A2Z Homeschool – Ann's Blog

Homeschooling From Ann's Perspective

Can I get a good paying job with little schooling?


There are some studies that compare young people who begin a career at 18 (or younger) and those that postpone starting a career until after college. Those who have some unique talent often can become financially better off.

Now, I’m really talking about doing something major.

One homeschooled boy planned out and wrote a series of novels that later were made into a movie you probably know – Eragon.

Some kids from my old high school formed an acrobat troupe and given the chance to go on tour right after high school made them decide to forgo college for awhile.

While construction jobs used to make good money, the housing market and even the business market has rather dried up. There just isn’t enough work any more at the apprentice level.

Once someone told me that the key to finding a great job is to head in the direction everyone else in your age bracket is not. Bill Gates did not become a billionaire because he followed others into programming. No one was even thinking about becoming a programmer when he was starting out! (Well, maybe a few, but not very many!)

Look around you and within yourself. What problems are not being addressed where you feel you would like to dedicate yourself to making a difference? If you find something to do that really captivates your heart and soul, that enthusiasm will make you wealthy not just in a financial way.

CNN reported that there were 50 million jobs out there that did not require a college education and made more than $40K a year. Most needed only on-the-job training. When you talk to many college graduates you’ll find that they never worked in the field that they studied! They learned to reason and write and do a lot of research at college, and that helped them get a foot in some door.

Me, I have a degree in Philosophy. No one is calling me Socrates! But I learned not to be afraid of reading “difficult” books. So I was reading whole books about various software packages, and then “selling” my knowledge of doing that software to business people who didn’t want to be bothered. I mastered simple website programs while most of my women friends were perfecting their bridge games. Now I make a good living off my websites and blogs. Nothing to do with Philosophy!

My point being: the best paying job is the one you almost can’t believe anyone would pay you to do, you love doing that activity so much. I love to quote Steve Wozniak, inventor of the Apple computer: “Do what you love to do, and learn to do it very, very well, and someday, somewhere, someone will pay you very, very well to do it for them!”

By Ann Zeise

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Cover Letter and Transcript for Army Enlistment


By Lori Dake, author, and Ann Zeise, links.

In the second paragraph are the APPROVED (yay!) document templates for homeschoolers looking to enlist in the Army. As you probably know, each branch of the military has their own rules and requirements, but the Army appears to be the most homeschool-friendly branch.

The U.S. Army’s Education Specialist was primarily focused on the letter itself and not so much on the transcripts. I opted to provide both, utilizing the transcripts as a bullet point outline, backing up the brief letter she really wanted. In other words, I wanted some backup!

Please note my transcripts purposely do not display any grades or scores. We are eclectic homeschoolers in Illinois (among the top ten of most homeschool-friendly states in the country), so since they’re not required, I don’t use them. Besides, the Education Specialist was more focused on our son’s ASVAB score than anything, not unlike many colleges focusing on SAT scores. That, and the Army may be counting on me to provide biased scores anyway. Therefore, what works for Illinois may not work for North Dakota; I would advise homeschoolers to adjust my template to match their state’s high school graduation requirements.

So yes, we passed a major hurdle! Now it’s onto taking the official ASVAB test tomorrow, bringing along his social security card, birth certificate, state ID card, driver’s permit, Selective Service card, voter registration card and vaccination card. (In other words, I need to bring down EVERYTHING with his name on it!) I already know our son will do well; he scored a 65 (out of 99) on the pre-test last week at the recruiter’s office, surpassing the 50 minimum for homeschooled kids. (Traditionally schooled graduates only require a 31.) Everyone, including the recruiter, states the pre-test is designed to be much harder than the actual ASVAB and can guarantee a minimum of five points higher. (An online version of the pre-test is available at military.com.) With our son desiring to join the Infantry, a 70 would grant him practically any job he wants!

After that is the MEPS physical, probably next week, in all its underwear-clad, duck-walking glory. Our son has been maintaining his physical health for several years, so I do not foresee any issues here. Here is an instructional YouTube video that explains what can be expected, though I advise reading the comments to fill in some of the blanks, as it’s a few years dated.

If (no, when!) he gets the all-clear at the MEPS, he’ll be presented with the contract, of which my husband and I will be scrutinizing with a magnifying glass and a fine-toothed comb!! The recruiter stated our son will be ready to head out for nine weeks of basic training almost immediately after the graduation date we’ve set for him, and that’s only a few months away. I’d by lying if I said I was completely comfortable in this, but I know this is what he’s always wanted, so my husband and I completely support his decision. And yes, we’re very proud of him, too!

So, I hope this info helps out a few other homeschoolers. Feel free to post the documents and this email onto your site as you see fit.

And yes, thank you for providing such a great site for all of us!

Additional Resources Concerning Military Enlistment After Homeschooling

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Recommended books to help you Homeschool

Home Learning Year by Year:
How to Design a Homeschool Curriculum from Preschool Through High School
by Rebecca Rupp
A structured plan to ensure that your children will learn what they need to know when they need to know it, from preschool through high school.
kindle edition
100 Top Picks For Homeschool Curriculum:
Choosing The Right Curriculum And Approach For Your Child's Learning Style
by Cathy Duffy
Christian. Widely-recognized curriculum expert Cathy Duffy walks you through the curriculum selection process.
The Unschooling Handbook:
How to Use the Whole World As Your Child's Classroom
by Mary Griffith
Unschooling is a homeschooling method based on the belief that kids learn best when allowed to pursue their natural curiosities and interests.
kindle edition
Getting Started with Latin:
Beginning Latin for Homeschoolers and Self-Taught Students of Any Age
by William E. Linney
Instead of burying you in mountains of information to memorize, new words and concepts are introduced in a gradual and systematic way.
The Ultimate Book of Homeschooling Ideas:
500+ Fun and Creative Learning Activities for Kids Ages 3-12
by Linda Dobson
Kid-tested and parent-approved techniques for learning math, science, writing, history, manners, and more for your homeschooling needs.
kindle edition
The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling Teens
by Debra Bell
Debra Bell has helped numerous homeschooled students, including four of her own, gain college admission and win substantial scholarships to the schools of their choice.
CSI Expert!:
Forensic Science for Kids
by Karen Schulz
More than 25 in-depth activities on fingerprinting, evidence collection, blood-stain identification, forensic careers, ballistics, and much more.
Detective Science
40 Crime-Solving, Case-Breaking, Crook-Catching Activities for Kids
by Pam Walker, Elaine Wood
Like real-life forensic scientists, students observe carefully, organize and record data, think critically, and conduct simple test to solve crimes ranging from theft and dog-napping to vandalism and water pollution.
First Year of Homeschooling Your Child:
Your Complete Guide to Getting Off to the Right Start
by Linda Dobson
Many of today's families are opting to teach their children at home. The first hurdle these families face is getting started.
kindle edition
Homeschooling for Dummies
by Jennifer Kaufeld
If, like many parents, you're wondering whether homeschooling can be the solution you're looking for, then you'll be happy to know that the answer is yes.
kindle edition
Homeschooling Your Struggling Learner
by Kathy Kuhl
Covers children with learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, autism spectrum disorder, and other difficulties.
Homeschooling: The Teen Years:
Your Complete Guide to Successfully Homeschooling the 13- To 18-Year Old
by Cafi Cohen
This book reveals the adventure and rewards as well as the special challenges of working with this age group.
kindle edition
Homeschooling the Child with Autism:
Answers to the Top Questions Parents and Professionals Ask
by Patricia Schetter and Kandis Lighthall
This book will be invaluable to families choosing or considering a homeschooling option for their child with ASD.
Home Schooling Children with Special Needs
(3rd Edition)
by Sharon Hensley
This book would be very helpful to any homeschooling parent with a "high needs" child, whether or not the child has a disability label.