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HSHSP Ep 147: Soft Skills for Teens: Teaching a Welcoming Culture

This week on HSHSP Ep 147: Soft Skills for Teens: Teaching a Welcoming Culture. This post is running concurrently on the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network.

HSHSP Ep 147: Soft Skills for Teens: Teaching a Welcoming Culture. Homeschool Highschool Podcast episode on empowering teens with the soft skills for a kind culture.

HSHSP Ep 147: Soft Skills for Teens: Teaching a Welcoming Culture

We’ve all had the experience of being the new person in a group and NO ONE talking to you or welcoming you in. We’ve all had an experience with cliques. We don’t want our kids to be part of that kind of unwelcoming culture. Instead we MUST teach them to create a welcoming culture. Join Vicki and Kym for one of their favorite topics!

To create a welcoming culture, we have taught our teens and our homeschool umbrella school necessary soft skills. The basis of the skills is the Principals of GOOF.

Principals of GOOF:

  • Respect God
  • Respect Others
  • Respect Ourselves
  • Respect Facilities

To make GOOF work:

  • Establish the norms and teach them to teens and adults.
  • Empower some thought-leader teens to be *facilitators* who introduce teens around, usher them through the day, sit with them at lunch, answer questions.
    • Practice with these facilitators ahead of time. Even introverts can play this role, because it is a role (they don’t have to worry about *being themselves*, in a way). This is good for extroverts, too, they need the practice and the role so that they remember to be inclusive.
    • Teach them to look around the perimeter of a group, find teens who are standing alone. Walk up and talk to them. Include them.
  • For new kids.
    • Teach them the magic nonverbals: Simply smile through the day, keep the shoulders up and chin up.
    • Sit near the front.
Teach your teens to create a welcoming culture. It's a skill that will last for a lifetime.

Remember, if you invest in a few leaders catch the GOOF, it will spread…  HOWEVER, all homeschool high schoolers, need to be GOOF trained. Talk it, talk it, talk it.

Remember, as our friend Dr. Melanie Wilson says, “Relationship before rules”. Develop those relationships and listen in on her podcast: Homeschool Sanity.

Remember, teaching drama class to homeschool high schoolers helps develop the confidence in playing a role like *facilitator* in real life. That’s why we have our drama resources that our teens have loved available to you at 7Sisters.

Remember, that Alexa will read 7SistersHomeschool.com posts to you. Here’s a post to tell you how.

AND remember that Vicki has LOTS of free resources at Vicki Tillman Coaching, including Confidence-Building Skills for Meeting New People. Download it for your teens.

Join Vicki and Kym for a fun and enlightening how-to discussion on soft skills, welcoming skills for teens.

 

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HSHSP Ep 147: Soft Skills for Teens: Teaching a Welcoming Culture

HSHSP Episode 134: How to Get a Good College Recommendation Letter

This week on HSHSP Episode 134: How to Get a Good College Recommendation Letter. This post is running concurrently on the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network.

HSHSP Ep 134: How to Get a Good College Recommendation Letter Here's how to ask and receive a great college recommendation.

HSHSP Episode 134: How to Get a Good College Recommendation Letter

Even if you don’t have a college-bound teen OR your teen isn’t a senior yet, listen in on this episode. Vicki shares from experience from a couple of decades of writing hundreds of college-recommendation letters (and other favors for folks).

Step 1: Ask.

Don’t command: I need you to do something. Instead: Could you do me a favor? OR Could I impose on you for a favor? Then add: Please.

Step 2: Make it easy for the recommender to write the letter.

Give them a write-up of your accomplishments or special memories you have together that will make a good recommendation story. (Great recommendation stories are based on narratives, not just statements like: Sally is a great student.

Step 3: Provide the resources for sending that information.

If the recommendation is supposed to be a mailed letter, give a self-address, stamped envelope to the recommender. If it is an online recommendation, make sure they have any digital information they need such as what institution will send emails requesting information; whether they are a *recommender*, *teacher*, *advisor*, etc).

Step 4: Don’t be a cranky nag.

If the person is running late, ask if there’s anything you need to do to help.

Step 5: After the favor is done, say thank you.

You never know if you’ll ever need another favor, so leave a feeling of gratitude…don’t burn bridges. Remember, you may need a second favor. If you have been pushy or rude, your recommender may not be happy about helping out again.

Step 6: Return the favor.

This is not the same as buying a favor. It is a way to show appreciation. For instance: Make the *thank you* a written thank you note. Snail mailed. It is a powerful way to show appreciation.

If you had asked a big favor bring some cookies or some other show of appreciation.

Other notes:

  • Be sure to ask for the favor with plenty of time.
  • Be sure to ask in private (not in front of a bunch of people).

Join Vicki for a quick discussion on asking for college recommendation letters. You’ll enjoy this episode with more information on preparing for college. Also, enjoy these posts!

How to Request a College Recommendation Letter

12 Steps to Choosing a College Major

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HSHSP Episode 134: How to Get a Good College Recommendation Letter

 

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Homeschool Highschool Podcast Ep 133: Got the Wrong Curriculum?

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast Ep 133: Got the Wrong Curriculum? This post is running concurrently on Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network.

 HSHSP Ep 133: How to Handle it When the Curriculum is Wrong for Your Teens We are discussing what to do when curriculum is a bad fit for your teens.

Homeschool Highschool Podcast Ep 133: Got the Wrong Curriculum?

Sabrina, Vicki and Kym tackle the uncomfortable topic: What to do when you bought the WRONG curriculum for your teens?

What if you invested in a curriculum that YOU hate? or your homeschool high schoolers hate?

There are a few options, and they are good. Here’s how to handle it when the curriculum is wrong for your teens.

  • Remember: There’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school?
  • Remember: It’s okay to have options, so forsake your perfectionistic ideas about curriculum and your choices.
  • Remember: Some curriculum providers have a money-back guarantee (7SistersHomeschool.com, for one)
  • Remember: Are you having a curriculum issue or an attitude issue. (Teens have to learn that they CAN do things they don’t want to do…moms, too! Sometimes teens have never truly hit this issue before. They had never truly hated a school subject before, but high school has required credits, even if teens DON’T like those credits.)
  • Remember: Ask yourself, is this ONE subject that your teen doesn’t like or is it ALL subjects? If it is all subjects, it may be other issues besides the specific curriculum? Ask yourself: Is this character, anxiety, health, self-care, wrong publisher?
  • Remember: Model flexibility, adaptability, willingness to change, humility for your teens.

Remember: Ask yourself if you have the wrong curriculum, for instance: a college-prep text for a non-college-bound teen? Why waste time, energy and self-image on unnecessary rigor in a textbook. That’s why 7Sisters curriculum is easily adaptable for college bound teens’ needs AND non-college-bound teens’ needs.

Here are concrete ideas:

Join Sabrina, Vicki and Kym for a lively discussion and enjoy these posts, too!

Electives for Homeschool Transcript: History Electives

 

50 Ways to Scrap Your Schoolbook

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Homeschool Highschool Podcast Ep 133: Got the Wrong Curriculum?

Homeschool Highschool Podcast Ep 131: Handling Homeschool Countdowns

This week onHomeschool Highschool Podcast Ep 131: Handling Homeschool Countdowns! This post is running concurrently on the Ultimate Homeschool Highschool Network.

Homeschool Highschool Podcast Handling Homeschool Countdowns

Homeschool Highschool Podcast Ep 131: Handling Homeschool Countdowns

What to do when you feel a countdown coming on…

  • Vacation is coming!
  • Christmas is coming!
  • SATs are coming!
  • Missions trip is coming!
  • Portfolio reviews are coming!
  • College applications are coming!
  • Graduation is coming!

Are you ready enough? What if you don’t get everything done? What do you do?

Start with self-care. Really! It’s like putting your own oxygen mask on first.

scheduling backwards Homeschool Highschool Podcast Handling Homeschool Countdowns

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Progressive Relaxation Instructions Homeschool Highschool Podcast Handling Homeschool Countdowns

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  • Watch your blood sugar (stress messes with your blood sugar levels). If your blood sugar tanks, you might feel angry or tearful. Get something healthy to eat!
  • In fact, beware of the HALT (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired)

Talk to your kids about managing pressure and stress.

Also, take Kym’s advice: Remember, there are some wrong ways to handle stress.

  • Ignoring your stress
  • Taking your stress out on other people

Take Vicki’s advice: Teach your kids the 3W’s

  • What am I feeling?
  • Why am I feeling that way?
  • What am I going to do about it?

Here’s more information from Vicki.

Find an appropriate person to talk about the stress. Also teach your kids the 6 degrees of separation of relationships. This helps your teens know who to talk about your stress. Read this post from Vicki Tillman Coaching on how to discern who is safe.

Then write down what you’re going to do about the stress! It helps you be accountable.

  • In a marble composition book like Sabrina does
  • On your phone like Vicki does

Remember: Apologize when necessary. It’s okay (and necessary modeling).

Enjoy this fun episode and also check out this episode for teens and crunchtime crazies.

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Homeschool Highschool Podcast Ep 131: Handling Homeschool Countdowns

Homeschool Highschool Podcast Ep 130: Field Trips for High School

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast Ep 130: Field Trips for High School. This post is running concurrently on the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network.

Podcast Field Trips for High School Homeschool

Homeschool Highschool Podcast Ep 130: Field Trips for High School

When you have homeschooling highschoolers, they are BUSY! Academics and extracurriculars fill their schedules while they build their powerful transcripts. It’s easy to forget field trips when homeschoolers hit the high school academics.

Don’t miss out!

Sabrina and Kym share about favorite field trips with their teens as well as the trips that didn’t happen, but they wish they had. (Check this post about a favorite field trip fail.)

Here are the most basic homeschool field trips for teens:

  • Science based
    • Botanical gardens
    • Wastewater treatment facilities
    • Dams
    • Zoos
    • Aquariums
    • Museums
    • Ranger-led events at state or national parks
    • Visits to blood bank
    • Nature hikes
    • Amusement part
  • History based
    • Architectural tours of historic towns
    • Historic town special events
    • Docent led tours of historic homes
    • Guide-led tours of national or state historic sites
    • Attend a re-enactment
    • Restaurants with food from a country your family is studying
  • Arts
    • Concerts
    • Plays
    • Museums
    • Arts and Crafts shows
  • Career Exploration
    • Visits to construction sites
    • Visits to small businesses
    • Visits to chiropractor or other medical professional
    • Visits to recording studio
    • Interviews with folks at church who have interesting careers
    • Visit to sports-team’s facility
    • Attend a career fair
    • Volunteer work and interview staff
    • College tours

Here are some tips:

  • Come prepared with questions for docents or guides. Talk about potential questions ahead of time.
  • Have teens write a response paper, essay or create a Powerpoint or Prezi about the trip. (Then present it at co-op or family gathering.)
  • Use field trips to level up courses or earn a special course credit. Check out this post on how to log hours for credit.
  • Remember, don’t KILL the field trip by overdoing the academic part!
  • Many field trips can be turned in some way into Career Exploration.

Here are even more field trip ideas.

Join Sabrina and Kym for this inspirational chat. Also, check out this post:

 

Why Waste High School Credits on Career Exploration?

 

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Homeschool Highschool Podcast Ep 130: Field Trips for High School

Homeschool Highschool Podcast Ep 127: Being African-American and Homeschooling

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast Ep 127: Being African-American and Homeschooling. This post is running concurrently on the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network.

Podcast HSHSP What's it Like Being African-American and Homeschooling?

Homeschool Highschool Podcast Ep 127: Being African-American and Homeschooling

We have to face it. The homeschool community still kind of leans to a racially white culture. Fortunately over the last few years, there are more racial groups represented. However, non-whites are still a minority in the American homeschool culture.

What’s it like to be African-American and homeschooling?

Our friend, Latonya Moore, of Joy in the Ordinary joins us for her gracious story. Latonya shared with us about homeschooling middle school in Episode 119.

In this interview, she shares her experiences of growing up in a diverse community in the west then moving to a new homeschool community in Illinois where she and her family were the *diversity*. It was a shocking experience, in a way, but she helped her family adapt. “It is what it is,” she says.

In her new city, Latonya did ask her new-found friends, “Do you see any other black homeschoolers?”

She asked, not because she didn’t like her new white friends, but because it’s also nice to have people who look like you. It’s nice to be the diversity and to blend it. “We’re all people,” Latonya says.

  • Sometimes people were surprised and taken aback by her question.
  • One time, a person answered, “maybe you should move ‘to the hood’.” (Not from a homeschooler, btw.)

Latonya gives this advice, “If another racial group asks if you know anyone who looks like them, please don’t get offended, just answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’.”

One reason Latonya likes to find other African-American homeschooling families is that when she’s with people of the same skin color, she doesn’t have to explain why a certain curriculum isn’t a good worldview for her family.

When she and her family moved to Tennessee, she found that the culture was more diverse again. The blended communities made her feel like she didn’t “stick out” so much!

How does Latonya find other black homeschooling families?

Latonya uses these tools:

  • One her first day in town, she found a homeschool physical education class. She didn’t attend that first class but made it in time for the families to be leaving. She saw an African-American family and asked about the local homeschool community. She made a new friend who looked like her.
  • She also made friends online. Through the online connections (Facebook, discussion groups), she found local black friends.
  • She creates Meetups and through those, meets new friends.

She gives this advice to other African-American homeschooling families:

Make sure there is plenty of support whether homeschooling or not with friend, family and church.

Community is necessary for all of us: all kinds of flavors of people! Not matter what color your skin is, you’ll love hanging out with Latonya at:

Join Latonya and Vicki for an encouraging discussion for homeschoolers of any color. You’ll also enjoy these posts:

Why Community for Homeschool Families?

HSHSP Ep 84: Moms Finding Friends in Homeschool Highschool

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Homeschool Highschool Podcast Ep 127: Being African-American and Homeschooling

Homeschool Highschool Podcast Ep 126: Grandparents and Homeschool High School

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast Ep 126: Grandparents and Homeschool High School! This post is running concurrently on the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network.

Podcast HSHSP Grandparents and Homeschooling High School

 

Homeschool Highschool Podcast Ep 126: Grandparents and Homeschool High School

Grandparents are awesome…especially if they are willing to be involved in their grandchildren’s lives!

Sabrina’s parents join her on this episode. Dr. Gerald and Betty Culley are happy homeschool parents.

Grandparents and Homeschooling High School podcast

Dr. Gerald and Betty Culley. Used with permission.

Why are grandparents great for helping homeschool high school?

  • One reason is socialization. As you know socialization is the passing on the important cultural components and lifestyles from one generation to the next. Grandparents can pass on years of wisdom to homeschooling high schoolers Episode 118: What about Socialization?  socialization
  • Another reason is relationship. When grandparents are more than just *special occasion* people in their grandchildren’s lives, the relationships are much richer and deeper.

Dr. and Mrs. Culley were supportive when she and her sister, Allison, both announced that they wanted to homeschool their children. (Allison is Sabrina’s biological sister and also a member of the 7SistersHomeschool.com team.)

Both parents were totally on board because they had observed the educational world and felt that homeschooling would be a great option for quality learning experiences.

The grandparents were so happy about homeschooling that they were happy to be drafted as teachers for their kids:

  • Dr. Culley (Classics professor emeritus at University of Delaware) taught all the grandkids Latin- all the way through high school.
  • Gerald taught the high schoolers Apologetics. He was especially popular when he started teaching Apologetics to the local homeschool group classes. His grand-teens were quite proud to have such a cool grandfather!
  • Mrs. Culley taught the children piano.
  • They both helped teach the children how to learn.
  • They taught the children how to work healthily in a group.
  • Betty was willing to tutor when needed. (A very helpful gift for homeschool high schoolers.)
  • *Fridays at Avus and Ava’s* were weekly get togethers with grandparents and grandkids. Grandparents enjoyed spending non-structured and structured educational days with their grandparents.

Not all homeschooling families have the opportunity to have this kind of relationship with their grandparents, but if you do, be thankful! Grandparents who want to be involved can:

  • Pray for them.
  • Encourage the teens and invest time in them by tutoring and free time.
  • Do some research about colleges or careers your teens may be interested in. How can you invest in them from your experience?
  • Attend events.

Join Sabrina with Gerald and Betty Culley for an encouraging discussion. Also, you will enjoy these posts:

Dr. Culley joined us for an episode about Apologetics. You’ll love it! Listen in!

Learn how to use Dr. Culley’s FREE Apologetics resources to earn a full Apologetics credit.

Grandparents and Homeschooling High School How to Use Our FREE Resources in a Full Apologetics Credit

Click image to read post.

Homeschool Highschool Podcast Ep 126: Grandparents and Homeschool High School

Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Handling Homeschool Co-op Lunchtime

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Handling Homeschool Co-op Lunchtime. This post is running concurrently on the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network.

Podcast HSHSP Healthily Handling Homeschool Co-op Lunchtime Chaos

Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Handling Homeschool Co-op Lunchtime

Want some guiding principles for healthily handling homeschool co-op lunchtime chaos. First off, we need to acknowledge what we expect (whether it is realistic or not):

  • We expect teenagers to bring their lunches, eat them and clean up without making disasters.
  • We expect teenagers to handle themselves well.
  • We expect all the co-op moms to pull their weight.

It doesn’t always work out that way. Here’s help:

Acknowledge that we homeschool moms have SO much to do during homeschool lunchtime! We’d love to simply have downtime and visit together. However, we often have to stomp a lunch fire (hopefully not literally), chase a younger, monitor some cleaning.

By our experience, these principles help:

  • Have clear expectations, clearly expressed
  • Plan during the summer so you start off well (one cool idea is having group meals at least on special occasions)
  • Have a person in charge to oversee lunchtime setup and/or cleanup, a *buck stops here* mom or teen
    • Also, there needs to be support people who back him/her up or switch off
    • Make sure expectations and authority limits are clear for all in charge
  • Communicate with the young people well
    • For young drivers, may they leave co-op to go get lunch?
    • Where can people have food?
    • Are there any off-limits foods?
  • Chore lists for each homeschooler (and each mom)

If everyone is going to bring their own lunches (rather than a group lunch), at home these principles will help:

  • Have clear expectations, clearly expressed
  • Plan during the summer so you start off well
  • Communicate with the young people well
  • Chore lists for each homeschooler (and each mom) for lunch preparation and after-co-op cleanup

Enjoy this advice on homeschool co-op lunchtime. Also, you’ll love these posts.

Co-op advice:

HSHSP Ep 85: Healthily Handling Homeschool Mean-Moms with Dr. Melanie Wilson

Homeschool Highschool Podcast Ep 84: Finding Mom Friends

 

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Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Handling Homeschool Co-op Lunchtime

 

Homeschool Highschool Podcast Ep 122: Homeschooler Becomes Vet

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast Ep 122: Homeschooler Becomes Vet, Interview with Dr. Sarah Varnell. This post is running concurrently on The Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network.

Podcast HSHSP Ep 122: Homeschooler Becomes a Veterinarian, Interview with Dr. Sarah Varnell

Homeschool Highschool Podcast Ep 122: Homeschooler Becomes Vet, Interview with Dr. Sarah Varnell

Dr. Sarah Varnell is a veterinarian near Cincinnati, OH. Homeschooled through high school, Sarah studies zoology at undergraduate level, went to veterinarian school and now specializes in equine medicine: a homeschooler becomes a veterinarian!

Homeschooler Becomes Vet

Dr. Sarah Varnell, photo used with permission

How did Sarah handle her time in highschool so that she was college ready for a science like zoology?

Academics for Sarah were heavy in the maths and sciences, both textbook-wise but also hands on!

Heavy Sciences on the transcript, completed at honors level

  • Biology in 8th grade
  • Zoology
  • Chemistry
  • Advanced Chemistry
  • Physics

Volunteering, MANY hours:

  • Horse rescue
  • Brandywine Zoo (snake handler who walked around the zoo carrying a snake for visitors to meet)
  • Teaching at a Christian summer camp that specializes in horses (she was also a camper there when she was a child)

Shadowing, MANY hours:

  • Small animal veterinarian (this steered her away from small animals because Sarah likes being out and about, not stuck inside)

Noticing and developing interests and loves:

  • Being in the outdoors
  • Being around large animals

Through college, her networking and shadowing helped guide her in her studies but it took time to clarify that she wanted to be a field veterinarian.

  • She connected to an equine vet (through a homeschool family that she babysat for- nothing like networking!) and spend many hour shadowing

For college success, Sarah learned to:

  • Look forward to necessary courses and kept in touch with college advisor for advice on specialized and extra courses she needed to take. (Sarah needed some specialized courses that most zoology undergraduates did not need.)
  • Visit her professors often during office hours.

Sarah chose a small, Christian college (Malone College) for her undergraduate degree. When choosing her college, she made these a priority:

  • Small college, so she could know her professors and advisor well
  • Good college advisors that are interested in the success of their advisees
  • Opportunities for networking and exploration/volunteering/shadowing

Of all the vet schools in the nation, Sarah applied to the best vet school in the nation: University of California. She chose her graduate program by applying to the average number of programs, not choosing University of Delaware (her local college) since it had no vet program and few opportunities with their reciprocal programs at other schools. Rather, she chose to other nearby colleges and the vet school that her veterinarian of her childhood cats.

After applying, she flew to California for interviews and tours of campus. She liked the way their program was organized. AND it was December with NO snow! She rocked her interviews. How did she do that?

Beginning in 8th grade and all through high school, she was a member of the homeschool rhetoric team, so was comfortable speaking.

Homeschooler Becomes Vet Speech I Public Speaking and Practical Life Skills

Click image for more information.

She was also involved in her college forensics team (public speaking), where she specialized in 5 minute impromptu speeches.

At UC, the interviews were MMI format (Multiple Mini Interviews) which are 5 minute impromptu speeches in a sort-of speed dating format. She did so well, she was accepted in the program.

Sarah’s advice for homeschoolers thinking about college?

  • Make sure you avail yourself of advisors and professors. Network, network, network!
  • Keep a class listing of what you will need. Keep an eye on when courses are offered (some courses are only offered periodically).

At University of California, Sarah learned:

At the end of every lead rope there is a human.

So soft skills and speaking skills are important. Sarah began her skills in her homeschooling high school years. Today, Dr. Varnell is treating horses out on the road and in the clinic where she works. Just like James Herriot of All Creatures Great and Small, she’s out in the field with people and horses.

Download this free resource for choosing college majors. Join Vicki and Dr. Sarah Varnell to find out how a homeschooler becomes a veterinarian.

Also, check out these helpful posts:

What are “Values” and Why are Values Important in Career Exploration?

HSHSP Ep 100: What are Some Homeschool Graduates Doing?

Showing Rigor on the Homeschool Transcript

 

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Homeschool Highschool Podcast Ep 122: Homeschooler Becomes Vet, Interview with Dr. Sarah Varnell