This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Activities to Enrich Psychology Credits. This post is running concurrently on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.
Activities to Enrich Psychology Credits
We want homeschool high schoolers to LIKE PSYCH! That’s why this week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast Kym and Vicki are talking about engaging activities to enrich Psychology credits! When you take an engaging text and add some engaging activities you can liven up (and level up) the Psychology credit. This makes the course more memorable, motivating and inspiring for teens.
We would like teens to like Psychology if they go into the field (Vicki is always praying for more young people to go into the mental health field- there simply are not enough counselors out there).
We would like teens to like Psychology if they do not go into the field. (A good Psychology text can give teens helpful life skills- and lots of interesting information to talk about.)
Vicki originally wrote 7SistersHomeschool’s Introduction to Psychology from a Christian Perspective decades ago when her oldest teens were homeschooling high school. She wanted them to have a Psychology text, but at that time, there were none. She also wanted a Psychology text that would be informed by Christian worldview but NOT preachy. SO she had to create it herself based on her training and work as a licensed professional counselor.
Since that time both Vicki and Kym have taught the course in homeschool co-ops and group classes at their local homeschool umbrella school.
They added additional lesson plans based on the chapter topics in the text (with help from fellow homeschool mom and counselor, Gretchen Mahoney). They also added a freebie suggested syllabus that can be adapted for various homeschooling needs. (Click here to view an excerpt from the downloadable textbook.)
That’s not to mention all the stuff that Kym does with her umbrella school classes. (She is too busy having fun to write those down!)
So, they decided to share these engaging activities to enrich Psychology credits in this week’s Homeschool Highschool Podcast episode!
Here are some ideas for doing cool things to help teens LIKE PSYCH! (Before we even start our ideas, here’s a bonus idea: Study Psychology with interesting online, video lessons and enrichment in our self-paced course.)
List of Ideas to Enrich Psychology:
Teach in any order you please, in any way you please
- There’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school or to teach Psychology. Kym likes to jump ahead to the History chapters and do them first.
- What this video on why it’s cool to learn Psychology!
- Read this post and discuss why Psychology can be a powerful credit.
- Discuss whether your teen needs or wants to level up the Psychology credit to Honors
Learning about the brain
- Make a model of the brain using homemade dough (using guidelines in the text)
- Watch a video of a dissection of the human brain (Kym likes it but only offers this to students with a strong constitutin)
- Watch an interactive brain video or download an interactive brain app.
- Do the optical illusions and look more up online
- If you are in the Philadelphia region, go to the Franklin Institute exhibits about the brain and perceptions OR if you are not in the area, check out their teaching resources
- Discuss branding in advertisements
- Spend a while experiencing different odors and note emotional reactions
- Discuss nature versus nurture in your own family
- Make some fun Punnet squares based on family traits
- Think: Does ADHD run in the family?
- Does anxiety run in the family?
- Are there any people with color blindness run in the family?
- Look up the work of seeing eye dogs (visit one if you can)
- Discuss how the concept of Pavlov’s dogs have been integrated into American culture
- Watch clips of classic television shows where classic conditioning occurs
- Here’s a link to Kym’s favorite YouTube clips from Big Bang Theory
History of Psychology
- Have students create a short presentation on a topic from those chapters
- Discuss which of Freud’s concepts are in the common vocabulary
- Discuss non-verbals (and how reading non-verbals are affected by Covid-related mask wearing)
- Play games where you act out emotions with non-verbals and have others guess which emotions
- Practice saying sentences with the emphasis on different words and note the difference of connotations
Needs and motivation
- Draw your own Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
- Discuss how the pandemic affected where various people groups experienced the Hierarchy of Needs
- Think about and discuss how being low on the hierarchy might affect school success
- Write a paper about what you would take if you were going to be stranded alone on an island
- Watch the movie: Castaway
- Download this freebie from Vicki Tillman Coaching and take some of the personality inventories (this download has free versions of the personality tests and some of the tests are simply for fun)
- Keep a sleep log for a week. Record:
- what they did before they went to bed?
- describe what were they doing and thinking about as they went to sleep,
- what was the quality and length of sleep?
- Watch videos on how sleep deprivation affects reaction time in driving or test taking (see the Lesson Plans)
- Discuss how sleep apnea affects quality of sleep
- Remind students not to diagnose themselves or anything else and to NOT stress about this chapter
- Discuss abnormal psych in a way that is not judgmental or fear-mongering
- Don’t dwell here but tell teens we want to concentrate on the good things we can do
Psychological health and helping others/crisis intervention
- Work on ideas for handling anxiety (mindfulness, self-care) and make some healthy lifestyle plans. (Check out the Homeschool Highschool Podcast episode on Psychological First Aid.)
- Make a plan for a time a friend who is in crisis might come to them for help. Using the information in the chapter how can your encourage and support your friend?
- Discuss which tests teens have experienced and which ones they might experience soon (like SAT or ACT)
- What are tools for college-placement testing success and have teens make a SAT test prep plan
- Have a quick discussion on the reliability and validity of tests
Christian counseling and careers in counseling
- Listen to this Homeschool Highschool Podcast episode about how to explore Psychology as a college major
- Discuss all the different career opportunities in Psychology
- Take a look at Psychology as a high school Career Pathways credit
- Go to CareerOneStop.org and look up five careers in Psychology and describe each of those jobs
- Discuss the fact that sometimes Christians feel uncomfortable with Psychology as a high school subject or as a career choice. Decide how to talk with those kinds of people.
- Read this post titled “God is a Psychologist” and discuss whether you agree or not.
Understanding research and statistics
Kym quoted her father (who worked for FBI), who said, “Figures don’t lie but liars figure!”
- Discuss critical thinking and validity of information. Then, find examples of poor and good research and statistics use
What would you add to our list? Add your ideas in the comments and join Kym and Vicki for this discussion on engaging activities to enrich psychology credits!
Want help thinking through the why of teaching Psychology in your homeschool? Here’s a little written material and a video with Vicki and Sabrina discussing that very thing!
For teens who want to use a syllabus and course description, click the following links:
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