This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Celebration of 300 Episodes! We Answer Your Questions.
Celebration of 300 Episodes! We Answer Your Questions
Can you believe it? The Homeschool Highschool Podcast is 300 episodes old today!! To celebrate Sabrina, Vicki and Kym got together and took questions from our 7th Sisters in the 7SistersHomeschool Facebook Group (have you joined us there?). So, here’s a celebration episode full of questions and answers!
First off, though, we had to celebrate some of our special traditions. One HSHSP tradition is to come up with meme-like t-shirt ideas. How about these?
- A syllabus is a tool, not a rule!
- Pray, first, last and always
- Online is the same as real life
- We are in a period of extended overextension (from our friend and 2:1 Conference founder, Cheryl Pitt)
- Your curriculum…How’s that workin’ out for ya?
- It’s a sprint, not a marathon…well, a gazillion sprints
- If speaking my mind is too loud, they make earplugs
- I’m the ear candy hear (dedicated to Kym)
- Motherhood is the necessity of invention
- You can do it!
- You’re embarrassing yourself with your non-verbals
- All of life is education
- A mom’s mind plans her way, but God directs her path
Okay, now, here are the questions we received from our 7th Sisters!
We love questions, btw. If you ever have a question for us, throw it out in the FB group! Or ask it here in the comments.
So, you know there are six of us 7Sisters, right? Sabrina, Vicki, Kym, Marilyn, Allison and Sara. So who’s the 7th Sister? YOU are!
We Answer Your Questions #1: How did the 7Sisters meet?
7Sisters Allison is Sabrina’s older sister.
Allison thinks that Sabrina is a perfect sister! And vice versa.
When Vicki’s family first moved from Florida to Pennsylvania…
They started homeschooling and joined the local homeschool support group: Tri-State Homeschool Network. Vicki loves getting involved so she jumped in on the first Mom’s Meeting that she could. The topic was: The Theology of Toothpaste (for real…there was a chemist and that is what he talked about).
Vicki’s family loved Tri-State’s field trips and meetings. So when they needed to find new officers, she volunteered for the nominating committee. However, NO ONE would accept the nomination! There was no one to be president, so Vicki volunteered to run for president. And since there was no competition, she was quickly in charge of this large organization.
On the other hand, she was able to convince another newbie to take on the vice-president role. That person turned out to be 7Sister Marilyn! They worked together from then on and synched so well that soon they created a homeschool co-op. They have been working together for decades and their children grew up almost like siblings.
Kym met Sabrina when her kids joined Sabrina’s homeschool choir
As we all know, Sabrina is the mom-cool one. She was so cool that Kym’s kids thought she was the BEST! Sabrina soon asked for volunteers to help out with the choir so Kym volunteered. (Funny story, Allison also helped out with the choir so Kym would often see Sabrina and Allison together. However, it was two years before she found out they were sisters!)
Kym actually met Vicki and Marilyn at a How to Get Started Homeschooling conference BEFORE she even thought about homeschooling
A friend had asked her to attend the workshop with her. So Kym, always being up for adventure, went along- although she had no intention of homeschooling at that time. Soon afterwards, her third grader asked her to start homeschooling and that was that!
Vicki and Marilyn met Sara when they started a youth group for homeschool teens
This was back in the earlier days of homeschooling when it was hard to find other homeschooling teens to hang out with. Even at church, homeschooling families were often the only families of that educational kind. So they started the youth group so homeschool high schoolers had someone to hang out with. Sara’s sons attended and made friends with Vicki and Marilyn’s kids.
Sara quickly joined in and was always the quiet volunteer at the youth group. She was especially marvelous at handling money well- down to the penny. That is why she handles the finances for 7Sisters today.
Vicki and Sabrina started a cinematography club for their teens who asked for it
Sara’s sons joined along with their kids to learn to make films!
Soon we were all co-oping together, then a homeschool umbrella school!
As you can see- innovation is our thing. That’s how our official company name is 7Sisters Innovative Homeschool Helps! And we are sisters in Jesus…and in our desire to build things together.
A word of encouragement about starting things:
We 7Sisters have always innovated, not because we were good at things, but because we learned not to be afraid of mistakes. We wanted to model for our kids the process of trying and learning together, a growth mindset. That is why Vicki’s favorite quote is a guide for us:
Anything worth doing is worth doing badly. -G.K. Chesterton
We have no pride left because we have been embarrassed so often, but our kids have learned the power of failing forward. They had so many adventures and learned lots!
We Answer Your Questions #2: What did homeschooling do for our families? What did we get right? What did we get wrong?
That is a big question!
Sabrina: Homeschooling laid an unshakeable foundation that we should learn to learn.
All of her kids learned how to learn. They each learned in different ways. Thus they learned to learn in the ways they liked best. Not only that, but they learned to learn even in situations that were not optimal for them. They also learned to ask for help when they needed it and to find and use resources available to them.
Vicki: Homeschooling developed the ability and right of her kids to know what they are good at and enjoy it.
Also, they learned to develop to ability to do the things they are not good at and do not like.
Not only that, they learned to join, to get involved in community and contribute to it!
Kym: Homeschooling gave her kids the time to explore and develop their passions
Homeschooling gave them time to find out whether their passions would be good choices for careers or simply avocations.
Also, Kym loved the depth of spiritual growth she experienced with her Sisters. They are all different flavors of Christians but they prayed and grew together over the years.
Things we got right:
- Sara’s Financial Literacy from a Christian Perspective! Life changing for our teens!
- Time for the Arts: Drama, Choirs, dance classes. all kinds of music. Not only classes but integrated into curriculum, field trips and projects.
- Allowing teens to not do extracurriculars that they do not like.
- Respecting and giving time for interests and questions… which led to respecting their requests for a philosophy curriculum: Philosophy in Four Questions
- Field trips!!! (even if it was a dump of a field trip like a visit to the local sewage treatment plant)
- The relationships our kids created
- Vicki’s Human Development text in co-op…and ALL the conversations
- Leveling up credits in meaningful ways for the college-bound teens
Things we got wrong:
- So many things…good thing we have Jesus! Here are a few:
- Organization (some of us) and time management
- Sometimes not allowing the introvert kids enough time for introvert recharging
- For several of us, math instruction was not our strength (and many of our teens graduated before there were online classes)
- Feeling guilty about all the things we could not do (such as Vicki needing to be a working mom so not being with her kids as much as she wanted)
- Sometimes allowing some church or homeschool cultural norms to guide, when we did not agree with certain norms. That taught fear of man to the kids. It took a while for us to begin to stand up to the culture we did not agree with.
We Answer Your Questions #3: What has parenting looked like for that time right after graduation
Vicki shared that she had had the illusion that once her teens graduated from high school, that she would never feel stressed about them again. BOY, was that wrong. She found that one never outgrows caring about the kids- even when they are independent, successful adults.
Kym shared that it was quite a challenge allowing her graduates to be adults- to see them as adults. She grew to appreciate watching them develop new roles and communicate in different ways. It is important to allow them to tell you what you got right and wrong.
Sabrina shared that graduation is rewarding. On the other hand it is humbling because, no matter how well you did there will be holes in the education.
We Answer Your Questions #4: What advice would you give your 7th Sisters?
Sabrina: Homeschooling does not prevent physical or mental health issues. Sometimes around the late teen years, mental health issues will show up. Watch them and make sure resources were available. Be more concerned about health than their success.
Kym: Transition advice for moms: Have an Omega mom event when your youngest graduates. In fact, cherish all the transitions through the homeschooling years.
Vicki: You can do this! You are not going to do GOOD enough…you’re just going to do good enough and that’s good enough. Set goals but understand you cannot make it perfect. So keep rolling your works on God, who is a God of redemption. Thus: trust God and reach out to your homeschool sisters!
Thanks for being our 7th Sisters all these 300 episodes! Join us for more episodes to come! We are glad to have this homeschooling adventure together, Sisters!
Also, thanks to our podcast editor, Seth Tillman! And by the way, did you catch our 100th episode when we celebrated by asking homeschool grads to send us voice memos about what they are doing now.
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HSHSP_300.mp3 (1:04:02, 74MB)