Easy DIY 5-Year Homeschool High School Flexible Plan

Finish Well Homeschool Podcast, Podcast #114, Easy DIY 5-Year Homeschool High School Flexible Plan, with Meredith Curtis on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network

Easy DIY 5-Year Homeschool High School Flexible Plan

In “Easy DIY 5-Year Homeschool High School Flexible Plan” episode #114, Meredith Curtis shares easy ways to plan ahead and take advantage of educational opportunities for your teens to get every high school credit possible and make sure the core classes are completed by graduation. Meredith explains that education is a gift and helps you define what gift you want to give your teen, when you should start planning, and how to make and keep the plan flexible. Breathe easier through the high school years with a plan that is purposeful, proactive, and easy to tweak.

 

 


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Show Notes

You can homeschool high school! Really! You can do it!

I decided to make a 5-year plan instead of a 4-year plan for high school from 8th-12th grade.

  • some courses you can use on their transcripts from 8th grade so I thought it would be good to include that in our plan
  • gives us more time and flexibility to get everything done we want to accomplish

What Do You Want to Give Your Children?

Education is a gift.

Gift of a Christ-centered, well-rounded education that will bear good fruit in their lives for years to come.

Think of things you want to teach your teen in high school that will bless them in years to come.

Make a list of your dreams for your son or daughter.

What gift of education do you want to give them?

My list for each child includes things that are the same and things that are unique for each child.

  • Read Communist Manifesto in high school so that they can understand the socialist agenda in American universities and colleges
  • Study worldviews so that they can recognize the different worldviews that are predominate in our culture
  • Memorize God’s Word, applying it to all of lifeRead classic books that have changed the world
  • Use Bible study tools
  • Make and live on a budget
  • Understand physics, chemistry, and oceanography
  • Grow in their gifting of:   (fill in the blank)

Don’t just shove a bunch of classes at them. Choose courses that will benefit them for life and lay a solid educational foundation if they will be going on to college.

What Does Your Teen Want to Learn?

Now it’s your teen’s turn.

What do they want to learn in high school?

Some of them may have a career goal in mind.

Others may have a dream of playing sports at a particular college.

When Should You Start Planning?

Summer before 7th or 8th grade

Build confidence by:

Reading a few books on homeschooling the high school student

Talk to other moms who have (or are!) successfully homeschooling teenagers. Other homeschooling moms can lead you by the hand and help you through the questions and decisions.

Make It Flexible

I sit down and make a five-year flexible plan for each child. This way you can take advantage of opportunities as they arise.

Realize that your plan will change over the years, but it is good to have a rough idea of what you want to accomplish.

What is Your Goal?

I keep a folder for each child’s homeschool plan on my computer with a high school plan file. Each year, I adapt the plan as opportunities arise for them to take various classes.

Pretend that the following is your high school plan for you high school child.  

Eighth Grade: Old Testament Survey/World History I/Algebra I/Western Literature (3.5)

Ninth Grade: Church History/World History II/Geometry/Biology/Oral & Written Communication/British Literature/Spanish I/P.E./Drama (0.25) + Piano (0.25) = 0.5 Fine Arts Credit/Growing in Christ (0.5) + Courtship & Dating (0.5) = 1.0 Character   (8.5 credits)

Tenth Grade: New Testament Survey/USA History/Algebra II/Chemistry/Essays & Research/American Literature/Spanish II/P.E./Sewing (0.5 Homemaking)/Godly Womanhood (0.5 Character)    (8 credits)

Eleventh Grade: Worldview & Apologetics/Government & Current Events & Politics/Pre-Calculus/Shakespeare/Fiction Writing/Drawing & Watercolor (0.5) + Drum Lessons (0.5) = 1.0 Fine Arts Credit/The Christian Family (0.5) + Starts own Business (you make it a course) (0.5) = 1.0 Life Skills    (6 credits)

Twelfth Grade: The Great Commission/Economics & Business & Personal Finances/Calculus/Great Books/College Prep Writing/Runs own business as course 1.0 Life Skills/Leading worship as a course 1.0 Fine Arts   (6 credits)

Total credits (32 credits)

Juggle Things Around Every Year

When Opportunities arise, I take advantage of them–make changes in my high school plan so I can make sure that my teen takes the important/required courses.

So, pretend there is an opportunity to take chemistry with a pharmacist, I will switch chemistry and physics around. Or maybe the pastor is teaching a worldview course in my teen’s freshman year. I sign her up, but change my plan, moving worldview to ninth grade and church history to eleventh grade.

Some classes, of course, need to be take consecutively (like Math!), but most classes do not!

It helps to have the basic plan, because I realize that all the classes have to fit in somewhere.

Another Idea:

  • Do an intensive class in a month during a break from normal school
  • Do semester classes like colleges do

With math and literature, I don’t recommend shortening the time frame because your child can only do so many hours of math a day before he is burned out! But, this can be a great way to get something “out of the way” quickly.

Your flexible 5-Year Plan is a servant, not a master. In my life it has been a great blessing and helped to guide us through the high school years. I hope it will be a blessing to you!

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Resources

 

American Literature & Research British Literature & Writing High School Class Communications 101:Essays and Speeches High School Class Foundations of Western Literature by Meredith Curtis
Real Men 103: Leadership Who Dun It? Murder Mystery Literature and Writing High School Class HIS Story of the 20th Century by Meredith Curtis HIS Story of the 20th Century: High School Workbook by Meredith Curtis
God's Girls 101: Grow in Christ God's Girls 103: Courship, Marriage, and the Christian Family High School Class God's Girls 104: Motherhood by Meredith Curtis God's Girls 105: Homemaking by Meredith Curtis

More Podcasts You Might Find Helpful

Finish Well Radio Show, Podcast #107, 7 Steps to Create Your Own High School Classes with Living Books with Meredith Curtis on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network Finish Well Radio, Podcast #074, How to Get Into College with Meredith Curtis Podcast #050 The Real Kingdom and the Counterfeit Finish Well Radio, Podcast #035, Happy Birthday America!

Planning for College Even During COVID-19 – MBFLP 246

How can you move forward with college plans during a pandemic?

How can you hunt for a college in the midst of a global pandemic? Colleges want students who demonstrate interest in their college. But how can you demonstrate interest in a college when you are sheltering in place under a “stay at home” order?  Join us for this special conversation with Lee Binz, “The HomeScholar”!

With our older kids (all five of them so far!), we spent a lot of time visiting colleges, touring campuses, interviewing professors and campus ministers … but emphasize, on campus.

And now, there are very few people on campus to visit – if the campus is even open, still.

Needless to say, suddenly the rules have changed! But have they?

Colleges still want to meet you, get to know you, and make an estimate whether you’d accept an offer from their school. In normal times, you take the opportunity to meet the admissions staff, walk around campus, and if they invite, absolutely positively show up for scholarship or honors college events!

So during this  time of quarantine, shelter-in-place, and stay-home orders, those in-person visits just aren’t going to happen.

Lee Binz has years of experience counseling and advising homeschooled high schoolers and their parents, on how to prepare for the college application process and how to maximize your chances of success. This episode, we talked with her about how the move to remote meetings and online gatherings has changed the traditional interview process. You’ll hear some surprising advice and some brilliant ideas how you can adapt to this strange, disrupted world, in some of the most traditional institutions.

About Our Guest

Lee Binz, The HomeScholar is a dynamic speaker and author of over 40 books on homeschooling high school, available on Amazon. She is an expert on homeschool transcripts and getting scholarships. Lee’s mission is to encourage and equip parents to homeschool through high school. Her free monthly homeschool e-newsletter is a great help, and she has marvelous homeschool freebies  on her website HomeHighSchoolHelp.com. You can also find Lee on Facebook at Facebook.com/TheHomeScholar.

A Free Offer from Lee Binz!

Anxiety and feelings of insecurity can come and go. When you are faced with feelings of inadequacy, you may start wondering how to become a better homeschool parent. How do you become successful? Lee has a free ebook that she would like to share with you! Download How to Be a Better Home Educator and you can build a better homeschool with tools (and teens) you have around the house. Whether you are a newbie or veteran, this short ebook can help you become a better homeschool parent.

Other Resources We Mentioned

Lee Binz:  Coronavirus and College Admission

Lee Binz:  High School Tests During Coronavirus

Lee Binz:  How to Prepare for a College Interview (with practice questions)

Hal and Melanie: Our free COLLEGE DECISION RESOURCE PACKAGE

Hal and Melanie:  Paying for College with No Debt and No Fortune

Hal and Melanie: The Unexpected Benefits of Graduation

Hal and Melanie: Entrepreneurship and College

7 Steps to Create High School Classes with Living Books

Finish Well Radio Show, Podcast #107, 7 Steps to Create Your Own High School Classes with Living Books with Meredith Curtis on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network

7 Steps to Create Your Own High School Classes with Living Books

In “7 Steps to Create Your Own High School Classes with Living Books” episode #107, Meredith Curtis shares how she created all of her children’s high school classes. She began the process by listing all the books she wanted her daughter to read. From there, she went on to think about life skills, academic skills, and virtues she longed to see in her son and daughters. Finally, she packaged everything in an easy way where teens could keep their own records.

 

 

 


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Show Notes

It was time for high school and up to that point we had enjoyed a lot of freedom and creativity in our home school. Living books were at the center of our curriculum. When we used textbooks, we read them aloud together.

Could we carry on to high school?

Yes!

Here’s what I did starting when my oldest daughter was in 7th grade. I thought ahead.

Step #1: Creating High School Classes Begins with Prayer

Surrender my children and their high school education to the Lord.

Ask for wisdom and His plan in course creation.

Step #2: Creating High School Classes Requires Book Lists

I made a list of all the books I wanted my teens to write in high school

Classic Literature: Tale of Two Cities, Count of Monte Cristo 

Great Works: Mere Christianity, Wealth of the Nations

Inspirational: God’s Smuggler, Christian’s Secret to a Happy Life

Step#3: Crossing the Finish Line Lists

I also took time to prayerfully consider what virtues, values, habits, academic skills, workforce skills, and spiritual disciplines I wanted to see in their lives

Virtues/Habits/Values: hard work, kindness, servant’s heart,

Academic Skills: essays, research, reading at college level, analysis, advanced mathematics,

Practical/Work/Community/Church Skills: leadership, interview, resume, work with a team

Spiritual Disciplines: Quiet Times, serving at church, evangelize, defend the faith

Relational Wisdom: Purpose dating or courtship, honoring parents, building wholesome friendships.

Step #4: Dividing up Books

I divided my books into different categories which became classes.

Wealth of the Nations, Larry Burkett’s economic books, and Communist Manifesto went into the economics class.

Pride and Prejudice, Tale of Two Cities, and The Mysterious Affair at Styles went into British Literature.

Bondage Breaker, Christian’s Secret to a Happy Life, and From Prison to Praise became part of a Christianity Basics course (God’s Girls 101: Grow in Christ and Real Men 101: Godly Manhood).

The Hidden Art of Homemaking became the foundation of my homemaking course.

Understanding the Times was the main book in our worldview class.

Soon all my books were divided up.

Step #5: Creating High School Classes Requires Creating Assignments

Next, I created assignments that were practical and cultivating academic and life skills.

  • Essays
  • Life Prep e.g. Apartment Project, Mother’s Helper, Change the Oil
  • Interviews to Articles
  • Book Club
  • Speeches

Step #6: Laying It Out for Quick Read & Check Off

Then I laid out the course for over a year and produced handy-dandy check-off sheets.

Step #7: EZ Folder Method

Overview of class, hours chart, and check-off /syllabus went into color-coded folders. Kids now could keep their own records for me. All work went into pockets.

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Examples: Classes I’ve Created

Create a High School Class like Economics, Finances, and Business by Meredith Curtis Create a High School Class like Who Dun It? Murder Mystery Literature and Writing High School Class by Meredith Curtis Create a High School Class like American Literature & Research by Meredith Curtis Create a High School Class like Old Testament Survey Class by Meredith Curtis
Communications 101:Essays and Speeches High School Class Worldview Understanding the Times by Meredith Curtis God's Girls 101: Grow in Christ Real Men 101: Godly Manhood
God's Girls 104: Motherhood by Meredith Curtis Real Men 102: Freedom, Courtship, Marriage, & Family God's Girls 105: Homemaking by Meredith Curtis Real Men 103: Leadership

More Podcasts about Classes

Finish Well Radio Show, Podcast #106, 7 Reasons I Teach Newspaper Reporting In Middle School with Meredith Curtis on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network Finish Well Radio Show, Podcast #096, How I Teach English in High School with Meredith Curtis on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network Finish Well Radio Show, Podcast #090, Book Clubs Instead of Book Reports, with Meredith Curtis on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network Finish Well Radio Badge, Podcast #060, 7 Benefits of Reading Classics

How to Create Honors Credits on Homeschool Transcript

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: How to Create Honors Credits on Homeschool Transcript.

How to Create Honors Credits on Homeschool Transcript

Vicki shares how to create a powerful transcript by building Honors credits. She explains the method called “leveling up” that her family and the homeschool umbrella school that all the 7Sisters’ homeschoolers have graduated from. Check out this Homeschool Highschool Podcast episode that explains the concept of “Levels”.

If you have homeschool high schoolers who are headed for college, it is likely they will need to show rigor on the homeschool transcript. How do you handle creating courses with rigor and showing them on the transcript?

Well, it’s complicated! There are not any unified how-to’s. Our advice is:

  • Choose your method
  • Keep it consistent through all core courses (core courses are Language Arts, Maths, Sciences, Social Studies and World Languages)
  • Make sure you create a legend or key on transcript that explains a little about how the level of rigor was achieved
  • Be sure to record along with the title of the course, the level of rigor that your homeschool high schoolers achieved

This is how we do it. First decide on the level for each course:

Level 1: Remedial Level

  • This is not college level. It is for student who are severely behind or have learning disabilities.

Level 2: Average High School Level

  • These are courses with textbooks that have easier reading levels and shorter lessons. Some examples would include: Westfield Studios 101, Pacemaker series.
  • If your homeschool high schoolers complete a Level 2 course it will not prevent them from getting into college.
  • However, the colleges that accept Level 2 courses will most likely be community colleges or some private colleges.
  • Make sure that the Level 2 courses are not in the courses that will become your teens’ college majors.
  • Very few courses should be Level 2 for college-bound teens.

Level 3: College Preparatory Level

  • Most available textbooks are Level 3. Some examples of Level 3 publishers are,Apologia, BJU Press and Abeka.

Level 4: Advanced Level

  • This level is more powerful than college prep.
  • Leveling up the Level 3 to Level 4 in our homeschool umbrella school requires completing a Level 3 course plus one half of another Level 3 course of that same topic.
  • This will earn 1 credit of that course at Level 4.
  • It is an attractive credit to many colleges.

Level 5: Honors Level

  • An Honors level homeschool high school course is similar in rigor to an AP course. However, the title “AP” can only be used by courses specifically approved by  the College Board. They own that designation.
  • Honors level courses are highly rigorous; they require a lot of work. This is worth it for teens who are applying to competitive private or state colleges.
  • Concentrate on Honors level for courses in the general area of your homeschool high schoolers’ future major or interest area.
  • Some competitive colleges want to see ALL core courses at Honors level. Check with colleges of interest for their requirements.

Create a college-attractive transcript by building Honors-level credits. Develop powerful credits by adding extra rigor for Honors courses.

How do you develop Honors credit?

It is hard work. A teen working on a Level 5 Honors credit will be doing about double the Level 3 College Prep.

7Sisters textbooks and Literature Study Guides include instructions (with Literature Study Guides the instructions vary by age and grade). Listen to this HSHSP episode for tips on using the levels feature of 7Sisters curriculum.

Start with:

Textbook average or college prep.

Then add:

  • Add 16 extra real book in interest areas/subject area
  • For example, if Biology will be your teen’s major: choose books exploring an interest such as birds, including:
    Books on Famous Ornithologists, Bird behaviors
  • Write summary of each book

The textbook plus 16 books and summaries become ONE Honors credit.

Another way to earn an Honors credit could be adding a Carnegie credit.

For more information on Carnegie credits check out this post.

Start with:

Textbook average or college prep.

Then add:

  • Logged extra Carnegie Unit of credit (varies by state 120-180 hours of instruction). Make sure you document these hours.
  • Create the Carnegie credit by:
    • Developing an interest through field trips, writing research papers (keys with Language Arts), projects, related volunteer work, related apprenticeships
    • For instance, if your teen’s interest is Psychology, volunteer at rescue mission to see what other people’s lives are like
  • Make these hours useful to your teen.
  • Keep really good logs. Suggestion: have teens log hours themselves. This develops independent learners (or panicked learners if they put logging off too long.)

The textbook plus Carnegie credit becomes ONE Honors credit.

Or try a combination

  • College textbook plus 8 books and half-credit logged hours.

Remember, homeschool high schoolers are doing double credits BUT on transcript they only receive 1 credit. College admissions officers LOVE these Honors credits.

Search Honors credit at 7Sisters for more ideas.

 

When teens develop interest they feel engaged and proud of themselves. It gives them a nice expertise in an area and creates a powerful transcript. When the Honors credit is in an area of their choice, they can use this expertise in a college admissions interview.

How to Create Honors Credits on Homeschool Transcript

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 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 178: What’s Good and Bad about Tech for Teens, Interview with Leah Nieman

This week on HSHSP Ep 178: What’s Good and Bad about Tech for Teens, Interview with Leah Nieman.

HSHSP Ep 178: What's Good and Bad about Tech for Teens. Interview with Leah Nieman. Tools for parents for keeping teens safe and providing teens with great educational resources. #HomeschoolHighSchool #HomeschoolAndTechnology #SafeDigialWorld #GreatEducationalTools #LeahNieman

 

HSHSP Ep 178: What’s Good and Bad about Tech for Teens, Interview with Leah Nieman

Many of us homeschool moms are *digital immigrants*, we were around in the days before the internet and always feel like we are a step behind our kids in the things going on in the digital world. Our kids, on the other hand, are *digital natives* and tend to be very comfortable there. We moms worry about the safety of our children and teens when they are online.

That’s why I asked our friend and fellow homeschool mom, Leah Nieman (our favorite technology expert) to join us for a realistic discussion about the world of technology for those of us homeschool moms who are not experts ourselves. She shares with us what’s good and bad about tech for teens.

Leah Nieman

Leah Nieman. Photo used with permission.

The key issues that parents need to know about the online world include:

  • Privacy
  • Education of parents
    • Leah reminds us that where the parents are the teens don’t want to go. When parents are on Facebook, kids go to Instagram, then Snapchat, etc. So we need to stay up to date on information and maintain open communication with our homeschool high schoolers (and youngers).
  • Education of teens
    • Appropriate behavior in online classrooms,
    • Appropriate behavior and company outside the classroom
  • Safety on social platforms

What’s Good and Bad about Tech for Teens: Social Apps

It’s easy to read bad reports on the internet about social apps that only cover bad news. However, we don’t have to go to extremes and keep our homeschoolers off all social media. Rather, we need to be discerning and wise. When our young people come to us and want to download a new app, do some research and discuss what you find with them.

Parents should research:

  • What are the privacy settings. Can I limit who sees my child’s information?
  • Can I block and eliminate this app if it proves to be a poor choice?
  • Is my child’s location private?
  • Is the app targeted to kids but has *content buckets* (content buckets are sections of the app for different ages, children in one bucket, adults in another bucket). Can adults jump out of their content bucket into your kid’s bucket?
    • An example: Some apps have 2 content buckets. It’s easy for adults to get out of their bucket into the younger people’s bucket. This raises safety concerns because a young person may take at face value that a person is who they say they are. Vicki, in her job as mental health counselor has worked with young teens who thought they were talking with a peer on a social app but found out the hard way they were dealing with a predator.

Parents should keep conversations going:

When we parents are uneducated or overwhelmed we often want to stop the conversation about technology. However, we need to watch out when conversation stops! Kids get their information from peers if it doesn’t come from parents. Although we are uncomfortable we need to lean into uncomfortable topics by:

  • Being curious, ask questions
    • What do you like about it?
    • What is the draw for you?
  • Listening and allowing your kids to educate you. (Also, do your own research at LeahNieman.com)
    • Understand first, then ask questions.
  • Being open about your feelings, listen and be educated
  • Any topic we avoid is an open entry for danger

Some social apps that middle school and high schoolers use (don’t forget, mom, stay in the conversation with your homeschoolers about social apps:

  • Snapchat
  • Yubo (known as tender for teens). Here’s Leah’s informative post on Yubo.
  • Live.ly Live.me
    • These are for live streaming and live broadcasting
      • Live streaming: Like Facebook Lives, a person presents a topic. It is not spontaneous.
      • Live broadcasting is about connecting with peers, it is done in a stream of consciousness fashion, the intent is to connect, to create a social event. This can be a concern: who are your teens connecting with? Teens issue challenges like: Hey, do a dance, sing a song… and that is broadcast to the community. This can put a teen in a vulnerable position because of their lack of experience, discernment and natural impulsivity. Live broadcasting is popular with teens because they are targeted to teens, appeal to teens by connecting them. )
  • Tiktok is a top-ten download in Apple store. It was formerly called Music.ly.
    • Tiktok hass big draw for young kids (guidelines are supposed to be age 13 but many younger kids are on the app).
    • Young people create little videos and skits to music that is provided daily in a challenge. Kids like it because it has interactive community.
    • The concern for parents is the privacy. Adults  (strangers) are present on Tiktok. They can direct message your kids and share out onto other platforms.
    • Kids can create own accounts without parents knowing. They usually don’t know how to set privacy settings.
    • Leah talks about about setting up test account and is immediately asked for follows by young children who are yielding to pressure to grow their audience.

How do you keep kids safe:

The digital world is not all terrifying. There are great apps that are great tools for education. LeahNieman.com provides lots or information on great tools for homeschool families.

The digital world is not all terrifying. There are great apps that are great tools for education. We call it *gamified learning*. Check out Leah’s blog series with LOTS of great educational apps.

Some apps are good for tacking educational progress:

It’s a low pressure way to build skills, remediate and track progress. For example:

  • Spelling apps
  • Coding apps

Some apps are productivity apps.

  • As families with high schoolers, we can benefit with having a coordinated calendar app.
  • Project apps. Break down projects and progress through them.
    • When homeschool high schoolers learn productivity with an app, they can take that skill to college.
    • Leah loves using these apps herself. Google One-note to import her research and break down tasks. Then she puts the tasks on Google Task. She has a whole list of cool organization apps for teens.
    • Companies use Trello and Asana. Teens can benefit from learning how to use these as a resume builder. Team building experience and communication skills building. Digital soft skill building.
    • When information and tasks are gamified or made visually available, they progress better.

Check out this series on real-life, practical apps for homeschool families.

Leah also discussed the popularity of online games for teens. Leah likes online gaming. Here are her guidelines:

  • Know who they are playing with (just like you would never just drop teens off to an activity without knowing anything about it or who they will be with)
  • Make sure the gaming environment is safe.
  • Supervision and guidance is important. In other words, don’t avoid the conversations. Be curious, listen, the guide for safety. Kids like to talk about their online friendships, if we keep the communication doors open. We parents need to be interested and approachable so they feel free to talk.
  • Keep the balanced lifestyle. They need sunshine and exercises as much as they need their games. They need to do their lessons and do their activities of daily living (eating, chores, self-care). This is the modern version of teens only wanting to watch television all day long back in the 1970s.
  • Gaming is a good way to connect with their friends, they are genuinely interacting and helping each other. Digital soft skills development as individuals and teamwork.

Join Vicki and Leah for this enlightening discussion of what’s good and bad about tech for teens.

Visit Leah at:

LeahNieman.com (Sign up for Leah’s newsletter there and get a free set of conversation-starter questions.)

Facebook (lots of up to date information, current issues)

Youtube (SOOO much good information!)

You’ll also love our friend, Meryl’s podcast right here on Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network: Homeschooling with Technology!

HSHSP Ep 178: What’s Good and Bad about Tech for Teens, Interview with Leah Nieman

HSHSP Ep 173: Career Pathways for Homeschool High School

This week on HSHSP Ep 173: Career Pathways for Homeschool High School.

HSHSP Ep 173: Career Pathways for Homeschool High School. Career Exploration gets a boost with Career Pathways. Here's how to give your homeschool high schooler a head start on what comes after graduation. #HomeschoolHighSchoolPodcast #HomeschoolHighSchool #CareerExploration #CareerPathways #PreparationForLife

HSHSP Ep 173: Career Pathways for Homeschool High School

How do you help your homeschool high schoolers be best prepared for what comes AFTER they graduate?

There are 2 career-related experiences they really should do:

  • Career Exploration: This is a course that helps teens explore their talents, strengths, interests, abilities, experiences and values to help them narrow down career possibilities.
  • Career Pathways: These are the courses that your homeschool high schooler will do that help prepare them for their future careers or college-majors.

Join Vicki and our wonderful guests: 7Sister Marilyn and our friend, Barb Varnell. You know them from our How to Get Started Homeschooling High School suite of episodes:

Barb has also given us great advice on homeschooling high school with intellectually gifted teens. She’s also a PhD chemist, so she and her daughter join Vicki for a fascinating discussion about whether you can be a scientist and a creationist at the same time.

Marilyn and Barb serve the local homeschool umbrella school as academic advisors. (Vicki retired from the academic advisor role there after 18 years.) They help homeschooling high schoolers have a successful high school experience and  prepare for what they’ll do after graduation. They meet several times a year with teens and their parents to set their goals for high school, career and life. An important part of their discussions are about what teens are doing for their Career Exploration until they clarify some goals (as much as a teen can know). Then they help teens develop their Career Pathways goals that will help you prepare for career or college major.

To get started on Career Exploration, check out this comprehensive post on getting started.

  • Log hours doing various *explorations* and a course to earn a credit for the homeschool transcript.

Career Pathways: These are the courses that your homeschool high schooler will do that help prepare them for their future careers or college-major. Build upon good Career Exploration for great transcripts and life-preparation experiences.

Today, we want to discuss, Career Pathways. Homeschool High Schoolers, here’s some great advice:

Insider tip from Barb: For college-bound teens, develop Career Pathways credits, extracurriculars, competitions and service to make you stand out from the crowd. You want colleges to not only like you, but like you enough to give you money to come.

Career-bound AND College-bound teens:

Want some wise advice, Homeschool Graduates? Don't lose your transcript and don't lose your diploma.

Special advice for 9th and 10th graders:

  • Start keeping track of things to put on your experiential resume because you’re going to forget by the time you get to senior year.
  • Think about what they need to be working on for their core academics (if they are interested in STEM but are behind in
  • Explore interests if they have no clue
  • If interested in military, try a quirky language for your World Language credits. That will make they stand out when they meet with recruiters.
  • Find a couple of extracurriculars you can do each year. Colleges often want to see an ability to stick to an interest, project or organization. (Some college applications only ask which extracurriculars you have been involved in for 2 years or more.)
  • Check out CareerOneStop.org and see what the employment outlook for that job (will there be jobs)
  • Take a class outside home when you can. (This gives you a person who can write an academic recommendation.) Barb notes that some colleges want this recommendation needs to come from a teacher at their *school*. One college has asked for a recommendation from an upperclassman English teacher, SO make sure you have explored the college’s requirements not just for entrance but for their major. Barb gives the example of an art student who got lots of scholarship money based on her portfolio
    • Show up to class on time
    • Do the work
    • Have a great attitude

Ninth graders sometimes don’t like to think about all this, so be gracious. By the time they are in 10th grade they really need to do some gentle thinking about the future.

Advice to parents:

Remember to allow your homeschool high schoolers to have TIME to do all this Career Pathways work.

  • Barb and Marilyn have found that sometimes parents avoid Career Pathways involvements for their teens because:
    • They are worried core academics won’t get done
    • They are exhausted and don’t have time or energy to drive their teens all over the place

Want some specific ideas for Career Pathways opportunities?

  • Engineering: Volunteer for an engineering professor
  • Business: Work in family business
  • Auto mechanics: Help in the office
  • Other trades: Talk to the local union, take some community courses, shadow someone in that area.
  • Counseling: Get HIPAA training, do some clerking
  • Pre-vet: Volunteer at non-profit clinics or vet office. Shadow a vet. (Barb’s daughter who is now a vet
  • Music education: Volunteer for a local music education teacher, give lessons, get involved in local college community music programs
  • Medical programs: Volunteer at the local hospital

Want more great ideas for developing your homeschool high schoolers’ Career Pathways credits. Listen to this HSHSP interview with Barb’s daughter, Sarah, who is now a large-animal veterinarian.

Join Vicki, Marilyn and Barb for an informative discussion on Career Pathways!


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Opening nationwide on August 23, OVERCOMER dares to leave you filled with hope, inspired to dream, and asks the question: what do you allow to define you?

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HSHSP Ep 173: Career Pathways for Homeschool High School

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Philosophy in 4 Questions

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

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

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

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

History and Philosophy of the Western World

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

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

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

Preparing for High School with Cheryl Bastian

Preparing for High School Preparing for High School with Cheryl Bastian

Podcast #72

Does High School scare you? Are you concerned your children won’t be ready? Many people feel overwhelms at the prospect of homeschooling the high school years. Well, put those fears aside! You can do it! With a little planning, you will be ready to successfully teach prepare your student to graduate.

Cheryl Bastian joins us as we talk about preparing your teen for high school.

About Cheryl

Cheryl Bastian can’t remember a time when she wasn’t teaching. What started with making her brothers play school evolved to job shadowing and tutoring in high school. Through experiential learning, Cheryl’s passion for education grew. She completed post-secondary coursework and internships at Illinois State University, first as a special education major and then continuing in early childhood education. Concerned she would miss once-in-a-lifetime milestones in her children, Cheryl left the classroom and brought learning home.

Twenty-four years of homeschooling, eight children—ages twenty-eight to toddler— allow Cheryl and her husband Mike to journey alongside families at many stages of parenting and learning, from toddling to adulting. As a magazine columnist, blogger, and speaker, Cheryl shares her experiences, stories and challenges as she enthusiastically encourages parents to be intentional, real, and relational as they raise life-long learners. Her resources are available at Celebrate Simple www.cherylbastian.com.

High School Information

Register for Convention   Deadline to register – May 3rd

 

Talks Cheryl will be presenting at the 2019 Convention:

Register for Convention HERE