Life Skills: Helping Teens Achieve Goals & Enjoy Life

Life Skills: Helping Teens Achieve Goals & Enjoy Life

For many people, it seems like life has two options: achieving goals and enjoying life. Neither one of them seems as if they are one hundred percent fulfilled. There seems to be a broad spectrum on the scale of go-getters and over-achievers to those who slack in all departments.

How many times have you heard your student saying they don’t have enough time or they are overwhelmed with all the things? For so many homeschool families, the demands of work, career, education, family, and homeownership seem overwhelming. All while striving to teach our families how to achieve goals and enjoy life in a balanced manner.

Avoid the Overwhelm

Do you wish you had someone to partner with you in helping your teens learn to achieve goals and enjoy a balanced life?

We are doing that for you with the Life Skills 101 course offered at True North Homeschool Academy!  Your students will learn how to prioritize life, learn how to set and achieve goals, and sharpen skills for living life on their own as an adult.  In this full-year course, four broad areas are covered in depth. They include:

  • Finding Balance
  • Setting & Achieving Goals
  • Managing Life Areas
  • Time Management

Throughout the course, students will learn how to navigate these various areas as they prepare for launching into the next phase of life.

Finding Balance

If you think about life being balanced, you might envision a seesaw in the position of being directly balanced in the middle with no ups, no downs, and simply managing to stay in the middle ground.

What does it mean to be in balance, if life has its difficulties? When you are in balance, you maintain your equilibrium while life’s ups and downs come to visit. Of course, you go through the various emotions as circumstances both good and not so good work their way through life. 

Being in balance means intentionally, no matter how hard it is, choosing how you will show up under any given circumstance.

Do your teens need to learn how to achieve balance? In Life Skills 101, we will discuss ways to:

  • Take inventory of the various areas of life.
  • Create and implement a plan for finding and keeping life in balance.
  • Create action steps to help bring things back into balance when things get challenging. 

Sometimes, the unexpected can throw you off. In Life Skills 101 we teach how to hit the reset button when life throws you a curve and knocks you off balance. 

Setting & Achieving Goals

Does your student want to author a book, be a young entrepreneur, or simply get to appointments on time and have a clean room?  Learning how to break large goals down into manageable tasks is at the core of the Life Skills 1010 curriculum. From identifying a dream or aspiration to making a plan to achieve it, this class allows the student to take the time to dream, research, investigate and plan for the future.

It’s like a snowball effect. We will focus on how to start small and continue rolling that snowball down the hill. Before they know it, your kids will have a boulder of success coming their way! 

Managing Life Areas

Teaching teens to manage all the things of life is a full-time job! Letting go and letting them step into managing their own lives, can bring a sense of panic to every homeschool mom. The Life Skills 101 course partners with families to teach teens how to live a whole, full, and complete life. Learning to break your life down into categories and then addressing each. This creates a launch pad into adulthood that your teen can return as they expand the skills and confidence on living life successfully. Throughout the full-year course, students will learn what it takes to become independent and manage these aspects of daily life.

  • Cleaning & Organizing
  • Food shopping & meal planning
  • Scheduling
  • Budgeting & personal finances
  • Resume, cover letter, and interview skills
  • Workplace expectations

Time Management

At the end of the day, so many life skills are achieved by learning solid time management. Students learn how to identify the most important tasks and how to say no to time-wasting activities, or behaviors. Students will sharpen their skills in:

  • Task management
  • Prioritization
  • Balancing work and play

Throughout the course students will use a variety of technology and digital tools to create projects, turn in assignments and find the best tools to help them successfully navigate life in a digital environment. 

 

Life Skills for a Successful Launch into Adulthood.

There are many challenges each of our kids will have to face. Let’s help them learn how to achieve goals, fulfill dreams, and live a life they love. Find more information about Life Skills 101 here.

Looking for help with teaching your teen Life Skills? Life Skills 101 Orienteering and Entrepreneurship. Taught live online at True North Homeschool Academy!

Join us on Facebook too – our page Life Skills for Homeschooled Teens is a great community and we share tips and laughter along the way!

Typical Course of Study: High School

Typical Course of Study: High School

As the world of Homeschooling has expanded and options have increased and become more focused, it’s a great time to be homeschooling. Frankly, the options for High School Homeschooling are better than ever! As the world of homeschooling has expanded and the unknowns of the next school year loom, parents of high schoolers are wondering how to plan for what’s ahead. A basic understanding of a typical course of study can be a simple and helpful guide to planning the future, even when that future seems uncertain!

You should focus on the Core 4 subjects for high school and then add in electives and extra-curriculars. Some of this will depend on what type of transcript you are creating and where your students plan to land after high school. Vocational programs, college or university, ivy league or conservatory, or the Military all warrant focusing on different aspects of your student’s learning program.

I will link to classes that we offer here at True North Homeschool Academy since we try to create our classes with a typical course of study plan in mind for each age group. Still, you should choose the curriculum or classes that work the best for your family. It’s always awesome if you decide that means our online classes, but we want this blog article to help you make an amazing transcript for your high schooler even if TNHA classes don’t fit your plan.

Typical Course of Study: High School

Let’s start by looking at high school as a four-year program. This will give us a long view approach and help us determine what classes make sense within our subject areas. I’ll list each subject and then a common 4-year course of study. You are going to want to focus on the Core Four and go from there:

 

English– 9th-grade Literature & Composition, World Lit & Comp, U.S. Lit & Composition, British Lit, and Composition

(English can also include spelling, vocabulary, short story, novel writing, Speech and Rhetoric, Poetry,  etc.).

Math – Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Pre-Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus, Personal Finance

SciencePhysical Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Anatomy & Physiology or other advanced Science

History World Geography, World History, U.S. History, Government & Economics

(History can also include other areas or times of History like Ancient History)

Once you have these planned, it will be so much easier to fill in with electives and extracurricular activities.

Typical Course of Study: High School – Electives and Extra-curriculars

Father and son timeForeign Language– this can be any Ancient or Modern Language. Keep in mind that Latin is a fantastic foundation for grammar and learning how to learn a Foreign Language, and Critical Languages are a great way to earn Scholarship Dollars; French, German, Spanish, Hebrew, Chinese, Latin

Physical Education – ½ credit each year. Check out our amazing Dance at the Movies for a fun credit of P.E!

Music – a general overview of music, including Music Theory, Voice, Songwriting, or instrument lessons count as well. Check out our Music at the Movies for a fascinating look at the power of music in culture!

Art/Humanities – a general understanding of Form and Color, Photography, Photoshop, etc.

Bible/Apologetics Studies – should include a general overview of the Old and New Testament, Church History, and Apologetics. It used to be expected that every educated person had a general understanding of the Bible and could easily reference books and passages. Take time to read and discuss the Bible together and memorize Scripture. Awanas and the Bible Bee are excellent programs to commit the Bible to memory.

Basic Computer Information Systems – Powerpoint, Video Editing, Internet Safety, and Accountability.

Health – should include general health information, introduction to addictions, cybersecurity and addictions, ages and stages, reproductive health.

Vocational & Career Interests including Entrepreneurship – in today’s quickly changing market and the gig economy that they will inevitably be a part of, it’s important for your students to explore Vocational and Career Options as Life Skills and Personal Finance.

Typical Course of Study electives can vary and be wildly diverse. Think about student’s areas of interest, as well as what’s available to them. Many students delve deeply into a subject area that really piques their interest, like art, drama, music, electronics, etc. And don’t forget to provide a robust reading list for your high school students, which should include short stories, novels, plays, and poems.

High School is also a time to explore new areas of interest so take some time to seek out and expose your student to activities and unique experiences.

A typical course of study for your high school should also include Community Service– I would recommend 15 hours a year or more. It’s tricky with Covid, but you can always write letters to service men and women, collect coats or food for the local coat drive or food pantry. You might have to get creative, but high schoolers typically are creative.

Please make time to teach your students about internet safety and how to protect themselves from addictions, pornography, and perpetrators. Teach them how to manage social media and how to be accountable. Getting snared in addiction at a young age can have devastating implications for them. I highly recommend Glow Kids for every parent and young adult.

 

Testing Options and More

ACT Test Prep can save you thousands of dollars in Scholarship earned, National Latin Exam looks great on a transcript, and our Performance Series test is a straightforward way to assess where your student is at and helps them gain confidence with standardized tests.

Want to know more about credits, transcripts, and standardized tests to ensure your high school student is getting a typical course of study? Survive Homeschooling High School is a comprehensive eBook that will walk you through how to plan and prepare for high school. If you have a good handle on your high school plan but want help with the logistics of a transcript or assigning credits, you may want to check out our Academic Advising- we offer Academic Advising, SPED Advising for nontraditional learners, and NCAA Advising for those looking to compete for an NCAA position.

It’s a great time to be homeschooling, and the options for High School Homeschooling are better than ever! Check out our live online dynamic, interactive classes taught within an international community by world-class teachers! Students interact and work together- we believe excellent education takes place within a community!

And, in case you didn’t know, we offer Bundles for terrific savings.

We hope you have found our quick guide to a typical course of study for high school helpful. We invite you to join our Facebook group to let us know and to chat with other homeschool parents about credits, transcripts curriculum, and everything homeschool.

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like to read these:

College & Career Round-Up

College & Career Round-Up

College & Career

Homeschooling high school can be tough! We’ve pulled together some great articles and resources for you during this month’s College and Career focus. So without further ado:

Information on High School Planning Resources

Prepping and planning for High School seems to get even the most stoic homeschooler a bit frazzled. Not to worry, we’ve been there done that and have great resources available for you! Our first piece of advice is to create a plan that includes a basic course  of study, fill in with areas of interest and work a solid strategy to get you where you want to go! And if you don’t want to go it alone, we’d love to come alongside you on the journey. In fact, that’s what we do!

Information on Testing

Testing can highlight student abilities, shine light on areas of struggle and garner thousands of dollars in grants and scholarships! Don’t overlook the power of testing!

Articles on What’s Next

It’s a fast paced and changing world our young adults are entering into. College is but one of many options that include apprenticeship, military and entrepreneurship! A good strategy will get your student farther, faster  and save them from unnecessary debt!

Let us know if you found our round-up of high school resources helpful and drop us a comment about resources you like! We love to provide our readers with relevant information!

Homeschooling Is for High School

Homeschooling Is for High School

I’ve homeschooled for twenty-nine years and one thing that has remained consistent in the homeschooling community is that homeschoolers get nervous when it’s time to think about homeschooling high school.

However, in today’s times, it’s easy (and fun) to homeschool during the high school years!

What makes it so great to homeschool high school?

First, you can customize the curriculum for your student.

The online world has exploded, and blended learning is genuinely the homeschool high schoolers’ secret weapon.

Online education makes it easy for our teens to pursue areas of interest and passions, adding a depth of knowledge that can’t be recreated in a public school setting.  Your children will have time to read widely and then dive deeply into subjects that interest them.

We’ve known many homeschool high schoolers and graduates who have traveled extensively doing missions work in the country and internationally, in big cities and small villages, on medical and teaching and drama teams.

This customized hands-on training is a valuable life experience – one that can’t be replicated in a classroom.

If something isn’t working, you can change it.

Not every student, or even every sibling, learns the same way. With homeschooling, we have the opportunity to teach the way our children learn best. Maybe you have a hands-on learner AND an online learner in your family. You can accommodate both of their needs by homeschooling high school.

Next, opportunities for electives have exploded.

Online courses abound, both live and pre-recorded or self-paced.  You can find OCW (Open Course Ware) from colleges and universities.  YouTube and Ted Talks are also fantastic for high school students. The options are so numerous it’s hard to keep up with it all!

Electives can also be pursued at your local college or trade school.

Learning opportunities are only limited by your ability to get out and pursue them.

Technology allows foreign language and cultural studies to be up close and personal.

For example, my daughter interacts weekly with her Hebrew language instructor. He is in Israel and we are in the upper north Midwest; worlds apart and yet uniquely connected. Fellow students will be traveling to Israel later this year and plan to meet the Rabbi on their travels.

The world has gotten smaller and more accessible!

Homeschooling during high school is growing in popularity, and with this growth comes more opportunity!

Today, there are camps that market specifically to the homeschooler.

Some of these include TeenPact, Summit Ministries, Patrick Henry Camps, and more. Don’t overlook local offerings! My kids have been heavily involved in theater and performing Shakespeare for years, thanks to local enterprising moms with vision and talent.

And if you are worried about college credits and what’s beyond high school, take heart.

Here, too, opportunities abound. Many states offer inexpensive dual enrollment credits, many of which can be completed online. Post High School programs such as Apprentice University and Praxis offer kids fantastic life skills, job training, and opportunities for networking, all while allowing the kids to work while schooling.

They can graduate debt-free and skill-rich.

Also, homeschool high school help is available right at your fingertips.

You can outsource classes that you are insecure about teaching, or that you simply don’t have time for.  If your child is struggling, help is easy to find. Google is an excellent source of information, and if you are still struggling, you can find academic advising or consultation.

Online support groups also abound!  For example, our Facebook group, True North Homeschool Tribe is a great place to find wisdom and encouragement for homeschooling your high schooler.  We share curriculum, resources, great jokes, and support. You aren’t doing this alone!

Homeschooling high school affords us time with them before they launch into the world as independent young adults.

Relationships built during these high school years are priceless!

The days may be long, but the years are oh-so-short.

Homeschooling High School allows us to enjoy that precious time with these amazing young people whom we love so much.

Not sure where to start homeschooling High School? Our Academic Advising program is designed to take the worry and stress out and leave you with an actionable plan that will launch your students well!

 

Homeschooling for College Credit

Homeschooling for College Credit

Homeschool for College Credit – A Review

Homeschooling for College Credit by Jennifer Cook De Rosa is a beautiful how-to manual for hacking college credit.

For anyone with kids who plan to go to college, it is a must-read.

The average student graduating from college takes six years instead of 4 and has, on average, $27,000 in debt. It’s also important to factor in college completion rates. According to Alissa Nadworny, 6 out of 10 students who start a college degree never complete it. Those saddled with debt, without an economically feasible plan to pay it off, may end up in deferment. Currently, more than half of student loan debt is in deferral. This affects quality of life on many levels.

Undergraduates can take out up to $57,000 in school debt and graduate students up to $135,000 in debt. Given the stats, it just makes sense to look for an antidote to the college debt disaster. This book is the antidote!

This 300+ page tome is chock full of fantastic information.

Chapter Headings Include:

  1. Congratulations: You’re a Guidance Counselor
  2. Thirty Ways to earn College Credit
  3. Behind the Scenes
  4. High School Planning
  5. Dual Enrollment Advice
  6. Transcripts and Record Keepings
  7. Homeschool Exit Strategies
  8. Completely Free Tuition

Unique & Worth Every Penny

What makes this book unique and worth every penny can be found in Chapter 2: Thirty Ways to Earn College Credit.

This chapter goes way beyond the standard fare of CLEP, DE, and AP and the Big 3 and includes companies, colleges, hacking MOOCs for test prep, and so much more. My daughter, for example, is studying her 3rd foreign language in High School and is professionally interested in becoming a translator. Guess what? There are exams specific to language mastery, that can be taken from anywhere in the world that rack up college credits if your students have mastery in a foreign language.

This is a pragmatic book, one that talks about how to guide your teen in a way that makes sense. Included is some tough love regarding degree killers: time, money and socialization, the ROI of a degree (Yes! And why aren’t government loan dollars somehow tied to this?) how the trades are worth considering and strategies for teens who don’t want to go to college. This book is chock full of worthy information that every parent of high schoolers should be thinking about and considering, along with their high school student.

One of my favorite chapters is how to go to college for free. I love it because it is creative and thorough and includes eight different ways your student can earn free tuition.

This book is a must-read for anyone concerned about their high school student’s future.

We are entering a massive shift in the world of work, and young adults burdened with debt or lack of skills/training will be ill-equipped to handle the fast, global changes that are already taking place. This book will help you assist those young people in your life to strategize a clear, concise plan as you homeschool for earning college credit as efficiently and economically as possible.

Jennifer Cook DeRosas does the research for you. It’s all here, in her highly informative and easy to read book, Homeschooling for College Credit; Your guide to resourceful high school planning.

I highly recommend it!

Couple this book with Beyond Personal Finance and join us for Life Skills for Teens. You might also want to read some of the resources we have here on the blog, including Yes! Your Child Can Learn a Foreign Language and High School  Dual Enrollment Tips.

If you don’t already follow the Life Skills for Homeschool Teens Facebook page, you will want to bookmark it to keep up with other parents of teens and get the latest scoop on resources for teaching those essential life skills plus encouragement and fun with other homeschool parents who have the same concerns that you do!

college graduates

Dual Enrollment and Homeschool High School

Dual Enrollment and Homeschool High School

Dual Enrollment and Homeschool High School

Dual Enrollment and Homeschool High School, is it worth considering?

Homeschool High School Student Studies for Dual enrollment classesHave you seen how expensive college is? Do you like to save time and money?  Dual enrollment classes for your homeschooled junior or senior might be the option you are looking for!

We homeschooled three of our five kids. When our homeschooled son was a senior, he took dual enrollment English. It counted as his high school English credit, and it could have earned him college credit if he had passed the class!

I’ll come back to that in a minute.

Our youngest two took dual enrollment in their junior and senior years. This enabled one of them to finish college in three years, and the youngest will enter college this fall with seven classes under her belt.

Who should take dual enrollment?

Remember our son who didn’t pass English 101? I am not saying it is an easy class, but apparently you have to turn in your work! I took this as a learning experience (although it was frustrating). Considering I’m an adjunct instructor at the same college, I felt he could have asked for my help. But he didn’t, and he even owned up to what he did – or didn’t do.

A few things that can help you determine if your student is ready for dual enrollment:

  • Age
  • Learning style
  • Maturity
  • Responsibility level

As homeschooling parents, we tend to think our child is brilliant (and they are), and that they are totally capable of anything. It is good to be realistic, though. Has your student ever taken a class or course from another teacher? Maybe even at a co-op? How did they do? Do they understand their responsibility in what and how they learn, can they take directions from someone? Can they stay on task and complete the assignment?

Learning style is important too. Colleges don’t make many allowances for differences in learning style. Again, being honest with yourself and your student about what they can do is important.

What should they take?

Gen Eds – general education requirements – are a good place to start with dual enrollment. If your student knows where they might go for college you can check and see what gen eds are required. They’re fairly typical1:

  • Arts & Humanities – intro to art or music, intro to philosophy or ethics
  • English/Literature – basic English classes teach how to write essays which is a vital skill for college
  • History – U.S. history or Western Civilization
  • Math – many colleges use the student’s ACT or SAT for dual enrollment course placement. It can be a good idea to back up a math level if you think your student is missing basic skills
  • Science – intro to biology or general chemistry can be fun at the college level
  • Social Sciences – intro to sociology, public speaking, intro to world religion

Why take dual enrollment classes?

Some feel that high school students should just enjoy high school and not add in college-level classes. I understand that, but I don’t agree. Why? Well, the benefits of course!

  • First of all, it gives them the chance to learn from someone else. This provides the opportunity to succeed and fail. Just like with my son, some kids will not do what they should. I do believe it is better to learn this now before “real” college begins. In the long run, failure can be a great motivator.
  • It can save you and your student money. Some states offer free college-level classes or some kind of scholarship.
  • Your student can save time in college. Typically, a bachelor’s degree is 120 credits, so the more you have gotten through dual enrollment when you start college, the less time it will take to finish your degree.
  • Dual enrollment courses can give your child the chance to study something they’re interested in that you might be unable to offer.
  • Life skills – I cannot stress this enough. Your student will learn life skills while still living under your roof and in the relative safety of home. These skills include organization, time management, how to study, responsibility, and more.

Information for you as you consider Dual Enrollment and Homeschool High School

Dual enrollment courses, requirements, and policies can vary widely by state. The Education Commission of the States has a wonderful information page that gives state-by-state guidelines.

In many cases, your student must have taken the ACT or SAT to take dual courses, and there is often a minimum GPA requirement. Another great website for dual enrollment programs by state is CollegeVine.

Just Googling “dual enrollment” nets about 97,000,000 results! That can be overwhelming, but I suggest you start with your local community college. Look at their website for the dual enrollment counselor. You can also call or visit the college and take your high school student with you! I ask lots of questions of our counselor, and they are wonderfully patient. I think you will find dual enrollment to be a great addition – in saved time and money as well as educationally – to your child’s schooling.Bio Headshot for blog post author Jen Dodrill

About the author:

Jen Dodrill has been married 34 years, is a proud mom to 5 kids, and she homeschooled the youngest three. The “baby” graduates in May, but Jen refuses to bow to empty-nest syndrome! She teaches Oral Communication as an adjunct instructor and writes curriculum under History at Home at TeachersPayTeachers. When she’s not working, she’s spending time with her kids and adorable granddaughters. Connect with her on her blog – Jen Dodrill History at Home, Instagram, Facebook, and her favorite place – Pinterest!

Resources for Dual Enrollment and Homeschool High School

True North Homeschool Academy has some high school resources you may not be aware of, so we thought this would be a great place to mention them. Learn more about high school testing here. If you want to know more about other ways to earn college credit early, such as the CLEP exams, you will find essential information in this article. For students who want to accelerate their career, you can read all about tools that will prepare them for that in 21 Ways to Accelerate Your Career.

Don’t forget that our experienced Academic Advisors are available to answer all your questions and help guide you and your student to high school, college, and career success.