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HSHSP 146: How to Find Teens’ Passions, Interview with Cindy West

This week on HSHSP 146: How to Find Teens’ Passions, Interview with Cindy West. This post is running concurrently on the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network.

Helping Teens Find Their Passions, Interview with Cindy West. Help homeschool high schoolers explore interests and talents for transcript credit.

HSHSP 146: How to Find Teens’ Passions, Interview with Cindy West

Join Vicki and our friend, Cindy West, of Our Journey Westward, NaturExplorers, and Homeschooling Gifted Kids. Cindy, who is well-known to many homeschool families,  has been homeschooling for 18 years has specialized in helping her homeschool high schoolers find and develop their interests and passions.

Cindy West of Our Journey Westward shares with Homeschool Highschool Podcast ways to help teens capture their passions as part of their academics.

Cindy West.
Photo used by permission.

Cindy’s teens learned how to identify, develop and make choices for their futures in their homeschool programs. Cindy shares how she helped her homeschool high schoolers lean into their interests and allow them to become passions.

  • Observe: Where do they get excited? Where do they invest their free time?
  • Get experiences: Go on field trips. Do some volunteer work, help others out who are in the field of interest. Go to the library
  • Discuss with experts: Interview adults. See if you can find shadowing or apprenticeship opportunities.
  • Include as part of their academic studies: Develop science, history and/or language arts courses.
  • Include as part of their career exploration electives: Give it an appropriate name and capture it on the transcript.

One of the special things that Cindy has done with her teens is allowing her teens to develop their own courses.

  • Divide the year into 36 weeks
  • Explore on the internet what other people cover for those courses
  • Ask teen to pinpoint their interests/goals for the course
  • Find a *spine*, a textbook or detailed, informative book (probably not in the juvenile section) as a base
  • Choose at least one major project: research paper, prepare a presentation, design an experiment
  • Plan out the year, month by month based on the topics of teen interest and what others cover
  • Turn the plan into a syllabus
  • Learn more about this with Cindy’s post on the topic.

Teens who develop their interests in homeschool high school gain important skills for life. Homeschool Highschool Podcast interview with Cindy West.

Cindy’s daughter was passionate about equine studies and developed high school courses to develop those interests. Her son has been interested in guitar, so they have deeply developed this interest and giftedness.

You’ll be blessed by this interview with Cindy West. Visit her website and social media, curriculum AND check out her book on homeschooling gifted kids to learn more!

Take a look at 7Sisters Career Exploration curriculum to help discover interests and gifts. You’ll also enjoy these posts:
How to Earn Credits in Homeschool High School
Helping Teens Identify Interests

HSHSP 146: How to Find Teens’ Passions, Interview with Cindy West

 

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HSHSP 145: Using Movies for Educational Purposes

This week on HSHSP 145: Using Movies for Educational Purposes. This post is running concurrently on the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network.

HSHSP EP 145: Movies for Educational Purposes. Movies can be an inspirational part of your homeschool high school Language Arts program.

HSHSP 145 Using Movies for Educational Purposes

Need some fun in your homeschool high school? Think: movies!

Movies and reading can both count for Language Arts assignments?

Movies can’t count as books, but they can be used to learn themes, plots, characters and other tools of literary analysis. Studying a movie can add some sparkle to a year that is getting bogged down in heavy literature books. However, you want to have good tools (like 7Sisters Cinema Studies for Literature Learning Study Guides).

Literature Analysis, Literal Thinkers and Movies

Click image for more information.

Join Sabrina and Vicki for an enlightening discussion of movies for educational process. Let’s start with another of Sabrina’s famous quotes:

Stories are stories.

So, a story in a movie is still a story.

Stories are Stories. Literature analysis through movies.

Learning story analysis skills by watching movies is good for all teens. Homeschool high schoolers with learning difficulties will find analysis skills more accessible when they watch and discuss movies.

So where do you start? Choose one or two aspects of the story to discuss and analyze, even if the movie has lots of outstanding features that could be explored. That way teens can actually learn and hold onto their learning. We suggest 7Sisters Cinema Studies for Literature Learning Study Guides for this.

When teens learn some concepts from a film story, they can then find those concepts when they read books. Making these connections is a necessary facet of education (and an important life skill).

Watching movies as an educational tool, helps teens begin to think that any time they watch a movie, they can use their brains and think about what they are consuming. In other words, when given tools for analysis in a gentle way, most teens will have more critical thinking skills for watching movies any time.

All 7Sisters curriculum is level-able (adaptable for Average- through Honors-level studies.) Homeschool high schoolers who are college-bound Honors level cinema studies will find interesting and meaningful leveling-up activities in 7Sisters Cinema Studies for Literature Learning Study Guides.

The way the Cinema Studies guides work:

  • Students watch the movie.
  • They take notes as they watch the movie on anything that is interesting to them.
  • They watch the movie again several days later.
  • Then they complete the study guide (questions and a writing assignment).

As an aside, Vicki and Sabrina rabbit trailed onto the topic of audiobooks for books and poetry. They noted that Benedict Cumberbach is one of their favorite readers. Vicki has several pins on her Pinterest Poetry board with him reading a poem.

Join Sabrina and Vicki for a *moving* talk about movies!

Here’s a post about using Cinema Studies in your homeschool co-op.

Cinema Studies for Literature Learning in your High School Homeschool Co-op

For more creative ideas in Language Arts, check out this episode!

Homeschool Highschool Podcast Ep 89: A NOVEL Approach with Highschool Literature

 

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HSHSP 145 Using Movies for Educational Purposes

Test-Taking Skills for Homeschool High School

Here are test-taking skills for homeschool high school.

Test Taking Skills for Homeschool High School. 7SistersHomeschool.com shares tips for success and confidence for teens learning to take tests for their high school courses.

Test-Taking Skills for Homeschool High School

If you’re like me, you didn’t do much in the way of testing during elementary and middle school. We’d do spelling tests and our (at that time) mandatory achievement tests, but very little curriculum-based testing. For us, one of the major goals of homeschooling was to foster a love of learning (rather than having a goal of measuring outcomes). To me, testing worked against that goal.

However, goals change in homeschool high school. Teens need to develop a transcript, thus they need to show that they have accomplished their academic goals of earning the necessary credits for graduation. (Here’s a post on the 26 credits needed for graduation.)

Besides needing some objective criteria for assigning grades in homeschool high school, our local homeschool grads would tell me that taking tests helps build teens’ college prep skills. College includes a lot of test-taking!

Here are some test taking skills that our teens have explained helped them succeed in their high school and college courses.

General Tips for Answering Test Questions

  • Write your name on the test (or answer page, if the test is in that format). (This, of course, is the biggest hurdle for many homeschool high schoolers!)
  • Take 3 deep breaths. (Oxygen will help keep your mind clear).
  • Eat something nutritious about 30 minutes before the test. (This will give your brain the energy for heavy thinking.)
  • Talk well to yourself. (Saying things like: *I’m so worried, I’m afraid I’ll bomb this test* will work against you. Try: *I’ve studied well and I can pray for God’s help to think well* for better performance.)
  • Start with a quick look over the test. Ask yourself:
    • How long is this test?
    • How much time do I have to complete it?
    • How much time can I devote to each question?
  • Read the test’s instructions. Really. Many people forget this and it works against them.
  • If you are stumped on a question, put a star in front of it, then move onto the next question. You can come back to the starred questions after you have the easier questions answered. (Sometimes, you will find the answer later in the test buried in another question.)
  • If you finish the test early, go back and read over the questions again. Make sure you read each correctly but don’t change any answers unless you are sure you read the question incorrectly.
History and Philosophy of the Western World from 7SistersHomeschool.com

Tests and answer keys are included in this text. Click image for full description.

Tips for True/False Questions

  • Read the question carefully.
  • Start by assuming the statement is true, then look for a part of it that might be false. Pretend you’re a lawyer 😉
  • If PART of a statement is false, the ENTIRE statement is false.
  • There are often more True answers than false.
  • You have 50/50 chance of getting it right, so an educated guess is often worth the risk.
  • Watch for *absolute qualifiers*. When you see absolute qualifiers the statement must be true every single time. These are words like:
    • Never
    • Always
    • Every
    • All
    • Completely
    • Best
    • Worst
    • None
  • Watch for *general qualifiers*. When you see general qualifiers the statement can be true or false depending on the circumstances. (Often these are True statements, but not always. Think it through.) These are words like:
    • Generally
    • Usually
    • Sometimes
    • Seldom
    • Few
    • Frequently
    • Ordinarily
Psychology from a Christian Perspective from 7SistersHomeschool.com

Tests and answer key included in this text. Click image for a full description.

Tips for Matching-Column Questions

  • Read both columns completely before answering.
  • Read the column with definitions first, then match the best-choice word to it.
  • Answer the easiest questions first, then go back and answer any that are left. (The answers may be obvious by that time.)

Fill in the Blank Questions

  • Read the question carefully.
  • Notice the length of the blank line and the number of blank lines. This will give you a clue about the correct answer.
Human Development from a Christian Perspective by 7 Sisters Homeschool

Tests and answer key included in this text. Click here for more information.

Tips Multiple-Choice Questions

  • Read the question carefully and answer it in your head before looking at the choices.
  • Read all the choices before selecting your answer.
  • If you are stumped, cross out the answers that you are certain are incorrect.
  • Usually your first choice was the correct answer, so don’t keep changing it.
  • If one of the choices is *All of the above*, then EVERY SINGLE choice must be correct.
  • If one of the choices is *None of the above*, then EVERY SINGLE choice must be incorrect.
  • Often (but not always) the choice with the most information will be the correct answer.
Financial Literacy from a Christian Perspective

Tests and answer key included in this text. Click image for full description.

Short Answer Questions

  • Notice whether the instructions tell you to answer in complete sentences or not. If not, don’t waste time writing out sentences.
  • Read the question carefully.
  • Think the answer in your head, then write it as briefly or clearly as possible.
  • Handwriting that is illegible or in tiny print may automatically earn an incorrect score.

Long Answer or Essay Questions

  • Watch your time! Before you start, jot an approximate number of minutes for each essay question. Questions that count for more points, should be given more time.
  • Read the question carefully.
  • Notice the are instructions within the question:
    • Compare
    • Contrast
    • Explain
    • Discuss
    • Give an example
  • Notice if it is a two-part question. If so, you will need at least 2 paragraphs. Be sure to address both parts of the question.
  • In the margins or back of the test, jot down ideas and facts that you know before answering the question. It is easy to forget details when you start writing paragraph format before capturing what you know.
  • If you don’t know enough for a full answer, jot down what you do know in the margins then come back to that question later.
  • After you jot down information on each question, go back and write out answers. It may help to write a quick outline to organize your thoughts.
  • Use complete sentences and paragraph style, as much as possible.
    • This can include turning the question into a *thesis statement* as the first sentence of the first paragraph.
    • The difference between an introduction paragraph on a test and in an essay paper is that, you don’t need a grabber or the full 3 sentences. Jump right in answering the question.
    • Give each part of the question a separate paragraph.
    • Don’t use *filler words* or off-topic information just to make the essay appear longer. That might work against you.
  • As you have time, give examples for each part of the question.
  • Use words from the question in your answer.
  • Concentrate on what you do know. Include as much information as you have time to write.
  • Don’t stress about what you don’t know.

Test-taking cartoon reminds us to remind you that 7SistersHomeschool.com's texts with tests and answer keys are geared for student learning and success.

Want more information? These college websites have some good tips:

Test-Taking Skills for Homeschool High School

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Homeschool Highschool Podcast 144: Writing Research Papers with Kat Patrick

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast 144: Writing Research Papers with Kat Patrick. This post is running concurrently on the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network.
HSHSP Ep 144: Writing Research Papers, Interview with Kat Patrick. Tips for helping homeschool high schoolers develop skills for research paper writing.

Homeschool Highschool Podcast 144: Writing Research Papers with Kat Patrick

Our friend, Dr. Kat Patrick, joins us for this episode to help guide through the important task of writing research papers.

Kat has helped us out with an episode about homeschooling in the United Kingdom and the United States AND in another episode, she shared how to teach Shakespeare and enjoy it.

Kat and her family have lived in England for 25 years (where her husband teaches at Oxford). They recently moved to Texas, where Kat was born. Kat started Dreaming Spires Home Learning, a Charlotte Mason inspired online program. She offers lots of popular live courses in lots areas.

Kat Patrick of Dreaming Spires Online Homeschool Courses, Interviewed on Homeschool High School Podcast

Photo used with permission.

,

Kat is an expert in teaching writing skills. She began teaching research paper writing during her graduate studies at University of Delaware. (Interestingly, just a few miles from where the 7Sisters live, we just never met at that time.) Kat loves teaching the skills of research paper writing, especially in taking notes and noting sources.

As Vicki points out, teens often complain about writing research papers while in high school because they are a LOT of work! However, they often come back to her to thank her for that requirement, because in college they more easily earn top grades in their composition courses. Even non-college-bound skills benefit from writing research papers.

Life skills that all teens gain from writing research papers include:

  • Building attention to detail
  • Building stick-to-itiveness and organization skills for doing large projects
  • Building patience for redos until things get batter
  • Building research skills for life (such as products, trips or services teens will need in life)
  • Building skills to evaluate sources (they can apply this to things they read on social media and elsewhere)

What are some resources Kat recommends?

  • Books (usually more than one book, including more than one perspective)
  • References from library
  • Good Reads website
  • Google Books
  • Sources listed at the bottom of Wikipedia articles (the sources cited in the article), not the article itself
  • Primary sources, including digital documents of out-of-print sources. (Simply Google search: *Primary source for…*). This is good because teens can begin to come up with some of their own thoughts by reading original docusments, rather than only discuss other people’s thoughts. (This is particularly helpful with MLA and Chicago-style papers that are thesis based papers.)

Discuss plagiarism.

  • Help teens understand: How long a quote can you use and how do you cite it? (Follow the guidelines for each paper style: MLA, APA, Chicago Style.) Teens in college can lose scholarships and fail classes if they plagiarize. Here is a post to help explain plagiarism to your homeschool high schoolers.
  • Discuss paraphrasing and citing the paraphrase. (Developing this skills is one reason Kat loves Charlotte Mason’s traditional paraphrasing of books!)

Teach note-taking skills:

  • Remind teens to research before they start the paper or even write a thesis. They need lots of information before they start writing their papers.
  • Use index cards for note taking. Put quotes, statistics and other important information. Put citation information. Number the cards. Using card helps prevent accidental plagiarism.
  • Mind map or spread out the cards on a table to help teens organize their thoughts.

Teach time management skills:

Work with teens with solid dates on when they start researching, finish their cards, complete the first rough draft, final draft, etc. 7Sisters freebie Scheduling Backwards can help with this. All of 7Sisters’ Research Paper Writing Guides are chunked out into day-by-day assignments to help homeschool high schoolers stay on track.

Kat suggests this order for writing research papers.

  • Research
  • Write the first draft of the paper
  • Read the paper and find the gaps in the information presented
  • Research to fill in gaps
  • Rewrite
  • Check citations
  • Edit for grammar, punctuation, etc
  • Complete a final draft

Kat also includes these 2 fascinating requirements that truly help her homeschool high school students succeed as writers:

  • Students keep a journal where they daily record what they have done on their research paper.
  • At the end of the paper, she has her students write a *review* of the paper-writing process. It is a self-reflection about what they have learned about the process and the topic.

There are many styles of research papers, however, these are the most commonly used papers for high schoolers:

Check out Kat’s online courses such as English Literature that includes writing extensions, including research papers as well as multi-genre experiences with Prezis and plays. Also visit her at:

Keep an eye out for Dr. Kat Patrick’s upcoming text on Chicago-style research papers. Also, download Kat’s FREEBIE: Shakespeare Copywork.

Join Vicki and Kat for this fun discussion on research papers, your teens will benefit from the tips you learn!

You’ll also enjoy these posts and this HSHSP episode with more information on research papers.

Suggested Syllabus for 7Sisters MLA Research Paper Writing Course

High School Research Paper: Should You Choose MLA? APA? Other?

Homeschool Highschool Podcast 144: Writing Research Papers with Kat Patrick

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Suggested Syllabus for 7Sisters MLA Research Paper Writing Course

Here is one suggested syllabus for 7Sisters MLA Research Paper Writing Course.

Suggested Syllabus for 7Sisters MLA Research Paper Writing Course 7SistersHomeschool.com's popular MLA research paper guide now has a syllabus you can tweak for your homeschool high schoolers.

Suggested Syllabus for 7Sisters MLA Research Paper Writing Course

While there’s not ONE right way to create a research paper syllabus for your homeschool high schoolers, we get requests for examples that can be tweaked. This is the syllabus that 7Sister Allison uses in her homeschool group classes. It will give you a good idea about creating a syllabus for this important writing assignment. (For more information on creating a syllabus, check out this post.)

Note: This syllabus sample offers several different lengths of time for the project.

Syllabus for MLA Research Paper

Name of text:

MLA Research Paper Writing Guide, 7SistersHomeschool.com 

MLA Research Paper Writing Guide 7SistersHomeschool.com. Research paper guide for homeschool high schoolers using MLA format.

Click image for full description.

Purpose of the course:

The purpose of the course is to understand the purpose and process of writing an MLA research paper, as well as producing a research paper in the MLA format.

Other requirements:

Skipping steps in the process or rushing steps together results in anxiety for the student and a poor final paper. Homework should be turned in to parent or teacher for accountability and feedback to ensure that the student does not procrastinate.

For students who need help choosing a topic, read this post. 

Source & Citation requirements:

If you are writing a 7 or 8-page paper, you will need:

  • minimum of 5 sources with at least 1 book, 1 periodical, 1 internet source. You must have at least one citation from a source in order to count it as one of your 5 sources.
  • minimum of 25 note cards
  • minimum of 12 in-text citations

If you are writing a 9 or 10-page paper, you will need:

  • minimum of 5 sources with at least 1 book, 1 periodical, 1 internet source. You must have at least one citation from a source in order to count it as one of your 5 sources.
  • minimum of 30 note cards
  • minimum of 15 in-text citations

Basic timelines for projects of various lengths:

  • Below you will find suggested timelines for progressing through the MLA Research Paper Writing Guide. Parent/Teacher and student should decide before beginning this project how many pages the final paper should be and how long they will take to complete the project.
  • Base these decisions on the student’s skill level and experience as well as other scheduling factors in the school plan. (In general, I recommend that a student take at least 4 weeks for a research project and no more than 10 weeks, regardless of the length of the final paper.)
  • This minimum and maximum encourages thorough research, analysis of material, and careful writing while avoiding procrastination and loss of drive in the project.

Timeline for 4-Week MLA Research Paper Project

  • week 1: Checkpoints 1-5
  • week 2: continue research & Checkpoints 6-9
  • week 3: Checkpoints 10-14
  • week 4: Checkpoints 15-17

Timeline for 6-Week MLA Research Paper Project

  • week 1: Checkpoints 1-5
  • week 2: continue research & Checkpoints 6-7
  • week 3: Checkpoints 8-9
  • week 4: Checkpoints 10-12
  • week 5: Checkpoints 13-15
  • week 6: Checkpoints 16-17

Timeline for 8-Week MLA Research Paper Project

  • week 1: Checkpoints 1-2
  • week 2: Checkpoint 3
  • week 3: Checkpoints 4-5
  • week 4: continue research & Checkpoints 6-7
  • week 5: Checkpoints 8-9
  • week 6: Checkpoints 10-12
  • week 7: Checkpoints 13-15
  • week 8: Checkpoints 16-17

Timeline for 10-Week Research Paper Project

  • week 1: Checkpoints 1-2
  • week 2: Checkpoint 3
  • week 3: Checkpoint 3 continued
  • week 4: continue research & Checkpoints 4-5
  • week 5: continue research & Checkpoints 6-7
  • week 6: Checkpoints 8-9
  • week 7: Checkpoints 10-12
  • week 8: Checkpoints 13-14
  • week 9: Checkpoints 15-16
  • week 10: Checkpoint 17

Weekly Details for 8-Week Syllabus

Homework: Prior to your official start date

  1. Read and complete chapter 1 of MLA Research Paper Writing Guide (Choosing Your Topic).
  2. Prepare a purpose statement (checkpoint 1).
  3. Begin finding sources. NO WIKIPEDIA

Week 1: Due – Purpose Statement

Refer to MLA Research Paper Writing Guide Chapters 2 & 4

Homework

  1. Create a working bibliography (checkpoint 2). NO WIKIPEDIA
  2. Begin researching and creating notecards (checkpoint 3).
  3. Create a preliminary outline (checkpoint 6).

Week 2: Due – Working Bibliography, Preliminary Outline

Refer to MLA Research Paper Writing Guide Chapter 3

Homework

  1. Complete the Thesis Exercise from your guide (Checkpoint 4). For more information on writing a Thesis Statement, read this post.
  2. Finalize your thesis, based on your thesis exercise. (Checkpoint 5)
  3. Continue researching and creating notecards.

Week 3: Due – Thesis Statement (typed), 10 notecards

Refer to MLA Research Paper Writing Guide Chapter 4

Homework

  1. Continue research and notecard creation.
  2. Develop a detailed, formal outline (checkpoint 7).
  3. Revise and fill-in your outline based on continued research (checkpoints 8-9).

Week 4: Due – Formal Outline, 15 more notecards

Refer to MLA Research Paper Writing Guide Chapter 5

Homework

  1. Schedule your rough draft consultation with a parent/teacher.
  2. Write your rough draft (Checkpoints 10-12).

Week 5: Continue writing your rough draft.

Week 6: **Due – completed, printed rough draft**

Refer to MLA Research Paper Writing Guide Chapter 6

Homework

  1. Create in-text citations and Works Cited page (checkpoints 13-14). *See requirements on page 1*
  2. Rough Draft consultation: Meet with parent/teacher at your scheduled time.

Week 7: Refer to MLA Research Paper Writing Guide Chapter 7

Homework

  1. Revise your paper based on your consultation (checkpoint 15-16).
  2. Edit your paper.
  3. Print out your final copy following specifications in your guide. (Checkpoint 17).

Week 8: Final paper due. YOU DID IT!

10 Week Syllabus

Week 1: Refer to MLA Research Paper Writing Guide Intro & Chapter 1

Homework

  1. Read and complete chapter 1 of MLA Research Paper Writing Guide (Choosing Your Topic).
  2. Prepare a purpose statement (checkpoint 1).
  3. Begin finding sources. NO WIKIPEDIA

Week 2: Due – Purpose Statement Refer to MLA Research Paper Writing Guide Chapters 2 & 4

Homework

  1. Create a working bibliography (checkpoint 2). NO WIKIPEDIA
  2. Begin researching and creating notecards (checkpoint 3).
  3. Create a preliminary outline (checkpoint 6).

Week 3: Due – Working Bibliography, Preliminary Outline Refer to MLA Research Paper Writing Guide Chapter 3

Homework

  1. Complete the Thesis Exercise from your guide (Checkpoint 4). For more information about writing a thesis statement, read this post.
  2. Finalize your thesis, based on your thesis exercise. (Checkpoint 5)
  3. Continue researching and creating notecards.

Week 4: Due – Thesis Statement (typed), 10 notecards

Homework

  1. Continue research and notecard creation.

Week 5: Due – 10 more notecards Refer to MLA Research Paper Writing Guide Chapter 4

Homework

  1. Continue research and notecard creation.
  2. Develop a detailed, formal outline (checkpoint 7).
  3. Revise and fill-in your outline based on continued research (checkpoints 8-9).

Week 6: Due – Formal Outline, 10 more notecards Refer to MLA Research Paper Writing Guide Chapter 5

Homework

  1. Schedule your rough draft consultation with a parent/teacher.
  2. Write your rough draft (Checkpoints 10-12).

Week 7: Continue writing your rough draft.

Week 8: **Due – completed, printed rough draft** Refer to MLA Research Paper Writing Guide Chapter 6

Homework

  1. Create in-text citations and Works Cited page (checkpoints 13-14). *See requirements on page 1*
  2. Rough Draft consultation: Meet with parent/teacher at your scheduled time.

Week 9: Refer to MLA Research Paper Writing Guide Chapter 7

Homework

  1. Revise your paper based on your consultation (checkpoint 15-16).
  2. Edit your paper.
  3. Print out your final copy following specifications in your guide. (Checkpoint 17).

Week 10: Final Paper Due. YOU DID IT!

 

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Suggested Syllabus for 7Sisters MLA Research Paper Writing Course

Homeschool Highschool Podcast Ep 137: Umbrella Schools

This week on HSHSP Ep 137: What Are Umbrella Schools for Homeschool High School? This post is running concurrently on the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network.

HSHSP Ep 137: What Are Umbrella Schools for Homeschool High School? Otherwise known as hybrid schools, university-model schools or charter schools. Either way they are good resources for many families.

HSHSP Ep 137: What Are Umbrella Schools for Homeschool High School?

What kind of support is there for homeschooling high school families? There is so much these days. One of the most valuable supports is the umbrella school.

Join Sabrina, Kym and 7SistersHomeschool’s Marilyn as they discuss umbrella schools.

Other names for umbrella schools include: charter schools, university-model schools, hybrid schools, one-day schools.

7SistersHomeschool’s birth came out of Mt. Sophia Academy, an umbrella school registered as a non-public school in Delaware. Since its inception in 1996, Marilyn has served as principal, Vicki was academic advisor for 18 years, Sabrina, Kym, Sara, and Allison have served as teachers and other leadership positions.

Umbrella schools are generally designed to help homeschooling high schoolers as:

  • A liaison with the state Department of Education
  • Accountability
  • Transcript service
  • Academic and career advising
  • Optional on-campus courses
  • Support groups

When families are part of an umbrella school, the school is support for you, but you are still the in-charge person. They are not homeschooling your children FOR you but WITH you.

If you are a member of an umbrella school, be sure to

In the group classes, teachers usually provide a syllabus for course. This will provide information on assignments, tests, projects, along with texts and grading scales.

scheduling backwards by Sabrina Justison

Click here for more information on this freebie.

Tips for parents who are teaching umbrella school courses.

  • Help set a friendly and inclusive atmosphere.
  • Set atmosphere of brining new teens in an accepting them.
  • Teach teens how to do classroom discussion, explain how it works. (Sabrina has some great ideas, listen in!)
  • Use *participation chips* to encourage classroom discussion (Sabrina and Kym give out poker chips for participating, which give teens extra credit OR teens must earn X-number of chips each class.)
  • Talk about expectations on the first day.
  • Talk about respect of each other, adults, facilities.
  • Train teens to initiate questions on homework and assignments, rather than parents. This is a great life skills.

Join Sabrina, Kym and Marilyn for this helpful discussion on homeschooling high school with umbrella schools. You’ll also enjoy these posts:

5 Steps for Catching Up When Your Homeschool High School is Behind.

Helping Teens Learn to Use a Syllabus

How and Why to Write a Syllabus

How and Why to Write Course Descriptions

 

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HSHSP Ep 137: What Are Umbrella Schools for Homeschool High School?

HSHSP Ep 136: Teaching Teens to Cope with Stress, Interview with Marianna Chambers

HSHSP Ep 136: Teaching Teens to Cope with Stress, Interview with Marianna Chambers. This post is running concurrently on Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network.

HSHSP Ep 136: Teaching Teens to Cope with Stress, Interview with Marianna Chambers Adolescent years are good times to learn to manage stress and anxiety.

HSHSP Ep 136: Teaching Teens to Cope with Stress, Interview with Marianna Chambers

One things teens know about is stress. For that matter, we moms know about stress, too! Marianna Chambers joins Vicki for a discussion about helping teens (and ourselves) deal with stress.

Marianna, like Vicki, is a counselor by profession and a homeschool mom. One of her passions is helping people manage anxiety and stress. Marianna is also a fellow podcaster here on Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network. Her podcast is the Peaceful Mom Talk. You’ll love this episode of her podcast: 4 Reasons We Struggle to Parent Peacefully.

To get you started, here’s a fun HSHSP episode on managing your own stress.

One of the most important ways to help teens cope with stress is helping them take control of their sleep.

Here are some tips:

Set a timer.

Set a timer for 10 minutes and spend that 10 minutes really thinking hard about all the things you’re stressed about. Believe it or not, when we give ourselves permission to think it through for a limited time, stress actually becomes easier to control. GREAT thing to do before bedtime (not when you are in bed).

Get thoughts down on paper.

Our brains do so much better if we do a *brain dump*: get all those thoughts on paper (or note pad on your phone). Don’t make it a proper essay (no one is grading this)! Make a bullet list, make a scribbled mess, whatever…just get everything out on paper.

Make your to-do list for tomorrow before you get ready for bed.

Make your plans and figure your tomorrow’s schedule out before you get ready for bed.

Talk it out with a friend.

If your friend was upset about something, would you want her to talk to you? Of course! Well, the same applies to you, right? That’s what friends are for, and it helps! (If your teen doesn’t have a friend like that, it is a good idea to pray about God’s wisdom on finding good friends.)

Talk to a counselor.

Talking to a counselor or youth pastor is a great idea. It really helps!

Shift your thinking to something else.

After you do the exercises above, shift your attention to something else. Here are some ideas:

  • Do a word puzzle.
  • Make a list of people to help.
  • Practice a mindful activity. (Here’s an excellent post from Vicki’s coaching site with mindful ideas for people who aren’t naturally mindful.)

Put your thoughts in a box.

It sounds goofy but it works, try it. Using your imagination, think about a beautiful box, think about what it would look like. Then tell your brain that you are now putting your thoughts in a box. Tell your brain you can get the thoughts back out later but for now they will stay in the box. This is something that, although it is unusual really helps!

Join Vicki and Marianna for a discussion on dealing with stress. Also, look for more from Marianna Chambers at FindYourMomTribe FB page and FindYourMomTribe.com.

You’ll also enjoy these posts:

3 Ways to Reduce Test Anxiety and 5 Tools for Success

What Does a Teen Need Most from Homeschool High School?

Homeschooling Teens with Mental Illness

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HSHSP Ep 136: Teaching Teens to Cope with Stress, Interview with Marianna Chambers

Homeschool Human Development Course: Good for Transcript and Life!

Homeschool Human Development Course: Good for Transcript and Life!

Homeschool Human Development Course: Good for Transcript and Life! 7SistersHomeschool.com Build a powerful transcript and life preparation skills with Human Development course.

Homeschool Human Development Course: Good for Transcript and Life!

One of the most useful courses my homeschool high schoolers have taken is Human Development. It has prepared them for life as well as giving sparkle to their homeschool transcripts.

Just what is Human Development?

It is the study of the ways people grow and change from womb to old age. It covers changes in several different areas:

  • Physical changes
  • Emotional changes
  • Cognitive (mental/learning) changes
  • Social changes

7Sisters offers one of the few high school-level Human Development courses from a Christian worldview. 

Human Development from a Christian Worldview from 7 Sisters Homeschool

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You can see how that can be helpful to teens. They need to understand so many things as they are preparing for life.

  • They need to understand themselves. They learn about *metacognition*, an adolescent’s newly-gained ability to think about thinking about things (themselves, their faith, their friends, their future). It is a deeper level of thinking that is caused by neural development that happens during the teen years, thus it is not possible for younger children.
  • They need to understand their siblings and other family members. When they understand why their younger siblings are hung up on everything being *fair*, they can feel compassion, knowing it is a developmental phase rather than being irritated.
  • They need to understand why the 2 year olds they babysit always say *no*. Learning to say *no* is a way a toddler learns to distinguish between themselves and others, what they have control over, and what is expected of them.
  • They need to understand why their grandparents tell the same stories every time they visit. Part of a senior’s job is to know they have done some things well. As they tell the stories over and over, they are looking for positive encouragement that they did well (they might sometimes forget that they told that same story on the last visit).
  • They benefit from this information being presented from a Christian worldview. (For instance, children in the womb are children, not things.)

College-bound or non-college-bound homeschool high schoolers need these skills!

For more life skills, combine Human Development and Early Childhood Education.

Fun & Useful Elective: Combining Human Development and Early Childhood Education 7SistersHomeschool.com

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College-bound teens need a transcript with *sparkle*.

We are told by some college admissions officers that teens who are applying to competitive colleges, or colleges with competitive scholarship opportunities, have an edge if their transcripts show *sparkle*. These are transcripts that have out of the box courses or courses that shows they have explored an interest.

Homeschool Human Development course by 7Sisters will help build that sparkle for the transcript. One of the benefits of 7Sisters Human Development is that the text covers the scope and sequence needed for the credit in a quick, fun, teens-will-remember-what-they-learn fashion. PLUS, instructions are given for leveling-up the credit to a transcript-enhancing Honors level by choosing meaningful activities that teens will find interesting, engaging and applicable for life. Thus, they earn a competitive credit in a specialized manner.

Human Development in a Homeschool Co-op Class 7SistersHomeschool.com

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Homeschool Human Development is a great course for co-op, too!

Lots of great discussion material (some discussion-starter questions are included in the text), plus when you download 7Sisters Human Development Lesson Plans, you have course description, goals for each week and links to lots of good videos and resources.

Human Development Lesson Plans 7SistersHomeschool.com

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Download Human Development from a Christian Worldview and the Lesson Plans to build a good transcript and good life skills!

 

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Homeschool Human Development Course: Good for Transcript and Life!

Great Role Models for Homeschool High School: Great Christian Writers

Teens need some great role models for homeschool high school: Great Christian Writers.

Great Role Models for Homeschool High School: Great Christian Writers 7SistersHomeschool.com Teens can find good role models in good books.

Great Role Models for Homeschool High School: Great Christian Writers

When I was a teen, I had some pretty faulty role models for learning to live a healthy adult life. Fortunately I loved to read and found some *paper mentors* in characters in the books I read.

Even if homeschool high schoolers have great IRL role models, they can benefit from having some great paper mentors. That’s one reason why 7Sisters put together an inspirational curriculum of great role models for teens: Great Christian Writers, a Full-Year High School Course.

Great Christian Writers Literature Course 7SistersHomeschool.com

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Like all 7Sisters Literature courses, Great Christian Writers is based on real books…and not just old, musty books but a great combination of old writers and modern writers to help teens look at good role models and great ideas throughout the ages.

As always, homeschool high schoolers learn with a collection 7Sisters Literature Study Guides. The guides are adaptable to different interest and ability levels (instructions in the guides for adapting are easy to follow) and they include NO-busywork, don’t-kill-the-book questions that help build comprehension and critical thinking skills. There’s an answer key for moms.

What is unique about 7Sisters Great Christian Writers is the mix of historic works like Pilgrim’s Progress and Hymns and Creeds along with modern biographies like Chuck Colson, Mother Teresa, Joni Eareckson Tada, and Corrie Ten Boom. There’s also CS Lewis’ fabulous The Screwtape Letters.

Homeschool high schoolers read about role models developing the fruit of the spirit and resiliency through trials and blessings. They watch great role models develop thinking and leadership skills.

The collection of Literature Guides in Great Christian Writers titles includes:

Here’s a post on how to use Great Christian Writers in your homeschool high school co-op.

Activities for Co-op Using Great Christian Writers from 7SistersHomeschool.com

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One of my teens’ favorite books of all time was God’s Smuggler. (If you’ve never read this action-packed autobiography of a Bible smuggler during the Cold War, you should.) Reading his story helped inspire (and calibrate) them.

As Lavar Burton always said on Reading Rainbow, “but don’t take my word for it”, don’t take my word for it. Here’s a post where teens share their thoughts on 7Sisters Great Christian Writers course.

What Homeschool Teens Say About Great Christian Writers from 7SistersHomeschool.com

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Check out this episode of the Homeschool Highschool Podcast for a delightful discussion about Great Christian Writers your teens should know.

Download Great Christian Writers for your homeschool high schoolers and give them some great paper mentors.

 

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Great Role Models for Homeschool High School: Great Christian Writers