Finishing Strong #17 – Getting to Know Heidi Ciravola

Welcome to Finishing Strong!

This week we are taking the time to learn more about Heidi Ciravola from Starts At Eight.

Heidi Ciravola Finishing Strong Picture Bio

Hi, my name is Heidi Ciravola and I blog at Starts At Eight. I live in Upstate New York where we have 4 seasons and the weather is usually more cold than warm. I am blessed to be married to my best friend since 1998 and we share our home with 3 children ages 14,11,8.

Heidi from Starts At Eight

When I first started blogging in 2009 I wrote a post about “Why Starts At Eight?” It is funny how much has changed since then. Now my blog is almost all homeschool related and not so much a personal journal. My husband jokes that I need to start a new blog to have as a personal journal! LOL!

I have been homeschooling since 2006 when I pulled my oldest out of public school after completing her 1st grade year. I now homeschool a high schooler, a middle schooler, and an elementary aged student, so my curriculum and resources run the gamut! You can check out my interview, The Face of Homeschooling, to learn more about our family and why/how we homeschool.

Besides blogging at Starts At Eight I am also a member of the Hip Homeschool Moms Blog Team and I am an iHomeschool Network blogger. I enjoy getting to know other homeschooling families and learning from their experiences. I also provide Homeschool Consulting Services for those who are in need of assistance along their homeschool journey.

Homeschooling High School

I am just completing my first year of homeschooling high school. I have to admit that even though I had been homeschooling for 7 years already, starting with high school made me feel like a “newbie”. As I researched and learned things I realized that the amount of homeschooling high school information out there was significantly smaller than the early and elementary years. Thus I have switched much of my blog focus to homeschooling the high school years.

I started a 10 day series on homeschooling high school with a post called, So You’re Scared to Homeschool High School. I wanted to let others know that it isn’t as scary as you might think, and that you are capable of homeschooling your high schooler.

So You're Scared to Homeschool High School from Starts At Eight

One of the big changes in high school is the need to choose and participate in elective courses. While researching for my daughter I wrote about the process, from what exactly is an elective, to suggestions for fulfilling elective credits, and I created a FREE Printable called Plan Your High School Electives Pack for you to use to help you along the journey.

My daughter ended up choosing things like photography and Latin as electives. Photography is a fun thing that we can do together as I am a photographer myself. The Latin serves as a foreign language, great vocabulary SAT prep, and will help her with medical terms as she strives to reach her goal of entering the medical field.

Plan Your High School Electives: Free Printable Pack from Starts At Eight

One of the ways we are working towards college is by preparing for and taking CLEP Exams to earn college credit. This spurred me to write a series of articles about this option. The first one is called, What is a CLEP Exam?

Along with this, we have had the opportunity to check out a few options for preparing for these exams, thus opening up the world of dual credit (doing high school and gaining college credit). Both Dual Credit at Home and JumpCourse offer different and viable options for earning college credit while still in high school.

What is a CLEP Exam? from Starts At Eight

Fun Unit Studies

Beyond writing about high school I like to share about what fun unit studies I am doing with my youngest daughter. She is the most unschooled of all our children. We will often veer off the beaten path because of some new interest that has sparked her attention! Things like Canada, Chickens, Balto and the Iditarod, Johnny Appleseed and Teeth (a 3 part series).

One of our favorite unit studies is our Bug/Insect Units Using Eric Carle Books. This allowed us to study so many different bugs using different Eric Carle books, including ladybugs, bees, crickets and grasshoppers, spiders, caterpillars and butterflies.

A Bug/Insect Unit Using Eric Carle Books: The Very Busy Spider from Starts At Eight

I hope you will follow my family along on our journey through homeschooling and find some resources, support, and encouragement along the way! You can follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and G+.

Don’t forget to check out all of the co-hosts – Aspired Living, Blog She Wrote, Education Possible, Eva Varga, Milk and Cookies, Starts at Eight, and Tina’s Dynamic Homeschool Plus.

Bloggers, by linking up, you may be featured on our co-hosts’ social media pages or our Pinterest board. We may even select you to be featured in a future post!

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  1. Link up to 3 posts from your blog. Make sure you use the exact URL to the post, not to your home page. You can add any post related to homeschooling middle and high school students. Posts unrelated to that will be removed.
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About Eva Varga

Eva is passionate about education. She has extensive experience in both formal and informal settings. She presently homeschools her two young children, teaches professional development courses through the Heritage Institute, and writes a middle level secular science curriculum called Science Logic. In addition to her work in education, she is an athlete, competing in Masters swimming events and marathons. In her spare time she enjoys reading, traveling, learning new languages, and above all spending time with her family. ♥