Choosing Electives for Homeschool High School, Interview with Meryl van der Merve

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Choosing Electives for Homeschool High School, Interview with Meryl van der Merve.

Choosing Elective Credits for Homeschool High School

Choosing Electives for Homeschool High School, Interview with Meryl van der Merve

Today Vicki is joined by our fellow podcaster, Meryl from Homeschooling with Technology. We are going to talk about choosing competitions for electives in homeschooling high school. This is a rich way to develop a marvelous transcript, especially for college-bound teens (although competitions can develop the skills for any homeschool high schooler).

Meryl, as you probably know, is from South Africa. She has homeschooled her kids here in the States and is now running two competition teams for local homeschoolers  (Quiz Bowl and Science Olympiad) as well as running her popular online academy FundaFunda Academy.

Competitions can be a way to build elective credits that show a teen’s interest and skills. Choose competitions that:

  • Build a teen’s interest
  • Explores a brand-new area that a teen may find she likes
  • Develops a skill that will look good on the transcript

Once you and your teens choose a competition, keep a log sheet of hours they spend. If they are working on a competition that can turn into more than one elective, keep separate log sheets for each elective. Here’s a post with details on logging hours for credits.

Competitions aren’t just good for building powerful transcripts and they are not just for highly competitive teens. Whether a teen is naturally competitive or more laid back, competitions can build some necessary life skills, too. Meryl explains a couple of those skills:

The ability to win and lose

Life is about winning and losing. Job interviews, games, and lots of other things. Teens need to be able to handle the wins and the losses with grace. Parents can use the winning and losing with resilience, growth mentality, perseverance, grace and compassion. This requires guidance and conversations. (And good winning and losing on the parents’ part, too.)

Tell teens:

  • Keep trying, you will keep getting better
  • When you win, be gracious and remember how you felt when you lost.

You do not start out being skilled as skilled as you need to be, you learn skills as you do the competitions

This is a wonderful thing about competitions. When teens choose to engage in a competition, they spend time on it and learn, develop and hone skills.

One wonderful thing about many competitions is they provide materials for the teens that will help them increase their skills. For instance:

Cyber security competitions provide manuals on how to do the work of the competition. PICOCTF is one.

National History Day gives lots of information on how to do research.

Try competitions to build fun electives and a powerful transcript

Competitions give teens the time and experience to find and develop interests and abilities.

Meryl tells the story of her daughter competing in National History Day. Meryl encouraged her daughter to make her project a film presentation rather than the traditional project. Her daughter liked the ideas, so explored the how-to’s of film projects. She loved the process so much that she became a film major in college and will soon complete her PhD in Communications.

Another story Meryl shares is one of her students participating in Science Olympiad because her friends were doing it. She was not really that interested in competitions but she wanted to do something special with her friends. One of the competitions she participated in was about ecology. She became so excited about the things she learned preparing for the competition that she is now in college studying Environmental Science. She would not know she was interested in Environmental Science if she had not had her Science Olympiad experience.

Competitions can help with college scholarships

In a competitive college admissions situation, competitions on the transcripts can help give a homeschool high schooler an edge. (This is especially true with national type competitions.)

Competitions can help you write a strong college application essay

Whether your homeschool high schooler wins or loses a competition, there are learnings and personal growth that can be great essay topics. Narratives are good fodder for these important essays.

Competitions teach teamwork

This one of the powerful soft skills that can open doors for jobs. Anytime teens work together on a group competition, they are learning necessary teamwork skills.

How do you incorporate competitions into electives?

When your homeschool high schoolers are working on a competition, log those hours! Show these on the transcript as electives.

For example:

  • Science Olympiad teens can earn elective science credits in the different science areas of their competitions.
  • National History Day teens can earn elective social studies credits based on their project.
  • Poetry Out Loud can earn elective credits in poetry or public speaking.
  • Scholastic Art and Writing Awards can earn elective credits in writing and art.
  • If they are learning other skills, such as film making, they can earn elective credits in that.

Join Vicki and Meryl for competitive ideas!

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Choosing Electives for Homeschool High School

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Philosophy in 4 Questions

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

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

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

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

History and Philosophy of the Western World

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

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

PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO HSHSP VIA COMPUTER

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

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
  3. In the search bar type: Homeschool Highschool Podcast
  4. Tap the Homeschool Highschool Podcast icon
  5. Tap *Subscribe*
  6. Please tap *Ratings and Review* and give us some stars and a comment to help others find us more easily.
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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: http://www.MediaAngels.com