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

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

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

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

Teaching Tip of the Week

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

Organized Homeschool Challenge of the Week

The Curriculum Review Challlenge

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

Christmas Break

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

Have a happy homeschool week!


Realistic Expectations for Homeschooling High School

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Realistic Expectations for Homeschooling High School.

Realistic Expectations for Homeschooling High School

Realistic Expectations for Homeschooling High School

You need to have the perfect homeschool high school so that your teens grow up to be perfect, right? NOT! There is no such thing as perfection in any homeschool journeys, so let’s be realistic. You have real teens and your real teens have real parents! So we need to be realistic about our expectations.

However, we are not saying “let’s be realistic” means that you should not have dreams or ideals for your homeschool. Not at all! That is because we know that God wired us to have dreams and passions for what our homeschools should become. If God made us to dream, He created us to have expectations!

On the other hand, we do need to set some realistic expectations about homeschooling high school, in terms of:

  • Counting the cost
  • Preparing well
  • Making the big commitment to homeschool high school well

Not only that, our teens need to find and develop their interests and dreams while they learn to set realistic expectations about what it takes to bring those dreams to life.

One of our jobs as homeschool moms (or homeschool dads) is to help our young adults learn to create realistic expectations, in terms of:

  • Thinking with maturity
  • Getting input from people of wisdom

Let’s start with some basic things areas that teens need to set realistic expectations in order to work on their dreams

High schoolers, like their parents, are real people who are spirit, soul and body. So their expectations need to encompass all of those areas.

Realistic Expectations Considering Health

What are your teens unique physical abilities, strengths or challenges? For instance, some teens have illnesses or disabilities that make education difficult. (That is why a number of teens start homeschooling.) Sometimes, teens must adjust their dreams for their future to respect their physical challenges.

Kym gives the example of a teen that had such challenges with chronic health issues, that she had to give up her dreams of a college graduate school education that required math. After adjusting her dreams and allowing herself grace and time, she found a college major that would fit her abilities. Now that teen is and adult and is doing well in her realistic, but happy, career.

Kym suggests helping teens say,

At this point, at this moment, what do we need to do to get through or adjust…this lesson or this goal or this need?

This really means:

  • You can help your homeschool high schoolers develop self-awareness.
  • Also you can teach them respect their dreams while also respect the fact that at the present, they can only do what they can do.
  • Then help them concentrate more effort on what they CAN do at the moment.
  • Next make peacefully adjustments, for instance, at the moment, they may not have the strength to do something right now but there may be some things they can accomplish well.

Here is a tip: Bring a mentor in to help guide a discouraged teen who is struggling with health issues. Sometimes mentors can say the same thing that parents do to guide or encourage a teen, but teens actually hear it from the mentor. (Ever noticed that?)

Also, sometimes a teen’s health struggles might include depression, anxiety or other mental health issues. If so, counseling is a good choice. (Vicki knows, that is what she does for a living.)

Realistic Expectations Considering Social Situations

Sometimes homeschool high schoolers have socially unrealistic expectations. They think they can do everything:

  • Sing in choirs
  • Have a job
  • Play a sport
  • Get involved science and history competitions
  • Top academics
  • Time with friends

One thing that can help these teens is help them do a time audit.

(Instructions for a time audit here.) After a two-week time audit, sit down with them and look at their time audit. Ask the question:

Is this how you want your time audit “pie chart” to look? What can you realistically fit into your life and still keep that time management in a healthy place?

You can also teach them that saying “Yes” to one thing, means saying “NO” so something else.

Teach teens that saying "Yes" to one thing, means saying "NO" so something else.

Note for parents who might slip into “heavy equipment parenting“:

We have also found that some parents have unrealistic expectations about how much their teens can actually do. They need to take a breath and notice that their teens can only do so much and remain healthy- spirit, soul and body.

Not only that, sometimes parents need to tell the “do-everything” teens that they need creativity or boundaries to actually make the transportation or financial resources happen for their dreams. This is especially pertinent if you are homeschooling teens and youngers. In this case, ask your teen to think about what they could do to make their activities happen (or not).

Sabrina gives the story about a teen who wanted to be a filmmaker. This young man is now a young adult. He has found he has to have a day job to support him while he actively works towards his dream. That is realistic for him.

Realistic Expectations for Academics After High School

Vicki served as academic advisor in their local umbrella school for many years. She sometimes worked with young teens who had an academic dream that was unrealistic based on their academic abilities or energy. For instance, one young teen talked about becoming a surgeon. However, this teen did not enjoy math, chemistry or long hours of study.

Kym talked about helping teens begin with the end in mind. Sit down with them with a job and education-level description from CareerOneStop.org. Then write out:

  • the kinds of college
  • numbers of years of college
  • the academic work during college
  • the SATs or ACTs needed for college
  • the course levels and extracurriculars needed in high school.

Sometimes teens simply need to blunder into the future and find out in person what they can and cannot do. Parents can be there to encourage them to fail forward, think with a growth mindset and be open gracefully to different futures when the time comes.

In other words, give teens an arena for safe failure! Teach them the power of “Yet”! (I can’t do that, yet but I can do this other thing.) Those are the roots of growth mindset and failing forward.

Help your teen know that they are not a failure if they experience a failure. Also, remember you are not a failure if your teen experiences a failure. Remember:

A mom’s mind plans her way but God directs her path!

So, realistic expectations does not mean raining on your teens’ parades. Teens need some parades and some sunny skies full of hope and encouragement. However, sometimes we need to be there with umbrellas.

Join Sabrina, Vicki and Kym for realistic encouragement about realistic expectations. Share your stories in our 7SistersHomeschool Facebook group!


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Qualified to Homeschool – MBFLP 266

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

“What makes you think you’re qualified to homeschool?”

That’s one of the frequently asked questions, isn’t it? And if nobody in your family, church, or neighborhood asks — you’ll probably ask yourself. Don’t you have to have a teacher’s certificate to really be a teacher? Shouldn’t you go to college and get an education degree first? Or is the credential less important for a homeschool than a classroom?

This episode, we’re taking a listener’s question and talking about homeschooling with confidence – without specialized training or professional certification. We did it, and you can too!


Do you have a question or a suggestion to share?

We’d love to hear from you! Call our Listener Response Line and leave a message, and maybe we can answer your questions in a future episode!

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What to Include in your Middle and High School Language Arts Study

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

LCP Ep 5: What to Include in your Middle and High School Language Arts Study

Join Katie with Literary Cafe Podcast to learn about what to include in your Language Arts study in your homeschool. #homeschool #homeschooling #languagearts #english #middleschool #highschool

What do you need to include during the middle school years in Language Arts to make sure your learner is ready to tackle high school work? What kind of Language Arts and English program would colleges be looking for and what can count as credit for the high school transcript?

Visit Katie’s website for more fun ideas and tips to use in your homeschool at Katie’s Homeschool Cottage  or her Facebook Group.

Join Katie Glennon as she discusses what skills and concepts you should include in your Language Arts study during the middle and high school years. Katie shares an outline with some specific areas to make sure you include them in your Language Arts study during these critical years. She will suggest and discuss curriculum resources she found useful in her homeschool when her sons were in middle and high school that work efficiently and effectively to meet English requirements and make sure your learner is prepared for the next step – moving from middle into high school or high school into college.

The Areas of Language Arts you should include in the Middle and High School Years

What-to-Include-in-your-Middle and High School Homeschool-Language-Arts-Study pdf (Printable for you to download)

Show Notes

The Areas of Language Arts you should include in the Middle and High School Years

For literature during these years, I recommend a mix of short stories, poetry, essays (non-fiction), drama, and novels. These can be found either separately or in the form of a literary anthology and additional novels to read alongside the anthology.

Along with the novels, you will want to use some kind of novel study guides (that will also assist you with suggested vocabulary words and various questions).

Suggested Homeschool Literary Resources to Assist you in your Literature Study –

Total Language Plus (novel study guide)
Progeny Press (novel study guide)
Mosdos Press Literature Anthologies

Skills and Concepts for Literature Study

There are a number of skills and concepts you will want to include in your literary study.

These skills include –

• Vocabulary – I recommend using words from your reading for your vocabulary words because it saves you time and money from using a separate vocabulary program or curriculum. Most of all, in my experience it is more effective. The words are in context of what your learner is reading and will be understood and remembered more effectively because it is part of a story they will remember. It also gives your learner the practice in figuring out what words mean using their context within a sentence.

• Comprehension and Higher Order Thinking Skill Practice

Recalling details
Comprehending and understanding what they read (being able to identify the “main idea” or “theme” of the story)
Application skills – using what they have learned from the reading to problem solve
Analysis – drawing conclusions, comparing this written work to another from the same author or another author, or comparing what they have read to a personal experience.
Evaluation – critiquing the writing, selecting an issue from the writing and debating it.
Synthesis – taking a point, idea, theme, character from your reading and creating something new from that piece.
Elements of a story – plot, conflict, setting, characters, point of view, mood, tone
Literary devices and writing techniques such as similes, metaphors, imagery, personification, onomatopoeia, hyperbole, alliteration.

• Study different Genres – forms of writing and rhetoric – speeches, drama, essays, short stories, poetry, non-fiction, and novels.

• Study different literary time periods and areas around the world.

American Literature – Native American, Pre-colonial/Puritanism, Colonial, Revolutionary (age of Enlightenment/Reason), Romanticism (includes American Gothic, Transcendentalism), Realism/Naturalism/Regionalism, Modernism, Contemporary

British – (some crossover from American) Old English/Anglo-Saxon, Middle English/Medieval, Renaissance, Puritanism, Enlightenment, Romantic (Regency), Victorian, Modern

World Literature – (Western, Eastern, Other) Can focus primarily on Ancient works from Greek Philosophers or Christian authors, or a broad cross-section of countries, authors, and time periods from around the world.

Semester Specialty Classes – Poetry, Shakespeare, Drama, Journalism, Creative Writing, Research and Composition, specific types of literature or specific authors or parts of the world.

• Worldview – Christian Worldview expressed by author and content or Secular/Humanist view.

• Author Biography and Time Period in which he/she lived or wrote about.
Literature can be a reflection of cultural, religious, societal, and historical views, beliefs, and events written from the author’s point of view or the content itself.

Literature can also be an influencer of cultural, religious, and societal beliefs from the time period and society in which it is written or the author’s point of view and intent. It can influence thinking and historical events.

Writing and Composition

I recommend using your literature study as the jumping off point for essay writing and composition. However, before you can begin with that practice, your middle schooler and early high school student has to have some basic foundation in writing skills.

Middle schoolers should master the proper format of a paragraph –

A Hook to capture the reader’s interest and a Topic Sentence
At least 3 detailed supporting sentences that gives more information directly related to the topic sentence.
A concluding sentence that brings that paragraph to a close.

By the time learners start their first year in high school, they should be working on mastering the proper 5 Paragraph Essay (in this case an informative essay).

I recommend having your learner pick a topic they could talk to you about off the top of his/her head for 15 minutes without really having to think much about it. This topic lends itself to writing this kind of essay and the learner can concentrate on the format of the paper instead of what to write.

Proper 5 Paragraph (Informative) Essay
A Hook and topic (thesis) sentence with an introductory paragraph that include mentioned the three subtopics (or details about the main topic) that you will be discussing in the paper.
3 Body – detailed, supporting paragraphs in the order in which they were mentioned in the introductory paragraph. – Include transition words and sentence variation.
Concluding paragraph which includes a rewording of the topic sentence with a mention of the 3 subtopics and a Clincher sentence (could be a big statement, last thought, question, or a call to action).

Then you are ready to use your literary pieces as a basis of other essays –
Persuasive essay
Analytical essay
Research (and/or MLA, APA, Chicago format) essay
Persuasive essay with citations
Compare and Contrast essay itself to college application essays)
Literary Criticism


Here is a bundle of notebooking pages that we used for our written narration that I mentioned in the podcast to develop our writing skills before we wrote formal essays of different forms. There is a set for different subject areas that we used to either make our own books or put into a 3 ring binder to put together a notebook of our writing and what we learned in that subject that year.

Make Your Own ABC Book Notebooking Pages Bundle Set


Use your learner’s writing to assess what skills they need to review and practice each week.

Other review and practice for grammar skills can be found with these resources –

Rod and Staff – (books go up to 8th grade, but the concepts and skills are up through high school work.) These books use diagramming and are very well explained. If you have a learner that loves following and making lists of steps and learns best this way, you might want to try diagramming. However, if it is frustrating or challenging for you or your learner to understand the “diagramming process”, it may not be worth using that method to learn the grammatical concepts.

If you have a hands-on learner, you may want to check out Winston Grammar. This program uses a hands-on approach and labels parts of speech and how the words are used in a sentence.

Another program I recommend is the Easy Grammar series. The Easy Grammar books have the text and instruction to learn and practice new skills and the Daily Grams are workbooks that have a daily review with 5 different kinds of grammar concepts with one sample of each per day for a total of 5 quick review samples to practice. Loved this! As your child moves into high school, you may want to use the Ultimate Series that has the text and instruction and the practice in each. There are placement tests on the website to assist you.


Spelling for middle school can still be in a phonics based spelling book as recommended in my Language Arts for Elementary Ages podcast such as Building Spelling Skills by Christian Liberty Press .

You can also look at your learner’s writing and include words they misspell in your weekly spelling list.

If you have a learner who is ready to tackle more complex words, I recommend Spelling Power, an inclusive book that you will be able to use for years through high school and multiple learners. It supplies word lists and ways to study and learn the words each week.

Be sure to comment in the Comments box any ideas you’d like to share that your family has used in your Language Arts or any of these ideas from this podcast you found helpful! I would love to hear from you! Thanks for visiting! Come back and visit the Literary Cafe Podcast for August’s topic when we discuss how to study grammar in your homeschool!

Make sure you subscribe to the Literary Cafe Podcast at iTunes so you don’t miss an episode or by clicking on the Android or RSS feed buttons below the recording on this page!

Join Katie with Literary Cafe Podcast to learn about what to include in your Language Arts study in your homeschool. #homeschool #homeschooling #languagearts #english #middleschool #highschool



Homeschooling High School Made Easy

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Homeschooling high school is the hot topic with Cheryl Bastain on Episode #151 of Roadschool Moms. The replay is a live recording by the Roadschool Moms team from the road. Kimberly Travaglino, co-founder of Fulltime Families,  broadcasts from her location after wrapping up the FtF Hangout at the Balloon Fiesta in Albequerque, NM for the last time this year. Across the country, Mary Beth Goff, the Road Trip Teacher calls in from the beautiful Parke County, Indiana. The OTR duo are joined by Cheryl Bastain, homeschool veteran mama of seven . This episode sheds light on the challenges and rewards of homeschooling high schoolers. Hit the replay to hear more about this season of a homeschool mom’s journey as uncovered by the Roadschool Moms team.

Homeschooling High School Highlights

Follow the journey of Cheryl Bastain who has successfully graduated high schoolers from her homeschool tribe of seven kiddos. A veteran homeschooling mom for more than two decades, Cheryl admits that she doesn’t live in an RV but has used road trip as a tool for awesome learning adventures. She gives new roadschool moms advice on where to start if high school is on the horizon. Moreover, she reflects on homeschooling high school as a celebration, a season to cherish with high school aged children. Consequently, this engaging interview also reveals:

  • How to easily integrate roadschool experience into high school credit
  • Why math and science naturally are easily woven into roadschool
  • What methods of homeschooling high school are best
  • Where to start if writing is a struggle in this season of homeschool
  • Favorite roadschool experiences with her own high schoolers

Homeschooling High School on the Road

Hit the replay for this engaging hour of homeschooling high school on the road even when it seems a daunting task. The interview is sprinkled with great ideas to grow your high schoolers portfolio over these important years. Finally, Cheryl even touches on keeping transcripts and submitting college applications but promises to return for another show all about these subjects.

More about Roadschool Moms

Looking for a roadmap for your next learning adventure? Scroll through the RSM library on iTunes to find more than 150 podcast replays.

Homeschool enrollment is on the rise. As a result, more and more families are moving into a home on wheels. Further, the Roadschool Moms record this broadcast to present resources that meet the challenges of today’s roadschooler. Kimberly Travaglino, co-founder of Fulltime Families, and Mary Beth Goff, the creator of Road Trip Teacher, team up every week to offer listeners a fresh take on homeschooling while traveling full time across America’s backyard.

Roadschool Moms:  Season 11

Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor!

We’d like to thank our Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network sponsor Sony and their new movie, The Star, the Story of the First Christmas – Coming in Theaters November 17th!

Visit TheStarMovie.com to learn more.

The College Application Dance – MBFLP 182

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

The process of applying for college can be stressful for homeschoolers. It’s hard enough being both Mom and Teacher – now she has to play Guidance Counselor too! Can your son prove he’s ready for college? How can you showcase your daughter’s real gifts? Will admissions offices believe it when Mom gives the grades? Hal and Melanie have successfully launched four children from homeschooling to the college classroom – this episode, they share some important principles for building an awesome – and truthful! – college application.

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College Decision Resource Package!

CLICK HERE to get yours now!


Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor!

We’d like to thank our Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network sponsor Raddish – a cooking club and curriculum, specially designed FOR KIDS by chefs and educators! Raddish is perfect for homeschooling families! Teach thematic cooking lessons that incorporate math, science, nutrition, geography, and culture. With Raddish, the kitchen is the tastiest place to learn! Use coupon code PODCAST at checkout for $15 off a 6 or 12 month membership. Visit RaddishKids.com/Homeschool to learn more and to download a free lesson.
Check out this info pack: Raddish One Page

Teen Boys Who Hate School – MBFLP 178

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

teen boys who hate school


Long ago, we noticed a revolving door at the eighth grade – parents who homeschooled their children from the beginning putting their kids into the school system, and public school parents pulling their kids out of the very same pipeline. Maybe the problem isn’t the school, but the student! This episode we talk about early teens who get restless and uncooperative about schoolwork, and some strategies to help everyone get through this struggle!

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Lessons Learned in Homeschooling High School

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Lessons Learned Homeschooling High School: Homeschool Sanity Show Podcast

Are you thinking about homeschooling high school? Or are you looking for tips and encouragement to continue the journey? Either way you’ll enjoy this episode with Kym Smythe, Vicki Tillman, and Sabrina Justison of 7SistersHomeschool.com. They’re the moms to talk to for real-life high school homeschooling advice.


The 7 Sisters wrote a guest post on Psychowith6 that you won’t want to miss on the best electives for the homeschool transcript.

Homeschool High School Podcast

For more from these wise moms, subscribe to The Homeschool High School Podcast.

Have a happy homeschool week!

FW Radio – Spiritual Warfare 101

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

FW_015_SpiritualWarfareWhat is spiritual warfare? How do we battle against the darkness? What weapons do we have? Tune in and find out how teens can be more than conquerors through Christ.

Read more about the Finish Well Team at:


MBFLP – Homeschooling High School

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

When we started homeschooling, we weren’t planning to do high school at home – but now we’ve graduated three who all went on to college on scholarship. You can do high school at home, even the subjects you hated (or missed) when you were a teenager, and you can actually enjoy it, too! Listen in for experienced encouragement to take on the big challenge – Homeschooling High School!


MBFLP - Homeschooling High School