Our Story. My Passion.


When my oldest son entered high school, I began the daunting task of looking at the costs of college tuition. Our local university was over $20,000 a year for tuition, room, and board. Private schools ranged from around $30,000 to $45,000 a year. I gulped. I worried. I sighed. What was the average family to do? How did people go to college these days without amassing large quantities of debt?

Through some providential circumstances, I was introduced to the concept of standardized test prep. At the time there was not a lot on the market that dealt specifically with ACT prep. Kaplan, The Princeton Review, McGraw-Hill and Barron’s all published ACT Study books; however, they did not quite hit the mark.  Because it is illegal to republish “real” ACT tests, the test companies have done their best to recreate what they believe will be on the test.  However, studying tests not created by the test maker is of limited help.

I did a lot of researching online before I began.  I bought the “Red Book,” published by the ACT writers themselves, and got busy. I now had five real tests. I literally tore them apart from cover to cover and began to study them. I put them in sheet protectors, purchased dry erase markers, and began to take them over and over.  I saw the same patterns repeated on each test. I saw the same mathematical and grammatical concepts tested again and again.  These were STANDARDIZED tests.  In order to be fair and consistent, each test would generally test the same information and skill set.

I began studying with my son when he was a Freshman.  Every Saturday afternoon we would meet for 1 to 2 hours and work on standardized tests.  We prepared for both the SAT and the ACT, but eventually found the ACT to be more straightforward and more to our liking. It was a journey of starts and stops, mishaps and successes.   But it was a journey I will always cherish.  Two weeks ago my son graduated from high school and will be attending college in the fall with a full tuition, merit based scholarship based solely on his ACT score.

I have two more kids and it’s time to do it again.  My daughter will be a sophomore in the fall and we have plans to CRUSH the ACT.  I have decided that educating my kids on standardized tests is my part time job.  I would love for others to join us in the journey.  I would love to encourage other families who are looking for merit scholarships.  I would love to extend hope to students who want a future without debt.  The future is bright.

17 thoughts on “Our Story. My Passion.

  1. This was very eye opening. We are just beginning Jr. High but I have already had thoughts of “How will be afford College”. I will definitely be digging in to reasearch this! Thanks for posting!


  2. We are also a CC family & my oldest will be a freshman this fall. I’ve been brainstorming a similar idea. With the act changing, what will you use to help study with your next child?


    1. I am trying to post as I go. Just start familiarizing yourself with actual tests. I am trying to put together a program over the summer than I can teach to others who are interested. We’ll see how it goes!


  3. I love this! Thank you for being willing to share. My twin boys are almost 8. We just opened 529 college savibg accts for them both and will be lucky if there is $20 k in each by the time they need it. Will you still be doing this when I need you!?!?


    1. I hope so! You will be able to do it whether I am still in the game or not. My youngest graduates in 5 years, but maybe I will be an expert by then!


  4. Bought the book. And we start tomorrow! We, too, are a CC family. We are aiming for dual enrollment when my new freshman becomes a junior. And we need to make sure we have ACT scores in a timely fashion to be able to qualify for dual enrollment.


    1. Homeschooling is the perfect way to prepare slowly for the ACT. Take it in small chunks. Work to learn the “grammar” of the test. I’m excited for you!


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