Celebrating Easter with Teens and Young Adults

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Easter with teens and young adults doesn't have to be a head-scratcher. By adapting your celebrations to include more mature, interactive activities, you'll keep the spirit of Easter alive and hopping. It's a beautiful time to celebrate growth, renewal, and family bonds. So, let's embrace this Easter with open hearts and a basketful of new traditions that your family will love for years to come.Easter’s hopping around the corner again, and it’s a fantastic time for fun, reflection, and family bonding. But as our little chicks grow into big birds, you might wonder how to keep the Easter magic alive. Fear not! Celebrating Easter with teens and young adults can be just as joyful and meaningful, with a sprinkle of creativity.

Easter Activities for Teens and Young Adults

Gone are the days of simple egg hunts (or are they?). Here’s how you can elevate your Easter activities:

  • Epic Egg Challenge: Think outside the basket with a high-stakes egg hunt. Hide clues leading to a grand prize, or make it a digital scavenger hunt with QR codes!
  • DIY Decoration Station: Set up a craft area for making sophisticated Easter decorations. Think egg painting with a twist, using glow-in-the-dark paints or creating emoji eggs.
  • Cook-Off Competition: Whip up a storm with an Easter-themed cook-off. Who can make the best Easter brunch dish or the most creative chocolate treat?

Incorporating Tradition with a Twist

Keep the traditions alive but with a twist that appeals to older kids:

  • Sunrise Service or Reflection: Attend a service together or have a moment of reflection at home, discussing its significance in a way that resonates with them.
  • Basket Building for Others: Instead of receiving, switch it up! Prepare Easter baskets for community members or a local charity, focusing on giving back.

Creating Lasting Memories

The goal is to spend quality time together, creating memories that everyone will cherish. Capture these moments with a family photo shoot in your Easter best or create a video diary of the day’s activities. It’s about making each Easter memorable and special, no matter their age.

Easter with Teens and Young Adults

Easter with teens and young adults doesn’t have to be a head-scratcher. By adapting your celebrations to include more mature, interactive activities, you’ll keep the spirit of Easter alive and hopping. It’s a beautiful time to celebrate growth, renewal, and family bonds. So, let’s embrace this Easter with open hearts and a basketful of new traditions that your family will love for years to come.


Love these Easter ideas? Check out these podcasts.

Encouraging Your Teen Driver – MBFLP 301

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Encouraging Your Teen Driver | Join Making Biblical Family Life Practical.

Encouraging Your Teen Drivers

More and more Gen-Z’ers are delaying their driver’s licenses … but we’re helping our eighth child through the process right now! This is a step toward adult independence and a big help to the family right now … as we’ve seen time and again. This episode we’re talking about why and how we encourage our young drivers to reach for the wheel!

This podcast episode sponsored by The Ark and the Darkness.


We’re watching our eighth child going through driver’s ed and preparing for her license, and we’re realizing this is not as common as it once was. When we were teenagers, gaining that license was a major life goal, as soon as the law and the parents would allow it! While it still is for some teens, the numbers have dropped off sharply.

Researchers found the proportion of high school seniors with their driver’s license dropped from nearly 90% in the mid-eighties to less than 75% today. In some states, that number dipped to 65%. *

Some people cite the rise of ride-sharing services like Lyft and Uber, and point out they are popular with young people. That may be true enough, but the decline started before ride-sharing was created, and the decline is even greater in rural areas where Uber doesn’t go than in urban areas where the app is popular.

In contrast, we have always felt it important for our teenagers to learn to drive as soon as possible. It’s a step toward adult independence, and a skill that is helpful for so many reasons – for the family they’re in right now, not just future situations!

*[Ref: Jean Twenge and Heejung Park, “The Decline in Adult Activities Among U.S. Adolescents, 1976-2016” (Child Development, 2017)]

Encouraging Teen Drivers | Join us for Making Biblical Family Life Practical. |

 

 

Teens and Complicated Christmas- Special Replay

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast- Teens and Complicated Christmas- Special Replay.

Teens and Complicated Christmas- Special Replay

Teens and Complicated Christmas

Some years are just tough! What if you or a family you know has experienced: illness, divorce, financial or family loss, or other difficult situation?

Though the rest of the year might be challenging, when Christmas comes along, it can be really hard for teens (and adults) to know what to do with their feelings. It is hard for them especially if their feelings are not such “Christmas-y” feelings.

How do you help teens (and the rest of the family) in complicated Christmases?

The first way to help teens (and parents) deal with complicated Christmases? Start with getting rid of “musts”.

One must is the need to have fancy, expensive Christmases. It is good to talk to teens- be real with them. They are old enough- after all, lots of them are taking Financial Literacy courses.

One way Sabrina’s family has handled financially tough Christmases, it to share with each other the gifts they would love to share together. They can even draw pictures, make collages or other creative ways to have fun with the “wish I could give you” gifts.

Next, Christmas can get complicated with scheduling. It is good to over-communicate about it.

Teens often have jobs that keep them busy during the holidays. Not only that, but they often have special events and performances…along with their siblings (and their parents). SO much going on.

  • So, over-communicate. Keep a calendar and talk about it.
  • Also, give and model grace about all the schedule juggling (and help teens remember to give and model grace also).
  • Help them remember to ask about what they want or need to do. AND we parents can try to frame our requests as questions, not demands.
    • They need to learn that when we say “yes” to something, we are automatically saying “no” to something else.

What if the complicated Christmas includes someone being sick?

Help your teens understand that it is okay to rest if they are sick. It is okay for it to be hard. Help them to think creatively and resiliently on ways that the family can make something good happen- despite (or after) the sickness.

It is really hard for teens if someone they love has died.

Well, truly, loosing a loved one is hard for the whole family. Teens often feel the loss during the holidays acutely because they are in the developmental phase where they are thinking and feeling deeply.

It helps to understand how to grieve as a family if we use the metaphor of concentric circles:

  • The person in the most center circle is the one who is most deeply affected by the loss of the loved one.
    • That person will need to have the most input on what they will need or can handle during this Christmas season.
    • Let them know that “NO” is a complete sentence. If you or your teen cannot handle a Christmas event this year, it is okay.
  • People on the outside circles, are less affected by the death of the loved one.
    • They need to tell those in the inner circles how to grieve or to put their grief away so that “Christmas isn’t spoiled”.

What if your family has experienced divorce?

While we may wish it had never happened, sometimes families experience divorce. Christmas are always complicated after a divorce: where will the kids be on Christmas day, what will happen with the old, family traditions, how will everyone feel because there are two places kids need to be during one holiday?

Sabrina, who has been through a divorce, recommends:

  • Have a no-slam policy.
    • It does NOT help kids feel good about Christmas, when a parent talks ugly about the ex. This is really important for teens.
  • Create new traditions.
    • Some of the old traditions must be put away. See if you can start a new tradition.
  • Make safe spaces.
    • If one of the kids get upset and cry, allow it and love on them.

Join Sabrina, Kym and Vicki for a discussion on helping teens through complicated holiday seasons.

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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
Reading/Literature

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

Grammar

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 which has the text and instruction and the practice in each. There are placement tests on the website to assist you.

Spelling in Language Arts Study

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

 

 

Different Rules, Same Family – MBFLP 290

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

 

“You never would have let me do that,” says the older child. “Why can’t I do the same thing as my brother?” demands the younger. Parents may find themselves caught between competing complaints! But the fact is, many of our family rules can and should change as our children grow and mature – and that means different rules in the same family. This episode, we talk about why that is, and how we can explain it to our kids!

 

Things We Referenced:

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. (The Apostle Paul, 1 Corinthians 13:11)

Surviving the Break with Your College Student (ep. 287)
Thoughts on giving liberty to adult children, while protecting younger siblings from influences they aren’t ready to handle

Our free downloadable guide to “coming of age” ceremonies

Bored kids? Here’s a great list of 101 things to do this summer! 

This episode brought to you in part by

THE SUBSCRIPTION BOX THAT BUILDS YOUR SKILLS

How to Enjoy Being a Mom of a Just-Average Homeschool Teen- Special Replay

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

This week on How to Enjoy Being Mom of a Just-Average Homeschool Teen- Special Replay

How to Enjoy Being Mom of a Just-Average Homeschool Teen

How to Enjoy Being Mom of a Just-Average Homeschool Teen

Your teens do not have to go to Harvard to be exactly who God created them to be. Most teens are “just-average” in the ways that get big attention like:

  • academics,
  • sports or
  • arts

However, God has given each teen gifts, so even “just-average” teens have areas where they shine. Join Sabrina and Vicki for celebration of average homeschool teens with their giftedness from God!

It is easy to fall into the trap that our homeschool high schoolers must perform extraordinarily in some area that gets big attention…or full-ride scholarships to college. Sometimes moms find themselves almost embarrassed if their teens do not go to college or do not do anything news-worthy. It is an unfortunate thing in “American mom-ness” that we moms feel that we are failures if our teens are not famous.

So really, do ALL teens need to be famous in the world’s eyes? How about our teens fulfilling the callings that God gave each of them individually- no matter how large or small?

SO let’s debunk this myth of the idea that only those teens who are gifted in academics, sports or arts are gifted. NO, all teens are gifted in God’s eyes! God gives each person a gift of something in order to bless His kingdom. Therefore, since God gave our teens gifts of some sort to bless his Kingdom, we can rejoice that:

Just average teens are not “just average” in God’s eyes!

ALSO, let’s debunk the myth that average is bad. If average is bad, then God goofed up because statistically MOST teens are average. That’s what “average” means, after all.

How can you enjoy being a mom of a just-average teen?

So, if you have a just-average teen in your house, enjoy them! Thank God and hold an attitude of gratitude in your heart for them. (Okay, realistically, no one feels grateful in tough moments. However, OVERALL, remember to be grateful for the teens God gave you.)

Now for some practical tips to help you enjoy being the mom of just-average teens.

Join Vicki and Sabrina for a passionate discussion about enjoying being the mom of an average homeschool teen! We love our average teens. God loves them, too.

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How to Enjoy Being Mom of a Just-Average Homeschool Teen

Homeschool Teens and Summer Vacation

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Unless you homeschool year-round, your teens probably look forward to summer vacation! And so do we as homeschool parents. But teens who plan to attend college and win scholarships, need to keep in mind that they will often be asked on applications how they spent their summers during high school.

homeschool teens and summer vacation

What summer vacation should NOT become

Teens do NOT have to settle for a miserable summer. They need time off to have fun and relax. They do not need to cram their summer full of activities and classes they think will impression admissions counselors. Summer should not be a time to add to all the stress teens may already be feeling about getting into college.

How teens can use summer productively and still have fun

If teens spend time intentionally planning their summer, they can have an enjoyable 3 months and still have plenty to write about on college and scholarship applications. Students should consider what they enjoy doing and then come up with ideas on how to keep what they enjoy about the activity, but add another layer that will …

Some examples would be for someone who enjoys reading, to start a book club. Enjoy writing? Write a novel. A teen who loves playing computer games could learn how to create them. I know a number of teens who love a particular sport who are helping coach teams or acting as referees. This could be a paid or volunteer position.

Of course, getting a job shows that a student is prepared to work, and is capable of holding down a job. If they do it well, their boss could write them recommendation letters in the future. And jobs provide money plus teach so many skills so working during the summer is something to consider.

Another idea is for teens to take their passions and turn them into a business. This could be as simple as starting a blog, podcast, or Youtube channel about it and making money from affiliate sales and advertising, to creating a product or service around what they are interested in. One teen I know who loved ballet, decorated old ballet pointe shoes and sold them on Etsy. One of my sons built websites for other people. There are so many possibilities. Even if the business idea fails, the teen will have learned valuable lessons.

All high schoolers, homeschoolers too, are usually so busy during the school semester there isn’t time to try out new hobbies. Summer is the perfect time for that! Learn to play a musical instrument, take up pottery, macrame, calligraphy, whittling – it doesn’t matter what! Trying something new shows that you are open to learning and new experiences.

Even going away on vacation can be a valuable activity as well as enjoyable – get your teen to help plan the vacation. Perhaps they can research where to stay and the cheapest place to pick up gas on the way there. Give them a budget and let them plan activities at your destination. This has the added benefit of taking some of the preparation from the parents! My parents always involved us kids, and my husband and I have done the same with our children. It’s a great way to teach real-life skills

Documenting the vacation through a blog, photos, or video is another idea. Perhaps sign your child up for a Photography, Photoshop, or Video-editing class and let them practice their skills during and after your vacation.

A fun way for teens to start thinking about what college they might want to attend, how they will pay for it, and if they have the skills necessary to succeed at college, is to participate in FundFunda Academy’s annual summer High School Challenge for homeschoolers. Students have the whole of June and July to complete a number of challenges related to college prep that will earn them Target and Amazon gift cards – and the overall winner gets $150!

There are so many ways teens can have a fantastic summer AND have plenty of interesting activities to mention on applications. For more ideas take a look at my post on 101 Things for Teens to do in Summer.

Written by Meryl van der Merwe, host of the Homeschooling with Technology podcast.

You Are the RIGHT Parent for Your Homeschooler, Interview with Anita Gibson

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: You Are the RIGHT Parent for Your Homeschooler, Interview with Anita Gibson.

You Are the Right Parent for Your Homeschooler, Interview with Anita Gibson

You Are the RIGHT Parent for Your Homeschooler, Interview with Anita Gibson

Ever have doubts about your ability to parent your homeschool high schoolers? The high school years can be a challenge. After all, we know that we are preparing our teens for life after graduation. We want them to be ready for all they will be facing. What if we do not do enough for them and with them? We can be full of doubt! That’s why we asked our good friend, Anita Gibson, to chat with us. She shares why you are the right parent for your teens.

Anita has homeschooled for over twenty years, and as she says:

It’s been the good, the bad and the ugly! Parenting is the real deal!

Coming out on the other end, Anita says that she is glad she had the homeschool years to get to know her kids well and help them find fulfilling lives.

Anita administrates Simply Homeschool Facebook group, is a director of several local homeschool programs, leads a team of seven high school educational consultants for HSLDA, and has started the website National Homeschool Advocacy.

One of Anita’s God-given gifts is the gift of encouragement. (If you have not yet read her book, StarFinder, you need to do it! You and your teens will be so encouraged!)

So in this episode we are talking about why you are the right parent for your homeschooler!

Why are you the right one to parent your particular teens? Here are some reasons:

God gave you that child

It was not an accident! You were specifically assigned that child by God. He also gave you what you need to do raise that child well. Even on a bad day, when we are doubting ourselves we can recalibrate with the thought:

We can depend on God and the fact He will continue to equip us with what we need to homeschool our teens well.

However, we need to remember that our parenting and homeschooling is not dependent on our strength, but on the strength and wisdom that God will give us (II Corinthians 12:10).

The homeschooling parent we are now is not the homeschooling parent we will be at the end of this process

God gave us teenagers to help us grow! We are in the middle of a growth process, just as our teens are growing!

Have you ever noticed that before we started parenting, we were “parenting experts”? At least, that is how Vicki saw herself. There is nothing like real parenting, though, to squash the feelings of expertise! She found out that she needed her homeschool mom-friends as well as God’s help in the parenting process. Therefore, she grew spiritually, emotionally and socially as much as her teens did throughout the homeschool process!

Perfection is not required

The longer you homeschool high schoolers, the more you will notice your imperfections! So, remember:

Perfection is NOT required!

Over time you will become something more but where you are is the perfect place to start. When you are called to parent or homeschool, hold onto the fact that once you start, success (not perfection) is in your future. God plans for you to have success (even though you will have ups and downs, hard days, dark days as well as lots of good days).

God is not requiring perfection. When He gave you the homeschooling high school job, He didn’t expect you to do it perfectly- because none of us could anyway! 

Homeschooling: Perfection is NOT required!

Get used to waiting

It is wise to adopt the “spiritual posture” or mindset of waiting. While you are waiting on God’s direction, strength or wisdom, if you are wise you learn to have peace- even in those challenging moments. It is the kind of peace that does not deny there are stressors going on, but the kind of peace that knows the answers will come.

We Americans often feel we need to have all our skills and wisdom NOW. Instead, remember that God has planned for success. Success is in our future! His version of success might not look like our version of success, but it is a good success anyway!

Be humble in front of your teens

Model praying for your homeschool high schoolers and ask them for their prayers for your own growth and wisdom. That is the fruit of the Spirit: Humility.

Then listen to your teens’ input. For instance, when one of Vicki’s teens had enough of Mom’s attempts at helping him with high school math, they found a mom at our local homeschool umbrella school to teach him instead. This did not mean that Vicki was the wrong homeschool parent for her teen. Rather, it meant that Vicki was becoming a resource manager. After all, as Anita says:

Homeschooling is about teaching your children how to learn!

We parents are not supposed to be the best at everything! Rather, we want them to learn that as adults, they can look for resources to keep learning things they need to know.

No one can homeschool high school better for your teens. You are the right parent for your homeschoolers!

Remember, God will use your strengths, weaknesses and His grace to grow you and your teens. There will be challenges and growth, hard things and good times, teaching and farming out the teaching. It is all good in the long run.

Also, remember not to compare yourself with other homeschooling parents. You are supposed to be growing and intentional in your relationship with God and your family members. You are NOT supposed to be the same as other homeschooling parents!

An example of being the right parent for homeschoolers

Anita’s daughter was born talking. She taught herself to read at a very early age but she still talked all the time. Anita sometimes had to lock herself in the bathroom just for an escape from the chatter. She found it tempting to want to shut the chatter down. Eventually, God showed her these gifts:

  • Her daughter WANTED to share her thoughts with her. That is a privilege!
  • Anita needed to allow God to give her more capacity to attentively listen.
  • She also found ways for her daughter to use her voice in debate and drama. This led to college scholarships in international policy and now a career in the diplomatic corps. Now she gets paid well to do the very things that had once been irritating. In this way, God grew both Anita and her daughter!

Anita found that she was the RIGHT mom for her homeschoolers, by God’s grace.

One last thought from Anita:

Don’t try to change your kids or you from the outside…It’s an INSIDE job! The job that comes from the work of God in you and through you.

Remember God made us the right parent for our kids so we can KNOW, that we and our kids can rest in Him and grow.

Join Vicki and Anita for an encouraging discussion that reminds you that you  are the right parent for your homeschooler! Also check out these other marvelous chats with Anita:

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Handling Screen Time for Teens, Interview with Dr Melanie Wilson

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Handling Screen Time for Teens, Interview with Dr Melanie Wilson.

Teens and Screen Time, Interview with Dr Melanie Wilson

Handling Screen Time for Teens, Interview with Dr Melanie Wilson

We are back with our dear friend and podcasting colleague, Melanie Wilson of Homeschool Sanity podcast. Melanie is a voice of wisdom and encouragement for the homeschool community for many years.

Melanie is a PhD psychologist who has homeschooled her six kids for over twenty years. Four of them have graduated from homeschool high school and gone on to college. Two are still homeschooling their high school years.

Along the way, Melanie became an expert at organizing (check out her interview with HSHSP about getting organized). She shares her organizational skills and tools with her Organized Homeschool Life Planner,Year of Living Productively, online classes for moms and podcast episodes. She often leads an organizational challenge on her podcast.

To top it all off, Melanie has designed an absolutely delightful grammar curriculum (can you imagine using the word “delightful” about grammar?). Her Grammar Galaxy curriculum teaches grammar skills for elementary and middle schoolers in narrative adventure format!

Today, Melanie is sharing with us about screen time for teens

Besides having teens of her own, Melanie has found that moms have been asking her how to handle screen time for their teens. Therefore, she has been working on getting some thoughts together as helpful guidelines for moms.

When Melanie was a young mom, she (like Vicki and many of us) was determined to protect her kids from every negative influence in the whole world. That way their lives would be safe and anxiety free. (Melanie and Vicki had some hearty laughs over those memories.)

In the early days of parenting, she did not allow her kids to have screen time. However, she and her husband caved to the pressure to allow their children to play video games. She found that there were positives and stressors about this first venture into screens.

Melanie noticed that technology is always changing and thus, there were always new things for her kids to want or need. She was constantly needing to weigh the costs and benefits of various screen times for her kids.

Here are some things about handling screen time that Melanie has learned:

When you have six teens, you have lots of opportunities to find out what works!

Enforcing a lot of rules about technology is energy draining.

Melanie has always said, “Relationship before rules.” Thus, too many rules can interfere with good relationships.

Try not to work harder than your teens to manage their time.

In other words, teach teens good time management skills. This does not mean we are totally hands off when monitoring time and screens. However, a teen who has shown some maturity can monitor their screen and time usage well.

  • The closer teens come to graduating from high school, the more you need to transfer the management of their time and habits to them.
  • This way they can learn by doing, and be better prepared for adulting.

The closer teens come to graduating from high school, the more you need to transfer the management of their time and habits to them.- Melanie Wilson

Let go of the idea that you can protect your teens from every evil influence.

  • In the complexities of the digital world, complete protection of your teens is not possible.
    • Instead, turn to God and trust Him with their safety.
    • Then discuss with your teens that it is their own responsibility to keep themselves safe. Also, discuss internet safety skills and safety skills, in general.
  • One of Melanie’s sons told her that the likelihood of your teens at some point accidentally seeing some pornography on their screens is one-hundred percent. It just happens.
    • You want your kids to be able to talk to you about it when it happens.
    • Therefore, you cannot protect them one-hundred percent, so you must educate them instead.

Melanie spoke about sexuality with each of her children when they were ready.

  • She told them that sex is a beautiful thing when it is within the context of marriage and is private.
  • Making sex public destroys its beauty. She explains that there are some people who want to take sex out of the context of marriage and privacy and make it public.
  • She explains to her kids that when they run into those images during screen time, the do not keep looking at those images.

She also explains to her kids that these pornographic images are as addictive as drugs.

Pornography addicts have more trouble with sexual relationships with their real-life marriage partner.

  • For that reason, Melanie coaches her teens to discontinue looking at any pornographic images when they inadvertently run across them.

Handling screen time for teens and the evil in this world

Melanie also has real discussions with her teens about the evil in this world. She explains that most people do not want to lure them away from safety and abduct them. However, there a few very dangerous people who spend time on line with the purpose of luring young people away from home for evil purposes.

While we homeschoolers have mostly had safe and secure lives, the downside can be a naivety about the fact that there are evildoers in the world. Therefore, our teens need to know that they should not give personal information to people they meet online- gender, age, location, etc. Melanie does have rules about giving personal information to anyone in the digital sphere. However, she knows the most important thing is not the rule but her teens’ buy-in.

Handling screen time for teens and health

Melanie has discussions with her teens about the simple addictiveness of being on screens. (Even we parents have to watch out about how addictive screens are to us.) They need to know that the media and games to which they are exposed is designed to keep them on their screens.

  • In other words, the game designers and media producers take advantage of their understanding our human psychology to keep people gaming or watching. Therefore, feeling stuck on their screens does not show bad character on your teens’ part. Teens need to know that- that this is just a modern-day challenge for all Americans.

Also important to their health is screen time at night time. Teens sometimes need to be reminded of the importance of sleep for health and learning. Help them with their time management and goal setting. (Their health curriculum will address this also.)

Remember to keep discussions relational and non-judgmental!

Check out Melanie’s blogpost about teens and screen time for discussion and resources.

Another good resource is Leah Nieman. Check out these Homeschool Highschool Podcast interviews with Leah about technology, apps and digital audits. Not only that but check out the Homeschooling with Technology podcast with our friend, Meryl van der Merwe, for a gazillion technology ideas.

Join Vicki and Melanie for a helpful discussion on handling teens and screen time.

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

Techie Teen Brandon: Drone videography

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Techie Teen Brandon: Drone Videography

141: Techie Teen Brandon: Drone Videography

In this episode, Brandon Duty explains how he got into drone videography, and what he hopes to do with this skill.

These are the questions Brandon answers – listen to the episode to hear his full response, but the links and specific tools he mentions are included below.

1. What are your interests outside of tech?

2. What got you interested in video creation and editing? And drones?

3. What drone do you have? And what editing software do you use? DGI Mapic air?
Drone: DJI Mavic drone Software: Final Cut Pro

4. What classes have you done to improve your skills?
Through Udemy.com:

  • UAS/Drone Remote Pilot Test Prep for Part 107 (learning aerospace, regulation, the science of flight, airport operations, radio communications, charts, and weather theory)
  • Drone Video for Real Estate Masterclass (learning cinematic maneuvers and how to engage with clients)
  • The Complete Drone Business Course – 5 courses in 1 (learning how to create and market a business)
  • Davinci Resolve 2021 – The Complete Video Editing Course (learning to edit with a certain application, I recommend this application only to those who don’t want to spend money on editing software)

5. What are you planning to do with all this knowledge?

6. Where can we find you online?
Brandon Duty Personal account (for travel videos and drum videos)
Clarity Videography account (for future business videos)

7. What advice do you have for a teen who wants to learn to use a drone?

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Take a look at show sponsor, FundaFunda Aademy to see what they offer for online classes and web-based unit studies.

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Techie Teen Brandon: Drone Videography