Record Keeping for Homeschool High School

This week on the Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Record Keeping for Homeschool High School.

Record Keeping for Homeschool High School. How do figure out a style of record keeping that actually works for you and your teen? 7Sisters has help!

Record Keeping for Homeschool High School

Sabrina is wants to share about record keeping with our many 7th Sisters today. (Remember, HSHSP is brought to you by 7SistersHomeschool.com. There are 6 of us Sisters Sabrina, Vicki, Kym, Marilyn, Sara and Allison. Who’s the 7th Sister? YOU are!)

Homeschooling high school requires a lot of record keeping. This is something that many of us 7Sisters do not love. But we must keep our paper trails so that we graduate our homeschool high schoolers with a solid backup or proof of what they have done. This might be as simple as a transcript, but often we want to have more records to back up the transcript, just in case.

Remember: there’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school! So there’s not ONE right way to do record keeping. You get to decide what is best for you, your teens and their future.

So what kind of record keeping for homeschool high school do YOU need?

There are almost as many ways of record keeping as there are homeschooling families. If will help if you think about these two ideas:

You need a record keeping system that is sustainable.

  • Some homeschool moms love planners! Planners often help keeping track of all your homeschool “stuff”.
  • Some homeschool moms find planners unsustainable, but they can keep work at track of papers.
  • Some homeschool moms will find they must learn the skill of keeping track of paperwork.

You need a record-keeping system that fits your personal style.

  • You cannot just copy someone else, no matter how impressive. You have to be you.
  • God made you to be a unique person and that is good in His eyes. (He made your teens to be unique, also.) You can develop a record-keeping system that works in your unique situation.

Ask yourself these questions:

These questions will help you figure out why kinds of record keeping will work for you and your family.

  • Who are you?
  • What are the things that make you, you?
  • What is important to you?
  • How do you currently manage your:
    • Calendar
      • Family schedule
        • Medical appointments
        • Family times together
    • Household management schedule
      • Meal planning and prep
      • Shopping
      • Home and car mainenance
    • Church schedule
    • Homeschooling schedule
    • Community schedule
    • Work schedule
  • Does mom do everything or are the responsibilities spread throughout the household? Or is your family free-roam and things get done when they get done?
  • These all make up the feel and structure of your unique family and homeschool. What works for your family, works for your family.

There’s not ONE right way to run a family. A good system for you and your family is the one that you finds works best for you all.

The way you go after success in your family and homeschool needs to be a reflection of the individuals in your home.

No matter what you decide to use for record keeping, please keep records.

In the end, you need to be able to assure that the credits earned by your homeschool high schooler mean something. You need to be able to assure yourself or an employer or college that a credit earned was a credit earned. That the papers were written and the books were read and the hours for Carnegie credits happened.

We want to maintain our integrity as homeschooling parents for the sake of our homeschool high schoolers’ future. Record keeping in some form helps with that.

Remember: The way you go after success in your family and homeschool needs to be a reflection of the individuals in your home.

  • If you have a loose-style/free-roam/organic family, think about having a place in the house that finished work lands:
    • A box
    • A table top in a room (not in the kitchen, hopefully)
    • Set a day once a week or month where you grade and file papers and tests, add up logged hours
    • Place them in some sort of file system (portfolio, crate)
  • If you enjoy more discipline and organization:
    • Think about creating a crate per high schooler with hanging folders for each subject.
    • Regularly go through the crate and grade tests and papers and update adding logged hours
  • Or use your planner to keep papers that need grading, then add them to a file.

IF you fall off your record keeping for homeschool high school, do not criticize yourself.

  • God is a God of grace. Forgive yourself and work on getting back on track.

If you want your teens involved (which we do recommend), there are a couple of ways to handle this process:

Join Sabrina for an encouraging discussion about record keeping for homeschool high school. Also check out our interview on record keeping with our friend, Ann Karako.

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Record Keeping for Homeschool High School

How to Find Volunteer Opportunities for Homeschool High Schoolers, Interview with Ticia Messing

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: How to Find Volunteer Opportunities for Homeschool High Schoolers, Interview with Ticia Messing.

How to Find Volunteer Opportunities for Homeschool High Schoolers, Interview with Ticia Messing

How to Find Volunteer Opportunities for Homeschool High Schoolers, Interview with Ticia Messing

One of the best ways to build a sense of community, good character and a strong transcript is through service opportunities. We asked our friend, Ticia Messing of Adventures in Mommydom, to talk with us today. She has prioritized volunteerism for her teens and has found that these opportunities have been life-changing for their family.

Ticia’s story of service with her family

Ticia has been homeschooling her kids from the beginning. She began her blog when her kids were in preschool, so she has been at it for a long time.

Today her three homeschool high schoolers enjoy the ability to concentrate on interests in history, movies and volunteering!

Ticia and her teens have loved homeschooling high school so far. Interestingly, her teens are all in the same grade. This simplifies organizing curriculum. However, Ticia is amused about what will happen to her in a few years when they all graduate!

One of the most important part of their homeschool plans is finding volunteer opportunities for her teens. As long as her teens can remember, her family has been in a church plant. Ticia began teaching service to her preschoolers helping set up chairs at the YMCA where the church met.

Ticia Messing of Adventures in Mommydom

Ticia Messing of Adventures in Mommydom. Photo used with permission

Volunteering as a family

They have also gone as a family on missions trips to the Navajo reservation and also to the Navajo who do not live on the reservation. They found that life on the reservation is like going to a third-world nation. Churches and families there often did not have running water, and thus, no plumbing. Their service looked like this:

  • They helped dig holes for outhouses at churches and did restoration on church and community buildings.
  • They also sorted clothing donations for the families.
  • They also collected Christmas bags at the local boarding school that was created for the Navajo children who live too far away from any school to travel their daily.

The Messing’s connections to the Navajo have been particularly poignant since the outbreak of COVID-19. As of this writing, the virus has been devastating to the tribe. The percentage of infection and death is the highest in the nation.

BTW- If your family would like to donate to the under-resourced Navajo medical staffs to help them fight COVID-19, here are Ticia’s recommendations:

Volunteering for homeschool high schoolers

As her kids entered high school, they could do more independent service project:

  • Ticia’s high schoolers run their church’s VBS along with lower-resource churches in Houston. This year, they planned on running VBS in neighborhood front yards (subject to the opening up regulations in their state).
  • Her daughter does clerical work at the church along with data entry. One of her twin sons helps direct the parking lot traffic at their church. Her other twin son teaches the preschool Sunday school class.
  • Ticia’s daughter loves animals, so she also volunteers at the local animal shelter. (In fact, she has earned the Presidential Service Award each year since she was eight years old.)
  • They help out at the local “serving center” where local people can purchase food and goods at bargain rates.

Include service hours on the homeschool transcript. Volunteering makes a strong transcript and builds character.

How do you handle showing volunteerism on the homeschool transcript?

7 Sister’s families are part of a local umbrella school that includes “Service Hours” at the bottom of the transcript. They also list the organizations they have volunteered for and the years they volunteered there. This is powerful for college-bound teens.

How do you earn the Presidential Service Award?

Ticia suggests:

  • Check out the website
  • Find a sponsoring organization (Ticia’s Daughter is in American Heritage Girls. Rotary Club is one organization that helps sponsor teens.)
  • Log hours to earn one of the levels: Bronze, Silver or Gold

Visit Ticia Messing at:

Join Vicki and Ticia for an inspiring discussion about volunteering in homeschool high school. Also check out these other discussions about service work:

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How to Create Music Appreciation Credit for Transcripts

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: How to Create Music Appreciation Credit for Transcripts.

How to Create Music Appreciation Credit for Transcripts. Homeschool high schoolers need a Fine Arts credit. What if they are not artsy?Try Gena Mayo's tips.

 

How to Create Music Appreciation Credit for Transcripts

Most homeschool high schoolers need a Fine Arts credit for graduation. That is easy for teens who have interest in the arts. But, what if they are not artsy? That’s where arts appreciation credits come in. In this episode Vicki is joined by our friend, Gena Mayo, of Music in Our Homeschool. She is going to share a simple way to create a Music Appreciation credit for the homeschool transcript.

Gena is one of 7Sisters old-time homeschool friends. When we first started out, we met Gena at our favorite conference (2:1 Conference). She coached us along and gave us encouragement and practical tips for blogging and digital business-running. So, as we got to thinking about the stress that our non-artsy friends feel when they need to help their homeschool high schoolers earn that Fine Arts credit, we turned to Gena.

Art Appreciation credits, simply put, are credits that introduce students to the ideas of one or more art forms. Arts Appreciation credits can cover just about anything that helps your teens appreciate that art. Homeschool high schoolers could earn different Arts Appreciation credits:

  • Music Appreciation
  • Visual Art Appreciation
  • Drama Appreciation, including Drama Camp
  • Dance Appreciation

What else would you add to that list?

Photo used with permission

Gena Mayo is an expert in music credits. That’s why it is so wonderful to have her with us to discuss Music Appreciation credits.  She studied Music Education in college and taught Music in traditional schools for five years. When she and her husband started their family, they decided to homeschool. They now have eight children (two in college, two in high school, two in middle school, two in elementary).

Gena started teaching Music Appreciation in her homeschool co-op. The kids were learning 20th Century History. Gena knew that music was integral to understanding the culture and happenings of that time. She eventually turned that co-op course into an online course which your teens can experience today.

She realized that music is actually important to each time in history so she expanded her course offerings on Music in Our Homeschool to other time periods.

SO how does Gena suggest easily earning a Music Appreciation credit for transcripts?

Let’s go with Music in Our Homeschool because it is self-paced, independent learning for teens (and teens actually like it):

Middle Ages through Classical Era (500-1799 AD)

  • 18 weeks for one semester

Romantic Era Music (1800’s)

  • 36 lessons

20th Century Music

  • 36 lessons

Each course:

  • Can be completed:
    • One lesson per week through year
    • Or two lessons per week through a semester
  • Discusses composers who were influential in each era.
  • Includes inks to videos so teens can see professional performances of each musical piece.
  • Gives suggestions for activities (choose the best-fit activity for your teen’s needs, abilities):
    • Special writing and reading assignments
    • Other ideas

Your homeschool high schoolers could earn up to a full credit for 20th Century or Romantic Era, if they log their hours and listen to all the music.

  • They can pare things down and do brief overviews and simply log hours until they meet state’s requirements for a credit.
  • (It is always good to log hours to keep that paper trail for earning credits. Check out this post for proving your credits mean something on the homeschool transcript.)

Music Appreciation like this can be integrated into your homeschool high schoolers’ History credits (check out our Homeschool Highschool Podcast episode on Combining Credits).

  • If your family or co-op is studying 20th Century History, have your high schoolers do the 20 Century Music Appreciation course. Log the hours for History and/or Music Appreciation.
  • If your family or co-op is studying World History, add Middle Ages through Classical Era Music Appreciation and Romantic Era Music Appreciation. Again, log the hours for History and/or Music Appreciation.

Music Appreciation credits can ignite teens' love of music

What else can be included in Music credits (added to Music Appreciation credit hours or separately listed on the homeschool transcript)?

  • Log hours for these to decide whether your teens earned .25, .5 or 1 credit each.
    • Music Theory
    • Private Music Lessons (Voice, Instrument)
    • Musical Theater
  • Sometimes when teens are exposed to Music Appreciation, they want to explore more musical topics. Sometimes they will carry that into life, such as:
    • Singing or playing instruments in church or community choirs and bands
    • Singing or playing music in groups at college

Ready to get started?

Check out Gena’s many, many courses, including some freebies. (Even moms sign up and take her courses for fun.)

Use the coupon code: 7Sisters

  • for a 20% discount through August 31, 2020!

You can find Gena at:

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How to Help Teens Explore Interests, Interview with Samantha Shank

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: How to Help Teens Explore Interests.

How to Help Teens Explore Interests. Samantha Shank of LearnInColor.com shares her story of developing her interests and goals in homeschool high school. #HomeschoolHighSchool #CareerExploration #SamanthaShank #LearnInColor #ExploringInterestsForTeens

How to Help Teens Explore Interests

One of the most important tasks for homeschool high schoolers is learning about themselves so that they can fulfill who God created them to be. Vicki is joined by our friend, Samantha Shank of Learn in Color and the Learn in Color Podcast  for a lively discussion about the ways she explored her interests and learned to be an entrepreneur while homeschooling. You don’t want to miss this episode!

Samantha is the oldest of her six siblings, all homeschooled for at least part of their educations. Her parents were working parents who allowed and encouraged Samantha to explore interests. One of her earliest interests was history. As early as fourth grade, Samantha was impacted by the tragedies of the Holocaust. The more she learned about it, the more she wanted to share with others.

She started blogging when she was 14 years old and developed an audience among homeschooling families. She began sharing resources and ideas for teaching World War II, the Holocaust and other history topics.

While still in high school, Samantha started exploring the ideas of entrepreneurship. During her mornings, she would attend community networking meetings and learned about business from business people.

Today, Samantha is a college graduate who is a full-time entrepreneur. She creates curriculum supplements at LearnInColor.com such as:

Make time for teens to explore interests and ideas. It's good education. #HomeschoolHighSchool #CareerExploration #InterestDevelopmentForTeens #HealthyAdolescence

During her homeschool high years, Samantha learned how to explore interests by:

Exploring rabbit trails

When Samantha had a random thought or was curious about something that was inspired by what was learning, her parents encouraged her to stop and explore that idea. This required the courage to set aside curriculum for a while and allow her to research these interests.

*Advice for Homeschool Moms: Try not to be overly bound to the curriculum and syllabus. We all know our homeschool high schoolers must complete their credits for graduation, but we also want to them discover who God made them to be. That often comes in the off-curriculum explorations in life.

Asking questions

Do not be afraid of questions. Take time to research the questions, explore options and idea. This takes time, but finding some answers gave Samantha the ability to take next steps as she explored her interests.

This might take the form of doing interviews. Samantha frequently met with business owners and interviewed them for their entrepreneurial stories.

Sharing what she learned

Samantha shared on her blog. Homeschool high schoolers can share what they learn as they explore their interests on their own blogs or with co-op, family and friends.

*Advice: Trust your trustworthy teens. Samantha’s parents were trusting of Samantha to get her work done.

*Advice: Prepare to be busy. Samantha’s parents were willing to drive Samantha to interviews and experiences. They believed in her and God’s plans for her.

*Advice: Avoided helicopter parenting. Don’t run the show for your homeschool high schoolers. Let them do the exploring. (Check out this HSHSP episode on Heavy Equipment Mothering.)

Finding networks

Samantha found KidBlogger network which also helped her grow her blogging skills and influence.

Learning to set goals

Samantha developed the goal to graduate from college debt free. She realized her blogging business could help with that but that she should diversify her income streams. She looked into college scholarships for her academics (she had good SAT scores) and also found beauty pageants (we’ll talk about that on another podcast interview later).

Showing interests on the transcript

Her advice: Take college choice seriously. Look into college search and majors and spend some time on it. (Download this freebie from Vicki’s Coaching website about choosing college majors and check out our blogpost on starting college search.)

Working hard

Samantha graduated college in two and a half years. She pushed because she wanted to stay debt-free taking 17-24 credits at a time, with some of those online at another college. She kept her goals in mind and worked hard.

In her homeschooling high school years, Samantha also worked hard doing several things:

  • Managed Pinterest accounts for bloggers (Samantha began doing this at 15 years old)
  • Create content for other bloggers (Samantha designed products and wrote for other bloggers from high school and through college)
  • Kept up her blogging and networking

Building relationships

Samantha chose well for her goals with her small college. She was able to communicate with her professors and had good mentoring relationships with them. She was open about her goals and work schedule. Often, they could work with her to help her achieve her goals.

Join Vicki and Samantha Shank for a fun episode on helping teens explore their interests.

PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO HSHSP VIA COMPUTER

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How to Help Teens Explore Interests

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 189: The Importance of Homeschool Community, Interview with Ann Karako

This week on HSHSP Ep 189: The Importance of Homeschool Community, Interview with Ann Karako.

HSHSP Ep 189: The Importance of Homeschool Community, Ann Karako. Popular homeschool guide, Ann, shares about community for moms homeschooling high school. #HomeschoolHighSchoolPodcast #HomeschoolCommunity #CommunityForHomeschoolMoms #AnnKarako #HowToHomeschoolHighSchool

 

This week on HSHSP Ep 189: The Importance of Homeschool Community, Interview with Ann Karako

Vicki is excited this week to be joined by an old digital friend, Ann Karako. Many homeschoolers are familiar with Ann. She is the popular homeschool blogger at Annie and Everything and many of us homeschooling high school parents are involved in her HUGE Facebook community: It’s Not That Hard to Homeschool High School!

Ann and her husband have five kids, who have homeschooled all the way from pre-kindergarten. She dropped her fourth homeschool graduate off for freshman semester at college this September, so she just has one more high schooler to go!

They started homeschooling their kids in the beginning because of the inspiration of their kids’ babysitters who were homeschoolers. These teens were such great role models for their kids that they wanted to give their children a similar formative experience. Homeschoolers are the best advertisement for homeschooling!

Now entering their 21st year of homeschooling, Ann is grateful for each year!

Ann has also spent her homeschool years investing in the homeschool community. Community formation is Ann’s calling. Ann found that when she started homeschooling the middle school years, her homeschool support system was thinning because many parents were intimidated by the thought of homeschooling the higher grades. By high school, Ann had only a couple of homeschooling high school family/friends.

Ann Karako

Photo used with permission

Ann knew that the high school years are marvelous for homeschooling, but they could also be challenging with paperwork, credits and hormones to deal with. She knows we need the homeschool mom support more than ever.

Vicki and Ann both found that homeschooling in community helped so much in:

  • Swapping out subjects with other moms (like giving dissections for Biology to moms who do not mind doing them, or writing to moms who love writing)
  • Getting advice and support

As she was facing those homeschooling high school years, she woke up one morning and decided to find a digital community for herself. Thus, she started It’s Not That Hard to Homeschool High School. There are tens of thousands of moms in the group who ask questions and share advice on:

  • Curriculum choices
  • Logging credits
  • Transcript development
  • General encouragement

Ann does not put us with “YOU SHOULD’s”. She does not allow that in her facebook group because she knows there’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school. (Have you ever heard that from the 7Sisters, too?) She encourages everyone to give advice without “shoulds”. This attitude keeps the conversation leaning into mentoring, encouragement and support for moms who are homeschooling high school (and available 24/7).

Vicki tells Ann about the Homeschool Highschool Podcast interview with Misty Bailey, who shared about how to not be afraid to homeschool high school. Misty told Vicki that her main inspiration for homeschooling her teens was Ann Karako.

Ann’s influence was available because she is determined to invest in other homeschooling families. As Ann learned about things that worked in homeschooling her high schoolers, she shared what she learned in her popular website, Annie and Everything. Ann tells the story of doing her high school research (which included researching the public school requirements and feeling intimidated and irritated. Her husband reminded her that they are homeschoolers so they don’t HAVE to do high school like the public schools. Ann has been determined to share this: do what is right for your teens).

Ann reminds us the only thing you absolutely must do is follow your state homeschool law!

Homeschool moms need hugs, too. Check out encouragement and verbal hugs at Annie and Everything, and the Homeschool Highschool Podcast.

Find information and community for homeschool moms with Ann Karako at:

HUGS for homeschooling high school. Help Understanding Grace Strength. This is Ann’s online paid membership community ($10/month). It is for Christian homeschooling moms of teens. She will discussing Christian parenting, homeschooling and curriculum in a safe setting where moms do not need to calm down their *Jesus talk*. There  daily discussions and monthly themes and live get togethers. Ann is spending daily live-time there now.

Ann also has two books about homeschooling high school:

Also don’t forget to check out 7Sisters Authoritative Guide series (lots of how-to, in-depth informational posts)

Join Vicki and Ann for this encouraging discussion on homeschooling community for homeschool moms.


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HSHSP Ep 176: Hands-on Learning in Homeschool High School, Interview with Susan Evans

This week on HSHSP Ep 176: Hands-on Learning in Homeschool High School, Interview with Susan Evans.

HSHSP Ep 176: Hands-on Learning in Homeschool High School, Interview with Susan Evans. Make homeschool high school fun and effective with experiential learning. Don't take school so seriously! Have fun! #HomeschoolHighSchoolPodcast #HandsOnLearning #ExperientialLearning #HomeschoolHighSchool #SusanEvans

 

HSHSP Ep 176: Hands-on Learning in Homeschool High School, Interview with Susan Evans

Do your homeschool high schoolers have days that they HATE their studies? Teens get bored with nothing but textbooks! Join Vicki and our friend, Susan Evans, who reminds us that teens don’t outgrow the need for experiential learning! When they have hands-on experiences, they regain a love for learning.

Susan is an expert on hands-on learning. That’s the way she educates her homeschool high schoolers. Her good-natured teens still love education because Susan comes up with hands-on experiences for their transcript credits.

Susan reminds us that having fun in education, makes education successful. She tells the story of teaching writing in a low-performing school. She did mystery events with her. Then her students wrote mystery stories about the event. The next testing showed her students scored significantly higher on their standardized tests, because they were now engaged and encouraged.

When she started homeschooling her kids, she decided to keep those hands-on learning principles going with her own kids education. She did not give up experiential learning even when her kids reached high school levels. Susan reminds us to bring more joy to your home through hands-on learning!

Bring more joy to your home through hands-on learning!- Susan Evans Listen to this episode of Homeschool Highschool Podcast and get lots of ideas for experiential learning in homeschool high school.

What are some hands-on learning experiences that Susan has used in her homeschool high school?

Need some ideas for experiential learning in your homeschool high school? Susan Evans is an endless fount of hands-on blessings. Remember, don’t take yourselves too seriously. Have lots of fun! You can get inspiration at her YouTube channel and website.

Here are some of Susan’s favorite ideas:

  • Science labs:
    • Animal classification wall. Susan and her family cover a wall poster board diagrammed with kingdoms, phylums, genus, species. Add photos.
    • Potato head genetics: Susan and her teens practice dominant and recessive genes with different kinds of eyes, noses and ears on their Mr. Potato Heads.
  • History:
    • Hold feasts from each location and time period: Susan finds recipes online and in library books. The family works together to cook and present the meal. They eat in period costumes. Then they follow up with period-related activities.
    • Re-enactments: Susan and her family attend Civil War and Revolutionary War re-enactments. National, state and local parks often have interpreters who do some re-enacting.
    • Plays: Susan’s family particularly enjoys Shakespeare plays during the summer when her community holds free “Shakespeare in the Park” events. They also attend other period plays.
    • Visit events and shops: Susan’s family visits antique car shows and antique shops. They learn about period cars, furniture and culture. Nothing can substitute for actually knowing what these things look like!
    • Field trips: Homeschool high schoolers never outgrow field trips. No matter where you live, there are some field trip opportunities. And given time and resources, vacations can turn into larger educational field trips. After all, ALL of life is education! Vicki, Sabrina and Kym have lots of field trip ideas for homeschool high schoolers in this episode of Homechool Highschool Podcast.
    • Parties from each decade of the 20th century: Susan’s family throws Decade parties. Everyone wears costumes and shares food and activities from the decade being studied. (Susan reminds us that right before Halloween, you can find cheap costumes.) An example of a Decade Party: For 70s party: buy a Walmart disco ball, bake a *record cake*, play music of the era with a YouTube 1970’s pop music mix.
  • Literature:
    • Re-enact scenes from family read-alouds: Susan’s homeschool high schoolers re-enact scenes from the famous literature. Her teens especially loved re-enacting their favorite scenes in The Iliad and The Odyssey.
    • Hold mystery partiers after reading mystery novels: Susan started this tradition while teaching in public schools. Her homeschool high schoolers still love reading mysteries then throwing a celebratory mystery party.
    • Have treasure hunts after reading Treasure Island or other pirate novels: Susan loves hiding treasures with clues and maps. Her teens get a kick out of the game.
    • Bible: Susan’s family acts out Bible stories. She says that over time, they have re-enacted the entire Bible!
  • Career Exploration: Practice interviewing. Susan’s homeschool high schoolers have loved 7Sisters Career Exploration curriculum and posts. Here’s a YouTube link to her sons practicing what NOT to do at a job interview.
Susan Evans. Photo used by permission.

Susan Evans. Photo used by permission.

How does a homeschool mom plan and organize hands-on activities for homeschool high school?

Susan says prayer and getting her teens involved are important! Here are her tips:

  • For planning our lessons, Susan suggests starting with prayer when she plans her subjects each year. She believes that God created our creativity, so she expects Him to give her fun ideas…and He does!
  • Give teens job to research, plan and organized hands-on activities.
  • If they drive, they can even Log these hours.
  • Don’t take yourselves too seriously. Relax and have fun!
  • Log hours for all these hands-on activities. These hours go towards leveling-up credits in a way that is fun and memorable.

Join Susan’s Treasure Vault for TONS of ideas for hands-on learning in homeschool high school. Start with encouraging posts at Susan Evans Hands-on Learning. AND catch her YouTube Channel.

HSHSP Ep 176: Hands-on Learning in Homeschool High School, Interview with Susan Evans

HSHSP Ep 172: Help for Special Needs in Homeschool High School, Interview with Peggy Ployhar

This week on HSHSP Ep 172: Help for Special Needs in Homeschool High School, Interview with Peggy Ployhar.

HSHSP Ep 172: Help for Special Needs in Homeschool High School. This interview with Peggy Ployhar of SPED Homeschool gives inspiration, encouragement and success tips for parents of special needs teens. #HomeschoolHighSchoolPodcast #HomeschoolSpecialNeeds #SpecialNeedsTeens #SPEDHomeschool

 

HSHSP Ep 172: Help for Special Needs in Homeschool High School, Interview with Peggy Ployhar

Every teen has a place in God’s kingdom, but not every teen’s journey looks alike. Some homeschool high schoolers have different learning styles, learning differences or learning disabilities. These special needs don’t mean you can’t homeschool your teen for high school. In fact, homeschooling high school might be the VERY best choice for them. You can individualize their education to:

  • Develop their strengths
  • Compensate for their weaknesses
  • Give them skills for life
  • Help them believe in God’s plans for them

Vicki is joined today by Peggy Ployhar from SPED Homeschool to discuss help for special needs in homeschool high school.

Peggy Ployhar from SPED Homeschool

Photo used by permission.

Peggy is a long-time homeschool mom and community leader. Her 2 sons both have special needs so based on her experience with her sons, she jumped into the role of community advisor for families with special needs. That service grew until the need was clear for an organization dedicated to helping special needs families. That’s how SPED Homeschool got started, a dedicated team of homeschooling parents who are:

  • Vetting homeschool curriculum for use with special needs homeschoolers
  • Training other homeschool parents in skills for helping their special needs homeschoolers
  • Reminding parents that there’s not ONE approach that will work for all special needs homeschool high schoolers. Of course, we 7Sisters are excited about that since we’re always saying there’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school.
  • Making available advice from experts

Check out SPED Homeschool’s website, and facebook pages.

SPED Homeschool

One of the most important things that Peggy learned about homeschooling high school with her special needs teens was RELATIONSHIP is more important than education. As she kept the relationship with her sons as number one priority, she was able to:

  • Stay flexible, very flexible!
  • Make wise choices for and with her teens
    • curriculum
    • goals
    • resources
  • Create an educational program that adapts as her teens grew and changed
  • Push teens graciously in their giftedness areas

Peggy tells the story of her son telling her at age 16 that he *was done* with high school. She calmed herself and worked with him to quickly set goals for meeting graduation requirements at a minimal (not college-prep) level. He blasted through his courses, took a gap year to explore and became the tech genius behind all SPED’s technology. He eventually went to college, because he felt the calling at that time and did college in his way.

Want more resources? 7Sisters has an Authoritative Guide to Out of the Box Credits for Homeschooling High School with Special Needs Teens

You’ll be SO encouraged by this episode of Homeschool CPA with our friend, Carol Topp, as she shares resources for special needs homeschoolers in co-ops.

Join Vicki and Peggy for this encouraging interview on homeschooling teens with special needs.

Want more ideas on homeschooling high school with special needs teens? Check out this video with Vicki and Peggy.


Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor -Overcomer Movie

Life changes overnight for coach John Harrison when his high school basketball team’s state championship dreams are crushed under the weight of unexpected news. When the largest manufacturing plant in town suddenly shuts down and hundreds of families begin moving away, John must come to grips with the challenges facing his family and his team. Urged by the school’s principal to fill-in and coach a sport he doesn’t know or like, John is frustrated and questioning his worth… until he crosses paths with a student struggling with her own journey.
Filled with a powerful mix of faith, a twist of humor, and a ton of heart, the Kendrick Brothers return to theaters with OVERCOMER, their newest feature following FACING THE GIANTS, FIREPROOF, COURAGEOUS, and the #1 box-office hit, WAR ROOM. The inspiring family film stars Alex Kendrick, Priscilla Shirer, Shari Rigby, Cameron Arnett, and introduces Aryn Wright-Thompson.

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?

Click here to learn more!


HSHSP Ep 172: Help for Special Needs in Homeschool High School, Interview with Peggy Ployhar

HSHSP Ep 170: Developing Integrity Skills in Teens, Interview with Lisa Nehring

This week on HSHSP Ep 170: Developing Integrity Skills in Teens, Interview with Lisa Nehring.

HSHSP Ep 170: Developing Integrity Skills in Teens, Interview with Lisa Nehring. Soft skills are necessary for success during high school and after graduation for homeschool high schoolers. Here are tips for helping teens grow the soft skill of integrity. #HomeschoolHighSchool #HomeschoolHighSchoolPodcast #SoftSkillsForTeens #Skills101

HSHSP Ep 170: Developing Integrity Skills in Teens, Interview with Lisa Nehring

Vicki is joined for this interview by Lisa Nehring (of Skills 101/Life Skills for a Digital Age podcast, right here on Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network). Lisa is a 27 year veteran of homeschooling. She also owns True North Academy, a gentle Classical and Charlotte Mason approach in an online school for homeschool high schoolers that meets various needs. Lisa’s gift is helping teens develop the soft skills they need for success in life. (That’s why she started her podcast.)

Soft skills are the skills that are related to emotional and social intelligence:

  • Kindness
  • Integrity
  • Honesty
  • Politeness
  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Adaptability
  • Courage
  • Good work ethic
  • Grit (Angela Duckworth wrote a great book on grit.) Find grit goals, find something challenging and work it for several years.

Soft skills are important to develop because they are key qualities that many employers are looking for these days. Many employers have found that soft skills expertise leads to more success than simply having excellent training in the career field. Take a look at this post about what Google found about success and soft skills in its employees.

With soft skills in mind, Lisa and Vicki are discussing integrity in this podcast episode. The word *integrity* comes from the root *integer*, which means *wholeness*. Thus, integrity means being the same person the whole time. Lisa says: The person you are in your grandmother’s house, you should be all the time.

The person you are at your grandmother's house, you should be all the time. Lisa Nehring's advice about developing the soft skill of integrity. Homeschool HighSchool Podcast.

The Bible speaks about integrity in Proverbs 11:3:

The integrity of the upright guides them; but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity. (Note: duplicity means *deceitfulness*…NOT being the same in all circumstances.)

How do you go about developing integrity skills in your teens?

Model integrity for your family:

  • Live out the idea that honesty is always appropriate
  • If you make a promise, keep it (as much as is possible)
    • Develop plans that help you follow through
  • Know your limits, say *no* when you need to
    • Don’t placate, when something can’t happen, be honest about it
  • Swim in your own lane, take care of your own business
  • Have the courage to set goals and work toward them
  • Live a lifestyle of gratitude
  • Live out your faith in practical ways
    • Show compassion and concern for others by investing in them, for instance:
      • friends
      • family
      • fellow Christians around the world
  • Humility (be honest and transparent with the things we need help with)
    • In other words, ask for help when you need it.

In developing integrity, realistically dealing with the digital world is vital.

  • We need to be the same person online as we are offline. This is an important topic to discuss with teens. If you need some help discussing appropriately *being real* with your homeschool high schoolers, visit our social media expert/friend, Leah Nieman.
  • At the same time, we (and our teens) need to beware of social media envy: what others are presenting on social media may not be the whole story. Lisa tells the story of when she showed pictures of her 4 little grape vines and her friends thought she had an orchard. She wasn’t intentionally being deceiving, it’s just that social media can’t really show ALL of life!

Help your teens in developing integrity by helping them learn wonder and awe.

Lisa tells the integrity story about her grandpa who farmed mint for Wrigley’s gum. He was highly respected in the local community because of his integrity. When he shook your hand it meant he was giving his word… it was going to happen.

We must remember that we can do much to invest in our homeschool high schoolers’ success and soft skills. However, we are not in charge of the outcome. God is! We raise our kids with prayer and the best modeling we can do…AND we continually place our kids in His hands.

Join Vicki and Lisa Nehring in our discussion on the soft skill of integrity. Visit Lisa Nehring’s podcast, Soft Skills 101/Life for a Digital Age, right here on Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network. Check out the True North Program and her True North Facebook page.

You’ll also enjoy these posts.

Flexibility and Adaptability: Interview with Vicki Tillman, of Seven Sisters

3 Ways to Help a Teen Think of Others More Than Selves


Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor -Overcomer Movie

Life changes overnight for coach John Harrison when his high school basketball team’s state championship dreams are crushed under the weight of unexpected news. When the largest manufacturing plant in town suddenly shuts down and hundreds of families begin moving away, John must come to grips with the challenges facing his family and his team. Urged by the school’s principal to fill-in and coach a sport he doesn’t know or like, John is frustrated and questioning his worth… until he crosses paths with a student struggling with her own journey.
Filled with a powerful mix of faith, a twist of humor, and a ton of heart, the Kendrick Brothers return to theaters with OVERCOMER, their newest feature following FACING THE GIANTS, FIREPROOF, COURAGEOUS, and the #1 box-office hit, WAR ROOM. The inspiring family film stars Alex Kendrick, Priscilla Shirer, Shari Rigby, Cameron Arnett, and introduces Aryn Wright-Thompson.

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?

Click here to learn more!


HSHSP Ep 170: Developing Integrity Skills in Teens, Interview with Lisa Nehring

HSHSP Ep 168: Dealing with Discouragement in Homeschool High School

This week on HSHSP Ep 168: Dealing with Discouragement in Homeschool High School.

HSHSP Ep 168: Dealing with Discouragement in Homeschool High School. Life is rarely perfect, most of the time life is simply real. But that can be really discouraging. Here's are our tips for dealing with discouragement in homeschooling high school. #HomeschoolHighSchool #HomeschoolHighSchoolPodcast #DealingWithDiscouragement

 

HSHSP Ep 168: Dealing with Discouragement in Homeschool High School

There’s no such thing as a Pinterest-perfect life. There’s no such thing as a Pinterest-perfect mom. Not even a homeschool mom, as much as we would like to try!

Everyone of us (even your 7Sisters- who are just like you, only older) have had periods of discouragement. It’s just part of real life! Join Kym and Vicki as they get real about when life gets real and they get real discouraged. AND what they do about it.

 

Having a teenager and being a mom means there are two humans working together on homeschooling high school (or even more humans working on homeschooling high school). Real humans sometimes have times of discouragement. We shouldn’t ignore the feelings, we should acknowledge it and then decide what to do about it.

Kym reminds us the first thing to do when feeling discouragement is: PRAY! When we tell God what our lives are like, we are being real and honest (like the Psalms). Then it is wise to sit and listen, allowing God’s creativity to work in our souls so we find the creativity to handle the discouragement in a positive, helpful way.

Do you feel discouraged even in your prayer? God cares. Talk to him about that. He wants our relationship, our honest relationship. Lean into the discouragement in God’s presence, even if it feels *not good enough*…be real with God!

Go for a walk. This can be one of the best ways to pray! It can also be a great way to allow your creativity to happen or simply allow your brain to rest and notice the beautiful things God has made. Here are some other mindful things you can do.

Do some deep breathing. Allow yourself to breathe in, asking God for help. Then exhale, thanking him for help. The oxygen will lower your stress hormones and help you physically feel calmer. Download Vicki’s freebie guide to deep breathing: Progressive Relaxation.

Tell someone you trust and ask for a *processing session*. Tell them they don’t need to fix it, just listen…and maybe agree: *That’s really hard!*

Practice self-awareness. Vicki talks about examining the 3W’s of life:

Listen to what is going on for your teen. Don’t practice a full frontal attack at what he/she is doing or thinking wrong. Instead, take a walk or drive together and just listen. Then ask them to talk out the process, and ask wha they believe the outcomes will be. Sometimes the teens will recalibrate themselves. However, sometimes, we must allow them to make their own mistakes. (Just like God sometimes does with us.) Then TRUST God to be the healer and redeemer our teen needs and TRUST God’s infinite love for our kids.

Remember: It is better to get out of God’s way and stay where we belong: on our needs in prayer. And get some prayer support from friends you can trust.

Join Vicki and Kym for an encouraging discussion about dealing with discouragement.

You’ll also be blessed by this post:

1 Powerful Tool for Good Relationship with Homeschool Teens

 

 

 


Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor -Bridgeway Academy!

Bridgeway Academy was founded in 1989 in response to the need for more freedom in education as well as the protection that accreditation offers for homeschooling families. Since then, more than 30,000 K–12 students, and many charter and brick-and-mortar schools, have made Bridgeway Academy their trusted education partner.

As part of our commitment to personalized homeschooling, we are proud to offer both secular and Christian options for homeschool families, charter schools, state organizations, co-ops, athletic organizations, arts schools, and others who seek flexible education options for their families.

Click here to learn more!


 

HSHSP Ep 168: Dealing with Discouragement in Homeschool High School