How to Handle Bullying, Interview with Candice Dugger

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: How to Handle Bullying, Interview with Candice Dugger.

How to Handle Bullying, Interview with Candice Dugger

How to Handle Bullying, Interview with Candice Dugger

BTW- before we start I love the photo of the girl above. She has don’t-even-try-to-bully-me nonverbals!

We are so glad this week to talk again to our friend, Candice Dugger, whose work and ministry is to help young people heal from bullying. Not only that, she works to help young people, families and organizations create a safe, anti-bullying culture. This week we will talk about how to handle bullying and build some conflict resolution skills.

Many of our podcast family know Candice, but for those of you who are new, let’s share a bit about her story. Candice was happily working in the business world for years when she was sidelined with a serious illness. During that time, she almost lost her son to suicide when he was twelve years old due to horrific bullying.

Candice found that the bullies were present in everywhere her son’s life because the same bullies were in his school, church and scouting groups. She realized the leaders in these institutions were not equipped to help her son or change the culture. So, true to Candice’s can-do style, she created an organization to help: Bullied, Broken and Redeemed.

Bullied, Broken and Redeemed has helped many young people and organizations heal and turn things around.

These days Candice is trying to get the word out about the “GenZ bullying” that young people are experiencing. They are experiencing bullying not only in their in-person lives but:

  • in the social media world
  • online gaming
  • even revenge porn

She has resources for young people and families who have been affected by these GenZ bullying harms, as well as community leaders who want tools to help.

Let’s talk about conflict resolution and handling bullying

You may have notice that traditional conflict resolution skills do not work when trying to handle a bully. So the first step in dealing with a tense situation is to train young people to discern whether this is:

  • Stress or conflict with a person OR
  • A bullying situation

How to identify a bully

Break it down into three easy steps called ARP:

  1. Is the behavior aggressive?
  2. Also, is it repeated or a strong probability of threat?
  3. Is there a power imbalance?

If there are those three things, bullying is present.

Also, remember: The intention of a bully’s actions is not about conflict.

In normal conflict situations (because conflict is part of the human experience), at the end of the conflict event, both parties are upset. Not only that, but both parties want to restore the relationship and create a resolution. Normal conflict is an occasional, not a frequent, event.

Normal conflict can be hurtful but usually does not leave deep, emotional scars.

Bullying is different than normal conflict

A bully’s goals are to:

  • Overpower another person
  • Harm them
  • Inflict pain on them

They do not wish to resolve a problem with their victim. In fact, they do not want the situation to stop.

Unfortunately, over time, some bullies learn skills that help them perpetuate the bullying behaviors. For instance, when confronted by an adult authority figure like teacher or coach, they will put on a smile and act like they want to resolve the problem. Unfortunately, as soon as the adult is not looking, they go back to the bullying behavior.

Bullying can leave deep emotional scars and psychological issues like Post-traumatic Stress Disorder that can last into adulthood. That is why Candice is working so hard to help!

What to do to help young people handle bullying?

So, we do not want to train our young people to use their conflict resolution skills on bullies. They use their conflict resolution skills with family, friends and their groups situations. Most of life will require these skills on occasion. That is great.

Now, let’s look at some handle-bullying skills!

  • Start with evaluating: Is this a bullying situation?

    • Do the ARP. If it is bullying, proceed.
  • Note what kind of bullying is occurring

    • In person
    • Cyberbullying
    • Gaming bullying
    • Family member bullying
  • Do not engage with the bully

    • If it is online: Block the bully
    • If it is in person: Walk away
  • Remind young people that if they are bullied, it is not their fault

    • They are not being bullied because of something they did.
  • Help them become less a target

    • In person: Learn empowered non-verbals (this is something we teach in 7Sisters Social Skills booklet)
      • Shoulders back
      • Chin up
      • Walk with purpose
    • If they are in a situation, teach them to remove themselves
      • Discuss this with your young people.
        • Develop a plan together on how they can remove themselves from a situation that feels like it will become unsafe.
        • Choose a “code word” that they can text you or say to you in a group situation
    • Talk early and often about bullying and tell them never to keep secrets from you, even if a bully tells them not to tell!
      • Let them know that you will always be there to listen and help.
  • As an adult, beware of retaliation bullying

    • Remember, normal conflict resolution skills do not work in handling bullying situations.
      • If you put the bully and a victim in a room together to force them to “solve their problems”, there will likely be a retaliation against the victim later
    • If you are in leadership at an organization, help set anti-bullying policies
    • As a parent, train your children with anti-bullying skills
  • Train teens that if they see bullying, report it!

  • As a parent, if your young person is being bullied: document, document, document!

    • Take screen shots, keep notes and logs
  • Also, find your young person some support

By the way, these tools are the same tools that we adults can use in our adult world. That is because bullies do not always outgrow their bullying behaviors.

Check out Candice’s resources at Bullied, Broken and Redeemed for texts, classes and more. Her program includes a .5 credit towards a Health class for homeschool high school transcripts.

Not only that, please check out these interviews with Candace on Homeschool Highschool Podcast:

Join Vicki and Candace for a helpful conversation on handling bullying.

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Special Replay: What Are Levels in Homeschool High School?

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast we have a special replay of a very useful episode: What Are Levels in Homeschool High School?

What Are Levels on the Homeschool Transcript?

 

What Are Levels in Homeschool High School?

If you have a college-bound teen and want to give them a boost on their transcript, this episode is for you. Sabrina, Vicki and Kym will explain how to help your teens explain to colleges the level of rigor at which they have done their high school courses!

What are levels in homeschool high school?

Many moms tell us: “We didn’t have levels on transcripts when WE were in high school!”

That is so very true….BUT levels have come into vogue on high school transcripts (in traditional high schools and in homeschool high schools). Colleges want to know:

  • The level of rigor at which a teen’s core courses were completed.
  • How teens have invested in courses in their areas of strength, giftedness or interest. (These will sparkle more on the transcript if they are academically rigorous and provide opportunities for stretch.)

Your teens can show this academic rigor and stretch by recording the level at which they completed their courses.

Here is a brief explanation of levels and some links to help.

Before we start, remember: There’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school…or to handle transcripts. This is simply how we have done it with our homeschoolers (and the homeschoolers we advised for decades in our local umbrella school).

With that in mind, here is an overview of our way to show rigor on the transcript. We do not show this on all courses, just the core courses and the specialty courses and electives that our teens have strongly invested in.

Here is a basic overview of the five different levels

Level 1: Remedial

These are courses for teens with learning issues who cannot do average high school course work. These courses are completed using materials and experiences that are appropriate for the teen. Teens earn credit using Carnegie credit hours and earn a transcript and a high school diploma that should be noted: Developmental Diploma. Still valid and useful.

Level 2: Average

Most high schoolers are average. Don’t harbor guilt trips because your teens are average! God gave everyone varying gifts, average academians are just fine.

Average high school textbooks have shorter chapters than the College Prep textbooks, with simpler vocabulary, short problem sets and short reviews. Homeschool high schoolers can work on courses at average level in areas where this is appropriate. They earn credit for their courses and transcripts show: Level 2 beside the name of the course.

Level 3: College Preparatory

Most high school textbooks are written at College Prep level. There is some rigor but not at stay-up-all-night-working-level for most teens. Record these courses on the transcript as *Level 3*.

Level 4: Advanced

Advanced courses are rigorous. They look attractive to college admissions officers. Level 4 course credit is earn by completing a College Prep course PLUS .5 credit again, combined for ONE credit. This should be rigorous and an academic stretch. Record these with *Level 4* beside the course name on the homeschool transcript. Be sure to include a key or legend on the transcript that briefly explains how the level was earned.

Level 5: Honors, AP, College Courses

These are very rigorous courses. Level 5 courses are College prep course DOUBLED for ONE credit. Students who complete an AP course are doing Level 5 work. College courses are Level 5. Do not just double the textbook, you can mix textbooks and logging Carnegie hours and reading real books. Check out this post with more information on ways to level-up in a meaningful way.

Be sure on the homeschool transcript, you include a key that explains how levels are earned in your high schoolers courses. Here is a sample:

7Sisters sample transcript

For more help, download 7Sisters Guide for How to Create Homeschool Transcripts. It includes lots of in-depth how-tos and an editable transcript template!

7SistersHomeschool.com’s curriculum is design to be easily level-able and has been vetted for years by homeschool high schoolers. Check out the Literature Study Guides, Writing Guides, Psychology, Financial Literacy, World History, Human Development curricula and get busy leveling for the rigor that is appropriate for your teen.

Join Sabrina, Vicki and Kym for a helpful discussion of levels on the homeschool transcript.


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What Are Levels in Homeschool High School

Special Replay: How to Get Homeschool Transcripts Exactly Right

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast, a special replay: How to Get Homeschool Transcripts Exactly Right!

How to Get Homeschool Transcripts Exactly Right

How to Get Homeschool Transcripts Exactly Right

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast we are talking transcripts. Actually, we are RE-talking transcripts. This is an episode we did four years ago (can you believe it?!) However, we have been receiving requests for this same information, so we decided to reshare.

As you know, Sabrina, Vicki and Kym have seen their twenty-six kids through homeschool graduation. In fact, the 7Sisters have not only graduated their kids, but through their umbrella school (where 7Sister Vicki and Marilyn have served as academic advisors), they have helped hundreds of teens graduate and head successfully into adulthood.

So, they know a lot about homeschooling high school and creating great transcripts!

Do you want to know how to get homeschool transcripts exactly right?  Do you fear that it is one right way or else? Well, we have good news for you! There’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school and there’s not ONE right have to handle transcripts.

However, transcripts are important so here is how we do our transcripts!

Transcripts are important for all homeschool high schoolers. College-bound teens need a good transcript to get into college. Even teens who are not college-bound will often need to show a transcript for trade schools or the military (and sometimes for new jobs). We love to share the things we have learned learned about successful transcript creation. (And even more transcript information in this post in our Authoritative Guide series).

Why are transcripts important?

Transcripts are proof that education happened. (Our culture believes that if there is not a record on paper that something happened, it did not happen.) They open doors for college and career. (And it is fun to keep a record for yourself about what a great job you and your high schoolers have done.)

There is not really a magical formula or necessary downloadable form from your state government that you must fill out. You must create your own. However, there are many templates available. For instance, 7SistersHomeschool has an editable transcript form along with a detailed guide about what to include.

There’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school…OR complete a transcript.

However, these tips are a good place to start.

On the transcript include:

7Sisters sample transcript

Suggestions that will really help!

Should you do a year-by-year transcript or a subject-based transcript?

As always, we 7Sisters believe there’s not ONE right way to handle transcripts. However, one thing to think about is that many college admissions officers are used to thinking in the traditional year-by-year format. Therefore, if you have a yearly transcript rather than subject oriented transcript, you might make their job easier.

So, that’s how you do get the homeschool high school transcript exactly right, with the the exactly ONE right formula…Oh, right! There’s not ONE right way to do a homeschool transcript. These are simply the tools that we have used over the years on the transcripts of our own kids and the hundreds of homeschool high schoolers in our local umbrella school who have graduated and gone on successfully to the next phase of life. Adapt our information and ideas to your teens’ needs! Let us know your ideas.

Join Sabrina, Vicki and Kym for this informative episode.

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How to Get Homeschool Transcripts Exactly Right

Homeschooling in Imperfect Circumstances

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Homeschooling in Imperfect Circumstances.

Homeschooling in Imperfect Circumstances

Homeschooling in Imperfect Circumstances

Have you noticed that real life does not actually look like:

  • The Pinterest-perfect pictures on your well-curated Pinterest boards?
  • Or the Instagram filtered and perfectly staged IG posts?
  • Even the Facebook fabulous, perfect family photos?

If you are like most of us (well, ALL of us 7Sisters), then your family looks like a real family living in real life, real circumstances. SO let Sabrina and Vicki offer you a little homeschool real-life encouragement for you.

We are all homeschooling in imperfect circumstances most of the time

Recently, Sabrina had a conversation with a person who has been working through some challenging circumstances. Through this unasked-for time of growth, he has learned to frame the way he is handling life by saying:

Circumstances being what they are and me being who I want to be, I have decided to…

Notice what he has discovered: We know in imperfect circumstances, we humans can tend to think this way:

Circumstances being what they are and me being who I am…

See the difference? If we focus on who we are right now, we can become focused on our limitations. On the other hand, if we focus on who we want to become, we open the door to possibilities and even more availability to God working in and through us!

(However, remember to keep things balanced. God made us in special ways and each person it unique. When we remember and build on our God-given gifts and personalities, we are available to making good things happen.)

While we are working on balance, then, think about who you are and who you want to be at the same time. With that in mind, hold onto God’s grace and allow him to help you grow.

Circumstances being what they are and me being who I want to be, I have decided to...

With that said, let’s talk about homeschooling in imperfect situations

Most of us are homeschooling in less than perfect situations. That is just life! Here is some encouragement for some challenging situations.

Homeschooling in financially challenging situations

Have you noticed how much FABULOUS curriculum is out there. Oh man! If we could only buy a fraction of the cool texts, courses or programs that are available to our homeschoolers, our kids would have an amazing education!

However, money is often tight. In challenging financial times, we can say:

Financial circumstances being what they are. And me being the flexible and create person I want to be, we will be creative with what we can afford and trust God for good education.

Vicki recalled when she was homeschooling her kids in the early days of homeschooling. In those days, there was not much variety in the homeschool curriculum market. Not only that, but the curriculum that was available was expensive. Unfortunately, the marketing for those curricula was guilt and fear oriented: IF you do not use our curriculum, you are not homeschooling correctly!

In those early days, there was so much pressure to homeschool “right” because there were truly “truant officers at the door” occasionally. However, Vicki’s family had five homeschoolers and a very limited budget but she knew (especially for homeschooling high school) that she wanted to do a good job!

She was never able to afford the “right” curriculum. So she had to say:

Circumstances being what they are. And me being the good homeschooling parent I want to become, I will trust that God has our family where he wants us. Not only that but it is “right” for me to create our own curriculum that fits our kids’ needs (and not be whiny and complain-y person while I was at it).

Vicki’s homeschool mom-friends were in the same boat at the time. They were thinking the same thoughts. Together, they began creating curriculum for their kids and co-ops. Because their kids are all encouraged to have well-thought-out opinions, they gave feedback on the curriculum. Thus, it was refined until they ended up with the materials that became 7SistersHomeschool.com‘s  curriculum offerings.

SO, good can come out of financially challenging circumstances!

The homeschool mom who does not feel competent to homeschool

What if you are a mom who wants or needs to homeschool (maybe because of a global pandemic) but you do not feel competent because:

  • You did not go to college
  • Or you are not a natural writer
  • Maybe you hate math
  • Or you do not know everything already
  • Maybe you are a busy, working mom

Here is a suggestion, think about saying to yourself:

Circumstances being what they are, and me being who I want to be, I can learn to work creatively and model a growth mindset for my kids. I can farm things out and develop resources for my homeschoolers.

Sabrina shares about her own experiences homeschooling her family. She felt concerned about whether she was competent to homeschool her kids because she only had a year and a half of college. Not only that, but she severely struggled in her college math class.

Her math struggles haunted her as she began to homeschool her kids.

She tried several math curriculums with her kids, but realized that she was passing on her math anxiety to her homeschoolers. Then she said to herself:

Circumstances being what they are, and me being who I want to be (a wise and calm mother who is creative with her resources), I will find a different solution to the math problem!

Then she realized that she could swap resources in her local homeschool co-op and umbrella school. Sabrina is a wonderful literature teacher. She swapped teaching literature to the homeschool high schoolers, while another mom taught her kids math! It was perfect!

So remember, life is full of imperfect homeschooling circumstances

In any circumstance, you can choose to become the person that God created you to become. He is working in and through you, to make you a model of creativity. trust and growth mindset for your kids. So keep saying:

Circumstances being what they are and me being who I want to be, I have decided to…

These are just a couple of examples, but remember, that God is a God of redemption. He likes making new things out of brokenness.

So in the brokenness of your imperfect circumstances, you can trust God to help you become the homeschooling mom he wants you to be. Share your stories and questions with us here or on our 7SistersHomeschool Facebook group, please!

Join Sabrina and Vicki for encouragement about homeschooling in imperfect circumstances. You CAN do it!

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Special Replay: Handling Difficult People During the Holidays

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Handling Difficult People During the Holidays! This is a special replay of a popular episode.

Handling Difficult People During the Holidays

Handling Difficult People During the Holidays

Holiday get togethers are memorable…but not always because of the fun.

Dreading those tough moments at holiday gatherings when someone makes everyone tense, irritated or embarrassed?  It’s not just you. There are obnoxious people everywhere. However, we don’t need to sacrifice our family’s health (mental or otherwise), to appease the folks who make life tense. Join Sabrina, Vicki, Kym and Eagle (the Seeing Eye Puppy) for a comfortable chat about uncomfortable people.

When planning for that big get-together, but stressing because you know *Irritating Uncle George* is going to be there, here are some valuable questions to ask yourself:

What’s the goal of the gathering?

  • If it’s the goal to have a picture perfect event, we might need to downgrade that goal when there are difficult people in the mix. Better to be realistic and unsurprised than to simply wish he’d behave and be miserable. Listen to this episode on Realistic Expectations.
  • If the goal is to honor the traditions of the family, how can you discuss with each person ways to keep that tradition-honoring time pleasant?

What are the deal breakers for you and your family?

  • Ask your family members, what are their deal breakers? Those are the places you need to work together to come up with a creative, Christlike boundary or solution.

How flexible are your family members with their deal breakers and expectations?

  • Ask your family members what they can and are willing to adjust.

What are your internal Rules for the Universe?

We all have a set of Rules for the way the Universe should run. If we stubbornly try to cling to our Rules for the Universe, and the universe isn’t running by our rules, we will make ourselves sick.

Take for instance, Vicki’s Rule: *Everyone I care about should be okay all the time*. Unfortunately for Vicki, she can’t control that. She has to leave everyone’s okay-ness in God’s hands. (He going to run the universe the way He sees best, anyway- regardless of our Rules.)

What are YOUR Rules for the Universe? Some of our favorites are (and we must give up on):

  • Everyone I care about must be part of our traditions, so everyone must be present with me.
  • Everyone should behave like a Norman Rockwell painting.
  • Everyone should be upbeat and happy all through the holidays.

Difficult People Coming to Your Family Gatherings This Christmas? Tips for setting boundaries and adjusting expectations. Homeschool Highschool Podcast Ep 141.

What do we do when there is a difficult people present in our family, so will make the gathering difficult?

Ask yourself: Is it necessary for that person to attend if they are dangerous to the well-being and safety of the rest of the group? If the person is not a safe person, must they come? Think about that seriously. The idea that all people must be present at important holiday events is simply one of those internal Rules for the Universe.

Is it necessary for us to suck it up and say nothing difficult people or do we confront at that time of behavior?

  • For people with Predictable Obnoxious Behaviors (POBs).
    • Discuss those with the person ahead of time.
  • For people with Unpredictable Bad Behaviors (UBBs).
    • Gently pull that person aside and let them know the way things go at your house.

Remember your own stress points, ask yourself: Can I download/delegate any of them?

Stop and take a moment to read the following posts. You deserve it:

Remember to:

Gathering with folks is important at Christmas but we are healthier when we have addressed questions about the ways we’ll handle trouble-making people at the events.

Do your teens need to vent about those obnoxious folks? Give them a cathartic writing assignment: Holiday Family Narratives.

Enjoy this empowering chat with Sabrina, Vicki, Kym and Seeing Eye Puppy, Eagle. And enjoy these posts:

Homeschool Writing Project: The Holidays are the Perfect Time to Write a Family Narrative!

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HSHSP Ep 141: Handling Difficult People During the Holidays

How to Earn Service Hours for the Homeschool Transcript

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: How to Earn Service Hours for the Homeschool Transcript.

How to Earn Service Hours for the Homeschool Transcript

How to Earn Service Hours for the Homeschool Transcript

One of the blessings of homeschooling high school is the freedom to build a lifestyle of service for your teens. Volunteering and service mindsets help build good character. Not only that, but they build a good transcript!

Adding service or volunteer hours to a transcript gives it sparkle, which makes transcripts college-attractive. Admissions officers are often looking for students who understand how to build into a community because this can help build good college culture. That is, colleges like to know that homeschool high schoolers are not just sitting at home, but know how to contribute good to the world around him.

However, for non-college-bound teens, why not add your teens’ service hours to the transcript? When you show your teens’ full high school experience, it gives them a more accurate record of their high school years. In this case, transcripts become good memory holders. Not only that but it helps homeschool graduates remember things they can talk about in job interviews:

Tell me about yourself.

Well, not only am I prepared for this job, but I also have a history of being involved in my community…

So, how do you record your teens’ service hours and activities on the transcript?

As you know, there’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school…or to handle homeschool transcripts. However, I will share with you how we handle recording service and volunteer activities.

Record service hours

At the foot of the transcript, we include a section called “Service Hours”. In it we simply record the total number of hours our teens have done service or volunteer work.

This is similar to the way some traditional schools handle recording service on their transcripts. They have a “required number of service hours” for their high schoolers and they simply record the number of hours each teen has earned (equal to or above the required number).

We homeschooling families do not usually need a “required number of service hours” for our teens, since volunteerism is often part of our family lifestyles.

Anyway, you can simply have a section on the transcript titles Service Hours and simply record that total number of hours.

In the Extracurriculars section on the transcript, list service that is done regularly

We list our teens frequent activities in the Extracurricular section of the transcript, along with the school year(s) they were done. For instance, if our teens volunteered in the church nursery each month for their junior and senior years of high school, we would list as Extracurriculars:

Church nursery volunteer, 11th and 12th grades

We do this because it shows commitment and consistency in at least some of their volunteer activities. This does not mean that they should not participate in one-off service projects. Of course they should! However, those are not recorded as Extracurriculars.

What are some ideas for service for homeschool high schoolers?

There’s not ONE right way to earn service hours for the homeschool transcript! That is because there are so many factors in making decisions on how to serve. For instance:

  • What are your teens’ interests? Are there volunteer opportunities there?
  • Are there service opportunities available in the local community, such as church or homeschool groups?
  • What is mom available for? Really! Until teens can drive on their own, parents are doing the driving back and forth. This means juggling homeschooling lessons and family needs for the whole family.

Here are some service activities that our homeschool high schoolers have done for their homeschool transcripts:

  • Digital volunteer work (check out this episode of Homeschooling with Technology for tons of ideas)
  • Citizen Science (check Nasa’s website or your state’s natural resources department, they have citizen science opportunities)
  • Church service (nursery, Sunday school, set up/clean up, sound systems, worship team, church office help)
  • Missions trips (btw- not only have we given our teens some service hours- thirty-four to forty hours per week, but we also give them a quarter credit of “Cross Cultural Experience” as a Social Studies elective in the Courses section of the transcript.
  • Helping out the elderly- look around the neighborhood and see who needs leaves raked, lawns mowed or snow shoveled or home maintenance and do it for free.
  • Also, single moms- they often need the same things as the elderly. Who are the single mothers in your church or neighborhood. ALSO- babysitting.
  • Families in a crisis time, such as a parent in the hospital or experiencing an unexpected loss. Have teens prepare and bring a meal or do some babysitting.
  • Local organizations of interests to teens:
  • Animal shelter volunteers
  • Service animal training
  • Libraries
  • Hospitals
  • Zoos
  • Non-profits (Vicki’s teens did projects for Urban Promise)
  • Fire companies
  • Food banks (church food pantries, community food banks)
  • Rescue missions or homeless volunteerism
  • Even more ideas on volunteerism from our friend, Ticia Messing

How do you choose service opportunities for your teens?

Make this part part of your homeschool planning times and include your teens in a discussion on what they would like to do. Think about and discuss:

  • Their interests
  • Career goals (if they do not have a clue, check out this Career Exploration guide in our Authoritative Guide series of posts)
  • New experiences they would be willing to explore
  • What your family has time for
  • Needs in community and church

As you discuss this together, you both come to good ideas. Not only that, teens start building their confidence and personal meaning as they think about and begin volunteering.

Join Vicki for a discussion on service for the homeschool transcript.

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What Counts as Phys Ed

What Counts as Phys Ed

What Counts as Phys Ed

What Counts as Phys Ed for Homeschool High School?

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: What Counts as Phys Ed for Homeschool High School?

What Counts as Phys Ed for Homeschool High School?

What Counts as Phys Ed for Homeschool High School?

As you know, homeschool high schoolers need some physical education credit in order to meet graduation requirements in most states. They also need those PE credits to give them a well-balanced lifestyle (and transcript).

You may also know that 7SistersHomeschool released a fitness/phys ed curriculum that is so useful that that it has become popular for many homeschooling high school families!

While we are talking about what you already know: you already know that there’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school OR to earn Phys Ed credits. So let’s get creative and talk about ways to earn those credits.

First: How many credits of Phys Ed does a homeschool high schooler need for graduation?

Many states only require one credit of Physical Education for graduation. In our area, teens need two credits of PE for their transcripts. However, teens who are going into a sports or fitness related career will most likely benefit from earning a full Phys Ed credit of some kind each year.

Graduation requirements are not the only factor in deciding how many credits of PE a teen needs. That is because every teen is different!

  • Some teens are “squeakers”. They do not like physical activity, so will barely squeak by with what is required.
  • Other teens are “fitness feels good, but I’m not a nut about it”.
  • Some teens are really into one or two sports and rack up hours practicing.
  • Other teens love the feeling of being fit but are not into sports!

Next, what are the benefits of Phys Ed credits for homeschool high schoolers?

Physical Education is not a core curriculum course like English/Language Arts, Math, Social Studies or Science, so it can be easy to make it a low priority. However, there are some important benefits of including in the homeschool schedule PE or fitness in some form.

7SistersHomeschool’s Fitness curriculum helps students understand the physical benefits of spending time on PE. When teens understand why PE is important, they are more likely to engage a healthy fitness program.

Physical benefits of PE are not the only reasons to prioritize fitness. In Vicki’s job as a counselor, she has learned that young people who get aerobic-type exercise. (This means that they have walked, played, danced, worked out, etc until their heart pumps harder. This, in turn, increases blood flow which helps the brain work better. That is because the more blood a teen’s brain gets, the more oxygen and micronutrients go to the brain. These are the foundational elements that make a brain work!

If the brain is working more efficiently, teens experience:

  • More efficient learning
  • Better recall
  • More use of logic systems

Also increased oxygen from physical activity combats stress hormones. When stress hormones are reduced, teens feel less anxiety and depression! Not only that, the reduced stress hormone levels tend to help teens sleep better.

So many things can count as Phys Ed!

So, what counts as Phys Ed for homeschool high school?

There are lots of ways to earn PE credits! That is good news because there are lots of kinds of teens. Remember: there’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school (or earn a PE credit). Here are a few:

Use a fitness curriculum that includes exercise videos and instruction

  • A good example of this is 7Sisters’ Foundations of Physical Fitness (which includes videos and logs). This curriculum was created by two personal trainers (7Sister Sara’s sons) based on their experiences as homeschool graduates and fitness experts.
    • Different Types of Fitness
    • Progressive Overload
    • Compound Exercises vs Isolation Exercises
    • Form is King
    • Cardiovascular Exercise
    • Stretching and Mobility
    • Real Fitness vs Fake Fitness
    • Fit for Service
    • Text (for 1/2 credit)
    • Tests and Answer Key
    • How-to Videos and Progress Charts (to complete the credit log 60-90 hours of fitness activity according to the videos and your teen’s interest)
    • Suggested Syllabus

For busy teens who do not have time for a full fitness program, keep log sheets and gradually earn a Carnegie credit

One way to earn a high school credit is to log 120-180 hours of educational experience (the number of hours needed to earn a credit varies by state or supervising organization such as an umbrella school).

Logging the required number of hours for Phys Ed credit(s) can be done over the high school years…as long as you do not loose those log sheets! Here are some ways that our local homeschool high schoolers have logged PE hours:

  • Going for daily walks
  • Walking the dog
  • Digital fitness games and apps
  • Workouts at home or gym
  • Indoor chores (good life skills!)
  • Outdoor chores (more good life skills)
  • Gardening
  • Dance lessons
  • Karate lessons
  • Swim team
  • Bowling league
  • Hockey league
  • Baseball and softball teams
  • Soccer teams
  • Workouts at Civil Air Patrol
  • Nature hikes
  • Geocaching
  • Orienteering
  • Juggling
  • Skating
  • Golfing
  • Bike riding
  • Ballroom dance lessons

Don’t forget to log all the walking time your teens do on family vacations or homeschool co-op field trips.

Then, when enough hours have been logged over time, the teens earn a credit of Phys Ed.

How do you grade Phys Ed for the homeschool transcript?

There’s not one right way to grade PE. However, if you are using a textbook, graded assignments and tests will give you a grade.

Other ways to grade Phys Ed include:

  • Pass/fail
  • Attitude and effort
  • Self assessment and discussion with parent

Do you include Phys Ed in GPA?

That’s up to you! Many homeschool high schoolers do not include PE as part of the GPA because it is not a core course. However, it is okay to include it in the GPA if that works well for your teen. Including GPA would be most useful for teens who want to go to college to study a subject related to fitness or sports.

Join Vicki for a discussion on what counts as Phys Ed for homeschool high school.

In the meantime, check out our fellow podcasters such as:

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Special Replay: How to be Thankful-er

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast a special replay: How to be Thankful-er!

How to be Thankful-er

How to be Thankful-er

Gratitude is important, whether it is Thanksgiving time or not. In this episode, Sabrina, Vicki and Kym are together to talk about gratitude and how to be more thankful!

Thankfulness is a healthy life skill for homeschool high schoolers (and their parents) to learn and practice. So let’s get started:

We are thankful to you, all our 7th Sisters and 7th Siblings. (Who are our 7th Sisters? Well, there are six of us 7Sisters: Sabrina, Vicki, Kym, Allison, Marilyn and Sara. That means YOU are our 7th Sisters…or 7th Siblings for you dads out there.)

Max Lucado says in his book, Anxious for Nothing, that teenagers’ average levels of anxiety are comparable to the anxiety of people who were in inpatient mental health programs in the 1950s. Did you catch that? That is shocking information- so much pain for folks in America these days.

Why is life so stressful these days?

Our fast-paced, photoshopped, achievement oriented culture has put a lot of pressure on teens, such as;

  • Social media shows a picture perfect world
  • Pressures from the digital sphere often push teens to feel they need to live as if everything is an “event” requiring:
    • preparation
    • presentation
    • planning
  • FOMO (in case you forgot: Fear of Missing Out
  • We live in a high performance world that expects teens to achieve, achieve, achieve
  • Also, these days, the covid pandemic and other crises

What to to help our teens and ourselves feel less stress and anxiety?

We need to learn gratitude! The University of California’s Greater Good Science Center has studied things that make people feel better. They have found that people who practice written gratitude tend to improve in mood and health.

One study that Greater Good Science Center did found that people who did a written gratitude list experienced:

  • Improvement in anxiety and depression levels
  • Fewer sick visits to the doctor
  • Observable change in one of the brain’s calm-down centers

Imagine that! Science and research catches up with Scripture. We know that Scripture has been reminding us to be thankful for thousands of years!

  • Ways to notice the good things in your world
  • Ways to model gratitude for your teens and youngers

Kym recalled that being in seventh grade started a new school. It was a different setting than she was used to: from a school in the city to a suburban setting. On her first day there, she was feeling nervous. On her way back from gym class, she realized,

“Wow! I could just be positive and it would make my life better. Not only that but it might make life better for someone else!”

Kym is so grateful today that God wired her for gratitude. It has helped her through stressful times and struggles ever since that time. Here is a resource Kym finds inspiring:

The books of Jon Gordon. He is a person who was naturally negative but learned to be positive after being challenged by his wife. One of the thankfulness practices that Kym learned from him is to take a daily “thankfulness walk”.

Kym also practices a nightly review of the positive things that:

  • She has done that day
  • Others have done for her that day
  • Anything else she can think of to be thankful for
  • Here’s a post with more Kym-like ideas for thanksgiving

Sabrina points out that Kym has been a gratitude inspiration to her and her son-in-law during a beach trip their families all took together. In fact, Sabrina’s son-in-law told her that when he “grew up” he wanted to be Kym because she was so enthusiastic and noticed the good things in life. Sabrina noticed that Kym was even blessed by seeing the well-done lines in a parking lot!

Vicki also mentioned she enjoys the encouragement of books by John Maxwell.

It is much harder to angst and spazz when standing before the throne of God if you start the prayer with gratitude!- Sabrina Justison

Start prayer with gratitude

Sabrina has found that whenever she is troubled about something, she wants to pray about it. However, she found that when she starts the prayer with “thank you”, she actually feels better than starting with the troubles.

With that in mind you can remember Sabrina’s favorite quote:

It is much harder to angst and spazz when standing before the throne of God if you start the prayer with gratitude!

How do you help teens learn to be thankful-er?

Teens sometimes think parents are irritating if they lecture about any topic. However, you can model gratitude for them!

  • Take them on thankful walks and talk about what you are doing on the walk
  • Model thankfulness and gratitude
  • Keep a gratitude journal daily (and let the family see you work on it sometimes)
  • Pray that God put role models in their lives who will live a lifestyle of thankfulness
  • Model “taking a break” for self-care and gratitude

You can also ask them about ways they could practice being a grateful person. (They might have an app for that!)

Also, be sure that you:

  • Occasionally thank them for daily good behaviors
  • Alway thank them for special kindnesses they have done
  • This attitude of thankfulness tends to improve relationships and work habits!

Join Sabrina, Vicki and Kym for lots of tips on how to be thankful-er.

What are some good resources that you have found for learning or practicing gratitude?

In the meantime, enjoy a few helpful posts from Vicki’s coaching business and 7SistersHomeschool.com!

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How to be Thankful-er

 


Helping Teens Have Healthy Relationships with Food, Interview with Kassandra Baker

This week on the Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Helping Teens Have Healthy Relationships with Food, Interview with Kassandra Baker.

Helping Teens Have Healthy Relationships with Food, Interview with Kassandra Baker

Helping Teens Have Healthy Relationships with Food, Interview with Kassandra Baker

Note: The topic of food can be a trigger for some people. This episode contains an encouraging discussion with our friend Kassandra Baker in which she discusses healthy relationships for teens with the food they eat.

Vicki was happy that she could tackle a tough topic with a new friend, Kassandra Baker. Kassandra and Vicki met at a conference a couple of years ago and have been discussing the importance for teens of healthy relationships with food, as well as healthy body image. They were finally able to connect and record this episode.

Kassandra’s Story

Kassandra grew up in a Christian home. In that faith-filled family, she accepted Christ at the age of four while watching a Billy Graham crusade. From the outside looking in, things looked perfect. However, from the inside Kassandra experienced some struggles.

Having a highly sensitive personality can be hard on young people, especially middle schoolers and high schoolers. Kassandra was one of those kids. This sensitivity is a gift but also challenging because she felt emotions and compassion so deeply.

Kassandra, like many young people, was growing up in a culture that modeled for her that she had to look “a certain way” in order to be valuable and to be loved.

She did not necessarily look “that certain way” in her eyes. Thus by the time she was in middle school she began to wrestle with body image. Then she started dieting.

Soon this body image insecurity and dieting routines began to develop into a binge eating disorder. Then by the time Kassandra was in her early twenties, the struggles created a disorder called orthorexia: an unhealthy obsession with healthy eating. Interestingly, Kassandra’s orthorexia developed out of her trying to eat healthily but then becoming overly attached to the affirmations she was receiving for her “healthy lifestyle”.

As Kassandra started to become aware of the unhealthiness of her trying to be healthy, she gave a name to her struggles to help her label and detach from them: Ed and the Gang.

  • Ed is the eating disorder
  • The Gang is those struggles that prime her to have an eating disorder:
    • Perfectionism
    • People pleasing
    • Legalism
    • Needing to be in control
    • Type A personality

To Kassandra, Ed and the Gang felt like a huge rock on her, pushing her into the ground. It felt overwhelming to her.

As a young teen, Kassandra’s “Gang” led her to a very high performance, especially academically. She strove the be the valedictorian of her school and other high-achieving accomplishments. This was not hard for Kassandra to do…for a while. She could work, work, work. Then she would “hit a wall”. By the time she would get home from school on those “hit a wall” days, she would crash on the couch, watch television and eat.

Unfortunately for her, this was not simply “emotional eating” (which can still be dysfunctional), it was more uncontrollable eating. Binge eating is the kind of food intake that cannot be controlled. It feels like the need to eat is a compulsion.

Next she would feel ashamed and so she would extremely food-restrict (eat very little). This would lead to her body feeling that it was facing famine or starvation because she was not taking in enough calories to survive.

This led to feeling deprived. Next, the deprivation led Kassandra to another binge-eating event.

By the time Kassandra was in college, she was trying to help herself by “clean eating” and lots of exercise.

Kassandra was so obsessed with her healthy eating that she would either not eat at events with her peers, or she would bring her own food. She missed out socially on so much in this rigid lifestyle! Even when she was not eating, she was thinking about food. In reality, she had simply moved to a different kind of eating disorder.

What brought Kassandra to a wake up moment was a traumatic event. In 2014, she experienced a traumatic brain injury and ended up in the hospital in the trauma room. Over night, she could not do all her “healthy behaviors”. In fact, she could not even get up and go to work.

As if that was not enough, Kassandra experienced three more traumatic brain injuries within a two year time period. Unfortunately, this led to chronic pain and vertigo. Thus, she simply could not do all the “behaviors”.

Fortunately, she had already started a Bible study about the underlying wounds that made her more vulnerable to her eating disorders. While Kassandra did not experience any “big T” traumas (things like abuse, natural disasters, family crises), she did experience many “small T” traumas. Like many of us humans, we encounter painful things through our growing years that teach us a fragile self-concept and anxiety. This Bible study helped her work on healing those pains.

BTW- When teens, or adults, are experiencing pain, anxiety, depression or trauma, counseling is so very helpful. Take it from Vicki, who is a counselor and has been through her own counseling. Therapy is a road to health.

In experiencing healing from her childhood pains, Kassandra had more energy to start recovering from her eating disorders.

Then she discovered “intuitive eating“.

Intuitive eating is a self-care framework that integrates instinct, emotion and rational thought. To help her reorganize her relationship with food and become more intuitive with her eating, she worked with a dietician who specialized in helping people learn those skills.

Kassandra describes her life before recover as living in “black and white”. However, with the freedom from the bondage to Ed and the Gang, she feels life is now “in color”.

Intuitive Eating includes ten principles

A diet is an external program. It tells you from the outside how you should eat. On the other hand, intuitive eating helps you understand how your body is specifically created. Then learning how to eat according to what your body needs. These needs can be different at various times. For example, when Kassandra had the traumatic brain injuries, she had different needs for food. In fact, her brain communicated differently with her body due to the injury.

Thus, she had to learn to be aware of her needs for food and care in new ways. It was rewarding to Kassandra to learn to be gracious to herself and her body in every stage of life.

The principles include (from The Original Intuitive Meeting Pros):

  • Reject the diet mentality
  • Honor your hunger
  • Make peace with food
  • Challenge the food police
  • Discover the satisfaction factor
  • Feel your fullness
  • Cope with your emotions with kindness
  • Respect your body
  • Movement- understanding your body
  • Honor your health with gentle nutrition

The basic idea of intuitive eating is to learn:

  • when you are hungry and full
  • what foods you like and do not like
  • to move our bodies to feel good rather than to burn calories

This is different than the current American diet culture, which tells us to look a certain way (thin) and must live your life working on becoming thin. Intuitive eating allows you to be your healthy weight and size (which often is not diet-culture thin). God created everyone’s body to be different and to be beautiful in the way God made them. For Kassandra, her healthy size and lifestyle is not “skinny”…it is allowing herself to be the person (body and soul) that God created her to be.

With this in mind, Kassandra has a heart to minister to church teens and women about healthy relationships with food and with body image. She has found that sometimes our American diet culture has invaded the church, informing women that the only way to be healthy is to be thin. Thus the only way to please God is to be thin. This gives so much shame and guilt.

Food for thought from Kassandra: If God created the elephant and ant, why would He create all women to be a size 0?

It IS important to take care of our bodies, however, you cannot tell if a person is truly healthy by looking at them. That is God’s business.

If God created the elephant and ant, why would He create all women to be a size 0? -Kassandra Baker

For Kassandra today, a healthy relationship with food looks like:

  • Enjoying a cup of ice cream when she wants to
    • Eating only as much of the ice cream as her body wants (stopping when she is satisfied)
  • Knowing that all foods are permissible!
  • Craving a wide range of foods
    • Engaging in the craving as she listens to her body
  • Eating with friends when she is with friends
  • Allowing herself to accept a healthy body image
  • She holds tightly onto the verses I Corinthians 4:3-5, where Paul talks about not accepting others’ judgement of her, but holding fast to God’s gift of a clear conscience and love for herself. God’s love for her never changes, no matter what she looks like
  • The Gospel is a continuous source of freedom for her: Christ’s love and sacrifice for her personally
  • Recovery is a process
    • Kassandra accepts help from helpful people and continues graciously in her growth process

Today Kassandra Baker is now certified as a health, life and mental health coach. If you have questions about helping teens with a healthy relationship with food, visit Kassandra at KassandraBaker.com or info@KassandraBaker.com.

Join Vicki and Kassandra for an encouraging and helpful talk about helping teens find a healthy relationship with food. Here are some other resources:

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