Choosing Extracurriculars for Homeschool High School

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Choosing Extracurriculars for Homeschool High School.

Choosing Extracurriculars for Homeschool High School

Choosing Extracurriculars for Homeschool High School

Teens love the adventures of homeschool high school extracurriculars. As their homeschool parents, we decide whether we want to count things as electives or extracurriculars. But how do we know what is an elective and what’s an extracurricular? 

Choosing Extracurriculars for Homeschool Vs. Electives

We know it is not just about the grades when you are counting something as an elective. But there is a thin, yet blurry, line between electives and extracurriculars. Here is how to tell the difference:

For Electives

You could be choosing something because of the choice of major or interest in college your child has. 

If you have a child that is college bound and they want to have their transcript looking competitive, you can have electives that show they have done rich work in their area of interest

  • For example, if they want to be a physics major, they would do electives in that area, like extra sciences.
  • If they were going to be a music major in college, then they would do electives in music. And so they put that on the transcript in the subject section.

Also, you will need to track elective credits by logging hours and document them so that you can show all that you have done. You need supporting documentation what what you have accomplished because it is tied to the college of interest or major of interest your child has and will support that.

For Extracurriculars

If you are simply showing off how much was time spent on fun things outside class like sports teams – those could go under extracurriculars instead.

Transcripts can also have an extracurricular section where you put things that are not necessarily competitive for college as far as subjects go. Extracurriculars just show how your child is able to be involved in the community. It shows that they pick an idea and explore it, have connections with other human beings, and they are committed to a cause. 

Extracurriculars show the richness of your child’s personality, and because of that, they do not go under the subject part of the transcript. Instead, they go at the bottom of the transcript in a section called “Extracurriculars,” and it should detail which years your child did them because some colleges really want to know there has been a commitment to an interest.

Even if you have a child who is just workforce bound, go ahead and put extracurriculars on the transcript too. Because a transcript is like a scrapbook that you look back over later in life – you get it out and you say to yourself, “Oh, he did a really cool job in high school! And it’s all right here on this paper.” If you did it, record it.

Even though you may want to record extracurriculars, like we mentioned for work, you do not have to do that kind of supporting documentation like you would for electives. You can simply make a note of it on their transcript, but you don’t have include all the details for extracurriculars, not like electives.

Ideas for choosing extracurriculars for homeschool high school are endless

Tips For Extracurriculars For Homeschool High School

Ideas for choosing extracurriculars for homeschool high school are endless! Teens can do:

And they are great for parents too! It is a great way to plug into the community and meet some lifelong friends and also acquaintances. It always nice to get to meet some of your children’s friends, too, don’t you think? We homeschool moms can make friends, too. 

Don’t “Over School” Things

Sometimes we homeschool moms get fairly accused of turning everything into school because all of life is learning. And it is! But the fact that it is all learning does not mean we should turn all of it into rigid schoolwork. 

We do not want to over-school some things, so it is quite possible for you to add an extracurriculars just for the fun social aspect of it, which would make it not feel too “schooly.” Extracurriculars give kids a chance to experiment a little bit with other kids and try on some hats or fill in gaps. Because of this, there’s not one right way to choose extracurriculars. 

Choosing sign language as an extracurricular, for example, does not come across the same way as learning a world language the traditional way. 

Don’t Stress About The Transcript

Do not stress about what the transcript looks like! You can move things around, and they don’t have to stay the way you originally wrote it on the transcript. 

For instance, if you do not like a subject as an elective, you can bump it down to an extracurricular. Or if it is an extracurricular and then it suddenly turns into a real interest – like a career exploration thing – you can bump it out of the extracurricular place and put it down as an elective. 

Do not change it after they graduate – do not make it look suspicious. You have four years to scoot things around as your kids grow. Take a breath and just let life happen.

The transcript should not just be some pre-made thing that you are checking off to make sure that you have all the things done that are required by some authoritarian person somewhere who makes up a bunch of rules.

Transcripts are meant to capture the learning that takes place in high school – exactly like our scrapbook we mentioned earlier – except it is just a little line of text instead of pages and pages of photos and memories. It is like a scrapbook at a glance of all the learning that took place in those four years, so you get to be a little flexible with it. 

Nothing Is Ever Wasted

Even if kids do extracurriculars to fill in the gaps, they can still use all that richness they learned in those things in various ways for the rest of their lives. Nothing is ever wasted!

If you have a child who is interested in small engine repair or auto mechanics, for example, extracurriculars allow them to dabble in some vocational training without having to really commit to it.

Choosing Extracurriculars for Homeschool High School

Extracurriculars are not just places for your teen to do something fun, but they are also for you as the homeschool parent to take off some pressure and just allow yourself to dabble and explore and try new, fun stuff.

They help our kids become well-rounded and connected, causing them to breathe deeply in between some of the times when they are working real hard and getting a little anxious about things.

All of life provides opportunity for learning, and the extracurriculars are a fun and relaxed arena for a few specific kinds of learning. Embrace them and lean into them. Talk to your kids about what they might be interested in trying. 

When planning extracurriculars:

Do not just pick things just to pick things, like a local class because it is simply local or doing the thing that the older sibling picked, or even choosing the thing that you wish you had done when you were a teen and never tried. Talk to your teens! 

They may not get a whole lot of say in what math they are going to do next year, but extracurriculars are a great place for them to have a lot of say. Have conversations with them and just have fun with it. Some of your extracurriculars might end up just being lifelong hobbies, or they might be a way that you meet a great friend. 

Thanks to Richie Soares with Homeschool and Humor for transcribing this episode.

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Seven Ways to Earn High School Credits

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Seven Ways to Earn High School Credits.

Seven Ways to Earn High School Credit

Seven Ways to Earn High School Credits

Some parents who are homeschooling a high schooler may be wondering how in the world they can earn a high school credit? Is there just one way or are there other ways? Well, you may or may not know this, but there are in fact seven different ways to earn high school credits! Your child will be building a valuable transcript for their high school years before you know it.

7 Ways to Earn Credits In High School

Because there are seven different ways to earn credits in high school, that means there is not one “right” way to homeschool your high schooler and therefore not one right way to earn credits as well.

You can choose from a variety of different topics. For instance, you might have a textbook you would like to use for math, and then you might want to do independent study for history. These would count for your credits. 

You can use all these different, creative ways to earn credits for different subjects, for all kinds of learners, and to meet your family needs.

Textbook Credits

The classic way to earn credits for homeschool high schoolers is with a textbook. If you read the textbook description, it will usually tell you how much credit is earned when teens complete the work of that textbook. 

And usually with textbooks, there’s associated tests or assignments that they do. When they’ve completed all that work, they have either earned half a credit or a full credit.

Online Courses

Another way to do that is to do some online courses. There are two kinds of online courses:

  • Live online courses: If you have a subject you want your teens to learn from somebody else, this is a good way to do that. It also puts the responsibility for getting that information to your teens onto someone else. They can teach your teen in a way that might even be more understandable than you could do, or even more understandable than you’re interested in doing it (which is totally okay by the way!).
  • Self-Paced courses: One-off courses are also available where the courses are not live but instead are self-paced. Teens just simply go online and take the course on their own schedule in their own time. This is great for teens who like to study late in the veenings or want to knock out a chunk of school or credits really quickly.

You can find a few places online right now that have online course academies for teens! Places such as True North Homeschool Academy, Funda Funda Academy, and Dreaming Spires Home Education are just a few of them.

Also, our 7Sisters course, Psychology, is self-paced which is perfect to go on a high school transcript. But keep your eyes open for more!

College Classes

Another way to earn credits is with college classes. So very often local areas, like community colleges, will make teens wait until they are juniors or seniors. And sometimes teens can do online courses through a university a little bit younger than that.

Just check with the different schools around your area. If you get to something that you just don’t want to teach, or that your teens have outgrown the information you have available for them, then they may be ready to take a course college level. 

Independent Study

Another way to earn credits for our homeschool high schoolers is independent study. We very simply call that logging hours because it’s just so clear what teens are going to do. 

For example, let’s say you have a teenager who loves history. They just want to learn everything they can about a specific topic in history, like maybe the World Wars or the Colonial Era fashion. They can simply just study and learn everything they can from valid websites on the internet and library books and field trips and crafts and cooking, and just all kinds of online and in-person experiences. These make rich electives on the transcript.

And your teen will log the hours down. They will write down what they did on a certain day and how long they did it until they reach a Carnegie unit credit.

Side Note:

If you go to the Carnegie website, generally they’ll say it is 120 hours of instruction, but each state has adapted that to their own wish. Like in our area, a Carnegie credit for teens is 135 hours of education or instruction, which is about average. But some states need 180, so make sure you look at your state’s Department of Education site or check HSLDA. Both should tell you how many equals a credit, but you should aim for at least 120. 

The good thing about that is teens can earn a credit in anything that is meaningful to them. The tough thing is they have to remember to log that. Sometimes you may need to meet with them regularly and go over their progress by having them show you what they’re doing so that you’re sure they’re actually logging it down.

As the saying goes, if you didn’t write it down, it did not happen!

Here are some more tips from Carol Anne Swett in this Homeschool Highschool Podcast discussion about practical credits for reluctant learners.

Take Co-0p Classes

Another way to earn credits for high school is to take co-op classes or umbrella school classes. These are like live in-person classes, and they’re usually so much fun to do because:

  • They usually get a different teacher each class or term
  • They get to hang out with friends in person
  • They get local expertise

Your kids can learn about so many topics that you just don’t have the talent nor knowledge – nor energy – to teach about. For example, your kids can learn all about poetry or how to cook.

Generally, you know how much credit a teen is earning in a co-op class or an umbrella school class because it will be in the course description. If it’s not, you can ask and work with whoever the teacher is to clarify how much credit is being earned. Because you don’t want to shortchange your teen, but then you don’t want to exaggerate either.

Read Real Books

Another way to earn credits that is actually quite popular among the teens who love to read is…reading! Some of teens are bookworms and love to read. They will explore an area of particular interest by reading real books of historical novels, biographies, nonfiction, and so on. 

And as they read real books, they are accumulating hours of knowledge. Generally, teens will have them do a study guide, book summary or a reaction paper to show they had read it and interacted with the material in order to show they’ve learned from it. Because you don’t want them to passively read something. You want them to engage it and think about it and write it. You can have some kind of written interaction for them to do. 

And for a Carnegie Credit, usually around sixteen books will be pretty close to one Carnegie credit, but it varies. Also, if you have a monstrous book, you may count that as a couple of books, like an anthology book you could count as several books. 

Have teens keep a book list and their interaction papers or study guides that they have completed, so you could count those as a credit in that interest area.

Life Experiences

The final way to earn high school credits is through life experiences. Teens sometimes get opportunities to do a variety of things, like traveling or mission trips. These could easily count as an immersion experience because of seeing different cultures, hearing different languages if they are out of the country. This is experience and education that you can get in no other way!

When teens are having an immersive experience, you could count a week’s activity or a week’s travel as a quarter credit, so your teen could get a quarter credit for missions if they were headed for a Christian college. If they are headed to a secular college, a week would be a one-quarter credit called cross-cultural.

If your teen is going to do an apprenticeship, this experience looks incredibly valuable. Generally, teens will put a lot of hours in there, and it will really inflate what their transcript could look like. They might get two Carnegie units worth of hours done. 

Seven Ways to Earn High School Credits

As you can see, there are so many ways a teen could earn credits in high school. As a recap, they could earn from:

  1. Textbooks
  2. Online courses or self-paced, asynchronous courses
  3. College classes
  4. Co-op and umbrella school classes
  5. Independent study
  6. Reading real books
  7. Life experiences

Also, you  can combine credit styles to earn credits, check out this episode for details. Here is information on leveling up the credits to Honors.

And all of those go together to make a credit on their transcript. So sit down with your teen and discuss with them about how they can have a really awesome educational experience and a mighty transcript for their homeschool high school!

Thanks to Richie Soares with Homeschool and Humor for transcribing this episode.

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Career Exploration with Pathway

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Career Exploration with Pathway.

Career Exploration with Pathway

Career Exploration with Pathway

It gets so exciting learning about a new, solid resource for your homeschool, doesn’t it? And we just discovered Pathway by Folderwave! If you are wondering what on Earth Folderwave is, read on to learn more about it from Ann McClure and Pamela Brennan, the experts on how it can help with career exploration for students.

About Anne McClure and Pamela Brennan

Ann McClure

Anne is a homeschool mom of 5, starting with a high schooler at 15, all the way down to a toddler at 2. She began homeschooling when her now-15 year old was starting kindergarten. 

Anne has a background in education, previously being a teacher in all different kinds of settings. This background helped instigate her thoughts on what to do next after her firstborn graduates from homeschool high school. 

Therefore, she started her research journey to learn more about what to do in high school and how to prepare her son for college and a career and beyond. This pivotal moment is when Folderwave came into the picture.

Pamela Brennan

Pamela has a background of 20 years in college admissions, counseling, recruiting, and mostly in operations management. She was a Director of Operations at a selective university in Boston and worked very closely with high school counselors, parents, homeschool parents, and the students (the applicants).

As she was working at the university, she was also working with Folderwave to improve their business process for application processing. But, after 20 years at the university, Pamela wanted a change. She could see the direction that Folderwave was headed and wanted to be a part of their evolution, so she began to work with them full-time and left the university. And now, she’s going on 10 years with Folderwave.

How Anne and Pamela Connected

When Anne was on a parent panel at a homeschooling conference, the moderator of the panel happened to introduce Anne to the president of Folderwave, Bob. He was seeking some feedback from a homeschool parent perspective about the market itself. 

After discussing different ideas together, they decided to start running focus groups and start developing additional content that would be a bit more geared towards the homeschool market. 

About Pathway by Folderwave

Folderwave is an evolving company. They went from college admissions to the high school space and then into the career and college counseling space. To Anne and Pamela, Folderwave is all about exploration and getting the kids to explore at an earlier age instead of waiting to the last minute when they’re about to graduate high school.

Pathway is a product by Folderwave, and it is a college and career exploration tool meant for students to begin using it as young as 12 years old or 6th grade. Students can access Pathway online and use their tools to discover more about their interests.

And it’s all about self-discovery 

They have assessment personality tests to help get kids to start thinking about things new to them and peak their interest levels. Then, it ties that interest to different possibilities for careers out there. It’s a nonabrasive approach for kids to discover new interests

Kids can save activities of interest throughout their time with it. They can reflect on their interests or activities with journaling or even with a reflections piece just to see how much they have changed or their growth over the years.

Investigate Your Future With Career Planning

Pathway has a state of the art, up to date, up to the minute program called Investigate Your Future With Career Planning that helps analyze certain aspects of jobs they might be interested in, job markets, future trends, and so many more amazing investigative tools kids can use to research more about their interests. 

Resume Builder

Pathway recently updated its resume builder for students to use for all sorts of scenarios, such as for college applications or even for applying for jobs while going to school. The resume builder walks students through each section to help the student make the most of their details.

Everything In One Digital Location

One of the exciting things parents within the focus groups pointed out was that they were so happy to see everything within Pathway was all in one place. 

Searching for what to do pre- and post-high school can be overwhelming since tons of research has to be done on top of the work you’re already doing. And so to have all those up-to-date tools all in one digital location in such a timely fashion is exactly what’s getting everyone thrilled about this product. 

How Pathway Can Help You

As we all know, there aren’t many resources available for career exploration for students. There are books, but nothing like Pathway, where everything you need is all in one spot.

Pathway has college counselors and digital portfolios for students to use in their career exploration. It can also be used to:

  •  Collect data and save it for future referencing
  • Be a course planner
  • Do life skills activities
  • Help create a resume. 
  • How-to guide
  • And more!

Some of their favorite tools within Pathway are the ones that show the stepping stones a child can take to a specific career. 

One such tool helps students how to get to a career goal. For example, if the student wants to be an attorney or a nurse, Pathway will show them some lateral careers or some stepping stone careers that you can take to get there.

Another great tool is the one that reveals the projected growth of different professions.It shows where in the world or country it is expected to have a growth or a decrease in need for those specific jobs.

There is such a wide range of tools in Pathway that it’s practical for all kids at different stages and ages. It can help reframe the way you think about college and career planning while educating you at the same time. 

How To Connect

Interested In Trying Pathway?

Anne and Pamela’s short term goal is to have a small group of homeschool parents who want to dig into Pathway and then give back constructive feedback to help further develop it, like beta testers.

If you are interested in learning more about Pathway, Anne and Pamela would love to connect with you. Simply email them, letting them know you would love to play around with it. 

For more information on Career Exploration check out these Homeschool Highschool Podcast episodes:

Thanks to Richie Soares with Homeschool and Humor for transcribing this episode.

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Special Replay: Your Homeschooled Teen Has ADD? Help is Here

Help for Homeschooled Teens with A.D.D.: The Homeschool Sanity Show

A homeschooling mom on Facebook.com/motivatedhomeschooler asked for advice for her homeschooled teen and I thought other parents might have the same question. If you or your homeschooled teen is forgetful, distracted, or disorganized, listen to this episode of The Homeschool Sanity Show.

Teaching Tip of the Week

This week’s teaching tip is to make room for Christmas activities in your homeschool. Use my funny winter writing prompts for writing. Above all, allow Christmas to be a peaceful, joyful time in your homeschool, rather than a stressful one.

Organized Homeschool Challenge of the Week

The Curriculum Review Challlenge

How to Help Your Homeschooled Teen with A.D.D. Links

Christmas Break

The Homeschool Sanity Show will be on Christmas break until 12/29/15 when I’ll share how 2016 can be your most organized homeschool year ever.

Have a happy homeschool week!

 

Special Replay: Launching Your High Schooler Into Life

Launching kids into life can be filled with ups and downs. On this episode, we discuss launching your high schooler while they are still living at home.Back in Episode 25, we talked about launching your kid into college. During that discussion, we explained how we have chosen to launch our kids during their senior year of high school, which allows them the freedom to begin making life decisions before they even leave our home.

One of our listeners wrote in and asked if we would explain what that looks like from a practical standpoint. On this episode, we talk through what launching your high schooler into life can look like when you begin that during the senior year, before they even leave your home.  What does it look like to remove curfews and provide the freedom for your children to make their own choices regarding sleep schedules, work schedules, schooling and relationships and how do you walk alongside them when those choices lead to disappointment.

Music clips used on this show:

“Free Fallin'” Tom Petty (Buy It Here On iTunes)

“Carefree” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/


Thank You to our Network Sponsor – CTC Math!

 

What to do When Your Homeschool is Behind

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: What to do When Your Homeschool is Behind.

What to do when your homeschool is behind

What to do When Your Homeschool is Behind

Need a little encouragement today? What if you are behind in your homeschooling? Is it a disaster? Can you catch up? Are you a failure? The answer is “NO!” Life happens sometimes and things get behind. It happens to most of us homeschooling families at some point or the other.

So what do we do when we are behind on the educational goals for our homeschoolers?

Tips for what to do when your homeschool is behind

Get ready for a little encouragement. You can do this!

Tip #1: Ask yourself: Is this a disaster?

Answer: No, it is NOT a disaster. So just take that thought off your plate. Take a deep breath and then get ready to recalibrate your own attitude from feeling like there is a disaster to “We can do this!”

The cool thing about recalibrating your attitude is that you can role model a growth mindset for your teens:

Things did not go as we planned BUT we are going to recalibrate to get where we need to go!

A growth mindset acknowledges the tough things but thinks positively about going forward.

Teens need to know that life is not an endless series of disasters. Yes, tough things happen but tough things do not define them. Rather, those tough things are an excuse to grow. In fact, a lot of life is about growing through the hard times.

Things did not go as we planned BUT we are going to recalibrate to get where we need to go!

Tip #2: Sit down with your teens and ask, “What do we want at the end of high school?”

When times have been tough for a while, it is easy for teens to get lost in “the weeds of right now”. (The same is true for us moms.) That is survival, of course.

However, there is a future! In the future, teens will graduate and need a transcript so they can do something after high school. Even if they are non-college bound (whether they are simply planning on a gap year, joining the military or will be studying for a trade), they will still need a transcript.

  • Many teens start out homeschooling high school, thinking that they will be college-bound. However, some of these teens, change their minds and decide on gap year, military or trades.
    • When that happens, it is a good time to reel in the academics. You can make academics more simple and more tailored to their goals.

However, if your teen is behind in their homeschooling but still wants to go to college, it is time to sit down and ask, “What do we need to get you ready for college?” Discuss with your teens:

  • Is community college a good fit for your teens goals? (Some states even have free tuition for community college.)
    • If this is so, you can recalibrate gently. Get caught up and feeling secure on the basic academics. This is because community colleges are not competitive like some four-year colleges. Rather, they exist to help serve their communities. (They can even do some remedial courses to start their community college experience.)
  • Are your teens interested in a more competitive four-year college.
    • Make plan together for moving forward with age appropriate academics, followed by a “scheduling backwards” plan for going forward with individual academics.

Tip #3: Then ask yourself and your teens, “realistically, what can we accomplish this year?”

  • If your teens are interested in a more competitive four-year college, (such as a state college) and they are a senior now, you might need some realistic recalibration of goals.
    • Your teens might have to do one year at the community college and earn high grades, then transfer.
  • On the other hand, if your teens are non-college-bound thinking gap year, military or trade school, this might a good time to sit together
    • And pare down the credit numbers and credit levels for simpler goals and then, graduation!
  • For a seriously stuck teen who is having anxiety and panic about catching up:
    • You might want to bring everything down to an average or remedial level for this year.
    • That way academics get done in a healthier, lower stress environment
    • Give them some Health credit time by getting some counseling. This is a GREAT life skill!

Make sure your teens are part of the discussion. This will earn you their buy-in.

Tips #4: If it is mid-year and your teen is behind in their textbook, ask these questions:

  • Do I need to take a look at the textbook and reduce the numbers of chapter questions or math problems that must be done?
  • Or do I need to trash this textbook and get something simpler or more fun? It is okay to start over.
  • Do I need to get online instruction with programs like:

Tip #5: If they are behind on their booklist for the year, do you need to:

  • Cut down on the number of books you planned for them to read?
  • Reduce the numbers of study guides they work on this year?
  • Use audiobooks for a quicker read and change of pace?
  • Switch out for shorter books?
  • Switch out for some easier-to-read books along with an inspiring study guide? (Think 7Sisters Chronicles of Narnia Literature Study Guides)
  • Count some books of the Bible? (We did this, for sure.)

Tip #6: If they are behind on labs for their Lab Science course?

Can you take the whole family on a field trip that can be part of a “science lab”?

  • For instance: zoo, nature centers, museums

Can your teen skip some of the labs in their lab manual?

Tip #7: Do a course or two over the summer

Sometimes, “summer school” is necessary for catch up!

Tip #8: To make sure they are not wasting good time, teach them study skills such as:

Tip #9: When you sit down with teens to talk about catching up on academics:

  • Get some snacks!
  • Go to a coffee shop together
  • Doing things over food, just makes things work better.

Remember, you can do this! Recalibrate and live in grace!

Join Vicki for an informative discussion on what to do when your homeschool is behind.

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Scheduling 7Sisters ELA Bundles

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Scheduling 7Sisters ELA Bundles.

Scheduling 7Sisters ELA Bundles

Scheduling 7Sisters ELA Bundles

Working on plans for the new school year? Planning English/Language Arts course for your homeschool high schoolers? If you are like many homeschooling families, your teens are enjoying 7Sisters One-Year ELA Bundles…but how do you schedule them?

As you probably know, 7Sisters One-Year ELA Bundles are complete ELA credits, one bundle for each year of homeschool high school. The distinctive about these bundles is that they are made of collections 7Sisters’ popular literature study guides, writing guides, cinema studies for literature learning guides and built in vocabulary and grammar…even public speaking is included!

Together, these cover the HUGE Language Arts credits.

Note: the bundles are not rigidly ninth, tenth, eleventh and twelfth grades. Every teen is different (that is why grade levels are suggested but no hard-fixed.)

Each of the bundles comes with scheduling instructions, but a little bit of encouragement from Sabrina might help homeschool moms feel a bit more confident with the planning.

The easiest ways to get the scheduling of the ELA Bundles completed is to download the FREE syllabus for each bundle.

These syllabi may be adapted for your teens’ needs. Remember: There’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school!

Common questions we receive about scheduling assignments in ELA Bundles

We love to receive questions, so we receive questions often! Here are some of the most common questions:

Question:

ELA Bundles include Literature Study Guide and Cinema Studies for Literature Learning Guides. These guides include essay prompts. However, if my teen has not completed the Essay Writing Guide, how can they handle the essays in the literature and cinema guides?

Answer:

There’s not one right way to handle this.

If your teen is experienced with essays already, start with their knowledge and write the literature and cinema guide essay prompts. Eventually they will be completing the essay writing guide and will add to their already existing their skills.

On the other hand, some teens can skip the essay. This is especially true if they have handled well the inferential skills in the literature guides.

Remember:

You want your teen to be challenged but not intimidated! Do not burnout your teens! Thus, if your teens need to drop an essay-writing assignment or two, they should do that. You want to preserve their love of learning.

Question:

How do you teach ELA Bundles in co-op settings?

Answer:

This is a good question for Sabrina. She taught these bundles to our teens in our co-op and homeschool umbrella school classes for years.

Typically, Sabrina has taught one or two literature (or cinema studies for literature learning) guide per every two to four weeks. This works out well for a nine month school year, since there are usually nine or ten guides in each bundle.

Books vary in length with some being shorter and some longer. Therefore, on longer books, Sabrina weights the longer reading assignments on the first week. This is because the earlier parts of many novels are lighter as far as inferential and analytical questions (which take more time and thought to answer). Why is that? It is because the earlier parts of the book are introducing characters, setting and plot, so questions are more “introductory”.

Therefore, if a your co-op class is taking four weeks to complete a literature study guide:

  • Have students read one third of the book during the first week, along with answering the questions for the reading and completing the vocabulary.
    • In class, introduce the themes and background material of the book and discuss what they understand about those particular themes.
  • During the second week, have your teens read a second third of the book, along with answering the questions for the reading.
    • In class discuss the themes for the book and discuss the questions from their homework.
  • Next, during the third week have your teens complete reading the book. They can then make a notes and outline for the essay in the literature guide. (Remember, you decide whether or not they will do those essays.)
    • In class discuss the themes for the book and discuss the questions from their homework.
  • Finally, teens complete their essays during the fourth week.
    • In class we discuss their essays, review themes and introduce the next book.

Question:

When should students do the vocabulary in the literature study guides?

Answer:

As always, there’s not ONE right way to handle the vocabulary.

  • Some students like to knock it out before they start the book
  • Other students handle the vocabulary in chunks, with each chapter.

Be sure to discuss this with your teens. What would work best for them.

We hope you and your homeschool high schoolers have the best year yet! Join Sabrina for wisdom and encouragement for scheduling 7Sisters ELA Bundles!

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Back to School Replay – Homeschool Children Across The Ages

Bigs, Littles, and Middles - us how we homeschool children across the ages

Jamie, Arlene, and I had so much fun recording our podcast for last week, we decided to keep the party going and record a second one. At every conference people ask us how we homeschool children across the ages. We figured it might be something the podcast world would want us to talk about as well, so we did.

Every homeschooling family is unique. Some people homeschool year round, some 3 days a week, some 8-12 everyday. It is hard to tell others exactly HOW to homeschool, but we all agreed on the following for those homeschooling different ages at the same time.

 

  1. Find the rhythm for YOUR family, don’t compare.
  2. Make sure your youngest gets some quality time by creating an engaging environment for them.
  3. Partner children up to work together. For example, while you are working with the middle child, have the oldest and youngest work together. While you work with the oldest, have the middle and youngest work together, etc…
  4. Don’t be afraid to seek the help of tutors, enroll some children in a hybrid, or partner up with other homeschooling families to meet the needs of your children.
  5. Take advantage of early mornings and naptime. Be willing to change your schedule and remember this is just a season. Flexibility is KEY.

 

You’ve got this!

Find a way to #sayyes today.


Thank You to our Network Sponsor – CTC Math!

Tips for Homeschooling High School, Interview with Natalie Mack

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Tips for Homeschooling High School, Interview with Natalie Mack.

Tips for Homeschooling High School, Interview with Natalie Mack

Tips for Homeschooling High School, Interview with Natalie Mack

Vicki and Natalie are so excited to finally connect! We have been waiting to connect to share Natalie’s expertise on homeschooling high school!

Natalie Mack is a retired Navy chaplain’s spouse (after thirty-four years of service). She is a passion military spouse advocate because she knows that the military spouses are the ones who are holding military bases and military families together. The whole family serves!

Not only that, but she is a homeschool mom (who is a passionate advocate for all homeschooling families- and especially military homeschooling families). She has five kids.

  • Her oldest graduated from Liberty University and George Washington University (Masters in International Education- fluent in Mandarin and conversational in Russian). She is currently an International Baccalaureate coordinator for the Washington DC public school system.
  • Natalie’s second daughter is a “kick-butt soccer athlete” who played Division One soccer for Liberty University. She recently completed her Masters in Social Work at Howard University. Besides preparing for her social work career, she is also on a professional indoor soccer player.
  • Her oldest son graduated from American University’s School of International Service. He worked on a Congressional campaign for a season and is now working for a nonprofit.
  • Natalie’s second son is an Honor College student at George Mason University, a Bonners scholar there.
  • Her youngest son is fifteen. He is kind of like an only child now because his siblings are all in college or beyond.

Despite being down to one high schooler at home, Natalie is still super busy. When her kids asked her why she was still so busy, she told them that she is finally doing all the things she could not do when she was homeschooling five kids as a military wife. This is a new season but there is no time to sit around eating bonbons!

These days, when she is not working on lessons with her youngest, Natalie is:

Advice from Natalie about homeschooling high school:

Natalie has gained lots of wisdom over many years of homeschooling high school! Here are a few.

When things feel thankless, remember that someday your teens will be grown up- they will thank you then

Natalie knows from experience. Sometimes homeschool days can be thankless. On those days, you have to keep on keeping on- putting one foot in front of the other. You will make it. You can do this!

Trust the process

You may feel like you are venturing into the unknown when you start homeschooling high school. That is okay. You can do this. Try not to get overwhelmed by the newness of it all (and the fears of failure). You can trust the process where you are learning how to homeschool high school right along with your teens.

Take time to enjoy your teens.

Take time to enjoy your teens

Of course, while your teens are in high school, academics are priority. However, try not to get so focused on those academics that you do not have time to enjoy your teens. Who says that every day you have to max it out till four o’clock? If you and your teens work on academics intensely all day, every day, you (and your kids) will not have anything left to give.

Use the flexibility of homeschooling to take time to enjoy. You will want your teens to still like you (and it is hard for them to do that if they feel burned out).

There will be bad days when no schooling gets done

No one will go to hell just because it is a rotten day and schoolwork needs to be set aside. Tomorrow is a new day full of grace for you and your teens. You can model resilience for your teens- it is a GREAT life skill.

So on terrible, no-good, very-bad days, remember grace and fresh starts tomorrow!

Join a support group

Natalie knows how the support groups have been important for her homeschool success and encouragement. She suggests to look for:

Remember lots of prayer

Prayer is the key to success! You need God’s strength, grace and peace for the homeschool high school journey! God is there to helpl.

Join Vicki and Natalie for a good dose of encouragement and some tips for homeschooling high school!

Also check out these Homeschool Highschool Podcast episodes if you have a teen who is thinking about a military career:

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  3. This will take you to Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcast source and our own podcast page.
  4. Click SUBSCRIBE.
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Tech skills I’m glad I learned: Reflections of a high school graduate

Tech Skills I am Glad I Learned : reflections of a high school graduate

190: Tech skills I’m glad I learned: Reflections of a high school graduate – Interview with Natalie Vaughn

Guest Natalie Vaughn has just graduated from high school and she shares the tech skills she is glad she learned and how they helped her.

Be sure to listen to my interview with Natalie last week when she shared her favorite high school apps and the interview I did with her last summer as part of the Techie Teen series where she talked about her job as a virtual assistant.

Natalie helped me write a 10-part blog series on preparing your homeschooled teen for college

Here are the 7 tech skills Natalie is glad she learned.

  1. Operating Google Drive – she used this Google Drive unit study from FundaFunda Academy
  2. Digital organization and schedule-making (Trello – listen to this previous episode on Trello)
  3. Computer safety (recognizing scams, avoiding viruses, social media safety, and more)
  4. How to research topics digitally
  5. Typing (previous episode on Typing Games)
  6. Writing an email
  7. Basic graphic design skills (Canva – previous episode on Canva)

Teens learn many of these skills in FundaFunda’s Computer Applications class

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Take a look at show sponsor, FundaFunda Academy to see what they offer for online classes and web-based unit studies.

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

Tech Skills I am Glad I Learned : reflections of a high school graduate