FUN Drama Camp for Homeschool High School

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: FUN Drama Camp for Homeschool High School.

FUN Drama Camp for Homeschool High School

You Can Do It: FUN Drama Camp for Homeschool High School

It’s summer break for many homeschool high schoolers! However, we can STILL be logging credits over the summer- in a DRAMATIC way. Drama camp kind of dramatic, that is.

Why Drama Camp for homeschool high school?

For almost two decades, Sister Sabrina ran a drama camp for the local homeschool high schoolers. Most of the 7Sisters’ teens participated (along with dozens of other local homeschoolers)! They all agreed that Drama Camp weeks were the weeks that “Life has meaning”!

In other words, Drama Camp, helped our teens:

  • Develop confidence
  • Learn perspective taking
  • Appreciate their imaginations
  • Build flexibility and resiliency skills
  • Experience true teamwork
  • Stretch what they think they can do and bloom while doing so
  • Learn to “reapply” (deodorant, that it)

What is Drama Camp for homeschool high school?

First thing you need to know about Drama Camp: YOU can do this! Don’t worry about production value and perfection. Put your effort into the bonding of the teens, teamwork and sharing the play. (You can use Sabrina’s user-friendly guide: How to Direct Drama Camp.)

Drama camp is a week or two where teens participate in a dramatic production. Drama camps are different than a community theater production of a famous play in that:

  • There are no audition to get into Drama Camp (they will audition for various parts)
  • Everyone receives a speaking role that fits them (shy or anxious teens will have one- or two-line roles)
  • Drama camp does not have the goals of developing professional actors, simply to have a lovely and fun dramatic experience
  • No sets! Keep it simple!
  • Have an experience with people and characters who can inspire their lives
  • The goal is to have fun, have meaning, have a dramatic experience

Drama camp for homeschool high school format:

  • Drama Camp is “Asset-based community development”
    • We looked at who we had and local available (assets), and then developed the production (adjusted scripts- parts and lines) based on that. The script would be altered over the course of the first week (scripts are living documents).
    • BTW- Need a script for your drama camp! You can find the drama camp scripts (and a how-to guide complete with videos):
  • One week or two weeks long (ours started out with one week but expanded to two weeks because the teens demanded it)
  • Teens work together Mondays through Friday from 9-4 until performance day
    • This is a tight turn around- from having the very first read-through of the play on the first day to the presentation on Saturday two weeks later
  • First day is read through
    • Simply sit in a circle and read line by line around the circle so everyone hears the story for the first time. When the line-read comes to a shy person, they are allowed to say “pass” and that is okay.
    • After lunch, teens get to pick a character they would like to do. Informal, low key auditions take place
    • Then rehearse, rehearse (every day!)
  • Every day at the end of the day, teens write their mail (encouraging notes to their peers about things they noticed that person did well or tried hard that day)
    • Sabrina read over the notes (just to make sure they are okay) and puts them in an envelope for each teen
    • In the morning, first thing, she passed out the mail
    • This built important social skills:
      • Noticing good in others
      • Sharing encouragement
      • Team work
  • Several times per day, the teens would reapply!
    • Sabrina kept labeled deodorants for each teens. Periodically, Sister Kym (who assisted Sabrina on the camps) would call out “Reapply!” Everyone reapplied. It normalized self-care AND made the room smell better.
  • Have a lunch break daily
  • On the Friday of the first performance, they would not only bring lunch but would bring a pillow and blanket. After lunch they would take a rest. Then they would be ready for the performance that day.
  • Sometimes Sabrina would give awards at the end (such as Vicki’s #4 kid had just had his appendix removed and received the reward for the cast member with the fewest body parts)!

Try a Drama Camp with your teens. Email Sabrina if you have questions: Sabrina@7SistersHomeschool.com. While you wait, listen into our discussion on FUN Drama Camps. Also, check out this Homeschool Highschool Podcast with more drama camp how-tos and this episode with interviews on the set with Drama Camp players.

 

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Activities to Enrich Psychology Credits

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Activities to Enrich Psychology Credits.

Activities to Enrich Psychology Credits

Activities to Enrich Psychology Credits

We want homeschool high schoolers to LIKE PSYCH! That’s why Kym and Vicki are talking about engaging activities to enrich Psychology credits in this episode! When you take an engaging text and add some engaging activities you can liven up (and level up) the Psychology credit. This makes the course more memorable and inspiring for teens.

We would like teens to like Psychology if they go into the field (Vicki is always praying for more young people to go into the mental health field- there simply are not enough counselors out there). We would like teens to like Psychology if they do not go into the field. (A good Psychology text can give teens helpful life skills- and lots of interesting information to talk about.)

Vicki originally wrote 7SistersHomeschool’s Introduction to Psychology from a Christian Perspective decades ago when her oldest teens were homeschooling high school. She wanted them to have a Psychology text, but at that time, there were none. She also wanted a Psychology text that would be informed by Christian worldview but NOT preachy. SO she had to create it herself based on her training and work as a licensed professional counselor.

Since that time both Vicki and Kym have taught the course in homeschool co-ops and group classes at their local homeschool umbrella school. They added additional lesson plans based on the chapter topics in the text (with help from fellow homeschool mom and counselor, Gretchen Mahoney). They also added a freebie suggested syllabus that can be adapted for various homeschooling needs.

That’s not to mention all the stuff that Kym does with her umbrella school classes. (She is too busy having fun to write those down!)

So, they decided to share these engaging activities to enrich Psychology credits in this week’s Homeschool Highschool Podcast episode!

Here are some ideas for doing cool things to help teens LIKE PSYCH!

Idea #1: Teach in any order you please, in any way you please

Engaging activities help teens like Psych!

Ideas for learning about the brain

  • Make a model of the brain using homemade dough (using guidelines in the text)
  • Watch a video of a dissection of the human brain (Kym likes it but only offers this to students with a strong constitutin)
  • Watch an interactive brain video or download an interactive brain app.

Ideas for perception

  • Do the optical illusions and look more up online
  • If you are in the Philadelphia region, go to the Franklin Institute exhibits about the brain and perceptions OR if you are not in the area, check out their teaching resources
  • Discuss branding in advertisements
  • Spend a while experiencing different odors and note emotional reactions

Ideas for genetics

  • Discuss nature versus nurture in your own family
  • Make some fun Punnet squares based on family traits (think: Does ADHD run in the family? Does anxiety run in the family? Does color blindness run in the family?
  • Look up the work of seeing eye dogs (visit one if you can)

Ideas for learning

  • Discuss how the concept of Pavlov’s dogs have been integrated into American culture
  • Watch clips of classic television shows where classic conditioning occurs
    • Here’s a link to Kym’s favorite YouTube clips from Big Bang Theory https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=social+learning+theory+big+bang+theory+

Ideas of the history of Psychology

  • Have students create a short presentation on a topic from those chapters
  • Discuss which of Freud’s concepts are in the common vocabulary

Ideas for communication

  • Discuss non-verbals (and how reading non-verbals are affected by Covid-related mask wearing)
  • Play games where you act out emotions with non-verbals and have others guess which emotions
  • Practice saying sentences with the emphasis on different words and note the difference of connotation

Ideas for needs and motivation

  • Draw your own Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
  • Discuss how the pandemic affected where various people groups experienced the Hierarchy of Needs
  • Discuss how being low on the hierarchy might affect school success
  • Write a paper about what you would take if you were going to be stranded alone on an island
  • Watch the movie: Castaway

Ideas for personality

Ideas for sleep

  • Keep a sleep log for a week (what they did before they went to bed, what were they doing and thinking about as they went to sleep, the quality and length of sleep)
  • Watch videos on how sleep deprivation affects reaction time in driving or test taking (see the Lesson Plans)
  • Discuss how sleep apnea affects quality of sleep

Ideas for abnormal psych

  • Remind students not to diagnose themselves or anything else and to NOT stress about this chapter
  • Discuss abnormal psych in a way that is not judgmental or fear-mongering
  • Don’t dwell here but tell teens we want to concentrate on the good things we can do

Ideas for psychological health and helping others/crisis intervention

Ideas for psychological testing

  • Discuss which tests teens have experienced and which ones they might experience soon (like SAT or ACT)
  • Discuss reliability and validity of tests

Ideas for Christian counseling and careers in counseling

Ideas for understanding research and statistics

Kym quoted her father (who worked for FBI): Figures don’t lie but liars figure!

  • Discuss critical thinking and validity of information. Find examples of poor and good research and statistics use

What would you add to our list? Add your ideas in the comments and join Kym and Vicki for this discussion on engaging activities to enrich psychology credits!

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Psychological First Aid in Homeschool High School

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Psychological First Aid in Homeschool High School.

Psychological First Aid for Homeschool High Schoolers

Psychological First Aid in Homeschool High School

The process of adolescence can be a challenge for teens: hormones, metacognition and challenging questions, figuring out friendships. Just like we need bandages and antibiotic in the medicine cabinet, it is good to have some first aid tools for the broken hearts and stressors of teen mental health.

In fact, this kind of first aid can (and should, perhaps) be practiced daily! Kym is teaching Psychology at our local homeschool umbrella school’s group classes this year. This topic comes up and the teens are finding it helpful, so we thought we would share it today.

Here are some tips on daily psychological first aid for homeschool high schoolers!

Psychological First Aid #1: Self-care

God made us whole beings: spirit, soul and body. Sometimes when we feel stressed or down, it can help just to do more basic physical care:

  • Water
    • Our brain cells are mostly water. Water is the transport mechanism within the cell. Our nerve cells make our neurotransmitters that run all our body’s thinking and doing. They need the water to move the neurotransmitter production through the brain cell. So if teens are low on water, their nerve cells can’t do their work efficiently.
  • Fruits and vegetables
    • Our neurotransmitters are in part made from the micronutrients in our food. So, if we want our neurotransmitter production to really work, we need those building blocks. Take, for instance, one of the necessary “switches” along the neurotransmitter process is made from folic acid. Or, for instance, the healthy bacteria in our gut give off by-products that travel up to the brain and give the signal to the brain to feel better. When we eat good probiotics (as in yogurt or kimchi) it helps us feel better!
  • Exercises
    • When teens move their muscles, their nerves create dopamine. That’s a neurotransmitter that helps with mood and focus. (Have teens experiment with doing a little exercise before they have to concentrate on a tough school lesson.)
  • Good sleep
    • Whether teens like it or not, they need sleep (so do we moms)! Our brain cells bathe in spinal fluid while we sleep to keep our brain healthy and focused
  • Breathing

Idea: Invite teens to keep a log for a week on these basic self-care items. Have them daily record how they are feeling emotionally and physically each day also.

Self-care is good for body and soul. Homeschool Highschool Podcast

Psychological First Aid #2: Variety

Too much same, same, same creates anxiety. Too much screen time causes anxiety. Try thes:

  • 20/20/20
    • Every twenty minutes, look at something twenty feet away for twenty seconds. This gives eyes a break and a bit of variety for the brain.
  • Look at something green.
    • Plants and trees have some anxiety reducing hormones, but just looking at a tree helps the body calm itself. (Have you heard that Japanese and Korean cultures sometimes practice “tree bathing”? They take meditative walks where there are trees. The pheromones from the trees and the trees’ beauty help keep the walkers feeling healthier.)
  • Laugh
    • A merry heart does good like a medicine. When we laugh, our bodies create endorphins which help us feel better emotionally and help build our immune system. Ask your teen to make sure they are having a good daily laugh!
  • Social contact
    • Family is important but teens also need other human beings. In person is nice but digital (if safe) is okay. Being with other humans is necessary for anxiety management.

Psychological First Aid #3: Podcast Episodes

Check out these episodes with more ideas for staying healthy psychologically:

 

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Psychological First Aid in Homeschool High School

How to Choose Curriculum for Homeschool High School

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: How to Choose Curriculum for Homeschool High School.

How to Choose Curriculum for Homeschool High School

How to Choose Curriculum for Homeschool High School

Vicki, Sabrina and Kym together again for an episode on a very important topic. We’ve missed seeing each other during this long pandemic. But here we are together to talk about choosing curriculum.

In the old days, there were few options for homeschool curriculum for homeschooling high school. That’s not true any more. Now we have SO many options, that it can be hard to choose curriculum for our teens. NOT to worry: your 7Sisters are here to help!

Now, here are some steps for choosing curriculum for homeschool high school

First off, remember: There’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school! SO there’s not ONE right kind of curriculum.

Now, look at your big, giant four-year goals.

You don’t want to drive on a long trip and not have an idea about where you where driving. You’ll end up nowhere. Goals are like that for homeschooling! Look at the big picture: What do you want to see in your teens when they walk across the stage (or backyard) at graduation:

  • What kinds of sciences, histories, maths, literatures do I want for them to have experienced?
  • Are they college or career bound?
  • What are their personalities like?
  • What are their interests and abilities?

What works for parents?

  • Some curriculum just won’t work for the parents who have to help their teens learn. For instance, Vicki could not use non-illustrated texts with her teens. She needed photos in texts…except when it was really interesting curriculum such as Philosophy in Four Questions, which was so interesting that no illustrations were needed in order for her to pay attention.

What are your constraints?

  • What are the time demands?
  • What is our financial picture? (No matter what your budget is, you CAN homeschool high school! It’s okay to be where you are.)
    • How can we co-operate with other families? (We co-oped together for fun and money saving!)
    • Are there barters that we can do for teaching or curriculum?
    • Can I reuse curriculum with my other kids as they hit high school?

Beware of the folks who say: You MUST use this curriculum because it’s the right way! (Sometimes, these folks are selling expensive curriculum…ahem.)

What do teens need to cover over homeschool high school years?

Each state has different requirements, check your state Department of Education’s website.

College bound teens: Visit websites for a few colleges of interest to see what they are requiring for applicants.

Many teens (college or career bound) will need will usually need these credits:

  • 4 Language Arts (your choice of Literature themes or general topics)
  • 2-4 Maths (Algebra, Algebra 2, Geometry and possible Statistics and/or Pre-Calculus)
  • 3-4 Sciences with some lab courses (Biology, Chemistry, Health, and other Sciences according to state regulations or future major)
  • 3-4 Social Studies (American History, World History, .5 Civics, .5 Economics, .5 Social Science and/or Geography and Electives)
  • 1-4 World Languages
  • 1-2 Physical Education
  • 1 Fine Arts
  • 1-6 Electives (including Career Exploration, Drivers Education, Technology, etc).
    • Give yourself and your teen the opportunity to “rabbit trail”, that is, explore new interests.
    • Log hours for Carnegie credits if you are not using a curriculum. Check out Homeschooling with Technology podcast for tech elective ideas.

There are three basic ways to earn a credit:

For help with planning, check out our Authoritative Guide to Homeschool High School and our Authoritative Guide to High School Planning.

There's not ONE right kind of curriculum!

Then break your four year goals into yearly goals

What do you want or need to cover each year? For instance (by the way, these are simply “for instances” not suggestions…you choose what is best for your teen):

  • Math:
    • 9th Grade- Algebra
    • 10th Grade- Geometry
    • 11th Grade- Algebra 2
    • 12th Grade- Statistics
  • Literature:
    • 9th Grade- American Literature
    • 10th Grade- British Literature
    • 11th Grade- World Literature
    • 12th Grade- Great Christian Writers

Once you’ve narrowed down the courses you need, to choose curriculum

  • Check out reviews online, such as:
  • If you are looking at classes (co-op, community college, group classes) do some research about the course:
    • Sometimes a wonderful sounding class might now be a good fit because:
    • Teacher has completely different goals than you and your teens
    • For instance: the teacher may aim the science course for science majors but your teen’s goals are more towards sports or public speaking (so they need time to play sports or joining a public speaking club rather than spending endless hours on science homework)
    • Format is not a good fit for your teen

Is it a stressful year? In danger of burnout or exhausted from pandemic? Need to make some change ups?

Choose your curriculum with these in mind:

  • Need a quieter year with more reading and less challenging curriculum?
  • Need a lighter-hearted reading list rather than books full of sadness and loss?
  • Need more restorative time outdoors?

Keep in mind that 7SistersHomeschool.com offers curriculum that is:

  • No-busywork
  • Affordable
  • Downloadable
  • Levelable (gives options for average high school level, college prep or honors levels)
  • Money-back guaranteed
  • Offers co-op discounts (send an email to info@7SistersHomeschool.com for information)
  • At 7SistersHomeschool.com, many of the course have freebie suggested syllabi for you to use with your teens.

Join Sabrina, Vicki and Kym for an encouraging discussion on choosing curriculum for homeschool high school.

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How to Choose Curriculum for Homeschool High School

How to Teach Shakespeare so Teens Will Like it!

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: How to Teach Shakespeare so Teens Will Like it!

How to Teach Shakespeare so Teens Will Like it!

How to Teach Shakespeare so Teens Will Like it!

Sabrina and Vicki are so excited we got to be together (on Zoom, anyway). The pandemic has sure made it a challenge to all be together. In this episode, we talked about one of our favorite Literature topics: Shakespeare.

Don’t gasp! Studying Shakespeare can seem intimidating. However, Sabrina has experience teaching our local homeschool high schoolers the works of the Bard that inspires teens to enjoy it. Join us for some of Sabrina’s top tips on teaching Shakespeare!

Why study Shakespeare in homeschool high school?

  • Because it makes you look smart (especially seeing it on the homeschool transcript)!
    • Teens feel smart when they study Shakespeare. It sounds so intellectual to say, “I’m studying Shakespeare this year!”
    • Moms feel smart just typing it on the homeschool transcript!
  • Because it helps teens understand the human experience.
    • Many of Shakespeare’s characters have feelings and thoughts that teens have felt or thought. It is eye-opening for them to discover that people for eons of time have had the same human experiences.
  • Because it is an opportunity to experience masterful storytelling.
    • Homeschool trivia: Did you know that Shakespeare’s great storytelling followed the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle’s storytelling guidelines:
      • Tragedies require that things do not turn out how the reader thinks they should. In fact, the good people are punished for their goodness and the bad guys are rewarded. It causes the reader to say, “That’s not right!”
        • Vicki points out that tragedies can be used to change people’s behavior. For instance, Uncle Tom’s Cabin is a tragedy. People read the book and felt that the world could not go on in that tragic way. A response was generated. As Abraham Lincoln reportedly said when he met the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe, “So this is the little lady who made the great war.”
      • Comedies require that things turn out as the reader thinks they should. The good people are rewarded for their goodness and the bad people’s evildoing is revealed and punished.
  • Because when homeschool high schoolers read great books and plays, like the works of Shakespeare, they bring to the reading their own personalities, ideas and motivations.
    • Shakespeare himself wrote with his own personality, ideas and motivations.
    • So when teens read his works (as in all good reading experiences), there is a genuine meeting of the minds.
    • This brings about a challenge to action or growth in thinking.
  • Because Shakespeare’s plays are entertainment
    • In his day, as in our day, there was great production value that gave audiences a wonderful experience.
    • In our day, it is easy to go on YouTube and find excellent productions of his plays for teens to watch. (Check out Bob Jones University’s and Rice University’s productions of Shakespeare’s plays.)

BTW- This summer 7SistersHomeschool will be releasing literature study guides for our favorite Shakespeare plays:

  • King Lear
  • Hamlet
  • Much Ado about Nothing
  • Midsummer Night’s Dream

As always, our literature study guides don’t kill the play, are user friendly and adaptable to different levels of interest and ability!

How do 7Sisters Shakespeare Study Guides work?

In 7Sisters Shakespeare study guides, Sabrina encourages teens to watch a performance. Sabrina actually uses “a sort of backwards format” from many other Shakespeare guides.

  • First, she gives a background to the story.
  • Then, she tells them what happens in the story (total spoiler alert). This way teens have in their minds when they watch the production the plotline, the characters (and how to expect them to behave).
  • Next, they watch the performance. (Sabrina points out that students will not be able to follow the entire story, but they will have the basic idea and in watching the performers’ expressions and behavior, they will catch the basic ideas.)
  • Finally, they read the play. They discuss the plot, characters, wordy passages and difficult to understand material, the rhythm (iambic pentameter) and rhyme schemes, etc.
  • Vicki points out how much our teens have enjoyed learning Shakespeare’s plays.

BTW- As a freebie on 7SistersHomeschool.com, there will be a list of phrases the Shakespeare invented. It is a fun discussion tool to start a Shakespeare unit.

Why did Shakespeare write in iambic pentameter?

  • The Globe Theatre had its troupe of actors. They had many plays to memorize quickly. Iambic pentameter helped them quickly memorize their plays.
  • Iambic pentameter also closely mimics our natural speech patterns. (Ever think about that?) Therefore, it is easier to listen to.
  • When teens know trivia like this, it sometimes makes Shakespeare feel more enjoyable.

Why did Sabrina choose those particular plays?

Both of the tragedies have main characters who are similar: The main character thinks he knows who he is and what he is doing in the world but finds out the opposite. But each of the characters is opposite in age (King Lear is in his 80s and Hamlet is late teens). This shows the universality of existential crises.

Both of the comedies have a look a “love” and all the social implications and silliness of finding true love. There is also a wonderful character type who uses words wrong all the time (malapropisms): remember Dogberry the constable in Much Ado about Nothing or Dick Bottom in Midsummer Night’s Dream? They just can’t get their words right (to hilarious ends).

Want more Shakespeare resources? Check out this interview with our friend, Kat Patrick, on teaching Shakespeare, a freebie from her, and her wonderful courses at Dreaming Spires Home Learning.

Join Sabrina and Vicki for a fun chat about teaching Shakespeare’s plays.

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How to Teach Shakespeare so Teens Will Like it!

How to Teach Social Sciences for Homeschool High School

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: How to Teach Social Sciences for Homeschool High School.

How to Teach Social Sciences for Homeschool High School

How to Teach Social Sciences for Homeschool High School

You may have noticed that some colleges want to see some Social Sciences on the high school transcript. SO what are the Social Sciences and how can you teach them with your homeschool high schoolers? Vicki is here to help!

Does your teen need Social Sciences on their transcript? Maybe! You can check several college websites that your homeschool high schooler might be interested in to find out what they are looking for. HOWEVER, even non-college-bound teens can benefit from a Social Science course. That’s because these courses are about life skills and understanding oneself.

What are Social Sciences?

They are a blend of Science (scientific study and research) and Social/History/Humanities/Anthropology (studying people: the ways the human body and brain work, the ways cultural groups and societies work together, the ways people grow and change over time). They are considered “soft science” as opposed to the “hard sciences” such as Chemistry.

The Social Sciences cover many subjects. You can choose the topic(s) that fit your teen’s needs:

Some colleges consider these to be Social Sciences:

  • Civics/Government
  • Economics

Other colleges want to see Social Science subjects such as:

  • Psychology
  • Human Development
  • Sociology
  • Anthropology
  • Political Science
  • Cultural Geography
  • sometime: Linguistics

Social Sciences: Good for transcript and life prep

Vicki’s homeschool high schoolers all covered Psychology and Human Development as credits on their transcripts, as well as partial credits in Linguistics and Cultural Development. They used 7Sisters Introduction to Psychology from a Christian Perspective and Human Development from a Christian Worldview.

These curriculums cover the scope and sequence required for the subjects, but brought down to an average high school level so that most teens can read, enjoy and get benefit from the courses. Both texts include meaningful activities that teens can add if they want to level up their course to Honors.

How do you record Social Sciences on the homeschool transcript?

It’s according to what your teen needs!

  • If they need an elective, then record “Psychology” or “Human Development” (or whichever course) in the “Elective” section of the transcript.
  • If they need another Social Studies credit (or half credit), record it in the “Social Studies” section of the transcript.
  • If they need another General Science credit, record it in the “Science” section of the transcript. (Note: this cannot take the place of required “hard sciences” like Chemistry and Biology on the transcript.)
  • We 7Sisters have most often recorded the Social Sciences in the “Elective” or “Social Studies” sections of the homeschool transcript.
  • As you can see, there’s not ONE right way to handle Social Sciences!

BTW- If you need to understand more about how to handle homeschool transcripts, don’t wait until senior year! 7Sisters has an Authoritative Guide on how to handle transcripts as well as a downloadable, editable transcript template with instructions.

Hopefully your teen can take a Social Science course that will inspire them and give them some practical life tools. You can use a textbook or pull together a Carnegie unit credit of your own. (More info on a previous episode on Formats for Homeschool High School Courses.)

You can also choose the level at which level of rigor at which your teen is learning these courses:

  • AP level: These will usually be online courses  (AP courses must be approved by the College Board)
  • CLEP level: These courses are aimed at preparing students for a CLEP exam
  • Consider it an introduction to the topic and to gain life skills but handle it in a more lighthearted manner
    • That is why we present 7Sisters Psychology and Human Development courses in our don’t-kill-the-subject manner
    • We find that teens tend to like the course, then teens who need more College Prep or Honors level, really enjoy adding the specific extra material and activities for leveling up that we provide.

Discuss with your teen their goals for Social Sciences (and your goals for their high school work):

  • Non-college bound teens can do average level courses
  • Community-college bound teens can chose
  • Many colleges will want to see at least College Prep level, some will want to see Honors (check their websites)

Give your homeschool high schooler a syllabus for the course

Syllabi help teens stay on track with their coursework and take some pressure off of you.

If you have access to these courses at a co-op or group classes, it might be fun!

These are subjects that lend themselves to lively discussion and fun activities in a group. (If you would like to teach the texts in your co-op, check out the teacher lesson plans for Human Development and Psychology. Don’t forget to talk to us about co-op discounts.)

You can also take some Social Sciences through dual enrollment at the local community college

This has been a good use of time for some homeschool high schoolers. It has also been stressful for some (they can be work-intensive courses).

There’s not ONE right way to handle the Social Sciences for your homeschool high schoolers. Have fun with them!

Join Vicki for some practical tips on teaching Social Sciences for your homeschool high schoolers.

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How to Plan Homeschool Graduations

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: How to Plan Homeschool Graduations.

How to Plan Homeschool Graduation

How to Plan Homeschool Graduations

Whether it is your first or your fifth homeschool graduation, planning homeschool graduations can be stressful.  You want it to be memorable AND something you can manage. Add to it the stress of planning during Covid. We asked our 7th Sisters some things that have worked for their homeschool families.

Planning tips for homeschool graduations:

Start your planning process with this important fact: Just as there’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school, there’s also not ONE right way to hold a graduation event. For real. You and your teen should have a chat or two. Ask what they need and what do you need (you count, you did a lot to help this homeschool high schooler to get to the point of graduation)!

Decide if you want an event

Some graduates only want a pat on the back and maybe their favorite meal. Some would like an event. Hey, some of us moms NEED that event for closure; it’s okay to have an opinion. (I know that for me, I needed that graduation ceremony to celebrate all we had done as a family. My teens were glad that they had that significant event, once it was done.) Come to a workable and respectful compromise.

Decide what kind of ceremony you will hold

There are lots of ways to hold a graduation ceremony:

  • Hold a get together in the backyard or at a local park (I’ve been to a number of these events)
  • Have a big event with your local homeschool umbrella school or co-op (this is what our family has always done)
  • Have a drive-by event with a short speech in the front yard (popular during this Covid season)

Choose a date

To help you decide on a date, think about:

  • When will Covid regulations be lifted in your area? (Determines how many folks can come, thus the date.)
  • When can the family come?
  • When are facilities available (if you will go somewhere besides home)?

Do you want someone to film or live stream it?

This is very popular these days. Start looking early for a friend, family member or professional to handle this.

Will you send graduation announcements?

Will you want to send traditional announcements from a local printer? (Grandparents often like these because you can enclose a photo that they can put in their wallets and show their friends?

Will you create your own announcements or post cards?

  • You can create your own notes online with websites like Shutterfly or Canva  (We are not affiliates, btw.)
  • Handmade announcements are popular with many of our local homeschool graduates.

Remember to send the announcements early so that folks can make plans.

We highly suggest you create a diploma (and keep a copy of the official transcript with it)

You can make your own:

  • Buy parchment and an “official stamper” at the local office supply store and create your own. (Check Pinterest for samples.)

You can purchase one online from Homeschool Diploma (we are not affiliates)

  • We have found over the years that graduates occasionally need to show a diploma or send a copy of the diploma to prospective employers, military and even graduate schools.

For the transcript:

Will your teen wear a cap and gown?

There’s not one right way to handle this. I always like to have the visual of my graduate wearing the cap and gown AND the joy of moving the tassel on the cap from left to right (or right to left, there’s no real protocol for that)?

  • If you are ordering cap and gown do so EARLY. Shipping is slow sometimes, these days.
  • Some of our homeschool friends have ordered from Homeschool Diploma or Jostens (we are not affiliates)

Plan the ceremony and afterwards

Join Vicki for a you-CAN-do discussion on how to plan homeschool graduations!

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How to Plan Homeschool Graduations

Understanding Teens and Homeschool Success with Personality Tests, Interview with Sandra Etherington

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Understanding Teens and Homeschool Success with Personality Tests, Interview with Sandra Etherington.

Understanding Teens and Homeschool Success with Personality Tests, Interview with Sandra Etherington

Understanding Teens and Homeschool Success with Personality Tests, Interview with Sandra Etherington

One of Vicki’s favorite things is personality tests. She has found that understanding her teens’ personalities helped her tweak her homeschool program for each teen. Thus, she was so excited to connect with Sandra Etherington of Family Personalities. Sandra is a Myer-Briggs Type Indicator expert and advisor. She helps homeschool families match homeschool styles with personalities.

Sandra first ran into MBTI (Vicki’s favorite personality test, btw) in the corporate world. She loved it so much she went to school and got special certification to help family members understand each other. She joined Vicki today to explain how Myers-Briggs can help you plan your homeschooling program and curriculum geared for each teen.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a personality test that gives each person a four-letter score. Each letter has a meaning and the combinations of letters truly give insight into the things that “fill a person’s bucket, ” as Sandra says.

She also points out that each person’s four-letter combination is not a rigid result. We can function in any letter we need to, but we feel happiest functioning in the ways our letters are combined.

Sandra shares that parenting and homeschooling teens can be so much fun when each family member understands their MBTI score. It can be such a relief to understand why each person thinks and feels based on their personalities.

The four letter scores of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator are:

  • INTJ
  • INTP
  • INFJ
  • INFP
  • ISTJ
  • ISTP
  • ISFJ
  • ISFP
  • ENTJ
  • ENTP
  • ENFJ
  • ENFP
  • ESTJ
  • ESTP
  • ESFJ
  • ESFP

I= Introvert (we fill our bucket/are energized by time alone)

E= Extrovert (we fill our bucket/are energized by time with people)

S= Sensing (we prefer taking in informations facts, details, practicality, experience)

N= Intuition (we prefer taking in information through the big picture, ideas, theories)

T= Thinking (we prefer making decisions through using logic and objectiveness)

F= Feeling (we prefer making decisions through approaching the decisions emotionally- our emotions and other’s emotions)

J= Judging (NOTE: this does not mean being judgmental) (we prefer to approach our outer world in order with planning and structure)

P= Perceiving (we prefer to approach our outer world spontaneously, not making a conclusion until you have all the information, keeping options open)

Sandra reminds us that one personality style is not better than another, they are simply different.

How can we work with our homeschool high schoolers’ different personalities?

Let’s start with an example: If you’re a parent who prefers Judging, we want to follow a schedule and plan in details. If your teen is a P she will be spontaneous and hate planning and schedules! It takes patience and prayer to work together. (That’s what patience and prayer are all about!)

Now let’s look at teens:

  • If they are J’s, they will want schedules, clear plans and routines. They are generally good with follow-through and will follow rules.
    • As a parent, include and/or be aware of their own plans. This means doing planning together and do regular check-ins. Allow extra time for transitions. Allow them to finish one activity before switching to another.
  • If they are P’s, they will want freedom to make their own rhythms, they will want to be spontaneous and perhaps mix study and play. They may have difficulty making decisions (because by making a decision, they cut off other opportunities). They like to be playful and impulsive. Can have trouble with follow-through.
    • As a parent, give stopping points/deadlines then allow them to work on their own/in their own style. Limit structure and rules. Build in flexibility (maybe your homeschool high schooler wants to do math all day for a couple of days then make up for that on the last day of the week). Have an outside accountability person (for instance, an umbrella school) when possible. Tend to work better under pressure.
  • If they are S’s, they want their texts and classes to be practical and realistic.
    • As a parent, choose hands-on curriculum that is step-by-step oriented. (Such as 7Sisters’ Essay and Research Paper Writing eworkbooks). Start with facts and details, then build up to main points. (If they are SJ, they will want to break projects down into chunks.)
  • If they are N’s, they want their texts and classes to start with the big picture. They prefer to understand the ideas behind the things they will be learning.
    • As a parent, you have to start with the purpose/the why of the course, give that big picture. Allow them to use their big ideas. If you need to review, have them solve the problem a different way without overdoing repetition.

Are you curious to find out more? Check out Sandra’s work on Family Personalities website and podcast. Start with her freebie downloads!

Join Vicki and Sandra for an enlightening chat!

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Understanding Teens and Homeschool Success with Personality Tests, Interview with Sandra Etherington

Help Struggling Learners Prepare for College Math, Interview with David Irving

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Help Struggling Learners Prepare for College Math, Interview with David Irving.

Help Struggling Learners Prepare for College Math, Interview with David Irving

Help Struggling Learners Prepare for College Math, Interview with David Irving

If you are like Vicki, high school math is not your favorite subject. Whether we like it or not, Algebra 1 and 2 and Geometry (at the least) are necessary for most homeschool high schoolers graduation requirements. Sometimes our teens do not like math OR are struggling learners so preparing for college math can be intimidating.

This week, Vicki is joined by David Irving of College Ready Math, who brings us some GOOD news: If your homeschool high schoolers can really get the concepts of Algebra down, they will have less trouble with the other courses. AND he has ideas on how to help struggling learners succeed.

So take a deep breath! There’s hope.

David Irving is the writer and publisher of the Parent’s Guide to Better Grades. David created this guide for parents of students in Title 1 schools in Chicago when he was single parenting a teen with ADHD. His son was struggling, so David began tutoring his son. He came up with some things that worked for his son, then later he and his new wife turned it into a guide which the schools snapped up and found success with.

David then brought the guides to schools in Detroit, Baltimore, Washington DC and New York City and trained tutors in the methods that worked. The tutors went into the schools, especially those who had lots of struggling students. Then his program spread to religious and independent private schools.

David Irving of College Ready Math

David Irving of College Ready Math. Photo used with permission.

David then started on online company, College Ready Math, to prepare struggling math students to be successful for the mathematics they will face in high school and college. (David has heard from college advisors that sometimes the high school math that students learn do not prepare them well for college-level mathematics courses. They sometimes need to take some remedial math courses at the local community college to catch up. David wants to save some money and time by helping homeschool high schoolers be ready for those college math courses.

David says to concentrate on Algebra. Make sure all the gaps in learning are closed (make sure there is sufficient knowledge of all the Algebra concepts). That is what David’s College Ready math program is about: filling Algebra gaps.

If you homeschool high schooler is a struggling math learner, think about spending extra time on Algebra concepts.

In David’s online program (which is a supplement to the teen’s math text), student’s start with a pretest to determine what concepts need attention. (Or students can start at the beginning for a solid review.)

Here are things that teens need to be ready for college-level math:

  • Learn one concept per lesson.
  • Lessons should be short.
  • Work on mastery for each concept.
  • Learn by video and solving problems together.
  • Practice with repetition as often as necessary.
  • Include test prep for the placement test many teens must take in order to know which maths in college they need (Accuplacer).

David reminds us: If a teen needs to take remedial math courses in college, they do not get college credit for those courses. They do not get credit but they must pay for the courses. So why not make sure the math concepts are solid enough that they can do well on the college placement test.

For more on what colleges are looking for check out this interview with Murray State University’s Associate Provost, Dr. Renae Duncan and our tips at 7SistersHomeschool.

Here’s a thing to note: David’s College Ready Math program is mobile phone friendly. He has found that students who do not have internet bandwidth can still easily access the lessons on their phones.

Contact David Irving and College Ready Math and join Vicki and David for some encouragement for helping struggling learners prepare for college math.

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Help Struggling Learners Prepare for College Math, Interview with David Irving

 

 

 

How to Engage Homeschool High Schoolers, Interview with Teresa Wiedrick

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: How to Engage Homeschool High Schoolers, Interview with Teresa Wiedrick.

How to Engage Homeschool High Schoolers, Interview with Teresa Wiedrick

How to Engage Homeschool High Schoolers, Interview with Teresa Wiedrick

One of the best gifts we can give our homeschool high schoolers is the gift of engagement in their educations. If teens feel interested or connected to their studies, true learning can take place. Vicki is joined this week to discuss ideas on how to engage our homeschool high schoolers with our new friend, Teresa Wiedrick, of Capturing the Charmed Life website and Homeschool Mama Self-care Podcast.

Teresa Wiedrick is a homeschool mom of four. She and her family live in Vancouver, Canada in a lovely wooded countryside. However, they have not been a stay-at-home all the time. With her adventurous physician husband, they have been around the world as far as small villages in the Arctic Circle and the Rift Valley in Africa.

She original found that she wanted to try homeschooling when she picked up the book, The Homeschooling Option by Lisa Rivera. Actually, she wanted to prove to herself that homeschooling was not a good idea- but actually found that it would be the best choice for her adventurous family. Homeschooling gave her high schoolers freedom, which led to curiosity and engaged students.

How do you engage your homeschool high schoolers in education?

Recognize your teens’ vision for their lives. Some teens are born knowing what they want to do with their lives. Those are the easy ones. They are automatically engaged in whatever they learn (as long as they can see how it applies to their vision.

Many teens do not know their vision for their lives yet. Start with helping your teens:

Teens engage better when they have  spent time  investing in their interests. -Teresa Wiedrick

Often their interests change over the high school years. That’s okay- even normal, so do not worry!

For instance, one of Teresa’s daughters wanted to go to medical but somehow shifted her interests to ballet. She is now in professional ballet training). During high school, Teresa helped her daughter explore her medical school interests (easily done by reading her father’s medical books and with whatever activities she could find that were interesting). She also took ballet lessons. Through high school she began to love ballet more and more and could only imaging herself at ballet school.

Help your teens find some independence

Watch out for the tendency to be a heavy equipment mom. (Don’t know what that is? Check out this Homeschool Highschool Podcast Episode.) Watch your teens push or yearn for some independence or develop unique personalities. Allow them to become who they need to be.

Do your own self-care so you can stay healthy and clear thinking

Teresa’s oldest who pushed the hardest for independence is well loved. However, she also is the type child who will exhauster her mom with all the pushing. Teresa found that she was so busy trying to make things work for her oldest that she had no time for self-care.

Teresa realized that she could not go on like that. She needed to have a set of self-care routines that kept her clear-headed. She wrote a book to help other homeschooling moms find time for self-care- each in their own unique way (after all, there’s not ONE right way to do self-care!)

Also, spend time introspecting (What am I feeling? What am I feeling that way? What am I going to do about it?). Spend time relearning your personality (Vicki and Teresa are big fans of the Enneagram. Check out the fun book The Road Back to You by Ian Cron and Suzanne Stabile– a favorite with millennials, btw.

If you are not healthy and taking care of yourself, you cannot feel fully engaged. Teens catch at LOT by your role modeling!

You cannot make your teens’ lives perfect or make them into your image, but when you understand yourself and stay healthy you can let them become themselves. A teen who is allowed to be themselves have a lower bar to entry in engagement!

Join Vicki and Teresa for a pleasant discussion on homeschool moms, high schoolers and how to engage those high schoolers.

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How to Engage Homeschool High Schoolers, Interview with Teresa Wiedrick