Category Archives: High School

Popularity of Essay Writing Services

We all know that the popularity of essay writing services is impressive and the demand is more than just high. However, most people believe that essay writing providers get orders from lazy students who simply don’t like to write. The reality is completely different. According to essay writers working for such writing service, they’ve been getting orders from all types of students.

Some students are actually lazy and they don’t want to write. Although this is a well-known fact, a second one is more disturbing. Even smart and above average students use these services as well. They don’t have the time or they must write an essay on a topic that isn’t suitable to them, therefore they can compromise their grade.

Another fact we must mention is that students from prestigious universities use these services as well. According to a survey, the biggest number of orders come from the United States, especially from Texas, New York, and California. In other words, students from NYU, UCLA, University of Houston, Columbia and many other, prestigious universities use these services! The situation is the same when it comes to the United Kingdom. Although, these two countries use essay writing services the most, due to the language, other parts of the world use them as well. Let’s not forget Australia and New Zealand.

An interesting statistic data is that more than 90% of the users, use these services more than just once. Some of them order up to 4 essays per day. Ordering the essays frequently has certain benefits to your user account.

What Will Happen with Essay Writing Services in the Future?

This trend, where students can get an essay in a matter of hours and get a respectable grade thanks to it has been among us for more than 5 years. During that time, millions of people have used the service. We witnessed that the popularity is increasing each month, and chances are small that this trend will end anytime soon.

Another proof that confirms this claim is related to foreign students. They are the most common users of online essay writing services. If we add the data which suggest the number of these students will continue to grow, we can be positive that the popularity or essay writing services will be improved as well.

Moral judgment is actually very simple to explain. Students who use these services believe that it is the only way they can get a respectable grade. Due to the fact business and management courses are the hardest subjects, they are also the biggest reasons why students order essays online. After all, it is impeccable to have grade and average as high as possible. There is no point in having poor grades if you can change them.

The bottom line is simple. Essay writing services are popular, more than you believe, and they are going to be even more popular in the near future.

Labels: High School
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

Homeschooling Through High School–Standardized Test Taking for the College-Bound Homeschooler


Two weeks ago, I posted about registering for the PSAT as a homeschooler, but a student’s SAT or ACT score is the score that colleges will actually be looking at when considering a student for admission (except for some select schools, which no longer use standardized test scores as part of their admissions process). The SAT and ACT may be taken at younger ages, but are traditionally taken during a student’s junior or senior year of high school. Both are offered at multiple times and locations throughout the year. Registration is done online.

Currently the written portion of the ACT is optional, but before opting out of that portion, students should ensure that the colleges they are interested in applying to don’t require it. You can read this post if you would like more information about the differences between the SAT and the ACT

In addition to these two tests, some colleges require SAT subject tests. These tests are best taken as soon as the student completes the subject. So if a student studies world history in 10th grade, it would be best to take that subject test in 10th grade, rather than wait until 12th grade, when he may have forgotten a lot of what he learned. Some schools require more subject tests from homeschooled applicants than from public and private-schooled applicants. Many homeschoolers refuse to apply to such schools, but if your student really has his heart set on such a school, he may need to take four or more subject tests.

Finally, Advanced Placement tests are often used as a means for students to further improve their transcript. AP tests can also be used to earn college credit for students, as can CLEP tests. If a student hopes to obtain college credit with these tests, he should investigate his college preferences first, as not all schools will grant credit. Also, not all AP tests are offered at all locations. You will need to call AP Services, no later than March 1, to coordinate testing for an AP exam. CLEP tests tend to be administered at colleges and after you find a test center through the CLEP website, you will need to contact the test center to make arrangements for testing.

As with the PSAT, homeschoolers have a special school code for these tests that they should provide if they want their scores sent to them. The SAT test code for homeschooled students is 970000 . I am no longer able to find the ACT test code for homeschoolers on the ACT website. It used to be 969-999 and the HSLDA still lists this as being the code. Please make sure you verify all test codes shortly before your student is going to take his test as codes can and do change at times.

With all of these testing options, it is a good idea for students, seniors in particular, to plan out their annual testing schedule now, rather than waiting until closer to admission packet deadlines.

Please note my left sidebar for all the awesome link-ups that I am participating in.

Labels: High School
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

Homeschooling Through High School–It’s PSAT Time Again!

Fall has yet to officially begin, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t too early to start thinking about the PSAT. For those of you who did not take the PSAT in high school, the PSAT is a Preliminary SAT. It gives your child a chance to practice for the SAT in a real testing situation. In addition, it will help give your student an idea of what type of SAT score he will get, so that he can start looking into appropriate colleges.

The practice your child gets is important, but equally important, is that the PSAT score is used to enter your student in the National Merit Scholarship Program. The National Merit Scholarship is not a particularly large scholarship, but it looks very good on student transcripts and can open the door for other scholarships. The one thing that I learned the hard way, is that if your child is trying for a National Merit Scholarship, make sure that he takes the PSAT in his junior year. I took it during my sophomore year and did not retake it during my junior year, so was not eligible for the National Merit Scholarship Program, despite having scores that probably would have earned a scholarship.

The PSAT is the only standardized test used for the college application process that your child will have to register for and take at a school. All other tests can be registered for online and are administered in a variety of locations, usually on the weekends. On the other hand, the PSAT is often administered during school hours. On top of that, the PSAT is administered once, and only once, a year. So if your child is sick, he will either have to forgo the PSAT altogether or do the best he can while ill.

This year, school’s will have the option to administer the test on Wednesday, October 17th, or Saturday, October 20th. To register for the test, you will need to speak with a principal or counselor at a local high school. I have heard that private schools are often easier to work with than public schools. My children have tested at the local public school. In order for us to register, we had to go to the student store during the school’s lunch hour. It felt awkward, but we lived to tell the tale. When the test date arrived, they had to find the appropriate classroom, once again, a bit awkward. I do wish that the PSAT was administered through a test center, like the SAT, ACT, AP tests, etc. Look here to find a school near you that is administering the test.

One VERY IMPORTANT note is that your child must enter your state’s homeschool code on the test where it asks for the school code. The test administrator will tell the students what the school code is, but it will be the code for the school, not for homeschoolers. If your child enters the school’s code instead of the homeschool code, his test scores will be sent to the school instead of to your home. In addition, have your child make sure that no “helpful” test administrator erases his code and enters the school’s code instead (they honestly believe that your child entered the wrong code and are trying to help your child). Officially, they should not be doing that, but I have heard of it happening to several people.

If your child would like to start being contacted by colleges, be sure he checks “yes” for the Student Search Service. I highly recommend this service as your child will receive information from schools that he might not have considered before. Plus, it is kind of nice to see all of the flyers and not just rely on reading about schools in the various college list books.

Finally, be sure to double check all of this information and more at the College Board’s official PSAT homeschool page (you can ignore their advice to call the local school during June before the test is administered – the school personnel are frantically trying to finish up the current school year and are equally frantic the first two weeks of the school year – I have found that calling during these two time periods just results in having a conversation with an annoyed person who hasn’t even begun to think about the PSAT).

Please note my left sidebar for all the awesome link-ups that I am participating in.

Labels: High School
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

Preschool at Home–Winter Birds

Bird Treats

We kind of, sort of, studied winter birds this week. We made some bird treats using suet, peanut butter, and bird seed. Don’t they just look yummy! (That is sarcasm, in case it wasn’t obvious. If you’ve never worked with suet before, it is rendered beef fat and for some reason it is the “thing” to put into bird treats, though I doubt you will ever find these birds eating cows in the wild. Anyway, the stuff is greasier than anything that I ever worked with before. I had to wash my hands about 25 times to get it off of them. Then I had to clip all of my nails super short as the stuff had worked it’s way under my nails. Then I realized that my hands still had some suet on them, so I washed them about 10 more times. So I highly recommend using rubber gloves if you are going to work with it.) Unfortunately, there do not appear to be any winter birds in the area, so the treats remain untouched. I have been informed by a friend that if you want to feed birds that winter over, you need to start feeding them before winter sets in, so that they know where food is. I guess we may have to take our treats down to the duck pond that is right by our house (not even squirrels seem to be investigating our trees).

Bird Puzzle

In addition to this messy craft project, we did a Montessori bird puzzle and Dora then insisted on not only doing all of the puzzles in the animal puzzle cabinet, but doing all of the puzzle activity cards that are labeled with the body parts’ names, some of which I didn’t even know how to pronounce! Finally, we finished the forest section of Maurice Pledger’s Animal World and are almost completely done with the book. We were supposed to go bird watching, but had to get some medical tests done instead. So no field trip this week, though we did go to our homeschool support group’s young kids’ park day.

Dora took one look at The Burgess Bird Book for Children and declared it “boring”. Nothing I said could induce her to give it a chance, so for our new literature selection for the week, we read poetry from The Classic Treasury of Children’s Poetry instead. She was not able to sit for some of the longer poems, but enjoyed many of the shorter ones, especially the ones that she had heard previously while watching Maurice Sendak’s Little Bear. It was like she thought the book had some magical ability to channel Little Bear or something. As soon as I read one of the poems that had been in Little Bear, she would sit up in a “I know that poem” way, and then her face would light up with joy and excitement when she realized it was from Little Bear.

Long Red Rods

For math, we read Anno’s Counting Book and played with the long red rods. Dora understood the concept of the long red rods, but since she did not line them up at the bottom, she was not really able to accurately compare the length of them all. In the above photo, she took them out of the stand, in order, and I lined up the first few, trying to demonstrate the process to her, but she just was not ready for that step yet. She did really enjoy working with the red rods, however, much more than the brown stairs or pink tower. In regards to Anno’s counting book, one thing that I really liked about the book was the way he managed to work the flow of the seasons into a wordless counting “story”.

Disclosure: Several item links in this post are affiliate links. I will make a small amount if you click on them and make a purchase. All opinions expressed, however, are 100% my own.

I’m linking this post to The Play Academy at NurtureStoreChestnut Grove Academy

 Favorite Resource This Week Science Sunday

For the Kids Fridayabc button Classified: Mom No Time For Flash Cards

Labels: Arts and Crafts, High School, Math, Montessori, Preschool, Science, This and That, Wrapping Up Our Week
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

Montessori Monday: Christmas Activities

Making Gum Drop Tree 2I got this great idea for a gumdrop tree from Chasing Cheerios. I liked that Dora got to work on her fine motor and practical life skills, while also enjoying a fun craft. I’m going to confess that Dora quickly tired of it. I , on the other hand, felt the need to finish mine and worked on it a bit at a time all day until I did.

Making Gum Drop Tree 1

We learned a couple of secrets to working with toothpicks and gumdrops, if you want to avoid being poked by the toothpick. Firstly, is to push the gum drops into the Styrofoam with something such as a wooden spoon, or as in Dora’s case, hammer it in with a wooden mallet. I, on the other hand, found it easier to break the toothpicks in half and put the broken/duller end into the gum drop.

Making Life Saver Ornaments 4

We also made these pretty Life Saver ornaments. We did learn that when the recipe calls for bagged Life Savers, they mean it. The rolled ones don’t melt for some reason.

As usual, I’m linking up to:


Labels: Arts and Crafts, High School, Montessori, Preschool, This and That, Wrapping Up Our Week
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

Preschool at Home–Gingerbread Theme

Gingerbread Workshop 1I’m really late in this weekly summary, but our weekend was insanely busy and this is the first chance I’ve had to get anything done on the computer. This week, we looked at gingerbread. We read a version of the Little Gingerbread Boy, plus watched the Little Bear episode where they make gingerbread cookies (Little Bear being one of the few shoes that Dora will watch). We went to a gingerbread house making workshop. Afterwards, I learned that you can now buy the gingerbread houses pre-assembled. Part of the reason I do this annual workshop is so that I don’t have to assemble a gingerbread house, so next year we just may buy a kit and do it at home. The gingerbread house above is one of the ones they had on display that are made by local companies.

Gingerbread Workshop 3

In addition, we went to Volunteer Park in Seattle to see their seasonal conservatory display.

Vollunteer Park 5

Vollunteer Park 2Vollunteer Park 8We also did some seasonal button art, using popsicle sticks to make ornaments and making Christmas trees on paper. If I was doing these again, I’d paint the popsicle sticks white and/or glittery and let them dry before doing the craft with Dora.

Button Ornament

Button Trees

I haven’t talked much about Dora’s math recently. In the last few weeks, we’ve started using “Living Books” for math as she seems to hate ALL workbooks and traditional math manipulatives. This week we read How Many Snails?, which was a bit too advanced for her. Previously, we have really enjoyed What Comes in 2’s, 3’s, and 4’s? and Teddy Bear Counting.

I’ve also been doing some Montessori math work with her, such as these wooden cards and counters that I bought from Kid Advance Montessori. I have decided to stick with these two approaches, Living Math books and Montessori math materials, for teaching Dora math for the time being. This is all very new for me as I have not used either method to teach math, or any subject for that matter, to any of my other kids. Dora just seems to naturally respond to a Montessori/Charlotte Mason approach, however, while my other kids have preferred more traditional learning tools or unit studies. Of course, Dora is only three, so who knows what we’ll be doing three years from now.

Wooden Cards and Counters

Disclosure: Several item links in this post are affiliate links. I will make a small amount if you click on them and make a purchase. All opinions expressed, however, are 100% my own.

I’m linking this post to The Play Academy at NurtureStoreFootprints in the Butter’s Reading Aloud Challenge, and…

Chestnut Grove Academy

Shibley SmilesChestnut Grove Academy Field Trip Friday Blog Hop Favorite Resource This Week Science Sunday

Tots and Me For the Kids Fridayabc button Classified: Mom No Time For Flash Cards

Labels: Arts and Crafts, High School, Math, Preschool, This and That, Wrapping Up Our Week
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

Preschool at Home–Reindeer Theme

Reindeer Festival 1

Sorry I’ve been a bit quiet, not only have I not been blogging much, but I’ve not even been reading many blogs this week. I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed this school year and Thanksgiving break just wasn’t long enough for me. So I’ve been in kind of a “meh” mood.

Reindeer Festival 2

Anyway, what did we do this week? We studied reindeer, sort of. We did go visit and feed reindeer at our local zoo’s Reindeer Festival. We also saw Santa and told him from a very safe distance that we want a baseball bat for Christmas. Santa seemed mighty confused by this girly girl, all dressed in pink, asking for a baseball bat, but I tried to reassure him that I was sure that he and his elves could handle this seeming contradiction.

We did not read The Wild Christmas Reindeer by Jan Brett, as I had hoped to do, because Dora became obsessed with The Mitten, which is also by Jan Brett and now refuses to read any other Jan Brett book. The Mitten is a cute book and I enjoyed reading it more with Dora, because last year I read a review that discussed all that was going on in the side mitten cutouts. I really hadn’t paid that much attention to them before and did not realize that they showed what animal would be next on the right side, while showing what the boy is currently doing on the left side. In fact, the cutouts are what have caused Dora to become obsessed with the book in the first place.

Gingerbread Cookies

I had also hoped to read Gingerbread Baby, which is also by Jan Brett, but as I mentioned Dora won’t read any other Jan Brett books. We did make gingerbread cookies, however, using this gingerbread cookie recipe. I have to say that I think that these are the best gingerbread cookies that I have ever had! They are very soft and chewy, which is how I like my cookies. They have a good ginger/molasses taste without being too overwhelming for my kids. We had planned to decorate them with frosting, but Dora decided that she wanted to use milk chocolate chips and pearl sprinkles instead and I have to say that the chocolate/molasses combination was quite tasty.

Glitter Paint Ornaments 5

In addition, we made some Christmas ornaments using empty glass balls and Martha Stewart brand acrylic paints, both of which I purchased at Michael’s. I got the original idea from this post over at Educating Lucy, where they used nail polish instead of paint. We didn’t have nail polish and we first tried using tempera paints as the using the words “Dora” and “acrylic” in one sentence makes me extremely nervous. The tempera paints did not work very well, so I bought some more ornaments and the glittery acrylics and my house and sanity are still intact (well, that is assuming that I would known that I was insane, if I was insane, I’m not sure how that works…). The ornaments did come out quite nice and colorful, as Dora chose some very colorful paints (i.e. not the colors I would have chosen Smile).

Finally, my mother-in-law arrived today and Dora just cannot get enough of her Grandma, who will only be here for three days. So Dora may be a bit sad next week, as she still hasn’t recovered from my parents having the audacity of returning to their house after visiting us in October.

How about at your house? Have you been doing any interesting crafts for any of the holidays? Which holidays do you celebrate? Dora’s hairdresser comes from a very mixed heritage and told me  that her family celebrates HanuChristWanza!

Disclosure: Several item links in this post are affiliate links. I will make a small amount if you click on them and make a purchase. All opinions expressed, however, are 100% my own.

I’m linking this post to The Play Academy at NurtureStoreFootprints in the Butter’s Reading Aloud Challenge, and…

Chestnut Grove Academy

Shibley SmilesChestnut Grove Academy Field Trip Friday Blog Hop Favorite Resource This Week Science Sunday

Tots and Me For the Kids Fridayabc button Classified: Mom No Time For Flash Cards

Labels: Arts and Crafts, High School, Preschool, This and That, Wrapping Up Our Week
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

Free Entrance to National Parks This Weekend in Honor of Veteran’s Day

Sorry, I’m a bit late with this, but in honor of Veteran’s  Day, entrance fees are being waved at all National Parks this weekend. To further enrich your experience, there is even  curriculum for some of the parks. Did you know that many of our national historic sites and natural wonders are National Parks also? For instance, the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial, Antietam National Battlefield, Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, Cape Cod National Seashore, Death Valley National Park, and Aztec Ruins National Monument are all National Parks and would make wonderful field trip destinations for some interesting history or science lessons. I find that one of the joys of homeschooling is having the flexibility to incorporate more field trips into my kids education.

Labels: High School, Nature Study, This and That, Wrapping Up Our Week
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

Enter the “Being an American” Essay Contest By December 15th


The “Being an American” essay contest is sponsored by the Bill of Rights Institute. The Contest is open to students in grades 9-12. Five top prizes of $1,000 will be awarded as well as over $5,000 in other cash prizes. The essay submission deadline is December 15, 2011 at 11:59 PM (PST). Teacher submitters will receive $100 for each winning essay they submit.

The essay prompt is:

How does the Constitution establish and maintain a culture of liberty?

In an essay of no more than 1000 words, analyze and discuss:

• How one of the Founding principles established in the Constitution helps preserve liberty
• Why at least one Founder, as evidenced in a primary source document, believed your chosen principle was a safeguard to liberty
• Why your principle continues to be important today
• How you personally help preserve a culture that ensures the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in America

Labels: High School, This and That, Wrapping Up Our Week
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

Salad Spinner Art

Salad Spinner Art 4

Once again, I have been a bad blogger this week. 2011 has been a bad year for me, health-wise. My tooth crown had to be redone, so I spent two mornings at the dentist. Then on Wednesday, I had sinus surgery and the recovery has been a bit draining. I can, however, now breathe freely through my right nostril. I only had one side operated on as that was the only side with documented structural issues. Twenty years ago, I had major sinus surgery and there is a lot of scar tissue left from that. From what I gather, that surgery was done during the “dark ages” of sinus surgery, so my doctor at the time, wouldn’t have been able to reach as many places, done as good of a job, and so forth. Anyway, the scar tissue on this side had cilia that were going the wrong way, so my healthy cilia would push bacteria in one direction and my scarred cilia would push it right back. The end result being, the bacteria could never escape my right sinuses and I had chronic sinus infections.

Salad Spinner Art 5

Anyway, Gohan did what bookwork he could. We are still struggling with finding the correct language arts curriculum. Finding curriculum geared towards teenagers, who are a couple of years behind in reading and several years behind in spelling, is hard. A lot of the curriculum is either too difficult or too childish. In addition, the curriculum that I have found that is aimed at dyslexics in his age bracket tends to be too remedial.

Salad Spinner Art 2

Keeping Dora occupied, however, has been a challenge. I am not supposed to be carrying her or bending my head down. So we saw Puss in Boots twice last week, went to the park and actually met and befriended another homeschool family with a 4 1/2 year old girl that Dora got along with very well, and did a lot of crafts. I couldn’t do cooking or crafts that required a lot of me, physically, so I really had to reach into the furthest recesses of my memory (let me tell you, those recesses run deep!) to come up with crafts that would keep her occupied, not overly strain me, and did not require materials that we did not have on hand.

Salad Spinner Art 1

Our most successful endeavor ended up being salad spinner art. We first started with a store-bought art spinner, but were a bit disappointed with how awkward it was to manipulate. Then Gohan wanted to do the craft also, so I suddenly remembered that I had a long time ago read about someone using a salad spinner to create art. I don’t feel that I came up with the best technique yet, but certainly the salad spinner art came out just as nice as the art spinner. We ran out of art-spinner paint, so used tempera paints for the rest of the prints. We simply put the square of paper in the salad spinner, put some paint globs on the paper, put the lid on the spinner, and spun. We found that it was best to “anchor” each piece of paper by making sure one dot of paint was on each corner of the paper. We also found that if we spun our salad spinner too fast, the paper would fly up on the side of the spinner and ruin the print. Overall, I am hoping to fine tune this project, because I believe it has some great potential.

Salad Spinner Art 3

Labels: Arts and Crafts, High School, This and That, Wrapping Up Our Week
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff