You Are the RIGHT Parent for Your Homeschooler, Interview with Anita Gibson

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: You Are the RIGHT Parent for Your Homeschooler, Interview with Anita Gibson.

You Are the Right Parent for Your Homeschooler, Interview with Anita Gibson

You Are the RIGHT Parent for Your Homeschooler, Interview with Anita Gibson

Ever have doubts about your ability to parent your homeschool high schoolers? The high school years can be a challenge. After all, we know that we are preparing our teens for life after graduation. We want them to be ready for all they will be facing. What if we do not do enough for them and with them? We can be full of doubt! That’s why we asked our good friend, Anita Gibson, to chat with us. She shares why you are the right parent for your teens.

Anita has homeschooled for over twenty years, and as she says:

It’s been the good, the bad and the ugly! Parenting is the real deal!

Coming out on the other end, Anita says that she is glad she had the homeschool years to get to know her kids well and help them find fulfilling lives.

Anita administrates Simply Homeschool Facebook group, is a director of several local homeschool programs, leads a team of seven high school educational consultants for HSLDA, and has started the website National Homeschool Advocacy.

One of Anita’s God-given gifts is the gift of encouragement. (If you have not yet read her book, StarFinder, you need to do it! You and your teens will be so encouraged!)

So in this episode we are talking about why you are the right parent for your homeschooler!

Why are you the right one to parent your particular teens? Here are some reasons:

God gave you that child

It was not an accident! You were specifically assigned that child by God. He also gave you what you need to do raise that child well. Even on a bad day, when we are doubting ourselves we can recalibrate with the thought:

We can depend on God and the fact He will continue to equip us with what we need to homeschool our teens well.

However, we need to remember that our parenting and homeschooling is not dependent on our strength, but on the strength and wisdom that God will give us (II Corinthians 12:10).

The homeschooling parent we are now is not the homeschooling parent we will be at the end of this process

God gave us teenagers to help us grow! We are in the middle of a growth process, just as our teens are growing!

Have you ever noticed that before we started parenting, we were “parenting experts”? At least, that is how Vicki saw herself. There is nothing like real parenting, though, to squash the feelings of expertise! She found out that she needed her homeschool mom-friends as well as God’s help in the parenting process. Therefore, she grew spiritually, emotionally and socially as much as her teens did throughout the homeschool process!

Perfection is not required

The longer you homeschool high schoolers, the more you will notice your imperfections! So, remember:

Perfection is NOT required!

Over time you will become something more but where you are is the perfect place to start. When you are called to parent or homeschool, hold onto the fact that once you start, success (not perfection) is in your future. God plans for you to have success (even though you will have ups and downs, hard days, dark days as well as lots of good days).

God is not requiring perfection. When He gave you the homeschooling high school job, He didn’t expect you to do it perfectly- because none of us could anyway! 

Homeschooling: Perfection is NOT required!

Get used to waiting

It is wise to adopt the “spiritual posture” or mindset of waiting. While you are waiting on God’s direction, strength or wisdom, if you are wise you learn to have peace- even in those challenging moments. It is the kind of peace that does not deny there are stressors going on, but the kind of peace that knows the answers will come.

We Americans often feel we need to have all our skills and wisdom NOW. Instead, remember that God has planned for success. Success is in our future! His version of success might not look like our version of success, but it is a good success anyway!

Be humble in front of your teens

Model praying for your homeschool high schoolers and ask them for their prayers for your own growth and wisdom. That is the fruit of the Spirit: Humility.

Then listen to your teens’ input. For instance, when one of Vicki’s teens had enough of Mom’s attempts at helping him with high school math, they found a mom at our local homeschool umbrella school to teach him instead. This did not mean that Vicki was the wrong homeschool parent for her teen. Rather, it meant that Vicki was becoming a resource manager. After all, as Anita says:

Homeschooling is about teaching your children how to learn!

We parents are not supposed to be the best at everything! Rather, we want them to learn that as adults, they can look for resources to keep learning things they need to know.

No one can homeschool high school better for your teens. You are the right parent for your homeschoolers!

Remember, God will use your strengths, weaknesses and His grace to grow you and your teens. There will be challenges and growth, hard things and good times, teaching and farming out the teaching. It is all good in the long run.

Also, remember not to compare yourself with other homeschooling parents. You are supposed to be growing and intentional in your relationship with God and your family members. You are NOT supposed to be the same as other homeschooling parents!

An example of being the right parent for homeschoolers

Anita’s daughter was born talking. She taught herself to read at a very early age but she still talked all the time. Anita sometimes had to lock herself in the bathroom just for an escape from the chatter. She found it tempting to want to shut the chatter down. Eventually, God showed her these gifts:

  • Her daughter WANTED to share her thoughts with her. That is a privilege!
  • Anita needed to allow God to give her more capacity to attentively listen.
  • She also found ways for her daughter to use her voice in debate and drama. This led to college scholarships in international policy and now a career in the diplomatic corps. Now she gets paid well to do the very things that had once been irritating. In this way, God grew both Anita and her daughter!

Anita found that she was the RIGHT mom for her homeschoolers, by God’s grace.

One last thought from Anita:

Don’t try to change your kids or you from the outside…It’s an INSIDE job! The job that comes from the work of God in you and through you.

Remember God made us the right parent for our kids so we can KNOW, that we and our kids can rest in Him and grow.

Join Vicki and Anita for an encouraging discussion that reminds you that you  are the right parent for your homeschooler! Also check out these other marvelous chats with Anita:

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Homeschooling High School during Summer, Interview with Anita Gibson

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Homeschooling High School during Summer, Interview with Anita Gibson.

Homeschooling High School during Summer, Interview with Anita Gibson

Homeschooling High School during Summer, Interview with Anita Gibson

All of life is education- even during the summer. However, that does not mean we have to pressure ourselves to overdo it finding ways to love EVERYTHING! Anyway, to talk about the “don’t waste your summer” dilemma, we asked our good friend, Anita Gibson, to share some wisdom.

Many of our listeners know Anita- she’s a regular guest! We love her warmth and rich experience. As you know, Anita Gibson is the author of one of our favorite books: StarFinder (about helping identify your child’s strengths). She is also an advisor for Homeschool Legal Defense and the founder of National Homeschool Advocacy (a group that brings wide-ranging resources under one roof).

Here are some tips from Anita on homeschooling high school during summer:

Tip #1: There should be times where we get to a period and stop

Sometimes we homeschool moms feel like we need to use the entire summer to catch up on “book academics” that we did not get to cover (or did not finish) during the school year. That is okay but there are times when you need to take a full break with NO educational pressure. Let everyone’s body and souls rest a bit.

Tip #2: Summer is a good time to get out of the box

Take time to have some fun that is just fun! (Remember in the Old Testament, there were times of feast and fun. We humans need that. Not only that, even God rested on the seventh day of creation.)

Rest is productive. Teens with rested brains will work better in the fall.  So, help them know the joy of quiet time. Summer is great for oases and places of rest. There is growth going on during rest.

Tip #3: Remember everything is not dependent on you

Give yourself a while to not think about curriculum, grades or plans. Give yourself a break for recuperation. You will have more umph in the fall semester if you had some no-homeschool time during the summer.

Tip #4: Allow teens to get bored

Try some time during the week to experiment with a few hours of no-screen time! Whether they believe it or not, it will be good for them to experience boredom. Being bored helps them develop their own initiative to find interesting things.

Tip #5: Still, there are things you can log as education for homeschooling high school during the summer

  • Trips to the library
    • Count the books for their book list
  • Family read alouds
    • Teens never outgrow this
  • Swimming
  • Hiking
  • Observing nature
  • Crafting
  • Creating a progressive story
    • Anita’s husband did this with their kids each evening.

Tip #6: However, remember to do this low key. Low key. Low key.

Teens learn so much in these low key ways. There are no tests or papers however, there was the joy of exploring and learning things our teens are interested in. That kind of learning stays with them.

Tip #7: Remember to model a life of learning

Allow yourself to be interested in reading, hiking, observing, crafting. Your interest and engagement models for your teens in ways that are so powerful that some of it will stick. Besides, YOU need some time to explore new things or engage in thing you love.

Tip #8: Help teens notice their passions as they engage the summertime adventures

Occasionally during the summer, have a chat with your teens. Ask them:

  • What has been interesting for them?
  • Are there other things they would like to explore?
  • What it feels like to make boredom work for them?

Log hours, but prioritize enjoyment!

Tip #9: On trips or vacations, gently find some educational angles

If you do not call it “educational hours” but simply having adventures doing new things, you can log some homeschooling high school during the summer without your teens really knowing it! 🙂

For instance, Anita and her family love beach vacations. They would make sure that they did some museum trips while at the shore. Not only that, but they even would spend an hour here and there at the local library simply reading and relaxing in the quiet. All of this learning was fun!

Also, her family (at her grown kids’ requests) have continued their annual trips to stay on a Mennonite farm in Lancaster. (SOOO many cultural and historical hours logged while experiencing family time together.)

Check out this post on how to log credit hours over them summer.

Tip #10: Remember that your homeschool high schoolers are unique

Every child, no matter what age is your homeschoolers are, it is okay for them to learn at their own pace. Therefore, we homeschool moms can be careful not to compare your teens to someone else’s homeschool high schoolers.

If you need some support for finding ways to catch the gaps and build educational programs for your teens, contact Anita through:

SO, if your teens are behind in their academics at the end of the school year, perhaps they need to spend a little of the summer catching up. However, make sure there is time for rest and fun. Also, give yourself permission to log hours on summertime natural learning. Then, Homeschool Mom, give YOURSELF a break.

Join Vicki and Anita for ideas and encouragement for homeschooling high school during summer. Also, you will be encouraged by our other conversations with Anita:

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Helping Teens Discover Their Star, Interview with Anita Gibson

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Helping Teens Discover Their Star, Interview with Anita Gibson.

Helping Teens Discover Their Star, Interview with Anita Gibson

Helping Teens Discover Their Star, Interview with Anita Gibson

We love having our dear friend, Anita Gibson, on the podcast. When Vicki first read her book, Starfinder, she knew she found a kindred spirit. SO she loves connecting with her again.

Anita and her husband homeschooled their children all the way to graduation. That was over twenty years of homeschooling! She is now a Titus 2 woman- a woman who invests in the next generation of homeschooling families to give them confidence and success. Anita is now serving with encouragement in her:

Anita believes in holding hands and calming hearts and helping moms know they CAN homeschool high school!

Vicki asked Anita to discuss her wonderful book, Starfinder, with us so that we can help teens discover their stars. The book came out of her experience homeschooling one of her kids. Her daughter was experiencing difficulties learning so Anita wanted to figure out what to do with that.

As she prayed and watched her daughter, she found that even the things that we slow or irritating about her personality and learning style were actually little nuggets of the giftings that God had placed in her.

Anita decided that she needed to become a star finder for her daughter.

In fact, every child has a star! Homeschooling parents’ most wonderful job is becoming star finders!

STAR is actually an acronym for:

  • S: Strengths
  • T: Talents
  • A: Abilities
  • R: Resources

Every child has those four things. As parents discover their own ability to be their child’s advocate and champion, they can help their kids discover their STARS! Anita’s book, therefore, helps parents get themselves into the right position mentally, emotionally and spiritually so they can lead that child into their STAR-ness.

Anita has this advice for parents:

It’s not about perfection… It’s about perspective!

It's not about perfection... It's about perspective!

In order to help teens find their stars, parents need to be aware of themselves, too!

For instance, it is easy for us to feel inadequate as homeschooling parents when we look at how other parents homeschool their teens. When we start comparing ourselves to others we forget that:

All we are and all we are not, is exactly what is needed for our teen in this season. There is nothing else that you need to be in order to homeschool your teens!

So, as you plan your homeschool high school, remember that your homeschool is a blending of who you are as a parent and who your teens are. The blending together makes your homeschool look exactly what it should be. (Thus, if you try to do what others are doing, you are missing the beauty of what God has created your homeschool to be.)

Remember: There’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school!

Therefore, we should not try to have someone else’s “perfect homeschool”. In fact, there is no such thing as a perfect homeschool!

How do we go about helping our teens find their star?

Start with a Scripture. Anita has a guiding Scripture in Philippians 4:4-7

Rejoice in the Lord and again I say rejoice.

Start with a perspective of rejoicing in the Lord. When you are calibrated to looking to God for joy, you will have more strength to see the stars in your life and your teens’ lives.

Philippians 4:6,7

Do not be anxious for anything, but in everything, with prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your heart and your mind through Christ Jesus.

When you find yourself anxious about your ability to homeschool high school, make the request for help known to God. It is okay to be honest with Him. Over time, we will start to see that peace in our hearts. That makes us more available to our teens to find their stars.

As we step into the process of Star Finding, we find that we are stepping into the process of developing who WE are created to be.

Then we discover that we can help our teens through the process of finding their star. You will grow together. God’s grace in and you will grow, also.

Know the thing that irritates you most about your teens is probably part of STAR

Spot what is the nugget inside those behaviors. For instance, a teen who talks ALL the time, may be called to be a speaker. Or a child that takes everything apart, might become an engineer. Therefore, give them opportunities to channel and challenge those “skills”!

For instance, Anita has a daughter that talked ALL the time. Anita recognized that as a star so began to give her opportunities to develop her speaking skills through drama programs, Toastmasters, training in several world languages, and family “talk time”. That daughter is now in the diplomatic corps in the State Department.

Go on LOTS of field trips

The field trips do not always need to be interesting. However, in experiencing lots of field trips, teens often discover interests and even, abilities.

Try on some different lessons, even if they do not stick with it:

  • Piano or other music lessons
  • Art lessons
  • An unusual sport

Look ways to connect or learn about other cultures

You can do this with:

  • Field trips
  • Books
  • Movies
  • Restaurants

Here are some tools to help:

Clifton Strengthsfinder (for teens and for parents)

Check out our other discussions with Anita Gibson:

Join Vicki and Anita for an encouraging discussion on helping teens find their star!

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How to Know and Believe in Your Teens, Interview with Anita Gibson

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: How to Know and Believe in Your Teens, Interview with Anita Gibson.

How to Know and Believe in Your Teens, Interview with Anita Gibson

How to Know and Believe in Your Teens, Interview with Anita Gibson

You know a kindred spirit when you meet one, and Anita Gibson is a kindred spirit with us 7Sisters. Vicki is joined again today by Anita to discuss the importance of knowing and believing in your teens. She also shares some simple how-to’s to help. This is SO worth your time and investment!

Vicki first met Anita at their favorite conference (2:1 Conference). When she picked up a copy of Anita’s book, Star Finder, she knew they had the same ideas about life. Anita Gibson is a coach, educational strategist, author.

Anita and her husband homeschooled their kids for over twenty years, all the way from kindergarten to graduation. She was “dragged into homeschooling kicking and screaming” because she was a successful business woman and could not imagine how to fit homeschooling into that lifestyle. But as their kids became school age, they felt the leading of God to homeschool, and Anita obeys God.

Anita describes herself a “hands-on, quirky, butterfly chick”. They did many “nontraditional” educational adventures, like schooling in the park and handling and learning about things outside the home. They had many hours of inquisitive learning and fun.

Her children are now all in their thirties and doing well, so it was the right homeschool program for them! (After all, there’s not ONE right way to homeschool. The beauty of homeschooling is the ability to learn in the way that best fits YOUR family!)

Anita was led to create the lovely book, Star Finder, to share the things she learned homeschooling her kids. Anita’s kids were very different personalities and learners. Her oldest taught herself to read. Her second daughter struggled to read. It was difficult for Anita to watch until she heard God encourage her to realize that she was “prejudiced” because she was making an assumption that all her kids would be like her oldest daughter and if they were not, something was wrong with them. Anita found God saying to her that she had not honored who He had made her second daughter to be. She had to be honest with herself and ask God how to fix it.

God began to show Anita the “beauty of Danielle” (her second daughter). She learned the “beauty of slow”. (Anita is a rabbit, she thinks and acts quickly. She learned that God needs all kinds of people because there are all kinds of things he needs to accomplish.)

God showed Anita a vision of two doctors. One doctor was quick. He would look at a set of symptoms and tell the patient, “Oh, you’re fine” and give a quick but inaccurate diagnosis. The second doctor was slow, he told the patient he would take two weeks to review testing results. At the end of two weeks, the slow doctor had identified a more serious but very fixable problem. God asked Anita, “which doctor would YOU want?”

Slow is beautiful because it is God’s creation, too. Anita learned to love the gift of “slow” and to help her daughter mature in the gift by learning to focus and concentrate on the blessing (such as being able to find things around the house).

Out of this experience and learning how to know and believe in her daughter, Anita felt God leading her to write her lovely book: Star Finder.

The title Star Finder has several meanings:

Learning to find the “star” in each child. (As Vicki says, God makes all kids gifted- in the way He wants THEM to be, not necessarily in the way our culture pushes for in our performance-driven culture.)

STAR is actually an acronym for:

  • Strengths
  • Talents
  • Abilities
  • Resources

Every child has a STAR. As a parent, we want to focus less on weaknesses and more on STARs! When we do that, our kids begin to know and believe in themselves.

When we concentrate on the STARs, the weaknesses seem to be less of a big deal. That is good because, as Anita points out, you can only get a weakness to average (which we should). But we can and should concentrate on the STARs because that is where God is leading!

Our teens do not need to be ashamed of their weaknesses. The weaknesses keep a teen relying on God for help. However, the STARs are the ways God will work in and through them to accomplish His plans.

Unfortunately if parents do not understand the STARs, their teens may begin to see themselves as failures. SO how do parents guide themselves and their kids of all ages through the steps to find and develop their STARs?

Here are Anita’s STAR Finder steps:

  1. Parents take the Clifton StrengthsFinder test.
    1. This is important because parents need to know themselves and not make the assumption everyone is like them. As we parents find our strengths, it is easier to see our kids’ different strengths. Then parents can create an environment of
  2. Teens can now take the teen version of StrengthsFinder or simply watch and discover what their kids:
    1. love
    2. naturally spend time doing
    3. are naturally good at
    4. (as Vicki says, “Be a scientist for discovering your own kid.”)
  3. Identify what irritates you about your young person
    1. For instance, Anita worked with a kid who was always breaking things by taking them apart. He just needed lots of things from the thrift store to break and learn to put back together. When he graduated from homeschooling, he went to college to become an engineer!
    2. Anita’s oldest daughter talked so much it was irritating. She grew up to be a foreign service officer who gets paid to…TALK!
    3. Irritations might be an indicator of a future STAR!
  4. There are nine more steps in STAR Finder! Go get a copy of the book: STAR Finder by Anita Gibson.

Join Vicki and Anita for lots of encouragement in this episode. Also,

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.
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  6. Thanks!

PLEASE SUBSCRIBE VIA iPHONE

  1. Tap the purple Podcast icon on your phone
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  3. In the search bar type: Homeschool Highschool Podcast
  4. Tap the Homeschool Highschool Podcast icon
  5. Tap *Subscribe*
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How to Know and Believe in Your Teens, Interview with Anita Gibson