Help Struggling Learners Prepare for College Math, Interview with David Irving

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Help Struggling Learners Prepare for College Math, Interview with David Irving.

Help Struggling Learners Prepare for College Math, Interview with David Irving

Help Struggling Learners Prepare for College Math, Interview with David Irving

If you are like Vicki, high school math is not your favorite subject. Whether we like it or not, Algebra 1 and 2 and Geometry (at the least) are necessary for most homeschool high schoolers graduation requirements. Sometimes our teens do not like math OR are struggling learners so preparing for college math can be intimidating.

This week, Vicki is joined by David Irving of College Ready Math, who brings us some GOOD news: If your homeschool high schoolers can really get the concepts of Algebra down, they will have less trouble with the other courses. AND he has ideas on how to help struggling learners succeed.

So take a deep breath! There’s hope.

David Irving is the writer and publisher of the Parent’s Guide to Better Grades. David created this guide for parents of students in Title 1 schools in Chicago when he was single parenting a teen with ADHD. His son was struggling, so David began tutoring his son. He came up with some things that worked for his son, then later he and his new wife turned it into a guide which the schools snapped up and found success with.

David then brought the guides to schools in Detroit, Baltimore, Washington DC and New York City and trained tutors in the methods that worked. The tutors went into the schools, especially those who had lots of struggling students. Then his program spread to religious and independent private schools.

David Irving of College Ready Math

David Irving of College Ready Math. Photo used with permission.

David then started on online company, College Ready Math, to prepare struggling math students to be successful for the mathematics they will face in high school and college. (David has heard from college advisors that sometimes the high school math that students learn do not prepare them well for college-level mathematics courses. They sometimes need to take some remedial math courses at the local community college to catch up. David wants to save some money and time by helping homeschool high schoolers be ready for those college math courses.

David says to concentrate on Algebra. Make sure all the gaps in learning are closed (make sure there is sufficient knowledge of all the Algebra concepts). That is what David’s College Ready math program is about: filling Algebra gaps.

If you homeschool high schooler is a struggling math learner, think about spending extra time on Algebra concepts.

In David’s online program (which is a supplement to the teen’s math text), student’s start with a pretest to determine what concepts need attention. (Or students can start at the beginning for a solid review.)

Here are things that teens need to be ready for college-level math:

  • Learn one concept per lesson.
  • Lessons should be short.
  • Work on mastery for each concept.
  • Learn by video and solving problems together.
  • Practice with repetition as often as necessary.
  • Include test prep for the placement test many teens must take in order to know which maths in college they need (Accuplacer).

David reminds us: If a teen needs to take remedial math courses in college, they do not get college credit for those courses. They do not get credit but they must pay for the courses. So why not make sure the math concepts are solid enough that they can do well on the college placement test.

For more on what colleges are looking for check out this interview with Murray State University’s Associate Provost, Dr. Renae Duncan and our tips at 7SistersHomeschool.

Here’s a thing to note: David’s College Ready Math program is mobile phone friendly. He has found that students who do not have internet bandwidth can still easily access the lessons on their phones.

Contact David Irving and College Ready Math and join Vicki and David for some encouragement for helping struggling learners prepare for college math.

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Help Struggling Learners Prepare for College Math, Interview with David Irving

 

 

 

Homeschooling High School for Real People, Interview with Ann Karako

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Homeschooling High School for Real People.

Homeschooling High School for Real People, Interview with Ann Karako

Homeschooling High School for Real People

Many of our friends know our friend, Ann Karako, from her popular website: Annie and Everything and from her wildly popular Facebook group: It’s Not That Hard to Homeschool High School. We are so excited to chat with Ann today about one of our favorite topics: Homeschooling high school when you are just ordinary folks!

Ann has a high school senior this year! The last of her five kids who have graduated from homeschool high school. We agree with Ann that the high school years are the best years of all!

Ann’s mission is to encourage REAL families enjoy and have success homeschooling high school (and you don’t need a magic formula to do it.) Real people are simply average people…which is what most of us are! (In fact, we talk about how to be a mom of a just-average teen in an earlier episode.)

Ann gets frustrated with all the SHOULDs that some people and publishers foist on new homeschooling families. You SHOULD do this and use this curriculum. They seem to promise that if you do “A, B, and C” your teen will graduate with a full-ride scholarship to some Ivy League college.

The problem is, that most teens do not get full-ride scholarships to Ivy League colleges, no matter what they do or what curriculum they use. Usually the teens that do get those fancy scholarships were super smart to start with. Most teens are smart, but in their own way- not Ivy League smart. The result is that teens and parents can find themselves feeling guilty or like failures because their teen graduated but not as spectacularly as those FEW future Ivy Leaguers.

So, for those of us who are ordinary folks, here are Ann’s tips for homeschooling high school for REAL people

Ann’s teens have been real teens. They sometimes:

  • Argued with her
  • Did not earn great grades
  • Had stress

They have been real teens, but they have (along with Ann) loved the homeschool high school years. That is because Ann worked at matching curriculum, causes and activities to her teens’ needs with the goal that everyone ENJOYS the high school years.

You can homeschool high school confidently, competently, contentedly. -Ann Karako

Ann feels like anyone can homeschool high school:

  • Confidently
  • Competently
  • Contentedly

Confidently homeschooling high school

  • You can be confident when you researched your state laws for homeschooling high school
  • You can be confident when you research the requirements that they will need in order to do what they aim for after high school (college, vocation, etc)

Competently homeschooling high school

  • Find the resources that will fit your teens’ needs (that is what Facebook groups are for, like It’s Not That Hard to Homeschool High School or 7SistersHomeschool). Join the group, describe your teen and get some feedback from other homeschool moms
  • Read blogs on how to grade papers and tests and create syllabi

Contentedly homeschooling high school

  • Beware of “keeping up with the homeschool Joneses”. They are not you and your family!
  • Lean into the way God made your teens: enjoy their uniqueness, their interests, skills, abilities and goals.
  • Remember your own needs and wants.
  • Tailor the family’s educational experiences to meet the families needs: and enjoy it!
  • Have time to simply talk to your teens and enjoy the high school years.
  • Discuss your teens educational and life goals and help them achieve them.

Want encouraging how-to homeschool high school resources from Ann Karako? Check out her books: Save Your Sanity While Homeschooling High School and Homeschool High School Planning Book.

Also check out Ann Karako’s podcast: It’s Not That Hard to Homeschool High School!

You will also be blessed by our other interviews with our friend, Ann:

Join Vicki and Ann for an episode full of encouragement!

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Homeschooling High School for Real People

How to Teach Poetry for Homeschool High School

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: How to Teach Poetry for Homeschool High School.

How to Teach Poetry for Homeschool High School

How to Teach Poetry for Homeschool High School

Everyone who knows 7Sister Vicki, knows she loves poetry and taught her teens (and our local homeschool teens) to love poetry also.

Unfortunately, there are lots of teens teens these days who have been trained by our modern culture to think of poetry in the same way they might think of liver and onions: It might be good for you but UGH! DISGUSTING!

In case your homeschool high schoolers have not had a chance yet to learn to love poetry, Vicki would like to share a few tips on why and how to teach poetry to teens.

One of the ways that Vicki inspired her local homeschoolers to enjoy poetry is teaching them poetry recitation. When they get started with it, teens actually find memorization and recitation to be rewarding (and even fun). For years, Vicki took the local homeschoolers to the regional speech meets for American Christian Schools International (ACSI allowed homeschoolers to participate as long as we provided judges). Often, our teens’ top performances were in poetry recitation.

At the ACSI speech competitions, there was a school from a large urban area. Most of the teens in the school were immigrants or inner-city youth. This school’s teens were always THE top performers in poetry recitation. Vicki once asked their advisor, Molly, why poetry was prioritized at their school.

Poetry builds skills in: *vocabulary *word usage and *communication

Molly explained that poetry gave her teens words: vocabulary,  word usage and communication skills in general. (She had the track record with these kids, too: Many of them, after high school graduation, went to high-powered colleges and became successful professionals, business people and educators.)

Vicki also saw the power of poetry memorization and recitation when she judged the annual poetry recitation at a local Classical school. The students at this school were mostly immigrant or low income, so would benefit from the skills gained from learning poetry. Many of these kids have graduated and become successful adults- poetry being a small but useful communication tool in their educations.

Why is poetry such a useful communication tool?

Poetry uses words powerfully

Unlike prose, every word in a poem has weight. Each word is chosen to convey the most emotion and biggest thoughts possible. Each word is chosen for:

  • Sound
  • Rhythm
  • Meaning
  • Purpose

In poetry, homeschool high schoolers learn ordinary and extraordinary words being used in powerful ways.

Vicki’s homeschool high school Language Arts classes had a poetry unit each year. As teens were learning poetry and then moved onto writing their research paper unit, they wrote high quality papers. This is because they had mastered some higher-order word-usage skills in their poetry unit.

Poetry is fun

Poetry is powerful when it is presented in a lighthearted fashion. Poetry done with good attitude inspires laughter and learning!

How to teach poetry in a way that teens enjoy

Start with inspiration. Show them a YouTube video each day with a cool poem presentation:

Each week in class or individually:

Remember, all 7Sisters curriculum is no-busywork and is level-able to different interests and abilities.

Join Vicki for a discussion on how to teach poetry with your homeschoolers- and be sure to join us next week!

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How to Teach Poetry for Homeschool High School

Interest-led Learning for Homeschool High Schoolers, Interview with Cheryl Bastian

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Interest-led Learning for Homeschool High Schoolers, Interview with Cheryl Bastian.

Interest-led Learning for Homeschool High Schoolers, Interview with Cheryl Bastian. Helping teens fulfill who God made them to be.

Interest-led Learning for Homeschool High Schoolers, Interview with Cheryl Bastian

Cheryl Bastian is a homeschool advisor. Her calling is empowering homeschool parents based on her experiences as a homeschool mom of eight. (Her children range in ages from five through thirty-one, so she has seen the gamut of homeschooling from kindergarten through graduation.)

Cheryl learned early on that homeschooling at its best is a “tutorial process” that helps homeschoolers develop their interests and abilities.  Like we 7Sisters always say is that homeschooling parents get to bring out the best that God has created in our kids and help it develop. Cheryl has found this is exactly her job as a homeschool mom and trains parents in working with their homeschoolers.

Cheryl has served as evaluator and advisor in her state for twenty-five years and has found that the homeschooling families that love their educational processes the most are the ones who are employing interest-led studies.

What is interest-led learning for homeschool high school?

They are an extension of the unit studies we did with our kids when they were younger and tailored to:

  • What do you love?
  • What are you working on?

Cheryl gives the example of her son’s Boy Scouts Eagle Project. He was building a shed. She found that in doing the project, he was:

  • Doing research
  • Learning basic construction skills (.5 credit)
  • Learning basic architectural drawing (.5 credit)
  • Learning construction math (elective hours)
  • Learning professional writing

The homeschool transcript is a one-page snapshot of who your high schooler is and is interested in, so she captured all these on her son’s transcript.

Cheryl also gives the example of her daughter, who when she was a high school senior, helped get Cheryl’s mom into a new level of care. She:

  • Helped care for her grandmother
  • Attended financial-planning meetings
  • Attended living and care team meetings
  • Learned about adult geriatrics
  • Learned advocacy skills

Cheryl’s daughter logged her hours in each category and was able to capture a Care and Concerns for the Elderly elective credit.

BTW- the way Cheryl decided on the name of the credit was by doing a Google search for elder-care courses in local colleges. Then she compared course descriptions to the things her daughter learned.

For documentation on interest-led courses, Cheryl has her homeschool high schoolers:

  • Keep logs of hours (note what was done, when and where- keep it basic)
  • Keep documentation (photos/scrapbooks, emails, reports, letters)
  • Also has discussions with homeschool high schoolers on planning, updates and accountability

So, Cheryl has been able to help her teens make the educational most of the circumstances life has given them!

When working with homeschooling parents, Cheryl advises parents:

  • Be an observer of your teens:
    • What are they naturally drawn to?
    • What are they doing with their time?
    • What makes their eyes light up?
  • Help them capture these things on their transcript as electives.
    • This creates a transcript that truly shows your teen’s interests and abilities.
  • Make yourself available for discussions
  • Arrange interviews or lunch dates with someone engaged in that interest
  • Find volunteer work or training in a related area
  • Teach them professional writing (for instance, writing letters)
  • Teach them to ask for favors
  • Teach them time management
  • Keep yourself open to ideas and phases in your teens’ lives.
    • Even your non-verbals can relay your interest and caring: Smile, relax your shoulders, listen attentively
    • Remember: Questions invite relationship. Do not be afraid of their questions. It just means your teens are on the edge of solving a problem.
  • Welcome unexpected events and experiences.
  • Remember, your teens are on a journey in life. They do not know all of God’s plans yet, nor do you. Allow God to guide and unfold their future by providing encouragement and opportunities.
  • Remember, there’s no ceiling on learning.
  • Remember, God has plans!

These are truly the life skills that will help your homeschool high schoolers succeed in life.

Check out Cheryl Bastian’s Celebrate Simple at CherylBastian.com and her Celebrate Simple Facebook page , and her high school book: Celebrate High School.

And join Vicki and Cheryl for this encouraging chat.

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Interest-led Learning for Homeschool High Schoolers, Interview with Cheryl Bastian

7 Ways to Make Your Teens Miserable, Interview with Kathie Morrissey

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: 7 Ways to Make Your Teens Miserable, Interview with Kathie Morrissey.

7 Ways to Make Your Teens Miserable, Interview with Kathie Morrissey

7 Ways to Make Your Teens Miserable, Interview with Kathie Morrissey

Kathie and Vicki recently met, although Kathie has been around for a long time with her Character Corner website. Vicki was excited to find another homeschool mom who shared a fun sense of humor while taking homeschooling seriously. She had to be serious about homeschooling: she homeschooled her eight children all the way through graduation. That’s thirty-one years of homeschooling! (Her youngest graduated four years ago.)

Kathie spends a lot of time with her fifteen grandkids now. She enjoys trying to keep their names straight! In non-COVID holidays, they have lots of fun and noise together (as well as day to day life.)

Kathie began the Character Corner back in the 1990s (that is a LONG time ago). She has always shared resources she used and enjoyed, as well as creating curriculum for younger homeschoolers. Kathie enjoys sharing character development without being preachy or legalistic.

We had some fun discussing things NOT to do while homeschooling high school! (We know our 7th Sisters don’t really needed to be reminded, though!)

Here are 7 ways to make your teens miserable!

Being too controlling with your teens.

It often backfires if we homeschooling parents try to over-control our teens. While our kids needed a lot of control when they are very young, we want to them to develop self-control and God-control by the time they are adolescents.

It can be hard, as parents, to back off or ease off when we are used to being protective (and developmentally appropriate).

However, backing off can protect our teens hearts. SO here are the 7 things to NOT do.

Being the mom of teens requires lots of listening.

Don’t treat your teens with respect

If a parent talks over, over corrects or criticizes their homeschool high schoolers, they are being disrespectful and unloving. As parents, we need to do more listening and less critiquing. Allow them to share ideas and the feelings in their hearts. For more on realistic expectations, check out Sabrina’s talk on this Homeschool Highschool Podcast episode.

Fear our teens’ questions

If a parent is afraid of our teens questions. Part of adolescence is asking hard questions, even about faith, family values and politics. Listen and wait. For more on having hard conversations with teens, check out this Homeschool Highschool episode.

Never being happy with their decisions

If we spend all of our energy preventing our teens’ goofy decisions, we will break their spirits. We want to encourage them, ask questions, trust them and sometimes allow them to make mistakes.

This develops our faith in God, our trust in God.

Criticize them to their siblings

Bad idea! There’s nothing more hurtful to hear a parent complaining about them to their sibling (or anyone else). Bring your complaints to God, spouse and the teen. Work it out. This develops the fruit of the Spirit self-control in us moms. (You have probably noticed how homeschooling “helps” us developed so much fruit of the Spirit.)

Don’t bother to make our teens feel accepted

Sometimes parents, in easing off with their teens, might forget to stay connected with them. Teens, like all children, thrive on acceptance but even more so because they are in years of growth and change so often feel insecure about themselves. They crave knowing their parents’ unconditional love. So try not to slip into constant criticism.

Parents can show acceptance in actions and in words. (Think about love languages.)

While we parents have the pressure of making sure our homeschool high schoolers have marvelous transcripts, we never want them to feel like that is our primary objective in parenting.

Act as if helping them is a BIG inconvenience

Sometimes we parents are tired, for goodness sake. If we sigh and act inconvenienced if our teens need a ride to a friend’s house or activity, they will feel de-valued and hurt. There is a balance, of course, so plan together as a family (but allow some reasonable spontaneous activities). Someday, they will all be grown and maybe we can catch up on some rest!

Treat people outside the home with more kindness than the folks at home

You know the drill, fussing all the way to church and then walking into church with smiles on our faces. Teens are over that!

This can be hard for us moms. Motherhood is such a character developing experience!

BONUS Reason: Don’t have a relationship with them but give advice anyway

Relationship building requires time and attention. It requires a lot of intentionality for busy moms and busy teens. But as we build in the relationship, we earn the right to give advice when appropriate.

Some of the ways Kathie invested in her homeschool high schoolers included:

Make availability time (that means, stopping what we are doing when they have something on their minds). It’s great that our teens want to talk to us! Stop, make eye contact and listen as often as possible.

Try to be fun- at least put a smile on your face by faith. (Teens don’t want to hang around a grumpy mom…and it’s hard to see God in a grumpy mom.)..

For more ideas, Vicki shared about How to Build a Strong Relationship with Your Teens in this post at Character Corner.

Join Vicki and Kathie Morrissey for a fun discussion on ways to make teens miserable 🙂

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7 Ways to Make Your Teens Miserable, Interview with Kathie Morrissey

Internships for Homeschool High School, Interview with Sherri Seligson

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Internships for Homeschool High School, Interview with Sherri Seligson.

Internships for Homeschool High School, Interview with Sherri Seligson #HomeschoolHighSchoolPodcast #HighSchoolInternships #InternschipsForHighSchoolCredit #SherriSeligson #HomeschoolHighSchool

 

Internships for Homeschool High School, Interview with Sherri Seligson

When Vicki met Sherri Seligson a few years ago at the beloved 2:1 Conference for homeschool bloggers, she was so excited to find a new friend who is a scientist (Marine Biologist) AND s teacher about internships. It is a great combination!

Many of you are familiar with Sherri through her high school science texts for Apologia AND her marvelous teaching videos (you can check them out on her YouTube channel). BUT you may not be familiar with her guide for internships for homeschool high school.

Vicki asked Sherri to talk today about internships. Homeschool high schoolers are in unique positions to develop internships as Career Exploration and transcript building experiences, so check out this interview with Sherri.

Sherri started out her career as a marine biologist at Disney World. She loved her job but when she started having kids, she and her husband decided she needed a “promotion” to homeschooling mom! They have considered homeschooling their kids as a calling from God.

Sherri homeschooled her four children through graduation. They are grown now. One is doing cancer research and is a profession, one is a full-time musician, one is working on her Masters degree in Counseling, and the youngest is in the Air Force and getting his medical degree.

Sherri has also taught Science to homeschoolers for years. Her mission there is: Seeing God’s hand in creation. She has also written Apologia’s Marine Biology and General Science courses, along with their instructional videos.

Internships for homeschool high school

Sherri has authored an Internship curriculum. It got started when a son was looking at dual-enrollment courses at community college. He saw an internship course in the course catalogue, and felt inspired to find an internship on his own at a video production company. SO he dropped by, applied, interviewed on the spot and was accepted.

Sherri decided to capture his internship for homeschool high school transcript. She wanted to document his experience so she developed:

  • weekly questions for him to answer
  • interview questions for him to ask three coworkers (such as: If you could do this differently, what would you do to prepare themselves for this kind of work? What kind of college directions would they suggest?)
  • logged hours with time and what work he did
  • wrote reflections on business experience and practical skills he learned

On the transcript Sherri called the course: Executive Internship.

When her homeschool friends heard about the internship and the ways they documented it, they wanted tips on how they could create internships for their teens. Sherri put together a workbook to help them. This became her popular Internship Guide.

Want some internship tips from Sherri?

  • Give your teens guidance on health and safety.
  • Explore interests and passions with them.
  • Look for local businesses that use skills that align with these interests. For instance, if a teen is interested in fashion design, there probably are not many local internships available, but look around at things that use some of the skills of fashion: tailors, upholstery makers, etc.
  • Work on networking skills to find people who have those businesses (church, work, organizations).
  • Create an experiential resume. (7Sisters has a guide on how to do experiential resumes, btw.)
  • When they find an internship, create an agreement on expectations (including length of time of internship)
  • Teach them initiative so they find productive things to do (cleaning, tidying) if there is downtime on the job
  • Show a good attitude
  • Show good people skills
  • Dress appropriately and use good hygiene
  • Learn interview skills

Internships can be valuable for showing your teens what they do and do NOT want to do. -Sherri Seligson

One of the best things her son got out of that internship was that he did NOT want to go into the video production field. He could only have known that by being in that atmosphere. (He is her son who became a professional musician.)

  • Finding out what your teen DOESN’T want to do is valuable. Why waste four years of college on something they will hate? (It also saves LOTS of money on a wasted college education.)

Internships look great on a homeschool transcript. College admissions officers like to see internships because it shows initiative and the ability to stick with what they start.

Another benefit: sometimes internships can become paid internships.

For career-bound teens, sometimes internships open the door for career training or an actual job. When employers see a good intern, they sometimes want to keep them on afterwards.

Notes for parents:

  • It is okay to get to know the employer yourself. That way if something comes up, you already have that connection. Don’t helicopter, just be polite and familiar to the employers. Know that these adults are influential (hopefully for good).
  • With family businesses, count the educational and new things your teen is learning.
  • Volunteer opportunities can be internships, also. Here’s an episode on virtual volunteer opportunities from Homeschooling with Technology podcast.

Connect with Sherri Seligson at:

For more tips on internships, check out this post.

Join Vicki and Sherri for a practical discussion on internships for homeschool high schoolers.

 

Internships for Homeschool High School, Interview with Sherri Seligson

What Formats Can Be Used For Homeschool High School Courses?

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: What Formats Can Be Used For Homeschool High School Courses?

What Formats Can Be Used For Homeschool High School Courses?

What Formats Can Be Used For Homeschool High School Courses?

There’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school. AND there’s not ONE right way to earn those important credits for the homeschool transcripts. One of the most asked questions that we receive is: What are the formats that can be used to earn credits?

Vicki will give an explanation of the basic ways to earn those transcript credits. Here are the basics:

For a start, you can get more information at 7SistersHomeschool.com. Check out our post on earning credits. Here’s a download and editable transcript template to help.

In most states, teens will earn Carnegie credits

Carnegie units are the basic way to earn and assign high school transcript credits. You can actually go to Carnegie.com to learn the history of credits (the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching set about in 1906 to try to standardize the way high schoolers show the amount of time they have studied a subject).

Carnegie suggests that 120 hours of study will earn a credit. This has been adapted over the years so that each state has a different number of hours needed (anywhere from 120-180). Check your state homeschool organization or Department of Education to find out for certain.

A few states use different credit units. Again check state homeschool organization or Department of Education to find out for certain.

Logging hours

Some courses have such rich and interesting information that a textbook will not do it justice. If your teen has a specific interest but there is not a good-fit curriculum, allow them to explore their interest with a log system. Include:

  • Date
  • Time spent
  • What was done

Keep it in a master portfolio or other record keeping system.

Things that can count:

  • Relevant documentaries
  • Relevant field trips
  • Relevant audiobooks or real books
  • Relevant short courses on a MOOC such as Edx (often only a few lessons long)
  • Time spent or interviews with a tutor or expert

Studying with a textbook

Sometimes teens just want to blast through a textbook. It feels cleaner to them than logging hours. If your teens like no-busywork, adaptable, downloadable texts, check out 7Sisters ebookstore.

Independent study with real books

Use real books to dig deep into a topic of interest. Choose approximately sixteen relevant books that help your teen really understand their topic. The self-designed course is capped by creating a large project or research paper. Keep book lists and brief reflection on each book, also. It will also help to keep a course description in your records.

Participate in online courses

Make sure of the amount of credit being assigned (check the course description to find out).

For lots of ideas check out this post.

There's not ONE right way to earn a high school credit! 7SistersHomeschool and Homeschool Highschool Podcast

Dual Enrollment College Course

Teen participates in a course at a local community college. Some universities also offer online courses to high schoolers. Usually a one semester course in college is equivalent a full-credit high school course. (This can be frustrating to teens because the college says they earned 4 or 5 credits. That’s because they are on a different credit system.)

That college course is a college course, they need to be ready. Assignments on time, work hard, participate. Usually colleges do not transfer the grade in the course (some do, ask). Also make sure the credits are transferrable.

CLEP Testing

For teens who are expert in an area of interest, CLEP testing can allow them to test out of a related college course. Check college website that your teen may be interested in to see if it accepts CLEP. We suggest using a practice test also because it will help teens get into the mindset of the test format and vocabulary.

AP Testing

Homeschool high schoolers can take AP courses and tests. (College Board has to approve the course, you can’t just call a course AP.) High AP scores will allow teens to skip that course in college. We suggest using a practice test also because it will help teens get into the mindset of the test format and vocabulary.

Allowing teens to use a variety of formats will keep them interested and owning their courses. Be sure to include your high schoolers in the planning and format choices as often as possible.

You can do this! Homeschooling high school years can be the best years yet! For more in-depth information check out 7Sisters Authoritative Guide post suite:

Join Vicki for an informative discussion on formats for earning homeschool high school credits.

PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO HSHSP VIA COMPUTER

  1. Follow this link to our Apple Podcasts page.
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What Formats Can Be Used For Homeschool High School Courses?

How to Create and Use a Syllabus for Homeschool High School

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: How to Create and Use a Syllabus for Homeschool High School.

How to Create and Use a Syllabus for Homeschool High School

How to Create and Use a Syllabus for Homeschool High School

It’s the beginning of a new homeschool year and it’s time to get organized. One of the most helpful tools you can use to help your teens learn time and organizational skills is learning to use a syllabus.

  • Homeschool high schoolers who are headed for college need to be prepared with this skill, since most college classes will use a syllabus (sometimes called a “schedule” or other titles at college level).
  • Homeschool high schoolers who are not college bound will still benefit from learning to use a syllabus. Using a syllabus will help them learn to think and plan so they can be efficient and successful in the workplace.

SO what IS a syllabus?

Basically a syllabus is a chronological summary of a course that a student can use to guide the organization of their studies. This is so helpful because syllabi often include day-by-day assignments or weekly assignments so that a student understands exactly what to do and when.

Syllabi often include other details about the course such as:

  • Text (author, publisher, ISBN if possible)
  • Other materials and experiences (documentaries, field trips, etc)
  • Course goals (brief summary of purpose and goals)
    • This helps teens remember the “why” of the course
  • Topics covered in the course (this can be chapter titles or just topics to be studied)
    • This is useful for teens to understand what is coming up
    • It is also useful for teens who are interested in NCAA sports, the military or that rare college that is not familiar with homeschooling
  • Grading scales
    • Teens really need to know this
    • This helps setting the grade for the transcript
  • Due dates of projects, papers and exams
  • Schedule: Homework assignment listing by day or week in the body of the syllabus

All of this information is good for your record keeping, too!

Using a syllabus helps your record keeping and their organization.

Once you have a syllabus constructed, go over it with your teen and use it to help them plan their schedule for each of their courses. (Check here for more ideas on how to help your homeschool high schooler stay on track through the school year, as well as this interview about time management for teens with Vicki on Vintage Homeschool Moms Podcast.)

It may feel like a boring task, but this is worth the effort. Go over each part of the syllabus with your teen:

Show them the textbook.

Explain the other materials.

Go over the goals, the “why” of the course. Discuss this. If it will be a boring or challenging course, how will it help them…if nothing else: they need it for graduation and it will develop skills in perseverance 😉

What is expected and when for projects, papers and exams.

Then discuss together what the daily timing of what they will study and when. If you include them on the decisions on their daily schedule, it will help them own their education and organization.

Get out a calendar, planner, digital calendar (whatever they feel good about using). Mark the due dates of projects, papers, exams, then schedule backward from there. What is scheduling backwards? It is a simple way to help your teens learn to organize their study time (you can learn details on how-to with our freebie download on Scheduling Backwards). Here is an overview:

Mark due dates on calendar

  • Go back in time to a reasonable start date for the project, paper or study time. Mark that date as “Start project”, “Start research paper” or “Start studying for exam”.
  • Then go forward to the halfway point between the start date and the due date. Mark that as “Be halfway through with…”
  • Then mark quarter-way points and three-quarter-way points.

Mark when homework-to-mom or homework-to-co-op dates will be.

Remember that teens are learning to manage themselves. Most are not ready to manage a syllabus on their own in their first year of homeschooling. That is why you want to work on this together and then check in frequently.

These guidelines for creating and using a syllabus are suggestions. Remember: you are homeschooling in the way that is best for your homeschool high school. There’s not ONE right way to homeschool! Adapt to your family’s needs.

BTW- Many of the texts at 7SistersHomeschool have a suggested syllabus that you can download and adapt to your needs.

Join Vicki for a helpful discussion on creating and using a syllabus for homeschooling high school.

PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO HSHSP VIA COMPUTER

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

PLEASE SUBSCRIBE VIA iPHONE

  1. Tap the purple Podcast icon on your phone
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  5. Tap *Subscribe*
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How to Create and Use a Syllabus for Homeschool High School

Why 7SistersHomeschool Curriculum is DA BOMB

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Why 7SistersHomeschool Curriculum is DA BOMB!

Why 7SistersHomeschool Curriculum is DA BOMB. Adaptable, affordable, interesting curriculum for homeschool high school. #HomeschoolHighSchool #homeschoolcurriculum

Why 7SistersHomeschool Curriculum is DA BOMB

Homeschooling high school can feel intimidating but these can be the best years yet! You can do it! Your 7Sisters are here to help!

Today Sabrina, Vicki and Kym today shamelessly share reasons why 7SistersHomeschool curriculum is awesome for teens (even for the youngers- we have some things for them, too). The Sisters homeschooled together for decades educating their dozens of children in co-ops and group classes at their umbrella school. As we saw our youngest getting ready to graduate, we realized we had a Titus 2 calling to share what we have learned with younger homeschooling moms.

That’s why when you visit 7SistersHomeschool.com, it might be hard to tell if we are bloggers or curriculum publishers. We are Titus 2 homeschool moms who are sharing all the things we have learned in home educating our teens and helping hundreds of other homeschooling high schoolers graduate and move onto college, military, missions or career. You will find all of our advice in blogs and right here on the Homeschool Highschool Podcast.

Let’s go WAY back for a little 7Sisters history: Back in the early days of homeschooling, there was no such thing as homeschool curriculum. We had to beg and cajole publishers to sell to us. (In fact, 7Sisters Sara’s father became one of the first homeschool curriculum vendors back in those days. Anyway, in order for our homeschoolers to have curriculum that met their needs, we had to develop much of our own.

That turned out to be pretty cool, because each set of teens we used our curriculum with let us know what they thought. They (and their peers) vetted the curriculum! We have very opinionated kids and we have kids of all kinds of abilities, needs, interests and goals.

Shaping young people to be awesomely fabulous adults.

So what are the things that are distinctive about 7SistersHomeschool curriculum (and make it DA BOMB)?

Friendly

The tone of each text, literature study guide, writing guide or elementary-aged activity guide is accessible and friendly. It is written in the tone and manner that we talked to our co-op and group classes homeschoolers. We avoided the “formal tone” of textbooks because our teens told us they wanted to be talked to like they were respectable human beings.

No-busywork

Have you ever noticed that many textbooks have the same number of pages for every chapter? It seemed to our teens that in making page numbers standardized, texts became filled with busywork or useless data. Teens want to know what is important enough to remember but not busywork or redundant information.

Take for instance, our Literature Study Guides vary tremendously from guide to guide. That’s because the themes and necessary information varies tremendously. We concentrate on one or two important themes and only inferential (not redundant comprehension) questions. Teens actually need to learn the concepts that make each book matter. No worries about busywork and wasted time. So, The Invisible Man Literature Study Guide has more concept development and fewer questions. The Chronicles of Narnia Literature Study Guides need lots of meaty questions to get an adult-level thinking from the children’s stories.

Real-life learning

7Sisters Literature Guides, Writing Guides and texts contain real-life principles and skills. For instance, Financial Literacy trains teens to manage their finances well through life. Even Philosophy in Four Questions trains teens to think and be aware of the ideas running the world. Our underlying heart in all our curriculum is to shape the hearts of soon-to-be adults.

Character-shaping

All of 7SistersHomeschool curriculum is written by Christians. While we aim to be never-preachy, there is a worldview embedded in each text that should encourage teens’ hearts toward character development. But we don’t want to pound teens in the head with Scripture, lest they become irritated. They will have the worldview gently and respectfully in our materials. We want to help each teen to fulfill the unique character goals that God holds for them.

Levelable

7SistersHomeschool curriculum is adaptable to different levels of rigor based on the abilities, needs, interests and goals of each teen. Our materials are written in average or college prep levels for reading and interacting. For teens who need high powered Honors credits, we include meaningful activities for them to add so their transcripts can record rigor. In this manner, all the teens in a family, co-op or group class could read the same Literature book or do the same Health text (or any text) but at the best level of rigor for them. For more on levels, check out these Homeschool Highschool Podcast episodes on how to use levels on a transcript and what are levels?

Green

All our curriculum is digital. Everything is a downloadable pdf (and much of it is editable so teens can do all of it on their computers). Many of our teens tell us that saving the environment is important to them (so no paper in these books) AND digital is fun. (Also, if they are taking their text to co-op class, the book can go with them on their phone or laptop.)

However, our copyright notice allows printing for teens who need that, too. Because there’s not ONE right way to use 7SistersHomeschool.com’s materials.

It works for independent study or is wonderful for co-ops and group classes

The texts and guides are quite adaptable for groups. We will even give groups a discount, have many suggested syllabi, and some texts have teacher lesson plans (Psychology and Human Development).

The most important distinctive of 7SistersHomeschool is we genuinely like teens!

Download some 7Sisters curriculum (start with some freebies) and join Sabrina, Vicki and Kym for a fun discussion!

PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO HSHSP VIA COMPUTER

  1. Follow this link to our Apple Podcasts page.
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  3. This will take you to iTunes and our own podcast page.
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Shaping young people to be awesomely fabulous adults.

Why 7SistersHomeschool Curriculum is DA BOMB

Advice for Moms of New Homeschool High Schoolers

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Advice for Moms of New Homeschool High Schoolers.

Advice for Moms of New Homeschool High Schoolers. Homeschool moms give tips for high school success. #HomeschoolHighSchool

Advice for Moms of New Homeschool High Schoolers

Know someone who is just starting to homeschool high school? Pass this episode along to them! Sabrina, Vicki and Kym have lots of encouraging tips for success and enjoying the high school years with your teens.

Sabrina, Vicki and Kym are part of the 7SistersHomeschool team. We love to pass along the things we learned in homeschooling our dozens of teens for dozens of years, along with decades of advising and teaching our local homeschool high schoolers in group classes and co-ops. Titus 2 in the Bible tells us that the “older women should help along the younger women” (that’s the 7Sisters version, anyway). So that’s what we are about at 7SistersHomeschool.com and that’s what the Homeschool Highschool Podcast is all about.

So with our love for you all, here is advice for moms of new homeschool high schoolers!

There are so many things we want our new homeschool high school moms to know but here are some things we have learned the hard way or the easy way (from the moms who mentored us).

The first and most important tip we have for you is this: There’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school!

There are so many teens and they are all unique. There are so many different families and they are unique. We are free to adapt curriculum and goals to fit our teens’ and family’s needs!

There is no place for mom-shaming in homeschooling high school!

So do not allow any too-enthusiastic (or too-judgmental) mom to tell you that you MUST use a certain curriculum or teach a certain way.

There is no such thing as a Pinterest-perfect home or Pinterest-perfect homeschool.

As our friend, Colleen Kessler of  the Raising Lifelong Learners podcast says, “every day you must juggle a lot of balls, so every day you need to wake up and decide which balls you need to drop today.”

There’s no such thing as a Pinterest-perfect homeschool…because there are all these people involved and people are not perfect! Which leads to the next bit of advice:

Have grace for yourself, your teens and your homeschool community.

There will be things that happen that are not so pretty… they may be funny… or sometimes not. Maybe you and yours will get on each other’s last nerve. Maybe your science experiment might almost burn the house down (not that Vicki is mentioning herself or anyone like that…ahem…). Maybe you are all exhausted. That is where grace comes in. Accept God’s grace and give it to each other.

There's no such thing as a Pinterest-perfect homeschool

If you are feeling stressed and start to feel guilty that you are not a good homeschooling high school mom, remember this bit of advice: Motherhood is all about guilt.

It is not awful to feel guilty, it is simply part of motherhood. So turn it over to God and allow his grace and his growth to work in you and yours. (BTW- Have you had a chance to have some fun with different types of homeschooling high school moms? Check out our episode on Heavy Equipment Motherhood.)

So never underestimate the power of a deep breath.

Give yourself permission to stop, breathe, recalibrate. Stress is going to hit. The goal is not about avoiding stress, discomfort and pain as a parent. The road is bumpy. The battle is enormous, but it is SO worth it. It is SOOO worth it.

As Kym says, “Homeschooling high school is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.”

You have lots of time to learn how to do this homeschool high school thing. Your teens have lots of time to learn it, too. Be good to each other. Understand you might doubt yourself. We all know teens tend to doubt themselves. This is a long project but you all can do it!

Help teens lean into exploring, discovering and developing the plans and callings that God has given them.

Homeschool high school years are the best years for helping teens glimpse God’s mind for them. 

Career Exploration is one of the most important courses for teens.

Teens can explore and discover the ideas God has for them. If teens don’t have a clue about their future, start with this episode. If they have some settled interests, check out this episode. And check out 7Sisters’ Career Exploration Bundle.

Build a meaningful transcript with courses that build interests and skills.

Have your teens learn with textbooks and non-traditional courses. (Don’t forget to document!) Remember, all of life is education!

What courses do your teens need?

We have that here for you in this post.

How do you teach what you don’t know?

You can’t be an expert on everything. We want to help our teens become independent learners, so here are some ideas:

Know the answer to the eternal, infernal question: What about socialization?

First off, let’s be clear about the definition: Socialization means to pass on the values, norms and traditions from one generation to the next. Homeschooling, we believe, is a wonderful format for that! But also, our teens are not hiding out in the basement for four years. Check out this post and this HSHSP episode.

Homeschooling is a lifestyle

Homeschooling high school will change your life and will begin to be a special, unique lifestyle for you. It will affect your entire life rhythm.

How do you choose curriculum?

Check out this post from 7Sisters and this one from our friend, Samantha at Learn In Color. AND:

Last advice:

  • Vicki: You CAN do this!
  • Kym: Enjoy the journey. It will be good. AND pray, first, last and always!
  • Sabrina: You be you!

Join Sabrina, Vicki and Kym for encouraging advice for moms of new homeschool high schoolers.

PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO HSHSP VIA COMPUTER

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

PLEASE SUBSCRIBE VIA iPHONE

  1. Tap the purple Podcast icon on your phone
  2. Tap the search icon on the bottom-right of your screen
  3. In the search bar type: Homeschool Highschool Podcast
  4. Tap the Homeschool Highschool Podcast icon
  5. Tap *Subscribe*
  6. Please tap *Ratings and Review*

Advice for Moms of New Homeschool High Schoolers