Mastering the Monster

I was telling a friend yesterday that the hardest part of being self-employed can be boiled down to a simple two-word answer: time management.  Students and working adults alike tremble at the mere mention of it.  Time management.  I shudder as I write it down and yet every single day I pull on my proverbial boots and prepare to face yet another battle of “parry and thrust” with the all-too-familiar struggle against wasting my precious, God-given time.

How can I possibly spend time with the Lord in prayer and Bible study, manage a small business, commit 4-5 hrs per day to study for law school, take care of household chores and responsibilities, spend quality time with my 7 brothers and sisters, be No. 1 errand-runner, family Computer-Troubleshooter-In-Chief, and a sane person – all in the relatively small amount of time I seem to have each day?!  For me, mastering time management has come down to living under priorities, not pressure.  Let me be clear, I’m no expert at this.  I’m on a learning continuum that seems to never get easier or shorter, but I found some helpful thoughts from the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 5:15 – 6:18.

Paul applies his teaching by identifying main priorities in every area of a person’s life.

  • Worship and fellowship (Eph. 5:19-20)
  • Church functioning (vs. 21)
  • Marriage (vs. 22-33)
  • Duties of children (Eph. 6:1-3)
  • Parenting (vs. 4)
  • Employees (vv. 5-8)
  • Bosses (vs. 9)
  • Personal spiritual priorities (vv. 10-18)

I don’t mean for this to be a list arranged in any particular order.  Rather, the important thing is that all of these primary priorities should be fulfilled before any lesser priorities (politics, knitting, soccer; you know what it is) receive time and energy.  I noticed that I sometimes spend an inordinate amount of time on these lesser priorities that rob from my primary areas.  Articles by the millions and books by the thousands have been written on how to manage one’s time well.  That is not the purpose of this post.

Mainly, I wanted to get you thinking about what the Bible has to say concerning the use of a Christian’s time.  I teach my students at CollegeBuilder how to use an Assessing My Priorities (AMP) worksheet which was developed to help Christians apply Paul’s teaching in Ephesians 5:15 – 6:18.  Starting from scratch, the student lists every activity that he thinks he should be doing to please the Lord in every area of his life.  He then prioritizes them, assigns blocks of time to each area, and generally has to cut out one or more (usually more) activities that do not rank high enough to be a “keeper”.  This is an excellent tool to help students realize the importance of wisely focusing on activities that matter from a spiritual standpoint in a time-bound world.  It’s not a bad way to keep your sanity either 🙂

– Jonathan Covey, CollegeBuilder Coaching Advisor

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College Without Class!

Only a short time ago, I was completing my last few high-school classes and preparing to move to the next step in my education, College!  Not because I inherently loved learning but because my parents and I considered “college” to be a means of obtaining a credential that would better prepare me to serve God.    I would like to briefly share my story for the purpose of encouraging other young people never to be discouraged by roadblocks, especially when the obstacle seems impossible to surmount.

First, I attribute much of my success to my brother who found many of the shortcuts even if he did not get to use them all; my parents also get much of the credit for researching and encouraging me.  When I turned seventeen I still had six more months until I would graduate high-school.  My older brother was finishing his second semester from Liberty University, which is a major online Christian university.  I knew firsthand the time and requirement needed to fulfill a college semester and was not completely thrilled about starting it.  However, Jonathan had been reading about a thing called CLEP; he pulled me in and encouraged me to figure out how and if CLEP would work for us.  I first read some blogs that weren’t real positive then read others that said they had taken two or three tests to be able to finish their degrees on time for graduation.  That seemed to be the major reason to take a CLEP test.

I decided that for sixty dollars I might as well attempt one test even though CLEP appeared to be more designed for higher level students than for students without any college experience.  Determined to take just one CLEP test, I needed to find which locations offered the exam.  The College Board website searches and displays the closest testing location by zip code and recommends study material.  I promptly ordered the recommended study guide (we’ve found better ones since) and called Lamar University to make an appointment for my first test.  I rescheduled the test twice to make sure I knew the material and after two months took and passed the test earning my first six hours of college credit.

There is no doubt in my mind that the first test was the most important, because it got me started.  Well, with six semester hours of college history behind me I dreaded four more months of high-school pre-calculus and chemistry.   However, I was able to take two more CLEP tests right at the end of the four months; one in College Mathematics and a second in Natural Sciences.  I basically took the CLEP test as a final for my high school classes.  These two exams, combined with the one previous, gave me a total of eighteen semester hours; even before I graduated high school.  I went on to take thirty more Credit-By-Examination exams and completed my degree in less than two years, for less than $10,000.

There are so many ways that I now see I could improve the process I went through, but I’m extremely thankful to God for opening this path in just the right way and at just the right time.  I encourage all those who are approaching the “college hurdle” to approach it on a day by day basis.  Not fearing the “overwhelming unknown”, but trusting the Lord to give you understanding and the ability to accomplish His will for you life.  Whether you join the ever growing wave of students who complete their degree using this new method or you pursue a goal other than a degree, always pursue with every ounce of energy that God supplies.

Blessings,

David

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Is Traditional Higher Education Teaching What You Think?

You don’t have to be a Marxist to be a college professor, but it helps! That’s the impression most of us have about higher education today. There seems to be a real disconnect between higher education and the Christian worldview, and the “conservative” values of the average American citizen.

Here Kevin Swanson interviews Colorado Christian University President and retired U.S. Senator, Bill Armstrong on the state of college education in America. You’ll hear some shocking stories of what goes on in colleges today. Will Christian colleges equip young people with what it will take to lead this nation back towards the principles upon which she was founded? A stimulating discussion on this edition of Generations.

LISTEN TO INTERVIEW

Does Home-Schooling Help Grades?

The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) estimates there are more than 1.5 million children being taught at home. Furthermore, the DOE estimates that homeschooling has been growing at 7 percent a year for the last 10 years.

Two related questions many people ask are, “Why has homeschooling become so popular?”
and “What is motivating parents to take on this daunting responsibility?” In the most recent report by the DOE, parents gave three basic reasons for choosing home education: to provide religious or
moral instruction, concerns about the school environment, and dissatisfaction with academic
instruction at other schools.
Regarding the third reason, there is new research showing that the average homeschooler who takes standardized achievement tests is doing very well. The study, commissioned by the Home
School Legal Defense Association and conducted by Brian Ray, an internationally recognized scholar
and president of the nonprofit National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI), is called
“Progress Report 2009: Homeschool Academic Achievement and Demographics.”
The study included almost 12,000 homeschool students from all 50 states who took three well-known standardized achievements tests—the California Achievement Test, the Iowa Test of Basic Skills and the Stanford Achievement Test—for the 2007–08 academic year. The students were drawn from 15 independent testing services, making it the most comprehensive homeschool academic study to date.

The results reinforced previous homeschool studies conducted over a period of 25 years.  Five areas of academic pursuit were measured. In reading, the average homeschooler scored at the 89th percentile; language, 84th percentile; math, 84th percentile; science, 86th percentile; and social studies, 84th percentile. In the core studies (reading, language and math), the average homeschooler scored at the 88th percentile.
The average public school student taking these standardized tests scored at the 50th percentile in each subject area.
 
Mike Smith, HSDL
 
Homeschooling, undoubtedly, creates students who are well prepared for distinance learning. Well prepared for initiating and completing a distance learning degree that requires discipline and drive.

What is Distance Learning?

Have you ever wondered what is distance learning? Distance learning is the process of transferring knowledge to learners(students) who are separated from the instructor(teacher) by time and/or physical distance and are making use of technology components, such as the Internet, video, CD’s, tapes, and other forms of technology to accomplish learning.

Distance learning is what should occur if special consideration has been taken regarding the course design, instructional techniques, communication mediums, and organization and administrative issues associated with the distance education program. Knowledge transfer should transpire despite the fact that the instructor and learner are geographically separated by time or distance.

“Distance learning”, “distance education” and e-Learning are terms used synonymously in education and learning technologies. It is deemed that distance learning has been a method of teaching and learning for many individuals for at least one hundred years (Moore & Kearsley, 1996) starting with print technology and the postal service (correspondence education) all the way up to the electronic communication that is used today.

Why Distant Learning?

The biggest motivation behind distance learning has been social changes. Over the years, individuals, institutions, businesses, and the military have continuously sought for alternative means of access to higher education as they strive to cope with the lifestyles and the changing demands of the economies and societies in which they live.

Who Uses Distance Learning?

Distance learning is being used by just about everyone involved in the educational process. From high school students, to those involved in higher education, the military, and the government, to those pursuing continuing education, corporate training, and lifelong learning, distance learning is being used for multiple ongoing purposes:

  • To reach underserved and advanced students
  • To reach learners in different geographic locations – rural areas, as well as cities across the United States, Canada, and the world
  • Course enrichment and staff development
  • Institutions and organizations are also using distance learning to save on the cost of training and to offer just-in-time training to individuals and employees in remote locations

Distant learning is very flexible. At the same time, distant learning requires more of the learner. As a learner, you are responsible for ensuring that you schedule the necessary time away from other activities in order to complete your coursework and assignments. Whatever schedule you set, you must follow through with it, or else your learning will not be effective. Distance learning has reversed the dynamics of learning; instead of the student going to school, the school now comes to the student.

What Technology is Used for Online Distance Learning?

It is hard to keep up with the technology associated with distance learning. Presently distance learning uses emerging technologies to enhance the traditional way of learning. That is, online distance learning-also referred to as online learning, or e-learning-is increasingly becoming the logical way to learn. This has been made possible by evolving information and communication technologies. Telecommunication networks are providing learning opportunities for non-traditional populations of learners and individuals who would otherwise be isolated by distance or geographical barriers.

*article taken from distance learning college guide . com

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College Credit For High School Students!

We highly encourage young people to begin earning college credit while they are still finishing their high school studies.  We realize that younger students may not have fully determined their educational direction or what degree in which they are interested but know that it includes a college degree.

This program is designed to help these students pursue General Education requirements until a major area of study is determined.  Once completed, this program can transition seamlessly into any of our regular degree programs and will give the student a huge head-start on the degree of his choice.

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Solutions by (Distance) Learning

Welcome to CollegeBuilder Solutions!  We exist to provide dynamic information for families and individuals who are looking for an alternative path in higher education.

Look for informative posts on many topics related to distance learning including:

  • The Rising Costs of Higher Education
  • Problems with Student Loan Debt
  • Distance Learning Methods
  • College & Debt: How They are Affecting Christian Young People
  • Motivations for “Going Away” to College
  • The Ten Most Popular Distance Learning Degrees

 

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