Today’s Special Occasion: The Ryder Cup

It's September 28, and the Ryder Cup is underway at Medinah Country Club in suburban Chicago.  This biennial golf competition features the best players from the United States and Europe, including Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy and Luke Donald.  American School President Gary R. Masterton is serving as a marshal on the 16th hole Saturday and Sunday, so if you're watching the golf on television, keep an eye out for him.  You might just see the man who will sign your high school diploma!  At this time, students from 69 countries are working toward their accredited high school diploma with the help of the American School.  By contrast, the 24 golfers competing in the Ryder Cup represent probably no more than 10 countries.  The American School is proud to serve students all over the world, and much like the Ryder Cup page linked above, our enrollment page has separate sections and enrollment applications for students living in the United States and students living overseas.  Today would be a great time to tee off and begin your studies.  If you do, you'll have your American School diploma in hand by the time the Ryder Cup returns to the United States in 2016!

Today’s Birthday: Google

It's September 27, and on this date in 1998, Google appeared on the Internet for the first time.  Back then it was just a search engine, but now it is so much more, including a verb.  How many times have you heard someone say he or she is going to Google something?  Of course, among its my other features, Google also has a popular e-mail service as well as a Groups feature that our instructors use.  At its core, however, Google remains the most popular search engine, and we know people go to Google to find information about the American School and homeschooling in general.  We are doing everything possible to make sure that when someone Googles us or Googles something related to homeschooling or high school diplomas at home, the first site they see is ours.  Some of what we're doing may be obvious to you, but other changes might be more subtle.  Still, the goal is the same: to ensure that as many people as possible know about our outstanding homeschooling programs. 

Today’s Anniversary: The First Televised Presidential Debate

It's September 26, and on this date in 1960, the first televised presidential debate took place, featuring John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon.  Televised debates are common  in our times.  In fact, the first one of this year's campaign is a week from tonight.  Back then, however, television was relatively young, and the media coverage was nowhere near what it is today.  The televised debates gave many people the opportunity to see the candidates for the first time, and the 1960 debate had a huge impact on the outcome of that election.  We know that you have many choices when it comes to choosing the correct school for yourself or your children.  That's why we have made our Web site as informative as possible and have included the Four C's of cost, curriculum, caring student service and credibility as our campaign platform, so to speak.  We invite you to contact us if you have further questions, and we look forward to you casting your ballot for us and becoming an American School student. 

Today’s Birthday: Jim Henson

It's September 24, and on this date in 1936, Jim Henson was born.  Although he died in 1990, he continues to teach countless children through the shows and characters he created.  Those of us who are in our 30s and older know of his true genius in creating and voicing many of the characters who were immortalized on Sesame Street and The Muppet Show.  Most notably he was the voice of Kermit the Frog and Ernie, but we'd be remiss if we didn't mention that he also voiced Guy Smiley, the popular Muppet game show host.  Even two decades after his death, his production company continues to put forth entertaining and educational offerings for people of all ages.  In his life, Jim Henson helped many of us become comfortable with learning new things.  He did it through television and puppets, which is a reminder that you don't necessarily have to be in a classroom to learn something new.  You can do that just by being observant of the world around you or even by watching television.  Try it for yourself today and tomorrow, and we'll be back with a new blog entry on Wednesday.  

Today’s Special Occasion: International Day of Peace

It's September 21, and each year on this date, the world observes the International Day of Peace.  Even though we are proud to include the word American in our name, we are just as proud to have many international students from all corners of the globe, including some who live in countries where peace isn't found.  We join with millions of people around the world in wishing for peace on earth and extend our gratitude to all of our students, whether they live in the United States or in countries around the world. 

Today’s Birthday: Upton Sinclair

It's September 20, and on this date in 1878, author Upton Sinclair was born.  He is best known for writing The Jungle, which exposed horrible working conditions in Chicago's meat packing industry and led to the passages of the Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act.  The Jungle is one of the most important pieces of early 20th-century American literature, and you can get a survey of other great American works from the 17th to the 21st century by taking our American Literature course.  This course is one of more than 70 high-quality, innovative courses that comprise the American School's curriculum.  We are proud to offer this wide variety of courses, including specialty courses such as foreign languages, vocational courses, and home living courses, and are confident you will find the proper curriculum for yourself while you are our student. 

Today’s Anniversary: The First United States Budget

It's September 19, and on this date way back in 1778, the Continental Congress passed the first budget of the United States.  We can only hope it was a balanced budget and didn't contribute to today's enormous national debt.  At the American School, we know that families have a variety of budgets.  That's one reason why we try to keep our tuition as reasonable as possible.  A 4-year, 18-unit accredited diploma program costs just $1599 and includes all study materials, grading of exams, and access to the online student center.  Our Cost page outlines the prices for fewer years and credits and also discusses the average price of individual courses through our Independent Study program.  In addition, we offer a monthly payment plan for students in either of our diploma programs.  This monthly payment plan ensures that getting your high school education will not be too taxing on your family's finances.  Visit our Cost page and the rest of our site, and you'll discover that earning your accredited high school diploma from the American School makes all the "cents" in the world!   

American School Featured in Chicagoland Article

The American School was recently featured in an article about homeschooling that ran in several weekly Pioneer Press publications.  The article, which appeared in suburban publications owned by the Chicago Sun-Times, focuses on the variety of resources available to homeschooled students in the Chicago suburbs.  After reading the article, you might find that similar resources are available in your area.  We are grateful for the publicity and proud to be a reliable resource for homeschoolers in Chicagoland and across the country who are interested in earning their accredited high school diplomas. 

Update on Michael Jakub Mengden

The May-June All American newsletter included an article about one of our students, Michael Jakub Mengden.  He is an accomplished ballet dancer who was about to spend a summer in Russia perfecting his craft.  Over the weekend we got an email from his family, who said, "After Michael returned home, he received an invitation to study year-round.  Michael will leave for Moscow and will train from October through June of next year.  Michael is very excited to return.  He was accepted into the Russian ballet program.  All dance classes are taught in Russian.  He will continue to take Russian language classes and will continue with the American School and try to graduate early."  We thank Michael's family for giving us this update, and we congratulate Michael on his latest achievement.  We are proud of all of our students, and we like featuring them in All American newsletters.  You can find archives of the All American newsletters on our Community page, and while you're there, you can read about some of our other talented students and graduates.  Remember that if you are a talented student, we'd love to feature you in an All American.  Contact our public relations department for more information.

A Variety of Anniversaries

It's September 14, and 14 years ago tomorrow, the person who writes the American School blog began working at the American School.  That, however, is not a milestone anniversary like the ones celebrated by three other people today.  Two of them are the latest inductees into the American School's Double Decade Club, which consists of those employees who have worked for the American School on a full-time basis for 20 consecutive years.  A third employee is marking 15 years of employment.  You'll get to read about all of our recent milestone anniversaries in the next All American newsletter.  One common bond among us long-standing employees is that all of us have learned to put the student first.  We do that in a variety of ways, from grading exams to sending books to preparing students for college and on down to writing blogs, planning and attending conventions, and doing other marketing and public relations endeavors.  Indeed, all the work that every American School employee does is designed with the student's best interest in mind.  We hope you appreciate the efforts of all of us, those who are just starting out and those of us who have been here for decades, as much as we appreciate having you as our student.