HSHSP Ep 189: The Importance of Homeschool Community, Interview with Ann Karako

This week on HSHSP Ep 189: The Importance of Homeschool Community, Interview with Ann Karako.

HSHSP Ep 189: The Importance of Homeschool Community, Ann Karako. Popular homeschool guide, Ann, shares about community for moms homeschooling high school. #HomeschoolHighSchoolPodcast #HomeschoolCommunity #CommunityForHomeschoolMoms #AnnKarako #HowToHomeschoolHighSchool

 

This week on HSHSP Ep 189: The Importance of Homeschool Community, Interview with Ann Karako

Vicki is excited this week to be joined by an old digital friend, Ann Karako. Many homeschoolers are familiar with Ann. She is the popular homeschool blogger at Annie and Everything and many of us homeschooling high school parents are involved in her HUGE Facebook community: It’s Not That Hard to Homeschool High School!

Ann and her husband have five kids, who have homeschooled all the way from pre-kindergarten. She dropped her fourth homeschool graduate off for freshman semester at college this September, so she just has one more high schooler to go!

They started homeschooling their kids in the beginning because of the inspiration of their kids’ babysitters who were homeschoolers. These teens were such great role models for their kids that they wanted to give their children a similar formative experience. Homeschoolers are the best advertisement for homeschooling!

Now entering their 21st year of homeschooling, Ann is grateful for each year!

Ann has also spent her homeschool years investing in the homeschool community. Community formation is Ann’s calling. Ann found that when she started homeschooling the middle school years, her homeschool support system was thinning because many parents were intimidated by the thought of homeschooling the higher grades. By high school, Ann had only a couple of homeschooling high school family/friends.

Ann Karako

Photo used with permission

Ann knew that the high school years are marvelous for homeschooling, but they could also be challenging with paperwork, credits and hormones to deal with. She knows we need the homeschool mom support more than ever.

Vicki and Ann both found that homeschooling in community helped so much in:

  • Swapping out subjects with other moms (like giving dissections for Biology to moms who do not mind doing them, or writing to moms who love writing)
  • Getting advice and support

As she was facing those homeschooling high school years, she woke up one morning and decided to find a digital community for herself. Thus, she started It’s Not That Hard to Homeschool High School. There are tens of thousands of moms in the group who ask questions and share advice on:

  • Curriculum choices
  • Logging credits
  • Transcript development
  • General encouragement

Ann does not put us with “YOU SHOULD’s”. She does not allow that in her facebook group because she knows there’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school. (Have you ever heard that from the 7Sisters, too?) She encourages everyone to give advice without “shoulds”. This attitude keeps the conversation leaning into mentoring, encouragement and support for moms who are homeschooling high school (and available 24/7).

Vicki tells Ann about the Homeschool Highschool Podcast interview with Misty Bailey, who shared about how to not be afraid to homeschool high school. Misty told Vicki that her main inspiration for homeschooling her teens was Ann Karako.

Ann’s influence was available because she is determined to invest in other homeschooling families. As Ann learned about things that worked in homeschooling her high schoolers, she shared what she learned in her popular website, Annie and Everything. Ann tells the story of doing her high school research (which included researching the public school requirements and feeling intimidated and irritated. Her husband reminded her that they are homeschoolers so they don’t HAVE to do high school like the public schools. Ann has been determined to share this: do what is right for your teens).

Ann reminds us the only thing you absolutely must do is follow your state homeschool law!

Homeschool moms need hugs, too. Check out encouragement and verbal hugs at Annie and Everything, and the Homeschool Highschool Podcast.

Find information and community for homeschool moms with Ann Karako at:

HUGS for homeschooling high school. Help Understanding Grace Strength. This is Ann’s online paid membership community ($10/month). It is for Christian homeschooling moms of teens. She will discussing Christian parenting, homeschooling and curriculum in a safe setting where moms do not need to calm down their *Jesus talk*. There  daily discussions and monthly themes and live get togethers. Ann is spending daily live-time there now.

Ann also has two books about homeschooling high school:

Also don’t forget to check out 7Sisters Authoritative Guide series (lots of how-to, in-depth informational posts)

Join Vicki and Ann for this encouraging discussion on homeschooling community for homeschool moms.


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HSHSP Ep 188: Mentoring Relationships for Homeschool Moms, Interview with Jamie Erickson

This week on HSHSP Ep 188: Mentoring Relationships for Homeschool Moms, Interview with Jamie Erickson.

HSHSP Ep 188: Mentoring Relationships for Homeschool Moms, Interview with Jamie Erickson. Encouragement for homeschooling high school moms.

HSHSP Ep 188: Mentoring Relationships for Homeschool Moms, Interview with Jamie Erickson

We are joined today with popular author and fellow podcaster Jamie Erickson of the Mom to Mom Podcast and the Unlikely Homeschool blog. We are talking about the importance of mentoring for homeschool moms.

Jamie is married to her high school sweetheart. Her husband was homeschooled and wanted to homeschool their kids. It took some convincing but once they started homeschooling, she has known it is the best way to educate her kids. (As Vicki says: A mom’s mind plans her way but God directs her paths.)

Today on Homeschool Highschool Podcast, Jamie and Vicki are discussing mentoring relationships!

Jamie’s first homeschooling mentor was her mother-in-law, who was a pioneer in homeschooling in her area. (Jamie knows that supportive mother-in-laws are often an exception to other’s experiences.)

Jamie grew up in a home where only her mom was a Christian, which had some challenges. She met her husband at in college in Florida, married him and moved back to his home state of Minnesota. While it was the frozen north to her, she found warm women who knew how to bring a new person into the fold. These women were mentors, further down the path of life, who reached behind and lifted her up.

She experienced a poignant mentoring moment when she was pregnant with her fourth child and had a home full of very young children. She was sitting at a women’s church meeting, the youngest one there. The leader asked if there were any prayer requests. She was tired and was going to ask for prayer about it but tears of exhaustion came out first. These gracious women encircled her, prayed, then followed up with meals and babysitters so she could take a nap.

Jamie determined to pass forward this beautiful act of support and mentoring to other young moms.

Jamie remembers seeking out moms who still had homeschool high schoolers or had graduated their teens and asked for a mentoring session. They brought bags of curriculum and lots of encouragement and advice. These events really encouraged Jamie.

However, these events were not common. Jamie knew that if she had a hunger for mentoring, there were others who felt the same need for support in their homeschool journey:

  • Dealing with loneliness
  • Bearing the weight on shoulders of homeschooling
  • Finding it difficult to ask for help (often because there are too many naysayers in their lives)

So she began teaching about mentoring and encouraging other homeschool moms to mentor. She advises that homeschool moms:

  • Admit you need help
  • Invite others into your space to be helped
  • Become a helper, a mentor, right where you are

Jamie says we need to have three kinds of mentoring relationships in our homeschool lives:

  • A Mother:
    • One who is further down the road in the homeschool journey. She has been there, done that. She is a woman we can contact with questions, ask for advice and prayer.
  • A Sister:
    • One who is walking along the same path as we are. She is a woman we can get real and raw with, field trip together or just call for prayer. I can reach across the aisle to and help each other.
  • A Daughter:
    • One who is not as far along in their homeschool walk. One who is a little behind you and pull her along, giving her encouragement and help in the same way you have been helped by others.

When you have a homeschool high schooler, it is lovely for them to have a mentor, too!

Jamie’s family made the decision, when her oldest was young, that they would work to find mentoring relationships for her. One way Jamie has found mentors for her daughter is through volunteer work. (We all know how important service is to our homeschool high schoolers’ personal development AND their transcripts. Check out this Homeschool Highschool Podcast episode with information on service hours for your teens.)

She and her daughter have been volunteering at a mother-daughter weekend at a local Bible camp for years. Through that experience, her daughter started actually working there. Out of that, natural mentoring relationships with young college-aged women have formed. It has been amazingly powerful for them.

Also joining a homeschool co-op has been important to her high school daughter’s life. The homeschool moms have been role models and mentors for her in “big, lavish ways”.

Have you had a co-op experience? If not, do you want to start one? Check out this authoritative guide from 7SistersHomeschool.com on co-oping and these HSHSP episodes: How to Start a Co-op Teens Will Like.

Jamie has recently published a mentoring book for homeschool moms: Homeschool Bravely: How to Squash Doubt, Trust God and Teach Your Child with Confidence.

This book is not a how-to book, it is a book of hugs around moms’ necks, encouragement and the heart of where her encouragement comes from (Christ). Check it out at HomeschoolBravely.com and read the first chapter there.

Jamie’s podcast is Mom to Mom (hosted by Jamie, Kate Battestelli and September McCarthy). These seasoned homeschool moms have sixteen kids ranging in age from thirty to 6 years of age. Jamie started the podcast because she wanted a mentoring podcast with seasoned homeschool moms (which these moms certainly are). It is a podcast for every season of mothering.

Want to connect with Jamie Erickson, check out the Unlikely Homeschool, Mom to Mom podcast and grab her book!

Join Vicki and Jamie Erickson for this encouraging interview!

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HSHSP Ep 188: Mentoring Relationships for Homeschool Moms, Interview with Jamie Erickson

HSHSP Ep 187: Lessons from a Homeschooler, Interview with Noah Tetzner

This week on HSHSP Ep 187: Lessons from a Homeschooler, Interview with Noah Tetzner.

HSHSP Ep 187: Lessons from a Homeschooler, Interview with Noah Tetzner #HomeschoolHighSchoolPodcast #LessonsFromAHomeschooler #CareerExploration #HomeschoolHighSchool #AdviceForHomeschoolHighSchool

HSHSP Ep 187: Lessons from a Homeschooler, Interview with Noah Tetzner

Vicki is excited to interview our friend (and one of our podcast editors), Noah Tetzner of History of Vikings Podcast and Lessons from a Homeschooler Podcast.

Noah is a recent homeschool graduate and is already busy in a career, not only as a podcaster but as a podcast editor. He learned to podcast while homeschooling high school and is thankful for homeschooling because it has allowed him time to invest in his interests.

Noah Tetzner, The History of Vikings Podcast

photo used with permisson

Noah’s first podcast, The History of Vikings, was started over a year ago because he wanted to explore his interest in Vikings. His early episodes concentrated on narratives but he wanted more expertise, so he decided to interview experts on the podcast! Check out this Homeschool Highschool Podcast interview with Noah.

This homeschool high schooler had the courage to contact internationally-recognized Viking scholars. This is what he did:

  • He checked university websites,
  • He emailed professors who are experts in the field and explained to them the mission of The History of Vikings Podcast
  • He asked them for an interview
  • Many said “Yes!”
  • He has interviewed scholars from:
    • Cambridge
    • Oxford
    • Yale
    • Other European universities

(You really need to check out The History of Vikings Podcast. Your homeschool high schoolers can log history hours learning about the Viking Age.)

One of the perks of hosting a podcast about Vikings was the invitation he (and his dad) received to travel to York, United Kingdom (expenses paid). A Viking museum was hosting its annual Yorvic Viking Festival. The museum is built on top of Coppertop Dig, an excavation of thousands of Viking artifacts. That excavation was led by Dr. Peter Addyman, who Noah was able to meet, have lunch and be given a three-hour private tour of Viking York.

Noah has started a new podcast now: Lessons from a Homeschooler.

It is an interview podcast that explores the interests of homeschool students, parents and families. In each episode he interviews a homeschool expert or influencer, such as Dr. Christopher Perrin of Classical Academic Press, Andrew Pedua of IEW, Steve Demme of Math-U-See and others.

Noah started the new podcast because he loved his homeschooling experiences and wanted to continue to invest back in the homeschool community, so that other homeschoolers can be blessed.

Lessons from Homeschooler: Noah’s Advice to Homeschool High Schoolers on How to Start a Podcast

Noah and the 7Sisters have found that podcasting is not difficult! Here is how to start:

  • Watch how-to’s: YouTube tutorals are available so start there (as well as inexpensive courses that can be purchased)
  • Get some kind of microphone that attaches to computer Heil PR 40 that connects to an audio mixer that connects to his computer. (Vicki, Sabrina and Kym use a Yeti.)
  • Choose recording software (Noah and Vicki both use Zencastr). Zencastr’s software is located on its website, Zencastr.com. When you are registered as a Zencastr user, all you need to record an episode is to click a link to open a *new episode* dashboard, hit the *invite* button if you have an interview guest, then hit *record*. Zencastr does the recording for you and downloads the episode (onto your computer or Dropbox).
  • Noah reminds homeschool high schoolers that podcasting is not difficult!

Lessons from a Homeschooler: Earning a Career Exploration credit in Podcasting

Your homeschool high schooler can earn a Career Exploration (elective) credit in Podcasting, simply by logging hours that they spend until they reach a Carnegie unit educational credit (or partial credit). In most states, a full credit is 120-180 hours, half credit is 60-90 hours, quarter credit is 30-45 hours. For more information, check out this post. Log hours in:

  • Learning how to record podcasts
  • Learning how to edit podcasts
  • Learning how to acquire their tools of the trade
  • Recording and editing podcasts

Lessons from a Homeschooler: Advice for homeschool high schoolers from Noah

Noah shares this advice that he has learned as a recent homeschool graduate:

  • Being a high schooler is not easy, but because you are homeschooling, you have so many opportunity to break the mold that society places on teens. You have the opportunity to explore your own interests and abilities while still in high school.
  • You also have opportunities to break the mold of what is expected of teens upon graduation:
    • You may go to college, or may choose to do other fruitful occupations
    • You may work on starting businesses
    • You may be working towards a career while still in high school
  • Homeschooling high school gives you *time freedom*.
  • Enjoy your family. Homeschoolers have the blessing of time with families. Noah feels that God handpicked each family’s family members. Each family is unique and Noah believes that investing time in truly knowing your family and experiencing their support is an important part of homeschooling high school. Noah reminds homeschool high schoolers to cherish this time with their families.
  • Do not get so worked up about the future. Noah says it is easy for him to slip into worrying about what needs to happen two or three years from now, but he is learning that God will take care of that when the time comes. Noah is about to start as a podcast producer for a big homeschool organization. They are keen to grow their network with his skills. Noah reminds us that college is not necessary and his case, college is not necessary for his.
  • Realize the blessings that you have. (For a practical way to do this, check out this post from Vicki’s coaching website: How to Create a Gratitude Journal).
  • Try different things.
  • Cherish the things that matter.

Check out Noah’s podcasts!

Lessons from a Homeschooler Podcast

Every episode includes conversations with someone in the homeschooling world about topics of interests to homeschoolers. Some episodes have included discussions on:

History of Vikings

Every interview with a noted scholar on this interesting historical podcast focuses on some topic related to the Viking Age. Episodes have included:

  • Icelandic poetry (the type that inspired Tolkien’s poems in The Lord of the Rings series)
  • Daily Life
  • Famous Battles

Join Vicki and Noah Tetzner for an inspirational discussion on Lessons from a Homeschooler!

PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO HSHSP VIA COMPUTER

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  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!

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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.

HSHSP Ep 186: Careers that Don’t Require College, Interview with Susan Stewart

This week on HSHSP Ep 186: Careers that Don’t Require College, Interview with Susan Stewart.

HSHSP Ep 186: Careers that Don't Require College, Interview with Susan Stewart. Some teens are not college-bound. Help them make the most of career exploration with this discussion of careers that don't require college. #HomeschoolHighSchoolPodcast #CareerExploration #CareersThatDontRequireCollege #NonCollegeBoundTeens #SusanStewart

HSHSP Ep 186: Careers that Don’t Require College, Interview with Susan Stewart

God creates all kinds of children. All kinds of children develop all kinds of interests and giftings. We need to make sure that teens are not pressured into going to college if their callings include careers that do not need a college degree. Why waste talent, time and money on that?

One our of favorite topics at 7SistersHomeschool.com is Career Exploration (in fact, our Career Exploration Bundle is one of our top sellers), so Vicki was really excited to be joined for this HSHSP episode by Susan Stewart of Practical Inspirations. Susan serves the homeschool community as advisor and blogger (and now has a book: Harried Homeschoolers). She has three homeschool graduates who are all doing well careers and life. None of them have college degrees.

Here are thoughts from our discussion on careers that don’t require college.

Susan starts off with a little encouragement for homeschool moms:

  • Things aren’t perfect
  • Things fall apart sometimes
  • You are not a failure because of that
  • We are not God, he has simply given you the job of raising his kids
  • God has made you enough for what he has given you

Susan and her husband did not have the homeschool goal of raising kids who go to college. Their goal was training Godly adults. So they concentrated on life skills and teaching to their homeschoolers’ needs and interests.

Susan reminds us: Not all teens are called to go to college!

Redefine success. We can fall into the trap that in order to be successful, our teens must earn a four-year degree. That is not true. Success is growing and fulfilling God’s plans!

Susan reminds us that her three kids learned that their career callings did not need college degrees. Her husband is an electrician and so her kids knew by watching their dad that career satisfaction comes from a satisfactory career, not necessarily a college degree!

  • Her kids were tired of education so graduated and just “got a job”. Her daughter got a job with a tech company and is now in management, climbing the ladder.
  • One son had some learning difficulties. He tried photography but decided he loved repairing mechanical instruments. His trouble shooting skills have made him valuable to his company.
  • One son started out in the Marines. After his stint, he made the most of his love of travel by becoming an over-the-road truck driver. He loves earning a living by doing the thing he loves: seeing America.

Susan says: We homeschoolers need to remember not be snobs about jobs. If a job is honorable and fits a person’s needs, it is a good job.

We homeschoolers need to remember not be snobs about jobs. If a job is honorable and fits a person's needs, it is a good job.

Because her older homeschool high schoolers were not interested in college, Susan invested in her children with some life preparation skills and experiences which included:

  • Part-time jobs (watering plants at a local plan nursery). Began resume building
  • Service opportunities (they did Meals on Wheels, library volunteer)
  • Job application skills (resume, interview skills, filling out application- especially answering short essay questions)
  • Financial Literacy
  • Community involvement (they did theater and other community activities)

Susan’s homeschool graduates have found that these extracurricular activities on the high school transcript can be as important (or even more important) in early employment opportunities.

Sometimes there is some discussion on whether homeschooling families should bother with an official transcript and diploma. Susan felt like it was a good investment for her teens. Vicki pointed out that sometimes employers want to see the transcript and/or diploma. This is also true sometimes when getting a passport or college applications,  if they decide to go to college later.

What are some careers that don’t require college?

Careers that don’t require college: Trades

  • Training can include:
    • Union courses
    • Apprenticeships
    • Classes at local community college
  • Carpenter
  • Welders
  • Surveyors
  • HVAC
  • Mail carriers
  • Railroad workers
  • Masons
  • Heavy equipment operators
  • Truck drivers
  • Painters
  • Steel workers
  • Construction contractors
  • Line workers
  • Electricians

Careers that don’t require college: Service

  • Training can include
    • Apprenticeships
    • Special courses
    • Classes at local community college
  • Cosmetologists
  • Barbers
  • Dog groomers and trainers

Careers that don’t require college: Technology

This field is growing so quickly, there is no way to keep up with the job descriptions. Here’s a try:

  • Training can include
    • Apprenticeships
    • Special courses
    • Classes at local community college
  • Computer-user support
  • Junior data analyst
  • Digital marketer
  • Podcast and digital media editor
  • Web developer

Careers that don’t require college: Arts

  • Training can include
    • Apprenticeships
    • Classes at local community college
  • Photography
  • Local dance teachers

Careers that don’t require college: Retail, Food Service and Banking

  • Training can include:
    • Learning hands-on
    • Avail themselves of free training within the corporation
    • Taking courses on MOOCs such as EdX

Careers that don’t require college: Fitness and Personal Training

  • Training can include:
    • Training schools
    • Apprenticeships

Careers that don’t require college: Real Estate

  • Training can include:
    • Courses from various agencies

Careers that don’t require college: Law Enforcement

  • Training includes:
    • Specialized academies

Careers that don’t require college: Military

  • Here are Susan’s suggestions for the military:
    • Develop a military-attractive transcript like she did for her son who started out in the Marines:
    • Civil Air Patrol in high school.
    • Talk to recruiter. Take the ASVAB military career test (not a test that can be failed, simply identifies best-fits for military careers).
    • Susan suggests for teens who don’t have a clue what they want to do be sure to do after graduation take a GAP year:

Careers that don’t require college: Gap Year

Some teens need a year to transition from homeschooling high school before they settle into seriously thinking about a career. Here are some of Susan’s suggestions for a gap year:

  • Get an entry-level job
  • Travel
  • Do short-term missions
  • Volunteer in a local ministry or organization

Want some more ideas about homeschooling high schoolers who are not called to go to college? Check out these HSHSP episodes:

Join Vicki and Susan for this encouraging episode and check out Susan’s resources.

PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO HSHSP VIA COMPUTER

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  6. Thanks!

PLEASE SUBSCRIBE VIA iPHONE

  1. Tap the purple Podcast icon on your phone
  2. Tap the search icon on the bottom-right of your screen
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  6. Please tap *Ratings and Review* and give us some stars and a comment to help others find us more easily.
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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.

HSHSP Ep 185: Helping Teens Write Myth Fantasy, Interview with Will Hahn

This week on HSHSP Ep 185: Helping Teens Write Myth Fantasy, Interview with Will Hahn.

HSHSP Ep 185: Helping Teens Write Myth Fantasy, Interview with Will Hahn. This popular homeschool teacher share tips for fun high school writing project. #HomeschoolHighSchoolPodcast #MythFantasyWriting #HighSchoolWritingProject #WillHahn #HighSchoolFantasyWritingProject

HSHSP Ep 185: Helping Teens Write Myth Fantasy, Interview with Will Hahn

At 7SistersHomeschool.com there are six of us: Sabrina, Vicki, Kym, Allison, Sara, Marilyn. So WHO’S the 7th Sister? YOU are!

But did you know we have *7th Brothers, too*? We do! In fact, any homeschool dad is a 7th brother when he reads, teaches or listens to 7Sisters podcasts, blogs or curriculum.

We are so excited to be joined by one of our 7th Brothers: Will Hahn. Will is a popular local homeschool dad and teacher, Will Hahn. Many of our local teens will tell you that his writing, literature and history courses are their favorites!

Will is an author also of popular several fantasy series, including The Lands of Hope (and narrator of audio versions of his books and the books of several other authors). The Lands of Hope are written in the legendary Tolkien-esque style.

One of the most popular courses that Will teaches to local homeschool high schoolers is Myth Fantasy Writing. He uses 7SistersHomeschool.com’s Myth-Fantasy Writing Guide which is based on C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic myth-fantasy genres. This is a five-week short story writing guide which guides any teen (those who love writing and those who don’t) through a step-by-step process that produces a five-page myth-fantasy short story.

Lewis and Tolkien have a pattern of writing with the plot and specific types of characters:

  • Their stories include extensive backstory called the *subcreation*
  • Idyllic openings
  • Foreshadowing
  • Problems
  • Denouement
  • Other steps that teens will find in the 7Sisters Myth Fantasy Writing Guide
  • Specific characters such as the wise guide and friends from what should be incompatible people groups
  • And most important: the return to old truths. Myth Fantasy share a thought-provoking truth in some way.

Will writes a short story each year right along with his eager (or intimidated) students. (He highly recommends this *learning right alongside our students* style of teaching…very homeschool!) Most of what he did was to tell the class how well he was doing and that the *teacher was thinking it was fantastic*!

Will’s students have written fairy tales, allegory fantasy, Greek-myth style or classic myth fantasy using the steps in the 7Sisters Myth Fantasy Writing Guides. He encourages his students to inspire their stories by thinking about life, about things that concern them, things that they want to wrestle with.

Give your teens a fun writing project that will help them think about important truths: Myth Fantasy Short Story. It will build creativity and conscience.

Advice from Will Hahn about teaching 7Sisters Myth Fantasy Writing Guide:

  • Follow the weekly format and daily lessons in the guide. (This is a five-week curriculum that produces a five-page myth fantasy short story.)
  • Don’t overdo this first five-page story. You can add to it later…hey, turn it into a book.
  • The five-page format is SO achieveable to most homeschool high schoolers. Most kids are not going to be writers, but they will grow up with a story to tell: maybe they will carve wood or work in an office. Teens who have written a truth story, a myth-fantasy story gain some skills in telling the stories of life.
  • Don’t skip drawing the map.
    • One student who was very down to earth wanted a far-north story. She used Google Earth to find the most northern village in America. She used this for her map and the inspiration for her story.
  • If teaching in a class setting, have the students each week read an excerpt, for instance: the first sentence of the story. Then share the completed story at the end.

Like all 7Sisters curriculum, the Myth Fantasy Short Story Writing Guide is adaptable:

  • Honors-level credit by following instructions for a longer paper
  • Tips for adapting the assignments with *average* or more struggling learners
  • Help homeschool high schoolers find their own stories to tell. 7Sisters Guides are intentionally adaptable but remember, there’s not ONE right way to homeschool.

The writing guides also include a rubric for grading.

Did you know that 7Sisters offers other short story writing guides? While the guides can be completed in any order, here is the traditional order:

Author and Homeschool Dad, Will Hahn. Photo used by permission.

Author and Homeschool Dad, Will Hahn. Photo used by permission.

Join Sabrina, Vicki and Will Hahn for a delightful story of teaching Myth Fantasy writing to your homeschool high schoolers! Check out Will and his writings at:

And for MORE on homeschool high school short story writing, check out this episode of the Homeschool Highschool Podcast.

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HSHSP Ep 185: Helping Teens Write Myth Fantasy, Interview with Will Hahn

HSHSP Ep 184: Best Educational Apps and Audits for Homeschool Families, Interview with Leah Nieman

This week on HSHSP Ep 184: Best Educational Apps and Audits for Homeschool Families, Interview with Leah Nieman.

HSHSP Ep 184: Best Educational Apps and Audits for Homeschool Families, Interview with Leah Nieman. Good apps and how to for social media audits. #HomeschoolHighSchoolPodcast #LeahNieman #EducationalApps #SocialMediaAudits #HomeschoolTechnology

HSHSP Ep 184: Best Educational Apps and Audits for Homeschool Families, Interview with Leah Nieman

We hear so much bad news about the digital world and various apps. Not all apps are bad! In fact, there are some excellent choices for educational apps that can really be of help to homeschool high schoolers! You will find out about it in this episode where Vicki is joined again today by Leah Nieman of LeahNieman.com. She joins us for two topics today:

  • Best Educational Apps for Teens
  • Social Media Audits for Teens

The first topic we are discussing today is based on Leah’s blog series: Best Educational Apps for Homeschool Families.

Not all apps are bad for teens! In fact, Leah has found some apps that will be marvelous additions to the educational process.

Leah says that the more homeschoolers are on productive education apps, the less they will try to occupy their minds on mindless apps. Parents can feel good about apps that answer these questions:

  • Is it quality content
  • Does it help my child be productive
  • Does it help them develop skills

Leah suggests a number of great apps in her Best apps series, including these apps for homeschool high schoolers.

  • Google Drive: This storage and collaborative project app. Teens can also store photos and files there that they will need later or use it for group projects. Teens will be using Google Drive in college or some job situations.
  • Study Blue: This is a flashcard and quiz app. Teens can find quizzes already made or create their own flashcards. Teens learn a lot by simply creating their own study tools on this app. It is a great time-filler when driving home, waiting for a doctor’s appointment. This is a great way to study for ACT or SAT vocabulary and math skills.
  • Periodic Table apps
  • Graphing Calculator apps: Saves a LOT of money
  • Easy Bib: Formats bibliographies as your teens write their research papers. Properly formats citations for their teens. This is a great resource! This is a highly recommended app by college students.
  • Onenote and Evernote: These are apps that help teens store and organize notes and resources: These keep information and resources organized (and not lost) and can be shared when working on a team.

Not all apps are bad. Good educational apps can help teens prepare for college and career.

Leah also does social media audits

When doing a social media audit, Leah goes through all social media accounts to check the social media footprint to make sure these *speak what you want*. This is a useful process for teens who are applying to a competitive college or a private college who is serious about the kinds of students they admit. Some employers check social media accounts, also.

When conducting a social media audit, Leah:

  • Sends a questionnaire to define goals and dreams
  • Holds a kickoff session to discuss social media audit and strategies
  • Finds unused accounts and close them down.
  • Searches through social media accounts to clean up anything questionable
  • Teaches teens what they should be posting if they are *branding* themselves for college or career:
    • Values
    • Causes and ideas they are passionate about (this is important for teens going to college into majors where this will be a plus)
    • Skills
    • Accomplishments (This is not bragging. Begin to think of your social media as a branding tool and extra resume.)
  • Provides a report.
  • Sends a video with how-to’s and valuable information
  • Gives a 45 minute strategy session on building a social media strategy for building attractiveness to colleges and employers.
  • Sends ollow-up email with strategy notes and videos
  • Later on, follows up to see if there are stuck points or questions

As parents we sometimes we are so concerned about our teens’ social media, but we might need social media audits, too. Parents may have done too much *sharenting* by posting embarrassing information about our kids over the years. Leah ferrets this out and helps parents get rid of it. Vicki points out that many of us digital immigrants do not have the time or skills to be able to do our own social media audits!

Are you starting to believe you need to really increase your knowledge of the digital world with your teens? Check out this interview with Leah on the good and bad of the digital world.

You will also LOVE all the episodes at Homeschooling with Technology, with our friend Meryl van der Merve. (Start with this interview on Homeschool High School Podcast on technology skills all homeschool high schoolers need.)

HSHSP Ep 184: Best Educational Apps and Audits for Homeschool Families, Interview with Leah Nieman

HSHSP Ep 183: Apprenticing Your Teens for Adulthood, Interview with Susan Landry

This week on HSHSP Ep 183: Apprenticing Your Teens for Adulthood, Interview with Susan Landry.

Interview with Susan Landry

HSHSP Ep 183: Apprenticing Your Teens for Adulthood, Interview with Susan Landry

Apprenticing your teens for adulthood. What is that?

Vicki is joined by Susan Landry of the Sparrow’s Home, where Susan writes about home, homeschooling, cooking and all things related. (She bucks the trend of staying with one topic; she believes God created us as whole people, so she creates wholistic post topics. She works on mentoring moms!)

Susan homeschooled her teens through graduation and loves it! She believes in apprenticing your teens for adulthood.

Susan believes that we are also mentoring or apprenticing teens is the balance between free-ranging teens and helicoptering teens. She noticed a trend in blogs and in the media that urges parents to  *quit doing so much for your teens*: teaching teens to be independent and stand on their own two feet by not doing anything for teens. By stepping back and out of the parenting picture. Susan felt that we need to HELP them become adults!

We can be helpers, apprenticers and mentors without helicoptering (heavy equipment mothering, one of our favorite HSHSP episodes). The balance we must find is between “stepping out of the picture” and helicoptering. It is apprenticing your teens for adulthood!

How do we apprentice our teens for adulthood?

  • We DON’T say things like: We’re telling you that you can’t watch this!
  • We DO say things like: You can’t watch this and this is why. We want you to learn to make choices on what you watch. We want you to become a Christian man.
  • In other words: cast the vision for  healthy, Christian adulthood. Then, have lots of conversations.

Have you noticed that parenting teenagers is different than parenting young children? For homeschool high schoolers, we offer:

  • Guidance
  • Boundaries
  • Discussion on both

Parenting of teens should not be *hard boundaries only* vs *here are the tv controllers, figure it out*. Parenting is not a dichotomy (black and white). In order to figure out if you are close to that health middle ground, ask yourself: Would you treat a friend this way?

Here are some examples:

  • It is okay to keep fixing their food while they are home.
    • But at same time training them to cook and involving them in the process.
  • If teens forget things for co-op at home, do bring it.
    • But not if they have a habit of it, bad habits are broken by natural consequences.

Have you noticed that parenting teenagers is different than parenting young children? For homeschool high schoolers, we offer:  Guidance Boundaries Discussion on both

Remember: Would you treat your friend this way?

People who believe in hands off in kids’ education say: Don’t meddle in your teens’ education.

Susan feels like homeschooling moms are the poster child for meddling in their teens’ education, but it should be healthy meddling.

Apprenticing your teens for adulthood looks like:

  • Involving homeschool high schoolers in curriculum planning
  • Involving homeschool high schoolers in discussions about current events
  • Teaching homeschool high schoolers Biblical worldview, apologetics and critical thinking skills. (We also recommend philosophy. Catch this HSHSP episode with Dr. Micah Tillman.)
  • Giving your homeschool high schoolers opportunities to travel
  • Talking to your homeschool high schoolers about what they learn in co-op, dual enrollment classes and church youth group.
  • Teaching your teen skills for handling stressors. (Check out 7Sisters whole-person Health curriculum.)
  • Being a sounding board. Teens need a safe parent to come to when they bump into troubling or confusing things.
  • Don’t helicopter and tell them what to believe but give them
  • truths
  • wisdom
  • Teaching them time management and other life skills in dual enrollment.
  • Many teens do not naturally organize their time. They need training. This is healthy apprenticing.
  • Show them how you would do it, let them develop their own skills

When kids are young, we tell them how to do things and what to do, “because I said so”. They are not developmentally ready to understand many “whys”. Teens are able.

Apprenticing your teens for adulthood includes allowing them to fail.

Some parents never allow teens to learn the hard lessons in life. We cannot really protect teens from the consequences of their own choices. We need to give them freedom to fail, but have safe failures. When they fail, we offer advice, prayer and consequences. We would do this for a friend, wouldn’t we do this for our teens? You step in when they are about to waltz over a cliff.

  • For instance, one of Vicki’s homeschool high schoolers, decided to his co-op Language Arts research paper topic on the whole history of Russia. He did not want to narrow the topic to a smaller time period according to mom’s advice.
  • Susan tells the story about one son who works near her house. He left for work one morning and leaned over to pick something up off the passenger side floor, while driving. He hit a mailbox. Susan and her husband required him to notify the people who owned the mailbox and pay for damages. These are natural consequences. There were plenty of discussions for apprenticing before and after the accident, but these consequences were important. This is *healthy meddling*.

Susan offers this further advice:

Parenting teens is not the horrible path some people make it out to be. It is SO much fun. You are finally getting to see much of what you have poured into them come to fruition. You get to watch them become individuals. You can have so many great conversations and lovely times.

Join Vicki and Susan for this delightful discussion on apprenticing your teens for adulthood!

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HSHSP Ep 183: Apprenticing Your Teens for Adulthood, Interview with Susan Landry

 

HSHSP Ep 182: Tech Skills for Teens, Interview with Meryl van der Merwe

This week on HSHSP Ep 182: Tech Skills for Teens, Interview with Meryl van der Merwe.

HSHSP Ep 182: Tech Skills for Teens, Interview with Meryl van der Merwe. Practical skills every teen needs for success in daily life, college prep and life after graduation. #HomeschoolHighSchoolPodcast #TechSkillsForTeens #HomeschoolAndTechnology #DigitalSkillsForTeens

HSHSP Ep 182: Tech Skills for Teens, Interview with Meryl van der Merwe

Vicki is so excited to have our fellow podcaster, Meryl van der Merwe of the Homeschooling with Technology podcast, join us today to talk about technology and teens and homeschooling high school. Meryl is also the owner of a fun online academy where students use technology in multiple ways in each course: FundaFundaAcademy.com.

Meryl and her husband moved from South Africa to the United States (Tennessee) in 2003 for a better American life. When their four kids started school here, they found that American schools were far behind what her kids had learned. She did not want to waste their time or bore them by having them repeat things they had already learned, so she and her husband decided to start homeschooling. She calls herself an *unsuspecting homeschooler*.

Meryl’s kids have all graduated now. Four of the five graduated from homeschooling high school. The youngest decided to go to public school for high school and did well there. Meryl’s family again proves that there’s not ONE right way to educate our kids…even if that means some teens switch to traditional schooling.

Meryl is a programmer by profession (she worked for Shell South Africa). Her father was an engineer so there was always *techy stuff* around the house when she was growing up. She always enjoyed technology, so even though she majored in English and German in college, she naturally gravitated to technology as a career. When she started homeschooling her kids and then teaching in homeschool co-ops, she found her tech skills to be in high demand!

Meryl’s tech experience is why we asked her to join us on for this episode of Homeschool Highschool Podcast. We homeschool moms are often digital immigrants (we were not born into the world of digital technology- as opposed to our kids who are digital natives). We often need some guidance on technology. With Meryl’s help, we can make sure to help our teens have good tech skills so they are prepared for life. In this HSHSP episode, Vicki and Meryl discuss important basic technology skills that you or your teens may not be thinking about yet.

Here are basic tech skills for teens:

  • Email (they need email for college, work and organizational communication)
  • File storage (how to create and store files, then find them!)
  • Screen shots (how to create, store and share screen shots)
  • Google drive for virtual collaboration. Most college courses these days require group project work using Google drive. This is a good project for homeschool co-op projects.
  • Basic trouble shooting (starting with the classic reboot)
  • Google search or YouTube search for solutions and information
  • Word processing (if they cannot QUERTY, they will not be ready to quickly word process for college-level work)
    • Without QUERTY, they end up using the *Columbus system* (find a key and land on it)  for keyboarding, that makes typing SLOW!
  • Create a slide show: It is a good idea to learn as many of these as possible. This is because things change all the time. Knowing a multitude of things helps homeschool high schoolers and graduates to be nimble in their adjustment to changes. Some examples are: Powerpoint, Prezi, Google Slides, Keynote.
  • Spreadsheets: Organize ALL kinds of information: money, math, tasks. Some examples are: Google Spreadsheets, Excel.
  • Creating graphics. Teens will end up using graphics for many projects in college and life.  Some examples are: Picmonkey, Canva, Adobe Spark, Google Drawings.
  • Create flyers and promotional materials. Using the graphics they have created or other photos.
  • Create videos. Loom is an example of software.
  • Create videos with voiceover. Some examples are: Windows Moviemaker, iMovie.
  • Create cartoons.
  • Use Tech tools for organization: Schedulers, Google Calendar
  • Take some online courses, many colleges use at lease some digital (Learning Management System/ LMS) courses. Know how to download and upload assignments, use discussion boards.

Meryl’s Funda Funda Academy has lots of online courses that use lots of kinds of technology in each lesson. The name Funda means *study* in Zulu, repeated words mean *really*, so her courses are really about fun learning and study.

  • Programming
  • Computer Application
  • How to do Online Research
  • Tech Addiction
  • Also basic courses like
  • Health
  • Economics

Trying out all these builds confidence and preparation for life and/or college. Including technology as a high school credit also satisfies requirements for graduation for some states. Check out this post on the credits needed for graduation.

Meryl also has Facebook groups:

Check Meryl’s episode on Google Drive and this one on free video tools.

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HSHSP Ep 182: Tech Skills for Teens, Interview with Meryl van der Merwe

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 VickiTillmanCoaching.com

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:
  • CareerOneStop.org 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

HSHSP Ep 179: Career Coaching with Homeschool High Schoolers, Interview with Jamie Beck

This week on HSHSP Ep 179: Career Coaching with Homeschool High Schoolers, Interview with Jamie Beck.

HSHSP Ep 179: Career Coaching with Homeschool High Schoolers, Interview with Jamie Beck. Informative Career Exploration interview with ideas for homeschool moms to help teens make realistic choices. #HomeschoolHighSchoolPodcast #HomeschoolCareerExploration #CareerCoachingIdeasForTeens #HomeschoolHighSchool

HSHSP Ep 179: Career Coaching with Homeschool High Schoolers, Interview with Jamie Beck

As many homeschool families know by now, 7Sister Vicki LOVES career exploration. She is joined today by Jamie Beck a homeschooling mom and career coach in California.

Jamie homeschools her 12 year old through a charter school in California. She also has an elementary-aged son in traditional school, which shows that there’s not ONE right way to homeschool…even if it is in a traditional school setting 😉

Jamie decided to homeschool and started teaching Career Education when her daughter was 2 and a half year old. She started by creating a children’s book, which did not do financially well. She felt it was a failure but she used the failure, not as defeat, but to give herself impetus to develop a Career Exploration program for young people. (See links at the end of the post.)

Jamie’s top piece of advice is to tweak how you teach your kids to talk about careers. Teach them to say:

  • “When I grow up I want to work with…” rather than “When I grow up I want to be a… ”
    • Children are conditioned by society to think that career is identity. Jamie feels this limits their options and creative thinking about career. “Working with” keeps options and creativity open.

She wants young people to explore LOTS of careers: Aou can never have a career you don’t know exists.

  • She teaches 5 jobs a day from childhood. She does this informally, through conversation and exposure to different careers.

For Career Exploration Jamie recommends that homeschooling parents help their homeschool high schoolers to be:

  • Involved in interests, at home and in classes or interest groups
  • Explore different practical skills (hands-on and other life skills)
  • Learn networking skills (Download Vicki’s Confidence for Meeting New People Skills freebie)
  • Learn advocacy skills (how to ask for what you want or need)
  • Learn financial and business skills (oh my, don’t miss this! Download 7Sisters popular Financial Literacy course)
  • Teaching teaching experiences, give them experiences in training younger siblings, friends, classes (think preschool at church)
  • Join various groups. (Jamie’s daughter is active in drama and 4H)
  • Volunteer with various career interests
  • Shadow and interview people in various careers
  • Discuss why teens are interested in various careers. Ie, if it is an interest in being a doctor, as you explore you might find that they hate blood but they like to help people. Maybe other helping professions like counseling will help.
  • Build an experiential resume starting 8th or 9th grade. Keep it ongoing. Download 7Sisters How to Write an Experiential Resume and keep it going.
  • Have LOTS of experiences!!
    • Experiences are truly one of the best ways to weed out or strengthen career interests. Jamie tells the story of her daughter wanting to be an archeologist until she spent the day with a group digging for sharks’ teeth. After a day of 101 degree heat, her daughter eliminated that career choice.

Jamie is now a career coach who speaks in libraries doing workshops in libraries. She also gives Brain Sorting Assessment, it helps them sort out their TRUE interests from what they randomly think their interests might be. The Brain Sort asks things like:

  • What’s on internet browser history
  • If they say they want to be an engineer, but they never explore STEM information. It makes you interested?
  • What are the various interests about the setting, skills, training of careers of interest
  • Where would you donate a million dollars?
  • What does that tells your teen?
  • What do you save up money for?
  • What do you buy?
  • What do you collect?
  • What are your habits?

Jamie says: Teens are going to be working and sleeping for 50 years, so they need an amazing mattress and an amazing job.

Teens are going to be working and sleeping for 50 years, so they need an amazing mattress and an amazing job. Teens are going to be working and sleeping for 50 years, so they need an amazing mattress and an amazing job- Jamie Beck during interview on Homeschool Highschool Podcast. How parents can be career coaches for their teens' Career Exploration program.

Vicki was so excited to talk to Jamie because of their shared love of Career Exploration. Jamie’s passion for helping teens understand themselves and truly explore best-fits is a hallmark of a true Career Coach.

As you know, 7SistersHomeschool.com has lots of articles on Career Exploration for homeschool highschoolers as well as our popular Career Exploration course.

To find Jamie, CareerVisionByJamie.com. Check out her resources and her Brain Sort. She helps match teens and colleges. She also hosts Career Vision Minute on Facebook.

HSHSP Ep 179: Career Coaching with Homeschool High Schoolers, Interview with Jamie Beck