Search Results for: academics

Kindergarten Skills for Academics

Kindergarten Skills for Academics with the Brain CoachUnderlying developmental building blocks are necessary for a kindergarten child to be ready for more formal academics.  From Little Giant Steps’ perspective, kindergarten is the culmination of effective development in six areas.   When there are gaps in one or more areas of development, children can suffer from a myriad of learning challenges and even learning labels like ADD, dyslexia, dysgraphia, ADHD, CAPD and many others.  Most people try to fix these inefficiencies with curriculum when in fact, curriculum is designed to advance an individual that already has efficient brain development.

The six areas of development (tactility, auditory, visual, manual, language, and mobility) that are the foundation to function are expanded this week.  The precise activities, described this week, can produce better function.

Not only is proper development necessary but the chemistry of our body has to be considered as well.  You can receive a free metabolic consultation after submitting your request.  See details for this and other savings in the handout. Read More!

Education Methods: Unschooling and Delayed Academics

unschooling-and-delayed-bodyEducation Methods: Unschooling and Delayed Academics

Podcast #11

In this episode,  Florida Parent Educators Association (FPEA) Chairwoman, Suzanne Nunn discusses Unschooling and Delayed Academics approaches to homeschooling.

Please join us as we travel along this journey on our podcast adventure. Let’s get connected! Learn more about the Florida Parent Educator’s Association and homeschooling in the beautiful state of Florida. If you are interested in homeschooling our convention is every year in May during Memorial Day weekend.

Please visit to learn more about who we are!


Keeping Up With Homeschool Paperwork, Interview with Ann Karako

This week on HSHSP Ep 192: Keeping Up With Homeschool Paperwork, Interview with Ann Karako.

Keeping Up With Homeschool Paperwork, Interview with Anne Karako. Anne shares realistic tips for staying on top of the endless homeschool task for moms. #HomeschoolHighSchoolPodcast #HomeschoolPaperwork #HomeschoolOrganization #AnneKarako #DealingWithHomeschoolPaperwork

Keeping Up With Homeschool Paperwork, Interview with Ann Karako

We are joined again this week by our friend, Ann Karako, of Annie and Everything. We are talking about PAPERWORK!

Who LOVES paperwork…Crickets…crickets…That’s right. Most homeschool moms do not love paperwork.

Ever felt overwhelmed with the tons of paperwork in your homeschool? It is a necessary part of education, but not much fun to keep up with!

Vicki shares that during her years of being homeschool advisor, she sometimes found overwhelmed moms bringing in boxes of unsorted paperwork to their mid-year reviews because they got overwhelmed and gave up. Vicki and the mom would sort and grade, then develop a system that would hopefully work for that mom to help her keep up!

Ann encourages us that she’s felt been there, done that. For instance, her daughter needed a GPA for sports recently. There was some scrambling to pull it together but it got done.

Ann handled the event by saying to herself:

  • Life happens
  • I won’t place a boatload of guilt on myself
  • I don’t need to be a perfect mom or a perfect grader

Did you hear that? Maybe I’ll share it again:

  • Life happens
  • I won’t place a boatload of guilt on myself
  • I don’t need to be a perfect mom or a perfect grader
Ann Karako

Photo used with permission

Want Ann’s advice? She encourages homeschool moms to decide:

  • What really must be graded
    • You do not need to grade EVERY single thing!
    • Anne does not grade daily work. She feels like daily work is simply learning activity and is not fair to be grading that. Daily work is practice! They need to make mistakes and learn and correct, not be graded.
    • If teens are allowed to learn and not have perfection on first try, they won’t be frozen by fear of failure.
    • When moms try to grade daily work, they often get bogged down.
  • Instead, grade these assignments:
    • Things that show mastery, (things usually done at the end of a textbook chapter)
    • tests (because that requires review and practice and shows they learned)
    • papers
    • projects
    • lab reports

Ann reminds mom, though, that big piles of paperwork are bad news.

When you have a huge pile, you might find things get lost along the way. That is not helpful when concepts build on one another (such as math). You do not want this to happen!

  • Own up to your failures when you get behind
  • Adjust grades if you made a mistake in instruction (or you got behind on grading which cost your teens some accurate learning)
  • Be honest but you don’t have to be rigid
  • You can drop lowest grade, then average the rest of the test
  • You can give extra credit assignments:
    • reading a book
    • writing a paper
    • doing test retakes for partial score
  • When grading look for growth and redemption. If there is a problem due to instruction, you can help.

But remember this key principle! In high school, teens need to come to you when they need help on academics. They need to learn to advocate for themselves.

  • Their diligence is a factor in their grade, if they did not ask for help when they needed it, you do not need to adjust grades!
  • Better to fail and bounce back by asking for help at home than waiting to learn that resilience when they are at college.

Teach your teens each day (and remember it yourself):

  • Start fresh.
    • This is the day that the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.
    • His mercies are new every morning.

Handling paper is an issue. There is paperwork everywhere. Be merciful to you! Get tips on handling paperwork with Anne Karako and Homeschool Highschool Podcast.

Handling paper is an issue. There is paperwork everywhere. How does Ann handle grading?

  • When Ann’s daughter has something to be graded, she places it in Ann’s grading “inbox”. Ann grades everything there and records the grade on the papers. Discuss grades with her teen. If grades are poor, decisions are discussed about what to do. 80 or above, no extra credit or redo. Redo’s get half credit.
  • Graded papers go into a file folder. Ann’s file is not divided into subjects. Instead, she waits until the end of the semester she places everything into folders for the subject. Then she averages the grades for each subject. Then she records that average on the top paper for each subject and puts it back into the file until the end of the year. At the end of the year the final grade can go onto the transcript.
  • See how easy it is to do, when you follow Ann’s process? Why have a mountain when you can have a mole hill?

Join Vicki and Ann for fun and encouragement about PAPERWORK!

And check out Ann’s encouragement at:

Want more encouragement on homeschool organization? Check out these posts from

And this episode of Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Homeschool Organization.

Keeping Up With Homeschool Paperwork, Interview with Ann Karako

Introducing the Soft Skill of Time & Distraction Management

This episode of Soft Skills 101 is going to introduce the Soft Skill of Time and Distraction Management. This is an important Soft Skill to teach our kids!This episode of Soft Skills 101 is going to introduce the Soft Skill of Time and Distraction Management. This is such an important Soft Skill to learn well and to teach our kids! Each of us is entrusted with a specific amount of time on this earth and learning to steward it well allows us to fulfill the good work the Lord has for us to do!

So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12

Podcast Sponsor

True North Homeschool Academy; education that takes you in the right direction! As homeschoolers we often feel like we have to DIY everything. Outsourcing and making use of the resources at hand is one of the best way to maximize your limited time and provide exceptional academics as you homeschool and manage your many responsibilities! Check out our live on-line and self-paced classes and clubs, taught by exceptional teachers who love their subject matter!

Please share this episode with a friend and like Soft Skills 101:Life Skills for a Digital Age podcast on iTunes.

Time & Distraction Management

This episode is going to be a quick over view of two great time management systems: Stephen Covey and the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and David Allen and Getting Things Done. Covey starts with the big picture of vision, which he then breaks down into Mission and Goals, Allen starts with the details, inventorying all of the pieces and builds from there. Both offer value as we learn to manage our time and resources effectively!

7 Habits of Highly Effective People

  1. Be Proactive.
  2. Begin With the End in Mind
  3. Put First Things First.
  4. Think Win-Win.
  5. Seek First to Understand, then to be Understood.
  6. Synergy
  7. Sharpen the Saw

A vision statement focuses on tomorrow and what an organization or family or person wants to ultimately become.

A mission statement focuses on today and what an organization does to achieve it the BIG picture

Goals-are the small, incremental steps to achieve the mission and should be SMART

5 Key Aspects of Getting things done

  1. Capture – what has your attention. Your brain is for having ideas, not storing them. You must “capture” what has your attention and store it somewhere besides your mind.
  2. Clarify – process what it means.
  3. Organize – identify what everything is, and put it in the appropriate container.
      • Trash
      • The 2 Minute Rule
      • File it
  4. Reflect – Review and asses regularly
  5. Engage – IF you’ve set up your system correctly pull up your list and execute the plan.

“Anxiety,” claims David Allen in Getting Things Done, “is caused by a lack of control, organization, preparation, and action.”

On the next show we’ll talk about how to manage distractions!

Click here to visit the Soft Skills 101 Podcast page for more episodes.

Thank you to our Sponsor – A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood Movie!

Tom Hanks portrays Mister Rogers in A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, a timely story of kindness triumphing over cynicism, based on the true story of a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod. After a jaded magazine writer (Emmy winner Matthew Rhys) is assigned a profile of Fred Rogers, he overcomes his skepticism, learning about kindness, love and forgiveness from America’s most beloved neighbor.

5 Lifeschooling Tips to Freedom in Your Homeschool!

5 Lifeschooling TipsI often say that lifeschooling is about freedom. But how do you achieve that freedom in homeschooling? Here are five tips that will help you find freedom to homeschool in a way that fits with everyday life and brings peace. These tips will help you find the heart of lifeschooling and what that can look like in your home!


LIFESCHOOLING TIP #1: Encourage reading by letting your children read books they love after bedtime.

Reading is one of the foundational skills to learning. (Before you moms with late readers freak out, let me assure you that reading late is really no problem. Most late readers catch up to the reading level of their peers in very little time, and in the meantime there are many other ways to learn.)

Once a child learns to read, they can learn independently. Allowing them to read after bedtime makes them feel privileged and can be a great way to encourage this important skill! I’ll always cherish the picture of the time I found my son asleep on his Narnia book.


LIFESCHOOLING TIP #2: Let the early years be focused on play!

It is scientifically proven that children learn a LOT through simple play that we adults think looks pointless. Being given time to play allows your children to learn independently of adult direction and input. It builds problem-solving and creativity!

Our youngest is 7 and is not yet ready to sit for more than about an hour or two (max). That’s okay! He’s learned so much on his own! Even hobbies and crafts are a form of playing that is considered okay for adults to do. 😉

If you need more encouragement that play really is okay, one of my favorite resources is Einstein Never Used Flash Cards, a book about how children really learn, written by two scientists. It will give you confidence to just let your children play!


LIFESCHOOLING TIP #3: Give them plenty of free time!

Free time is one of the best gifts your can give your children. When they are adults, they will no longer have so much time to explore, create, and learn about their world to discover who they really are. They may also surprise you with what they do with their time.

I have found my children working on Algebra; learning about genetics; and researching facts about Wales simply because they were interested. The constantly surprise me with what they know!


LIFESCHOOLING TIP #4: Invest in your children.

We often don’t have any problem forking out money for expensive curriculum, but when it comes to our children’s gifts and passions, do we provide them with the necessary resources and materials?

Fund your children’s projects. They may only stick with them a short time, but they are learning valuable lessons about who they are…and who they aren’t. That is worth the investment!

You can teach them about perseverance and a hard work ethic through other areas, such as chores and service to others. But give them freedom to learn who they are. When they find their passion and what God put into them to do, they WILL stick with it! In the meantime, think of these changing interests as courses…and feel free to record them as such!


LIFESCHOOLING TIP #5: Do one subject or project a day.

One of the difficulties with traditional school is that they are constantly changing subjects. A child may be fully engrossed in a project, but when the bell rings, it’s time to move on!

Lifeschooling allows children the freedom to fully engage with whatever projects or academics they are working on. You can maximize the benefit by focusing on one project/subject area per day!

For several years, we tried this and enjoyed it. One day it was English (lots of time for a writing project!), the next day science (plenty of time for experiments!), the next day history (history notebooks were not rushed!), etc. The difficulty was with intense subjects like math, which we ended up doing in half days, along with English.


I hope these tips give you some good ideas that will help you turn your homeschooling into lifeschooling! Do you have other tips you’d like to share that have helped you “merge life with homeschooling”? I’d love to hear them!


HSHSP Ep 180: Integrating Career Exploration into High School Curriculum

This week on HSHSP Ep 180: Integrating Career Exploration into High School Curriculum.

Integrating Career Exploration into High School Curriculum. Combine Career Exploration and Language Arts for a meaningful, life-changing English credit for the homeschool transcript. #HomeschoolHighSchool #CareerExploration #HomeschoolLanguageArts #HighSchoolEnglishCredit #HomeschoolHighschoolPodcast


HSHSP Ep 180: Integrating Career Exploration into High School Curriculum

In Vicki’s years as a homeschool advisor and career coach, one of the saddest things she has watched is the stress that 11th and 12th graders often feel if they are not settled on what they are going to do when they graduate. Do you have a teen like that? It’s okay. There are non-intimidating ways to help them explore.

High schoolers really need to do LOTS of career exploration. This is especially true when they are not sure what they want to do for a college major or career. The problem for many homeschool high schoolers is that their schedules are packed. Often their core academics and transcript-building extracurriculars leave them little time to squeeze in something as nebulous as official Career Exploration.

So, let’s talk practical. One practical way of helping Career Exploration happen for your teens who are not sure about their future careers, is integrating it into their academic curriculum.

That’s right! Combine Career Exploration and academics and help your teens earn doubly useful credits.

Integrating Career Exploration into High School Curriculum

Let’s take Language Arts as an example of a great place to combine Career Exploration and a core academic. It is an interesting, useful (and maybe even fun) way to handle one year’s Language Arts.

Here is a way to combine the Career Exploration with the Literature and Writing components of the yearly Language Arts credit. (Want more information on what is included in a complete high school Language Arts credit? Check out this Homeschool Highschool Podcast episode.)

Combine Career Exploration and Language Arts for a life-changing homeschool transcript credit.

Language Arts and Career Exploration combined: Literature experiences

When combining Literature and Career Exploration, keep in mind this principle. Teens should be exposed to LOTS of different careers and role models, even those they wouldn’t be interested in at all. This broad understanding of the idea that there are lots of different opportunities helps prepare their brains for exploring career ideas.

Read some biographies. Any biography is good, even if it is not a career your teen will ever do. (For reluctant readers, think about audiobooks.)

Some of 7Sisters’ homeschool high schoolers’ favorites have been:

  • Joni
  • God’s Smuggler
  • Something Beautiful for God

Homeschool high schoolers are not usually called to be saints or Bible smugglers or evangelists with a disability but any biography a teen reads will expand their thoughts about the ways God uses extraordinary circumstances and ordinary people in those circumstances.

Read some books to help homeschool high schoolers understand themselves

Some good books on self understanding include:

  • What Color is my Parachute for Teens by Carol Christen and Richard Bolles (career interests)
  • Emotional Intelligence 2:0 by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves (emotional awareness)
  • The Road Back to You by Ian Cron and Suzanne Stabile

Audiobook versions are good for books like these sometimes. Remember: Any book your homeschool high schoolers read can go on their booklist! (Ever wonder how many books your teens should read at different ages, goals and abilities? Here’s a post to help you decide.)

Language Arts and Career Exploration combined: Writing experiences

Homeschool high schoolers need to do a fair amount of writing each year, including at least one research paper and some essays. (For guidelines on how many papers teens should write according to age, interests and abilities, check out this post.)

First, have your homeschool high schoolers do some personality tests.

This will give them some good *research* on themselves! If you go to Vicki’s coaching website, you can download a freebie: Personal Discovery Links. These are free versions of a number of serious (and not so serious) personality tests. If your teens are limited in their time, have them do the first test (a free version of the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, Vicki’s favorite personality test) and the last two tests (both are career interest surveys). Find the links at

Now, take the personality test results, use these in writing essays and a research paper.

Choose the research paper style that suits your teens needs. Here’s a post that will help you decide between

  • APA research paper
  • Chicago-style research paper
  • MLA research paper

You can also have your homeschool high schoolers visit these websites and investigate different careers.

  • They can choose four or five interesting-sounding careers and write a page or two on each for a research paper titled something like: Interesting Career Ideas.
  • Or a 5-paragraph essay on each career they looked at.
  • These are the websites:
  • This is US Department of Labor’s website that tells:
    • Job descriptions
    • Videos
  • BigFuture at College Board

You can also have your homeschool high schoolers do career shadowing or interviews with people in different jobs.

  • Write a 5 paragraph essay about each.
  • Write an end of the year wrap-up essay about themselves.

You can all the course: Career Exploration Language Arts or Language Arts 9 (or 10 or 11 or 12)

HSHSP Ep 180: Integrating Career Exploration into High School Curriculum

Number One Homeschool Podcast Network

Number 1 Homeschool Podcast | There are many homeschool podcasts floating around in cyberspace, but this is the home of the number one homeschool podcast network! #homeschoolpodcast #numberonehomeschoolpodcast #homeschoolpodcastNumber One Homeschool Podcast Network

There are many homeschool podcasts floating around in cyberspace, but this is the home of the number one homeschool podcast network! What makes us number one? There are so many things, but the first is the heart of the people who podcast on this homeschool network. They love homeschoolers, and are the best mentors I know! They give and give of their time to help moms, dads, grandparents, and others who teach their kids at home. It takes hours to get a show recorded and uploaded, and it is truly a labor of love.

Six years ago, after much prayer, the Lord gave me this idea for a podcast network. I approached the following people among others, Hal and Melanie Young (Making Biblical Family Life Practical), Meredith Curtis (Finish Well), Carol Topp (Homeschool CPA), Israel and Brook Wayne (Family Renewal), and Melanie Wilson (Homeschool Sanity) who are still with me today! Then others joined, like Jean Burk (College Prep Genius), Gina Glen (Mommy Jammies Night), Suzzane Nunn (FPEA), and Kathy Lee (Momfessions), Sue Meyer (Homeopathy For Mommies), and so many more! We have some new shows like Softskills and shows that just hit one year like Homeschooling with Technology!

Homeschool Podcast | Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network | #podcast #homeschoolpodcastIt’s our birthday and we always have a wonderful mega prize worth over $800-$1000 – see our giveaway link below. [The link will be available Oct 1st!]

There are so many people that want to podcast on our network and truthfully, it takes much of my time to vet “would be” Ultimate Homeschool Podcasters — but guess what? For every five people, I talk to, one gets accepted! Yes, one out of five. Why? Because from our conversations their heart is the number of downloads they might get rather than the heart of homeschool families.

The podcasters with me today are the ones who want to share their knowledge, their hearts AND have a product or service that will bless homeschoolers! For example, College Prep Genius — my own kids increased their SAT scores and received college scholarships, or are mentors like Hal and Melanie and Israel and Brook Wayne. I can go on and on!

We have a weekly email with an amazing FREEBIE link! It goes out to all of our show scheduled, and with a click of a button, you can quickly find and listen to the show. We have improved and grown during the years to make us the number one podcast network with not hundreds, not thousands, but millions of downloads. We’ve had amazing sponsors, but again like some who want to podcast with us, I’ve turned down so many — because we only want family-friendly sponsors.

Below, here is a thumbnail sketch of our Number One Homeschool Podcast Network current shows! Please visit them, tell them thank-you and if you want to interact with these great people join our private pages.

Vintage Homeschool Moms – with by Felice Gerwitz

This show is the longest-running podcast on this network. This show deals with academics, family, kids, holidays, recipes, money-saving ideas, movie and book lists and so much more. As a long-time homeschool mom, (since 1986) with five children all homeschooled this show draws from my own personal knowledge. There are detailed transcripts on newer shows. Sometimes I host guests who I think will bring you value and that you will enjoy. Tune in weekly.

Creation Science Podcast with by Felice Gerwitz

This show began with an idea of sharing some of my Creation Science Expo that was hosted years ago, and resides in full on my Media Angels Membership website. However, it has morphed into interviews with people and other hosts! Enjoy this show that airs two times per month.

Making Biblical Family Life Practical – with Hal and Melanie Young
Hal and Melanie are a delightful couple who love the Lord and it shows! They are parents to a multitude of boys and wrote an award-winning book on raising boys, marriage, and teens! Check out their show you will be so blessed. Enjoy this show weekly.

College Prep Genius – with Jean Burk

Want your kids to ace the SAT, ACT and learn test-taking skills? Join Jean (I host with her) and she is soooo amazing! I learned things like the PSAT is not a “practice test” it is so important for scholarships! I tell everyone with high school kids about Jean’s program, it really works and if you tune in she shares this information for free! Transcripts are also on the show – listen twice per month.

Homeschooling CPA Podcast – with Carol Topp

Carol knows so much and shares her knowledge with you! She studied for her CPA license when she was a homeschool mom! She was a perfect example for her children. Carol is an expert on helping homeschool co-ops and schools to stay legal as well as consult with those who need it. She podcasts two times per month.

Finish Well Radio – with Meredith Curtis

Meredith and her team love the Lord (Meredith is married to Pastor Mike – who has a church in Orlando, FL) and they encourage parents of high school students to finish the race well! She deals with high school subjects and sensitive issues that are of interest to high school students and pastors. Often she hosts with other team members or she has special guests on the show. If you have a teenager, this is a show I highly recommend! Airs two times per month.

FPEA Connects  – with Suzanne Nunn

Suzanne Nunn is currently the chairman of the Florida Parent Educators Association with the largest (or one of the largest!) homeschool conferences in all 50-states! Here you will learn about things that are Florida specific as well as homeschool specific. Details for upcoming conferences is also shared. Airs two times per month.

The Homeschool High School Podcast with Vicki Tillman, Sabrina Justison & Kym Smythe

The team from (you have to visit their podcast page) is one that is all about including you in their fold and helping, mentoring and making your high school homeschool journey successful. These ladies know their stuff, Vicki is even a consultant for homeschool families needing extra help with transcripts and the like. They want you to know that homeschooling high school years are the best years. You can do it! This show airs weekly.

Family Renewal – with Israel and Brook Wayne

Godly content from Israel and Brook deals with many things that focus on raising families as well as large family topics. They also delve into topics related to homeschooling such as literature and history our kids must know!

Homeopathy For Mommies with Sue Myers, ND, CCH

Sue came to my attention years ago when she helped me and a close friend to get healthy using natural remedies. Talk about knowledgable! It is a must-listen-to show if you want to become educated in natural health. Learn how to get healthy and ditch the meds that can make you sick. Of course, check with your health provider before following any advice! Listen two times per month.

Homeschooling with Technology with Meryl van der Merwe

Meryl is a walking-talking techie who knows how to code, has taught students successfully. Her show is full of great information that will help you super-charge your home with technological knowledge. Learn about the apps, computer programs, and improve your productivity! How exciting! This show is on weekly.

Mommy Jammies Night with Gina Glenn

This is just for you moms! Gina Glenn brings you special women who love to mentor moms and bring love, peace, and joy so that you can have an advocate in your corner. Many times home school moms feel isolated and alone or misunderstood. These shows help to bring you encouragement that you’ve GoT This Mom! Archives available and once-a-month.

The Homeschool Sanity Show with Dr. Melanie Wilson

Long time homeschooler and podcast, Melanie, is an expert at encouragement, organization and every hot topic that revolves around homeschool topics! She brings sanity back into your homeschool,

and helps moms to understand Christian psychologist and veteran homeschooling mother of six, Dr. Melanie Wilson, solves homeschoolers’ biggest headaches every Tuesday.

Life of a Lifeschooler with Danielle Papageorgiou

If you have lost your love of homeschooling, tune into Danielle’s show and learn how to bring it back! She shares with special guests how to allow the children to pursue the things they love their learning will soar! She shares the true meaning of lifeschooling and how you can bring joy back into your home!

Soft Skills 101 – True North Academy with Lisa Nehring and on occasion Dr. David Nehring

What are soft skills? These are the ability to interact effectively, harmoniously and productively. Why is this important? Because in this digital age when kids talk on text and apps this important skill is often lost. Join Lisa to learn about soft skills, how to implement these in your life, practical information about curriculum and books and ways to equip your family!

Momfessions with Kathy Lee Eggers

Can I say, wow? Kathy is an amazing, loving mom who is full of energy and loves homeschool moms! She is always encouraging listeners and often has some of her listeners on her show. These shows are real, raw and understand the heartbeat of the homeschool moms!

Ultimate Homeschool Radio Show with multiple shows and hosts

This is a series of replays from the popular Ultimate Homeschool Expo with hundreds of listeners at one point only available for pay — now, totally free. This is a channel that will bring you a multitude of popular homeschool speakers, many keynotes and wonderful information to help you on your homeschool journey!

So, what makes us number one? You do! As our faithful listeners, you’ve laughed with us, you’ve cried with us, celebrated and enjoyed our shows, and I want to thank you! I also want to thank our sponsors who have kept us on the air.

Please share the topics you’d like to hear as well! 

~ By Felice Gerwitz, lover of the Lord, wife, mother, grandmother and owner and creator of Media Angels(R), Inc., the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network, the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network, author of seventeen books, creator of multiple online classes, and the first-ever Ultimate Christian Communicators Conference.

Join our Giveaway!

How To Homeschool High School

How To Homeschool Highschool | Are you new to homeschooling, or perhaps entering those high school years? Do you wonder how to homeschool high school? In this episode, Felice Gerwitz and Vicki Tillman | #podcast #homeschoolpodcast #howtohomeschoolhighschoolHow To Homeschool High School – Episode 367

Are you new to homeschooling, or perhaps entering those high school years? Do you wonder how to homeschool high school? In this episode, Felice Gerwitz and Vicki Tillman (The Homeschool Highschool Podcast) discuss how to get started and the information you need to know!

Visit Vicki Tillman and the 7-Sisters at

SO you want to know how to homeschool high school…well, you came to the right place. Today’s wonderful guest is a supercharged knowledge bank of information, Vicki Tillman!

Thanks to our sponsor CTCMath – visit for more information and a current offer of a free subscription. These offers tend to change so hurry to grab your set.

Be sure to check out Vicki’s list for high school students to discern what track they should take. | Math Curriculum

Vicki Tillman does everything homeschool highschool! Transcripts, encouragement, and everything in between. Vicki started homeschooling about thirty years ago and times have changed yet if there were not opportunities they started them. If there were enough of us moms we’d start co-ops or debate teams or cinematography teams and, choirs. We began an umbrella school that was registered with the state of Delaware so that the high schoolers could get a transcript approved by the state.

Homeschooling opens doors. What the universities have found in this early generation, especially my older kids is that homeschoolers know how to rock things. They know how to study, they know how to motivate themselves and they actually often have better social skills than their traditionally schooled peers. So they often were campus leaders in organizations. That is so true.

Yet parents have so many questions:

  1. Will this work for us?
  2. Is this something that will be longterm?
  3. Will our kids be able to get into colleges?
  4. What kind of transcripts do I need?
  5. Where can we get our books?

How do you start homeschool high school?

  1. Start by joining the homeschool legal defense organization 
    • At the HSLDA website, they have all the information for state requirements for high school.
  2. There is no one right way to homeschool. All kids are different. What works for one may not work for the others.
  3. If the student needs a transcript, they need to have a piece of paper that they graduate with that will follow them to college or even into the workforce. Employers can ask for them even ten years later
  4. Know what credits you need to graduate.
    • Typically four language arts credits, between two and four maths according to what their goals are and what the state wants. They’ll need somewhere between two to four sciences. And the same with social studies. They usually need a couple of world languages. Phys ed, usually a health and then usually a fine arts credit.
    • Every state varies. That’s why we send you to HSLDA, look at their state map for more information about your particular state.
    • Sometimes God calls some kids to go into the trades or into some kind of artisan work. If that is the case they don’t need to kill themselves doing super-duper academics in high school.
    • The college-bound kids, especially if they’re going after scholarships or going to a state or a more competitive college, will want to go to the high end of things and do more vigorous curriculum.

Overview of Four Years:

  1. Go over this with your teens. Sit down and discuss it, what you want to have accomplished by the time they graduate.
  2. Knowing how many maths, if they’re going to a competitive college, then they need all four math.
    • So they’ll need Algebra one to Geometry, Precalc or if they’re going into a stem subject, they need the Algebra in, in middle school and go for the higher math and as Statistics.
  3. For Literature. Ask do you want a free for all literature where the kids just randomly pick and you pick and you have a mixture of, of different kinds of literature? Or do you want to focus on American Lit, one year in British Lit, one year in a whole year of CS Lewis, American or World Literature? You can even concentrate on poetry for a year.
  4. There is no one right way to homeschool high school. You can focus on a student’s interests. For example the histories, etc.

Career Exploration ~

Here is a list of questions high school students can ask themselves, pray and think about, from Vicki Tillman!

  1. What are my strengths?
  2. What are my weaknesses?
  3. What is important to me? (education, just enough education, LOTS of education, working with my hands, serving my country, 9-5 working hours, travel, time for family and friends, climbing the corporate ladder, fame, predictability, time for church and volunteering, good benefits?)
  4. What things have I done in life already that are interesting? (Career-focused or not)
  5. Who are the most influential people in my life? What do they do for a career and volunteering?
  6. What has God already shown me about me? (Career-related or not)
  7. What careers might be interesting to me? (Do I already know? If not, what can I do to try on some new hats? Field trips? Volunteering at new places? Reading some biographies? Interviewing people in various jobs?)
Here’s a freebie from Vicki to get started – Visit the 7 Sisters Website for the Questionaire. 

Teaching Using Wonder Bubbles

Wonder Bubbles | Wonder bubbles are a cornerstone of project-based learning, and I knew nothing about them until my sister-in-law, an amazing teacher sent me samples of her child's work! I was enthralled and asked her for an interview. | #podcast #homeschoolpodcast #wonderbubblesTeaching Using Wonder Bubbles Episode 365

Wonder bubbles are a cornerstone of project-based learning, and I knew nothing about them until my sister-in-law, an amazing teacher sent me samples of her child’s work! I was enthralled and asked her for an interview.

Sponsor! Overcomer Movie

Trailer URL for Overcomer Movie: 

Site URL for the Overcomer Movie

About Nikki DeSalvatore – (She is married to my younger brother, Joe 🙂

Nikki was nominated for Disney Teacher of the year award, and writing is her passion. She won several grants and loves teaching. She has taught Kindergarten to Second Grade.

Project-Based Learning with Wonder Bubbles:

  1. Choice and voice: With Wonder Bubbles, you take that topic and make it their own. A concept known as “choice and voice” – allowing the children to pick a topic and give “voice” to their opinions is easily done with this concept.
  2. Children select their topic: Through a study, of a topic that a child selects they learn about it and will embrace it more than if a teacher just assigns a project.
  3. Inspires learning: With Wonder Bubbles, the kids are so excited and it inspires the kids to learn.
  4. Implements other subjects such as science, history, reading, writing, art (drawing or diagraming), creativity, etc.

It allows for a connection that is vital. It takes a month to complete a project since there are other academics But as a homeschool parent you can make it work for you and your schedule. (Nikki uses this as a classroom teacher and uses this connection with her class to set the stage for the year. She explains it like a team-building activity.)

Exactly what is a Wonder Bubble?

A Wonder Bubble is a great way to teach nonfiction with text features. It uses topics, subjects or anything a child is interested in learning more about. It puts the fun back into the research. The idea is to wonder, and think about a topic.

  1. It gives the kids something to “wonder about”
  2. It develops open-ended questions higher order thinking questions with the child.
  3. Provides a published project, something tangible they can put up in their bedroom and show their friends and parents
  4. Accomplishment

How to begin:

  1. The kids begin with a topic or a question. (For younger children, K-2nd help them narrow down the topic or the subject then allow time for research.
  2. Begin with a question or a topic. For example, maybe the child is interested in animals
  3. Once they decide on “animals” you present them with different habitats. Once they choose a habitat, for example, oceans you can narrow it down from there.
  4. Present the child with research (library, books you may have at home, magazines, internet) about the different type of animals in that habitat until they decide on one.
  5. Then they decide on a question about this animal. Their questions may not be from a topic or a subject, but listen, what is on their mind, what are you wondering about? Some of the things that older kids have researched before would be how do flies walk on the ceiling? Can computers get faster? Are we at the limit of where we’re going to be with technology? How, how do we beat bacteria? What is consciousness? Why do we dream? (These are questions that typically an older child may have. Give them think time to come up with questions.

Charts to spark questions:

Nonfiction Feature How It Helps The Reader
Diagram with labels
  • Helps you understand the parts
Close –up use detail pictures
  • Helps you see close up
  • How it works
  • Details
Comparison You know how:

  • Big
  • Small
  • Heavy
  • Long
  • Light

Something is…

  • Helps let you see what’s going on inside
  • Shows their life in order
Fun Fact
  • Tells you all of the fun information

Supplies for Wonder Bubbles:

  1. Poser board
  2. Markers
  3. Construction Paper – make shapes or circles, “bubbles”

This is a great fit with homeschooling because you can use as a basis for presentations from information learned from units studies or a topic you are studying, and by asking questions it will get the kids really excited. Nikki shares many more details in the audio!


Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor -Overcomer Movie

Life changes overnight for coach John Harrison when his high school basketball team’s state championship dreams are crushed under the weight of unexpected news. When the largest manufacturing plant in town suddenly shuts down and hundreds of families begin moving away, John must come to grips with the challenges facing his family and his team. Urged by the school’s principal to fill-in and coach a sport he doesn’t know or like, John is frustrated and questioning his worth… until he crosses paths with a student struggling with her own journey.
Filled with a powerful mix of faith, a twist of humor, and a ton of heart, the Kendrick Brothers return to theaters with OVERCOMER, their newest feature following FACING THE GIANTS, FIREPROOF, COURAGEOUS, and the #1 box-office hit, WAR ROOM. The inspiring family film stars Alex Kendrick, Priscilla Shirer, Shari Rigby, Cameron Arnett, and introduces Aryn Wright-Thompson.

Opening nationwide on August 23, OVERCOMER dares to leave you filled with hope, inspired to dream, and asks the question: what do you allow to define you?

Click here to learn more!

HSHSP Ep 173: Career Pathways for Homeschool High School

This week on HSHSP Ep 173: Career Pathways for Homeschool High School.

HSHSP Ep 173: Career Pathways for Homeschool High School. Career Exploration gets a boost with Career Pathways. Here's how to give your homeschool high schooler a head start on what comes after graduation. #HomeschoolHighSchoolPodcast #HomeschoolHighSchool #CareerExploration #CareerPathways #PreparationForLife

HSHSP Ep 173: Career Pathways for Homeschool High School

How do you help your homeschool high schoolers be best prepared for what comes AFTER they graduate?

There are 2 career-related experiences they really should do:

  • Career Exploration: This is a course that helps teens explore their talents, strengths, interests, abilities, experiences and values to help them narrow down career possibilities.
  • Career Pathways: These are the courses that your homeschool high schooler will do that help prepare them for their future careers or college-majors.

Join Vicki and our wonderful guests: 7Sister Marilyn and our friend, Barb Varnell. You know them from our How to Get Started Homeschooling High School suite of episodes:

Barb has also given us great advice on homeschooling high school with intellectually gifted teens. She’s also a PhD chemist, so she and her daughter join Vicki for a fascinating discussion about whether you can be a scientist and a creationist at the same time.

Marilyn and Barb serve the local homeschool umbrella school as academic advisors. (Vicki retired from the academic advisor role there after 18 years.) They help homeschooling high schoolers have a successful high school experience and  prepare for what they’ll do after graduation. They meet several times a year with teens and their parents to set their goals for high school, career and life. An important part of their discussions are about what teens are doing for their Career Exploration until they clarify some goals (as much as a teen can know). Then they help teens develop their Career Pathways goals that will help you prepare for career or college major.

To get started on Career Exploration, check out this comprehensive post on getting started.

  • Log hours doing various *explorations* and a course to earn a credit for the homeschool transcript.

Career Pathways: These are the courses that your homeschool high schooler will do that help prepare them for their future careers or college-major. Build upon good Career Exploration for great transcripts and life-preparation experiences.

Today, we want to discuss, Career Pathways. Homeschool High Schoolers, here’s some great advice:

Insider tip from Barb: For college-bound teens, develop Career Pathways credits, extracurriculars, competitions and service to make you stand out from the crowd. You want colleges to not only like you, but like you enough to give you money to come.

Career-bound AND College-bound teens:

Want some wise advice, Homeschool Graduates? Don't lose your transcript and don't lose your diploma.

Special advice for 9th and 10th graders:

  • Start keeping track of things to put on your experiential resume because you’re going to forget by the time you get to senior year.
  • Think about what they need to be working on for their core academics (if they are interested in STEM but are behind in
  • Explore interests if they have no clue
  • If interested in military, try a quirky language for your World Language credits. That will make they stand out when they meet with recruiters.
  • Find a couple of extracurriculars you can do each year. Colleges often want to see an ability to stick to an interest, project or organization. (Some college applications only ask which extracurriculars you have been involved in for 2 years or more.)
  • Check out and see what the employment outlook for that job (will there be jobs)
  • Take a class outside home when you can. (This gives you a person who can write an academic recommendation.) Barb notes that some colleges want this recommendation needs to come from a teacher at their *school*. One college has asked for a recommendation from an upperclassman English teacher, SO make sure you have explored the college’s requirements not just for entrance but for their major. Barb gives the example of an art student who got lots of scholarship money based on her portfolio
    • Show up to class on time
    • Do the work
    • Have a great attitude

Ninth graders sometimes don’t like to think about all this, so be gracious. By the time they are in 10th grade they really need to do some gentle thinking about the future.

Advice to parents:

Remember to allow your homeschool high schoolers to have TIME to do all this Career Pathways work.

  • Barb and Marilyn have found that sometimes parents avoid Career Pathways involvements for their teens because:
    • They are worried core academics won’t get done
    • They are exhausted and don’t have time or energy to drive their teens all over the place

Want some specific ideas for Career Pathways opportunities?

  • Engineering: Volunteer for an engineering professor
  • Business: Work in family business
  • Auto mechanics: Help in the office
  • Other trades: Talk to the local union, take some community courses, shadow someone in that area.
  • Counseling: Get HIPAA training, do some clerking
  • Pre-vet: Volunteer at non-profit clinics or vet office. Shadow a vet. (Barb’s daughter who is now a vet
  • Music education: Volunteer for a local music education teacher, give lessons, get involved in local college community music programs
  • Medical programs: Volunteer at the local hospital

Want more great ideas for developing your homeschool high schoolers’ Career Pathways credits. Listen to this HSHSP interview with Barb’s daughter, Sarah, who is now a large-animal veterinarian.

Join Vicki, Marilyn and Barb for an informative discussion on Career Pathways!

Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor -Overcomer Movie

Life changes overnight for coach John Harrison when his high school basketball team’s state championship dreams are crushed under the weight of unexpected news. When the largest manufacturing plant in town suddenly shuts down and hundreds of families begin moving away, John must come to grips with the challenges facing his family and his team. Urged by the school’s principal to fill-in and coach a sport he doesn’t know or like, John is frustrated and questioning his worth… until he crosses paths with a student struggling with her own journey.
Filled with a powerful mix of faith, a twist of humor, and a ton of heart, the Kendrick Brothers return to theaters with OVERCOMER, their newest feature following FACING THE GIANTS, FIREPROOF, COURAGEOUS, and the #1 box-office hit, WAR ROOM. The inspiring family film stars Alex Kendrick, Priscilla Shirer, Shari Rigby, Cameron Arnett, and introduces Aryn Wright-Thompson.

Opening nationwide on August 23, OVERCOMER dares to leave you filled with hope, inspired to dream, and asks the question: what do you allow to define you?

Click here to learn more!

HSHSP Ep 173: Career Pathways for Homeschool High School