How to Plan a Unique Project Based High School Course

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If you are homeschooling high school then you know what a big deal it is to keep your teen focused. What if you have a teen who does not fit the conventional bill? It can be a constant struggle to work with high schoolers when they don’t seem to fall into line. What if you could homeschool high school differently? How to Plan a Unique Project Based High School Course shares ideas and resources to help you turn what you think are learning obstacles into learning opportunities instead. Let’s get started!

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My mission is to help you homeschool high school with peace and confidence.

Earning high school credits through a project based format is part of the plan for our high schoolers.

If you have teens who want to pursue dreams or teens who want to, but don’t know where to begin, this is for you.

I even have resources for you if your teen has no idea where to start.

Let’s get to the heart of the matter!

How Does Homeschooling High School with Project Based Learning Work?

How to Plan a Unique Project Based High School Course- high schooler dyeing fabric
The original use of our N95 masks. The Dharma dyes are to easily aspirated in the powder form before they are dissolved in water.fabric

You might be wondering how authentic project work fits into a high schooler’s carefully curated high school academics.

Have you ever asked any of these?

  • Where do you begin planning a course like this?
  • Are these kinds of courses ok for college bound students?
  • How do I present these courses on a transcript?
  • When do you make time for a project based course in the midst of a demanding high school schedule?
  • Can a non-traditional course teach enough to make it worthwhile for your high schooler?
  • How do I keep track of a project based class and how in the world do you assign a grade?

You know I have answers!

I’ll talk about a few now and I’ll point you to more information for later.

Exploring a Project Based Course with Your High Schooler

How to Plan a Unique Project Based High School Course- dyed fabric hanging on a clothesline
The hand dyed fabric drying- do you see that batik I made that I used on my plant journal cover? Along with Rebecca’s attempt at a gradient in a knit fabric

Think about how you might explore a project based course with your teen.

Sit down with your teens and talk about something they are interested in and want to explore in detail.

  • Learn the scope of the project- is it a big or small one?
  • List what your teen already knows on the topic.
  • Make a list of what your teen wants to know about the topic.
  • Find out how your teen can learn more- have your teen do the same. Don’t be reserved on this one. The sky is the limit. You can take a more serious pass later.
  • Practice relentless curiosity- there are always opportunities and experiences for your teens to participate in authentic learning. You simply need to do research, explore, and be bold in reaching out.
  • Compile your information- and watch a course take shape. Your teen’s course will be made up of a variety of different experiences to make a whole project based course.

This is the starting place.

It does not require a lot of money and not even a lot of time to get started with this part of the exercise.

The thing is this. You and your teen need to be willing to seek out experiences and as the parent, you have to believe that these experiences will ultimately meet your expectations for learning in the high school years.

It’s the tip of the iceberg!

I have more reading for you and more teaching as well.

Coming soon, on May 27th, I’m holding a free webinar on Teaching Creative Teens in high school. Don’t miss this opportunity to put some of these things into practice! Subscribe below so you get an invitation!

For now, take a moment and do this simple activity with your teens.

Comment and tell me about it! What are your teens coming up with?

Stay tuned because soon I’m going to share a story of a teen who did this and is thriving with a new project in high school!

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More Resources for Project Based Courses

Dream Big & Take Action Course - college girl at a machine withdressform

Our high school thrives on helping our teens to dig into authentic learning. Two of our homeschool graduates are still learning in their project areas at university.

Our oldest studies Professional Writing at Purdue and our second graduate studies Fiber Science and Apparel Design at Cornell University.

The ability to be in the driver’s seat of their education in high school is helping them to navigate their academic life in college.

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