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So, say you've been rolling along with this homeschool thing for years... You've managed to teach the kids to read, had a blast doing hands-on projects and engaging unit studies, and managed to max-out the educational value of even your most-fun vacations. Arriving at the middle school portal, you've tweaked your approach and curriculum to their learning style, when all-of-a-sudden, it's here.
High-school looms around the corner! "Oh no," you think, "now what?"
Well, let me introduce you to TED...
Many families who started homeschooling when their kids were young weren't necessarily thinking this far down the road. As a matter of fact, many parents I know - myself included - started homeschooling with the intent of sending their children back to "the system" when high school arrived, intending, of course, for them to get a "real " education.
Well, I think I can also say that by the time these years roll around, these same parents realize that the "real" education is not to be had "out there." But it still begs the question "How do I handle high school?"
Let me present a different approach to that subject.
While your teenager may very well be college-bound and thus be required to cover certain subjects, there are far more important skills that should be presented to help your teen be prepared for life on their own. These TED talks cover foundational principles to help your teen enter the larger world around them with confidence. So here they are:
10 TED Talks You Need to Watch With Your Teen Before Graduation
How to Speak So That People Will Listen
1. I know many adults that could benefit from this talk. This goes far beyond the public speaking course that your student may be required to take their freshman year - this is character training that describes a true life skill.
How Frustration can Make Us More Creative
2. Dealing with frustration is part-and-parcel of life. In our culture of immediate gratification and internet-instant information, if our kids can learn how to creatively deal with the "unexpected advantages of dealing with a little mess"....well, can you just imagine?!?
How Great Leaders Inspire Action
3. How awesome it would be to see your own son or daughter become an inspirational leader in years to come!
The Surprising Science of Happiness
4. I'm not saying that the ultimate aim of life should be happiness, but it is true that a positive, happy outlook on life does make a difference on many, many levels... Actually, if you have a child struggling with "what do I do for the rest of my life...watch this one a few times... (Note: He does talk from an evolutionary perspective.)
How to Spot a Liar
5. Face it: the world is full of liars and hoaxsters. Knowing how to recognize them can help your student be "in the world, but not of it."
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The Happy Secret to Better Work
6. This guy is a great speaker! We, too, might need to change the way we define happiness and success. The "happiness advantage" works to give us advantages on oh-so-many levels... He also presents some practical, real-life activities to incorporate to re-train our counter-productive thoughts patterns.
Looks Arent' Everything - Believe Me: I'm a Model
7. This talk - given by an absolutely gorgeous model - is totally relevant for both our sons AND daughters. It's so important to deal honestly with the issues of appearance, femininity, race, beauty, and image. (Note: there is some "skin" and suggestive poses from her own modeling shots in this, so you may want to preview it before showing your sons. But the message...oh, the message...) Make sure you talk about this one together - it's great fodder for discussion!
What Makes a Good Life? Lessons From the Longest Study on Happiness
8. He describes a fascinating Harvard study started in 1938 that tracks the correlation of relationships and, well, life. His lesson is simple and true.
Why The Best Hire Might Not Have the Best Resume
9. Our kids are under such pressure to succeed. Encourage them to take note of the "scrapper's" characteristics here. However you define the concept of success, this is so encouraging to anyone who struggles with adversity.
How to Stay Calm When You're Stressed
10. Practical, scientifically-based insights and suggestions to help minimize stress in your life. Your teen may not be able to identify with some of the examples given, but in those cases, you may want to have a post-video discussion of some of his or her current stresses, or suggest some that might come up during college or their new job, or in future relationships, or...and how they might deal with them ahead of time.
It bears repeating: these aren't the type of videos to have the kids watch while you go fold laundry. These are all watch-'em-together and talk-about-them-afterward videos. Use them to engage with your teen!
What other qualities or character traits do you think are important for your child to learn as he or she prepares for life after high-school? What other TED talks would you recommend? Share them in the comments!
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You may also be interested in taking a look at the companion post to this: TED Talks for Aspiring Student Leaders.
Read every part of the series: An Easy Guide to Homeschooling High School
Part 1 - Get a Plan
Part 2 - The Power of Creative Electives