• 5 Writing Projects for the Homeschool Transcript

    By Vicki Tillman on 22 August 2014 / High School, Lang. Arts - Lit. & Writing, Transcripts / 0 Comment

    Homeschooled high schoolers should be proficient in several types of writing. Each of my 5 kids had some writing projects that they loved and some that they hated, but I required them to have experience in them all. In fact, in our local homeschool umbrella school requires it, too. Never once, in twenty years of high schooling, have any of those kids come back to me after graduation and said, "I sure wish you hadn't made me do all that writing." 5 Writing Projects for the Homeschool Transcript

    Writing Projects for the Homeschool Transcript

    Rather, many of the homeschoolers (including my own kids) have reported that they are confident in their writing skills and get some of the best grades in their college composition classes. Here are the 5 writing projects that our teens complete each high school year:   1. Research paper (MLA or APA style)   The paper length varies according to our homeschoolers' grade and level (average to honors). Click here for the guidelines we use. Download one of our MLA Research Paper Guides and APA Research Paper Guides take students step by step through the process. They are simple, user-friendly, not overdone, and NO busywork.  writing projects for homeschool transcript 2. Five-paragraph essays   There are a number of these essays that need to be covered: SAT topics, persuasive, compare-contrast, literature analysis and more. The number of essays varies each year according to grade and level. Here are our guidelines.  Middle-schoolers through upperclassmen can work through the 7 Sisters essay guides in a few minutes each day. The guides are quick, easy, and confidence-building. Download one today. writing projects for homeschool transcript   3. Poetry   Sometimes people are surprised that we require poetry. Even homeschoolers who hate poetry should learn the word-power skill of poetry. Poetic language skills help students write great research papers and essays. My sister, who is a college professor, tells me how grateful she is when she sees a well-worded paper (when you read 200 freshman papers on the same topic, to discover good writing is a relief).   Try our poetry guides! They begin so simply that even a total novice can gain creative word skill in only 15 minues per day for 5 weeks. writing projects for the homeschool transcript   4. Short Stories   The creativity employed in constructing short stories helps high schoolers develop good paper-writing skill. Some will even discover that they love writing short stories and move on to writing novels!! Fun, non-threatening, self-directed and NO busywork short story guide are a delightful way to develop short story skills through family narratives, tall tales, and myth-fantasies. writing projects for homeschool transcript   5. Business and Technical Writing   BTW includes important life-skill writing like resumes, cover letters, business letters, meeting minutes, ad copy and more. (The same guide that we've used with our high schoolers will be released soon!) Prepare your homeschooling high schooler for the next things in life with these 5 writing projects. Take a look at Sabrina's vlog on plagiarism!   http://youtu.be/K_EVOqvHsCo

    Writing Projects for the Homeschool Transcript

  • 3 Ways to Create a High School Psychology Honors Level Credit for Your Homeschooler

    By Vicki Tillman on 21 August 2014 / By Age Group, High School, Science, Psych, & Health, Transcripts / 0 Comment

    Do you have a homeschool high schooler who LOVES psychology? Do you have homeschool high schooler who needs more Honors-level courses on their transcripts?

    high school psychology honors level credit

    High School Psychology Honors Level Credit

    In my service as a homeschool high school advisor, I’ve helped teens level up psychology in 5 different ways using 7 Sisters Homeschool Introduction to Psychology from a Christian Perspective. Here they are. Which one will work for your homeschool high schooler?

    1. Complete the extra activities at the end of each chapter of 7 Sisters Introduction to Psychology from a Christian Perspective 

    Each chapter in the text has comprehension questions and optional activities to extend the learning gained in that chapter. Have your homeschool high schooler complete questions and all the activities. Make sure to log hours.

    For ½ credit Honors level, your teen will need 68-90 additional hours beyond the questions (check your state’s credit rules). The activities are interesting, relevant, and meant to inspire even more curiosity.

    For 1 full credit Honors level, your teen will need to log 203-270 extra hours in activities. This sounds rigorous. RIGHT! That is EXACTLY what it is meant to be. In order to give your homeschool high schoolers honest Honors credit, they should have had to WORK for it! Believe me, it looks GREAT on a transcript. (Don’t cheat your teen on the transcript, be sure to include a description of how the credit was earned in the legend/key.)

    high school psychology honors level credit

    2. Choose articles and activities from my Homeschool Psychology Resources Pinterest board

    Have your homeschool high schoolers read articles that are pertinent to each chapter’s topics. Then have them write a 5-paragraph essay stating:

    -how they could apply the article to their lives

    -whether they agree with the main ideas of the article (why or why not?)

    -why the article surprised or didn’t surprise them


    Have your homeschool high schoolers choose activities from the Pinterest board. Have them complete them.

    ALSO, use the Pinterest board articles and references from the library to write a full length research paper (preferably APA style, since that is the style that the American Psychological Association invented). Use the 7 Sisters APA Research Paper Writing Guide.

    BE SURE to log hours on all activities, reading and writing. (See #1 above for hour suggestions.)

    high school psychology honors level credit

    3. Read books.

    Choose books suggested in the text or on the Pinterest Board or from the library on psychology topics.

    For ½ credit Honors-level, read 8 books and write a 1-page summary of each.

    For 1 credit Honors-level, read 24 books and write a 1-page summary of each.

    Again this is rigorous, but it is SUPPOSED to be rigorous in order to be an honest honors credit. (Be sure to record in the legend/key of the transcript how the credit was earned so you don’t short-change your homeschool high schooler.)


    Be creative! Mix and match!
    Have a great time learning psychology in your homeschool high school!


    High School Psychology Honors Level Credit

  • 7 Things to Teach Your Gifted Homeschool High School Student

    By Vicki Tillman on 20 August 2014 / By Age Group, High School, Transcripts / 2 Comments

    Gifted homeschool high schoolers can be a blessing and a challenge. They are a blessing because learning comes easy for them (thus easier for us moms). They are a challenge because they sometimes have smart-kid quirks like:

    -Work too hard, all the time

    -Way strong willed

    gifted homeschool high school student

    Gifted Homeschool High School Student

    Then there are the fears that we moms of gifted homeschool high schoolers suffer. What if God gives us a highly intelligent homeschooler and we FAIL to get him/her into MIT/Harvard/Yale? What if we don’t help them find a full-ride scholarship? Surely we'll stand before the Pearly Gates someday and a TRAP DOOR will open....
    We can get so stressed about it that parent and teen become anxious, angry, depressed.

    On the other hand, if we allow it, having an academically gifted teen can be an absolute blast. Here are some tips for enjoying homeschooling high school with a highly intelligent teen:

    1. PRAY

    No one should try parenting a gifted homeschool high schooler without prayer.

    2. Teach your teen to pray

    Sometimes we assume they get a rich prayer life by osmosis. Truly, a teen needs to have a connectedness with God in order to understand His leading for their lives. (If they want something creative, take a look at our 7 Sisters Prayer Journals. Each of them have 30 days of unique prayer activities.)


    3. Develop strengths

    If your gifted homeschool high school student has natural verbal, math, or science (or history or world language) strength find courses that allow a happy stretch. Our local homeschoolers have enjoyed AP courses online through Potters School, PA Homeschoolers, and SevenStar Academy. (Remember, you can’t create your own AP course, you have to take one approved by College Board.)

    Some of our local homeschoolers during their junior or senior years take a course or two in their specialty areas a local community colleges.

    In many ways, creating your own Honors-level course is a better idea than an AP. Simply “Level-up” by adding to the curriculum your curriculum in ways that expand the interests of your gifted homeschool high schooler. (All 7 Sisters Homeschool curricula has leveling up instructions. It is especially powerful to “level up" Literature, Psychology, and World History and Philosophy. Check out our post tomorrow on ways to make Psychology an Honors-level course.)

    gifted homeschool high school student

    4. Develop character and personality

    Gifted homeschool high schoolers, just like any teen, must work on social skills, etiquette, group dynamic skills, fruit of the spirit. Occasionally, a gifted teen concentrates so much on her studies that she begins to feel awkward in social settings. If that is so, sneak a copy of the 10 vital skills all young people need to know to her.

    5. Teach your child stress management

    Sometimes gifted homeschool high school students think that A+ is the lowest acceptable grade in ANYTHING. Teach them where to work hard and where to practice grace-to-self and moderation. Teach them that "B" is not a toxic disease- it is a growth experience and opportunity for humility.

    6. Help them to find balance

    Spirit, soul, body, social, financial: all parts of wisdom and balance. Does your gifted homeschool high schooler have time to learn life skills? Does he have time for extra-curriculars? Does he have time for service? Check out our classic post: 7 Things Colleges Like to See on Transcripts.

    gifted homeschool high school student

    7. Make sure they have fun

    In other words: they must do academics, but your gifted homeschool high schooler must have fun, too. Humans can't have health unless they laugh. What is fun? Go do it.

    What do you do to enjoy your gifted teen?


    Gifted Homeschool High School Student

  • Homeschool Transcript for a Special Needs High Schooler: 7 Areas to Capture

    By Vicki Tillman on 19 August 2014 / By Age Group, Challenges, Helping Each Other, High School, Transcripts / 0 Comment

    How does a homeschool high schooler with special needs develop a good transcript?
    transcript for special needs high schooler

    Transcript for Special Needs High Schooler

    A homeschool high schooler with special needs should have a transcript that reflects a rich education full of experiences and gift-development. The transcript for special needs high schoolers should also be honest about academics- a child who is not capable of doing Algebra II, should not have some cheesy version of it appear on the transcript. (Simply note in the legend/key of the transcript that he was educated according to his abilities and suggestions given by his diagnostic testing. I recommend that testing be attached to the transcript at graduation, so that helping agencies, like community college or vocational rehabilitation are adequately informed.)

    Here are a few tips for developing a great transcript for a special needs high schooler:

    1. Concentrate on strengths- find an area or two and level up or show as specialty course.

    Lean into them for a leveling-up experience or a special course. Why not have a full credit in Civil War Studies or Auto Mechanics? Click here to find out how to level up or earn an alternate (specialty course) credit.

    transcript for special needs high schooler

    2. Compensate in weak areas

    Homeschool high school is the time for your special needs teen to remediate where there are academic Dedicate some time to:

    -Writing skills

    7 Sisters is can be helpful to some special needs homeschool high schoolers because there are daily, short lessons. Your teen may need supervision or may need to discuss and dictate, according to his/her abilitieis. Start with our FREE whitepaper on writing research with reluctant teens. Then follow up with story writing or essay writing.

    -Inferential reading skills

    Build inferential reading skills (Edcon’s Bring the Classics to Life are great at this. Btw-ignore the alleged grade levels).

    -Literature-reading skills

    7 Sisters Literature Study Guides are no-busywork and clearly understood by many high schoolers. You may work together in a discuss/dictate format. Try our FREE Anne of Green Gables Literature Study Guide for starters.

    -Math skills

    Try Pearson Education’s Pacemaker Math series

    -Science skills

    Try Westfield Studios. Their courses are delightful but be sure to follow the syllabus.

    transcript for special needs high schooler

    3. Have LOTS of sparkle on the transcript: community involvement, appropriate competitions, service opportunities

    This is where your special needs homeschool high schooler can shine. Plow into those talents and strengths. Volunteer at church- nursery, sound system, worship team/choir. Get involved in local homeschool organizations or in the case of spectrum teens- look into local autism/Aspergers support groups. Play a sport. Join a music group.

    Look into competitions. There are lots of online opportunities- looks at Scholastic, local college sometimes sponsor science fairs, Poetry Outloud, Lego Robotics Leagues, National History Day, etc. Your teen doesn't need to win- just have the experience for his transcript.

    Volunteer at local food banks, libraries, missions organizations.

    Show these appropriately on the transcript for a special needs high schooler, not as credits, but as extracurriculars.

    4. Try some apprenticeships

    Discuss with your special needs homeschool high schooler good work ethic skills: promptness, politeness, industriousness. Then let him/her try his skills with a time-limited apprenticeship. Look at local farms, florists shops, libraries, offices. Record these on the transcript under Career Exploration. Sherri Seligson has a great book on Interning

    5. Teach interviewing skills

    Practice with your high schooler some interview skills. Even if your homeschooler has special needs, he/she will need basic skills: dress business casual or business, sit straight, hands on knees, look toward/at interviewer, answer in complete sentences, have some questions to ask the interviewer. Record this as Career Exploration.

    Check my Homeschool Career Exploration Pinterest board for posts on interview skills:


    6. If needed, update diagnostic testing if he/she will need compensations at college level

    Not all teens need to go to college, but if your special needs homeschool high schooler feels led to go- it might be time to get some diagnostic testing. Look at a local educational psychologist or psychological testing service. The test results will include a list of needed compensations, if applicable.

    Include a summary in the transcript legend/key and attach the testing.

    7. Pray

    You know this, anyway. Does your teen know how to turn to God for help and guidance? Record Religion on the transcript.

    What are some suggestions you would make for homeschoolers with special needs?


    Transcript for Special Needs High Schooler

  • Homeschool Transcript High School Electives: 5 Types You Need

    By Vicki Tillman on 18 August 2014 / By Age Group, Electives, High School, Transcripts / 2 Comments

    My kids loved crafting their homeschool transcript high school electives. These were the courses that THEY got to choose. I mean, they HAD to take geometry, chemistry, civics, and the other core classes. However, when it came to filling out their transcript, it was the electives that really made some of my teens' academic record sparkle and their hearts glad. 
    homeschool transcript high school electives

    Homeschool Transcript High School Electives

    As you know, the transcript needs to show around 26 credits for graduation. This varies state to state and umbrella school to umbrella school. Check HSLDA for details and our post for specific topics.

    Beyond the core classes, you need to show homeschool transcript high school electives for your student. Here are 5 types of electives for the homeschool transcript:

    1. Electives required for graduation

    These often include Fine Arts (check tomorrow for How-to's), phys ed, and career pathways (all my kids did Career Exploration Workbook).

    homeschool transcript high school electives

    2. Building power in the transcript

    If your child is interested in a college major that is based on a core subject, extra (elective) credits will add power to the transcript. (Your teen should also Level-up their core classes in that subject, but that's another topic.) Often there are textbooks or online courses available for these topics.)

    For a budding science major, elective sciences (those beyond the required 4 sciences for graduation) could include: Anatomy and Physiology, Advanced Chemistry, Marine Biology, Astronomy, Environmental Science, Computer Science. (My oldest took Computer Science classes in preparation for his college major- back in his day, they were mail order...).

    For a budding psychology major, electives might include (if not included in required core classes): PsychologyHuman Development, Sociology, Philosophy. (My oldest built some power in his transcript with philosophy.)

    For a budding history major, electives might include special studies in missionary work, geography special topics, World Wars (check back later this week for how-to's), history of ... (architecture, fashion, cars, etc). (My second son did several extra history credits in preparation for his college major.)

    homeschool transcript high school electives

    3. Investigating an interest

    If your homeschooling high schooler has a special interest, help them develop a study plan and log 135 hours of learning (Carnegie Unit). This might include special studies in creative writing (above what is needed for Language Arts credit), home economics, home maintenance, speech, quilting, agriculture, forensics. (All my teens have taken speech and competed as part of the local homeschool support group's Rhetoric League. My youngest took Home Maintenance from the local community college. All of the kids have done home ec in some form- whether they were interested or not.)  :)

    5 Types of Electives for a Homeschool Transcript: Tips from a 20 Year Vet

    My son's band playing at a fundraiser for a homeless shelter.

    4. Developing a gift

    If God has given your teen a talent, it should be developed. Log 135 hours of lessons or educational activities in these areas for a credit. This kind of elective credit might include taking art or voice lessons, playing on a soccer team, learning leadership skills. (My youngest is a musician. He wrote his yearly research papers on this history of church music. He plays in church worship team and a Christian rock band. He takes voice lessons, music theory, and piano lessons. All of these are electives for him.)

    5 Types of Electives for a Homeschool Transcript: Tips from a 20 Year Vet

    My son at the recording studio.

    5. Exploring career options

    Career exploration is an elective. Log 135 hours of lessons or educational activities per credit. Every teen should have a career exploration credit or two before graduating. This can include Career Exploration texts and learning activities. Activities may include volunteering at zoos, nursing homes, urban schools, libraries. Apprenticeships are also good career exploration activities; try helping out a veterinarian, classroom teacher, coach, office administrator, etc. (My youngest did some work at a recording studio. Another son helped out at a local video production agency.) Sometimes even a part-time job in high school may count.

    What are some awesome homeschool transcript high school electives your homeschooling teens have enjoyed?


    Homeschool transcript high school electivesDon't forget to download our popular $2.99 Kindle book to help you plan the new year: Homeschool High School: You CAN Do It!



    Homeschool Transcript High School Electives


  • 7 Success Tips for a Homeschool High School Student with ADHD

    By Vicki Tillman on 17 August 2014 / By Age Group, Challenges, Helping Each Other, High School / 0 Comment

    In my years as a homeschool advisor and mental health counselor, I’ve worked with a number of homeschooling high schoolers who could be called ADHD. They are not alone, take a look at Parenting.com’s slideshow of famous people with ADHD.

    Sometimes homeschool high school students with ADHD feels badly about themselves and worry about their future. They may have difficulty focusing in their textbooks or notice that they are not favorites with peers. Teens NEED to know that they are NOT defective, NOT useless, NOT incapable. In fact, God has plans for them. They NEED to be empowered to find their gifts, experiment with learning styles, be active, and practice social skills.

    Homeschool High school student with ADHD

    Homeschool High School Student with ADHD

    Every ADHD high schooler is different. Here are 7 tips that have been helpful to the ADHD high schoolers I work with, and some may work for your homeschooler:

    1. If they seek God’s gifts and callings, they’ll feel more confidence, SO emphasize career exploration and self-knowledge.

    Work together (discussion format) through our FREE Career Exploration Questionnaire and our Career Exploration Workbook.

    Once a week or so, pick an activity off my Homeschool Career Exploration Pinterest board to work on together:

    2. If you use a textbook, pick one with short chapters.

    Not all high school textbook writers believe that each chapter must be 31 pages long. Look through possible text. Pick one that does the job in 5-10 page chapters. Pearson Education Pacemaker curriculum does this.

    Our 7 Sisters Psychology, Human Development, World History and Philosophy, and Early Childhood Education follow the short-chapter format.

    Homeschool High School Student with ADHD

    3. Try different formats literature and textbooks. Audiobooks are great for literature. Digital formats for textbooks include ebooks or read on computer or Kindle. The audio format or digital wavelengths help some teens.

    More textbook publishers are including an ebook format or Kindle format. You can see all of our curriculum on our Amazon Kindle page:

    4. Continue the great hands-on learning you’ve done for so long.

    Here is a post on creative credit earning.

    And here’s a link to our FREE whitepaper on Earning a Fun and Easy Fine Arts Credit.

    5. Break big projects into small projects.
    It may require guidance and prompting from you because even broken down into small projects, many high schooler with ADHD, even in a homeschool format, have trouble with big projects like research papers. Help your teen break up projects into small, clearly defined (type it up) goals.
    An example of this strategy is used in our FREE whitepaper on Research Papers for Reluctant Writers.

    6. Concentrate on daily self-care.

    Sometimes homeschool high school students with ADHD are not very body-aware. They need to learn the DEADLY SINS of self-care: NO ONE likes to be around someone who has body odor, bad breath, unwashed face, or greasy hair.

    7. Practice social skills.
    ADHD high schoolers sometimes need to go back and retrain on some things that they learned in elementary homeschool but they have forgotten.

    Skills like holding conversations, appropriate social distance, and reading nonverbals build a teen’s confidence and ability to make and keep friends.

    What are some ways you help your homeschool high school student with ADHD?


    Here’s a rather clinical but helpful video by one of my favorite experts on ADHD.

    Here’s a precious talk from Sabrina about “average” homeschool high schoolers:


    Homeschool High School Student with ADHD

  • Our Favorite Middle School Book Series

    By Kym Smythe on 16 August 2014 / By Age Group, By Subject, Lang. Arts - Lit. & Writing, Middle School / 0 Comment

    Ever have a middle schooler who finds reading boring? Our sister, Kym, did. She found some books that made reading contagious- her twins just had to read more!

    Here’s what she wrote:

    Ever found a book/series that absolutely grabs your reluctant readers and won’t let them go? Even found that very same series to be just as compelling to you?

    Favorite Middle School Book

    Kym's twins Carlie and Kendall have been to Nationals twice with their elite girls hockey team!

    Sigmund Brouwer’s Lightning on Ice, does just that for my two youngest and me. It has even helped my youngest grow to be an eager reader! PTL!

    So far we have read:

    • Rebel Glory
    • All Star Pride
    • Thunderbird Spirit
    • Winter Hawk Star
    • Blazer Drive
    • We eagerly await reading:
    • Oil King Courage
    • Hitmen Triumph
    • Tiger Threat
    • Chief Honor
    • and many more of his sports-related mysteries

    The Lightning on Ice Series is written to appeal to students ages 9 – 15 and with an upper elementary reading level, it is an ideal blend of accessibility and high interest for tweens and teens. While the books work well together, they are independent of one another and can be read in any order. Both Carlie and I say they are truly “page turners” that are hard to put down, yet the short chapters make them easy to read in small doses if you prefer.

    Each book is set on a real team in the WHL (Western Hockey League, which endorses the books as well). The stories and characters are fictitious, but the hockey backdrop is the real deal. If you’re a hockey fan, you’ll love the way the game is woven into the background of each story. If you’re new to the game, there’s a handy hockey glossary in each volume. If you don’t know a puck from a penalty box, the stories stand alone and have high interest long after the ice has melted.

    These books are full of mystery, relationships, real-life problems, adventure and humor. The choices the characters make, the struggles they endure and they way they follow their spiritual and moral compasses make them good role models for our family - plus I laugh out loud when I read them. And yes, I read them for my own enjoyment – and I have always been an avid reader! I kid you not, when I say I almost missed one of my girls’ hockey games, because I got so engrossed in reading Blazer Drive!

    We have found several of the titles in our local library. The best online resource I have found for the Lightning on Ice and other similar books is the publisher, Orca Sports (some volumes formerly published under Word! Kids). The Orca Sports Books website,even offers free downloadable Teachers Guides as well as a Resource Guide available for purchase.

    Here are the top 10 cool things we learned about Sigmund Brouwer while researching this blog:

    - He is a former college and semi-pro ice hockey player

    - He struggled with English, including writing, in college

    - His website (www.coolreading.com) has writing tips for young writers

    -He is committed to writing one book for reluctant readers each year

    -He loves to encourage young readers and writers through visits to school/homeschool groups

    -He has posted the first chapter to most of the series on his site

    -His “hope is that the characters in my novels will live real lives beyond the walls of traditional church and allow my fiction to give voice to truth"

    -He has close to 3,000,000 books in print

    -He writes all sorts of books including other sports, mysteries

    -He wrote over 2,000 pages and received 7 years worth of rejection letters before his first story was published!

    As you can tell, we are huge Sigmund Brouwer and Lightning on Ice fans!

    What book(s) have totally turned your family on to reading?


    Have you seen Kym's vlog on encouraging reluctant readers on into the high school years?

  • A Prayer As You Begin The New Homeschool Year

    By Vicki Tillman on 14 August 2014 / Encouragement, Helping Each Other / 0 Comment

    Time for a new homeschool year!

    Often we blogging moms talk about homeschool helps. But we know that the true homeschool help is the support and intervention we receive in Christ. How many times did you quote “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”?

    So here is our prayer for God’s help in your homeschool year. May His blessings be on you and yours.

    New Homeschool Year

    New Homeschool Year

    Dear Father in Heaven,

    Please bless my homeschool friends in this academic year.

    Give them your skillful and Godly wisdom for days when math lessons don't make sense.

    Give them your strength when they are weak from hours of looking for that "lost" math book.

    Give them your oil of joy over science experiments that worked- and for those that didn't, give them that same joy to help them laugh.

    Give them your humor and creativity to inspire their homeschoolers to write meaningful papers and silly stories.

    Give them eyes to see the cool literature books that will guide their children's lives.

    Give them messy art and history projects that take over entire rooms and evoke fun and laughter!

    Give them moments of wonder at your creation and times of overwhelming praise.

    Break the bonds of "I have to be a super-homeschool mom" and help them see your grace in their lives for being "good enough".

    Please let this year be Your year for my homeschool friends.

    In Christ's name.


    New Homeschool Year

    For a little creative prayer help, I’ve shared the prayer activities that I have been using in my personal life and teach to my homeschoolers. Prayer doesn’t need to be a stale or same-old experience. Take a look at our Prayer Journals.

    New Homeschool Year

    And take advantage of the FREE apologetics presentation downloads in our ebookstore from Good Answers Ministries. Here's Dr. Culley explaining Good Answers!

  • 5 Ways To Help Teens Find Purpose in Life

    By Vicki Tillman on 13 August 2014 / By Age Group, Electives, Encouragement, Helping Each Other, High School / 0 Comment

    Homeschooling high school is the perfect place to instill the idea that we are all here on earth for a purpose. Jeremiah learned it early on when God told him, “I know the plans I have for you…” (Jeremiah 29:11). Homeschool teens are in the perfect position to explore and develop their sensitivity to God’s leading.

    We 7 Sisters have been homeschooling 26 kids over the years. We have also been active in helping the teens in our local homeschool community discover God’s purposes for them.

    Help Teens Find Purpose

    Help Teens Find Purpose

    Here are 5 ways we’ve helped homeschool teens discover their purpose during high school:

    1. Meet or interview people doing important or interesting things.

    Church missionaries, urban mission workers, entrepreneurs, college professors, preschool teachers, coaches: All are people who might in some way inspire your teen. My daughter’s AWANA missionaries were such a powerful influence during her growing up years that she saved up and spent a month during college helping her role models on the field. While she didn’t become a missionary on the field, she learned a lot about life from her role models.

    2. Watch movies about heroes or role models.

    Amazing Grace (2006) is a favorite of my homeschool high schoolers. It is the story of William Wilberforce, who helped end slavery in England. 

    Help Teens Find Purpose

    Click to view excerpts of meaningful literature study guides with no busywork.

    3. Read biographies about heroes or role models.

    Homeschool high schoolers need to read LOTS of books, so why not read books that will inspire them to seek God’s leadings for them? Reading the lives of great people help guide teens even if they are not called to anything more than being great parents themselves someday.

    Here are some suggestions of biographies that our kids have really liked. (They have completed the 7 Sisters Study Guides for the books, also, in order to develop their Language Arts/comprehension skills while they are inspired to change the world):


    4. Study out of the box subjects.

    All of my kids study Philosophy in high school. My oldest is now a philosophy teacher at McDaniels College and University of Maryland. This is the curriculum we use (I wrote the first draft while my oldest was in high school. After college, he expanded and added his expertise and richness to it for our new edition). 

    A couple of my kids studied Early Childhood Education in high school. While neither went into that exact field, they have both used the teaching concepts in other life arenas.
    Help Teens Find Purpose

    5. Actually do a career exploration course.

    Most of our homeschool high schoolers complete the 7 Sisters Career Exploration FREE Questionnaire and Career Exploration Workbook.

    Then they complete activities off my Homeschool Career Exploration Pinterest board.

    Our teens have gone on to become teachers, barbers, college professors, photographers, entrepreneurs, nurses, and personal trainers among other things. The exploring they did as homeschool high schoolers has been vital to their knowledge of God’s plans for them.

    What are some things your homeschool high schoolers do to explore God’s purposes for them?

    Help Teens Find Purpose

    Help Teens Find Purpose

  • 10 Ways to Help High School Reluctant Readers

    By Vicki Tillman on 12 August 2014 / By Age Group, By Subject, High School, Lang. Arts - Lit. & Writing / 0 Comment

    Does your homeschool high schooler still struggle with reading?

    Do you get kickback every day during literature?

    Do you feel stressed because you know your teen must read efficiently in order to fend for himself as an adult? Is it sad to think she’ll never be able to enjoy the cultural richness of the classics?

    High School Reluctant Reader

    High School Reluctant Reader

    Here are 5 important thoughts about reluctant high school readers.

    1. You’re not limiting with a label.

    If your teen has some neural processing difficulties, it is hard to know how to help unless you know what the trouble is. Is it time for vision testing and therapy (beyond check for eyeglasses but rather check for visual processing)? One of my kids benefited greatly from vision therapy.

    Is it time for diagnostic testing? Testing can help determine if there is dyslexia, ADD, or other learning issues. (It can also open the doors for special accommodations in college, note-takers or untimed tests, for instance.)

    2. Bored is no excuse.

    Some teens just don’t like to read. They want to build something, play soccer, bake or raise chickens. If that is so, have them read magazines and how-to books for the bulk of their booklist. (Talk with your homeschool advisor on how best to record this.)

    3. Pop lit is just fine.

    You’re not a bad mom if your kid reads pop lit. Some of our local homeschool teens discovered they didn’t mind reading at all if they were reading Ted Dekker’s Color Series, Sigmund Brouwer’s Youth Sports Series, Frank Peretti’s Teen Series, or Christian romances. Get them hooked on fun books and throw in audio classics.

    4. Biographies can be a good attention-getter.

    Some reluctant high school readers think they are going to die if they have to read a novel, but they get all excited about biographies. If so, make the BEST of it! Find bios of people in their interest areas or of heroes of the faith. Try God’s Smuggler by Brother Andrew or Joni by Joni Eareckson Tada.

    5. Audio books are awesome.

    Many reluctant high school readers can listen to a much higher level of book than they can physicaly read. There are free audiobooks on Librivox and Christian Audio usually as a free monthly download of some book, also your public library is an endless source of classic audio literature.

    6. Read aloud together.

    One never outgrows read-alouds!

    7. Watch a movie THEN read the book.

    This is a great way to hook a reader.

    8. Abbreviated classics are okay.

    Really, not many reluctant high school readers are going to plow through an unabridged Les Miserables. But many will watch the movie, get hooked, and then compliantly read an abridged version.

    9. Keep the study guides short and sweet.

    Don’t snuff the budding appreciation for reading by lengthy, kill-the-book study guides. Short and sweet will help develop comprehension, inference, and vocabulary and nurture the love of reading.

    high school reluctant readerThe 7 Sisters Literature Study Guides are only $3.99. Short, sweet, no-busywork, and useful they cover need-to-know material. The ebook format (kept on the desktop) is interesting to many reluctant high school readers. Our study guides cover Great Christian Writers, American Lit, British Lit, and World Lit- download one today! (You can try them out with Anne of Green Gables for FREE.)

    10. You may have to *gulp* delete some gaming-time.

    Unfortunately, some reluctant high school readers have highly developed neural pathways for action-oriented digital stimulation to the neglect of print-oriented neural pathways. It takes a little detox for some teens in order to rewire the brain to handle print matter. Galatians 5 would call this self-control.

    Marianne Sunderland has some good info at Homeschooling with Dyslexia.

    What have you found that helps your reluctant high school reader?

    Here are Kym’s thoughts about when your homeschool high schooler doesn’t like to read.


    High School Reluctant Reader

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