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This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: How to Teach High School Health Class.
How to Teach High School Health Class
I remember when my teens were homeschooling high schoolers had to cover their required Health credits. The textbooks we had to choose from were BORING. My teens complained. I can’t stand trying to teach my kids from a boring textbook, so we mostly made Health happen in our own way- but it was a lot of work for me.
Most homeschool high schoolers will need either half credit or whole credit of Health for their homeschool transcript. SO why not make it a course that really gave them skills for life (and with a text they actually liked)? It took us a while, but we finally put together all the things we had come up with for our teens and field tested it on local teens. That’s how we came up with High School Health for the Whole Person.
Finally a text that is meaningful!
There are a number of homeschool co-ops that are teaching Health to their high schoolers this year. They were asking for suggestions, so we put together this podcast episode.
Tips for Teaching High School Health Class
First, teens often ask what the difference is between Anatomy and Physiology and Health? Anatomy and Physiology concentrates on all the body systems and how they work. Lots of explanation and memorization. This is an important course for teens who are planning on a medical or nursing major in college.
Health, on the other hand, is a more holistic course. Health gives an overview of the physical systems, but not the in-depth treatment of Anatomy and Physiology.
A good Health curriculum covers not only the body, but also the way the brain and emotions work, relationship skills, self-care and spiritual care. It will help teens make healthy choices and ways to stay safe in our current culture.
BTW- One way to help teens to internalize their Health curriculum (and building a healthy lifestyle) is to model healthy lifestyle for your teens. Health credit years are a good time to get the entire family recalibrated to some good self-care!
Start the class with some thought-provoking questions that you can ask yourself and your teens (judgement free):
- How would God like for me to treat me?
- What small activities can I incorporate into my life for spiritual development?
- Are there practical activities can I add to cognitive/mental development?
- What are some ways I can build some strong emotional health?
- Can I find some healthy role models outside the family (at church, co-op, etc) and/or in the digital world that help build healthy lifestyle? (Especially if it can be fun ways to get healthy?)
Use a syllabus.
You can download the free syllabus for High School Health for the Whole Person to help your teens organize their study.
Have check-ins and question-and answer-sessions in class (again, judgement free). Ask questions like:
- How do you feel about junk food?
- How do they realistically balance fun junk food and healthy food?
- What does digital health look like for them?
- If you need help with this, check out LeahNieman.com. (Check out this Homeschool Highschool Podcast interview with Leah about what’s good and bad with tech for teens.)
- On the other hand, our teens are digital natives and are usually very comfortable in the digital world. Ask how they stop doom scrolling or another and another YouTube video.
Take the class out for a walk in a local state park and/or go for family hikes on the weekend
Go to new places! One cool thing about going to new places is it creates deeper bonding. Don’t forget to log Phys Ed hours it the same time. While you are at it, if you do some nature observation, you can log some Biology lab hours, too!
There are other physical movement Health activities you can do with the class
- Do some yard work together and log those hours for Phys Ed, too.
- Do ballroom dance lessons (it is a good life skill for future wedding events).
- In hot weather do some swimming or tubing.
Other Health class activities you can lead
- Write some Poetry as a class. Don’t make it all serious, just make it fun. Poetry has been found to be good for the Health.
- Watch some videos each class and discuss as a group.
- Have teens journal their sleep habits and observe what kinds of sleep habits make them actually feel better. Discuss what is working for them in class.
- Teach a time management lesson.
- Bring in a CPR and First Aid teacher from Red Cross.
- More activities for teaching Health in this post.
How do you grade students in Health class?
There’s not one right way. Grade in the best way for your homeschool high schoolers. You can choose:
- Tests only
- Include scores for completed homework
- Add bonus points for class participation
- You can also add extra credit for completed journal or logged activity hours
BTW- For more life skills that are part of a healthy lifestyle, check out our friends at Life Skills 101 Podcast with our friend, Lisa Nehrig.
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