HSHSP Ep 182: Tech Skills for Teens, Interview with Meryl van der Merwe

This week on HSHSP Ep 182: Tech Skills for Teens, Interview with Meryl van der Merwe.

HSHSP Ep 182: Tech Skills for Teens, Interview with Meryl van der Merwe. Practical skills every teen needs for success in daily life, college prep and life after graduation. #HomeschoolHighSchoolPodcast #TechSkillsForTeens #HomeschoolAndTechnology #DigitalSkillsForTeens

HSHSP Ep 182: Tech Skills for Teens, Interview with Meryl van der Merwe

Vicki is so excited to have our fellow podcaster, Meryl van der Merwe of the Homeschooling with Technology podcast, join us today to talk about technology and teens and homeschooling high school. Meryl is also the owner of a fun online academy where students use technology in multiple ways in each course: FundaFundaAcademy.com.

Meryl and her husband moved from South Africa to the United States (Tennessee) in 2003 for a better American life. When their four kids started school here, they found that American schools were far behind what her kids had learned. She did not want to waste their time or bore them by having them repeat things they had already learned, so she and her husband decided to start homeschooling. She calls herself an *unsuspecting homeschooler*.

Meryl’s kids have all graduated now. Four of the five graduated from homeschooling high school. The youngest decided to go to public school for high school and did well there. Meryl’s family again proves that there’s not ONE right way to educate our kids…even if that means some teens switch to traditional schooling.

Meryl is a programmer by profession (she worked for Shell South Africa). Her father was an engineer so there was always *techy stuff* around the house when she was growing up. She always enjoyed technology, so even though she majored in English and German in college, she naturally gravitated to technology as a career. When she started homeschooling her kids and then teaching in homeschool co-ops, she found her tech skills to be in high demand!

Meryl’s tech experience is why we asked her to join us on for this episode of Homeschool Highschool Podcast. We homeschool moms are often digital immigrants (we were not born into the world of digital technology- as opposed to our kids who are digital natives). We often need some guidance on technology. With Meryl’s help, we can make sure to help our teens have good tech skills so they are prepared for life. In this HSHSP episode, Vicki and Meryl discuss important basic technology skills that you or your teens may not be thinking about yet.

Here are basic tech skills for teens:

  • Email (they need email for college, work and organizational communication)
  • File storage (how to create and store files, then find them!)
  • Screen shots (how to create, store and share screen shots)
  • Google drive for virtual collaboration. Most college courses these days require group project work using Google drive. This is a good project for homeschool co-op projects.
  • Basic trouble shooting (starting with the classic reboot)
  • Google search or YouTube search for solutions and information
  • Word processing (if they cannot QUERTY, they will not be ready to quickly word process for college-level work)
    • Without QUERTY, they end up using the *Columbus system* (find a key and land on it)  for keyboarding, that makes typing SLOW!
  • Create a slide show: It is a good idea to learn as many of these as possible. This is because things change all the time. Knowing a multitude of things helps homeschool high schoolers and graduates to be nimble in their adjustment to changes. Some examples are: Powerpoint, Prezi, Google Slides, Keynote.
  • Spreadsheets: Organize ALL kinds of information: money, math, tasks. Some examples are: Google Spreadsheets, Excel.
  • Creating graphics. Teens will end up using graphics for many projects in college and life.  Some examples are: Picmonkey, Canva, Adobe Spark, Google Drawings.
  • Create flyers and promotional materials. Using the graphics they have created or other photos.
  • Create videos. Loom is an example of software.
  • Create videos with voiceover. Some examples are: Windows Moviemaker, iMovie.
  • Create cartoons.
  • Use Tech tools for organization: Schedulers, Google Calendar
  • Take some online courses, many colleges use at lease some digital (Learning Management System/ LMS) courses. Know how to download and upload assignments, use discussion boards.

Meryl’s Funda Funda Academy has lots of online courses that use lots of kinds of technology in each lesson. The name Funda means *study* in Zulu, repeated words mean *really*, so her courses are really about fun learning and study.

  • Programming
  • Computer Application
  • How to do Online Research
  • Tech Addiction
  • Also basic courses like
  • Health
  • Economics

Trying out all these builds confidence and preparation for life and/or college. Including technology as a high school credit also satisfies requirements for graduation for some states. Check out this post on the credits needed for graduation.

Meryl also has Facebook groups:

Check Meryl’s episode on Google Drive and this one on free video tools.


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HSHSP Ep 182: Tech Skills for Teens, Interview with Meryl van der Merwe

HSHSP Ep 180: Integrating Career Exploration into High School Curriculum

Vicki explains how to help teens who don’t have a clue about the future but don’t have TONS of time for Career Exploration by integrating it into their homeschool high school curriculum.

HSHSP Ep 180: Integrating Career Exploration into High School Curriculum

This week on HSHSP Ep 180: Integrating Career Exploration into High School Curriculum.

Integrating Career Exploration into High School Curriculum. Combine Career Exploration and Language Arts for a meaningful, life-changing English credit for the homeschool transcript. #HomeschoolHighSchool #CareerExploration #HomeschoolLanguageArts #HighSchoolEnglishCredit #HomeschoolHighschoolPodcast


HSHSP Ep 180: Integrating Career Exploration into High School Curriculum

In Vicki’s years as a homeschool advisor and career coach, one of the saddest things she has watched is the stress that 11th and 12th graders often feel if they are not settled on what they are going to do when they graduate. Do you have a teen like that? It’s okay. There are non-intimidating ways to help them explore.

High schoolers really need to do LOTS of career exploration. This is especially true when they are not sure what they want to do for a college major or career. The problem for many homeschool high schoolers is that their schedules are packed. Often their core academics and transcript-building extracurriculars leave them little time to squeeze in something as nebulous as official Career Exploration.

So, let’s talk practical. One practical way of helping Career Exploration happen for your teens who are not sure about their future careers, is integrating it into their academic curriculum.

That’s right! Combine Career Exploration and academics and help your teens earn doubly useful credits.

Integrating Career Exploration into High School Curriculum

Let’s take Language Arts as an example of a great place to combine Career Exploration and a core academic. It is an interesting, useful (and maybe even fun) way to handle one year’s Language Arts.

Here is a way to combine the Career Exploration with the Literature and Writing components of the yearly Language Arts credit. (Want more information on what is included in a complete high school Language Arts credit? Check out this Homeschool Highschool Podcast episode.)

Combine Career Exploration and Language Arts for a life-changing homeschool transcript credit.

Language Arts and Career Exploration combined: Literature experiences

When combining Literature and Career Exploration, keep in mind this principle. Teens should be exposed to LOTS of different careers and role models, even those they wouldn’t be interested in at all. This broad understanding of the idea that there are lots of different opportunities helps prepare their brains for exploring career ideas.

Read some biographies. Any biography is good, even if it is not a career your teen will ever do. (For reluctant readers, think about audiobooks.)

Some of 7Sisters’ homeschool high schoolers’ favorites have been:

  • Joni
  • God’s Smuggler
  • Something Beautiful for God

Homeschool high schoolers are not usually called to be saints or Bible smugglers or evangelists with a disability but any biography a teen reads will expand their thoughts about the ways God uses extraordinary circumstances and ordinary people in those circumstances.

Read some books to help homeschool high schoolers understand themselves

Some good books on self understanding include:

  • What Color is my Parachute for Teens by Carol Christen and Richard Bolles (career interests)
  • Emotional Intelligence 2:0 by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves (emotional awareness)
  • The Road Back to You by Ian Cron and Suzanne Stabile

Audiobook versions are good for books like these sometimes. Remember: Any book your homeschool high schoolers read can go on their booklist! (Ever wonder how many books your teens should read at different ages, goals and abilities? Here’s a post to help you decide.)

Language Arts and Career Exploration combined: Writing experiences

Homeschool high schoolers need to do a fair amount of writing each year, including at least one research paper and some essays. (For guidelines on how many papers teens should write according to age, interests and abilities, check out this post.)

First, have your homeschool high schoolers do some personality tests.

This will give them some good *research* on themselves! If you go to Vicki’s coaching website, you can download a freebie: Personal Discovery Links. These are free versions of a number of serious (and not so serious) personality tests. If your teens are limited in their time, have them do the first test (a free version of the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, Vicki’s favorite personality test) and the last two tests (both are career interest surveys). Find the links at VickiTillmanCoaching.com

Now, take the personality test results, use these in writing essays and a research paper.

Choose the research paper style that suits your teens needs. Here’s a post that will help you decide between

  • APA research paper
  • Chicago-style research paper
  • MLA research paper

You can also have your homeschool high schoolers visit these websites and investigate different careers.

  • They can choose four or five interesting-sounding careers and write a page or two on each for a research paper titled something like: Interesting Career Ideas.
  • Or a 5-paragraph essay on each career they looked at.
  • These are the websites:
  • CareerOneStop.org This is US Department of Labor’s website that tells:
    • Job descriptions
    • Videos
  • BigFuture at College Board

You can also have your homeschool high schoolers do career shadowing or interviews with people in different jobs.

  • Write a 5 paragraph essay about each.
  • Write an end of the year wrap-up essay about themselves.

You can all the course: Career Exploration Language Arts or Language Arts 9 (or 10 or 11 or 12)

HSHSP Ep 180: Integrating Career Exploration into High School Curriculum

HSHSP Ep 179: Career Coaching with Homeschool High Schoolers, Interview with Jamie Beck

Jamie Beck, a Career Coach, joins Vicki to discuss Career Exploration for homeschool high schoolers.

HSHSP Ep 178: What’s Good and Bad about Tech for Teens, Interview with Leah Nieman

This week on HSHSP Ep 178: What’s Good and Bad about Tech for Teens, Interview with Leah Nieman.

HSHSP Ep 178: What's Good and Bad about Tech for Teens. Interview with Leah Nieman. Tools for parents for keeping teens safe and providing teens with great educational resources. #HomeschoolHighSchool #HomeschoolAndTechnology #SafeDigialWorld #GreatEducationalTools #LeahNieman


HSHSP Ep 178: What’s Good and Bad about Tech for Teens, Interview with Leah Nieman

Many of us homeschool moms are *digital immigrants*, we were around in the days before the internet and always feel like we are a step behind our kids in the things going on in the digital world. Our kids, on the other hand, are *digital natives* and tend to be very comfortable there. We moms worry about the safety of our children and teens when they are online.

That’s why I asked our friend and fellow homeschool mom, Leah Nieman (our favorite technology expert) to join us for a realistic discussion about the world of technology for those of us homeschool moms who are not experts ourselves. She shares with us what’s good and bad about tech for teens.

Leah Nieman

Leah Nieman. Photo used with permission.

The key issues that parents need to know about the online world include:

  • Privacy
  • Education of parents
    • Leah reminds us that where the parents are the teens don’t want to go. When parents are on Facebook, kids go to Instagram, then Snapchat, etc. So we need to stay up to date on information and maintain open communication with our homeschool high schoolers (and youngers).
  • Education of teens
    • Appropriate behavior in online classrooms,
    • Appropriate behavior and company outside the classroom
  • Safety on social platforms

What’s Good and Bad about Tech for Teens: Social Apps

It’s easy to read bad reports on the internet about social apps that only cover bad news. However, we don’t have to go to extremes and keep our homeschoolers off all social media. Rather, we need to be discerning and wise. When our young people come to us and want to download a new app, do some research and discuss what you find with them.

Parents should research:

  • What are the privacy settings. Can I limit who sees my child’s information?
  • Can I block and eliminate this app if it proves to be a poor choice?
  • Is my child’s location private?
  • Is the app targeted to kids but has *content buckets* (content buckets are sections of the app for different ages, children in one bucket, adults in another bucket). Can adults jump out of their content bucket into your kid’s bucket?
    • An example: Some apps have 2 content buckets. It’s easy for adults to get out of their bucket into the younger people’s bucket. This raises safety concerns because a young person may take at face value that a person is who they say they are. Vicki, in her job as mental health counselor has worked with young teens who thought they were talking with a peer on a social app but found out the hard way they were dealing with a predator.

Parents should keep conversations going:

When we parents are uneducated or overwhelmed we often want to stop the conversation about technology. However, we need to watch out when conversation stops! Kids get their information from peers if it doesn’t come from parents. Although we are uncomfortable we need to lean into uncomfortable topics by:

  • Being curious, ask questions
    • What do you like about it?
    • What is the draw for you?
  • Listening and allowing your kids to educate you. (Also, do your own research at LeahNieman.com)
    • Understand first, then ask questions.
  • Being open about your feelings, listen and be educated
  • Any topic we avoid is an open entry for danger

Some social apps that middle school and high schoolers use (don’t forget, mom, stay in the conversation with your homeschoolers about social apps:

  • Snapchat
  • Yubo (known as tender for teens). Here’s Leah’s informative post on Yubo.
  • Live.ly Live.me
    • These are for live streaming and live broadcasting
      • Live streaming: Like Facebook Lives, a person presents a topic. It is not spontaneous.
      • Live broadcasting is about connecting with peers, it is done in a stream of consciousness fashion, the intent is to connect, to create a social event. This can be a concern: who are your teens connecting with? Teens issue challenges like: Hey, do a dance, sing a song… and that is broadcast to the community. This can put a teen in a vulnerable position because of their lack of experience, discernment and natural impulsivity. Live broadcasting is popular with teens because they are targeted to teens, appeal to teens by connecting them. )
  • Tiktok is a top-ten download in Apple store. It was formerly called Music.ly.
    • Tiktok hass big draw for young kids (guidelines are supposed to be age 13 but many younger kids are on the app).
    • Young people create little videos and skits to music that is provided daily in a challenge. Kids like it because it has interactive community.
    • The concern for parents is the privacy. Adults  (strangers) are present on Tiktok. They can direct message your kids and share out onto other platforms.
    • Kids can create own accounts without parents knowing. They usually don’t know how to set privacy settings.
    • Leah talks about about setting up test account and is immediately asked for follows by young children who are yielding to pressure to grow their audience.

How do you keep kids safe:

The digital world is not all terrifying. There are great apps that are great tools for education. LeahNieman.com provides lots or information on great tools for homeschool families.

The digital world is not all terrifying. There are great apps that are great tools for education. We call it *gamified learning*. Check out Leah’s blog series with LOTS of great educational apps.

Some apps are good for tacking educational progress:

It’s a low pressure way to build skills, remediate and track progress. For example:

  • Spelling apps
  • Coding apps

Some apps are productivity apps.

  • As families with high schoolers, we can benefit with having a coordinated calendar app.
  • Project apps. Break down projects and progress through them.
    • When homeschool high schoolers learn productivity with an app, they can take that skill to college.
    • Leah loves using these apps herself. Google One-note to import her research and break down tasks. Then she puts the tasks on Google Task. She has a whole list of cool organization apps for teens.
    • Companies use Trello and Asana. Teens can benefit from learning how to use these as a resume builder. Team building experience and communication skills building. Digital soft skill building.
    • When information and tasks are gamified or made visually available, they progress better.

Check out this series on real-life, practical apps for homeschool families.

Leah also discussed the popularity of online games for teens. Leah likes online gaming. Here are her guidelines:

  • Know who they are playing with (just like you would never just drop teens off to an activity without knowing anything about it or who they will be with)
  • Make sure the gaming environment is safe.
  • Supervision and guidance is important. In other words, don’t avoid the conversations. Be curious, listen, the guide for safety. Kids like to talk about their online friendships, if we keep the communication doors open. We parents need to be interested and approachable so they feel free to talk.
  • Keep the balanced lifestyle. They need sunshine and exercises as much as they need their games. They need to do their lessons and do their activities of daily living (eating, chores, self-care). This is the modern version of teens only wanting to watch television all day long back in the 1970s.
  • Gaming is a good way to connect with their friends, they are genuinely interacting and helping each other. Digital soft skills development as individuals and teamwork.

Join Vicki and Leah for this enlightening discussion of what’s good and bad about tech for teens.

Visit Leah at:

LeahNieman.com (Sign up for Leah’s newsletter there and get a free set of conversation-starter questions.)

Facebook (lots of up to date information, current issues)

Youtube (SOOO much good information!)

You’ll also love our friend, Meryl’s podcast right here on Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network: Homeschooling with Technology!

HSHSP Ep 178: What’s Good and Bad about Tech for Teens, Interview with Leah Nieman

HSHSP Ep 177: Becoming a Mompreneur, Interview with Cheryl Pitt

Such an encouraging interview with our friend, Cheryl Pitt, about becoming an entrepreneur while being a homeschool mom!

HSHSP Ep 177: Becoming a Mompreneur, Interview with Cheryl Pitt

This week on HSHSP Ep 177: Becoming a Mompreneur, Interview with Cheryl Pitt.

HSHSP Ep 177: Becoming a Mompreneur, Interview with Cheryl Pitt. Homeschooling and family business go well together. Join us for this encouraging interview on becoming a mompreneur, with Cheryl Pitt of 2 to 1 Conference. #HomeschoolHighSchoolPodcast #2to1Conf #Mompreneur #HomeschoolFamilyBusiness #MomEntrepreneur


HSHSP Ep 177: Becoming a Mompreneur, Interview with Cheryl Pitt

Homeschooling and family business go well together. Join Vicki and Kym for this encouraging interview on becoming a mompreneur, with Cheryl Pitt of 2 to 1 Conference. We are so excited that on this episode we have the opportunity to interview our good friend, Cheryl Pitt! Cheryl is a true mom entrepreneur: a Mompreneur!

Cheryl is a homeschool mom and serial entrepreneur. She and her husband have 4 kids ages 23-4. She and her husband also raised his youngest brothers and are caregivers for their grandfather.

Cheryl has had to make lots of adjustments while being a business woman, wife, caregiver and homeschool mom. One of her priorities has always been her family’s homeschooling. She prioritizes watching her kids to understand their strengths, interests and needs. For instance:

  • Her oldest liked checklists and workbooks
  • Her husband brother (the older one) liked checklists and workbooks, also
  • His youngest brother had ADHD and auditory processing issues, so his homeschooling needs were completely different
  • With her younger set of kids, Cheryl has noticed:
  • Her 11 year old has some auditory processing issues but is very creative
  • Her young daughter is very creative but is a perfectionist
  • Her 4 year old is a tactile learner and quite busy

What is Cheryl’s advice for helping teens find their strengths and interests towards their future careers?

Hold onto the freedom of sticking to the way God created your children! Don’t try to restrict them OR to plan their future for them.

  • Leverage their interests, gifts and skills.
  • Let them explore on their own.
  • When doing career exploration, do a LOT of exploring. Some kids come out of the womb knowing what they want to do, but most don’t .
  • We never outgrow growing, even as moms. Kids don’t know their whole futures, it takes exploring!
    • Cheryl and her husband have a security business. Her oldest son explored staying with the family business but after helping out for 5 years, he went into farming. That was the right fit for him!
    • Need some Career Exploration curriculum to get your homeschool high schoolers started? Download 7SistersHomeschool’s popular Career Exploration Bundle.

Cheryl’s advice for homeschool families that want to make the best of work/life balance while helping kids discover their gifts and interests:

  • Have lots of experiences, not just book education
  • Do as much traveling as you can
  • Give them exposure to people with different interests and disabilities
  • Spend family time whenever the family can be together

Mompreneurs wear lots of hats!Juggle those hats! Choose which hat to drop! None of us can do it all. When monkeys take the hats, find creative ways to get them back...or let the monkeys have them. Cheryl Pitt 2to1 Conference

Speaking of Cheryl’s serial entrepreneurism, Cheryl has so many hats, she reminds us of the children’s book: Caps for Sale. Her hats blow off and she has to catch them and put them back on!

Cheryl is founder and hostess of 2:1 Conference for Christian homeschool mom entrepreneurs: Mompreneurs. (You should come to 2:1 Conference if you are a homeschool mom and business woman or homeschool blogger. Kym, Sabrina and Vicki go every year and love all that they learn and all the friends that they make!)

  • Enterprise Security Systems (helps governmental agencies with security).
  • HS Mompreneur (a subscription box for Christian homeschool mom box of goodies that will bless your heart, your homeschool and your business). Vicki and Kym raved about their sample boxes Cheryl gave out at the last 2:1 Conference: SUCH a cool stapler was in it, besides all kinds of other cool stuff.)
  • Vicki pointed out that Cheryl, while being successful, is not an intimidating presence.
  • She started blogging in 2008, when homeschool journals online. Some bloggers were being to montetize> Cheryl wemnt to Blissdom and she loved it but wanted to offer something like that for her people; the online homeschool mom. The dream grew over time. Worked with close friends. Cherly feels like she’s not an intimidating presence, a reingleader because the conference is God’s.

Cheryl’s advice for upcoming mompreneurs.

  • Watch out for fear! It all boils down to trust. Seek God, if it’s his idea, it will work. It will be hard but it will work!
  • Lay down pride: In business, we are serving people, not just making money, not just running businesses!
  • Take baby steps…and keep on taking baby steps!
  • If you’re faithful with what God gives you, it will grow.
    • But remember: Success is not linear. We don’t start a business and have continuous upward growth.
    • We go forward, hit bumps, adapt, grow, hit lulls, adapt, grow.
    • Growth isn’t the litmus test of success. There are seasons of growth and times of rest. Keep faith

Kym has an analogy that being a mompreneur is like cars driving down road. There are lots of twists and turns, sometimes a bumpy road. But when you can stay on the road, you’ll arrive!

What advice does Cheryl have for mompreneurs with so many hats to  juggle?

  • There’s no such thing as balance. So don’t waste your time trying for perfect balance!
  • Daily prioritization. Prayerfully decide what’s important to do first each day. Remembering you are a:
    • Daughter of Christ
    • Your husband’s wife
    • Your children’s mother
    • Then a business owner
  • Beware of the tyranny of the urgent. Sometimes urgency IS the priority. Prayer will clarify whether urgency is a distraction or the priority!
  • Routines are important to get the day-to-day necessities done.
  • Juggle those hats! Choose which hat to drop! None of us can do it all.
    • When monkeys take the hats, find creative ways to get them back…or let the monkeys have them.
  • Whatever God has put on your heart! Don’t sit on it, start taking baby steps!
  • Life happens, you’ll have challenges. Keep those baby steps going!!

Get in touch with Cheryl at:

For more encouragement, listen to this episode of Homeschool Sanity Podcast with our friend, Melanie Wilson about getting organized. She is the expert, organized mompreneur!

You’ll be so encouraged by this interview with Cheryl Pitt!

HSHSP Ep 177: Becoming a Mompreneur, Interview with Cheryl Pitt

HSHSP Ep 176: Hands-on Learning in Homeschool High School, Interview with Susan Evans

This week on HSHSP Ep 176: Hands-on Learning in Homeschool High School, Interview with Susan Evans.

HSHSP Ep 176: Hands-on Learning in Homeschool High School, Interview with Susan Evans. Make homeschool high school fun and effective with experiential learning. Don't take school so seriously! Have fun! #HomeschoolHighSchoolPodcast #HandsOnLearning #ExperientialLearning #HomeschoolHighSchool #SusanEvans


HSHSP Ep 176: Hands-on Learning in Homeschool High School, Interview with Susan Evans

Do your homeschool high schoolers have days that they HATE their studies? Teens get bored with nothing but textbooks! Join Vicki and our friend, Susan Evans, who reminds us that teens don’t outgrow the need for experiential learning! When they have hands-on experiences, they regain a love for learning.

Susan is an expert on hands-on learning. That’s the way she educates her homeschool high schoolers. Her good-natured teens still love education because Susan comes up with hands-on experiences for their transcript credits.

Susan reminds us that having fun in education, makes education successful. She tells the story of teaching writing in a low-performing school. She did mystery events with her. Then her students wrote mystery stories about the event. The next testing showed her students scored significantly higher on their standardized tests, because they were now engaged and encouraged.

When she started homeschooling her kids, she decided to keep those hands-on learning principles going with her own kids education. She did not give up experiential learning even when her kids reached high school levels. Susan reminds us to bring more joy to your home through hands-on learning!

Bring more joy to your home through hands-on learning!- Susan Evans Listen to this episode of Homeschool Highschool Podcast and get lots of ideas for experiential learning in homeschool high school.

What are some hands-on learning experiences that Susan has used in her homeschool high school?

Need some ideas for experiential learning in your homeschool high school? Susan Evans is an endless fount of hands-on blessings. Remember, don’t take yourselves too seriously. Have lots of fun! You can get inspiration at her YouTube channel and website.

Here are some of Susan’s favorite ideas:

  • Science labs:
    • Animal classification wall. Susan and her family cover a wall poster board diagrammed with kingdoms, phylums, genus, species. Add photos.
    • Potato head genetics: Susan and her teens practice dominant and recessive genes with different kinds of eyes, noses and ears on their Mr. Potato Heads.
  • History:
    • Hold feasts from each location and time period: Susan finds recipes online and in library books. The family works together to cook and present the meal. They eat in period costumes. Then they follow up with period-related activities.
    • Re-enactments: Susan and her family attend Civil War and Revolutionary War re-enactments. National, state and local parks often have interpreters who do some re-enacting.
    • Plays: Susan’s family particularly enjoys Shakespeare plays during the summer when her community holds free “Shakespeare in the Park” events. They also attend other period plays.
    • Visit events and shops: Susan’s family visits antique car shows and antique shops. They learn about period cars, furniture and culture. Nothing can substitute for actually knowing what these things look like!
    • Field trips: Homeschool high schoolers never outgrow field trips. No matter where you live, there are some field trip opportunities. And given time and resources, vacations can turn into larger educational field trips. After all, ALL of life is education! Vicki, Sabrina and Kym have lots of field trip ideas for homeschool high schoolers in this episode of Homechool Highschool Podcast.
    • Parties from each decade of the 20th century: Susan’s family throws Decade parties. Everyone wears costumes and shares food and activities from the decade being studied. (Susan reminds us that right before Halloween, you can find cheap costumes.) An example of a Decade Party: For 70s party: buy a Walmart disco ball, bake a *record cake*, play music of the era with a YouTube 1970’s pop music mix.
  • Literature:
    • Re-enact scenes from family read-alouds: Susan’s homeschool high schoolers re-enact scenes from the famous literature. Her teens especially loved re-enacting their favorite scenes in The Iliad and The Odyssey.
    • Hold mystery partiers after reading mystery novels: Susan started this tradition while teaching in public schools. Her homeschool high schoolers still love reading mysteries then throwing a celebratory mystery party.
    • Have treasure hunts after reading Treasure Island or other pirate novels: Susan loves hiding treasures with clues and maps. Her teens get a kick out of the game.
    • Bible: Susan’s family acts out Bible stories. She says that over time, they have re-enacted the entire Bible!
  • Career Exploration: Practice interviewing. Susan’s homeschool high schoolers have loved 7Sisters Career Exploration curriculum and posts. Here’s a YouTube link to her sons practicing what NOT to do at a job interview.
Susan Evans. Photo used by permission.

Susan Evans. Photo used by permission.

How does a homeschool mom plan and organize hands-on activities for homeschool high school?

Susan says prayer and getting her teens involved are important! Here are her tips:

  • For planning our lessons, Susan suggests starting with prayer when she plans her subjects each year. She believes that God created our creativity, so she expects Him to give her fun ideas…and He does!
  • Give teens job to research, plan and organized hands-on activities.
  • If they drive, they can even Log these hours.
  • Don’t take yourselves too seriously. Relax and have fun!
  • Log hours for all these hands-on activities. These hours go towards leveling-up credits in a way that is fun and memorable.

Join Susan’s Treasure Vault for TONS of ideas for hands-on learning in homeschool high school. Start with encouraging posts at Susan Evans Hands-on Learning. AND catch her YouTube Channel.

HSHSP Ep 176: Hands-on Learning in Homeschool High School, Interview with Susan Evans

HSHSP Ep 176: Hands-on Learning in Homeschool High School, Interview with Susan Evans

Susan Evans joins Vicki for a fun discussion on how to liven up homeschool high school with hands-on experiences.

HSHSP Ep 175: How Teens Can Explore Psychology as College Major

Vicki shares engaging ways homeschool high schoolers can explore the possibilities of a career in Psychology.