Tuesday, September 16, 2014

College Admissions Essay

In the mail today, I was excited to receive my review copy of  Admissions Essay Boot Camp: How to Write Your Way into the Elite College of Your Dreams.

I don't think my son has elite colleges in his dreams, but it is always a good idea to write an excellent essay, so I was interested to see if this book would give us any new insight.

It is an easy book to read and since my son is in the midst of writing admissions essays, I sat down and read the 156 page book this afternoon.

First, the helpful info that author Ashley Wellington gives in the first  few chapters:

  • with humility, honesty, and humor, work with the experiences you have
  • determine what type of student you are, because colleges are trying to do that
  • a questionnaire to help you determine what experiences are most important to you
  • examples of essays from different types of students

The first chapter does cover the different type of students most applicants are -

the achieve-o-tron, the dabbler, the athlete, the club president, the average joe, the natural, the un-natural, the secret prodigy, the buddy, or the aristocrat-

and which essay prompts work best for which type of student.

The first seven chapters are the how-to of the book, but only cover 37 pages.  The rest of the book is actual examples and suggestions for specific students the author has helped.

What I found most interesting about the examples were the way students were able to highlight different interests and facets of their personality within the context of the essay without sounding like they were hopping around to different subjects. 

This is the result of learning to write a succinct essay.

It is obvious that most of her examples are written by ‘aristocrats’ based on their examples of boarding school and international travel.  Even though the author cautions against sounding like an aristocrat, many of her examples did not attain that goal.

What I wrote a couple months ago about the personal essay/college admissions essay is still true.  
If you want to read the essay examples in this book, go ahead and buy it, but I think much of the information in this book is available online.

If students remember what I said about the purpose of the essay, they will be way ahead of the game.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Responding to Teenagers

"I'm thinking about getting dreads," my college freshman son declared to me as we were leaving his university for spring break at home.

Friday, September 12, 2014


how to make a book cake

Through the years I have made decorated cakes for my children for their birthdays.  Not every year, but sometimes.  

When my oldest daughter was engaged, she requested a book cake for her engagement party.  She has always loved books, so this seemed like a fun cake to make.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Drawing Lessons

Would you like to have a resource to teach your children to draw just about any animal they, or you, can imagine?

Would you like that resource to be free?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Our History and Vocabulary

My Facebook newsfeed is testimony to the excitement associated with the first few days of a new school year.

I think homeschooled students and teachers also feel the excitement of a new school year.

This week begins our third week of the school year.  So far, we have been diligent to keep up with lessons and lesson planning.  I have not done much lesson planning the last few years (due to a curriculum that came with plans), so this is a big deal for me.

As I mentioned in this post on our plan for this year,
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