HSHSP Ep 147: Soft Skills for Teens: Teaching a Welcoming Culture

This week on HSHSP Ep 147: Soft Skills for Teens: Teaching a Welcoming Culture.

HSHSP Ep 147: Soft Skills for Teens: Teaching a Welcoming Culture. Homeschool Highschool Podcast episode on empowering teens with the soft skills for a kind culture.

HSHSP Ep 147: Soft Skills for Teens: Teaching a Welcoming Culture

We’ve all had the experience of being the new person in a group and NO ONE talking to you or welcoming you in. We’ve all had an experience with cliques. We don’t want our kids to be part of that kind of unwelcoming culture. Instead we MUST teach them to create a welcoming culture. Join Kym and Vicki for one of their favorite topics!

To create a welcoming culture, we have taught our teens and our homeschool umbrella school necessary soft skills. The basis of the skills is the Principals of GOOF.

Principals of GOOF:

  • Respect God
  • Respect Others
  • Respect Ourselves
  • Respect Facilities

To make GOOF work:

  • Establish the norms and teach them to teens and adults.
  • Empower some thought-leader teens to be *facilitators* who introduce teens around, usher them through the day, sit with them at lunch, answer questions.
    • Practice with these facilitators ahead of time. Even introverts can play this role, because it is a role (they don’t have to worry about *being themselves*, in a way). This is good for extroverts, too, they need the practice and the role so that they remember to be inclusive.
    • Teach them to look around the perimeter of a group, find teens who are standing alone. Walk up and talk to them. Include them.
  • For new kids.
    • Teach them the magic nonverbals: Simply smile through the day, keep the shoulders up and chin up.
    • Sit near the front.

Remember, if you invest in a few leaders catch the GOOF, it will spread…  HOWEVER, all homeschool high schoolers, need to be GOOF trained. Talk it, talk it, talk it.

Remember, as our friend Dr. Melanie Wilson says, “Relationship before rules”. Develop those relationships and listen in on her podcast: Homeschool Sanity.

Teach your teens to create a welcoming culture. It's a skill that will last for a lifetime.

Remember, teaching drama class to homeschool high schoolers helps develop the confidence in playing a role like *facilitator* in real life. That’s why we have our drama resources that our teens have loved available to you at 7Sisters.

Remember, that Alexa will read 7SistersHomeschool.com posts to you. Here’s a post to tell you how.

AND remember that Vicki has LOTS of free resources at Vicki Tillman Coaching, including Confidence-Building Skills for Meeting New People. Download it for your teens.

Join Vicki and Kym for a fun and enlightening how-to discussion on soft skills, welcoming skills for teens.

Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor – Christian Standard Bible

The Christian Standard Bible captures the Bible’s original meaning without compromising clarity. An optimal blend of accuracy and readability, this translation helps readers make a deeper connection with God’s Word and inspires lifelong discipleship. The CSB is for everyone—for readers young and old, new and seasoned. It’s a Bible pastors can preach from and a Bible you can share with your neighbor hearing God’s Word for the very first time.

Find out more here!

HSHSP Ep 147: Soft Skills for Teens: Teaching a Welcoming Culture

HSHSP Ep 146: Helping Teens Find Their Passions, Interview with Cindy West

This week on HSHSP Ep 146: Helping Teens Find Their Passions, Interview with Cindy West.

Helping Teens Find Their Passions, Interview with Cindy West. Help homeschool high schoolers explore interests and talents for transcript credit.

HSHSP Ep 146: Helping Teens Find Their Passions, Interview with Cindy West

Join Vicki and our friend, Cindy West, of Our Journey Westward, NaturExplorers, and Homeschooling Gifted Kids. Cindy, who is well-known to many homeschool families,  has been homeschooling for 18 years has specialized in helping her homeschool high schoolers find and develop their interests and passions.

Cindy West of Our Journey Westward shares with Homeschool Highschool Podcast ways to help teens capture their passions as part of their academics.

Cindy West.
Photo used by permission.

Cindy’s teens learned how to identify, develop and make choices for their futures in their homeschool programs. Cindy shares how she helped her homeschool high schoolers lean into their interests and allow them to become passions.

  • Observe: Where do they get excited? Where do they invest their free time?
  • Get experiences: Go on field trips. Do some volunteer work, help others out who are in the field of interest. Go to the library
  • Discuss with experts: Interview adults. See if you can find shadowing or apprenticeship opportunities.
  • Include as part of their academic studies: Develop science, history and/or language arts courses.
  • Include as part of their career exploration electives: Give it an appropriate name and capture it on the transcript.

One of the special things that Cindy has done with her teens is allowing her teens to develop their own courses.

  • Divide the year into 36 weeks
  • Explore on the internet what other people cover for those courses
  • Ask teen to pinpoint their interests/goals for the course
  • Find a *spine*, a textbook or detailed, informative book (probably not in the juvenile section) as a base
  • Choose at least one major project: research paper, prepare a presentation, design an experiment
  • Plan out the year, month by month based on the topics of teen interest and what others cover
  • Turn the plan into a syllabus
  • Learn more about this with Cindy’s post on the topic.

Teens who develop their interests in homeschool high school gain important skills for life. Homeschool Highschool Podcast interview with Cindy West.

Cindy’s daughter was passionate about equine studies and developed high school courses to develop those interests. Her son has been interested in guitar, so they have deeply developed this interest and giftedness.

You’ll be blessed by this interview with Cindy West. Visit her website and social media, curriculum AND check out her book on homeschooling gifted kids to learn more!

Take a look at 7Sisters Career Exploration curriculum to help discover interests and gifts. You’ll also enjoy these posts.

Homeschool High School Transcript: How to Earn Credits

Homeschool Career Exploration: Discovering Interests and Skills


HSHSP Ep 146: Helping Teens Find Their Passions, Interview with Cindy West

HSHSP Ep 145: Movies for Educational Purposes in Homeschool Highschool

This week on HSHSP Ep 145: Movies for Educational Purposes in Homeschool Highschool.

HSHSP Ep 145: Movies for Educational Purposes. Movies can be an inspirational part of your homeschool high school Language Arts program.

HSHSP Ep 145: Movies for Educational Purposes in Homeschool Highschool

Need some fun in your homeschool high school? Think: movies!

Movies and reading can both count for Language Arts assignments?

Movies can’t count as books, but they can be used to learn themes, plots, characters and other tools of literary analysis. Studying a movie can add some sparkle to a year that is getting bogged down in heavy literature books. However, you want to have good tools (like 7Sisters Cinema Studies for Literature Learning Study Guides).

Join Sabrina and Vicki for an enlightening discussion of movies for educational process. Let’s start with another of Sabrina’s famous quotes:

Stories are stories.

So, a story in a movie is still a story.

Stories are Stories. Literature analysis through movies. HSHSP Ep 145: Movies for Educational Purposes.

Learning story analysis skills by watching movies is good for all teens. Homeschool high schoolers with learning difficulties will find analysis skills more accessible when they watch and discuss movies.

So where do you start? Choose one or two aspects of the story to discuss and analyze, even if the movie has lots of outstanding features that could be explored. That way teens can actually learn and hold onto their learning. We suggest 7Sisters Cinema Studies for Literature Learning Study Guides for this.

When teens learn some concepts from a film story, they can then find those concepts when they read books. Making these connections is a necessary facet of education (and an important life skill).

Watching movies as an educational tool, helps teens begin to think that any time they watch a movie, they can use their brains and think about what they are consuming. In other words, when given tools for analysis in a gentle way, most teens will have more critical thinking skills for watching movies any time.

All 7Sisters curriculum is level-able (adaptable for Average- through Honors-level studies.) Homeschool high schoolers who are college-bound Honors level cinema studies will find interesting and meaningful leveling-up activities in 7Sisters Cinema Studies for Literature Learning Study Guides.

The way the Cinema Studies guides work:

  • Students watch the movie.
  • They take notes as they watch the movie on anything that is interesting to them.
  • They watch the movie again several days later.
  • Then they complete the study guide (questions and a writing assignment).

As an aside, Vicki and Sabrina rabbit trailed onto the topic of audiobooks for books and poetry. They noted that Benedict Cumberbach is one of their favorite readers. Vicki has several pins on her Pinterest Poetry board with him reading a poem.

Join Sabrina and Vicki for a *moving* talk about movies!

For more creative Language Arts ideas, check out this episode!

HSHSP Ep 89: A NOVEL Approach with Highschool Literature!


HSHSP Ep 145: Movies for Educational Purposes in Homeschool Highschool

HSHSP Ep 144: Writing Research Papers, Interview with Kat Patrick

This week on HSHSP Ep 144: Writing Research Papers, Interview with Kat Patrick.

HSHSP Ep 144: Writing Research Papers, Interview with Kat Patrick. Tips for helping homeschool high schoolers develop skills for research paper writing.

HSHSP Ep 144: Writing Research Papers, Interview with Kat Patrick

Our friend, Dr. Kat Patrick, joins us for this episode to help guide through the important task of writing research papers.

Kat has helped us out with an episode about homeschooling in the United Kingdom and the United States AND in another episode, she shared how to teach Shakespeare and enjoy it.

Kat and her family have lived in England for 25 years (where her husband teaches at Oxford). They recently moved to Texas, where Kat was born. Kat started Dreaming Spires Home Learning, a Charlotte Mason inspired online program. She offers lots of popular live courses in lots areas.

Kat Patrick of Dreaming Spires Online Homeschool Courses, Interviewed on Homeschool High School Podcast

Photo used with permission.

Kat is an expert in teaching writing skills. She began teaching research paper writing during her graduate studies at University of Delaware. (Interestingly, just a few miles from where the 7Sisters live, we just never met at that time.) Kat loves teaching the skills of research paper writing, especially in taking notes and noting sources.

As Vicki points out, teens often complain about writing research papers while in high school because they are a LOT of work! However, they often come back to her to thank her for that requirement, because in college they more easily earn top grades in their composition courses. Even non-college-bound skills benefit from writing research papers.

Life skills that all teens gain from writing research papers include:

  • Building attention to detail
  • Building stick-to-itiveness and organization skills for doing large projects
  • Building patience for redos until things get batter
  • Building research skills for life (such as products, trips or services teens will need in life)
  • Building skills to evaluate sources (they can apply this to things they read on social media and elsewhere)

What are some resources Kat recommends?

  • Books (usually more than one book, including more than one perspective)
  • References from library
  • Good Reads website
  • Google Books
  • Sources listed at the bottom of Wikipedia articles (the sources cited in the article), not the article itself
  • Primary sources, including digital documents of out-of-print sources. (Simply Google search: *Primary source for…*). This is good because teens can begin to come up with some of their own thoughts by reading original docusments, rather than only discuss other people’s thoughts. (This is particularly helpful with MLA and Chicago-style papers that are thesis based papers.)

Discuss plagiarism.

  • Help teens understand: How long a quote can you use and how do you cite it? (Follow the guidelines for each paper style: MLA, APA, Chicago Style.) Teens in college can lose scholarships and fail classes if they plagiarize. Here is a post to help explain plagiarism to your homeschool high schoolers.
  • Discuss paraphrasing and citing the paraphrase. (Developing this skills is one reason Kat loves Charlotte Mason’s traditional paraphrasing of books!)

Teach note-taking skills:

  • Remind teens to research before they start the paper or even write a thesis. They need lots of information before they start writing their papers.
  • Use index cards for note taking. Put quotes, statistics and other important information. Put citation information. Number the cards. Using card helps prevent accidental plagiarism.
  • Mind map or spread out the cards on a table to help teens organize their thoughts.

Teach time management skills:

Work with teens with solid dates on when they start researching, finish their cards, complete the first rough draft, final draft, etc. 7Sisters freebie Scheduling Backwards can help with this. All of 7Sisters’ Research Paper Writing Guides are chunked out into day-by-day assignments to help homeschool high schoolers stay on track.

Kat suggests this order for writing research papers.

  • Research
  • Write the first draft of the paper
  • Read the paper and find the gaps in the information presented
  • Research to fill in gaps
  • Rewrite
  • Check citations
  • Edit for grammar, punctuation, etc
  • Complete a final draft

Kat also includes these 2 fascinating requirements that truly help her homeschool high school students succeed as writers:

  • Students keep a journal where they daily record what they have done on their research paper.
  • At the end of the paper, she has her students write a *review* of the paper-writing process. It is a self-reflection about what they have learned about the process and the topic.

There are many styles of research papers, however, these are the most commonly used papers for high schoolers:

Check out Kat’s online courses such as English Literature that includes writing extensions, including research papers as well as multi-genre experiences with Prezis and plays. Also visit her at:

Keep an eye out for Dr. Kat Patrick’s upcoming text on Chicago-style research papers. Also, download Kat’s FREEBIE: Shakespeare Copywork.

Join Vicki and Kat for this fun discussion on research papers, your teens will benefit from the tips you learn!

You’ll also enjoy these posts and this HSHSP episode with more information on research papers.

Suggested Syllabus for 7Sisters MLA Research Paper Writing Course

What are Chicago-Style Research Papers and Why Should Your Teen Write One?

High School Research Paper: Should You Choose MLA? APA? Other?

HSHSP Ep 144: Writing Research Papers, Interview with Kat Patrick

HSHSP Ep 143: Financial Literacy for Homeschool High Schoolers

This week on HSHSP Ep 143: Financial Literacy for Homeschool High schoolers.

HSHSP Ep 143: Financial Literacy for Homeschool Highschoolers. Teens need life-skills math of Financial Literacy to be well prepared for adulting.

HSHSP Ep 143: Financial Literacy for Homeschool High Schoolers

How do you go about preparing homeschool high schoolers for managing money throughout their lives? Financial Literacy is a life skills math credit that many teens will use WAY more often than their high school math. Join Sabrina, Vicki, Kym and Eagle, the Seeing Eye puppy for a fun discussion of Financial Literacy curriculum.

Back in 2008, when the economy crashed, some economists believed that poor personal financial management (including too much mortgage debt) was part of the problem. In reaction to this, many state education departments began to require that high school transcripts include Consumer Math so that teen could have at least basic money management skills.

But Consumer Math might not be enough for many teens. If they want real-life preparation for not just money, but for making financial decisions, for planning and for other financial considerations, teens need more. They need Financial Literacy.

A penny saved is a penny earned is just the beginning. Give your teens financial skills for a lifetime.

So, what is the difference between Consumer Math and Financial Literacy?

  • Consumer Math covers the basics such as creating a budget and balancing a checkbook.
  • Financial Literacy covers Consumer Math PLUS planning for the future, finding the right insurances, banking, credit and more.

There are several good financial training courses. We, of course, like 7Sisters’ Financial Literacy because it covers all the bases of Financial Literacy courses but also trains students on how to find information (and where to avoid information). It is an interactive, internet-based curriculum that teens love…and actually use. Homeschool high schoolers finish the course with a life financial plan.

As soon as 7Sisters’ published our Financial Literacy course, our teens began using it and teaching it in our local homeschool group classes. The curriculum was vetted by the teens, who gave valuable feedback on how they learn best. Those teens are now adults and still using the skills they learned from their Financial Literacy course.

Your teens will benefit from taking Financial Literacy, but don’t take our word for it. Check out these posts from 7Sister Sara’s sons Luke and Joel. You’ll also enjoy this Dollars and Cents Podcast episode on How to Teach Kids about Managing Money.


Interactive Financial Literacy Course: Why it is Awesome & How to Use it

HSHSP Ep 143: Financial Literacy for Homeschool High Schoolers

HSHSP Ep 142: Homeschool Coaching with Vicki Bentley of HSLDA

This week on HSHSP Ep 142: Homeschool Coaching with Vicki Bentley of HSLDA.

Homeschool Highschool Podcast Ep 142: Homeschool Coach Vicki Bentley, HSLDA. Feeling overwhelmed with homeschooling? HSLDA's Vicki shares about coaching.

HSHSP Ep 142: Homeschool Coaching with Vicki Bentley of HSLDA

Ever felt stuck, confused or intimidated in your homeschooling adventures? It might be time for some homeschool coaching! Join Vicki and her friend, Vicki, for a delightful discussion on homeschool coaching (and some history of homeschooling).

Vicki Bentley is a homeschool coach, working with Homeschool Legal Defense Association. The homeschool mom of 8 daughters, Vicki has also fostered more than 50 kids AND is a military wife.

Vicki Bentley, Homeschool Coach with HSLDA

Photo used with permission.

Both Vickis have many similar *history of homeschooling experiences*. Vicki Bentley and Vicki Tillman began homeschooling back in the early days of the homeschool movement. In those days, it was difficult to find publishers who would sell curriculum to homeschooling families. There was no internet so finding other homeschooling families could be a chore. There were few opportunities for group activities or support. Therefore both Vickis helped start and/or run several homeschool organizations.

Vicki Tillman totally agrees with Vicki Bentley when she says she has lived by these mottos:

  • Start things up

  • Just walk through the next open door

Vicki B. originally found other military homeschooling families when she ran into another military mom while running errands. They started and ran a 300-family homeschool field trip and support group. Then she joined Virginia’s newly formed state-level homeschool organization, HEAV (Home Educators Association of Virginia). She developed and taught a how-to curriculum for new HEAV homeschooling families.

Vicki Tillman and Vicki Bentley talked about their similarities in running homeschool groups and starting things when there was nothing.

“You do what you need to do for your kids,” says Vicki B.

You do what you need to do for your kids. -Vicki Bentley, HSLDA, interviewed on Homeschool Highschool Podcast episode about Homeschool Coaching.

Vicki Bentley connected with Homeschool Legal Defense Association back in the early 1990s after she moved to Virginia. Her husband started working for them and Vicki joined him shortly after that.

Vicki Tillman remembered back in those early days, homeschooling was not legal in most states, so homeschoolers needed to fly under the wire and exercise caution. She pointed out the common drills practiced by many homeschooling families:

  • Fire drills
  • Tornado drills
  • Truant-officer-at-the-door drills

Homeschooling families needed legal support! That’s why Homeschool Legal Defense was formed.

HSLDA started in 1983 by 2 homeschool dads who were attorneys. Because homeschooling was not legal in many states, HSLDA represented homeschool families in court. Now that homeschooling is legal in all 5o states, they continue to provide homeschool legal support where needed, along with providing compassion work and homeschool coaching for all ages. Vicki Bentley is one of the homeschool coaches.

As homeschool coach, Vicki Bentley offers a number of services:

Like her friend, Vicki Bentley, Vicki Tillman also provides homeschool coaching (through 7SistersHomeschool.com).  Her coaching services are like Vicki Bentley’s services. She pointed out that neither Vicki is in competition with each other in their 2 organizations. Rather, they were Titus 2 moms together supporting the 2 million homeschoolers in the United States today.

Both Vickis love that their generation is able to give back to the homeschool community through homeschool coaching!

To obtain coaching from Vicki Bentley at HSLDA, contact her through her coaching page. (You’ll need to join HSLDA to use these services.) 

You’ll also love her many how-to posts at HSLDA and her personal website: Everyday Homemaking.

Join Vicki and Vicki for a delightful talk about the history of homeschooling and about homeschool coaching.

You’ll also enjoy these posts.

How to Start a Homeschool Organization (Interview with Carol Top of Homeschool CPA podcast.)

7 No-Fail Steps in Choosing Curriculum for Homeschool High School

HSHSP Ep 142: Homeschool Coaching with Vicki Bentley of HSLDA

HSHSP Ep 141: Handling Difficult People During the Holidays

This week on HSHSP Ep 141: Handling Difficult People During the Holidays!

HSHSP Ep 141: Handling Difficult People at Holiday Events. Plan for success in dealing with challenging friends and family members at Christmas get-togethers.

HSHSP Ep 141: Handling Difficult People During the Holidays

Dreading those tough moments at holiday gatherings when someone makes everyone tense, irritated or embarrassed?  It’s not just you. There are obnoxious people everywhere. However, we don’t need to sacrifice our family’s health (mental or otherwise), to appease the folks who make life tense. Join Sabrina, Vicki, Kym and Eagle (the Seeing Eye Puppy) for a comfortable chat about uncomfortable people.

When planning for that big get-together, but stressing because you know *Irritating Uncle George* is going to be there, here are some valuable questions to ask yourself:

What’s the goal of the gathering?

  • If it’s the goal to have a picture perfect event, we might need to downgrade that goal when there are difficult people in the mix. Better to be realistic and unsurprised than to simply wish he’d behave and be miserable. Listen to this episode on Realistic Expectations.
  • If the goal is to honor the traditions of the family, how can you discuss with each person ways to keep that tradition-honoring time pleasant?

What are the deal breakers for you and your family?

  • Ask your family members, what are their deal breakers? Those are the places you need to work together to come up with a creative, Christlike boundary or solution.

How flexible are your family members with their deal breakers and expectations?

  • Ask your family members what they can and are willing to adjust.

What are your internal Rules for the Universe?

We all have a set of Rules for the way the Universe should run. If we stubbornly try to cling to our Rules for the Universe, and the universe isn’t running by our rules, we will make ourselves sick.

Take for instance, Vicki’s Rule: *Everyone I care about should be okay all the time*. Unfortunately for Vicki, she can’t control that. She has to leave everyone’s okay-ness in God’s hands. (He going to run the universe the way He sees best, anyway- regardless of our Rules.)

What are YOUR Rules for the Universe? Some of our favorites are (and we must give up on):

  • Everyone I care about must be part of our traditions, so everyone must be present with me.
  • Everyone should behave like a Norman Rockwell painting.
  • Everyone should be upbeat and happy all through the holidays.

Difficult People Coming to Your Family Gatherings This Christmas? Tips for setting boundaries and adjusting expectations. Homeschool Highschool Podcast Ep 141.

What do we do when there is a difficult people present in our family, so will make the gathering difficult?

Ask yourself: Is it necessary for that person to attend if they are dangerous to the well-being and safety of the rest of the group? If the person is not a safe person, must they come? Think about that seriously. The idea that all people must be present at important holiday events is simply one of those internal Rules for the Universe.

Is it necessary for us to suck it up and say nothing difficult people or do we confront at that time of behavior?

  • For people with Predictable Obnoxious Behaviors (POBs).
    • Discuss those with the person ahead of time.
  • For people with Unpredictable Bad Behaviors (UBBs).
    • Gently pull that person aside and let them know the way things go at your house.

Remember your own stress points, ask yourself: Can I download/delegate any of them?

Remember to:

Gathering with folks is important at Christmas but we are healthier when we have addressed questions about the ways we’ll handle trouble-making people at the events.

Do your teens need to vent about those obnoxious folks? Give them a cathartic writing assignment: Holiday Family Narratives.

Enjoy this empowering chat with Sabrina, Vicki, Kym and Seeing Eye Puppy, Eagle. And enjoy these posts:

Homeschool Writing Project: The Holidays are the Perfect Time to Write a Family Narrative!


HSHSP Ep 141: Handling Difficult People During the Holidays

HSHSP Ep 140: Homeschooler Becomes Podcaster, Interview with Vikings Podcaster Noah Tetzner

This week on HSHSP Ep 140: Homeschooler Becomes Podcaster, Interview with Vikings Podcaster Noah Tetzner.

HSHSP Ep 140: Homeschooler Becomes Podcaster, Interview with Vikings Podcaster Noah Tetzner Log history hours with expert interviews on the History of Vikings Podcast. Great interview with podcaster, Noah Tetzner.

HSHSP Ep 140: Homeschooler Becomes Podcaster, Interview with Vikings Podcaster Noah Tetzner

We love to chat with homeschoolers who are making the most of homeschooling high school! This interview with The History of Vikings Podcast’s Noah Tetzner is a great example!

Noah Tetzner, The History of Vikings Podcast

photo used with permission

The History of Vikings Podcast is popular podcast, making it to iTune’s *New and Noteworthy* recognition with 100 reviews.

Noah is 17 years old, he homeschooled for his whole like (with a brief 2 years in traditional school, which he found wasn’t the best use of his time). He’s now a junior-year homeschooler. Noah’s mom has given Noah and his siblings lots of the common homeschool experiences: co-op, exploring interests, developing skills, personal development. Noah says that his mom listens to his input in his educational process.

The History of Vikings Podcast is a popular Viking age or Norse related experts. He has interviewed experts from Oxford and other universities. Really! A homeschool high schooler interviewing Oxford, Harvard and Yale professors.

History of Vikings Podcast

Episodes cover real, expert information on topics like:

  • Viking armor
  • Viking militaristic detatils
  • Viking lifestyle
  • Viking language
  • Roles of women in Viking culture
  • Influence of Norse mythology on J.R.R. Tolkien’s writing

Noah was willing to contact these experts because he loves history and wants to share his love of history with his friends. He knew that podcasts are a fun way to learn as opposed to simply reading books.

Noah loves podcasts and listens to many of them. He noticed there wasn’t a podcast on Vikings that shared information from actual experts. So he decided to start his own. He learned about (and is earning homeschool high school transcript credit for, by the way):

  • Format
  • Recording process and technology
  • Equipment
  • Art
  • Editing

Noah credits homeschooling for help in getting the courage to invite world-renowned experts for the podcast. As a homeschooler, he was comfortable with talking to all ages and types of people. He also credits his parent for believing in him and investing in his interests.

Noah is blessing anyone interested in Vikings, building a powerful transcript, and having irreplaceable life experiences.

  • Viking fun-facts from Noah:
  • Vikings valued personal hygiene and bathed each week at least
  • Vikings traded around the world, even trading with the Byzantines
  • They didn’t wear horned helmets

Homeschool moms and teens: Listen to The History of Vikings podcast with Noah Tetzner. You’re going to love it!

You’ll also love his YouTube channel with companion videos for the podcast: The History of Vikings YouTube.

Want some ideas for ways to turn Viking studies into a homeschool transcript credit?

Listen to this episode of Homeschool Highschool Podcast on creative ways to earn history credits.

3 Ways to Earn Character-Forming World History Credit

3 Terrific Transcript Reasons for Learning World History WITH Philosophy


  1. Follow this link to our iTunes page.
  2. IMPORTANT STEP: Under our Homeschool Highschool Podcast logo, click on View in iTunes
  3. This will take you to iTunes and our own podcast page.
  4. Click SUBSCRIBE.
  5. Click RATINGS AND REVIEW. (Please take a minute and do this. It helps others find us. Thanks!)
  6. Thanks!


  1. Tap the purple Podcast icon on your phone
  2. Tap the search icon on the bottom-right of your screen
  3. In the search bar type: Homeschool Highschool Podcast
  4. Tap the Homeschool Highschool Podcast icon
  5. Tap *Subscribe*
  6. Please tap *Ratings and Review* and give us some stars and a comment to help others find us more easily.
  7. Thanks!

HSHSP Ep 140: Homeschooler Becomes Podcaster, Interview with Vikings Podcaster Noah Tetzner

HSHSP Ep 139: How Homeschoolers Find Success in College, Interview with Kendall Smythe

This week on HSHSP Ep 139: How Homeschoolers Find Success in College, Interview with Kendall Smythe.

HSHSP Ep 139: How Homeschoolers Find Success in College, Interview with Kendall Smythe. How to have success in college.

HSHSP Ep 139: How Homeschoolers Find Success in College, Interview with Kendall Smythe

Got a homeschool high schooler headed to college? You’ll love this interview with Kendall Smythe, homeschool graduate and in her senior year at University of Delaware!

Kendall is a Psychology major with second major in Health and Wellness, as well as captain of the UD club women’s ice hockey team. She’s in the midst of applying to graduate school Sports Psychology programs, as well as her studies and sports.

She invested in her homeschool high school success (and terrific transcript) by exploring her interests. She loved sports so started in high school hockey when she and her twin, Carlie, realized that hockey was one of the few sports they hadn’t tried. When they tried it, they found they had found their sports-favorite! Both have played through college on the UD women’s team.

Kendall joined Sabrina and her mom, Kym, for a candid interview. Here are her thoughts about the ups and downs of homeschooling high school as well as tips for success in college.

What she wished was better in her homeschool high school:

  • Would have liked to have better SAT prep and test-taking skills prep

In homeschool high school, she loved:

  • Group classes with syllabi which helped her prepare for college schedules and independent study
  • Time management skills (with her busy schedule in high school, she had to learn good time management)
  • Self-discipline (Her mom is ADHD and had a hard time staying on top of things as well as older sister being sick, so she found she could manage herself well.)
  • Accountability of the local homeschool umbrella school classes, teachers and advisors
  • Opportunities for leadership skills-development and extracurriculars at her local homeschool umbrella schools
  • Strong transcript despite her SAT (she’s a poor test-taker, so she entered through their SEED scholarship program)

For college success, Kendall suggests:

She doesn’t usually tell people she homeschooled high school because it doesn’t come up

  • Find a scholarship program if you can
  • Join organizations on campus
  • Seek the opportunities you want yourself, be assertive
    • No one is going to do the work of college success for you, you get to do it yourself
  • Ask in your department for experiences (volunteer in research lab or other opportunities)
  • Network, network, network!!
  • Manage your time well

Listen in to this delightful interview with Kendall Smythe, her mom (Kym) and Sabrina and get even more tips! You’ll also love these helpful posts.

The priorities Mrs. T (Vicki) taught Kendall in homeschool high school are in this post.

Tips for Academic Success in College

College Success Tips from Kendall’s Sister, Carlie


  1. Follow this link to our iTunes page.
  2. IMPORTANT STEP: Under our Homeschool Highschool Podcast logo, click on View in iTunes
  3. This will take you to iTunes and our own podcast page.
  4. Click SUBSCRIBE.
  5. Click RATINGS AND REVIEW. (Please take a minute and do this. It helps others find us. Thanks!)
  6. Thanks!


  1. Tap the purple Podcast icon on your phone
  2. Tap the search icon on the bottom-right of your screen
  3. In the search bar type: Homeschool Highschool Podcast
  4. Tap the Homeschool Highschool Podcast icon
  5. Tap *Subscribe*
  6. Please tap *Ratings and Review* and give us some stars and a comment to help others find us more easily.
  7. Thanks!

HSHSP Ep 139: How Homeschoolers Find Success in College, Interview with Kendall Smythe

HSHSP Ep 138: Teens and Depression

This week on HSHSP Ep 138: Teens and Depression.

HSHSP Ep 138: Teens and Depression. Even homeschool high schoolers can get depressed. Here's what to do.

HSHSP Ep 138: Teens and Depression

We wish it wasn’t true but it is. Many teens experience depression at one time or another. Even homeschool high schoolers in a nurturing environment may have a depressive bout. Depression is not something we want to ignore. Join Vicki for a discussion on depression in teens.

Here are some causes of depression in teens:

Pressures of holidays: If there are too many activities or performances, too many relatives they feel stressed about, too much pressure, teens can feel overwhelmed and feel depressed.

Biology: Teens have many hormonal swings and other physiological changes that can make the neurotransmitter serotonin drops. Serotonin is one the brain’s chemicals in charge of mood, energy, focus, hopefulness, appetite and sleep. If serotonin deeps, teens feel depressed.

Stressors of life: High schoolers feel pressure to figure out their future, perform well, get along with family and friends. Sometimes those things get stressful (they don’t know what they should do after graduation, they feel like they can’t do well enough with academics or extracurriculars, the fight with friends or family…). Too many stressors for too long can cause depression.

Too much cortisol: Some teens are naturally anxious. Their bodies produce too much cortisol, a stress hormone. Cortisol is great when they need an extra boost of energy to run fast when a lion is chasing them. But most of the time, there’s no lion so the cortisol sits in their body and makes them feel anxious. Too much cortisol for too long causes dips in serotonin, then you guessed it- depressed mood.

Poor lifestyle: Adolescents are notorious for poor lifestyle. Not enough sleep, too much junk food, lots of negative self-talk, too many stressors. These can work together in a perfect personal storm to cause depression.

Most of the time, depressed mood only lasts a few days then teens bounce back.

Sometimes the bounce back doesn’t bounce back and the depression doesn’t pass. If a teen feels depressed mood for more than a few weeks, clinical depression levels can set in. The difficult thing is: Teens (especially males) will rarely say, “I feel depressed”. You have to observe it for yourself.

Depression in adolescents often looks like a combination of these things:

Lethargy- gaming excessively, bingeing on YouTube or Netflix, social media bingeing, sitting around doing nothing

Loss of interest in the things they would have normally like- *got tired of ___*, *don’t like___ anymore*, *nah, I don’t want to do ___*

Sleep disruption- Homeschool high schoolers may sleep all day and stay up till 3 or 4 or some can’t sleep at all. (Get some great tips from this episode on stress and teens with Marianna Chambers.)

Appetite changes- You will notice that your teen has a loss of appetite or don’t notice they are hungry. Or you might catch them binge eating carbohydrates.

Urge to self-harm- Adolescents with very low serotonin levels often have the urge for cutting or other self-harm; either with no intent to suicide or suicidal ideation (thinking about suicide).

NOTE: If there is active suicidal ideation and they say they know how they’d do it, go right to the hospital to be evaluated. Don’t mess around with this even if they get angry at you. It’s better to risk their irritation than lose your teen. Adolescents can be impulsive when they are depressed.

Sadness- Some teens won’t report feeling sad. It’s as if they aren’t able to identify it for themselves. However if you give them a verbal *Happy-Sad* scale, they will often report fairly accurately. Ask them: “On a scale of 1-10, 1o is the best you ever felt and 1 is suicidal, what number would you give today? What is the highest and the lowest number from last week?” Numbers of 1-3 are high concerns.

What to do if your homeschool high schooler is depressed:

Get them some counseling. It helps. Insurance usually covers cognitive-behavioral and other therapies. I have worked as a mental health counselor for decades, so I know the good results. Sometimes teens are irritated at their parents for bringing them to the first session, but I generally win them over and they leave with tools that will quickly help them notice improvement. Counseling for teen depression varies but often we are looking at 1-10 sessions. It’s worth the investment.

Take them to the family doctor. You want to make sure something else physical isn’t going on. I’ve seen thyroid issues, PMS and anemia cause depressed feelings. If there are no other causes and counseling isn’t breaking the depression alone, sometimes doctor with suggest an SSRI to add to the counseling. This is a therapeutic medication that helps the brain heal the serotonin levels (it is not a mask of symptoms, but a healing agent- kind of like taking iron for healing anemia).

What mom can do that really helps:

  • Be with your teen. Take them for drives in the car (without earbuds). Take them for hikes or simple walks- mood enhancer
  • Get rid of junk food and drinks. Healthy foods like colorful fruits and vegetables, probiotic foods like yogurt, dairy and poultry all help the brain make serotonin.
  • Teach them deep breathing. Oxygen lowers cortisol which allows the serotonin to bounce back. Here’s a freebie how-to from my coaching site: Progressive Relaxation. 
  • Sleep hygiene. Teens need adequate sleep. If they get proper sleep, it helps the brain to heal. Here’s a post with how-to get sleep under control.
  • SAD Light for Seasonal Depression. Get a full-spectrum light to heal seasonal depression. (I personally love my light box. I don’t have full Seasonal Affective Disorder, but the gray days of winter make me feel mopey and the lightbox helps.) Here’s a post from Mayo Clinic on finding a lightbox.
  • Positive friends. God made us for community. They need laughter with friends. Even if you have to cook something up and make it happen.

Join Vicki for a discussion of teens and depression. Also you’ll be blessed by these posts from our friends.

Homeschool Sanity: Homeschooling Through Hormones.

LeahNieman.com for the relationship of technology to depression in teens.

HSHSP Ep 138: Teens and Depression