43 episodes

Encouragement and support for homeschool families who are entering or currently in the high school years.

The Homeschool Highschool Podcast The Homeschool Highschool Podcast

    • Education for Kids
    • 4.8, 52 Ratings

Encouragement and support for homeschool families who are entering or currently in the high school years.

    How to be Sports Mom and Homeschool Mom at the Same Time

    How to be Sports Mom and Homeschool Mom at the Same Time

    This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: How to be Sports Mom and Homeschool Mom at the Same Time.

    How to be Sports Mom and Homeschool Mom at the Same Time

    Vicki and Kym are together for this episode to discuss how to handle homeschooling and teens who seriously love to play sports at the same time. It is hectic but it can be done.

    While Vicki's teens played various sports during their high school years, they did so as a past time. Kym's teens were more involved, in fact, her twins played women's ice hockey all the way through college.

    How did Kym end up being a serious sports mom?

    Kym and her husband both love sports, but as Kym describes it, she was always the "bubble kid" always the last chosen or the first cut from the team at her small high school. All her four kids participated in sports at some level. Her older two decided the sports were not as fun when the competition got serious in high school (although her son still plays sports as an adult, just for fun.)

    Kym's youngest, the twins, first got the sports bug in pre-school while Kym was working part-time at the YMCA. They saw brochures for hockey and asked to play. Kym started them out by trying all the sports the Y had to offer. Then they graduated to the roller hockey team there.

    Then after watching Disney's Mighty Ducks movie, they decided that they were determined to play ice hockey. They presented their desire with business-form presentations. Doug and Kym decided they had better pray about it. They prayed daily from then all the way to their college hockey careers.

    Benefits of playing sports:

    * Belongingness and connections (the twins have gained lifelong friends from their years in the intense togetherness of hockey league)

    * Fitness

    * Quick thinking skills and reactions

    * Activity burns off stress hormones and releases dopamine (a mood enhancing hormone)

    After roller hockey, the girls played on a community mixed-gender league. However, when the boys hit puberty, Kym and Doug moved their diminutive twins to woman's hockey. (Kym says that there is something magical for the girls to play on a girls' team.)

    Kym and Doug knew that the women's sports leagues were more serious and quite expensive. They prayed and God provided equipment and finances for the twins' hockey experience. They also prayed that hockey would not be come an idol. After prayer they stayed clear on their goals.

    How do you stay clear on the goals?

    * Prayer (as Kym always says, "Prayer: first, last and always)

    * Discuss the goals as a family.

    * Remember the goals that must stay clear are the athletes' goals and also the family's goals. (If you goals do not match, it can be dangerous. Remember, parents who live vicariously through their teen-athlete's goals end up burning out their teens and damaging the parent/teen relationship.)

    * Practice

    * Games

    * Playoffs

    * All Stars

    * Tournaments

    * Summer camps

    Much of Kym's hockey-mom years were in the car. Kym and her girls came to love this time because:

    * They had awesome conversations about deep, funny and personal things

    * They had uninterrupted time to study (car-schooling)

    * They had time for awesome audiobooks

    * They learned out to *fill the moment*/time management

    * Kym found drive time (when her husband was at the wheel) was a great time for grading papers for her daughter's work or her group Spanish classes.

    Kym also found connections with other hockey moms, the moms on her daughters' teams and random hockey moms she meets in real life. (Vicki remembers when we were at our favorite conference: 2:1 Conference3 and Kym and a rel="NOFOLLOW" href...

    • 25 min
    Working While Homeschooling, Interview with Julie Smith Mendez

    Working While Homeschooling, Interview with Julie Smith Mendez

    This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Working While Homeschooling, Interview with Julie Smith Mendez.

    Working While Homeschooling, Interview with Julie Smith Mendez

    These days there are many, many mothers who are homeschooling and working a paid-job at the same time. Some started out homeschooling and added working as family needs arose. Some were career moms who started homeschooling because of COVID-19 or simply because that was best for their families.

    There's not ONE right way to be a homeschool mom! Working moms can also be happy homeschool moms!

    That's why Vicki asked her friend, Julie Smith Mendez, to join her for a discussion about being an homeschool mom with a career. Julie is a Career Coach and also invests in the homeschool community by supporting moms who are both working a job and working as homeschool moms.

    Julie has two homeschoolers: eighth grader and sixth grader. Julie is also a Career Coach (another reason Vicki enjoys chatting with Julie, since Vicki is also a Career Coach).

    Because of Julie's husband's career, they move every two years, often overseas. Homeschooling presented itself as a great option when her oldest was facing kindergarten.. Homeschooling would require fewer transitions when they had to move mid-year. Nine years later, they are still homeschooling and have found it to be fun and a perfect fit for her family.

    Julie became a career coach when they were stuck between assignments for her husband's work, with the expenses of living in Washington, DC. She had been a career coach before she had her girls, so she found that she could re-engage the career she loved (and could work from home).

    At the time, Julie became the only working homeschool mom in her Washington DC homeschool groups. The first couple of years she felt like a unicorn in her homeschool community. It was especially noticeable when she had to start saying to her friends in regards to some homeschool activities, "Sorry, I can't do that, I have to work."

    However, when they moved to Pennsylvania, they found themselves in a blue-collar community, where most of the homeschool moms worked: gigs, side-incomes, part-time outside the home and business owners. She was excited to be part of the community that was creatively working while homeschooling. She loved *not being the only one*. She loved being part of a community that valued flexibility and resilience of her new homeschooling community.

    Now, Julie has found that many homeschool moms are in some manner, bringing in an income. (This is especially true during COVID-19 because many, many American families have suddenly become working homeschool families.)

    What are some skills that Julie uses for happy working while homeschooling?

    Julie uses the analogy of spinning plates. Julie says that working while homeschooling is like managing those plates: you run from plate to plate and keep them spinning. BUT, you spin one plate at a time!

    * The important thing to remember is that this hectic time is temporary. Eventually your homeschoolers graduate, and even before they graduate, they become more and more independent learners, so the plate-spinning job becomes easier over time.

    Julie makes a point of self-care (sometimes that simply looks like taking a shower). For Julie, during this time her self-care can look like:

    * Learning a new skill that will help with her career.

    * Force herself to get adequate sleep. Check out this post on sleep deprivation and homeschooling.

    One thing that helps her manage self-care is knowing that her daughters are watc...

    • 33 min
    How to Create Music Appreciation Credit for Transcripts

    How to Create Music Appreciation Credit for Transcripts

    This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: How to Create Music Appreciation Credit for Transcripts.


    How to Create Music Appreciation Credit for Transcripts

    Most homeschool high schoolers need a Fine Arts credit for graduation. That is easy for teens who have interest in the arts. But, what if they are not artsy? That's where arts appreciation credits come in. In this episode Vicki is joined by our friend, Gena Mayo, of Music in Our Homeschool. She is going to share a simple way to create a Music Appreciation credit for the homeschool transcript.

    Gena is one of 7Sisters old-time homeschool friends. When we first started out, we met Gena at our favorite conference (2:1 Conference). She coached us along and gave us encouragement and practical tips for blogging and digital business-running. So, as we got to thinking about the stress that our non-artsy friends feel when they need to help their homeschool high schoolers earn that Fine Arts credit, we turned to Gena.

    Art Appreciation credits, simply put, are credits that introduce students to the ideas of one or more art forms. Arts Appreciation credits can cover just about anything that helps your teens appreciate that art. Homeschool high schoolers could earn different Arts Appreciation credits:

    * Music Appreciation

    * Visual Art Appreciation

    * Drama Appreciation, including Drama Camp

    * Dance Appreciation

    What else would you add to that list?

    Photo used with permission

    Gena Mayo is an expert in music credits. That's why it is so wonderful to have her with us to discuss Music Appreciation credits.  She studied Music Education in college and taught Music in traditional schools for five years. When she and her husband started their family, they decided to homeschool. They now have eight children (two in college, two in high school, two in middle school, two in elementary).

    Gena started teaching Music Appreciation in her homeschool co-op. The kids were learning 20th Century History. Gena knew that music was integral to understanding the culture and happenings of that time. She eventually turned that co-op course into an online course which your teens can experience today.

    She realized that music is actually important to each time in history so she expanded her course offerings on Music in Our Homeschool to other time periods.

    SO how does Gena suggest easily earning a Music Appreciation credit for transcripts?

    Let's go with Music in Our Homeschool because it is self-paced, independent learning for teens (and teens actually like it):

    Middle Ages through Classical Era (500-1799 AD)

    * 18 weeks for one semester

    Romantic Era Music (1800's)

    * 36 lessons

    20th Century Music

    * 36 lessons

    Each course:

    * Can be completed:

    * One lesson per week through year

    * Or two lessons per week through a semester

    • 21 min
    Create Powerful Homeschool Transcripts by Combining Credits

    Create Powerful Homeschool Transcripts by Combining Credits

    This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Powerful Homeschool Transcripts by Combining Credits.

    Create Powerful Homeschool Transcripts by Combining Credits

    One of the ways to build a college-attractive transcript is to develop credits that have what college admissions officers call "sparkle" or "pop". These are credits that show that your homeschool high schooler has worked on exploring interests and developing talents.

    We at 7Sisters help our teens develop some sparkle on their homeschool transcripts by combining credits. (You might call it "integrated learning" or even high-school level unit studies.) Join Vicki today as she give an example of some ways one of her homeschool high schoolers combined credits for a powerful transcript.

    Vicki's youngest son, Seth, has graduated from high school now, but when he was a teen, he was part of his church's worship team. He played guitar, sang and sometimes, led worship. As adolescents will do, he asked probing questions like:

    * Why do we sing the kinds of songs we sing at our non-denominational church?

    * Why do some churches have different kinds of music? Some have hymns with organ and piano. Some sing a cappella hymns...or chants.

    * What's the right kind of music?

    * How did we get to this kind of music?

    Asking questions is a developmentally appropriate part of adolescents (have your teen take a Human Development course to understand this). So we leaned into his questions by spending several years exploring:

    * His Christian faith

    * The history of Christian music

    * The theory and skills of music

    We integrated many of Seth's high school courses around his Christian Music questions (since these questions defined his interests).

    * We studied Apologetics.

    * We used the Apologetics lessons that are now available for free at 7SistersHomeschool.com. At the time, the author of the course, Dr. Gerald Culley taught a local class for homeschoolers live. (Dr. Culley is 7Sisters Sabrina and Allison's father.) This is a wonderful course because the course shows some of the practical applications of Apologetics from archeology and science (and also because it is FREE).

    * We used one of his Literature credits to study Great Christian Writers for a broader interaction with the history of our faith.

    * (We developed this course because many of our kids wanted to know about the writings of our faith...along with some of the ways things of faith change.)

    * We did a History elective in the History of Christian Music.

    * Seth did a lot of research into the history Oxford History of Christian Worship, The Story of Christian Music, and other resources.

    * He logged hours reading and writing his 20-page Honors-level research paper on this credit. (This counted as his required resear...

    • 12 min
    What Colleges Like to See from Homeschoolers

    What Colleges Like to See from Homeschoolers

    This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: What Colleges Like to See from Homeschoolers.

    What Colleges Like to See from Homeschoolers

    What are colleges looking for from homeschoolers? What are the latest tips for successful college applications? Vicki is joined today by 7Sister Marilyn and our good friend, Dr. Barbara Varnell. Both ladies serve as high school advisors for the local homeschool community and have helped hundreds of teens get into college. They are going to share their latest tips!

    Things are always changing in the college application process. This are always changing in what makes homeschoolers college attractive. So, let's jump in with some updates from Barb and Marilyn:

    Colleges like to see the Common Application (or their own application)

    You have heard of Common Application (we simply call it "Common App"). But just in case you have not heard of it, Common App is an application that a number of colleges accept. High school seniors complete one application that is then sent to several colleges of their choice. Common App makes life much simpler since teens only need to fill out on application instead of an application for each college.

    Tip from Marilyn and Barb:

    Sometimes it works works better for homeschool high schoolers who do lots of interesting and unique activities to choose the individual colleges' applications. These college applications often allow teens to highlight their unique offerings better than the Common App. Barb tells the story of her daughter's application to Pennsylvania State University. Penn State's application was so much better at allowing her to show off her creative high school extracurriculars. SO, take a look at each college's application and compare it to the Common App.

    Some colleges like to see SRAR

    SRAR (Self Reporting Academic Record) is a list of your homeschool high schooler's courses and the grades for those courses. It is separate from the Common Application and also from the transcript. Not all colleges require the SRAR so check colleges of interest to see their requirements.

    In most cases, transcripts will also be required at some point in the admissions process.

    * Take a look at the University of Delaware's SRAR page.

    * And at Penn State's SRAR FAQ page for information on their requirements, to give you an idea of what colleges are doing these days.

    Tips from Marilyn and Barb:

    * Do not wait until senior year to compile a transcript. Start early. Start in 9th grade and add to it yearly. You will be glad you did! (It will save many hours and tears while trying to regather and reconstruct all the records of those busy high school years.)

    * When you send in the actual transcript, make sure that it accurately lines up with everything on the SRAR. If not, it is possible the acceptance offer a student receives might be rescinded.

    Some colleges like to see SATs and ACTs

    In some parts of the country, the use of SAT and ACT exam scores has changed. For many years, colleges in the north and east often required the SATs, while southern colleges preferred the ACTs. Recently many of our eastern colleges have switched to asking for ACTs instead of SATs. Many colleges are not requiring these entrance exam scores at all (they are not requiring SATs or ACTs).

    Tips from Marilyn and Barb:

    * When your homeschool high schooler takes an SAT or ACT exam, tell them not to choose a college to receive those scores. Wait and see how the scores turn out. There may be times when a teen will be better off not reporting their scores to a college at all.

    • 21 min
    How to Prepare Homeschoolers for NCAA Sports

    How to Prepare Homeschoolers for NCAA Sports

    This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: How to Prepare Homeschoolers for NCAA Sports.

    How to Prepare Homeschoolers for NCAA Sports

    There are some teens who God has gifted with athletic ability. Some of these teens feel called to play NCAA sports in college. That's great but is not always as easy as it might seem.

    Homeschool teens who would like to play official college sports must start preparing during high school. Sometimes teens and their parents can feel overwhelmed by the process. Where do you even start?

    That's why Vicki asked 7Sister Marilyn and our good friend Barb Varnell t0 join us for a discussion on how to prepare homeschoolers for NCAA sports. (BTW: You'll also love this interview with Barb's daughter, Sara, about becoming a veterinarian and this compelling discussion with both of them about whether one can be a creationist and professional scientist at the same time.)

    Marilyn and Barb have been homeschool leaders for decades and have brought our homeschool umbrella school's athletic program up to status that will prepare eligible teens for NCAA applications. (The program included swimming and soccer.)

    Our homeschool umbrella school, Mt. Sophia Academy, was the first homeschool program that was DIAA (Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association) approved. This was a huge undertaking because DIAA wants to make sure that all Delaware athletes are receiving a genuine education. This made our teams able to compete against other DIAA schools and tournaments. This also made our homeschool athletes eligible to apply for NCAA.

    Marilyn and our first athletic directors worked diligently with DIAA to make clear what their rigorous standards would look like for homeschoolers in our Mt. Sophia Academy sports programs. These requirements included:

    * Taking a certain number of courses at Mt. Sophia Academy's group classes (for accountability and oversight purposes)

    * At least 16 credits need to be from approved providers such as umbrella schools or online schools

    * Core courses must be at Level 3 (College Prep) or higher

    * Core course catalogue must be on the umbrella school website (with courses approved by NCAA)

    * Science, Math, Social Studies, Language Arts, World Languages

    * With course descriptions with:

    * Scope and sequence

    * Texts and other curricula, specific amount of work required in these

    * Tests

    * Grading

    * Other things as NCAA decides

    Marilyn cautions that NCAA applications, just like college applications, are a game. You simply have to play the game by the rules.

    Advice from Vicki: If you need your coaches and teachers to be willing to go above and beyond for you (for helping find recruiters and writing letters for you):

    * Be coachable

    * Be team player

    * Practice LOTs

    * Show diligence at practice

    * Help out

    * Start early

    Advice from Marilyn:

    * Do summer camp opportunities at a college near you or at a college of interest

    * Have a video created of you playing

    * Start early

    Advice from Barb:

    * Do not aim for graduating early,

    • 14 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
52 Ratings

52 Ratings

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Wonderful Conversations

I love this podcast and the wonderful conversations had in each episode. The podcast is inspiring, motivating, and a delightful resource for families who are homeschooling during their child’s high school years. Do yourself a favor and subscribe!

Peri457 ,

Tons of practical advice on homeschooling high school

Straight forward & full of useful practical advice. Love your podcasts. Was desperately looking for homeschool high school tips & I found it..yay!

Mom2grtkids ,


This podcast is very informative and easy to listen to.

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