HSHSP 146: How to Find Teens’ Passions, Interview with Cindy West
Join Vicki and our friend, Cindy West, of Our Journey Westward, NaturExplorers, and Homeschooling Gifted Kids. Cindy, who is well-known to many homeschool families, has been homeschooling for 18 years has specialized in helping her homeschool high schoolers find and develop their interests and passions.
Cindy’s teens learned how to identify, develop and make choices for their futures in their homeschool programs. Cindy shares how she helped her homeschool high schoolers lean into their interests and allow them to become passions.
- Observe: Where do they get excited? Where do they invest their free time?
- Get experiences: Go on field trips. Do some volunteer work, help others out who are in the field of interest. Go to the library
- Discuss with experts: Interview adults. See if you can find shadowing or apprenticeship opportunities.
- Include as part of their academic studies: Develop science, history and/or language arts courses.
- Include as part of their career exploration electives: Give it an appropriate name and capture it on the transcript.
One of the special things that Cindy has done with her teens is allowing her teens to develop their own courses.
- Divide the year into 36 weeks
- Explore on the internet what other people cover for those courses
- Ask teen to pinpoint their interests/goals for the course
- Find a *spine*, a textbook or detailed, informative book (probably not in the juvenile section) as a base
- Choose at least one major project: research paper, prepare a presentation, design an experiment
- Plan out the year, month by month based on the topics of teen interest and what others cover
- Turn the plan into a syllabus
- Learn more about this with Cindy’s post on the topic.
Cindy’s daughter was passionate about equine studies and developed high school courses to develop those interests. Her son has been interested in guitar, so they have deeply developed this interest and giftedness.
You’ll be blessed by this interview with Cindy West. Visit her website and social media, curriculum AND check out her book on homeschooling gifted kids to learn more!
- Website – Our Journey Westward
- NaturExplorers curriculum
- Homeschooling Gifted Kids book