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Everest Academy is a ministry of Everest Family Church in Hayden. We offer freedom along with quality resources, information, activities and support to those homeschooling in Alabama. We believe that the parent has the best interests of their children at heart. We believe that the parent is the first and only teacher that a child needs. In keeping with this philosophy, we wish to be a very hands-off cover school and allow the parent to lead and guide their children in the direction and at the pace they feel is best suited to their children. We ask only for what the law requires while offering support along with quality resources to aid families in their efforts.

Homeschooler: Jedediah Purdy

Jedediah Purdy is a law professor at Duke University and the author of several popular books on American culture and history. His first book, For Common Things: Irony, Trust, and Commitment in America Today, was published in 1999, when Purdy was a 24 year old law student at Yale University, and made him something of an intellectual and political celebrity. Purdy, who is known for his earnest demeanor and unabashed concern for things that matter, described the book as “one young man’s letter of love for the world’s possibilities.” Purdy’s parents were self-described hippies seeking an honest, simple, rural life when they moved from Pennsylvania to a farm in West Virginia shortly before he was born. They named their little boy after Jedediah Strong Smith, the famed mountain man and Western explorer of the 19th century. Purdy was homeschooled until age 13, eventually making his way to Exeter and then Harvard University, before completing his law degree at Yale. A “wildly popular” teacher at Duke, Purdy recently finished a book on the nature and origins of private property.

Homeschooler: Joey Logano

Homeschooled from the fourth grade, Joey Logano is known in racing circles by his nickname, “Sliced Bread,” as in, “the greatest thing since…” He has certainly established himself as one of the best young stock car drivers around. Logano starter racing when his was six and won the national junior stock car racing national championship just a year later. Logano went on to becomine the youngest driver ever to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup race, the youngest to take home Rookie of the Year honors, and the youngest to race in the legendary Daytona 500. Being homeschooled allowed Logano to devote more time to racing than many of his peers. When an interviewer asked the then eleven years old Logano in 2001 if he felt like he was missing out on life with all the racing and training he was doing, his reply was, “I have home schooling and I really like that. I don’t feel like I’m missing anything by not going to school. I feel like I learn more that way.”

The Knight School

I am a certified middle school teacher at Prince of Peace Catholic School in Hoover and after school I run a business, The Knight School, in which I and my international squad of chess coaches teach very high-energy, fun-driven chess lessons at the 27 area schools listed below. I wanted to check and see if you thought my brand of big-class chess tactics training would fit with what you do? My 225 students learn to love critical thinking and problem solving and in the process get ridiculously good at chess as well. We do this within an environment dedicated to positive interactions and perfection of sportsmanship. It certainly works in these schools. For more info you can visit my website at www.theknightschool.com which has a link to the last big article about us in the Birmingham News, or you can view the attachment and pictures which contains an upcoming article.
Let me know if you are interested in letting The Knight School beef up the math/logic/critical thinking/fun end of your program. 

Homeschooler: Jonathan Krohn

Jonathan Krohn, whom Jon Stewart of The Daily Show once referred to as “Doogie Howser GOP,” became something of an overnight political sensation after his three minute speech at the 2009 Conservative Political Action Conference when he was 13, garnering coverage from several major American media outlets and worldwide attention on YouTube. A year prior to the speech Krohn published his first book, a conservative political manifesto called Define Conservatism, which he dedicated to Ronald Reagan, Barry Goldwater, and William F. Buckley, Jr. Krohn has since written a second book, Defining Conservatism: The Principles That Will Bring Our Country Back, which is described as “a history lesson, a manifesto, and a roadmap for the future” designed to get the Republican party and the conservative movement in America back on track. Krohn, who has been homeschooled since 2007, is a regular contributor to the conservative magazine Human Events.

Homeschooler: Akiane Kramarik

Akiane Kramarik is considered to be the youngest art and poetry prodigy in history, but chances are you’ve never heard of her. Kramarik taught herself to draw at age four, began painting at age six, and started writing poetry when she was seven. She also speaks four languages: Lithuanian, Russian, English and Sign Language. According to Kramerik, God taught her how to paint and write, and has been appearing and speaking to her in dreams and visions since she was three. Prior to Kramarik’s encounter with God her family had no serious religious commitments. Her mom, a Lithuanian immigrant, was an atheist and her American father was a lapsed Catholic. They, along with Kramerik’s four brothers, are now devout Christians as a result of Kramarik’s influence. Kramarik’s first painting sold for $10,000 and she has since sold paintings for as much as $1,ooo,ooo, making her one of the wealthiest child art prodigies in the world and one of the richest teens in the United States.

Homeschooler: Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin
Homeschooled until high school, Blake Griffin grew up playing basketball with his older brother, Taylor, and followed him to the University of Oklahoma where the brothers led the Sooners to the Elite Eight of the 2009 Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament. Blake was select no. 1 overall in the 2009 NBA Draft, selected by the Los Angeles Lakers, while Taylor was selected 48th overall by the Phoenix Suns. Blake Griffin is often described as “a man among boys”  for his massive size and awesome athleticism. His dunks are already legendary. Griffin, who’s mom is white and dad is black, considers being biracial an asset, allowing him see the world from both sides of the racial divide and giving him a broader sense of perspective.

Homeschooler: Erik Demaine

Erik Demaine
When Erik Demaine joined the faculty of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), he was 20 and the youngest professor ever in the history of the school. Demaine homeschooled while traveling around the United States with his father, a goldsmith and glassblower. Demaine started college when he was 12 and finished his bachelor’s degree two years later at age 14. In addition to being a mathematical and computational genius, Demaine is something of an artist. He wrote his dissertation on the computational logic of origami, and is known as the leading theoretician of origami mathematics, which uses paper origami models to understand mathematical concepts and apply them to disciplines like architecture, robotics and molecular biology. In 2008, Demain collaborated with his father on an artistic collection of mathematical origami which was displayed at the Museum of Modern Art and ultimately incorporated into the museum’s permanent collection.

Bremen, GA & Ashland, AL: Joy Unspeakable Homeschool Band

It's that time of year again... Joy Unspeakable Homeschool Band program is enrolling new students for the Spring 2011 semester. Since 2004, we have had band classes for all students ages 3 through high school graduation. We have added a Music Theory class for any student – the student does not have to be enrolled in our band classes. There is also a Festival Band class for students who take lessons elsewhere, and do not enroll in our band classes, but would like the opportunity to participate in the "Large Group Performance Evaluation" known more commonly as "Festival." 

Students who enroll for Spring 2011 will be eligible to participate in Marching Band 2011.

Our Georgia band program meets in Bremen, GA.
Our Alabama band program meets at First Assembly Christian School, Ashland, AL.

Please contact me for further information. Thank you,

Amber South
Director, Joy Unspeakable Homeschool Band and First Assembly Christian School Band programs
Piano instructor

Homeschooler: Francis Collins

Francis Collins
Francis Collins is best known for his leadership of the Human Genome Project, which completed a genetic map of the entire human genome in 2003. Collins grew up on a farm in rural Virginia, where he was homeschooled until the sixth grade. An outspoken Evangelical Christian, Collins publishedThe Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief in 2006, arguing for the compatibility of science and Christian faith. In 2007 Collins formed the BioLogos Foundation to ”contribute to the public voice that represents the harmony of science and faith.” President Barack Obama nominated Collins to the position of Director of the National Institutes of Health in 2009. Collins accepted the nomination and was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Margaret Atwood

Few contemporary writers are as well known or highly regarded as Margaret Atwood. What is not well known is that the Canadian novelist, poet, and literary critic was homeschooled through the sixth grade. Atwood spent much of her childhood following her dad around the backwoods of Northern Quebec, where he worked as a forest entomologist, learning to be at home in nature and to learn naturally at home. A long-time environmental activist and vegetarian, no doubt the time in the woods with her father played a role in igniting Atwood’s love of animals and the environment. Atwood’s latest novel, The Year of the Flood (2009), envisions the future emergence of a new environmentally rooted science/religion hybrid in the wake of a massive ecological disaster caused by genetic engineering experiments. The book contains several religious hymns written by Atwood, who has indicated that her own religious beliefs are similar to those displayed in the book.

Armed Forces Jobs & Military Jobs

Armed Forces Jobs & Military Jobs

Apply Online! Find A Armed Forces Job Or Employment Application

Each day, the brave men and women of our armed forces keep this country safe and protect civilians from threats we don’t even know about. Exciting career opportunities are waiting for those willing to join our armed forces and the United States government can offer tuition assistance and the chance to see the world.

There are an astounding amount of benefits and different jobs waiting for you in any branch of our military. One of the greatest advantages is that the armed forces are always hiring. Every branch is constantly looking to hire young minds to help safeguard our nation. Another amazing benefit is that you can gain real world experience and veteran’s benefits that can help you fulfill your career goals.

Now more than ever, our brave men and women need your help. You can apply online for the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, and National Guard. Whether your passion is demolitions, speaking a foreign language, learning about other cultures, fixing and piloting helicopters, or breaking codes, there are jobs waiting for you in the military. Behind a desk or in the field, if you have a need to serve your country, want to see the world, and make money to accomplish your dreams, then the United States military wants you!


College Admissions Guide & Dual Enrollment

Dual Enrollment

As a homeschooler, your child is eligible to dual enroll in many colleges. Please contact the college of your choice for more information. Make sure to read their requirements and definition of dual enrollment as the vocabulary may differ. What you may consider dual enrollment may be something entirely different to them and vice versa. Generally they will ask that Everest Academy sign off on a permission form. Please obtain this form and send it to Everest Academy along with an addressed stamped envelope to the location you would like it sent. We are happy to assist you in this process at no charge.

College Admission Guide

To go to college or not to go to college?  That is the question.  If your answer is yes, then odds are you are pretty confused right about now.  Well, you are not alone.  There are so many variables involved when it comes to how to prepare for college and when.  The main key to college preparation is organization.  That's where this guide comes in.  

What To Do & When

Freshman Year
  • Take a look at the 3 levels of diplomas and decide which one you think you might want to work towards.
  • Consider taking the PLAN test (pre-ACT test) and/or PSAT/NMSQT (the practice SAT).  The results will help you focus on areas that need improvement.
  • Print out the check off list of requirements.
  • Keep records of all classes and activities on a blank transcript form
  • Look at your personal interests for fulfilling elective credits.

Sophomore Year
  • Register to take the ACT and SAT at least once, preferably during the spring.
  • Extracurricular and leadership activities are important so become involved, but also remember that colleges prefer quality over quantity.
  • If you haven’t done so already, compile a list of all of your honors, awards, activities, volunteer work, and jobs. This will be useful when it’s time to create a resume and fill out applications. Keep a running list; nothing is too small to list.  
  • Start looking at different colleges and their websites keeping in mind such variables as tuition, location, and size. 

Junior Year

  • Attend Birmingham’s National College Fair in the fall.
  • Continue to develop your list of possible college choices. Check out their websites and request materials for prospective students.
  • Register to take the ACT and SAT at least once, preferably during the fall.
  • Begin your scholarship search.
  • Begin narrowing your college choices and schedule campus visits, tours and interviews.
  • Update your list of awards, achievements, activities, etc., and use it to create a resume.
  • If appropriate to your interests, begin developing portfolios, audition tapes, writing samples, or other evidence of talents required for college admission and/or scholarships.

Senior Year
  • If you have not taken the SAT and/or ACT or need to re-take tests, do so early in the fall.
  • Decide which colleges you will apply to, and gather all application materials for admission and for scholarships/financial aid.
  • Be sure you know each college’s procedures and priority deadlines for scholarship and financial aid applications.
  • Organize your college files, so you won’t miss any deadlines.
  • Approach mentors and teachers for recommendation letters. 
  • If you haven’t already, request that ACT and SAT send your official test scores to the colleges to which you are applying.
  • Continue to look for outside scholarship opportunities.
  • Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon after January 1 as possible.
  • Notify your chosen college about any outside scholarships you receive.

How to Apply to College

  • Many colleges prefer the Common Application.
  • Students should look at applications early to know what is expected of them. Many applications may be filled out online. 
  • There is no disadvantage to using the online Common Application or an individual school’s online application. In fact, most schools prefer online applications, and many offer incentives (such as reduced or waived application fees) to encourage their use.
  • If you prefer a paper application to an online application, you may download and print the application form or request a paper copy through the college’s website. Most application forms are available by July or early August.
  • If using a paper application, be sure to proofread it and make a copy for your files.
  • Some colleges or universities require letters of recommendation. Ask for these in advance.  
Critical Things to Remember

  1. Search for schools that are right for you.
  2. Keep an open mind.
  3. Visit as many campuses as possible, as early as possible.
  4. Organize files of all college-related materials (applications, resumes, ACT/SAT information, letters from schools, passwords for websites, etc.).
  5. Ask for recommendation letters at least a month in advance.
  6. Give time and attention to applications. Neatness counts. Keep copies of everything you submit. Keep up with the passwords you establish for online applications.
  7. Follow directions.
  8. Proofread everything.
  9. Meet deadlines.

STARS System
STARS stands for Statewide Transfer & Articulation Reporting System. STARS is a web-accessible database system which provides guidance and direction for prospective transfer students in the State of Alabama. The STARS System allows public two-year students in Alabama to obtain a Transfer Guide/Agreement for the major of their choice. This guide/agreement, if used correctly, guides the student through their first two years of coursework and prevents loss of credit hours upon transfer to the appropriate public four-year university in Alabama. Although transfer guides/agreements can only be printed for two-year to four-year transfers, the STARS system can still provide guidance and direction to transfer students who have a different transfer situation.

Everyone knows there is an exorbitant amount of free information online, especially for homeschoolers. The problem can be trying to sort through all the info so you can use the good stuff, and toss out the bad. Well, that’s what I’m here for, to help sort through the overload of information and provide you with the most relevant and helpful resources I find, all to make your job easier.

10 Jobs That Offer a Big Bang for Your Buck


10 Jobs That Offer a Big Bang for Your Buck

Alexis Grant, On Tuesday December 7, 2010, 11:31 am EST
While we usually talk about ROI in business, return on investment applies to your career, too. If you spend years studying to prepare for a profession, you want to get paid accordingly. If you put in the time to train, you want to be compensated in your paycheck. But what if you're not interested in earning a master's degree or Ph.D? What if you'd prefer to keep your studying and training to a minimum, and still bring home the bacon?

Lucky for you, not all high-paying jobs require years of preparation. On our list of 50 Best Careers, 10 jobs stand out as offering excellent return on investment--higher-than-average paychecks in return for relatively little education and training.

For on-the-job expectations, as well as advice on how to get hired, click on the career that interests you:
  • ActuaryAfter earning a bachelor's degree, likely with a finance or math concentration, actuaries bring in a median annual salary of $87,000. They're also required to earn a certificate by passing a series of exams.
  • Biomedical engineer: These workers earn a median annual salary of nearly $79,000 but need only a bachelor's degree, usually in mechanical or electronics engineering. Biomedical engineer ranks highest of all professions on the Labor Department's growth projections, with an expected 72 percent increase in the number of jobs available between 2008 and 2018.
  • [See How to Choose a Career That's Best for You.]
  • Computer software engineer: With a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field, computer software engineers bring in a median salary of $87,000 a year. For more complex jobs, a master's degree may be required, but the real gold standard is in-depth knowledge of programming languages. Employment is expected to swell by a whopping 295,200 jobs, or more than 32 percent, between 2008 and 2018.
  • Court reporter: After completing a two-year training program and earning a state certification, court reporters make a median salary of $48,000 annually. With a specialized certification, such as registered diplomate reporter, certified legal video specialist, or certified broadcast captioner, income can be even higher.
  • Dental hygienist: With an associate's degree and license, dental hygienists earn a median annual salary of $67,000. About 300 accredited dental hygiene programs throughout the country offer the necessary degree.
  • [See 10 Smart Ways to Use Social Media in Your Job Search.]
  • Financial analyst: Seek out a bachelor's degree in finance, business administration, accounting, statistics, or economics, and this profession will offer you a median annual paycheck of $74,000. That includes bonuses, which can make up a large chunk of total earnings. Financial analysts sometimes need a license, but that process is often sponsored by their employer.
  • Gaming manager: These supervisors attend a vocational or dealer school, then are on their way to earning a median annual salary of $67,000. They're also required to earn a license from the state. There were only about 6,200 gaming manager positions throughout the country in 2008, but there are far more gaming supervisor positions--about 40,900--which tend to pay less and offer less responsibility.
  • MeteorologistFor job seekers interested in weather patterns, a bachelor's degree can pave the way to the title of meteorologist and a median paycheck of nearly $85,000 annually. Those who work for the National Weather Service tend to make less.
  • Physician assistant: With a two-year associate's degree and certification under their belt, these healthcare workers bring in a median of $84,000 annually. The number of physician assistant jobs is expected to grow by 29,200, or 39 percent, by 2018, among the fastest occupational growth rates projected by the Labor Department.
  • Sales manager: This occupation has the highest median annual salary, nearly $97,000, of all the jobs on our list. Sales managers need a bachelor's degree, though some also seek a master's degree in business administration. Hiring managers tend to value experience over education.

Awarding High School Credits

Awarding High School Credits

Confused about how to award high school credits to earn a high school diploma?  Don't worry, you are not alone! 

First, a little perspective...  It is important to remember that you aren’t taking classes just to get out of high school.  Knowledge is power and is its own reward.  It is also important to keep in mind any post high school plans you may have.  Students planning on going into the military or attending a trade school, certificate program, community college or a four-year public or private university should research the credits needed for entrance and to be well prepared for success once there.

There are generally two different methods used to determine high school credits; curricula completion and Carnegie Credit Units or a combination of the two.

  • Curricula Completed:  If you are using a set curricula, a general rule of thumb is that you can award a credit in that subject upon completion of at least 75% of the curricula.
  • Carnegie Credit Units:  One credit of high school equals 120 - 180 hours of class work, labs, research, independent reading, review, and field trips.
  • Combination:  Most homeschoolers award credits using a combination of curricula completed and Carnegie Credit Units.  Carnegie Credit Units awards credits on time spent and not material covered. Most homeschoolers award credit by the quality of the work completed, not just the time spent. Some students work at a fast pace, while others take more time. Many homeschool students are bogged down using the traditional school methods for awarding credit. Their goal is knowledge of the subject taught, not just to spend a certain amount of time on the subject.

When Do You Start Awarding High School Credits?
At Everest Academy, you can start awarding high school credits as early as the 7th grade as long as you are using high school level materials.  This is especially true with electives.  The final transcript at graduation for college purposes will reflect only the 9th-12th grades, so all high school credits earned from 7th grade and up will be incorporated in the 9th-12th grade transcript.  High school is more about fulfilling credit requirements than grade levels.  Starting early just means that you can take your time and do it right or that your child can do more advanced courses as needed.

Huntsville: HSV Homeschool Connections

Join our facebook page for encouragement, news of field trips and information on activities in Huntsville. We have many opportunities to meet and join with other homeschool moms and families. This is a ministry of Willowbrook Church in Huntsville for ANY homeschoolers in the Huntsville/ North Alabama area.

Toyota Teen Driver

Toyota Teen Driver
»   It's more than just teaching the rules of the road.

Your lessons extend beyond your classroom's four walls - and tackling real, relevant issues is just as important as what's discussed in the textbooks. Toyota and Discovery Education have teamed up to create Toyota Teen Driver, a comprehensive program designed to help you talk to your students about avoiding distractions and staying safe behind the wheel as they learn to drive for the very first time.

»   Resources to get the conversation started.

Toyota Teen Driver offers a range of materials specially-designed for teachers and students:
In addition, you can enter the Educators' Challenge by developing an innovative and engaging project-based driving safety unit for high school students that will serve as a public service announcement regarding teen driver safety. You could enter* for a chance to win a complimentary teen driving event, " Toyota Driving Expectations (TDE)," for your community or virtual driving simulators for your school. Since 2004, TDE has helped nearly 16,000 teens and parents across the U.S. learn about defensive driving and critical safety issues. TDE helps teens learn what to expect from their cars, the road and themselves.

Use the resources available at ToyotaTeenDriver.com to ensure that your students understand the risks of distracted driving and the devisions they need to help make them stay safe. You have the power to initiate conversations that your students will remember when it matters most.