9. Drawing Boards | 31 Days

This is post 9/31 of Write 31 Days. See full list HERE.

Come hell or high water, I’m launching on the 13th. 

That’s what I told my dad the other day.

It’s on my wall calendar, my DayTimer, and my desk calendar. My podcast launch date, in magenta ink, reminding me that I can’t go back now.

Or can I?

I’m the kind of person who has a hard time following through with personal projects if I don’t give myself a date. On my calendar. In pen. If not, I talk myself out of it. I’m really good at talking myself out of my own personal projects and procrastinating on things that I find too difficult or I’ve lost interest in. I can justify why I shouldn’t do stuff for my own benefit until the cows come home. Shooting one’s self in one’s foot is a talent too many humans possess and I’m counted as one of them.

On the flip side, there are times when waiting for a better outcome is good. I’m all for not letting perfection preclude you from shipping a project or taking a leap but caution has it’s place too. Sometimes you’re just not ready yet. Sometimes you need extra time to consider other variables. Sometimes you learn something new!

I’m totally not going in the direction I’d set out in when I started Write 31 Days. Day by day, I’m redefining what The Student Life means to me. Because of that, I’ve taken my podcast plans back to the drawing board. I don’t know when I’ll be ready but when the time is right, I will set another date and try again.

Going back to the drawing board is a good thing. It means that you’re problem solving, you’re proactively finding a better way of doing something, you’re not giving up on what’s important to you. Drawing boards are essential for success cause your other two options could prove fatal: you could either give up cause your plans went bust or you could keep moving forward with a defective plan that’ll never see the results you desire. There are times when a plan B, C, D, or P is in order. Just because something didn’t work the first, second, third, or sixteenth time doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea, it just means you haven’t figured out how it works yet.

Go back to the drawing board.

Excuse me, please, while I get some white out.

#write31days

CLEP Prep Resource List

With the cost of education these days, students are looking for ways to get a quality learning experience without breaking the bank.

That’s where college level exams like CLEP & DSST come in.

I tested out of more than half of my college degree. It was tough and while I wouldn’t change my experience for anything, I wish I knew then what I know now.

If college level exams are something you want to pursue, let me give you what I wish someone had given me when I was starting out – a resource list. Whether you’re taking one or two tests or almost two dozen like me, CLEP prep should be painless because, after all, you’re trying to save time and money!

Maybe you’ve got a textbook or a study guide but you’re looking for something else to shake things up and give you some variety.

These resources are all available online, you don’t have to go anywhere to access them. All but two of them are free or have free versions but those two that have fees are well worth checking out. I’ve used all the resources myself and many of them have just gotten more awesome since my testing days.

PINTEREST CLEP-DSST Resource List Cover

Fill out the form below to get your free copy of my resource list! 

Subscribe to my mailing list and receive your FREE resource list

* indicates required

If you have any questions about CLEP, DSST, or how I tested out of half of my college degree, you can leave a comment below or drop me an email at elyssanalani@purpleinkstudios.net.

Happy Tuesday!

Confessions of a Homeschool Veteran: Would I Do It Over Again?

I’m a homeschool veteran.

Almost two decades after my parents took me out of the traditional, private school system, I can look back and say that I’m blessed with a great academic story.
CONFESSIONS OF A Homeschool Veteran 2

In my last post, I addressed the myth of socialization when it comes to homeschooling. As an adult, rarely ever get the socialization question anymore (thank goodness!) but I do get this question quite often:

Did you like being homeschooled?

In a word – yes.

I’m so glad my parents decided to homeschool the Bro and me. In my opinion, I think it’s one of the best things they did for us and I am forever grateful!

However…

there were days when I hated it ><.

Oh my goodness, there were days when my Bro got on my nerves, my parents got on my nerves, and when I most certainly got on all of theirs. Days weren’t perfect, circumstances weren’t always ideal, there were annoyances, irritations, and messes. It’s the stuff of life and we certainly had our share.

I’m not completely sure but I feel like there may be a misconception that if a family is homeschooling then they must have their act together and get along all the time. This is simply not the case. I don’t know every homeschool family but I’ll bet you that even though they most definitely love each other, there are Mondays, late days, rainy days, sick days, grumpy days, won’t-shut-up days, bad hair days, and every other day in-between. Every family has their struggles, pet peeves, arguments, and challenges, and homeschooling families are right there in the trenches with everyone else. The difference with homeschooling families is that they have to figure out how to spend a whole lot of time learning, playing, and working together through the messy stuff that is called family life. There isn’t an escape to traditional school or day job – you’re stuck with one another all day long. I’m not going to lie, it was a drag sometimes.

BUT! There were so many more wonderful days! Lots of experimenting in the kitchen, inventing games, dressing up and putting on shows, reading stacks of library books, bike riding, painting, sewing, music lessons, story writing…. these were sweet, sweet years. I’m not saying that traditionally schooled kids don’t get to do fun stuff, but I will argue that homeschooled kids have more time to dig into their hobbies and passions – a fact for which I am grateful!

Of course, homeschooling isn’t all fun and games. We had to work hard too. And here’s where the essence of home education comes out. Everybody learns differently, no two students are alike. When done right, homeschooling gives students the freedom to work at their own pace, excel in the subjects they are naturally good at and hone in on those they find more challenging. I’ll talk about this a little more in my next post.    


So, if given the chance, I would do it all over again. Are there things we wish we had done better? Of course! Who doesn’t wish that? No one can look back and say that they’re satisfied with every single thing they’ve done, that they handled every situation well, that they made all the right decisions or took advantage of every opportunity. Homeschoolers are no exception.

I’m thankful to have been homeschooled with all the ups, downs, twists, turns, and bad days. It’s an adventure I wouldn’t trade for the world and it’s given me the freedom to grow into the person I am today.

If you homeschooled your kids or were homeschooled yourself, would you do it over again? What would you have done differently? Leave a comment below and let me know!

Confessions of a Homeschool Veteran: The Myth About Socialization

I’m a homeschool veteran.

I can say that because my mother started homeschooling me and the Bro when I began the second grade. I’m so glad she did. Granted, this was back in the mid-nineties and my little, second-grade self didn’t know what homeschooling even was and the thought of leaving my friends was quite alarming. But I quickly settled into it and grew to love my new lifestyle.

Now, I’m about to finish my BA and starting to think back on my educational journey.  What do I have to say now that I’m reaching this landmark in my life?

A lot.

This will be a series of posts about my experiences as a homeschooled student. Yes, there are misconceptions that I’ll address but there are also points of interest that I can share now that I’m an adult and have been through it.   

This is Confessions of a Homeschool Veteran.

CONFESSIONS OF A Homeschool Veteran 1 (1)

You can guess from the graphic what topic I’m going to address first. Yes, I’d like to bust a myth:

Homeschoolers and socialization.  

This has got to be the most popular myth about homeschooling. All my life my parents were asked all kinds of questions like, “But do your kids socialize?”,  “Aren’t you worried your kids won’t be socialized?”, “Do they have a social life?”

In one word – YES!  Yes to all of those questions.

Let me explain something that I think people who ask these questions seem to forget. You ready for this?

Everybody worries about socialization. Period. 

I don’t think there is a parent on this planet with a school-aged child that doesn’t worry about their child’s social life no matter their schooling situation. I mean c’mon, you remember what it was like to be a kid, right?  It’s hard to make friends. It’s hard to keep a stiff upper lip when no one wants to sit next to you at lunch. It’s hard to find your place in a group. Guess what? Traditionally schooled kids have socialization issues too. In fact, let me be so bold as to say that traditionally schooled kids have potentially more socialization issues than do homeschooled kids. There are a lot of reasons for that but this isn’t the post. I think we all know enough about peer pressure, bullying, cliques, and battered self-worth to get the picture.

Just because a child doesn’t go to a traditional school doesn’t mean they can’t be socialized.  And by the same token, just because a child goes to a traditional school doesn’t mean they’re properly socialized either. I mean, heck, adults have socialization issues! We learn a thing or two about communicating as we age but we can be just as socially awkward as we were when we were adolescents. We’re all different and our educational situations don’t necessarily determine our social comfort levels. It’s something we all have to learn and some of us are naturally better at it than others. 

Having said all that, I’ll admit it, there are some socially awkward homeschoolers out there. But just because you may have come across one of them, doesn’t mean that’s how the rest of us are.  Don’t lump us together, please. Homeschoolers come in all stripes and types and I know that as human beings we naturally stereotype cultures and sub-cultures, but just like not all black people like fried chicken, (yes, I went there and yes, I’m half black) not all homeschoolers are socially awkward. Back off the stereotypes, don’t be so quick to make assumptions, and get to know a homeschooled student before you make a judgement call.  


Whenever I hear the socialization myth, I laugh cause I think it’s so ridiculous. Let me just say, I have never once been told that I have a problem socializing. The Bro and I were involved in extracurricular activities as kids, we’ve always been active at church and have never lacked friends. I grew up being able to have conversations with people my parents’ age and older and liking it! And while homeschoolers are quick to say that the average, traditionally schooled child isn’t capable of doing this, I’m slower to make that judgement call because everyone is different. There are great communicators from every educational background and I don’t think anyone really wants to be negatively defined by their education anymore than I do. 

We should be defined by what we do with our education, not by how we got it. 

EducationDefinition

So, next time you meet a homeschooled student, don’t let the question of socialization be the first thing to pop out of your mouth. Do like everyone else and ask them about their favorite subject. Believe me, they’ll tell you!