Book Review: What Color is Your Parachute for Teens

I have had this book- What Color is Your Parachute for Teens- in my review stack for quite a while now.  I have procrastinated on writing my review because, frankly, I didn't even like the book enough to finish reading it!

I wanted to like this book, I really did. I was hoping it would help my older teen get a better idea of her interests and strengths. I tried to read it and it didn't hold my interest, but I thought she would read it. It did not hold her interest and she didn't finish reading it either. Some of her friends picked it up because the title and cover were eye-catching, but after skimming it and reading some of it aloud, they also were not interested. I did receive a copy of this book for my honest review of the book. recommendation on this book is to leave it on the shelf and find something better.  Or, perhaps, go ahead and read it.  You and/or your teen might like it.


We spend a lot of time talking about how to homeschool.

We debate whether parents are qualified to homeschool, especially high school.

We obsess over getting our homeschool graduate into college.  

But there are precious few conversations about homeschoolers once they leave education behind and enter the adult world.

After 20+ years of homeschooling, I have watched many homeschooled students (including my own) enter the adult world.

So, how are they doing?  What are they doing?

The un-informed, homeschooling opponent might think they are struggling.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The ones I know are competent, functioning adults.  I’m thinking about the ones that have been out of college long enough to establish themselves; the late 20’s, early 30’s adults.

This is just an example of jobs they hold:

Full time mom
Information Systems specialist 
Interior Designer 
Physical Therapist 
Physician’s AssistantSelf-employed business owner


As you can see, just normal adults in a variety of jobs. 

As I thought about this list, I realized I couldn’t really think of any homeschool grads that were really floundering.  I’m sure there probably are some and I just don’t happen to know them.

What about you?  Do you know homeschooled young adults?  What/how are they doing? 

I think it is time the homeschooling conversation included the ‘finished’ products.

If you are a young adult who was homeschooled and would be willing to share your story on my blog, I would love to hear from you.

Success is Not a Test Score

Even though I have devoted many blog posts to scoring high on standardized college admission tests, I don't believe that the success of a student hinges on that score.

Obviously, you want your student to do their best on a test and that is why I have recommended test prep in the form of understanding the test and helping a student do their best.  

With that being said, I had a reader ask me what to do when sibling scores are very different.

Now that is a very interesting question, and really, it has nothing to do with test prep, or teacher failure, or 'lazy' student.

It has everything to do with parental expectations.   

Let's be honest: most of us approach parenting with a one size fits all approach.  If we have two or more children we assume that whatever works in the parenting/teaching department with the first child will work with the rest of the children.

Hopefully you learned fairly quickly (like with the second child) that the 'one size fits all' parenting doesn't work.  

Personally, I learned that my discipline method didn't work, my teaching method didn't work, my napping schedule didn't work- basically nothing fit for the second child.

Remember:  the second child is not like the first.

Truthfully, if you have more than one child, none of them are exactly alike.  

I suspect, as a parent and a homeschooler, you discovered your child's learning style and their love language; you know what makes them tick.

But, sometimes, in some areas, you STILL think you have it figured out.  
Your first student does x+y+z to prepare for a standardized test and the results please you and their first choice college.

BAM!  You've got this testing thing in the bag.  You know how it works and now all your children will get great results.

So, your second student does x+y+z to prepare for a standardized test.  But, the results do not please you (or your college choice).  Now what? 

Do you throw up your hands in despair?

You need to tread carefully.  Do NOT make your child feel like a failure because they did not score as well as their sibling.  Even if you don't say it, they may already feel this way.  Even if you don't say it, they may sense it.

Success in not a test score.  It is not the end of the world if your student isn't accepted to your first choice college.  There are many good schools to consider.

Many students start at a junior college and transfer to the school of their choice later.  This is a very cost effective way to get a college education.  It does not mean a student isn't 'smart enough' to get into a four year school. 

Siblings compare themselves enough without the stress of thinking they need to live up to the highest test score in the family.

We emphasize ACT and SAT scores a little too much.

Redefine success for them.

Homeschooling: What Every Parent Should Know about the NEW SAT & ACT, Part 2

Today is part 2 of Lauren Gaggioli's post about the new SAT and ACT.  If you missed the first part, you can find it here.

The Three Elephants In The Room

Homeschooling: What Every Parent Should Know about the NEW SAT & ACT

 Today, Lauren Gaggioli of Higher Scores Test Prep is my guest writer.  Lauren addresses changes in the ACT and SAT and advises on what you should do about them and even how they relate to Common Core.  This is a 2 part series, so be sure to sign up to receive blog posts or bookmark this site.


Recently, a friend whose first student left for college asked me:

I'm really struggling with throwing away workbooks/practice books that the kids have completed through the years. The ones I'm thinking of mainly right now are the Teaching Textbooks workbooks the boys have done for high school. Do I really just throw them away? I've recorded their grades for high school. They're on the computer disks anyway. I'm such a pack rat; I'm afraid I'm forgetting something I might need them for!

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