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 ūüôā

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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.

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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 ūüėČ

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.

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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!

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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.

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Advice for Moms of New Homeschool High Schoolers

Conversational Homeschooling

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Conversational Homeschooling.

Conversational Homeschooling. Tips for making learning stick while creating a good relationship with your teen.

Conversational Homeschooling

Sabrina is here today to share ideas about conversational homeschooling. While Sabrina made up the phrase, it fits Sabrina’s style of homeschooling her high schoolers. You will be SO encouraged by Sabrina’s ideas for teaching teens.

What is conversational homeschooling?

Real learning for teens often occurs during conversations. Have you ever noticed that? Moments of true insight will occur during a formal or even, informal chat with your homeschool high schoolers. (Actually, the same thing is true for adults, we bet you have noticed.)

This episode is aimed at:

  • New homeschool high school moms
  • Current homeschool high school moms
  • All homeschool moms, actually

During homeschool high school, moms often become less a teacher and more a resource manager as our teens gain independent learning skills:

These are all important and vital for learning but we sometimes loose some of the fun of homeschooling. However, we can remember that really cool learning happens in discussions.

You may have noticed this yourself. Think about when you have been learning a new hobby or skill; or studying a new topic in Bible study. You will probably have studied and practiced and feel pretty good about what you are learning. However, if you have coffee with a friend and tell her about what you are doing, it will truly cement the information.

Think: Data in, learning starts—learning happens when the data (words) come out!

As teens articulate what they are learning, it becomes much more "theirs"!

Where can I use conversational homeschooling?

There are many situations where conversational homeschooling will increase your teens’ educational success.

Organizing Research Paper Material

The idea of conversational homeschooling is useful for helping teens with their first research papers. Many teens feel overwhelmed by the process. They need help organizing their data and capturing it in a proper research-paper format. Study guides can really help ease them through the process but discussions with mom can be invaluable in helping teens organize their thoughts about what they are learning.

Avoiding Plagiarism

Over the years as many of us 7Sisters have taught research writing in homeschool co-ops and group classes, we have noticed the challenge teens have in organizing their thoughts. Teens who cannot organize their data and thoughts sometimes fall into the problem of plagiarism. They cannot figure out what to say and where and sometimes end up cutting and pasting from a useful website. (Here are some tips to help teens avoid plagiarism.)

Moms can help with this! They can hold check-ins with their teens and allow then to talk about the things they are learning and then talk through outlining their papers. If carried on in a friendly, chatty manner, teens can come away feeling confident in what they have learned and more organized for their writing.

Writing Transition Sentences and Editing Papers

Transitional sentences are needed for MLA research papers and editing skills are needed for all research papers. Help your homeschool high schoolers by holding a conversation about transition sentences and editing. Give them some good examples and

  • Ask, “What makes this a good transition sentence?”
  • Then have them figure it out themselves and tell you what they think.
  • Did you check your paper using your rubric?

Learning about Literature

Another place conversational homeschooling can be useful is in Literature. Try having a conversation with your teen about the characters or themes in the books they are reading. One easy way to facilitate this is to look through their Literature Study Guides and find some inferential questions (questions that do not have a single “right” answer, but instead, ask the student to think things through, perspective take and infer meaning from information given).

Have a discussion together about those inferential questions. This helps teens to truly grow in their critical thinking skills!

Conversational homeschooling for Science or History

  • Ask you teen to explain something that has captured their interest about what they are learning?
  • Ask them what was confusing?
  • Ask them what made them want to explore more about the topic?

When is it a good time to practice conversational homeschooling

  • The dinner table, if everyone is sitting around the table together. (Sometimes not so easy for busy teens.)
  • Car rides. It is totally amazing how much teens will chat in the car (if you tell them, no earbuds for this trip). Have some questions in your mind to ask your teens about their various courses.
  • One on one time, anytime.

Be sure to avoid slipping into correcting and criticizing if you see faulty thinking. Instead ask questions such as:

  • Hmmm. Tell me more about that.
  • Interesting thought. What brought you to that conclusion?

Good questions for conversational homeschooling:

  • What is your favorite thing you worked on this week?
  • What surprised or interested you about this?

As teens articulate what they are learning, it becomes much more “theirs”!

Remember: You will never say to yourself: Boy, I am really upset I wasted that fifteen minutes in the car talking with my teen about their research paper.

Also remember: there’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school! Find your own favorite ways to homeschool high school.

Join Sabrina for an inspirational chat about conversational homeschooling!

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Conversational Homeschooling

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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