This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Interest-led Learning for Homeschool High Schoolers, Interview with Cheryl Bastian. This post is running concurrently on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.
Interest-led Learning for Homeschool High Schoolers, Interview with Cheryl Bastian
Cheryl Bastian is a homeschool advisor. Her calling is empowering homeschool parents based on her experiences as a homeschool mom of eight. (Her children range in ages from five through thirty-one, so she has seen the gamut of homeschooling from kindergarten through graduation.)
Cheryl learned early on that homeschooling at its best is a “tutorial process” that helps homeschoolers develop their interests and abilities. Like we 7Sisters always say is that homeschooling parents get to bring out the best that God has created in our kids and help it develop. Cheryl has found this is exactly her job as a homeschool mom and trains parents in working with their homeschoolers.
Cheryl has served as evaluator and advisor in her state for twenty-five years and has found that the homeschooling families that love their educational processes the most are the ones who are employing interest-led studies.
What is interest-led learning for homeschool high school?
They are an extension of the unit studies we did with our kids when they were younger and tailored to:
- What do you love?
- What are you working on?
Cheryl gives the example of her son’s Boy Scouts Eagle Project. He was building a shed. She found that in doing the project, he was:
- Doing research
- Learning basic construction skills (.5 credit)
- Learning basic architectural drawing (.5 credit)
- Learning construction math (elective hours)
- Learning professional writing
The homeschool transcript is a one-page snapshot of who your high schooler is and is interested in, so she captured all these on her son’s transcript.
Cheryl also gives the example of her daughter, who when she was a high school senior, helped get Cheryl’s mom into a new level of care. She:
- Helped care for her grandmother
- Attended financial-planning meetings
- Attended living and care team meetings
- Learned about adult geriatrics
- Learned advocacy skills
Cheryl’s daughter logged her hours in each category and was able to capture a Care and Concerns for the Elderly elective credit.
BTW- the way Cheryl decided on the name of the credit was by doing a Google search for elder-care courses in local colleges. Then she compared course descriptions to the things her daughter learned.
For documentation on interest-led courses, Cheryl has her homeschool high schoolers:
- Keep logs of hours (note what was done, when and where- keep it basic)
- Keep documentation (photos/scrapbooks, emails, reports, letters)
- Also has discussions with homeschool high schoolers on planning, updates and accountability
So, Cheryl has been able to help her teens make the educational most of the circumstances life has given them!
When working with homeschooling parents, Cheryl advises parents:
- Be an observer of your teens:
- What are they naturally drawn to?
- What are they doing with their time?
- What makes their eyes light up?
- Help them capture these things on their transcript as electives.
- This creates a transcript that truly shows your teen’s interests and abilities.
- Make yourself available for discussions
- Arrange interviews or lunch dates with someone engaged in that interest
- Find volunteer work or training in a related area
- Teach them professional writing (for instance, writing letters)
- Teach them to ask for favors
- Teach them time management
- Keep yourself open to ideas and phases in your teens’ lives.
- Even your non-verbals can relay your interest and caring: Smile, relax your shoulders, listen attentively
- Remember: Questions invite relationship. Do not be afraid of their questions. It just means your teens are on the edge of solving a problem.
- Welcome unexpected events and experiences.
- Teach your teens’ growth mindset and resilience.
- Remember, your teens are on a journey in life. They do not know all of God’s plans yet, nor do you. Allow God to guide and unfold their future by providing encouragement and opportunities.
- Remember, there’s no ceiling on learning.
- Remember, God has plans!
These are truly the life skills that will help your homeschool high schoolers succeed in life.
Check out this post that explains asynchronous learning versus synchronous learning in online courses for homeschool high schoolers.
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