HSHSP Ep 165: Teens and Legalism, Interview with Kendra Fletcher

We’re so excited to have our friend, Kendra Fletcher with us! This week on HSHSP Ep 165: Teens and Legalism, Interview with Kendra Fletcher.

HSHSP Ep 165: Teens and Legalism, Interview with Kendra Fletcher. Kendra discusses the freedom of the Gospel and ways to help teens and parents trust God, not checklists. #KendraFletcher #HomeschoolHighSchoolPodcast #LeavingLegalism #TeensAndLegalism

HSHSP Ep 165: Teens and Legalism, Interview with Kendra Fletcher

Kendra is an influential author, blogger and with her husband, Andy, speaker around the country. Andy and Kendra have hosted Homeschooling IRL on this network. She is the mother of 8, several of them who graduated from traditional homeschool, several in hybrid homeschools and their youngest with special needs. She is also a special friend of ours!

Kendra’s family story is full of God-given inspiration and breath-taking traumas. From her youngest’s nearly-deadly virus when he was an infant, to a daughter’s attack of sepsis after a burst appendix (and even more traumatic events), the Fletchers understand what hardship can look like. Through their experiences, Kendra and Fletch have learned that God is in charge of the process of raising children and in charge of the outcomes!

Kendra Fletcher, photo used by permission

God is in charge of the process AND in charge of the outcomes! No matter how much we might want to control our lives (and slide into the trap of *teens and legalism*), God must be in control.

In this chat with Kym and Vicki, Kendra explains that she has learned:

Even if you have a perfect child for your first born, if you have more than one, you’ll find each one has an autonomous soul and mind. That you never have a child who won’t need God in their lives. You’ll never be the kind of parent who can guarantee and outcome. That’s why we need to keep our hope shifted onto Jesus.

We loved Kendra’s previous book, Lost and Found (if you want to read a GREAT testimony of God’s grace, this is it). Kendra’s latest book is called Leaving Legalism. It fits perfectly into our 7Sisters’ philosophy of homeschooling. We asked her to share some of her thoughts on teens and legalism.

Kendra defines legalism as: Anytime we put our hope in anything other than the simple Gospel of Christ (of Christ’s work on the cross to pay for our sins), we are slipping into legalism.

The truth of the matter is that each one of us is a legalist. No matter what we think about the way we run life and what church we go to, because was are born in sin, our humanity pushes us towards some kind of law.

Kendra encourages us to monitor our *if onlys*. If ONLY I could find a perfect church… If ONLY I could get in the right co-op… If ONLY I had the *right* way to parent…everything would be okay.

Every time you catch an *if only* come back to the Gospel. In fact, daily come back to the Gospel. God is our hope. Ultimately and always.

Kendra explained that she and Fletch learned about hope shifting (placing their trust in their process, rules or checklists). They started out parenting by wanting the very best for their kids. Homeschooling was one of those *best things*. They started homeschooling because their first child was so bright that she felt he would do best in a home situation.

As they went along, homeschooling became more than an educational choice! In those decades there was the prominent philosophy that homeschooling would save your kids. Parents who did not homeschool were feeding the children to the wolves. She remembers the story she heard from a speaker that sending kids to traditional school settings is like throwing a precious teddy bear into the mud, no matter how often it is washed afterwards, it would still be sullied.

She points out the hope shifting in that philosophy. All of our children are being raised by parents who are sinners (while saved by grace, are still sinning). When parents were taught to put their hope in homeschooling, that was shifting hope away from Christ’s work in the Gospel and onto our own works. The legalistic idea there is: IF I parent in this way, I’ll get the outcome I want for my kids.

Kendra wrote the Leaving Legalism because a number of parents had come to her points because they felt devastated when they *did all the right things* but their young adults walked away. These parents, like all of us, are not able to control the outcome of another person’s life. God is in charge of the outcome.

So how do we keep ourselves from hope shifting onto homeschooling and away from God? How do we keep our faith and trust in God? If we give up legalism, how do we prevent our teens from falling into licentiousness?

After all the traumas, the Fletchers discovered that the comfort of living in a *checklist*, legalistic culture is a kind of pride and fear. It was toxic to their family. They left their legalistic church when she was 40 years old. She found that she had more freedom and spiritual growth when she gave up control of her own spiritual health and her family’s spiritual health to God.

Kendra advises: Sit as Jesus’ feet. Learn to abide. It’s in many ways harder than simply *having a checklist* but the freedom to let God manage our lives is so much better. The freedom of living with daily hope in the Gospel is a better choice for each person and their families. Kendra has learned to pointing her kids to Jesus: “Look, here’s Jesus!”

He is who we need. His outcomes for us and our kids are what we truly want.

WE can’t raise our kids to be perfect. It is God who is present in their lives as they make their good and bad decisions. The Gospel is the tool to help our teens learn to live trusting in Him.

Kendra’s new book, Leaving Legalism, is her encouragement to Christians who want to start live over. Often families who come out of a legalistic culture leave everything behind: All their social, spiritual and emotional support. The book offers comfort, support and advice for leaving legalism but not leave Christ behind.

Learn to love God, learn to love others, learn to love yourself. Here’s Jesus. He’ll help you with that.

Leaving Legalism: Learning to Love God, Others and Yourself Again by Kendra Fletcher discusses these important topics.

  • Why and how people leave legalism
  • Why rules make us feel safe
  • Understanding the swinging pendulum
  • Our identity in Christ
  • How to let go of the past
  • Apologizing to your teens
  • God’s individual love for each individual

It’s an easy read and not too long, but life changing. Get a copy for you and a friend. Also, contact Kendra at KendraFletcher.com, Facebook, Instagram.

Join Kendra, Kym and Vicki for this inspirational chat!

You’ll also love these posts:

At Least 5 Reasons We Need the Holy Spirit in Our Homeschools

What Does a Teen Need Most from Homeschool High School?

 

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HSHSP Ep 165: Teens and Legalism, Interview with Kendra Fletcher

HSHSP Ep 164: How and Why to Use Literature Study Guides

This week on HSHSP Ep 164: How and Why to Use Literature Study Guides.

HSHSP Ep 164: How and Why to Use Literature Study Guides. Enrich but don't bore: Literature can be fun and meaningful for the whole family with wise use of Literature Study Guides from 7SistersHomeschool.com #HomeschoolHighSchoolPodcast #HomeschoolLiterature #HomeschoolLanguageArts #LiteratureStudyGuides

HSHSP Ep 164: How and Why to Use Literature Study Guides

Sabrina and Vicki LOVE Literature! In this episode we are recording in Vicki’s office, not very fancy for recording: just a chair draped with a blanket for best sound production! We homeschool moms are often making do with what we have! That’s why we know this wise saying from Vicki: Motherhood is the necessity of invention.

Motherhood is the necessity of invention. Vicki Tillman reminds us to be flexible and adaptable in our homeschooling! #HomeschoolHighschoolPodcast

Why use Literature Study Guides?

Teens often need a little bit of coaching or guidance to get the most out of a book. And we need some wisdom on how to give them that coaching without killing the book! That’s how 7SistersHomeschool.com got started creating Literature Study Guides for our teens and for co-op and group classes. Our guides have been vetted by homeschooling teens and moms who love books and those who don’t love books because: You can be successful as a homeschool mom, even if you don’t love books!

Rather than bore teens with basic rehearsing the information in a book, good literature study guides can help teens build good thinking skills. Good high school Literature Study Guides give a few comprehension (just the facts) question but concentrate on inferential questions and teaching a limited number of literature themes.

However, younger homeschooler are not developmentally ready for inferential thinking. So, we 7Sisters found a way to create Literature Activity Guides for Elementary Readers!

We also have a few Literature Study Guides Guides for late Elementary Readers.

We have introduced a few Middle School Literature Study Guides.

Some high school level books have so much happening in story and character that lots of comprehension and concrete learning must happen.

  • Two of these books we recommend are:
    • Chuck Colson’s Born Again. Mostly comprehension. It is such a big, complicated book. Concentrating on the facts helps teens get the most out of this important political/historical biography. 7Sisters Literature Guide for Born Again helps teens keep track of time, events and characters.
    •  The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. Mostly comprehension so that teens can keep track of character, events and timeline. There is also a *sum-it-up-process activity* toward the end of the guide.

Most high school level books should develop inferential (deeper thinking, implied information) skills.

  • The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis is a great example. While most people have read The Chronicles of Narnia in late elementary or middle school, teens need to revisit Narnia. Lewis reminds us that, “A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.”
  • Adolescents are developmentally ready to deal with the symbolism, theology, and philosophy that Lewis embedded in each scene of each book.
    • For instance, The Silver Chair draws heavily on Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. This book is a book about the nature of reality, the development of character, and the necessary choice of believing.
    • Or in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, teens learn the concept of *sehnsucht* (the longing for heaven, for things they don’t know yet) that is deeply embedded throughout the book. Our teens have LOVED the revisit to Narnia!

Don't kill the book. Teaching too many literature concepts at once trashes a teen's love of reading. Try 7SistersHomeschool.com's Literature Study Guides for concise, interesting, meaningful Literature Learning. #HomeschoolHighSchool #HighSchoolLiterature #LiteratureStudyGuides #HomeschoolHighschoolPodcast

Most of the other high school level Literature Study Guides concentrate on one or two literary concepts (character arc, foreshadowing, theme, plotline, etc) so that teens don’t loose the love of the book by overdoing the teaching. We want teens to love to think deeply and love reading. You can’t do that by killing the book with too many questions or concepts so we keep the guides short and adaptable to interest and ability levels and personal goals.

How to Use Literature Study Guides for Homeschool High School

Now onto some ideas for using 7Sisters Literature Study Guides. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • We recommend using Literature Study Guides every single year but not for every single book. We recommend a rule of thumb of one study guide per month for an average teen. Two or more guides per month are good for college-bound teens.
  • Each 7Sisters high school Literature Study Guide includes suggestions for ways to complete the guide at an Average, College Prep, Advanced or Honors level of rigor. Choose the level of rigor a teen wants or needs. Get your teen involved in the decision!
  • You might find that some books are so interesting that your homeschool high schooler might enjoy working on an Honors level for that Study Guide. Some books may be more intense and even an Honors-level teen might complete some study guides at Average or College-Prep levels.
  • Also choose the number of Literature Study Guides based on the length of the book itself. Some books (such as Les Miserables– even the abridged version) are quite long. Do fewer long books and mix in shorter books like God’s Smuggler.
  • Don’t wait until senior year and cram all your guides in! Do some each year!
  • Remember to be flexible! There’s not ONE right way to homeschool. Some years, monthly study guides might be too much. Some years you need many study guides.

Want some more help with how and why to use Literature Study Guides?

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HSHSP Ep 164: How and Why to Use Literature Study Guides

HSHSP Ep 163: Different Philosophies of Homeschooling High School

This week on HSHSP Ep 163: Different Philosophies of Homeschooling High School.

HSHSP Ep 163: Different Philosophies of Homeschooling High School. Discussion of the different homeschooling methods for high school. #HomeschoolHighSchoolPodcast #HomeschoolHighschool

HSHSP Ep 163: Different Philosophies of Homeschooling High School

Sometimes we get questions about the 7SistersHomeschool.com’s philosophy of homeschooling. What is our educational philosophy? Wait for it…

Let’s start with these 2 vital concepts!

If you’ve known Sabrina, Vicki and Kym for any time at all (or our Sisters, Marilyn, Allison and Sara), you know our most important educational philosophy concept: There’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school!

There’s the right way for your child, for this year; for your family, for right now. But needs, goals and interests change. So that leads to a second educational philosophy concept: We have to be flexible if we want a healthy homeschool high school!

Now, let’s look at the different philosophies of homeschooling high school on an *educational philosophy continuum*.

What are the influential philosophies in homeschooling high school? There are a number of educational philosophies, so it helps to visualize them on a continuum from highly structured and rigid to and free-formed and flexible.

The truth is that in practice, most of us homeschooling parents really are *eclectic*. While we might like a certain philosophy, we usually find that in real life we need to mix and match.

  • We might need a teen to take a college class (highly structured) or an online class (usually highly structured)
  • We might want to take some Charlotte Mason approach classes through online programs like Dreaming Spires Home Learning (listen to our friend Kat’s discussions with Vicki about writing research papers, teaching Shakespeare and homeschooling in Britain).
  • We might find that our co-op classes lean toward the Classical model.
  • We might give our teens time each week to explore their own interests and have them log hours to earn an elective or Career Exploration credit.

These are all great ways to homeschool high school with an eclectic educational philosophy.

Back to the continuum: Different homeschool high school educational philosophies live on a continuum from rigid to flexible. Here are a few examples (remembering that there’s not a right or wrong way to homeschool high school).

On the highly-structured end of the continuum there’s School at Home

School at Home is a format that follows a set program (like Keystone or K12), with online classes similar to a classroom format. We sometimes call this *school in a box*.

Good thing: This is a great format for teens who love structure and following formats and rules.

Pitfall: Teens who don’t like lots of structure, or being slowed down by a *classroom setting*, will wrestle with boredom.

Also structured is Classical Education

One concept behind Classical Education is creating an infrastructure of learning. The Classical model of the comes from the ancient philosophers like Aristotle and Socrates and became the standard educational model of the Middle Ages. In Classical education, Latin is the foundation of all education and follows the structure of first learning Latin Grammar, then Rhetoric, then Logic.

Good thing: Homeschoolers who love Latin and critical thinking will LOVE Classical education. It really is a format that develops thinking minds.

Pitfall: For teens who are not linear thinkers (ADHD, creative thinkers), this model might be tougher.

Less structured is Charlotte Mason

Charlotte Mason’s educational format is based on reading, narrative, writing, beauty, observation and experience. It is a real-book and real-experience type of program. Usually the high-school level course have lots of rigor in the writing and reading components at the minimum.

Good thing: Teens learn to appreciate and notice beauty and become articulate in their communication styles.

Pitfall: For teens who do poorly with dictation and narration, they might feel lost.

Moderately structured is Goal-Driven Homeschooling

This is 7SistersHomeschool.com’s model (although we don’t believe in getting ulcers over anything formattish). When teens learn goal setting in high school, they have an important tool for success. They will need to be able to set goals through college, career, and life in general!

We believe that homeschooling high schoolers benefit by learning to set goals, so we work alongside our teens to help them set 2 types of goals:

Long term goals: What we want for them (and what they want for themselves) by the time they graduate- what kind of person do they want to become and life preparation do they need?

Short term goals: What we need to accomplish each year in order to meet those long-term goals.

Good thing: What our teens like about goal-driven education is that they know where they are going. What do they need for graduation? Career preparation? College preparation? Life-skills preparation? On the other hand, what if teens don’t learn to set goals? It’s like when you get in your car and start driving but don’t know where you’re going, you end up somewhere you don’t know…

Pitfall: Teens who aren’t used to goal setting might begin to feel pressured by the goals. Remember to be flexible, not perfectionistic.

NOTE: We also have a firm philosophy that homeschool high school curriculum should include no-busywork and be adaptable to different levels of rigor. Here’s a post explaining our curriculum philosophy.

Relaxed Homeschooling, Lifeschooling, Unschooling are on the far-end of the relaxed side of the continuum.

These are the educational philosophies on the relaxed end of the spectrum. The homeschooling high schooler chooses an interest and explores it in an in-depth, student-directed, delight-driven manner. There is not a structure. The idea is that if a teen is busy exploring a gift or interest, education will be an automatic outgrowth of the experience.

Good thing: These teens tend to be all-in, really invested in their interests. They know how to become subject matter experts in their giftings.

Pitfall: Teens who aren’t used to structure must learn to fit themselves into the box when they get their first jobs, or find a career that fits their learning style.

To wrap things up, here are some words of wisdom and advice:

  • When you think about what your family actually needs, you’ll probably find that you have needs for a bit of several of these styles.
  • No matter which way you homeschool, God is in charge of the outcome. Not you, God is in charge of the outcome. (Our fellow podcasters, Fletch and Kendra of Homeschooling in Real Life, often say this and they are correct.)
  • As our Sister Kym always says: Pray first, last and always.
  • If your homeschool high school philosophy is prayer oriented, your homeschool program is on the right track.
  • No matter what you plan, God might have another idea. Remember: A mom’s mind plans her way but God directs her path.

REMEMBER, there’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school. Be happy with what fits your family best! And your teens best! And be ready to trash your method (or curriculum) anytime it is not working for you. We have so many choices!

Here’s a fun episode from our friend Melanie Wilson of Homeschool Sanity Podcast. It’s her Top 40 episodes and you’ll find information there to help empower you for homeschooling success.

Want some more information on Goal Setting?

5 Easy and Important Steps to Goal Setting for Homeschool High School

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PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO HSHSP VIA COMPUTER

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HSHSP Ep 163: Different Philosophies of Homeschooling High School

HSHSP Ep 162: Lifeschooling with Homeschool High Schoolers, Interview Danielle Papageorgiou

This week on HSHSP Ep 162: Lifeschooling with Homeschool High Schoolers, Interview Danielle Papageorgiou.

HSHSP Ep 162: Lifeschooling with Homeschool High Schoolers, Interview Danielle Papageorgiou. Help your teens develop their gifts and interests while homeschooling high school. #HomeschoolHighSchool #LifeSchooling

HSHSP Ep 162: Lifeschooling with Homeschool High Schoolers, Interview Danielle Papageorgiou

Vicki is joined by our fellow podcaster, Danielle Papgeorgiou of Life as a Lifeschooler Podcast.

Lifeschooling the individualized process of discovering your child’s God-given individualized gifts in the context of your family’s home and lifestyle.

Danielle started her podcast and organization because she was sad when she saw so many homeschoolers trapped in the mindset of *school at home*. While Danielle feels there is a place for curriculum, she firmly believes that busywork and rigid educational formats make education irrelevant for teens. She believes that homeschooling high school needs flexibility and exploration, totally organized around her children’s gifts and needs- she calls this *lifeschooling*.

Danielle Papageoriou of Life as Lifeschooler Podcast

Photo used by permission

This homeschooling mom, podcaster and conference creator believes that she can help her children preserve their natural love of learning by exploring gifts, interests and allowing fun!

What does lifeschooling look like?

She started an online lifeschooling conference a couple of years ago that many people are finding encouragement to break from from the restrictions of textbooks. For homeschooling high school, Danielle does not believe in creating *traditional* transcripts or binding her homeschooling high schoolers to traditional course requirements. Instead, she looks at what her son does each day and then decides where that can fit in a course description.

Danielle’s oldest son is in high school now. While she guides her son’s choices in educational activities, her son makes the actual educational choices. Connor taught himself computer coding and has gained a professional level of experience. He is not interested in college and will not need to aim for that because he has developed his coding skills. He was able to develop his high skill level because of the lifeschooling philosophy and format used by his mom.

As Vicki reminds us, there’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school. Vicki explains that her kids earn credits in the best way that fits each teen’s learning and interest styles.

There's not ONE right way to homeschool. 7SistersHomeschool.com and Homeschool Highschool Podcast remind you that every homeschooler is different with varied gifts and goals. You can find the best way for your individual teen to homeschool high school! #HomeschoolHighSchool

Danielle extends this thought by creatively assigning credits. She reminds families that credits can be assigned afterwards, rather than earned in the *planned out format* that many homeschooling families do.  Lots of prayer is needed in order to be a wise lifeschooling parent (or any other kind of parent for that matter).

Check out Danielle’s podcast, conference website (check out the free video when you sign up for her email), and facebook group.

You might also be interested in the homeschooling high school process that worked well for many of the 7SistersHomeschool.com’s teens. We also concentrate on helping teens develop their gifts and interests but in a more planned-out format.

There’s not ONE right way to homeschool!

Isn’t it lovely that there’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school? Danielle’s lifeschooling works perfectly for her family (and many others’ families) and the planning and discovery format of 7Sisters works well for our teens. The beauty of homeschooling is that we can use exactly the format that is best for our homeschool high schoolers!

If you want to look a bit at 7Sister’s format for homeschooling high school, take a look at our *Authoritative Guide* post series. All free information to help you explore and decide what is best for your family.

The Authoritative Guide to Homeschool High School

The Authoritative Guide to Literature for Homeschool High School

The Authoritative Guide to Electives for Homeschool High School

The Authoritative Guide to Out-of-the-Box Credits for Homeschooling Special Needs Teens

You’ll also enjoy this interview with Misty Bailey on how to not be intimidated by homeschooling high school!

Join Vicki and Danielle for a thought-provoking discussion on lifeschooling for homeschool high school!

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  3. This will take you to iTunes and our own podcast page.
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HSHSP Ep 162: Lifeschooling with Homeschool High Schoolers, Interview Danielle Papageorgiou

HSHSP Ep 161: Why Teach Philosophy in Homeschool High School? Interview with Dr. Micah Tillman

This week on HSHSP Ep 161: Why Teach Philosophy in Homeschool High School? Interview with Dr. Micah Tillman.

Dr. Micah Tillman on Why Teach Philosophy in Homeschool High School. Build teens' thinking skills in a user-friendly format. Really! Philosophy can be interesting and fun! HSHSP Ep 161 #HomeschoolHighSchoolPodcast #MicahTillman #PhilosophyForHighSchool

HSHSP Ep 161: Why Teach Philosophy in Homeschool High School? Interview with Dr. Micah Tillman

Homeschool graduate and philosopher, Dr. Micah Tillman joins his mom for a discussion on why and how teens should study Philosophy.

Micah homeschooled with his siblings from 3rd grade through graduation. He learned some important independent learning skills in homeschool high school as he grew academically beyond his mom’s skills. This helped him be successful in college while his peers struggled with the self-directed learning necessary there.

Micah also loved the co-ops, youth groups, band and sports that he was part of in his homeschool high school years.

One of the pivotal courses in his homeschool high school years was his World History and Philosophy course in our homeschool co-op. This course was brought about by Micah and his peers asking deep *what’s-the-meaning-of-life* questions.

At college Micah majored in Computer Science at Messiah College because he wanted to develop video games but he loved Philosophy so much that he filled all his electives with Philosophy courses (especially loved the courses by Dr. Robin Collins). As he neared graduation, Micah realized the job market for Computer Science was not as interesting as he hoped (no video game design jobs available at that time). So, he decided to go to graduate school and study what he really loved (teaching- which he learned he loved as a student ambassador for Messiah College, Philosophy, and writing which he did for fun).

So Micah went to grad school at West Chester University and loved modern philosophy there, then on to Catholic University to study the traditional philosophers, world-wide philosophy and the history of Christian thought.

The Goal of Philosophy: Teach teens to think clearly so they can live their lives well. Dr. Micah Tillman on HSHSP EP 161 #HomeschoolHighSchoolPodcast #MicahTillman #PhilosophyForHighSchool

After graduation, Micah stared a popular podcast, Top 40 Philosophy, has taught Philosophy at several colleges and is now a teacher at Stanford University’s prestigious Online High School. Micah’s students are scattered around the world. The core curriculum is 4 Philosophy classes (for instance, the science classes Micah teaches his 9th and 10th graders are Scientific Reasoning (Philosophy) and history of Science). The program takes students beyond STEM to becoming the thinkers who will someday drive the culture. The goal is to teach their students to teach students to think about their whole lives and living them well.

He also developed a video game for his students to teach classical logic. You can download this for free on his website.

Micah’s goal as a teacher is not to develop professional philosopher, rather, he wants everyone to *love wisdom* (which is what Philosophy means). Teaching his students to love wisdom, he helps them to become aware of themselves and how they interact well with others and the world around them. He teaches them that Philosophy is about *Thinking clearly about life so that you can live well*.

As teens learn to think philosophically, they will have the skills to live better. Teens tend to have *teenage angst* and ask tough questions. They wrestle with who they are, how to be friends, what they like, how they are alike and different than their parents, what to do with cliques, what kind of person they want to be, why things in the world are fair or not.

For homeschool moms who have no background in Philosophy, but want their teens to have an experience with Philosophy so that they can think clearly about life so that they can live well, there’s hope! Micah has 2 Philosophy texts for teens that many teens have reported are their favorite courses in homeschool high school.

Philosophy in 4 Questions

Philosophy is the process of thinking clearly so that you can live well. One way philosophers think clearly is asking questions. The 4 basic questions that philosophers ask about everything are:

  • What exists?
  • How we know?
  • What should we do about it?
  • Why?

The text is written especially for homeschooling high schoolers. It is accessible and has a sense of fun.

Parents are sometimes uncomfortable with their students studying Philosophy. Teens ask hard questions. If they study Philosophy, will they ask even more (and harder) questions? Micah explains that God gave us minds, and that we need to care for them by using them well. We do that by training our minds to think well (mind-fitness, just like our bodies need physical fitness). This kind of fitness helps teens go into the adult world with the strength and tools to face the confusing mass of ideas in the world outside the home. Philosophy in 4 Questions helps teens take their angst and develop strength of mind to go from angst to wisdom.

History and Philosophy of the Western World

This is a gentle introduction to the history of Philosophy (that Micah studied in high school) then added to while he was in college. History and Philosophy of the Western World is a World History credit for the transcript. In a light-hearted manner, homeschool high schoolers learn about history and the philosophers that influenced history.

Check out Micah’s website MicahTillman.com and check out his writing and educational video game projects, including Chambergon Logic (where teens can earn a Logic credit in a fun, free format.)

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HSHSP Ep 161: Why Teach Philosophy in Homeschool High School? Interview with Dr. Micah Tillman

HSHSP Ep 160: How to Teach Human Development in Homeschool Co-op

This week on HSHSP Ep 160: How to Teach Human Development in Homeschool Co-op!

HSHSP Ep 160: How to Teach Human Development in Homeschool Co-op. Co-op is a great place to teach life preparation courses like Human Development. Here are teaching tips. #HomeschoolHighSchool #HumanDevelopment #HomeschoolCoOp

HSHSP Ep 160: How to Teach Human Development in Homeschool Co-op

One of the 7Sisters’ favorite courses for their homeschool high schoolers is Human Development. One of the 7Sisters’ favorite ways to teach Human Development is homeschool co-op.

Human Development is an important life-preparation course for teens. It teaches them the ways grow and change from womb to old age: physically, cognitively and socially.

Why is it important to learn Human Development? (Especially because it is not required for graduation.)

  • 9 month old who gains object permanence and remember toys when you hid them under a blanket
  • 2 year olds say *NO*
  • teens question many things
  • old people tell the same stories over and over

Human Development may recorded on the homeschool transcript as (ask your advisor, if you have one, the way your accountability organization wants to have it recorded):

Human Development adds *SPARKLE* to the homeschool transcript (which can give teens an edge if they are applying for a more competitive college).

We've found that Human Development is a course that helps homeschool high schoolers build perspective-taking skills and a sense of compassion for others, especially those in a different phase of life.

Here are some of our favorite Human Development activities we’ve done in our homeschool high school co-ops:

  • Interview moms about the teens’ birth stories. Then share those stories with the group.
  • Act out the different forms of play and have the rest of the class guess which play-type they were demonstrating.
  • Have teens interview each other: What is going well in life?
  • Have teens interview and evaluate the moms: What are they doing well?
  • Interview their grandparents about their life story.
  • Bring in visitors, such as toddlers and watch them play.
  • Bring teens to the mall to people watch.

7Sisters has lesson plans that are specifically geared toward homeschool high school co-ops with video clips and more activities. Check them out!

We’ve found that Human Development is a course that helps homeschool high schoolers build perspective-taking skills and a sense of compassion for others, especially those in a different phase of life.

Join Sabrina, Vicki and Kym for a fun discussion about teaching Human Development in co-op. You might also like these posts:

Suggested Syllabus for Human Development from a Christian Worldview

Fun & Useful Elective: Combining Human Development and Early Childhood Education

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HSHSP Ep 160: How to Teach Human Development in Homeschool Co-op

HSHSP Ep 159: How to Enjoy Being Mom of a Just-Average Homeschool Teen

This week on HSHSP Ep 159: How to Enjoy Being Mom of a Just-Average Homeschool Teen.

HSHSP Ep 159: How to Enjoy Being Mom of a Just-Average Homeschool Teen. Help and hope for moms whose teens are EXACTLY who God made them to be: average. Then discover that ALL teens are gifted in God's eyes. #HomeschoolHighSchool #AverageHomeschoolTeens #FindingTeensGifts

HSHSP Ep 159: How to Enjoy Being Mom of a Just-Average Homeschool Teen

Your teens don’t have to go to Harvard to be exactly who God created them to be. Most teens are *just-average* in the ways that get big attention like academics, sports or arts! But God has given each teen gifts. Join Sabrina and Vicki for celebration of average homeschool teens with their giftedness from God!

It’s easy to fall into the trap that our homeschool high schoolers must perform extraordinarily in some area that gets big attention…or full-ride scholarships to college. Sometimes moms find themselves almost embarrassed if their teens don’t go to college or don’t do anything news-worthy. It’s an accidental thing in *American mom-ness* that we moms feel that we are failures if our teens aren’t famous.

SO let’s debunk this myth of the idea that only those teens who are gifted in academics, sports or arts are gifted. NO, all teens are gifted in God’s eyes! God gives each person a gift of something in order to bless His kingdom.

GOD makes all teens gifted. God's gifting is whatever God makes special in each teen. These gifts are there to be a blessing to the kingdom of God! #HomeschoolHighSchoolPodcast #AverageHomeschoolTeen

AND let’s debunk the myth that average is bad. If average is bad, then God goofed up because statistically MOST teens are average. That’s what *average* means.

How can you enjoy being a mom of a just-average teen?

Join Vicki and Sabrina for a passionate discussion about enjoying being the mom of an average homeschool teen! We love our average teens. God loves them, too.

HSHSP Ep 159: How to Enjoy Being Mom of a Just-Average Homeschool Teen

HSHSP Ep 158: Helping Teens Overcome Perfectionism

This week on HSHSP Ep 158: Helping Teens Overcome Perfectionism.

HSHSP Ep 158: Helping Teens Overcome Perfectionism. Homeschool high schoolers sometimes get bogged down in trying to make all their assignments perfect. Here's how to be realistic, not perfectionistic. #HomeschoolHighschoolPodcast #OvercomingPerfectionism

HSHSP Ep 158: Helping Teens Overcome Perfectionism

Many teens (and moms, too) get stymied by perfectionism. When teens feel like they must do everything perfectly, it ends up messy! They might:

  • End up feeling burned out and anxious because of the stress that perfectionistic thinking causes
  • End up not getting their work done because they feel overwhelmed and put it off

Join Vicki for a personal chat. Vicki’s *paying jobs* are mental health counselor, life and career coach. She works often with perfectionistic teens (and adults). Take her word for it, perfectionism doesn’t need to stymie your teens or wear them out. In today’s episode she shares some helpful tips.

There are two kinds of perfectionistic teens:

  • One kind of perfectionistic teen has to work at every detail until the project (homework, practice, chore is perfect…they never turn off, even if they are exhausted and stressed)
  • The other kind of perfectionistic teen has an idea of what perfection would look like but it is too hard or they don’t know how to start, so they shut down and get nothing done!

For the perfectionist teens (or mom) who overwork themselves, here’s some advice:

  1. Write down your ultimate priorities and rank them
  2. Do a time audit (these teens often don’t have a clue how many hours there are in a day). Download a how-to from Vicki Tillman Coaching.
  3. Here’s a quicky overview on time audits:
  4. For one week: Hour by hour write down what they are doing
  5. Make a pie chart on how many hours they spent on everything (including sleep and Activities of Daily Living)
  6. Does it line up with priorities? If not, create a new pie chart AND write out a schedule for pie chart: THEN STOP when it is time to stop, even if whatever they are working on isn’t perfect.
  7. Teach them to submit to the fact that they must learn to live in the tension of visualizing perfection but living in a limited world. This is the way God made the world for us.

The second kind of perfectionistic teen can visualize perfection but knows they can’t achieve it. SO they procrastinate. Here’s some advice:

  • Teach your teens these concepts:
    • That is is okay that they cannot do it right the first time.
    • That learning (projects, assignments, chores…anything)  is about taking baby steps (in psychology, we call this: successive approximation).
    • To memorize this quote: Anything worth doing is worth doing badly. GK Chesterton

Anything worth doing is worth doing badly. GK Chesterton's wise advice that give perfectionistic teens (and their moms) encouragement to do their projects even when they can't get them done well.

If you or your teens would like some life or career coaching, contact Vicki for some consultation by phone, Facetime or Skype.

Join Vicki for a quick discussion about helping teens overcome perfectionism.

HSHSP Ep 158: Helping Teens Overcome Perfectionism

HSHSP Ep 157: What Makes 7 Sisters Homeschool Curriculum Awesome?

This week on HSHSP Ep 157: What Makes 7 Sisters Homeschool Curriculum Awesome?

HSHSP Ep 157: What Makes 7 Sisters Homeschool Curriculum Awesome? How and why to choose homeschool high school curriculum from 7SistersHomeschool.com #HomeschoolHighSchool #HomeschoolCurriculum

HSHSP Ep 157: What Makes 7 Sisters Homeschool Curriculum Awesome?

Many homeschooling years ago, Sabrina, Vicki, Kym, Marilyn, Sara and Allison were in co-op together. They worked and prayed together SO much they felt like that they were sisters! They are! Sisters in the Lord. That is, except Sabrina and Allison are biological sisters. AND Sabrina’s homeschooling graduate daughter is married to Marilyn’s homeschooling graduate son.

Anyway, there are 6 Sisters, so WHO is the 7th Sister in 7SistersHomeschool?

YOU ARE! Thanks for being our 7th Sister!

So, after co-oping and teaching homeschool group classes for so many years we’ve felt like sisters. We’ve also developed a LOT of curriculum (there are over 200 titles in the 7SistersHomeschool.com ebookstore). All the curriculum has been vetted by our own homeschool high schoolers and/or the homeschoolers in our group classes over the years. They all really let us know what works for them and what doesn’t work.

Eventually we realized that we were becoming those *older women* that Titus 2 talks about, you know: those more experienced women that mentor the next generations? So we started 7SistersHomeschool.com. We are just like you but only older!

We also know that our curriculum could be blessing other homeschool families, so we make it available at the site.

A mom's mind plans her way, but God directs her path. #7SistersHomeschool #HomeschoolHighSchool

But what makes 7Sister’s curriculum so special? Here are some 7Sisters distinctives:

  • We believe in NO busywork texts.
    • Have you noticed many traditional textbooks have almost the same number of pages in each chapter? This keeps things consistent but means that some chapters contain busywork to fill the pages.
  • We believe that curriculum should be easily adaptable.
    • 7Sisters curriculum is written at an average high school level, so most teens can work through the curriculum on their own. If they want to *level up* to a more rigorous credit, there are instructions to do that in a way that is meaningful to each teen.
    • 7Sisters curriculum can easily be adapted to fit circumstances and dovetail other subjects. Take a look at this post on combining credits.
  • We believe that curriculum shouldn’t intentionally irritate the learners.
    • So we try not to be boring, preachy or insulting.
  • We believe that curriculum should be convenient, so we made it digital (and most of it is editable, meaning that your teens can do their work right on their computers!
  • We have a few assumptions
    • Assume that it’s important to presuppose that God is involved in our lives. We’ve learned that “A mom’s mind plans our way but God directs our path!”
    • So all our curriculum presupposes, in a non-preachy way that our relationships with God are vital.
    • Family is vital. Mom and dad are critical parts of a family’s homeschool.
    • There are many stakeholders in the homeschooling process. Some are encouragers and some are not. We need to seek God above all: about homeschooling and respecting the stakeholders and how to handle them.
  • We believe every one of our homeschool high schoolers are different. There’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school!
  • We believe every family’s circumstances are different. In fact, circumstances can change during the homeschool year. We need God’s grace and curriculum flexibility.

Join Sabrina, Vicki and Kym for a fun discussion on what makes 7Sisters curriculum awesome! Want more information on using 7Sisters’ ecurriculum? Listen to this HSHSP episode.

And also, check out these posts:

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

Homeschool Highschool Podcast Ep 112: Adapting to Unexpected Changes

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HSHSP Ep 157: What Makes 7 Sisters Homeschool Curriculum Awesome?

HSHSP Ep 156: How to Not Be Intimidated by Homeschooling High School, Interview with Misty Bailey

This week on HSHSP Ep 156: How to Not Be Intimidated by Homeschooling High School, Interview with Misty Bailey!

HSHSP Ep 156: How to Not Be Intimidated by Homeschooling High School, Interview with Misty Bailey. Tips for building confidence to homeschool high school. #HomeschoolHighSchool

HSHSP Ep 156: How to Not Be Intimidated by Homeschooling High School, Interview with Misty Bailey

We are so excited to catch up with our friend, Misty Bailey, as we discuss ways to build confidence for homeschooling high school.

Misty is a mom of 3 homeschoolers from 8th grade/high school down to elementary school. She is also the host of the popular podcast Joyfully Homeschooling and Finding Joy in the Journey blog.

Misty is a pioneer homeschool high schooling mom. Most moms in her area have sent their teens to traditional school at when they start 9th grade. Misty decided to break that mold. She has learned to not be intimidated by homeschooling high school! How did she do it?

Photo used by permission.

Give it to God! He will give you confidence to homeschool high school with your teens. Misty Bailey's interview with Homeschool Highschool Podcast

Misty’s goals for her homeschool high school program is to:

  • Give her teens a biblical worldview
  • Develop her teens’ gifts and characters

Misty has confidence in her homeschooling high school because she knows she is where God wants her and her family. She is humble enough to change things if He guides her to do so, but she loves where they are now. Listen to this interview with Misty Bailey. You’ll also enjoy this post about high school from Misty and these posts from us.

An Authoritative Guide on How to Homeschool High School

An Authoritative Guide to Electives for Homeschool High School

 

PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO HSHSP VIA COMPUTER

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  4. Click SUBSCRIBE.
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HSHSP Ep 156: How to Not Be Intimidated by Homeschooling High School, Interview with Misty Bailey