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 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 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 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.

HSHSP Ep 174: Teaching About President’s Wives, Interview with Jill Hummer

Dr. Jill Hummer talks about our First Ladies and why they are an interesting study for homeschool high schoolers.

HSHSP Ep 173: Career Pathways for Homeschool High School

This week on HSHSP Ep 173: Career Pathways for Homeschool High School.

HSHSP Ep 173: Career Pathways for Homeschool High School. Career Exploration gets a boost with Career Pathways. Here's how to give your homeschool high schooler a head start on what comes after graduation. #HomeschoolHighSchoolPodcast #HomeschoolHighSchool #CareerExploration #CareerPathways #PreparationForLife

HSHSP Ep 173: Career Pathways for Homeschool High School

How do you help your homeschool high schoolers be best prepared for what comes AFTER they graduate?

There are 2 career-related experiences they really should do:

  • Career Exploration: This is a course that helps teens explore their talents, strengths, interests, abilities, experiences and values to help them narrow down career possibilities.
  • Career Pathways: These are the courses that your homeschool high schooler will do that help prepare them for their future careers or college-majors.

Join Vicki and our wonderful guests: 7Sister Marilyn and our friend, Barb Varnell. You know them from our How to Get Started Homeschooling High School suite of episodes:

Barb has also given us great advice on homeschooling high school with intellectually gifted teens. She’s also a PhD chemist, so she and her daughter join Vicki for a fascinating discussion about whether you can be a scientist and a creationist at the same time.

Marilyn and Barb serve the local homeschool umbrella school as academic advisors. (Vicki retired from the academic advisor role there after 18 years.) They help homeschooling high schoolers have a successful high school experience and  prepare for what they’ll do after graduation. They meet several times a year with teens and their parents to set their goals for high school, career and life. An important part of their discussions are about what teens are doing for their Career Exploration until they clarify some goals (as much as a teen can know). Then they help teens develop their Career Pathways goals that will help you prepare for career or college major.

To get started on Career Exploration, check out this comprehensive post on getting started.

  • Log hours doing various *explorations* and a course to earn a credit for the homeschool transcript.

Career Pathways: These are the courses that your homeschool high schooler will do that help prepare them for their future careers or college-major. Build upon good Career Exploration for great transcripts and life-preparation experiences.

Today, we want to discuss, Career Pathways. Homeschool High Schoolers, here’s some great advice:

Insider tip from Barb: For college-bound teens, develop Career Pathways credits, extracurriculars, competitions and service to make you stand out from the crowd. You want colleges to not only like you, but like you enough to give you money to come.

Career-bound AND College-bound teens:

Want some wise advice, Homeschool Graduates? Don't lose your transcript and don't lose your diploma.

Special advice for 9th and 10th graders:

  • Start keeping track of things to put on your experiential resume because you’re going to forget by the time you get to senior year.
  • Think about what they need to be working on for their core academics (if they are interested in STEM but are behind in
  • Explore interests if they have no clue
  • If interested in military, try a quirky language for your World Language credits. That will make they stand out when they meet with recruiters.
  • Find a couple of extracurriculars you can do each year. Colleges often want to see an ability to stick to an interest, project or organization. (Some college applications only ask which extracurriculars you have been involved in for 2 years or more.)
  • Check out CareerOneStop.org and see what the employment outlook for that job (will there be jobs)
  • Take a class outside home when you can. (This gives you a person who can write an academic recommendation.) Barb notes that some colleges want this recommendation needs to come from a teacher at their *school*. One college has asked for a recommendation from an upperclassman English teacher, SO make sure you have explored the college’s requirements not just for entrance but for their major. Barb gives the example of an art student who got lots of scholarship money based on her portfolio
    • Show up to class on time
    • Do the work
    • Have a great attitude

Ninth graders sometimes don’t like to think about all this, so be gracious. By the time they are in 10th grade they really need to do some gentle thinking about the future.

Advice to parents:

Remember to allow your homeschool high schoolers to have TIME to do all this Career Pathways work.

  • Barb and Marilyn have found that sometimes parents avoid Career Pathways involvements for their teens because:
    • They are worried core academics won’t get done
    • They are exhausted and don’t have time or energy to drive their teens all over the place

Want some specific ideas for Career Pathways opportunities?

  • Engineering: Volunteer for an engineering professor
  • Business: Work in family business
  • Auto mechanics: Help in the office
  • Other trades: Talk to the local union, take some community courses, shadow someone in that area.
  • Counseling: Get HIPAA training, do some clerking
  • Pre-vet: Volunteer at non-profit clinics or vet office. Shadow a vet. (Barb’s daughter who is now a vet
  • Music education: Volunteer for a local music education teacher, give lessons, get involved in local college community music programs
  • Medical programs: Volunteer at the local hospital

Want more great ideas for developing your homeschool high schoolers’ Career Pathways credits. Listen to this HSHSP interview with Barb’s daughter, Sarah, who is now a large-animal veterinarian.

Join Vicki, Marilyn and Barb for an informative discussion on Career Pathways!


Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor -Overcomer Movie

Life changes overnight for coach John Harrison when his high school basketball team’s state championship dreams are crushed under the weight of unexpected news. When the largest manufacturing plant in town suddenly shuts down and hundreds of families begin moving away, John must come to grips with the challenges facing his family and his team. Urged by the school’s principal to fill-in and coach a sport he doesn’t know or like, John is frustrated and questioning his worth… until he crosses paths with a student struggling with her own journey.
Filled with a powerful mix of faith, a twist of humor, and a ton of heart, the Kendrick Brothers return to theaters with OVERCOMER, their newest feature following FACING THE GIANTS, FIREPROOF, COURAGEOUS, and the #1 box-office hit, WAR ROOM. The inspiring family film stars Alex Kendrick, Priscilla Shirer, Shari Rigby, Cameron Arnett, and introduces Aryn Wright-Thompson.

Opening nationwide on August 23, OVERCOMER dares to leave you filled with hope, inspired to dream, and asks the question: what do you allow to define you?

Click here to learn more!


HSHSP Ep 173: Career Pathways for Homeschool High School

HSHSP Ep 171: Planning Homeschool High School

This week on HSHSP Ep 171: Planning Homeschool High School.

HSHSP Ep 171: Planning Homeschool High School. Successful homeschool high school years start with planning. Here are steps to build your confidence for homeschooling high school. #HomeschoolHighSchoolPodcast #HomeschoolPlanning #PlanningHomeschoolHighSchool #HomeschoolSuccess #7SistersHomeschool

HSHSP Ep 171: Planning Homeschool High School

Homeschooling high school can feel intimidating before you get started! Vicki remembers when her oldest was in middle school, she was so nervous about homeschool high school that she gathered a group of homeschool moms together to have weekly prayer and resource sharing. The confidence they gained from the process gave them the courage to move forward (and some of them ultimately began co-oping together).

One thing Vicki and the rest of the 7Sisters discovered is that they feel SO much better when they get some solid planning accomplished. Join Sabrina and Vicki for a quick, lively discussion about planning homeschool high school.

Here’s the first and most important thing to know:

There’s not ONE right way to plan your homeschool high school year (or all 4 years of high school).

But if we follow this simple journalism-style framework, it will help! WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY, and HOW!

The *Who* of planning homeschool high school

While this may seem obvious. You’re homeschooling your teens, that’s who! But, as you know, in homeschooling, the entire family is involved or affected. As Sabrina says, “There a multi-dimentionality to homeschooling high school”. Ask yourself

  • Who all will be homeschooling this year?
  • What is each family member’s educational experience?
  • What are their strengths and weaknesses?
  • What are their learning styles?
  • What are their interests?
  • What are the parents’ strengths and weaknesses?
  • What are their teaching styles?
  • What are their interests?

Remember: There's not ONE right way to homeschool high school. High school curriculum and teaching styles should be as individual as your teens and your family.

The *What* of planning homeschool high school

This is the bulk of your planning! Give yourself time to pray and sort this out. Make sure to include your teens in the process. Remember:
There’s not ONE right way to teach the subjects in high school. The joy of homeschooling is teaching in the order and with the curriculum that best suits your family and your teens. Here’s a helpful post with no-fail steps to choosing curriculum.

You’ll also love this encouraging episode of Homeschool Sanity about choosing curriculum.

What do you want to teach this year? There’s not one specific order that you much use to teach History and Language Arts/Literature. There is flexibility in the order of Sciences (although many people teach Biology before Chemistry, often 10th and 11th grades). There is only a little flexibility in the order of Maths (Algebra 1 comes before Algebra 2, unless you use an integrated math).

Here are suggestions for the order of research paper writing during high school.

Here are suggestions for an order of Literature topics for high school.

What curriculum do you like to use? What works for your teens learning styles? Are their curricula that you can’t stand (Vicki has a difficult time with books that have no photos…she needs entertainment! SO even though her teens might be ok with a bland-looking text, Vicki goes for those that include pictures.)

What courses will you need this year for the transcript? These will get priority in your planning.

How much academics can your teens handle. Non-college-bound teens don’t need to do overkills on numbers of courses or levels of rigor. College-bound teens (especially if they are aiming for competitive colleges) will need more courses and more rigor. Be sure to leave unnecessary stuff out but don’t over stress you and teens.

The *When* of planning homeschool high school

There’s totally not ONE right way to handle the homeschool academic schedule. What works best for your family this year?

  • Block scheduling?
  • Year round?
  • 30 week year?
  • 4 day week?

Choose the best schedule to fit your family’s needs. Homeschooling is a lifestyle choice! Ask yourself these questions:

  • Is mom working full time or part time? If so when? Working at home or out of home?
  • Is a family member on shift work? Does the house need to be quiet so dad can sleep on some days?
  • Are you morning people or night owls?
  • What extracurriculars will your homeschool high schoolers be involved in? (How much car schooling will you need to do?)

Sit down with a calendar. Write in the musts. Fit the curriculum around it. (Really…but just make sure it gets done, of course.) Include your teens in the process!

Get some GREAT tips for scheduling in this interview with Melanie Wilson of Homeschool Sanity Podcast!

The *Where* of planning homeschool high school

The location-style of your family’s homeschooling is important in your planning. Remember: There’s not ONE right location for homeschooling high school. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you have a dedicated school room? Do you have a dedicated homeschool space? (Vicki and Sabrina both found out that no matter what they planned for *education location*, the entire house was the school room. Their houses are full of bookshelves mixed with other stuff, couches laden with school books, sprawling teens and guitars. That was right for their families!)
  • You MUST remember this: There is NO such thing as a Pinterest-perfect homeschool house!
  • Where are you connecting with other homeschoolers for group learning (online, none, local)?
  • Where are your teens doing internships (if any)?
  • Where will mom *sit with* on courses that need one-on-one time?
  • Where will a tutor work, if needed?
  • Who needs privacy and space?

The *How* of planning homeschool high school

The *How* refers to record keeping: How are you tracking your homeschool high school credits?

There’s not ONE right way to keep records, of course! Here are some ideas:

  • Sabrina uses plastic file box for ongoing projects and ungraded papers. She moves completed papers and projects to a master portfolio.
  • Vicki uses yearly portfolios to keep important papers, tests, log sheets for credits, certificates, etc.

Important records we recommend keeping include:

The *Why* of planning homeschool high school

If you don’t know WHY your are homeschooling high school, you shouldn’t be planning! Clarify your WHY! Here some of our WHYs:

God is leading in this direction and we have weighed the costs and are ready for the sacrifices. (At least as far as we can know at the time. The rest is trust in God.) Carefully and prayerfully examine your WHY so that you will have confidence in God’s direction.

WHY shouldn’t be: I want to have perfect kids. As our friends the Fletchers, of Homeschooling In Real Life, say: God is in charge of the outcome, not us!

We have found that homeschool high school years are the best years yet!  Go and be empowered after you enjoy this discussion with Sabrina and Vicki.

Your teens will enjoy 7SistersHomeschool.com’s curriculum. We share the curriculum that we’ve designed and homeschool high schoolers have vetted for years. It is NO-busywork, adaptable to varying interest levels and abilities. We aim for teens to LIKE what they study in homeschool high school!


Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor -Overcomer Movie

Life changes overnight for coach John Harrison when his high school basketball team’s state championship dreams are crushed under the weight of unexpected news. When the largest manufacturing plant in town suddenly shuts down and hundreds of families begin moving away, John must come to grips with the challenges facing his family and his team. Urged by the school’s principal to fill-in and coach a sport he doesn’t know or like, John is frustrated and questioning his worth… until he crosses paths with a student struggling with her own journey.
Filled with a powerful mix of faith, a twist of humor, and a ton of heart, the Kendrick Brothers return to theaters with OVERCOMER, their newest feature following FACING THE GIANTS, FIREPROOF, COURAGEOUS, and the #1 box-office hit, WAR ROOM. The inspiring family film stars Alex Kendrick, Priscilla Shirer, Shari Rigby, Cameron Arnett, and introduces Aryn Wright-Thompson.

Opening nationwide on August 23, OVERCOMER dares to leave you filled with hope, inspired to dream, and asks the question: what do you allow to define you?

Click here to learn more!


HSHSP Ep 171: Planning Homeschool High School

HSHSP Ep 171: Planning Homeschool High School

Join Vicki and Sabrina for a who-what-when-where-why approach to planning homeschool high school years.

HSHSP Ep 170: Developing Integrity Skills in Teens, Interview with Lisa Nehring

Join Vicki and Lisa for tips on developing the important soft skill: integrity.