projects we’re working on together, for you. 🙂

This spring we’re also planning on hosting a leadership experience together. This is for high school students. The first group will start in March. We’re hoping every high schooler will consider taking part in one of the groups at some point. I think it would be amazing for every kid to experience. The cost is just a recommended donation, so that everyone can participate. Any money leftover from things like this, the Spanish classes, and the competitions just goes right back into EP. We’re here to serve this community.

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The Fall Science Fair is Open!

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We’re accepting submissions through November 15th. Students will conduct an experiment and present their findings using a Google Slides presentation. The link to their presentation will go on our site for our audience to enjoy and for our judges to consider.

We’ve got a real rocket scientist looking at your presentations!

Groups can enter. Your kids can work together, or they could work together with a group of friends. And we’d never exclude anyone from participating because they can’t pay the entrance fee, just contact us.

You can find all the directions on our Science Fair page.

Fall Science Fair

Milky Way, Universe, Person, Stars, Looking, Sky, Night

We’re a month away from the opening of our fall science fair. This is our first science fair and our second competition. We had great participation in our short story writing contest in the spring. It’s not too early to get started on your experiment for this fall!

The science fair will be run in a similar format to the writing contest. Our guidelines can be found on the EP Competitions page which has a link to the science fair in particular. Submissions will be done by link. We’re going to try to keep things standard. I’m asking that you submit your project on Google Slides. (Give that Google Slides link a click. It’s my walk-through of the process and gives hints.) It’s all on the Science Fair page.

There is a $25 entrance fee and money awards will be given out to the winners.

Experiments take time. Don’t wait to the last minute. We’d appreciate entries coming in during October and not waiting until the last day to submit.

Entries will be received from October 15th through November 15th (EST). You will fill out your entry form when you are ready to submit your project. All of the science project links will be on display on the site. Our short stories got thousands of views.

While trying to keep all presentations standard with Google slides, we’d also like to ask that you do not include pictures of yourself (unless absolutely necessary for the data), nor include your name and age. The names of the winners will be posted on the site.

 

 

Grace

There is a blog post I wrote on this site called, “The Key.” The key was the grace of God. There’s a page in my prayer journal that has scrawled across it: Everything is Grace. When you are teaching your kids to read and to multiply and to recognize the difference between mitosis and meiosis, don’t forget to teach grace.

You aren’t going to raise perfect children because you are human and they are human. There’s no perfect way you can teach them. There’s no perfect way you can raise them. Teaching them rules and enforcing them may create a nice family picture on the outside, but it will never teach your children grace, and we are saved by grace. Do you want your children to act good or be good, act like a Christian or be a Christian?

The Old Testament is two-thirds of the Bible. Its main point seems to be humans aren’t perfect and can’t be. God is God and we’re not. God is good and we’re not. God is all things wonderful and we’re not.

And it would be a sad story, but for grace.

Grace gives God’s goodness and all things wonderful to us, namely Himself. He gives us the grace to be patient, to love, to understand, to teach, to learn, to live, to laugh, to forgive, to try again, to turn back, to heal, to help, to rejoice when our world and our life is far from perfect. He gives us the sun, and the rain. He provides for our needs and then some.

One of our family expressions is: God provides cake too. For a time, about a decade ago, my husband decided he needed to leave his job. We decided we would live by faith and trust the Lord to provide. One evening right around the time we had made our decision, a Roma man, just an acquaintance of ours, stopped by with all the leftovers from his fruit and vegetable cart that he hadn’t sold that day. It was the only time he ever did that. And on his way over, he had picked up a cake for the kids from the store. We feasted on the fresh fruits and veggies—and the cake. We said to our kids, “God doesn’t just make us eat our vegetables. He gives us cake too.”

So let your kids eat cake, the sweet grace of God. Teach your kids grace, the good God who knows we’re human and can’t do it on our own and so made a way to be there with us always to help us out. Make sure your kids know they will never be “good” apart from Christ in them, but that God sees them perfect in Christ Jesus. And make sure they know that God doesn’t just give us what we need, but cake too, just because He can, just because He loves us. God loves your kids more than you do. Make sure they know it.

Webucator

Webucator users! We have free accounts. We DO NOT get support. Please do not call their support lines. Those are for paying customers. You can scroll down at this link to read their FAQ to get most of your questions answered.

They will have to stop giving us access if we keep costing them money in support time. They said the most common problem is people signing up multiple kids under one email address. Every student needs to have their own account.

Also, please do not contact them for advice. That’s not what they are there for. You can discuss advice in our facebook groups.

Thanks for your help in this. It’s an amazing resource and they give it to us free where others pay hundreds for the same resource. I want us to respect what they’ve done for us.

Webucator is an online resource for computer courses. It’s linked on our high school site on the computer page.

Growing Pains

I’m sorry that I wasn’t prepared for the surge of new people starting My EP Assignments this week. I’m wet behind the ears with a lot of this stuff. At first we were lumping all reports of problems together, but now we’re starting to sift through them and seeing that the one fix we applied earlier in the week wasn’t covering all of it.

We increased our capacity in one area but realized there’s yet another we need to work on. To that end, we will be moving to another server tonight it looks like. That will help with anyone getting DNS server not found messages.

We won’t have that switched before tonight, so if you can hold off on school until later in the afternoon, it would ease our load. This week it seemed around 11AM people start having trouble with getting that error about a DNS server not being found. It just means traffic is too heavy at that time. That’s what will be fixed tonight.

It shouldn’t be asking you to re-log in, only after you have closed the browser page and come back in fresh, not in the middle of working on the site. Also, you shouldn’t be having a Student 1 appear mysteriously. Those are things you can let us know about if those problems keep persisting. We’re working on solving them.

If you can’t log in and know it’s not because of your email or password, then please email us, allinonehomeschool@gmail.com. We want everyone to have a good experience with this. It’s supposed to make things easier peasier, so we don’t want anyone having trouble.

Tips for Getting College Money

I just read this article and thought it was good info on getting college money. Some things I had never heard before, and all were very practical. My daughter got into one of those elite schools on a full scholarship for merit, but I certainly don’t expect all my kids to be able to follow that route. This article is NOT about savings or investing or applying for tons of outside scholarships; it’s about pursuing what is offered by the schools you are accepted to.

 

Low-Cost College Credit

I was contacted by Ed4Credit and Study.com to write a review of their products. Usually I turn down such requests, but as there aren’t really a lot of free college options out there for me to offer you, I wanted to learn about these online low-cost options. I told them we’d have to try them. Ed4Credit gave a free course to two of my children. Study.com gave us one month. That’s a big difference between these options. For the same price you get one course and four months, or one month and unlimited courses. My kids got one course done in that month (and barely — stress producing!)

Summary: Ed4Credit is the  better option if you are looking for a low-cost college option. These would transfer likely to your community college and certainly would be taken by an online school like Thomas Edison State University to finish off the degree. Study.com seems like the cheaper option if you are taking EP’s courses. I describe below one idea for how to use them together.

Ed4Credit

For under $200, you get a college course along with all materials. In this way, it’s cheaper than community college, even with discounts for high schoolers. It’s in some ways like EP, just not as fun. It’s online readings, videos, quizlets. You go through the online course at your own pace over four months. At the end you take a test and get approved for ACE credit if you get just 50% on the test. You can even retake the test. Our experience is that it’s basically full-proof to get the credit if you put any effort into the course. My 11th grader did his course in a month. My 8th grader took the full four months. They had no trouble with the final. The one older son knew every answer and finished in minutes! The final is taken AT HOME! They were proctored online.

This is basically teaching to the test, which isn’t what you want if you are seeking a career that’s really based on a college education. If you are looking for quick, easy, cheap college credit, this is a great way to go. It’s not a college. It just gives you credit, like taking a CLEP test. They list on their site the colleges that guarantee that they accept these credits, though some may only accept certain courses.

Study.com

For the same price as Ed4Credit you get just ONE MONTH instead of four months to complete a course and take the test for credit (ACE credit). It can be done. My 17-year-old had no trouble doing that. It was very STRESSFUL fitting in the course for my 13-year-old. We had it planned out and then he realized it said you can’t take the final during the last three days of your time! BE WARNED! He squeezed it in, but the month-long time limit is a lot more stressful than having four months through Ed4Credit to complete a course at your leisure (for the same price). The lessons on this site are based on videos and follow-up quizzes. There are placement tests that are supposed to show you what you already know, but you can’t skip lessons. You have to pass each quiz before it lets you take the final exam. One benefit of these ACE credits is that you get to take the final exam at home! It is proctored online.

There is another option with Study.com. They have CLEP prep materials. You then take the test elsewhere when you are done. This is cheaper. We have an Easy Peasy discount for just the first three months. Our coupon code is All-In-One-Homeschool. It’s good on the CLEP and DSST membership of $60 a month and is good for 20% off. (so $48 a month).

The CLEP test itself may cost $85 to take. This is the cheaper option (around $135 for a course). One course of action to consider: at the end of each high school year, buy a membership and focus full time on studying for these tests, using the placement test to just study what you need to and taking the tests for each core high school course you took, hopefully taking all the tests within a month. This would involve cramming, but would be the cheapest course of action. Each summer you could pay around $500 total for 12 college credits.

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I got so frustrated with Study.com’s pricing that I looked into what it would take to have EP be a place like these! The answer is a lot, but I am going to continue to look into it.

The Ed4Credit link is an affiliate link.