How a Project Based Approach Encourages Big Exploration

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When it comes to homeschooling high school, do you have any big dreams for your teens? Maybe you know you want something beyond the norm in high school, but you aren’t sure where to begin. Extraordinary experiences make a dynamic and memorable homeschool high school experience and your teen will gain valuable skills and opportunities as a result. How a Project Based Approach Encourages Big Exploration is the story of how big things happen when you allow your teen to dream.

How a Project Based Approach Encourages Big Exploration- Teen Girl in Beekeeper gear working with bees

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Last week we talked about getting started with project based courses in our homeschool. Sometimes it’s hard to think about the possibilities.

This week I’m sharing a story from Robin, who is a student of mine inside Homeschooling High School by Design and Dream Big & Take Action: Goal Conquering for Teens.

I’d been following along with her daughter Annie’s story knowing they were learning from the class, but I didn’t realize her adventure was a direct result of taking the course until I asked how things were going.

If you and your teen have ever imagined taking on a big learning experience in high school, you have to read Annie’s story.

You’ll be inspired.

Project Based Learning in High School Starts with a Big Idea

How a Project Based Approach Encourages Big Exploration- beekeeping supplies

So, here’s what happened.

I was able to finish your “Homeschooling High School by Design” course in June last year.

I was really inspired to make some changes in my homeschool as a result.

My older two had graduated at that point. We enjoyed their home education, and both are doing what they want to be doing, I knew that my younger students are very different learners from their older siblings, so I wanted to have a high school experience that was a little more tailored for my younger two.

Annie was a rising freshman. I went to her and basically said, “Hey, you have spent your entire science education in textbooks. Let’s get out of there.”

I showed her Rebecca’s project journal, talked about some science-y project-based learning ideas that I had, and asked her to think it over and let me know what she might want to do.

I was expecting to have to pester her for an answer in a couple of weeks, but no!

She was ready on the spot.

“I want to be a bee keeper.”

Project Based Learning Means Commitment to Adventure

How a Project Based Approach Encourages Big Exploration- young beekeeper at work

I was not prepared for that.

We spent some time looking into that to make sure it was something we could actually do. It was.

Annie made a two-year commitment.

She started taking a bee keeping course in September. She’s also taken a couple of “rabbit trail” classes, like Gardening for Pollinators, and Landscaping with Native Plants.

In January, we ordered her bees, and began buying supplies.

We wanted to have everything she needed, including an Epi-Pen, by the time they arrived.

She had to paint her hives to weather-proof them, and helped her dad build a “bee yard wall” that was sturdy enough to stop soccer balls before they got into the bee yard, and attractive enough to meet with her parents’ aesthetic.

We picked up her bees on the Sunday before Mother’s Day. She installed them in the hive, which of course wasn’t as easy as it looks.

Since then she has been feeding (necessary this time of year), providing water, and other tasks.

She has a veil and suit, a smoker, and all those other fashion accessories.

She’ll do her first monthly hive inspection next week.

Project Based Work Requires Immersion in a Topic

How a Project Based Approach Encourages Big Exploration- bee box with bees inside

She’s joined our local bee keeping club, and is looking for a mentor.

She does have a project journal, which includes class notes, art she’s made, records of books and magazines she’s read, photos she’s taken, and YouTube videos she’s watched. She’s also begun journaling her thoughts and feelings about bee keeping.

She has done lots of independent research.

Bee keeping definitely has some challenges, but it’s a good fit for her – there are creatures to care for, and it links with her love for gardening and her art, and there’s also a strong literary tie which is important to her.

It also requires mental discipline, perseverance, and emotional control – bees are great for pushing your boundaries.

Next year she hopes to be part of the bee keeper program at our local botanical gardens, which will involve public speaking. She’s already able to talk quite knowledgeably about bees. It is an application process, though.

Project Based High School Courses Need Parent Mentors

Although I have been involved in a supervisory capacity, she’s doing this on her own.

She chose her learning and is owning it.

She’s become a pretty passionate “bee protector.”

Heather, I am so grateful for your courses. What a marvelous impact you’ve had on our homeschool!

One thing I would change: I wish your kids were older than mine and that I had started learning from you way back when mine were in preschool.


Homeschooling High School by Design Membership

Woman leaning against a text box with the words I'm on a mission to help you homeschool high school with peace & confidence

Homeschooling High School by Design Membership means having a mentor by your side as you build a unique approach to high school.

Up till now, the coaching was only available for the first course, Homeschooling High School by Design.

Now I’m offering the coaching to include Homeschooling for College by Design as well.

AND, because I’m spreading out the coaching, the price is affordable.

Members will pay only $20 a month for two 2 hour live coaching calls a month, plus a private Facebook group for questions and challenges.

If you’ve never taken either course before, the sign up fee is $205 which includes the first month’s membership and both high school courses. Then it’s $20/month for as along as the experience is valuable to you.

If you have taken one or both of the courses, your cost will be reduced and I’ll be in touch to send out the coupons.

After a year, I know that the coaching makes the self-paced classes such a personal experience! I love helping you all to work with your teens and to make homeschooling high school the best it can be.

For $20 a month you can have a small group coaching with me and we’ll travel along the year long academic cycle together! You’ll know what to do when as we approach each part of the year.

Get help with:

  • planning your high school year- so you can tailor your unique teen’s courses
  • implementing project based high school courses- with help from me
  • adjusting your high schooler’s schedule- so you know much is enough
  • keeping high school records- and understanding grading policies
  • benchmarking high school work- so you know what’s appropriate for high school classes
  • building a high school transcript- and using the professional transcript builder inside the course
  • navigating college selection- and the Common App as a homeschooling parent
  • using dual enrollment for high school and college credit
  • writing killer college entrance essays- so your student’s essay will be remembered in a stack of thousands
  • preparing for college entrance exams- and knowing which one to have your student take and when
  • applying to art and design schools
  • applying to service academies, Ivy League schools, and other competitive admission schools

We will do ALL of this and more inside both Homeschooling High School by Design and Homeschooling for College by Design and inside the membership. Some topics are only available to coaching students and are the most common questions my students have!

Head here to purchase your membership or get on the waiting list so you can sign up for all this homeschooling high school goodness and I always have an earlybird special you don’t want to miss!

In the meantime, I’m going to share with you how Annie can use her beekeeping project on her transcript and college application resume.

Stay tuned!

Subscribe to Get More Project Based Learning Support

I’m all about helping you and your teens to find those Out-of-the-Box experiences that will help them to thrive in your homeschool.

Are you ready to bust some myths on working with teens who don’t quite fit the academic mold?

Sign up and I’ll show you how!


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