Goals and Grading Writing for Homeschool High School

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Goals and Grading Writing for Homeschool High School.

Goals and Grading Writing for Homeschool High School

Goals and Grading Writing for Homeschool High School

For homeschool high schoolers, one of the most time consuming components of English/Language Arts is the writing. Then one of the most time-consuming components of ELA for homeschooling parents is the grading and goal-setting process. We receive so many questions on goals and grading writing that we decided we should talk about it here on the podcast.

Let’s start with grading. Here is the simple answer for grading writing assignments: Use a rubric!

What’s a rubric?

A rubric is a tool that helps homeschool parents know what value to assign each aspect of their teens’ writing assignments. There are a gazillion ways to create a rubric, based on what is being emphasized in each writing project.

Where do you find rubrics?

You can create you own rubrics or download one off the internet (there are SO many variations on the internet, so you will find something that feels right to you).

For your convenience, we 7Sisters have saved you the time and trouble and included rubrics in our writing curriculum for:

You can even adjust the rubrics to fit your goals for your homeschool high schoolers!

Goals for writing in homeschool high school

Which leads us to the next questions that we receive so often:

  • “I don’t know what the goals should be for my teens’ writing each year. Help?”
  • “I don’t really like writing myself, so how can I set goals for my teens?”
  • “How can I know the priorities for writing?”

Let us help out a bit. Let’s define what the most helpful goals for writing can be. (Remember, there’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school, so you adapt our advice to your own family’s needs.)

Goals for writing: What is the heart and soul of writing?

One of the things we have noticed over the years is that sometimes writing curriculum focuses so much on the mechanics of writing (spelling, grammar, punctuation) that there is absolutely nothing left for fun or inspiration.

Teens often need purpose, meaning and inspiration in their writing. Teens often do best when they know the “WHY” of writing. Do you know the why of writing, BTW?

The purpose of writing is communication!

The purpose of writing is communication.

The purpose of writing is communicating so that people understand what teens are feeling, thinking, learning, being inspired by. So they should ask themselves for each assignment, “What am I trying to communicate here?”

  • For instance, in a comparison and contrast essay about something. The purpose is to help the reader understand what you thought about the similarities and differences of whatever is being compared.
  • For a research paper, the purpose is to communicate what your teen has learned about a subject while doing their research on the topic. (As opposed to the idea that a research paper is about a teen’s opinion about what they are learning. The goal of research papers is information presentation, not opinion presentation.)

One of the best gifts we can give our teens is lots of practice organizing and communicating their thoughts. High school writing can help train teens on thinking and sharing those thoughts through life.

If a teen starts a writing project with those goals in mind, and the grader keeps those goals in mind, life will be easier for both! SO, start out each writing project with a discussion with parent and teen on the goals. Make it clear. Go over the rubric together.

BTW- We 7Sisters have graded SO many papers over the many years of teaching our kids and others. It has not been unusual for teens to complain about writing. However, after graduation and teens have entered adulthood, they have often come back to us and said, “thanks for all the writing”!

Also, know that grading and goals will vary for teens who have different abilities

All teens are different. This is good. So grading cannot be one-size-fits-all!

  • Teens who struggle with reading and writing, will need a simpler rubric and adaptations of goals.
    • BTW-if you have a struggling writer, go easy on the red-pen corrections. Instead, work together on several revisions with lots of encouragement.
  • A teen who is headed to college as a humanities major will need lots of writing with higher-level thinking and word usage. Adapt your rubrics to their needs.
  • Teens who are reluctant but able, need to concentrate on fun, short assignments at first, then gradually grow the assignments.
  • Teens who overthink things, need page limits.

So think about what your teens’ abilities, personalities and goals for after graduation are. As the parent, you know your teens and their needs. Adapt goals and grading to fit those needs.

For lots more information on writing requirements and grading for homeschool high schoolers, check out 7Sisters Authoritative Guide post.

Join Sabrina and Vicki for an informative discussion on goals and grading for homeschool high school writing.

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
  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*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Teach Human Development in Homeschool High School?

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Why Teach Human Development in Homeschool High School?

Why Teach Human Development in Homeschool High School?

Why Teach Human Development in Homeschool High School?

When Vicki was in graduate school for counseling, she specialized Human Development. She loved it so much because as a mom, she was watching Human Development develop in her own kids! After all Human Development is the study of how people grown and change from womb to old age.

So, when her kids started to homeschool high school, she wanted them to have a Human Development course for their homeschool transcripts. She felt like it would be great life preparation, since it is likely that they would interact with people the rest of their lives and understand why people at different ages do different things would be helpful. It would help them understand their baby brother learning object permanence or their grandfather who always told the same stories over and over.

Unfortunately for Vicki, there was no high school Human Development text available to homeschool high schoolers, especially one from a Christian worldview. SO, what to do? In typical 7SistersHomeschool fashion, Vicki wrote her own text! Also in typical 7SistersHomeschool fashion, she wrote 7Sisters Human Development from a Christian Worldview text to cover the necessary scope and sequence but with no-busywork and readable (and enjoyable) by an average teen. Then, in typical 7SistersHomeschool fashion, she included instructions for leveling up to Honors credit in a meaningful way for the college-bound teens.

What is Human Development in Homeschool High School?

The study of the physical, cognitive, emotional and social changes that people experience as they grow from womb to old age.

For instance, adolescents go through a cognitive process called metacognition. Metacognition is the ability to think about thinking. Metacognitive teens think about who they are, what they feel, what the believe and why things are what they are. When teens learn from their Human Development course that the metacognitive process they are experiencing is natural and normal, they can enjoy the process!

Also, Human Development learn their two-year-old siblings (or the kids they are babysitting) are stomping their feet and saying, “NO!” (Toddlers are going through the early stages of finding out they are individuals. They find out where their personhood “stops” by testing out “No!”

They also learn about why their parents push them to accomplish stuff (middle-aged parents are in the “generative stage”- needing to be productive).

Is Human Development a good course for homeschool co-op?

It sure is! Human Development can be a blast! Not only do homeschool high schoolers have the chance to learn and discuss what they are learning and experiencing in their own families, but there are so many fun things that can be done in the co-op setting.

For instance, homeschool co-ops can:

  • Invite moms to bring their babies to class and discuss their pregnancies, delivery process (a favorite story of our local teens is our 7Sister Kym telling the story about finding out she was having twins when the twins were born!)
  • Watch the babies and see how they interact and guess what they are learning and doing.
  • Invite toddlers to class, provide them homemade clay or blocks and watch them play.
  • Invite kindergarteners to class and do fun exercises together like walking on chalk lines or hop on one foot. Give them crayons and watch them draw.
  • Invite grandparents to come and talk about their lives: adventures, parenting their own kids, what they are doing now.

Homeschool co-ops are also a wonderful place to allow teens to present projects they have done related to things that interest them about Human Development.

Hey, did you know that we will provide a homeschool co-op discount for Human Development from a Christian Worldview and all our texts?

Also, you can find lesson plans for co-op teachers and a suggested syllabus for your homeschool co-op classes.

Is 7SistersHomeschool’s Human Development from a Christian Worldview a preachy text?

No way! Teens do not need to be preached at! However, the idea that God created people is implied through the text.

Join Vicki for an informative chat about her favorite subject: Human Development!

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
  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*

Activities to Enrich Psychology Credits

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Activities to Enrich Psychology Credits.

Activities to Enrich Psychology Credits

Activities to Enrich Psychology Credits

We want homeschool high schoolers to LIKE PSYCH! That’s why Kym and Vicki are talking about engaging activities to enrich Psychology credits in this episode! When you take an engaging text and add some engaging activities you can liven up (and level up) the Psychology credit. This makes the course more memorable and inspiring for teens.

We would like teens to like Psychology if they go into the field (Vicki is always praying for more young people to go into the mental health field- there simply are not enough counselors out there). We would like teens to like Psychology if they do not go into the field. (A good Psychology text can give teens helpful life skills- and lots of interesting information to talk about.)

Vicki originally wrote 7SistersHomeschool’s Introduction to Psychology from a Christian Perspective decades ago when her oldest teens were homeschooling high school. She wanted them to have a Psychology text, but at that time, there were none. She also wanted a Psychology text that would be informed by Christian worldview but NOT preachy. SO she had to create it herself based on her training and work as a licensed professional counselor.

Since that time both Vicki and Kym have taught the course in homeschool co-ops and group classes at their local homeschool umbrella school. They added additional lesson plans based on the chapter topics in the text (with help from fellow homeschool mom and counselor, Gretchen Mahoney). They also added a freebie suggested syllabus that can be adapted for various homeschooling needs.

That’s not to mention all the stuff that Kym does with her umbrella school classes. (She is too busy having fun to write those down!)

So, they decided to share these engaging activities to enrich Psychology credits in this week’s Homeschool Highschool Podcast episode!

Here are some ideas for doing cool things to help teens LIKE PSYCH!

Idea #1: Teach in any order you please, in any way you please

Engaging activities help teens like Psych!

Ideas for learning about the brain

  • Make a model of the brain using homemade dough (using guidelines in the text)
  • Watch a video of a dissection of the human brain (Kym likes it but only offers this to students with a strong constitutin)
  • Watch an interactive brain video or download an interactive brain app.

Ideas for perception

  • Do the optical illusions and look more up online
  • If you are in the Philadelphia region, go to the Franklin Institute exhibits about the brain and perceptions OR if you are not in the area, check out their teaching resources
  • Discuss branding in advertisements
  • Spend a while experiencing different odors and note emotional reactions

Ideas for genetics

  • Discuss nature versus nurture in your own family
  • Make some fun Punnet squares based on family traits (think: Does ADHD run in the family? Does anxiety run in the family? Does color blindness run in the family?
  • Look up the work of seeing eye dogs (visit one if you can)

Ideas for learning

  • Discuss how the concept of Pavlov’s dogs have been integrated into American culture
  • Watch clips of classic television shows where classic conditioning occurs
    • Here’s a link to Kym’s favorite YouTube clips from Big Bang Theory https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=social+learning+theory+big+bang+theory+

Ideas of the history of Psychology

  • Have students create a short presentation on a topic from those chapters
  • Discuss which of Freud’s concepts are in the common vocabulary

Ideas for communication

  • Discuss non-verbals (and how reading non-verbals are affected by Covid-related mask wearing)
  • Play games where you act out emotions with non-verbals and have others guess which emotions
  • Practice saying sentences with the emphasis on different words and note the difference of connotation

Ideas for needs and motivation

  • Draw your own Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
  • Discuss how the pandemic affected where various people groups experienced the Hierarchy of Needs
  • Discuss how being low on the hierarchy might affect school success
  • Write a paper about what you would take if you were going to be stranded alone on an island
  • Watch the movie: Castaway

Ideas for personality

Ideas for sleep

  • Keep a sleep log for a week (what they did before they went to bed, what were they doing and thinking about as they went to sleep, the quality and length of sleep)
  • Watch videos on how sleep deprivation affects reaction time in driving or test taking (see the Lesson Plans)
  • Discuss how sleep apnea affects quality of sleep

Ideas for abnormal psych

  • Remind students not to diagnose themselves or anything else and to NOT stress about this chapter
  • Discuss abnormal psych in a way that is not judgmental or fear-mongering
  • Don’t dwell here but tell teens we want to concentrate on the good things we can do

Ideas for psychological health and helping others/crisis intervention

Ideas for psychological testing

  • Discuss which tests teens have experienced and which ones they might experience soon (like SAT or ACT)
  • Discuss reliability and validity of tests

Ideas for Christian counseling and careers in counseling

Ideas for understanding research and statistics

Kym quoted her father (who worked for FBI): Figures don’t lie but liars figure!

  • Discuss critical thinking and validity of information. Find examples of poor and good research and statistics use

What would you add to our list? Add your ideas in the comments and join Kym and Vicki for this discussion on engaging activities to enrich psychology credits!

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*

Taking Gap Year after Graduation, Interview with Jonathan Brush

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Taking Gap Year after Graduation, Interview with Jonathan Brush.

Taking Gap Year after Graduation, Interview with Jonathan Brush

Taking Gap Year after Graduation, Interview with Jonathan Brush

Gap years are becoming a more and more popular idea. Our new friend, Jonathan Brush, offered to talk about this concept with us.

Jonathan Brush is president and CEO of Unbound, an organization that develops young Christian leaders, and Ascend, a gap-year program. Jonathan himself is a homeschool graduate and homeschools his kids. Two of those have graduated, one is in high school, with more to follow. He’s “been there and has been there”!

Jonathan was a pioneer as a homeschooler: he was the first homeschool graduate to attend his college. Then he went on to work for the college as director of admissions for eleven years. Then he worked for several year for College Plus (some of us old timers remember those early days of online college opportunities). College Plus became Unbound and is thriving in the new format!

Jonathan Brush BeUnbound.com

Jonathan Brush Photo used with permission

Unbound’s Ascend gap-year program is timely. With the expense of college, it is wise to have future plans sorted out at least somewhat before they launch into that commitment. Jonathan points out that high schoolers are expected to have answers for questions about the future that they don’t even know how to ask yet: What’s your future career? What’s your major? (With the implication that if they don’t know the answers, they are sunk.)

This is not not the best way to handle career decision making. Teens often can’t know their future yet, because the job market is so ever-changing that there will be careers in a few years that don’t even exist now.

Gap year is a logical response to this. Gap year is a great way to stop and move from an “I have to have the answers paradigm” to an “I am asking questions” paradigm. Let me ask questions and move through a process of growth and discovery. Gap years give teens an opportunity for that.

Jonathan also points out that higher education has changed over the last few years. Traditionally, teens went immediately to college, lived in dorms, graduated in four years. These days, there are so many formats and timelines for college, that young people have choices that best fits their needs. Delaying one year will not negatively impact homeschool graduates.

Some questions homeschool high schoolers can ask about gap year:

If your homeschool graduate would like to take a gap year, use the time to move through this list of questions.

  • Do I need a college degree?
    • If I can’t immediately answer “yes”, then don’t start getting one yet. If you answer “no”, don’t get guilted or pressured into tackling a college degree. You can always get a degree later if you find it is necessary.
  • How can I begin an exercise of curiosity and answer these questions:
    • What would I like to learn about?
    • What kinds of things to I want to do?
    • What’s the best way to do that?
  • Gap years can be years of travel, study, work, missions, exploration (or programs like Ascend).

Gap year is an intentional process of discovery!- Jonathan Brush on Homeschool Highschool Podcast

The key for a successful gap year is to be deliberate!

Keep working on clarifying the questions you want to ask and follow up with plans for exploration.

Here’s a plan:

Use a “deciding forward” model.

This is a simple way to learn into exploration and decision making.

  • Step 1: Decide on a goal, not a fancy goal, just something simple that can be measured as success (it can be a small success goal or a larger success goal.)
  • Step 2: Decide on a first step and carry it out
  • Step 3: Lock in your learning: Reflect on what you learned in that first step
  • Step 4: Decide if you want to keep on pursuing this goal or change goals (this is the purpose of gap year- exploration! Deciding not to pursue something is as important as deciding to pursue something.)
  • Step 5: Decide on a new goal or a new next step. Keep moving!

Some things homeschool graduates have done for gap year:

  • Travel or take a trek
  • Earn some general education or exploring-interests college credits
  • Make some money and learn to manage money well
  • Explore careers of different kinds
  • Ministry, volunteer work or missions
  • Unbound program

Just remember to live deliberately! Think about what you want to do next. Follow the process and repeat as often as necessary. It is a way to intentionally live forward.

Gap year is an intentional process of discovery!

What is the role of parents in gap years?

Use a coaching model:

Keep asking the questions of the above model with your gap year homeschool graduates. (Don’t give answers, rather, help them think through their own answers. Keep asking questions.)

Unbound organization

Unbound is a projects-based education company. There’s a place for hard-core academics but not for all students. Jonathan has found that many young people need real skills more than they need the on-campus college degree. Students at Unbound work on real projects that really prepare them for the workforce. They also work on team projects to gain the team-member skills necessary for today’s job market. Teens work on leadership roles in various team capacities as well. Graduates of Unbound earn a certification as well as employable skills.

Unbound is a mostly online program. There are three live events (all expenses are paid to go to the events) as well. This is a variable-length program (one-three years).

There is also opportunity to work on transferrable college credit for those who want or need this.

There are networking and employment opportunities at “graduation” from the program.

This makes a phenomenal gap year program.

You can find Jonathan Brush on Facebook, Instagram, the Be Unbound podcast and his Unbound Youtube Channel.

Join Vicki and Jonathan for an enlightening discussion on gap years.

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*

Taking Gap Year after Graduation, Interview with Jonathan Brush

How to Teach Social Sciences for Homeschool High School

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

How to Teach Social Sciences for Homeschool High School

How to Teach Social Sciences for Homeschool High School

You may have noticed that some colleges want to see some Social Sciences on the high school transcript. SO what are the Social Sciences and how can you teach them with your homeschool high schoolers? Vicki is here to help!

Does your teen need Social Sciences on their transcript? Maybe! You can check several college websites that your homeschool high schooler might be interested in to find out what they are looking for. HOWEVER, even non-college-bound teens can benefit from a Social Science course. That’s because these courses are about life skills and understanding oneself.

What are Social Sciences?

They are a blend of Science (scientific study and research) and Social/History/Humanities/Anthropology (studying people: the ways the human body and brain work, the ways cultural groups and societies work together, the ways people grow and change over time). They are considered “soft science” as opposed to the “hard sciences” such as Chemistry.

The Social Sciences cover many subjects. You can choose the topic(s) that fit your teen’s needs:

Some colleges consider these to be Social Sciences:

  • Civics/Government
  • Economics

Other colleges want to see Social Science subjects such as:

  • Psychology
  • Human Development
  • Sociology
  • Anthropology
  • Political Science
  • Cultural Geography
  • sometime: Linguistics

Social Sciences: Good for transcript and life prep

Vicki’s homeschool high schoolers all covered Psychology and Human Development as credits on their transcripts, as well as partial credits in Linguistics and Cultural Development. They used 7Sisters Introduction to Psychology from a Christian Perspective and Human Development from a Christian Worldview.

These curriculums cover the scope and sequence required for the subjects, but brought down to an average high school level so that most teens can read, enjoy and get benefit from the courses. Both texts include meaningful activities that teens can add if they want to level up their course to Honors.

How do you record Social Sciences on the homeschool transcript?

It’s according to what your teen needs!

  • If they need an elective, then record “Psychology” or “Human Development” (or whichever course) in the “Elective” section of the transcript.
  • If they need another Social Studies credit (or half credit), record it in the “Social Studies” section of the transcript.
  • If they need another General Science credit, record it in the “Science” section of the transcript. (Note: this cannot take the place of required “hard sciences” like Chemistry and Biology on the transcript.)
  • We 7Sisters have most often recorded the Social Sciences in the “Elective” or “Social Studies” sections of the homeschool transcript.
  • As you can see, there’s not ONE right way to handle Social Sciences!

BTW- If you need to understand more about how to handle homeschool transcripts, don’t wait until senior year! 7Sisters has an Authoritative Guide on how to handle transcripts as well as a downloadable, editable transcript template with instructions.

Hopefully your teen can take a Social Science course that will inspire them and give them some practical life tools. You can use a textbook or pull together a Carnegie unit credit of your own. (More info on a previous episode on Formats for Homeschool High School Courses.)

You can also choose the level at which level of rigor at which your teen is learning these courses:

  • AP level: These will usually be online courses  (AP courses must be approved by the College Board)
  • CLEP level: These courses are aimed at preparing students for a CLEP exam
  • Consider it an introduction to the topic and to gain life skills but handle it in a more lighthearted manner
    • That is why we present 7Sisters Psychology and Human Development courses in our don’t-kill-the-subject manner
    • We find that teens tend to like the course, then teens who need more College Prep or Honors level, really enjoy adding the specific extra material and activities for leveling up that we provide.

Discuss with your teen their goals for Social Sciences (and your goals for their high school work):

  • Non-college bound teens can do average level courses
  • Community-college bound teens can chose
  • Many colleges will want to see at least College Prep level, some will want to see Honors (check their websites)

Give your homeschool high schooler a syllabus for the course

Syllabi help teens stay on track with their coursework and take some pressure off of you.

If you have access to these courses at a co-op or group classes, it might be fun!

These are subjects that lend themselves to lively discussion and fun activities in a group. (If you would like to teach the texts in your co-op, check out the teacher lesson plans for Human Development and Psychology. Don’t forget to talk to us about co-op discounts.)

You can also take some Social Sciences through dual enrollment at the local community college

This has been a good use of time for some homeschool high schoolers. It has also been stressful for some (they can be work-intensive courses).

There’s not ONE right way to handle the Social Sciences for your homeschool high schoolers. Have fun with them!

Join Vicki for some practical tips on teaching Social Sciences for your 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*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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*

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!

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!

OR 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*

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!

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!

OR 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*

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.

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!

OR 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*

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 🙂

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!

OR 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*

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