America’s Top Young Scientists

October 18, 2013 | Posted in Events, Informative, Just For Fun, News, Preparing for College, Projects | By

Taken from Practical Homeschooling Magazine, September/October 2013 Issue

Three of the top 10 finalists in the 15th annual Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, “the nation’s premier science competition for students in grades 5-8,” are homeschoolers!

Students nationwide were asked to create a short video describing a new innovative solution that would impact an everyday problem.  Entries were judged on scientific ingenuity and inventive thinking.

The homeschooled finalists were Srijay Kasturi of Reston, VA; Katie Hudek of Grafton, MA; and Maureen “Reeny” Bostros of Wichita, KS (You can read the finalists’ bios at

Each finalist will have the opportunity to work directly with a 3M scientist during a summer mentorship program, where the finalist will be challenged to identify an everyday problem and create an innovative solution.  Mentors will provide guidance as the finalist develops his or her idea from a concept into an actual prototype, which will be presented during the competition’s final event at the 3M Innovation Center in St. Paul, MN.  Throughout the program, each student will have access to resources and support provided by 3M and Discovery Education.

This year’s finalists will also receive $1,000 and be awarded a trip to 3M Headquarters to participate in the final competition.  Students will compete in a series of three different challenges, including a presentation of their completed innovation.  Each challenge will be scored independently by a panel of judges.  The winner will receive $25,000, a trip from Discover Student Adventures and the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist.”  Curious?  Visit

Sailor Boon

October 17, 2013 | Posted in Classes | By

Taken from Practical Homeschooling Magazine, September/October 2013 issue


The list of “things you can learn at home” just got a bit longer.

Offshore Sailing School and the BoatUS Foundation have put together – wait for it – an “Online Learn to Sail” course.

The narrated curriculum includes “easy-to-comprehend video, animations, and Offshore Sailing School instructors teaching aboard the Colgate 26.”  The curriculum distills “best practices learned over nearly 50 years of Offshore Sailing School instruction.”

While it won’t teach you the muscle memory and reactions necessary to keep from, say, knocking yourself into the water when you come about, it is designed to help you learn the new terms and definitions that recreational sailors need to know.

The cost is $75, but the course will be available for a limited time at the introductory price of $55.  It can be found at

The school has educated more than 130,000 students since 1964 and is ranked #1 by Practical Sailor in both instructors and curriculum.  For more information, go to

The BoatUS Foundation offered the first free online boating safety course in 1997.  Since then over a million boaters have taken their online courses.  Funded primarily by members of BoatUS, it offers only free online, NASBLA-approved boating safety courses recognized by 33 states.  The Online Learn to Sail course is the first of many more advanced online learning courses the Foundation plans to offer.  Fore more information, go to


Exposing Major Blind Spots of Homeschoolers

October 16, 2013 | Posted in Burn Out, Informative, Parenting, Single Parents, Special Needs | By

 by Reb Bradley

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In the last couple of years, I have heard from multitudes of troubled homeschool parents around the country, a good many of whom were leaders. These parents have graduated their first batch of kids, only to discover that their children didn’t turn out the way they thought they would. Many of these children were model homeschoolers while growing up, but sometime after their 18th birthday they began to reveal that they didn’t hold to their parents’ values.

Some of these young people grew up and left home in defiance of their parents. Others got married against their parents’ wishes, and still others got involved with drugs, alcohol, and immorality. I have even heard of several exemplary young men who no longer even believe in God. My own adult children have gone through struggles I never guessed they would face.

Most of these parents remain stunned by their children’s choices, because they were fully confident their approach to parenting was going to prevent any such rebellion.

After several years of examining what went wrong in our own home and in the homes of so many conscientious parents, God has opened our eyes to a number of critical blind spots common to homeschoolers and other family-minded people. Read more →

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