UTCH eHomestyle News July 2017 Summer Edition

Also in this Issue:

"Sow a thought and you reap an action;
Sow an act and you reap a habit;
Sow a habit and you reap a character;
Sow a character and you reap a destiny."

2017 Graduation

By Tom Edwards, UTCH President

What a pleasing and inspiring event was this year's UTCH graduation! It was an orderly, well executed event at a beautiful venue. Most everyone had their head in the game. Fellowship and joy were abundant. And the message was clear, focused and just the right length. How unusual in this day for almost everything to come into place just right. The Lord loves to bless His people. Thanks and congratulations to all the implementers!

I just read that twice as many young men are not working as was the case 15 years ago. This is tragic for our culture. How brightly light can shine in the dark if our young people will heed Pastor Whitney's exhortation. Indeed, we should pray for and encourage our young people to work hard, pursue excellence, and above all, serve the Lord with their youth!



This year's UTCH Fall Kick Off will be on Saturday, August 12, at Millrace Park near the Jordan River Parkway at 5400 S. 1150 West, Taylorsville, UT. This is a great time to meet new Christian Home educators and fellowship with "old" Friends!
Many of our UTCH Support Group Leaders will be available as well of some of the Co-op Leaders.

  • 2018 UTCH Graduates - Come and begin the journey to the group graduation ceremony. This initial meeting is important as the graduation date is usually selected and volunteer positions are chosen. Please be on time! :)
  • New Home Educators – Come learn some of the basics of beginning to homeschool. Come and get lots of ideas and encouragement! There will be time for questions and answers, too.

Registration for UTCH will be available throughout the event and the UTCH board will be available to answer any questions. Come enjoy the fellowship, food and fun! Playground equipment is available. UTCH is planning some awesome games, too.


4:00 New Home Educators Workshop
4:00 Graduation 2018 Details and Workshop
5:30 Welcome and Announcements followed by Food, Fellowship and Fun!

Family Field Trips and Fall Free/Discount Days!

Tracy Aviary $1 Winter Wednesdays (November-March)

Loveland Living Planet Aquarium $5 off Monday Family Nights

Hogle Zoo Wild Wednesdays (generally offered the last Wednesday of the month, November-February)

Natural History Museum of Utah - Free Days

  • Monday, January 23
  • Monday, May 15
  • Monday, August 21
  • Monday, December 11
  • Monday, January 8
  • Monday, May 14
  • Monday, August 20
  • Monday, December 17

Getting Tickets for Museum Free Days - Same day reservations not permitted. Advance reservations for Free Day will be made available online at 10:00 a.m. Mountain Time on the Tuesday a week before the scheduled Free Day. Reservations will remain open that week through the Sunday at Midnight prior to the scheduled Free Day. A limited number of tickets will be set aside for visitors who arrive on Free Day without a ticket. We encourage you to come to the Museum on Free Day even if you don't have an advance reservation. If tickets are still available, you will be admitted. You may be asked to wait until later in the day and, unfortunately, you may be turned away.


Red Butte Garden - Free Days

Labor Day - The first Monday of every September- Monday, September 4, 2017 On this day we especially acknowledge the volunteers who labor in the Garden and at events to help make your Garden visit a wonderful experience.

Zeke Dumke, Jr. Day - The first Monday of every October Monday, October 2, 2017 In recognition of his visionary role in the founding and development of Red Butte Garden, the first Monday of every October is now "Ezekiel R. Dumke, Jr. Free Day."

Annual Holiday Open House & Art Fair - Saturday & Sunday, December 2 & 3, 2017 Held the first weekend of every December, the Holiday Open House has become a wonderful tradition at the Garden. For two days we have free Garden admission to the public and fantastic local artists offering their work for sale. Every year we attract holiday shoppers looking for special, unique gifts and guests who explore the winter garden.


30 Signs that Point to College
by Donna Schillinger

Going to college requires a little more preparation than your average road trip. Ideally, the journey starts in junior high by taking on advanced math, science, and language arts. Also essential are good grades beginning in ninth grade. In junior year, it’s time to put it into high gear and pay attention to the road ahead. Whether college is a familiar destination, or completely unchartered territory for your family, here are 30 road signs to point the way.

  • Mile Marker 1: Usually taken in the sophomore year, the PSAT is useful for discovering the hidden geniuses living among us. For the rest, the PSAT is the first taste of what the SAT and ACT are like. It’s a great reality check for just how much farther we have to go. Learn how home schoolers register for the PSAT and about the National Merit Scholar program at THSC.org. Search "National Merit Scholarship Tips."
  • Road Forks Ahead: Before you go any farther consider well: Is college for me? What are my skills, talents, aptitudes? Are they best developed in traditional higher education? If so, what kind? A two-year technical school? A four-year liberal arts school? A university that offers terminal degrees, like in law and medicine? Pull over now and answer these questions before you arrive at the fork in the road.
  • (Mile sign) ACT 19, SAT 920: Most southern colleges use the ACT, while the SAT is used more in the western and northeastern states. The composite scores listed on this sign are typical thresholds needed to get into most colleges. Are we there yet? Your PSAT score is a good indication of how you will perform on the SAT, or convert your score to an ACT equivalent at Studypoint.com/ed/sat-to-act-conversion. Now plot a standardized test study route that will ensure you meet these thresholds or far exceed them if you hope to score scholarships or attend a competitive university.
  • Inspection: Sign up to take the ACT or SAT. All but the child prodigies should plan on taking the ACT or SAT more than once, particularly if there’s scholarship money riding on a slightly higher score. Visit CollegeBoard.org and ACT.org. Allot approximately eight hours a week to building vocabulary, reviewing algebra and geometry, and taking practice exams in the month leading up to taking the exam. Take practice ACT or SAT questions as a daily pop-quiz, getting you into the mental groove of efficiently answering standardized questions.
  • Divided Highway: Take dual credit courses at a local college. There are so many reasons why this is a good idea, not the least of which is getting some core degree requirements out of the way to either lighten your load later, or to free yourself up to take more of the classes you love in college. It is also a good opportunity to check out the local college and obtain college credits at a serious discount! Learn more at THSC.org. Search "Early College Start."
  • Freeway Entrance: Take every opportunity to build your resume by participating in church, civic organizations, extra curricula, summer camps, and national competitions, and by joining honor societies. Visit THSC.org and search "National Honor Societies." Develop specialized skills via internships and apprenticeships. Join our Rangers program or volunteer at our conventions. When you make a strong connection with a leader or mentor, ask for a letter of recommendation.
  • Scenic Overlook: Early junior year, if not before, develop criteria for what’s important in your choice of colleges. Here are some factors to consider: proximity to home, location in a particular state (or country), urban or rural setting, provision of particular degrees or majors, and affordability for your family. Also consider worldview, clubs and intermural sports offerings, Greek organizations (or lack thereof). Use a site like College Navigator or Big Future to help you find colleges anywhere in the nation that fit your criteria.
  • Lodging: If after surveying the landscape, you wonder if you really want to leave home at all, there are other options. While some brick and mortar colleges require freshmen to live on campus (as a strategy to improve retention), it is possible to commute to others, which has the benefit of stable home life and considerable savings. Alternately, earn your degree online from home—check out OnlineCollege.org and CollegePlus.org for starters.
  • Point of Interest: Once you’ve narrowed the field to a couple of dozen or fewer colleges that meet your criteria, browse each college’s website and create a "pros and cons" list. Create a point system, weighing your top priorities more heavily. If proximity to home is a top priority, give every school with that pro five points, and so on until you’re able to score the schools and narrow your choices to about five.
  • Proceed with Caution: Make sure your top five offer your desired degree plan. Don’t worry if you haven’t yet decided on a major. Most degree plans require a distribution of core courses that build in time for students to weigh their options before declaring a degree, all while staying on track for graduating within four years.
  • Round About: There are a number of directions you can go here, and none is wrong. Apply to your top five favorites before your college visits so you can conduct interviews while on campus, or check out the schools first, then circle back for interviews. Think it through, factoring in how far away from home your favorite college choices are, as well as how much time you and your parents can spare for college visits.
  • Visitor’s Center Ahead: Transferring can be expensive and time-consuming, so don’t skimp on college visits. Contact your top five or more schools and set up a campus visit—there’s no better way to assess a school than to actually see and experience where you might be living for the next four years. Bonus: Colleges often give goodies to prospective students—anything from a candy bar to free lunch to a t-shirt.
  • Historical Marker: When you visit campuses, take time to visit with a professor in your major’s department or sit in on a class. Depending on your career interest, you may want to learn the worldview or particular theories to which key professors subscribe. Bring along portfolios of writing, art, and more, and ask professors how to strengthen them.
  • Stadium (with arrow): Got skills or talents for which colleges will pay? Schedule sports try outs and music/theater auditions for during your campus visits. Campus visits should be wrapping up in September of senior year.
  • Toll Booth: If you didn’t take this route before, once a top-five tier of schools has emerged from your analysis, apply to each of them, ideally by Labor Day of your senior year. Some schools charge an application fee; it’s a toll worth paying to see which school can make you the sweetest financial aid deal.
  • Rest Area: Let’s pull over here and make sure our fluid levels and tire pressure are still good. Seniors often get so fixated on getting to college, they let grades slip a little. A strong finish to senior year is important because many scholarships depend on a certain high school GPA that includes that last semester of senior year.
  • Financial District: About 85 percent of college students spend some time here—researching grants, scholarships, and loans. Let’s take it one block at a time, but as a first stop, parents need to make sure they either file their taxes on time or have the data to make a close estimate when approaching the single point of entry to federal grants, loans, and work study—the free application for federal student aid (FAFSA). By March 15 of senior year, complete this form at Fafsa.ed.gov. By this time, your top five choices have either accepted you, or rejected you (hopefully in the kindest way possible). There’s a place in the FAFSA application where you specify where to send your student aid report (SAR). It should go to any university you are still considering.
  • Grant Avenue: Best kind of money for college is free money. Texas has a variety of grant programs for Texas universities, some based solely on needs, others on need and merit. And yes, home schoolers are eligible! Learn more at www.collegeforalltexans.com. Federal grants are based solely on need. And need is assessed through the FAFSA. When completed on time, you will automatically be considered for the Pell grant and other federal programs. The universities that have accepted you and received your SAR will automatically add federal funds for which you qualify to your financial aid package.
  • Scholarship Street: You’ve met with coaches and choir directors and consulted the financial aid office at your top tier schools about competitive scholarships, right? Now go all the way down this street and search off the beaten path for sources of scholarships like church funds, civic organizations, essay or art contests, and special scholarships like THSC’s own Patrick Henry Scholarship (search our website for more). Make a spreadsheet to track scholarship deadlines and requirements so you only have to ask your references once for the number of signed originals you’ll need for all the applications (among other reasons). If several scholarships require a general topic essay, write one, and adapt as needed. Prove you’re smart by having the best writer you know edit your essay. Then meet the deadlines.
  • Loan Lane: No one likes going this direction, but it’s often the most expedient route. Your SAR will include your eligibility for federal loan programs. Most will qualify for something, but if you don’t, call banks locally to inquire about student loans, if they are absolutely necessary.
  • Work Study Way: Also determined by the FAFSA process, students with need are guaranteed part-time employment, the wages of which can be applied to the tuition bill. This is an optional program with limited hours weekly, and limited job opportunities. It may make more sense to get a regular part-time job and set up an automatic debit to pay on tuition.
  • Stop: Financial aid offers from the schools you’ve been accepted to should be arriving spring semester senior year as early as March, or as late as May (assuming you filed the FAFSA on time). It’s time to commit. The aid package may make one school the clear choice, but hold here for a time of spiritual discernment. When you and your parents see the way is clear . . .
  • Right Turn Only: Send in your housing deposit, and accept that financial aid package! Your destination is coming up in four months!
  • Alternate Route: If you decide to take a gap year (one year off between high school and college), be sure to complete all the steps for applying to college on the same timeline as if you were going right on to college. Then, contact the registrar and ask to defer enrollment for one year. Additionally, confirm with any non-institutional financial aid sources (state grants and private scholarships) that taking a gap year won’t jeopardize eligibility.
  • Budget Boulevard: Last stop in the financial aid district. Now that you know how much financial aid you’re getting, it’s time to figure out how much more you will need—for tuition, living, transportation, mad pizza money, etc.—and from where that money is going to come. Plan on a full-time summer job and part-time employment during the school year. This added responsibility has actually proven to enhance academic performance.
  • Merging Traffic: After high school graduation, it’s time to send the final transcript for both high school and concurrent college credits to the registrar’s office. Merge more credits by testing out of your best subjects (including languages, bilingual students). Check with your college about which they will accept; then learn more about Clep, Dante, and Excelsior tests for college credit from this Fast Company article: TinyURL.com/z8jl425 Also, skip intro-level courses by taking placement tests. Learn more about getting ahead in college before you hit campus on THSC.org. Search "The Home School Graduate and College."
  • Easy Street: Now the fun part. Attend orientation, preferably in the summer. Besides making friends, you will learn your way around campus and will register for classes, which will ease anxiety about the big move and help you enjoy the rest of the summer. Some colleges are assigning summer reading for incoming freshmen, but wait to buy the rest of the books until a couple of weeks before classes start, in case there are changes to your schedule. Save money on textbooks by purchasing ebook version, renting textbooks and purchasing used books.
  • Hospital: Don’t plan on stopping here, but just in case you do, sign up for a student accident insurance plan offered by the university if your parents’ policy won’t cover a torn ACL from a flag football accident.
  • College Town Welcomes You! You made it! You’ll be on your own soon enough, so don’t ask Mom and Dad to drop you at the curb. Let them help you settle in, at which point you will inevitably remember about $100 worth of stuff you still need from Wal-Mart. Show your parents how much you still need them by letting them take you shopping one last time.
  • U-Turn: Head back to the financial district each March to renew FAFSA filing, keeping you eligible for grants, institutional scholarships, loans, and work study.

Quiet Times in a Busy Household

By Marilyn Boyer

I dream of a capacious house full of rooms and lots of storage places. Central in that dream is my "quiet room" - a room with thick insulation and a skylight under which is a big comfy recliner just waiting for me to plunk down in it and read my Bible, pray, and meditate, uninterrupted.

As I look up through the skylight, I view the puffy cumulus clouds drifting by in the midst of a beautiful blue sky- a perfect scenario for meditating on the riches of God’s inexhaustible Word. Nearby is my bookcase, full of study books and concordances and a spacious desk on which I can leave my books spread out when not in use and ready to pick up again where I left off.

That’s my dream, but it’s not a reality - not in this season of my life! I’m a mom of 14 blessings, yes, blessings! I wouldn’t trade any one of them for all the solitude in the world, but I must confess, there are times I would like to experience, as the song goes "Blessed Quietness." It happens only at very unusual times in my bustling household - like maybe after 11:00 pm or midnight!

Through the years, I’ve had to adjust my quiet time to Rick’s schedule, the children’s ages, and therefore changing schedules. You know how it is - it changes all the time.

I have tried to make a quiet time with the Lord a priority. It’s a precious time where God speaks to me and I speak to Him and draw from His Word and His Spirit gives me guidance and direction I need for my busy life.

I need God’s direction as to how to raise 14 unique personalities to direct each one to serve his/her Creator. It’s not an easy task. Actually, it’s impossible in my own strength. I know that, but I also know that God cares about all those little details of my life and their lives and my husband’s life much more than I do and He has a perfect plan for all of us. I need God. I need His presence, the washing of His Word, the red flags in my spirit to turn me from the wrong paths, and the nudge of His Holy Spirit to keep my focus on His priorities.

Being a mom is a 24-hour-a-day job, but as the years have gone by, I’ve to evaluate and reevaluate my schedule and learn to give God my best time. For some people that’s first thing in the morning and that’s great, but I’ve never been a morning person. I find my mind is sluggish until I’ve been awake awhile.

When I had a house full of infant/toddlers/nappers, naptime was my best time. Then for a while Rick worked a night shift and nighttime, right after the boys went down to bed at 7:30 was best for me. Now, my house is a busy place from early morning till late at night. I have 4 kids married, 8 grandchildren, and a house where all know they are welcome- to come, hang out, entertain friends, etc. Therefore BUSY is a huge understatement. Several of my older girls operate their own business, as does Rick, then there’s our ministry, and the younger kids have varied interests.

On a given day you may find Tuck hammering away making designs on his belts, or nailing birdhouses together. Kasey may appear as a multitude of costume-clad figures from history, blowing on her fife or banging out a song on her drum. Kelley is practicing the piano. Various grandchildren may be here playing cars or dollhouse and of course they want Nana (that’s me) to play with them. I long ago determined that I would be the kind of grandma who gets down on the floor and plays with them or reads Bible stories to them to try to influence them positively for the Lord. That’s my goal and it’s a big one, especially since I have nine kids still live at home!

All that to say, most nights you’ll find me up late at night or even in the wee hours spending my best uninterrupted time with God. (Don’t look for me super early in the morning, however). I get fed, my spirit refreshed and direction set for the new day-tomorrow.

Find the time that works best for you-now in whatever season you find yourself in and don’t feel guilty if it’s not what works for others. I’ve found what works best for others often doesn’t fit me – my life is unique. Yours is, too. So ask God to show you your best time, and do your best to meet with Jesus and feed your soul.

I’ve also had to find times that work for my children to have their quiet times. Kasey, Kelley, and Tuck have their Bible reading time in the afternoon, after school and lunch, before free time. Grace, a morning person, gives God the first part of her day. What’s important is that you do schedule it in and do it. Experiment a little and find a working plan. My three youngest do Bible studies and verse memorization as a part of their "school" each morning. They are rewarded for learning a certain number of verses, as God is a rewarder of those who seek Him (Heb. 11: 6).

Joshua 1:9 promises us success in all that we do if we will meditate on His Word. Take it in, chew on it, mull it around in your mind and heart until it becomes part of the way you think and act. Of all the things we can teach our children, a love for God and His Word should be paramount. If it is, God will place His blessing on all we do, including our homeschooling endeavor.

Marilyn Boyer and her husband, Rick, have 14 children, all homeschooled since kindergarten. Marilyn’s message of hands-on, heart-to-heart parenting has traveled around the world through her books, recordings, and challenging-yet-encouraging talks to homeschooling parents. www.thelearningparent.com


Benefits of Speech and Debate
by By Anne Nadeau

As I approach my family's eleven-year anniversary in competitive speech and debate, I want to share with you the benefits from this rewarding experience and why I highly recommend competitive speech and debate for your family.

We began this journey when a friend asked us to join her as she started a speech and debate club here in the Salt Lake Valley in the fall of 2005. We would spend the first year learning to write speeches as well as learn about Team Policy debate, though we would not participate in any formal competition until the following season. With six of our children - the youngest five and the oldest thirteen - it wasn't easy. I recall being overwhelmed at the time and asking my husband within about a year after starting, if he'd take over the responsibilities of attending extra practice debates and assisting with debate in general. He did so, though admittedly, somewhat doubtful of this new endeavor, but that would soon change.

My family's first competitive tournament was in San Diego, California at Point Loma Nazarene January 2007. At that time, it was the largest ever NCFCA tournament with, I believe, well over 400 competitors. A few from our club, including my husband and oldest daughter went and it was there that my husband "caught the bug." If there's been any reluctance on his part, it vanished when he watched those kids compete. Their skill was impressive - but so was their professional and courteous behavior.

There are the obvious academic benefits to participating in formal speech and debate – and I will highlight those, but I will also emphasize some of the more important - namely life changing - benefits to participating in competitive speech and debate. Among the academic elements, which include improving reading and writing skills, and along with that, the ability to read and understand your audience. And with practice, your student will gain the ability to articulate ideas in respectful and winsome ways - as truly effective communication is being able to reach one's audience. I don’t underestimate these skills and the format offered in a tournament certainly provides opportunities to begin and refine these skills.

And the other benefits? Learning to minister to one's peers and audience regardless of the competition results. And another really great one? Dying to vain glory and pride. And one of the best reasons yet? Learning humility through failures and unfair results. I love that last one. These reasons are the choicest, really. These are the substance of life because these shape character. And that is precisely at the core of a distinctly Christian education - and namely a Christian home education – character training. What a grand opportunity while still under the parent’s tutelage, to experience and work through life’s issues in a biblical manner.

And if your son or daughter partner up in Team Policy or in Duo Interpretation, he or she will learn lessons in patience, understanding, and acceptance while working with limitations, expectations, and motivation of both a partner as well as oneself all the while encouraging to bring out the best in one's partner.

Godly character training is one of the magnificent benefits one can gain from this activity. Dying to self is never easy, even for mom. Good things don't come cheaply and as with any worthy endeavor - it will cost you, but if you do it right - what you gain will be immeasurable. My thanks to my friend, Amy Liu, for jump starting my outline with her suggestions as her ideas are peppered throughout.

If you are interested in finding out more about Speech and Debate, contact Anne at nadfam@gmail.com


Support/Contact Groups

Carbon County
Jodie Wells
Davis / Weber
Sharalyn Paetz
Iron County
Samantha Solo
Salt Lake Valley
Missy Dunn
meets 3rd Sat. of month, 8:30-10:30
Contact Missy for more information
Sanpete County
Sara Larson
North Sanpete
Jason & Kristen Maxfield
Sevier County
Kelle Lambers
Mark & Tina Roberts

Jeanette Rhyne
Uintah County
Joanna Wardell
Utah County
Suzzanne Cutler
meets 2x/month, topic discussion & field trip, inquire for specifics
West Valley
Michelle Edwards
meets 2nd Sat. of month from 10:30-12:30
Contact Michelle for more information

Utah Christian Home School Co-op Information

West Valley Co-op
Autumn Hartman

UTCH Davis/Weber Cooperative
Learn about the cooperative at www.dwcoop.net info@dwcoop.net for a reply

Science Co-op
Science Co-op hosts parent-led classes that meet on Tuesday afternoons at Berean Baptist Church in Sandy (8630 S 60 E, Sandy, UT)
Classe offerings for the 2017/2018 school year:
Elementary: Apologia Chemistry and Physics
High School: Apologia Biology, Apologia Physics, Psychology

Costs are very low and generally include books, lab supplies, and a small fee to bless the facility.

For more info, contact Laurie Norman at altabirdski@yahoo.com or 801-918-8320

UTCH Volunteers

UTCH Membership Secretary
UCEI Administrator
Peter Reymer

Field Trip Coordinator
Jennifer Johnson

Digital Newsletter Layout
Micheal Fenton

UTCH Newsletter Editor
Cynthia Edwards


UTCH eHomestyle News

Mailing address:

PO Box 3942
SLC, UT 84110-3942

Telephone: 801-432-0016 (voice mail)

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