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Friday, December 1, 2023




Homeschooling in High School is so different from the younger grades. I love that high school is so much more independent, especially when they are taking a few Dual Enrollment classes at our local community college. My teens are learning adult soft skills as they manage their time using checklists I and their professors give them.

That said, I am more of a manager than a teacher at this stage. I have to be so much more intentional about meeting with them and staying involved.

We have instituted a weekly meeting with mom. It was through our weekly meeting that I realized in high school homeschool I've gone from being their day to day teacher to essentially their manager. A good manager checks in often to monitor quality of work and maintain good relationships. A good manager doesn't do the work for you, but they give you tools and encouragement to do your work well.

This meeting is to make space for them to learn how to discuss and summarize what they are studying. I have caught items they forgot to do or didn't schedule correctly. I encourage them to look ahead and start planning for the next thing.

The transition of homeschooling high schoolers is a hard one at times. The first few years of high school were actually a little heartbreaking. I miss the snuggling on the couch and reading picture books together. I miss being THE teacher they came to with questions. I had to mourn that stage of homeschooling before I could move on. But they grow up, and this is the natural next step. Now, they teach ME about what they are studying. We have even deeper discussions about history and the Bible. They are also taking math class that is way beyond what I took in high school.

My job isn't to help with the content but the context. How do they communicate with their professor? How are they feeling about the workload and dealing with the stress?

It is ok and even healthy to mourn what was, but now I am thankful and prayerful of how to be a good manager of my homeschooling high schoolers.

Monday, September 25, 2023

Financial Reality Check: Personal Finance and Budgeting Workbook for Beginners/Teens

Financial Reality Check:
Personal Finance and Budgeting Work for Beginners/Teens

 Financial Reality Check is the practical personal finance book I wanted for my own sons and couldn't find, so I created it!

This finance curriculum gives junior and senior high school students the opportunity to experience some of the financial challenges they will face with independent living. The goal of this eye-opening personal finance experience is to give students a glimpse into what costs they can expect and to help them learn to take responsibility for personal financial decisions with the use of a Monthly Budget.

Students begin the book by taking personal inventories to help them chose from a list of entry level positions in 16 career fields. Job options also include information regarding the education level needed to obtain that position and if health benefits are provided. 

Students will then identify their tax bracket and calculate their monthly take home pay. 

Using their monthly take home pay students will work through several Expense Chapters where they make decisions about how to live independently while staying within their budget. For example, at the Housing Chapter they will be given several options including renting or buying, then must weigh the pros and cons of each. 

The reality check helps students become more aware of the true costs of living, including the many hidden costs they may not have considered, like renter’s insurance, mortgage rates, and utilities. They'll complete similar exercises in domains such as food, transportation, pets, maintenance, etc.

Some Skills Learned:

  • Identify how personal strengths and interests determine career choice
  • Identify how career choice, education, skills, entrepreneurship, and unexpected life events affect income
  • Identify tax bracket, gross versus net income, and employee health benefits
  • Calculating single and multi digit fractions, along with addition/subtraction needed in monthly budgeting
  • Responsibility for personal financial decisions with the use of a Monthly Budget
  • Identify the relationship between spending practices and achieving financial goals.

Friday, August 18, 2023

Discussing Current Events With Your Teen

Our High School History curriculum (Sonlight) asks the student learn about 2 to 3 current events a week.

Before we begin that process we must learn about bias and credibility. 

Today we went over AllSides Media Bias Chart (below), then Ad Fontes Media Bia (which also rates credibility, bias doesn’t dictate credibility, but is important to be aware of).

I have asked my sons to look up one U.S event and one World Event each week. They will read an online article in a center, left leaning, and right leaning reliable news source about that event. After reading about the event in three different sources they talk to me about the event.

I hope this will not only broaden their perspective of what is happening outside of the United States, but also make them more critical thinkers when consuming news.

Below I have typed their instructions for each week.


1. Use Ad Fontes Media Bias to find credible sources

2. Pick an event from a Center Reliable News Source 

*One from U.S.A

*One from the World News

3.Using the All Sides Media Bias Chart: Read an ONLINE WRITTEN article about the event from: 

*Center Credible Source  

*Left Leaning Credible  Source

*Right Leaning Credible Source

>All Sides Media chart does not rate accuracy or credibility. A publication can be accurate, yet biased. Unless otherwise noted, these bias ratings are based on online written content, not TV, radio, or broadcast content.<

Note that sometimes different sources will not cover all events, which can also reveal bias.  

4. Talk to Parent at weekly meeting about what you learned

Saturday, August 12, 2023



My teenagers opened a checking account today. I gave them instructions before walking in on what to say to the teller, then stood back. 

Once one boy was unsure of an answer, looking at me, but I didn't jump in to answer and I let him fumble a bit until he got to the right answer. Once he had to ask the bank worker to clarify what they were asking.  

They needed me for a signature, but I did not speak except for a few times when the bank worker asked me direct questions.

Stand back. 

Don't jump in.

Let your teens fumble. 

They've got this, and if they don't, they will learn.

Thursday, July 27, 2023

Friendly Driver's Education


Paying for Driver's Education for twin boys was cost prohibitive for our family. I have purchased Friendly Driver's Education for our boys and am supplementing with videos from YouTube (Syllabus and link below).

We are enjoying the scope and sequence of this book. Just like Friendly Biology, the information is relevant but readable. The graphics are well laid out with helpful review questions at the end of each chapter. I practically like that they have to learn how a car work before they jump into the actual driving.  

I developed an independent study syllabus to go along the Friendly Driver's Education textbook. My boys are responsible for scheduling driving lessons with us to complete their 40 hours of driving. 

Driving Lessons- Our state, Indiana, requires 40 hours of driving with a licensed driver before they can get their license  We are using the log provided and have purchased several traffic cones for parking and driving drills. We are using Driving Skills Checklist as guide for our driving lessons together.

Student Driver magnets are a must!

Friendly Driver’s Education Syllabus
You as the student are responsible for finishing this syllabus. Lessons 1-20 must be completed by your 16th birthday. If you need to do a practical or driving lesson, it is your job to schedule it with mom or dad.



Chapter 1: Read pages 1-5 Key and Starter


Chapter 1: Read pages 6-11 Ignition Switch and Battery

Understanding the Car Gauges 

Dashboard Lights


Chapter 1: pages 12-14 Ch 1 Review Questions 


Chapter 2: Read pages 15-20 Fuel Tank and Engine

Under the Hood


Practical Lesson- Fill Gas Tank and/or Check Car Fluids


Chapter 2: Read pages 21-24 Brake System

How to use Turn signal, lights, and horn


Chapter 2: Read pages 25-27  Ch 2 Review Questions 


Chapter 3: Read pages 29-32 Transmission 

Staying Centered in your lane

Staying Centered in the Lane (UK, optional)

Video 2


Chapter 3: Read pages 33-35 Automatic Transmission & Emergency Brake

How to drive an Automatic car


Chapter 3: pages 37-39 Ch 3 Review Questions 

Road Signs


Chapter 4: Read pages 41-46  Steering and Cooling System (stop at Exhaust Systems)

How to Back up Safely using Mirrors 

Using Mirrors


Chapter 4: Read pages 46-52 Alternator and Exhaust Systems (beginning at Exhaust Systems)


Chapter 4: pages 53-55 Ch 4 Review Questions 


Chapter 5: Read pages 57-62 The Lighting System 


Chapter 5: pages 63-65 ch 5 Review Questions 


Chapter 6: pages 67-70 Preparing to take your written exam


Chapter 6: pages 71-73 ch 6 Review Questions


Chapter 7: pages 75-82  Getting behind the wheel

Driving Class 101 

How to Steer


Chapter 7: pages 83-85 ch 7 Review Questions 

Driving Class 102


Chapter 8: pages 87-94 Starting the Engine and Making the First Drive

Driving Class 103


Chapter 8: pages 95-97 ch 8 Review Questions

Get Driver’s Permit from Indiana DMV

Parking Tips for New Drivers

Where to park


Driving Lesson in parking lot- beginner skills

Parking Lot Drills, will need traffic cones

Begin Driver’s Log-

Parking Space Tutorial &

Parking in Reverse


Chapter 9: pages 99-105 (stop at Navigating turns) 

Driving Class 104

Make a U Turn

Make a Right Turn

Left Turns


Chapter 9: 105-110 (begin at Navigating turns) 

Parallel Parking in 3 easy steps


Chapter 9: pages 111-113 ch 9 Review Questions 

Three Point Turn

3 point turn 


Driving Lesson- navigating turns - beginner skills

How to Change Lanes

Passing Rules


Chapter 10: pages 115-122 (stop at entering or exiting a highway)

Merging onto Highway


Chapter 10: pages 122-127 (stop at entering or exiting a highway)

Merging onto High way part1 


Chapter 10: pages 128-130 Ch 10 Review Questions

Merging onto Highway part 2


Driving Lesson- Merging onto Highway (if ready)


Chapter 11: pages 131-135 Round-abouts and one-way streets

Top Ten Driving Mistakes


Chapter 11: pages 136-141 Rural Roads

Driving Downhill


Chapter 11: pages 142-144 ch 11 Review Questions 


Driving lesson- one way streets, rural roads


Chapter 12: pages 145-152 Stopping for emergency vehicles and signs 

Driving Tips 


Chapter 12: pages 153-155 ch 12 Review Questions

Using a Roundabout 

Roundabout Rules

Traffic Circles


Driving Lesson


Chapter 13: pages 157-164 Stopping Distance and safe driving 

Traffic Stop, Part 1

Traffic Stop, Part 2


Chapter 13:  pages 165-167 Review Questions 


Driving Lesson


Chapter 14:  pages 169-179


Chapter 14: pages 180-182  ch 14 Review Questions


Driving Lesson


Chapter 15: pages 183-185 The Driving test


Chapter 15: pages 186-188


Driving Lesson


Chapter 16: pages 189- 198 Car maintenance Part 1


Chapter 16: pages 199-201 ch 16 Review Questions


Driving Lesson- fill up tank of gas, check fluids


Chapter 17: pages 203-207 (stop at dealing with dead battery)


Chapter 17: 208-214 (start at dealing with dead battery)


Chapter 17 pages 215-217 ch 17 Review Questions 

Charging a Battery with Jumper Cables


Driving Lesson- 


Practical Lesson- Learn to jump start a dead battery


Chapter 18: pages 219- 224 (stop at dealing with minor collision) Changing a flat


Chapter 18: pages 224-228 (start at dealing with minor collision


Chapter 18: pages 228-230  ch 18 Review Questions 


Driving Lesson


Practical Lesson change a tire


Chapter 19: pages 231-238 Automobile Insurance 


Chapter 19: pages 239-241  ch 19 Review Questions


Driving Lesson


Practical Lesson Research automobile Insurance

Chapter 20: pages 243-252  Purchasing a vehicle 

Chapter 20: pages 252-254 ch 20 Review Questions 

Driving Lesson

Chapter 21: pages 255

YOUR STATE'S DRIVER’S MANUAL- starts studying for written exam