Creating Electives with Online Resources

Creating Electives with Online Resources

89: Creating Electives with Online Resources

In this episode, I first explain why I believe homeschoolers should add electives for high school and then I dive into the topic – creating electives with online resources

Find content for electives in the following places:

  • Great Courses
  • Your public library’s online resources eg Lynda, documentaries
  • MOOCs
  • Youtube look for playlists on topics, How to videos if the elective is a hands-on
  • Google – Look for an outline of what should be covered in the syllabi of high school or colleges courses, videos, games, tutorials, and contests (these often include practice material)

** The Linguistics contest I mention is NACLO

Evaluation and assigning a grade

If you find a MOOC or other class that you can use as part of the elective, it may have tests and assignments you can use.

Otherwise, get your child to do one or more projects to show what they have learned. The project could be to create a video, slideshow, website, children’s book or a portfolio if they are doing something creative. (See many of our other episodes for ideas on these)

If you want ready-done for you electives, take a look at the ones offered by our sponsor FundaFunda Academy

Join our Facebook Group especially for the listeners of this podcast! You can ask questions and get advice as you try integrating technology in your homeschool.

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review! Subscribing will help you make sure you never miss an episode.

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 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 75: Fine Arts Electives Give Transcripts SPARKLE!

This week on HSHSP Ep 75: Fine Arts Electives Give Transcripts SPARKLE!

HSHSP Ep 75: Fine Arts Electives Give Transcripts SPARKLE!

HSHSP Ep 75: Fine Arts Electives Give Transcripts SPARKLE!

College admissions officers look at thousands of transcripts each year. How can your homeschool highschooler stand out? Fine Arts electives give transcripts sparkle. It’s one way to catch their attention!

Join Sabrina for an eye-opening interview with Dr. Duane Cottrell, Associate Professor Choral Music Education at University of Delaware. Duane is not only a professor at UD but also has homeschooled his own children, which helps him understand and explain what homeschoolers need to know about Fine Arts on the transcript and in college.

Dr. Duane Cottrell University of Delaware Music Dept

Dr. Cottrell explains the current job climate where often:

  • Soft skills learned in Fine Arts make great employees in many areas
  • Right brained skills learned by teens who have studied the arts help build the creativity needed to compete in a career world new kinds of jobs are being invented every year

Dr. Cottrell explains the music major choices  such as (and why a homeschool highschooler might choose one:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Music (Liberal Arts degree)
  • Bachelor in Music (Music Education, Music Performance)
  • AND whether or not a graduate degree is required for success
  • AND how to find out specifically what your teen’s favorite colleges are looking for in their applicants

Sabrina and Dr. Cottrell also share how to handle Career Exploration in highschool so that they can clarify major choices.

Join us for a real-life, practical information about Fine Arts Electives!

5 Reasons You Need Fine Arts in Homeschool High School

Why Waste High School Credits on Career Exploration?

HSHSP Ep 75: Fine Arts Electives Give Transcripts SPARKLE!



Electives We Love

Electives We LoveElectives We Love with Julianna Curtis, Marla Stevens, and Jenny Rose Curtis Podcast #43 takes you to our Finish Well Conference. This workshop is led by homeschool grads who looked back and realized that the electives they loved changed the course of their lives. Let them share their research, their insights, and their suggestions so that you too can one day say, “these are the electives we love!” [Read more…]

Friendships, Growth, Challenge, & Accountability


UHRNFantasticFourFriendships, Growth, Challenge, & Accountability

Friends, yes they are important no matter what your age. Felice Gerwitz shares her mastermind girlfriends in this episode! Maggie Hogan, Kim Kautzer, and Mary Jo Tate share a behind-the-scenes look at life, work, and homeschooling. Three years together in a mastermind group have taught them the value of friendship and accountability. They make a point of meeting annually to share the ups and downs of the past year: the good, the bad, and the ugly! Gain helpful tips on homeschooling through trials, running a home business, and keeping your sanity. Bring your questions — these ladies are ready to answer them!

Currently, these ladies are meeting at an undisclosed location on their 2018 Mastermind retreat. This replay is an enjoyable reminder of friends and friendships still sharing business, work and marketing tips with each other.

Handouts: Vintage-MaggieFeliceKimMaryJo

Felice Gerwitz is a homeschool mother of five and currently schools the youngest two. She is the founder of Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network and Media Angels Publishing.

Maggie Hogan, a veteran homeschool mom, is the creative director at Bright Ideas Press, which publishes award-winning homeschool geography, history, and science curriculum.

Kim Kautzer graduated the youngest of her three children in 2003. She is author and publisher at WriteShop, homeschool writing curriculum for K-high school.

Mary Jo Tate is a professional editor and author of the new book from Apologia Press, Flourish: Balance for Homeschool Moms. You can find her at FlourishatHome. She is a homeschooling mom of four boys, two of whom have graduated.

Vintage HS Moms – Electives

ElectivesVintage Homeschool Moms Radio Show

with Felice Gerwitz

High school parents and teens are focused upon what credits are necessary for graduation, but what about the most important key to homeschooling through highschool? Learn ways Felice encouraged her teens to seek what the Lord has called them to do, try different apprenticeships as well as making Bible studies count! Felice will share her reluctance of encouraging sports in her teens, yet finding their giftedness in this area opened the doors in ways previously shut.

Felice Gerwitz is a Christian wife and mother. She is an author, speaker and podcast host as well as owner of Media Angels, Inc. and Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network. She has learned that God’s still voice is best heard in silence.

Felice Gerwitz is the founder of Media Angels, Inc. here: