Posts Tagged ‘Homeschooling’

High School Career Exploration

Tuesday, June 26th, 2018

high-school-career-exploration

I wish I had acquired this high school Career Exploration curriculum sooner, since my oldest son is going to college in the fall and isn’t sure what career he wants to pursue. We have been talking about what he wants to do with his life for quite a while, but it wasn’t until we came across this curriculum that we narrowed it down. Since this is the exact curriculum I wanted (yay!), I received the bundle from 7 Sisters Homeschool at no cost, became an affiliate, and agreed to do a review for compensation.

I recommend using this curriculum way earlier in your teen’s schooling so that you have plenty of time to fully explore careers. My 13-year-old and 15-year-old will be able to think about apprenticeships and interviewing adults in different careers to figure out what they truly would be good at. By the time they graduate high school, they will be in a better position than my oldest son.

My second son, who is currently 16, has always wanted to be a microbiologist. He knew when he was 10 years old, and he is now off to college, too. It’s great when kids know exactly what they want to be. But even then, it would be nice to take a field trip to a lab where he can see microbiologists at work, if possible. Interviewing scientists who are doing what he loves will give him the understanding of whether he will have to work long hours, or if there are any other interesting facts about the job.

exploring-careers-for-teens

My own personal career journey

When I was in college, I wanted to become a teacher, so I took a job as a teacher’s assistant while I was still in college to see if I really liked it. It seemed like disciplinary issues were a constant part of each day, so I had to re-assess whether I truly wanted to be a teacher. It seemed like I would have to be a militant leader in order to cope as a teacher and not get run over by the back-talk of the middle school students I was teaching. I would not have known what the job was really like had I not taken a peek at the inside of the career.

There is nothing worse than preparing for a career that you later find out you hate. This is especially true if you spent tens of thousands of dollars earning that degree at a university. Way better would be to know a variety of jobs that you would be good at, and figure out what kind of training you need to become certified for those jobs. Many trade schools are shorter than a 4-year college and pay just as much (or more) than a career that requires a degree. All you need to do is investigate, and this {aff} Career Exploration high school curriculum was just the thing to help us do that.

Career Exploration: What is Included in the Curriculum

The Career Exploration curriculum includes ten packets: Step by Step Through Career Exploration, Career Exploration Questionnaire, Career Exploration Workbook, Successful Experiential Resume Writing, Successful Cover Letters, Introductory Interview Skills for Teens, Writing Your Own Personal Mission Statement, Career Exploration in the Bible, Collected Posts on Career Exploration, and Collected Posts on Financial Literacy.

career-exploration-7-sisters

I’ve read through the entire ten packets, and I was impressed at the amount of useful information this bundle contained for teens to explore what careers might be of interest to them. I will highlight a few of the packets:

Career Exploration Workbook

This workbook contains seven chapters, each focusing on a different aspect of finding a career. The students can fill in the workbook, answering each question to know themselves better. The checklists are especially helpful in finding out broad areas of interest. The teen can circle occupations that seem interesting and cross out other careers.

Interviewing people who know the teen well can help to uncover more strengths that maybe your teen was unaware of until now. Apprenticeship opportunities can emerge as your teen talks to people from different occupations. I personally love to do this by inviting families from church over for dinner. Your teen can ask the occupation of the guests, and whether they love what they do.

list-of-careers

Career Exploration in the Bible

I’m intrigued by the idea that God designs each of our children with the experiences they need to become the person they were meant to be. This short packet highlights three characters from Scripture, showing how their childhood and teen years prepared them for their future career. This packet spurred some interesting conversations with my teens, and I wondered in my heart what fun things God has done in the upbringing of my children to make them who they are today.

For example, my oldest son has always had a philosophical mind, asking spiritual questions even as a preschooler. The depth of knowledge he has of God’s Word is perfect to prepare him to be a pastor, if he chooses that occupation. He has also enjoyed drawing, especially symmetrical drawings on graph paper. The fact that he is a natural artist could indicate that he would be a good architect. As his mom, I pondered what other experiences he has had that has made him the man he is today.

Introductory Interview Skills for Teens

Both my older teens have been in a process of interviewing for jobs this summer, so this packet was particularly useful. When my teens prepared for the most commonly asked questions, they felt more at ease in their interviews. My kids made up a fun skit for what NOT to do in an interview:

A Personal Word about the 7 Sisters

I’ve met several of the women from 7 Sisters Homeschool in person at a blogging conference a couple of years ago, and they are the real deal. I love them! Their homeschool high school curriculum is no busywork – no overkill. Your teens can build character and critical thinking skills while learning. And the women who wrote this curriculum are veteran homeschool moms who know what they are doing. Here are their links, if you would like to follow their blog and social media, especially if you have teens:

For what’s included in this Career Exploration bundle, the price seems unbelievably low. If you have teens, I encourage you to click over there and grab this bundle to direct your teens to a career that they will actually enjoy. If you yourself or your spouse is in a career that you hate, you know how important it is to explore careers before deciding what you want to do with the rest of your life. And yes, you as a parent can fill in your own workbook if you yourself would like a change in careers!

Ocean Shadow Box

Monday, September 18th, 2017

ocean-shadow-box

If your kids are learning about underwater sea creatures, why not make an ocean shadow box? It is super easy and will re-enforce the children’s learning about ocean creatures.

The first thing you will want to do is paint the box blue. It helps if a shoe box is a plain white color on the inside. We taped black construction paper around the outside of the box, but you could paint that black if you want.

In other shadow boxes we’ve made, we have spray painted the entire shoe box black, both inside and out. This is a great backdrop for any scene. If you are creating sea creatures from the deep, it is appropriate for your water to be black, especially if you make a flashlight fish out of clay, and place an LED light inside!

painting-shadow-box

Let the paint dry overnight, and then you will want to attach a plastic aquarium plant to the bottom of the box. Use clay to attach the plant to the box. (Make sure your shoe box is on its side when you decide where the ocean floor will be!)

Pour white school glue on the bottom of the scene, gluing around the plastic plant as well as the rest of the ocean floor. Pour sand on top of the glue and shake it off.

play-doh-manta-ray

If you have some small plastic ocean creatures, you can hang them with white thread to the top of the box. I used strong packing tape, but you could also use duct tape.

We added a rock and some walruses to the top of the box, along with some dolphins splashing out of the water. (See the picture at the top of this post.)

play-doh-hammerhead-shark

You can also create ocean creatures out of clay. We make a manta ray, a hammerhead shark, a starfish, a whale, and an anemone. If you study and shape one sea creature per day, you can add to your collection. You can display your creatures on built-in cardboard shelves that you have painted blue or black to match your shadow box, hot gluing the shelf into place.

simple-ocean-shadow-box

You can also make a simple ocean shadow box by spray painting a box black, adding a goldfish in a small fishbowl, and throwing seashells or any other ocean toys into the display.

Homeschool High School Room Tour

Monday, September 11th, 2017

homeschool-high-school-room-tour

Come on a tour of our homeschool high school room!

When a homeschool family transitions their students into high school, your homeschool space will begin to change. You will need an environment that looks more elegant and suitable for teens, not baby-ish. You want your teens to not be embarrassed to bring their friends over.

Homeschool High School Room Video Tour

We filmed a tour of our updated homeschool room for teens. Take a look at the environment you might want for accomplishing the academics you need for high school:

First of all, you need a computer desk with a computer. If your teens take high school math at a co-op, you might not need this area as much as you would for a computer math program for upper level math. We use Teaching Textbooks for pre-calculus and other higher-level math.

We also use computers for Spanish (Rosetta Stone), typing essays, studying Khan Academy for SAT preparation, etc. Your teens obviously need access to a computer in order to be computer literate. Also, if your teens have not learned basic keyboarding skills, you will want to make sure they know how to type fairly quickly before they go to college.

On the top of the computer desk, you can have a globe, a model of something, or flags stabbed into some sand. Hands-on models for high school science can also be stored on top of the computer desk.

high-school-homeschool

To increase the elegance of the space, you will want to get rid of all the toys that your teens have outgrown. Bold primary colors are for younger kids, so earthy tones look better for teens and adults. You can improve your living space by adding good lighting and plants. If you don’t have sunshine, high quality silk plants can make your homeschool high school room look like a resort.

You will want a desk or other flat space that is empty, so that your student has a place to work on vocabulary cards, tests, or any other written work. If you don’t have a separate homeschool room, you can always use your dining room table. One drawback of using the dining room is that if your teen is taking a timed SAT practice test or other timed test, they will be in a main thoroughfare instead of in an area where they can be alone without distraction.

high-school-white-erase-board

You will also want a white erase board, especially for your high school lab sciences. It doesn’t need to be as fancy as this one, which we picked up at a yard sale. You can probably find one at an office supply store, but a simple white erase board is equally effective.

We used this white erase board especially for chemistry as we wrote out huge equations. We also used it for grammar lessons. A white erase board is versatile and can be used to illustrate any point, even in history or Bible class.

My husband made a small wooden platform for speech class or small skits. We placed a rug on top of the platform, as you can see in the video.

I hope you enjoyed the tour of our homeschool high school room. This should give you some ideas for transitioning your students as they grow into teens!

For hundreds of hands-on high school activities, join the Unit Study Treasure Vault!

Come see more tours of homeschool rooms: Back to Homeschool School Room Week

Dry Ice Volcano Cake

Monday, September 4th, 2017

dry-ice-volcano-cake

Look at this super cool dry ice volcano cake we had for my son’s natural disasters themed birthday party! I was brainstorming different ways to make a volcano cake, and I’ve never seen this done before, so I thought it would be fun to make. I wasn’t disappointed, and it was fairly easy to make!

Start by baking two cake boxes, for a total of four round cakes. Cool the cakes and place them in the fridge.

Put foil on a square piece of wood or cardboard, and tape the back. Up-end one round cake onto the center of the foil. Grab a chemistry flask and cut a circle with a knife around the edge of the flask. Remove the small circle of cake, and place the flask inside.

inside-volcano-cake

Cut circles into the other cakes, and slide them like stacking rings on top of the flask until the entire flask is hidden. If you have a taller flask, you will have to bake more cakes. This will result in a taller volcano.

chocolate-volcano

Place the entire stack in the fridge to cool. Then you are ready to sculpt the volcano. Look at the video demonstration to see how I shaped it:

You can do whatever you want with the scraps of chocolate cake that you cut off the volcano. At this point, you want to place the cake back into the fridge before frosting it.

carving-volcano-cake

Frost the cake with chocolate frosting, spinning the cake to get the icing to be smooth. You can cover up any mistakes you made with the icing.

frosting-volcano-cake

Feel free to poke in plastic palm trees at the bottom of your volcano to add authenticity. This was my husband’s idea, since they were left over from a Hawaiian themed party we did for my daughter years ago. You can buy plastic palm trees at a party store.

make-a-volcano-cake

Pour hot water into the volcano. Plop dry ice chunks into the volcano. (You can buy dry ice at most grocery stores, and it’s inexpensive.) Now you will see the volcano smoking downward in an incredible way!

erupting-volcano-cake

Make sure to watch the video above to see how cool this dry ice volcano cake turned out!

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