Bad News


It recently occurred to me that the majority of news in the papers isn’t good at all. Most times, it is depressing. As someone who reads the British and Malaysian news online everyday, I don’t know why it has taken me so long to realize this.

In the local Malaysian news, there are reports of corruption and all the evil the government is committing; in the international news, there are the articles on the shooting in Norway and the debt crisis in the United States; in the sports news, bribery scandals are seemingly endless; in the entertainment news, yet another celebrity has gotten a divorce.

Yet, millions of people worldwide enjoy reading the newspapers. If you read the news regularly, please leave a reply and tell me why. I would love to hear from you!


Evangeline is a 17-year old homeschooler from Malaysia. She likes reading, writing, editing Wikipedia, listening to music and surfing the net. She is always on the lookout for new posts for her blog:


August 2011

Welcome… Homeschooling Teen is a free e-zine for homeschooled high schoolers and young adult alumni. Published once a month, much of the content is written by our subscribers, and there are many opportunities for readers to participate – whether it’s writing book or movie reviews, sending in original short stories and poems, or submitting other articles of interest. Additionally, in each issue we feature a profile of a Homeschooling Teen and a Homeschool Friendly College. Write to us at



Be Somebody…Be Yourself


Homeschooling Teen Profile: Peter Olsen

Peter Olsen

Peter Olsen, one of our regular Homeschooling Teen contributors, graduated on May 13 from Paradise Valley Community College with Highest Distinction as a member of the Honors Program and Phi Theta Kappa. Peter received both an Associate in Arts degree and a certificate in Web Design. He’s also enrolled at Mesa Community College where he has one more semester to go before completing his Associate in Applied Science degree in Computer Game Design. Peter entered PVCC as a full-time student and Presidents’ Scholar in January 2009. The Presidents’ Scholarship is full tuition waiver for up to four consecutive fall and spring semesters, awarded to high-achieving high school seniors.

Throughout high school, Peter was active in service learning and volunteer projects. He earned the President’s Volunteer Service Gold Award in 2005 and the President’s Volunteer Service Bronze Award in 2006 and 2007. Peter was a member of the National Society of High School Scholars and Eta Sigma Alpha National Homeschool Honor Society, Epsilon Delta Chapter. While in high school, he also worked as a packaging assistant at PC NetwoRx, a nutritional supplement business owned by a local homeschool family. Since graduating from high school in May 2008, Peter has served as an Audio-Visual Technician at Desert View Bible Church. Peter grew up in a unique homeschool environment, as described in the following autobiographical sketch.

About Me, by Peter Olsen

Before attending college, I was homeschooled my whole life. We used an eclectic assortment of materials from traditional textbooks and educational software to science kits and DVDs. Our family’s library of over 5,000 books was a treasure trove of knowledge at my fingertips. Much of my learning took place during activities in which I worked independently and which allowed for flexibility. For example, in kindergarten I’d spend hours playing my favorite computer game, Logical Journey of the Zoombinis. But with educational freedom came the responsibility for getting my own work done. By the end of my junior year in high school I was determined to finish calculus so I completed eighteen chapters in one week, receiving A’s and B’s. The home learning environment was ideally suited to self-discipline as well as constructive creativity.

My growing up years were enriched with many family adventures. Packed with education as well as fun, each experience opened my eyes to different cultures and environments. Memorable images continue to fuel my imagination – building sand castles on the beach, hiking up volcanic cinder cones, walking among ancient Indian ruins, discovering ghost towns, participating in historical re-enactments, and driving on dusty dirt roads through the desert. I climbed the highest mountain in Arizona as well as a 14,000 foot peak in the Colorado Rockies. These wide-ranging learning situations helped to broaden my horizons both literally and figuratively. This taught me that a real education is more than book learning – it also includes exploration.

Although science was my best school subject, throughout childhood I wanted to be an architect. I developed strong conceptual and visual design skills through hobbies that consisted of drawing maps and floor plans, playing SimCity, putting together 3-D puzzles of famous buildings, and building LEGO structures. These pastimes allowed me to experiment with a variety of simulated landscapes and layouts. Then in my early teens I began creating new levels and cinematics for a computer game called Chex Quest. That’s when I decided to become a game designer instead of a building designer. At the same time, I applied my analytical and problem solving skills when I built my own computer and three more computers for other family members.

While my aptitude for math and physics shows that I possess a high level of critical thinking skills, being creative is my real passion. A combination of logical and creative abilities is ideal for programming interactive multimedia, as in my college majors of Web Design and Game Technology. By taking general studies courses I was able to delve more deeply into geography, another interest of mine. Although most of my classes were held on campus, recently I’ve had the opportunity to take some online courses. One was a communications class in which we created PowerPoint and video presentations, then uploaded them to YouTube. In a presentation titled “Computer Games: Enhancing Education,” I made a persuasive argument for the educational value of computer games.

From a little boy playing with LEGOs… to a teen making computer game mods… to a college student majoring in web and game design – the skills I’ve developed throughout my life have prepared me for a future in any field that uses innovative multimedia content. My varied interests in this area are reflected in a blog that I maintain for discussing anime, webcomics, games, machinima, Vocaloid music, and random topics from the world of computers and entertainment. Although my ultimate goal is to design computer games, I am competent in varied forms of interactive media. I believe that to attain success one must not only be skilled, but also versatile and able to meet any challenges. I’m confident that I have what it takes to succeed: creativity, technical proficiency, and determination. My aim is to create imaginative games and dynamic environments for fun and learning! – Peter’s portfolio website – Peter’s blog – Peter’s personal website



August is…

Family Fun Month

National Catfish Month

National Golf Month

National Eye Exam Month

National Inventors Month

National Back-to-School Month

National Water Quality Month

Peach Month

Click here for more August days:


Stepping Stones, by Michaela Popielski


Stepping Stones

Hi everyone. My name is Michaela, I’m 17 and I had this idea to start a monthly devotional because reading The Bible is so important to our spiritual lives such as fruit, veggies and meat are needed for our physical bodies. Well I’ve been wanting to start this devotional for a while and I think its time I started. I’ve decided to call it ‘Stepping Stones’ since God wants us to be stepping stones and not stumbling blocks for other people. This devotional is for August and I think the theme should be on prayer and peace. How many of you struggle with consistent and sincere praying? I know I do. If you don’t then that’s awesome. Before I totally sold out to Christ I wasn’t that much into prayer. I mean I prayed just to get by and to avoid going to Hell. Even though I was practically born in church and had given my life to Christ and I’ve been going since I could remember it all seemed routine to me. Get up, do chores, eat breakfast etc. and go to church. I loved it as a kid but I didn’t understand what they were really talking about. I mean when you’re three, four, five, six you think ‘church is where Jesus is’. Which he is but there’s so much more to it And it didn’t click till I was a sophomore in high school. Long time right? Well that’s how most if not all of us think of it. ‘I’ll pray to stay on Gods good side’ or ‘Dear Lord’ and you fall asleep mid – prayer. I’ve done both and I regret it. But that’s how we are: sinners, human and any other terms you can think of. (Within reason of course.) Well thanks to Google and some thought and prayer I’ve compiled a collection of bible verses all about prayer. Please don’t think I cheated on finding verses or anything but I lost my bible and my memory hasn’t been that good. Anyway I hope you enjoy this collection of verses. Also a tip: if you have trouble focusing or paying attention if you want play worship music. It helps and keeps you focused on the verses and what they are saying. So without further adieu here are the verses.


P.S. I kept it light this time so with the end of summer plans and back to school shopping you’ll still get your bible in without stress. Maybe you could pray for less stress.

Aug. 1. Proverbs 21:13. Psalm 46:10.

Aug. 2. Matthew 6:6. Matthew 7:7-11.

Aug. 3. Matthew 18:19-20. Matthew 21:22.

Aug. 4. Mark 10:27. Mark 11:24.

Aug. 5. Luke 22:40. Luke 11:9-10.

Aug. 6. John 14:13. John 15:7.

Aug. 7. John 16:23. Ephesians 3:20-21.

Aug. 8. Philippians 4:6-7. Philippians 4:19.

Aug. 9. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. 1Timothy 2:1-4.

Aug. 10. Hebrews 4:16. James 1:5-6.

Aug. 11. James 4:2. James 5:16.

Aug. 12. 1 John 3:21-22. 1 John 5:14-15.

Aug. 13. James 4:3. Ephesians 6:18.

Aug. 14. 1 John 1:9. Matthew 6:5-8.

Aug. 15. Luke 18:9-14. Mark 11:22-25.

Aug. 16. 1 Chronicles 16:11. 2 Chronicles 7:14. 2 Chronicles 7:14-15.

Aug. 17. Psalm 4:1. Psalm 5:3. Psalm 17:1.

Aug. 18. Psalm 25:1 Psalm 37:7. Psalm 50:15.

Aug. 19. Psalm 55:17. Psalm 55:17. Psalms 145:18.

Aug. 20. Proverbs 15:8. Proverbs 15:29. Isaiah 55:6.

Aug. 21. Matt 5:43-44. Matthew 6:5-12. Matthew 7:7-8.

Aug. 22. Luke 6:12. Luke 11:1-13. Mark 11:17.

Aug. 23. Mark 9:28-29. Luke 18:1-10. John 14:13-14.

Aug. 24. Luke 18:1. Romans 8:26. 1 Corinthians 14:15 Colossians 4:2.

Aug. 25. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. Hebrews 4:16. 1Timothy 2:8. 1 John 5:14-15.

Aug. 26. Revelations 5:8. 1 Peter 3:7. Ephesians 6:18-19.

Aug. 27. Psalm 95:2. Romans 15:30. 2 Corinthians 1:11.

Aug. 28. Jonah 2:7. Psalm 42:8. Jude 1:20.

Aug. 29. Luke 21:35-36. Luke 22:46. Matthew 26:41.

Aug. 30. Romans 12:12. Psalm 18:6. James 5:14-15. Luke 2:36-37.

Aug. 31. James 5:16a. Matthew 17:21. Luke 18:1-8. Luke 11:5-13.

Editor’s Note: Visit on the first of each month for Michaela’s Stepping Stones Devotionals. Then you can get started on them right away without having to wait for the magazine to come out!



How Combining High School & College Will Pave the Way for Success in College and Life Beyond

Kelly Negvesky

Speaker: Kelly Negvesky

Webinar date: 8/18/11

Start time: 8pm EDT; 7pm CDT; 5pm PDT

You are encouraged to REGISTER NOW for this webinar at as space is limited and will fill up fast. After you register, you will receive the webinar participation instructions in your email.

Kelly Negvesky, Curriculum Specialist & Dual Credit Consultant, will lead this webinar on combining high school and college to save thousands of dollars in tuition fees. Kelly is the author of The Official Homeschooler’s Guide to Dual Credit (available for free at In 2007 she received her BA in Humanities through distance learning in only 12 months by earning72 credit hours with CLEP and DANTES tests. Kelly will discuss the “how to’s” of dual credit – from high school transcripts to the methods of acquiring credit. In 60 minutes Kelly will help you become an expert in dual credit, and give you the tools and information you need to make the right dual credit decision.

This webinar is one of five seminars in the Christian Leadership Series sponsored and hosted by CollegePlus! CollegePlus! is a mentoring program that helps homeschoolers get credit for college classes by examination. Homeschool students as young as age 13 can start earning dual credit, thus slashing both cost and time investment. CollegePlus! creates a customized accredited degree program designed around the student’s specific needs, personality, and life purpose.

Homeschoolers are known for thinking outside the box and making choices that differ from the status quo. Many will become leaders who possess the ability to influence others and positively impact the culture. Kelly Negvesky recently took the time to answer some questions about leadership for our Homeschooling Teen readers.


Interview with Kelly Negvesky

HST: How do you define the difference between a leader and an influencer?

KELLY: A leader goes first, ahead of the rest. This does not mean the leader influenced anyone with his direction. He just pointed a direction. When someone is influenced they are moved to take a difference stance, they know why they are heading in this new direction and have plans to imprint themselves morally with the change.

HST: What are some of the character qualities that make up a great leader? A powerful influencer?

KELLY: Great leaders are led by the Lord. They have never arrived. A great leader will say really hard things and then share how they fell in their achievement of those hard things. Great leaders assume the best in those around them but never, ever settle for anything but the best in others or themselves.

HST: Who influenced you as a child?

KELLY: My parents have a deep, impacting influence on my life and the choices I make. I had a strong relationship with all the Pastors in our home church. Each taught me valuable lessons from the pulpit and from the way they lived their daily lives. There are several authors that left deep imprints setting the stage for a different way to live my life. They pulled back the curtains on the multi-generation sin in my life and influenced lifelong changes that have led to great blessing. These are Larry Crabb, James Dobson, Bill Gothard and C.S. Lewis.

HST: Who influences you now?

KELLY: There are the well-known leaders in the Christian community and my thoughts are affected by their insight, but it is the Holy Spirit that has guided and directed me faithfully through my life.

HST: Who do you think are the major influencers within the homeschool community?

KELLY: Since the homeschool community is who the parent chooses to bring into the home this varies. In the Negvesky home we follow a very classical approach so we are heavily influenced by the authors of Memoria Press, Vision Forum and Veritas Press. We read history written by the history makers, Washington, Jefferson, Franklin and we aren’t afraid to read from differing perspectives to either widen our horizon or solidify our current stand. I love reading articles from World Magazine and then grabbing an issue of Time to read the differing slant.

HST: When should a child make the transition from leader to influencer?

KELLY: Each child matures differently, but in our home we have set an expectation of 13. Our heart is to train them to lead and at the age of 13 create opportunities to step outside the realm to influence their world. We plan strategic opportunities to set them up for success. Sometimes they fall and we bring them home, discuss what happened and set up the next opportunity for success.


Tell us about your favorite homeschool-friendly college, and we will feature it in an upcoming issue!




College Bound:

Homeschool Friendly Colleges




Paradise Valley Community College


Paradise Valley Community College (PVCC) is a two-year college in Phoenix, Arizona.

It’s one of ten colleges, two skill centers, and multiple satellite locations which comprise the Maricopa County Community College District. The district was established in 1962 with a single college and has since grown to become the largest provider of post-secondary education in the state of Arizona – and the largest community college district in the U.S. in terms of enrollment.The district’s colleges and centers offer comprehensive professional, occupational, special interest, and continuing education curricula as well as innovative, award-winning programs that have been replicated at other community colleges across the nation.


Despite its name, PVCC is located in Northeast Phoenix some distance from the actual town of Paradise Valley. PVCC was originally founded in 1985 with classes temporarily held at Paradise Valley High School. The school district gave the college its present name, and construction of the campus began in 1986. PVCC operated as an extension of Scottsdale Community College until it gained independent accreditation in 1990. PVCC is accredited through the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association. The college mascot is the puma, and the school colors are sand and turquoise.


PVCC has expanded in both campus size and enrollment along with the development of the north Phoenix area. The main campus is nestled in a quiet neighborhood, easily accessible from both SR51 and Loop 101. A branch campus, PVCC at Black Mountain, opened in August 2009. PVCC serves over 9,000 students enrolled in degree programs, along with more than 4,500 residents taking advantage of continuing education opportunities. However, students won’t get lost in the crowd because PVCC has small class sizes with a low teacher-to-student ratio (average class size is 26).


From traditional college physics to the cutting-edge course Introduction to Programming iPhone Applications, PVCC has it all! With 64 degree and certificate programs, you will be sure to find the path that’s right for you whether you want a broad general education, a solid academic foundation that will transfer to the state universities, if you want to enter an occupation immediately upon graduating, if you are seeking career advancement or professional development through a certificate program, or if you are simply looking for personal intellectual enrichment.


Students can learn a skill to begin a new career or complement an existing one by completing one or more certificate programs in areas such as: EMT, Fire Science, Early Childhood Education, Journalism, International Business, Microsoft Technology, Music Business, Nurse Assisting, Practical Nursing, Personal Trainer, Programming & System Analysis, Organizational Management, Retail Management, Small Business, Sound Design, Technical Theatre, and Web Design.


Associate Degree programs include: Associate in Arts (AA); Associate in Fine Arts (AAFA); Associate in Elementary Education (AAEE); Associate in Business (ABUS); Associate in General Studies (AGS); and Associate in Science (AS). PVCC also offers 21 Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degrees which are two-year occupational degrees requiring 60-64 credits.


The Arizona General Education Curriculum (AGEC) is another available program of study. This curriculum does not result in a degree, but helps students fulfill 35 semester hours of lower-division general education requirements before transferring to a four-year college in Arizona. Students who complete the AGEC core curriculum at PVCC are guaranteed admission to all three Arizona state universities with a smooth transfer of lower division credits. Differing tracks are tailored to students looking to pursue degrees in the liberal arts (AGEC-A), business (AGEC-B), or math and science (AGEC-S).


The Associate in Transfer Partnership (ATP) degree was developed specifically for students who have an identified major and have selected the baccalaureate degree-granting institution to which they intend to transfer. The lower division course degree requirements of the major are jointly planned and agreed on by the community college and the institution to which the student plans to transfer.


Alternatively, through an agreement between the Maricopa Community Colleges and Northern Arizona University (NAU), you can continue your education toward a bachelor’s degree after completing your associate’s degree – while still attending the community college! The 90/30 program allows you to transfer up to 90 college credits from the community college toward a B.A. or B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies (BIS). This allows you to save on the overall cost of your bachelor’s degree by paying the lower community college tuition rates. Then you will need only 30 hours of credit from NAU to complete the bachelor’s degree requirements.


PVCC has a highly qualified faculty dedicated to teaching and student achievement. As of 2009, the campus had 117 full-time residential faculty and 444 adjunct faculty, most of whom have advanced degrees in their field of expertise. Even the fitness instructors have bachelor’s or master’s degrees in exercise science, and the individualized attention they provide is like having your own personal trainer at no extra charge. PVCC is dedicated to helping students reach their goals in every way.


The student body at PVCC comprises about 55% women and 45% men. The percentage of students aged 19 and under (including dual enrollment high school students) is over 34%, while almost 16% of the student body is age 40 or over. Daytime enrollment is approximately 68% of the total, while night enrollment is strong as well.


Despite being a commuter college (parking is free, and there is a bus stop on campus), PVCC offers many ways for students to get involved in college life – including over 32 student clubs and organizations, Student Leadership Council, Peak Leadership Institute, Honors Program, Service Learning (volunteerism), sports, arts and cultural events. Opportunities are numerous for study groups, peer tutoring, faculty interaction, integration of assignments, group projects, and development of teambuilding skills.


PVCC athletic facilities include a state-of-the-art indoor fitness center, outdoor sports fields, tennis and handball courts. The eastern edge of the campus borders the Paradise Valley Golf Course, operated by Maricopa County. PVCC is affiliated with the National Junior College Athletic Association. The women’s cross-country team has won the national championship many times since their first in 1997, and the men’s team has carried two national titles.


The PVCC Center for Performing Arts, opened in 2005, contains stage facilities for drama and music performances. A 12-foot-high colorful horse sculpture titled “Gateway to a Life-long Journey of Learning” stands outside the building. The Center for Performing Arts Gallery also hosts several art exhibits annually including shows by faculty and students. Various art collections, including over 600 Western-themed pieces donated by faculty-emeritus Dr. Warren Buxton, and a set of life-size figures of Chinese warriors and horses like those discovered in 1974 near Xi’an, China, are on display in the Learning Resources Complex (LRC). The LRC contains the college library, computer labs, and tutoring center.


Stretching across the PVCC campus is a Scale Model Solar System, a detailed true scale model at 1:15,000,000,000 (1 to 15 billion). This means that every step you take in the model is equal to 15 billion steps in the actual solar system. The model solar system is set in a straight line spanning the length of four football fields (about a quarter of a mile), beginning with the Sun at the northwest corner of the J-Building and ending with Pluto near the south entrance of the Center for Performing Arts. When you stand at the Earth station and look at the Sun sphere, it will appear exactly the same size as the Sun does in the sky. There are fourteen learning stations along the way – two informational, one of the Sun, nine for each of the planets, and two for the two asteroid belts. In addition, there is a Telescope Dome on campus for astronomy events and star parties.


A new building for the study of life sciences at PVCC includes seven classrooms, six biology labs, and two anatomy/physiology labs (one of which is a cadaver lab), plus lab support spaces and administrative offices. The Life Science Building’s masonry and copper architectural design is a tangible symbol of its commitment to collaborative learning in the context of sustainable desert architecture. The xeriscape landscaping around the building relies only on natural rainfall for irrigation, and the sloping roof is equipped to collect rainwater. The roof has a white coating to reduce solar gain, and all of the labs and classrooms make use of daylighting to reduce energy usage. A large terrace provides a shaded outdoor gathering place divided into informal meeting spaces complete with tables, chairs, chalkboards, and ceiling fans.


In 2010, PVCC celebrated the grand opening of its newly renovated Q building, now home to the Math and Continuing Education departments as well as the Center for Teaching and Learning, which focuses on expanding and improving instruction to support learning and student success.


Personal or group walking tours of campus are available year-round. All tours are led by PVCC Ambassadors, a group of volunteer students. The walking tour includes visits to academic buildings, student services areas, the student union, and other attractions. Make sure to ask your guide what it’s like to study at PVCC. Guided walking tours last approximately 35-40 minutes and it is highly recommend that you call in advance to confirm that there will be someone available to give you a tour. For more information, see: You can also take a campus virtual tour here: For more information about PVCC, visit the college website:


A Homeschooler’s Guide to Paradise Valley Community College

By Peter Olsen, Class of 2011




If you’ve been homeschooled all your life and have never set foot in a classroom, it can be a little intimidating going to college for the first time. For this reason I think a community college is a good place to start, because it’s not such an abrupt change as going off to a university. The admission process is easier, and you also get a lot more value for your money at the community college. Tuition for a full-time student at PVCC is only one-third the cost of attending similar classes at a state university, and most of the core community college courses are fully transferrable. Now that I’ve completed two years at PVCC, I can tell you all about it so you won’t have to wonder what it’s like. Other community colleges are probably very similar.


If you are new to PVCC, you will be required to complete the Student Information Form. This application simply asks for standard information such as name, address, phone, birthdate, social security number, driver’s license number, residency status, and high school status (high school diploma, GED, currently enrolled, home taught, no diploma/GED). ACT or SAT scores are not necessary for admission to the community college, which is another plus if you’ve never gotten around to taking those tests. I was 18 years old at the time of admission, but they won’t deny anyone younger than that from enrolling as long as the student gets a satisfactory score on the college entrance exam, thus demonstrating the ability to do college level work.


All students taking their first college-level English, reading, or mathematics course must complete a placement test at the campus testing center before they can register for classes. This is a computerized assessment test that helps admissions personnel evaluate incoming students in reading, writing, and math skills. There are no passing or failing grades; the test results are only utilized to determine your current skill level in the areas tested so that you can be placed in the appropriate class. You may also qualify for a scholarship and/or enrollment in the Honors Program based on your scores. Several homeschoolers have received the Presidents’ Scholarship as a result of their high placement test scores.


If you enroll at PVCC within one year after graduating from high school, there are two ways to be eligible for the Presidents’ Scholarship: (1) Graduate from an accredited high school and rank in the top 15% of your class; OR (2) Eligibility via ASSET, COMPASS, or ACCUPLACER placement test by placing in Honors English and MAT 120 or higher. (When I took the test, the required minimum COMPASS scores were: English 97, Reading 91, Intermediate Algebra 41, and College Algebra 23.) The Presidents’ Scholarship provides full-time tuition (a dollar amount equal to 15 credit hours) for up to four consecutive fall and spring semesters, and automatically qualifies you for the Honors Program.


A variety of financial aid resources are available to all students from federal, state, college, and private funding sources including scholarships, grants, loans, and even an online tuition payment plan. Although financial aid is available throughout the year, students who apply early have the best chance of receiving funding. To begin the process, simply complete a “Free Application for Federal Financial Aid” (FAFSA) at . Students can see if they qualify for any other scholarships based on need, merit, or area of interest. Deadlines vary, but most occur during December and March for the following academic year. In addition, Project Ayuda helps students earn money for college through a local AmeriCorps program.


Registering for classes is easily done in person, online, by phone, fax, or mail. However, you may want to meet with an academic advisor to help you select the classes that will fulfill your academic goals – especially if you plan to transfer to a university – or you can meet with a career counselor if you are uncertain about what to study. If you should ever want your parents to be able to contact the college on your behalf, you can submit a Student Information Release Authorization which will allow them to access your records. This can be helpful when dealing with the financial aid office, for example.


First-time college students are required to take a one-credit College Success class, which serves as a starting point to improve study skills and ensure college preparedness. In addition, PVCC’s “iStart Smart” program brings a unique approach to college orientation, course placement, and academic success. The First Year Experience (FYE) program groups first-time college students in cohorts for their first semester. They take a few classes together in addition to participating in social events and activities, providing an integrated experience for new students. If you can, try to get involved in other aspects of college life besides just attending classes. The overall enjoyment of your college experience will increase in direct relation to your involvement on campus, both inside and outside the classroom.

If you qualify for the Honors Program, you should definitely consider taking advantage of the opportunity. The Honors Program challenges students with small classes (about 10 students) in which active participation is expected. Emphasis is placed on an interdisciplinary approach where connections are made across academic disciplines. The Honors Program at PVCC also provides special opportunities for cultural enrichment, educational enjoyment, and personal growth through exclusive social functions, guest speakers, educational travel, free Phoenix Symphony tickets, retreats and conferences.


The faculty and staff in the Honors Department at PVCC are all friendly and eager to help, but the scholarship committee was rather strict in regard to a high school transcript. I can tell you from personal experience that it’s best to have someone other than your parents sign your homeschool transcript, thereby avoiding any potential hassle. Ask your support group leader, or perhaps a teacher or tutor who can vouch for you. (They didn’t seem to care who signed it, as long as it wasn’t the parents!)


To graduate from the Honors Program with an honors designation on your diploma and college transcript, you must have at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA and complete 15 credit hours of honors classes including HUM190. (This Honors Forum course involves a lot of writing and supplemental reading as well as service learning work, so try not to take it at the same time as another course requiring a similar amount of effort.) There are a variety of designated honors courses to choose from, or with an instructor’s permission you can turn any class into an honors course by completing an honors project in addition to the regular course requirements.

Among the many fine instructors you will find at PVCC is Dr. John Douglass, a geography professor and one of the nation’s leading experts on the geology of the Grand Canyon. Another geography professor, Dr. Lew Deitch, greatly enriched my knowledge of Southwest landscapes, cultures, and places. His lectures were always interesting and informative. Dr. Jon Storslee, with whom I was able to take a web design class every semester, is a fun instructor who likes to joke with his students. These were just a few of my favorite professors.


I’ll never forget my first experience at PVCC. My parents and I were walking around campus on our own self-tour to see where my classrooms were located. It was winter break and classes hadn’t started yet. The door to one of the buildings was locked but we were peeking in the window. An older gentleman was standing off to one side smoking a cigarette. He asked if we needed any help, and when we explained what we were doing, he offered to show us around. Leading the way, he told us that he was an economics professor. In the course of conversation, he asked what high school I had graduated from. When I said that I’d been homeschooled, he stopped abruptly, turned to face me, and shaking his finger at my parents exclaimed, “You be sure to thank these people! They have done a great service for you.”


Tell us about your favorite homeschool-friendly college, and we will feature it in an upcoming issue!



The World Around Us, by Evangeline


It recently occurred to me that the majority of news in the papers isn’t good at all. Most times, it is depressing. As someone who reads the British and Malaysian news online everyday, I don’t know why it has taken me so long to realize this.

In the local Malaysian news, there are reports of corruption and all the evil the government is committing; in the international news, there are the articles on the shooting in Norway and the debt crisis in the United States; in the sports news, bribery scandals are seemingly endless; in the entertainment news, yet another celebrity has gotten a divorce.

Yet, millions of people worldwide enjoy reading the newspapers. If you read the news regularly, email me at and tell me why. I would love to hear from you!


Evangeline is a 17-year old homeschooler from Malaysia. She likes reading, writing, editing Wikipedia, listening to music and surfing the net. She is always on the lookout for new posts for her blog:

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