10 Tips for Teaching High Schoolers at Home

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We home schooled all of our children (14 of them) all the way through high school. And I am so glad that we did.

Here are 10 tips that I have learned through the years of homeschooling highschoolers that can help to make these years more enjoyable, effective, and productive for you and your kids.

1.Don’t be afraid to substitute creative subjects for what is usually taught in high school. Public schools don’t have the one best plan for education. Every young person is unique. One of my daughters wanted to do biology, advanced biology, first aid and advanced first aid for her science credits. That’s fine. Don’t feel like you have to follow a public school plan.

2. Ask for input from your student. Ask them how they learn best, what they would like to learn, what curriculum looks good to them. The more input they have into what they learn, the more they will invest themselves in learning.

3. Be sure you have an outlet for your high schooler to invest in the lives of others. Teaching them to have a servant’s heart and not be self-focused is key. Teach them to look for needs in others and extend themselves in meeting those needs. If you instill that in them, you’ve been a success. Life is about serving others, not pleasing self.

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7 Favorite Learning Resources Under $20 for Ages 3-5

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Here is a list of 7 Learning Resources that I really like for preschoolers/kindergartners. I’d say Ages 3-5 would best benefit from these picks.

This year, we are homeschooling our 4th preschooler. (Our other children are in 7th, 6th, and 1st grade!) Along the way, I’ve used some products that were just so-so, some that weren’t worth the time or money, and some that I loved and have used over and over again!

What makes these ‘keepers’ to me? 

  1. My kids have enjoyed them and actually used them
  2. I have enjoyed my kids using them (something that is complicated or overly time-consuming or messy is probably not going to be a winner in my book. So, my “keepers” are resources that are simple, yet effective
  3. Economical- We don’t (can’t) buy our kids every neat book or toy we see. So, resources that get the job done without breaking the bank are a must for us.
  4. Durable- Toys or puzzles that break after one child uses them, won’t be bought again!
  5. Educational- the whole point of a “Learning Resource or Activity” is for it to actually teach kids a skill or strengthen a skill or thinking process or encourage creativity.

So, here you go: 7 suggestions for books or activities that teach – while being fun, too! (and all under $20)

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Creative Geography Teaching Tools

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Geography is something that many schools are ignoring these days, but really there are so many fun resources that make teaching geography a breeze!

My kids learned so much just because we had fun resources in the home; I never had to treat it as a school subject. ( I did use one geography book in junior high school, but that’s the only ‘formal book’ I ever used).

Homeschooling offers the opportunity to think creatively and explore unconventional ways of learning. Though book-learning is essential and helpful to many subjects, it isn’t necessarily the only way.

Here are some resources- many that I’ve used through the years-  that you can use to feed knowledge into your kids about geography in a very fun way!

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Character Training Tip: Attentiveness

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character-training-tip

What is attentiveness? Simply stated, it’s listening with the ears, eyes , and heart.  It’s paying attention on purpose.

As our kids were growing up we had a family night every Friday night. For a number of years, we would have a “family Bible quiz“. The kids looked forward to this. Dad would simply read from the Bible or Bible story book when they were very young. During or after (depending on attention spans of the kids), he would pause and ask questions about what he’d just read.

The kids would want to be first to raise their hand to answer a question. Sometimes we’d just go around the circle of children so each one had the opportunity to try to answer a question. If they couldn’t get it, we moved on to the next person. Continue reading Character Training Tip: Attentiveness

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The Dumbest Question I Ever Heard is Now History

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dumbest-question

I was chatting one day with a teenage boy who worked for me and somehow the conversation turned to the subject of studying history.  Young Sam didn’t see the point of it.

“Why,” he reasoned, “should I care about things that happened before I was even born?” Now, I’ve heard it said that there’s no such thing as a dumb question, but..well, as I said Sam was young.

Personally, I love history.  Especially American history.  I believe that it is the most important academic subject we teach our children.  That’s why my wife and I wrote our elementary (Providential) American history text books.  That’s why I saw very little of Marilyn except the top of her head for a year and a half—it took eighteen months for her to write For You They Signed, a book of character studies from the lives of the great men who signed the Declaration of Independence.  That’s why I spend so much time recording great old books for kids in my Uncle Rick audio book clubHistory matters far more than most people think.  The only reason you were bored with in school is that it was poorly taught.

As I tried to explain to my friend Sam, certain things could not happen in the present if certain other things had not happened in the past.  For instance, if Sam’s mother had never met Sam’s father in the past, there would be no Sam in the present.  Just little things like that.

The events of the past made the world in which we live for the present.  Today, things are happening that will determine what will happen tomorrow.  “Now” is the meeting place of eternity past and eternity future and it is not possible to separate the three time periods.  They are siblings; in fact, conjoined triplets.

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4 Types of Learners

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Have you ever been frustrated with trying to teach one of your kids? That’s normal!

Every child is different, and yet in the teaching of my 14, there are some things I noticed that might help you in your experience. I found apart from learning styles, such as visual, auditory, etc., there are also distinct motivational differences in kids.

I boiled it down to basically four different motivational categories my kids seemed to fall into, although each brought their own distinctive traits into play as well.

# 1 The Self-Directed Learner

This child likes to set his own goals and thinks in terms of challenging himself. He loves to pick a target and shoot at it (often a first born). He is bored with too much guidance and needs to work at this own pace. He is not easily discouraged by setbacks, he seems to do his best when allowed as much freedom as possible to design his own plan, set his own pace, and set his own objectives on his way to his ultimate goal. Be careful not to discourage him by making him stick to the plan in the book. He may have thought of a better way to do it!Little boy writing homework in the room with smiling

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Setting Your Kids Free

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Do you feel bound by your curriculum? Do you feel guilty if you don’t do every problem? Are your kids overwhelmed, bored, or frustrated on a regular basis? I want to encourage you to free your children and free yourself, too!

A simple tip to remember is to give your child enough practice to challenge them, but not so much that you overwhelm them. I wish there were a simple rule for how much to give them. I used to think the textbook writers knew this and what was provided in the curriculum is exactly what every child needed. Boy, did I ever find out the hard way!

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Label and Assemble the Skeletal System- GAME

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skeleton body

Here is a great little online game to help teach your children the skeletal system. My kids were studying the human body in a science course, and needed to be able to identify the bones of the body.

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That Looks Delicious!!! ~ Tuesday Teaching Tips

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Tuesday-Teaching-Tips-recipesLearn to think creatively when deciding how to keep your child’s interest for school.

For instance, consider having your daughter begin her own recipe folder or box for handwriting this year.

Instead of lessons she’ll just throw away after completing, let her compile her favorite recipes to use now and later when she’s a wife and mom.

 

 

 

 

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