Stacey Lane of Layered Soul used our Human Development text this year with her high schoolers. Join us for some tips on the way she developed the course for her kids:
Have you heard the term…”The World is My Classroom?” Maybe you have wanted to incorporate more real-life experiences into your school?
Human Development from a Christian World View by Vicki Tillman is a course that naturally lends itself to the world being the classroom.
Reading through the table of contents helped me to start brainstorming ideas to provide hands-on experiences.
Before we started the book I had my daughter take a Safe Sitters class. Our local hospital provides classes to teens who are looking to start babysitting.
Since the first four chapters cover “Prenatal Life to the Preschool Years” I looked for an opportunity for my daughter to be a mother’s helper. A close friend was due to have her third child the end of September and her oldest was 3½. She was able to read the chapters the day before and then answer the questions after spending the morning with the girls.
Our local Young Life started a group, Capernaum. This group provides respite care for parents of special needs children. Once a month teens are paired with a buddy and spend the afternoon playing. This group has allowed my daughter to form relationships with children she may not have had the chance to. It really helped her to understand Chapter 5 “The Elementary Years”, especially looking at the education of those with special needs.
Of course Chapter 6 “Adolescence” and Chapter 7 “Young Adulthood” were easily addressed by her personal real life experiences, which I won’t give too much detail about. One must be very sensitive to blog about this age group. I did have her read the books; Boy Meets Girl, Say Hello to Courtship by Joshua Harris and Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris.
Chapter 7 “Senior Adulthood” spurred on a variety of ideas. We were able to support my Mom’s church monthly bingo at the local nursing home. Our mime group, Louder Than Words, performed a few different times for local assisted living and nursing homes. Just being at the locations helped to give a clear picture of how life can look different for the aging population.
Overall this one was of our favorite classes this year. I do believe having the different activities really helped to bring alive the material discussed in each chapter.
Take a look at Human Development from a Christian Worldview.
Here is Stacey's kids' Mime Team:
Here is one of my favorite You Tubes that I show my Human Development homeschoolers:
This time of year, we hear questions about high school health (and everything else homeschooling). (BTW- come ask us some questions at the Cincinnati Great Homeschool Convention, April 4-6.)
There are some good ideas for health at the high school level in a updated classic post:
1) Traditional curriculum: a favorite locally is Total Health by Susan Boe
This text is serious health for the serious student.
2) Log 120-135 hours of individual instruction in health topics (such as Red Cross First Aid and CPR courses)
3) Anatomy and Physiology- a choice for future nursing students. Look at Apologia's.
4) For teens who have already covered nutrition, exercise, drug avoidance, and abstinence- why repeat the same stuff? It is a good idea to give them some genuine life-lasting skills for their health course. Allow them to gain understanding of themselves, their siblings, their parents, and grandparents. This is covered in the course: Human Development from a Christian Worldview.
I didn't want my own kids to graduate high school without a good understanding of the way people grow and change from womb to old age. However, I couldn't find a Human Development curriculum from a Christian worldview. So, out of my work and training as a counselor I wrote one. I've been using it for years with all my kids and the local homeschoolers. Now, 7 Sisters has published it.
The other day, my 15-year-old was telling me why the 2-year-old niece of his friend says, "NO" and "over-generalizes her grammar rules". He also understands why his grandparents tell the same stories over and over. He also is beginning to recognize the early stages of his own metacognition. These are skills that will help him be a better babysitter and friend. Then someday, he'll be a better husband and father. These are Human Development skills.
Our Human Development book is written as a light-hearted text at an average high school level. My son added activities suggested in the book to increase the level to college prep.
I'd like to suggest Human Development to your homeschooler as high school health!
Your turn: What are some things your homeschoolers have done for health?
The elementary-school days of adding arts and crafts to your academic subjects are merely a memory.
Your 10th grader is not so excited at the thought of one more lesson from the textbook in front of him.
What kinds of supplemental resources can spice up the high school years without dumbing-down the learning?
Here are some of my favorites:
1. Field Trips -- tried and true.
10th grade son Jonah just recently went with other "7 Sisters" kids Seth and Marcus and Kendall and Carlie and a bunch of their buddies on a tour of a state laboratory as a supplement to his Chemistry's traditional (brutal, dry, confusing, etc, etc, etc.) textbook.
They loved it! They got a feel for the real world of chemistry in the workplace, and were even given hazmat suits as souvenirs. These kinds of experiences may actually cement the textbook learning more firmly in their brains than traditional lab activities -- the adventure of it all really makes a lasting impression.
I find videos on every subject under the sun to add to what we're learning from our textbooks. Our Human Development co-op spent our last session watching neat-o videos I found of sensory, motor, and language development in babies and toddlers. Have you seen my Pinterest board for Human Development? I'm keeping track of all of our supplementals there so you can "steal" ideas if you are using our fabulous ebook in your homeschool!
(Have you checked out Vicki's Human Development from a Christian Worldview one-year curriculum? Click the link to view excerpts.)
Speaking of Pinterest, I have found practical chemistry in the home via cleaning pins, activity recommendations from other homeschoolers, and loads of ideas for field trips. (You can see my boards here; I haven't been on Pinterest for very long, but I love it!)
World History gets a breath of fresh air with a well-made movie to bring the time period to life. Watching the movie versions of books we are reading in World Lit. (another Pinterest board!) is fun, whether you read the book first or start with the film. We are holding our breath in anticipation of the new musical Les Miserables coming out in December. Yes, the musical version took a bunch of liberties with the original book, but since we are scheduled to read the book right after the first of the year, we will be primed and ready to catch every single one of those alterations! And can I tell you that we're counting down moments until The Hobbit is released on Dec. 14th?
this amazing British work of literary fantasy.
Learn about sub-creation, allusion, old truths, and irony. Comfortably priced at $3.99, each 7 Sisters Literature Study Guide enhances your homeschooler's understanding of the book without sucking the joy out of it with busy-work.
I know, I'm at it again: Homeschool Mom reviews her own curriculum. I just REALLY want you to know why I think it is SO important for homeschooled high schoolers to master Human Development...
When my older kids were in high school, I knew one of the best ways to prepare them for adulthood is to give them the tools to become informed and compassionate parents (and caregivers for their old mama when she's an ancient of days...).
I knew someday they'd be married and have babies and need to know:
-why a child in the womb is a child at conception
-how to communicate with their wee ones without frustrating them
-how much to expect from a toddler educationally
-when to teach their little one a two-footed jump, then a one-footer
-when it is appropriate to start teaching math concepts
-when a young person can think deep spiritual thoughts
-why their parents are so goal-driven
-and why their grandparents tell them the same stories over and over
Human Development is the study of the ways people grow and change from womb to old age. In my work as a therapist, the way I counsel 5 year-olds is totally different from the way I counsel 10 year-olds, which is even different from how to counsel 13 year-olds, 17 year-olds, 22 year-olds, 40 year-olds or 60 year-olds. I use Human Development to know what to do when.
I use Human Development to wisely raise my own kids. It teaches me what to expect out of my kids at each age.
I wrote Human Development from a Christian Worldview a few years ago for my older children to use as their health curriculum because I could not find a Christian text on the subject. We have used it for years in our homeschool co-op and group classes.
Human Development from a Christian Worldview: Download it today.
What are some unique courses you plan to teach your homeschool high schoolers?
Here are some academic tips for high school homeschoolers who are graduating and headed to college:
What's going on in your homeschooler's brain when you are teaching him? Here's a look at brain development and how it affects learning (taken from 7 Sisters high school textbook: Human Development).
Kindergartener's brain cells have been working on developing branches called axons and dendrites. These branches help retrieve and transfer information around the brain. The efficiency of these branches allow children to think in more mature manners than pre-schoolers. 5 year-olds have mastered symbols (like riding a broomstick for a horse) but they can't do abstract thinking (they don't understand patriotism, algebra, or electricity). They love to classify but may have trouble sorting objects by more than one characteristic (like big, blue beads from little, round beads). Their thinking is usually characterized by irreversibility (they might be able to add but to try to subtract by thinking that it is the reverse of adding might be difficult). Kindergarteners generally learn best in a hands-on, multisensory manner.
Early elementary homeschoolers are in what we call the "5 to 7 shift". The growth of their brain cells from the ages of 5-7 goes in spurts and in uneven through the brain. In lessons it looks like this: He grasped the fact that 7 + 7= 14 yesterday, but it is GONE today. (Concepts at this age are kind of like God's mercies- they are new every morning). However, their thought patterns are more
logical and they can classify from several aspects. They can usually do some basic reversibility: they can handle this series 5 + 9=14 and 14-9=5 (at least, on some days). Like Kindergarteners, they often learn best in a hands-on situation, although many have begun to differentiate into various learning styles.
Many later elementary homeschoolers have well-established neural patterns. They can choose to concentrate and are aware of when they are excited about a topic or bored with it. They can problem-solve in age-appropriate cases (like word problems in math) and try various strategies for completing a task (like assembling models or doing science experiments). Their memory capacity and retrieval is much stronger, which helps in memorizing spelling words and Bible verses. They can infer (read between the lines) in simple cases. These youngsters are capable of longer and more complex study times than their grade 1-2 counterparts.
Homeschoolers in middle school have developed the beginnings of metacognition. Metacognition is the ability to monitor one's own thinking, memory, goals, knowledge, and activities. It occurs as the brain gradually coats its neurons with an oily-coating called myelin. Myelin sheathing gradually develops over childhood and is complete by sometime in adolescence. With this myelination comes better self monitoring (staying on task during lessons), memorization skills, and logical imagination. They can think abstractly and read between the lines in more complex situations, do more in-depth problem solving, and learn about writing stories with plots. They learn best in their own learning style.
Although it varies wildly from teen to teen, the brain cells usually complete the myelination process during high school. You know when it hits because your homeschooler starts to think about what he's thinking about, perspective-take in an in-depth manner, speculate, hypothesize, and imagine in ways much greater than before. They have mastered abstract thought so are ready for concepts such as
algebra, patriotism, politics, the "why" of religion, and poetry. They can handle literary analysis, word problems that involve more than one step, and developing scientific experiments. They can write more complex stories full of abstract ideas and plot twists. They can write poetry laced with metaphors. They learn best in their own learning style but many can do some great discussion at this age.
These tips might help choose what to teach your children and when. (No algebra for 4th graders- concrete math instead. Thinking-required courses like philosophy or psychology for high schoolers.)
Get your homeschooler involved in understanding himself, his siblings, his parents and his grandparents. Our Human Development text is a one-credit high school health course. It discusses the ways people grow and change from womb to old age: physically, cognitively, and socially. Presented from a Christian worldview. Good, solid, useful information for teens (and adults).
Speaking of graduating, many homeschoolers go away to college. Here are some tips I share with my kids when they graduate: