Open Doors for Your Students

One spring I offered to teach a group of students a Creative Writing course. Some of my students wrote about hobbies or pets.  Some of the boys wrote about their Civil War battle reenactments. Regardless of topic, each student was intrigued by the course’s end product––an actual printed and bound book, authored by them! The students then entered their finished books in our state fair. They were delighted when most were awarded either blue or red ribbons.

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My girls had been just 12 and 10 when we left public education. As we prepared for our new type of learning, we happened upon what we felt was a brilliant idea! As a business owner/operator, I recognized the value of an adult’s work résumé. We then reasoned, why not have the girls create a similar educational résumé? Soon, with appropriate modifications, we were doing exactly that.

I have since authored my own book. It is entitled Open Doors. To be more precise, it is actually a hybrid––a text/workbook for middle and highschoolers. In it, I outline our educational résumé method. Throughout, the text incorporates creative coursework. Novel approaches, like the class mentioned above, kept our learning fresh and exciting.

I first identified four areas I wanted to purposefully develop. These were interwoven throughout the traditional school subjects. My daughters then built upon them every year thereafter. Meanwhile, I emphasized hands–on learning and the acquisition of real–world skills.

Jessica was the first to graduate. We were ecstatic to learn that she had been awarded a full four–year university scholarship! Not surprisingly, her résumé was the primary reason. It had made her stand out from among thousands of applicants. Our schooling had worked––and worked well.

Other parents soon wanted to know our “secret.” That birthed the idea of Open Doors.  Now complete, its goal is simple: to pass along to others––like you––what worked so well for us. You, too, want a school experience that prepares you for a successful life. Open Doors can help you do that!

Open Doors is ultimately a life skills curriculum. It emphasizes character building and vocational competence. It helps you acquire necessary practical skills. These include preparing for a job interview and how to dress for it. It also provides guides to develop leadership, entrepreneurial and “project management” skills. With these, you are better positioned for job, scholarship and volunteer opportunities.

Open Doors is available at my Common Sense Curriculum website. Downloadable resources will also soon be added, free of charge. They are designed to save you time and effort. I encourage you to get a copy today. And once you do, please let me know what you think!

Cynthia Hill is a former small business owner/operator and homeschooling parent. Since moving professionally into the public policy arena, she has advised on policy matters in all 50 state legislatures, at the federal level and on cases headed to the Supreme Court. She has consulted for pro-family organizations and start-ups from numerous foreign countries. Cynthia regularly advises and collaborates with national and state leaders regarding organizational and legislative strategic planning and policy issues in the news.

Previously, Cynthia served as Senior Director of State and Local Affairs at the Family Research Council (FRC) in Washington, D.C. There, she was primary liaison to a nationwide network of state Family Policy Councils and similarly-minded entities. Prior to her work at FRC, Cynthia was a researcher and lobbyist in the Virginia General Assembly for the Family Foundation of Virginia. She later accepted the position of Vice-President of Development.

Cynthia earned undergraduate degrees in Religion and Human Services and a Masters in (Social and Domestic) Public Policy. She has authored and taught a variety of curricula in volunteer capacities and online at the collegiate level. Her most recent is entitled Open Doors, a multi–year, single text curriculum for middle through high schoolers who want to develop personal opportunities for jobs, scholarships and volunteer and leadership positions. She is currently finalizing a book about family violence in America entitled Voiceless.

Cynthia is also founder of Common Sense, an education and policy model designed to inform and equip “grassroots” citizens, policy novices and public officials about issues relating to the protection and preservation of faith, family, fiscal responsibility and freedom via a Judeo-Christian worldview.