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Videography For High School

Updated on July 28, 2015

High School Video Editing with Paint Shop Pro

We are building our own videography course as an elective for my high school age son. We are using Corel Paint Shop Pro software along with his own video camera and imagination to put together a year long course.

There is a lot to learn and it was hard to come up with a plan. In the end, he fiddled with it over the summer and came up with his own list of questions to investigate as part of the course and now he is just starting to take video, put it on the computer, and manipulate it into something interesting. We came up with a simple video project assignment for him to start with.

This is so far out of my realm of knowledge that he is really self-teaching this course with a little back up from his oldest, very techno savvy, older brother. I am not sure how or if this course will be going on his transcript but I am keeping track of his time and his work on Homeschool Tracker. I may mold some sort of Robotics/Videography/Computer Tech sort of course to roll all his work into for official records. It is definitely a work in progress.

Follow along as we work on our projects!

Video Editing Software

Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo X2 Ultimate [Old Version]
Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo X2 Ultimate [Old Version]

This is the software we are using as the basis for the entire videography course. So far so good and the manual has been very helpful as a text.


Project Learning

I pay attention to the directions that my children's interests are taking. I observe and listen to what they are interested in learning about. I gather and offer materials, resources, and books that will spur them on in their projects. Sometimes this is part of our official school time and more often it is on their own free time that we pursue these sorts of projects.

Little Mini Tripod - Great for working with time lapse.

Flip Video Tripod
Flip Video Tripod

This little gadget is fun to have for moments where you want to be in the video or to take time lapse.

Videography Manual
Videography Manual

Project #1 Read the Manual

It always helps to have some direction before you get started and after we loaded the software Mr. B pulled out the manual and started reading. I had him keep a list of questions and then as he read he could find the answers. He also made a list of things he needed to still figure out after reading the manual and this he slipped into his notebook for reference.

I gave two weeks to fiddle around with the software, loading some video to fool around with. His brother helped him with a few of the answers but mostly he tried things to see how they worked.

At the end of two weeks we sat down and decided on his first real video assignment.

Making Audio Tracks for Videography
Making Audio Tracks for Videography

Project #2 Family Video

The first real video assignment was to make a video that showed every family member doing some of our favorite things.

Here were the instructions:

Make a video about things our family likes to do in their free time. It would be fun to have one section for each of us, including yourself. You will need to take video of each of the family members and edit the videos to fit together in some way that is entertaining and interesting.

1. Take lots of video of each family member so you have lots to work with. Choose the best sections to include in your family video.

2. Film yourself or someone else as the narrator and include some footage in your video.

3. Use several still images in your video as well.

4. Use titles and graphics as transitions.

5. Use music as part of the background layer.

Video Gallery

Here a few samples of the work my boys have done with their videography course.

Homeschooling Teens

I see the value of allowing our children time to keep exploring with different projects now that they are older and can do most of the work themselves.

Student Made Video - Great Example of Videography as Part of Homeschooling

Kristen at A Day in the Life shared her son's video project in Spring 2010 and it is really what inspired our family to get started with this activity.

Thanks Kristen for sharing your son's work!

Working on Videography history project
Working on Videography history project

Project #3 History Project

History Based Video Project on Ancient Egypt

This long project had multiple components. You can take the idea and apply it to any history subject your family is working on at the time or is interested in learning more about.

Make a video about Ancient Egypt. Choose three different topics to share.




Cats in Ancient Egypt



The Nile River

Science in Ancient Egypt


Anything else you can think of that relates to the topic.

1. Choose your three topics. Use information from your history study to make an outline for your video.

2. Find graphics or images to use. We talked about public domain and Creative Commons images.

3. Film yourself or someone else as the narrator and include some footage in your video.

4. Show images with narration.

5. Use titles and graphics as transitions.

Learning to use the microphone
Learning to use the microphone

Project #4 Producing a More Sophisticated Product

I found a great videography handout that I will be using to make a detailed plan for this last big project. I will come back and update our plans when we work through them. You can print this file out if you would like to have them for your videography course.

3-2-1 Action! Videography Handbook

This project will be based on these lessons on a topic of my son's choice. I am heavily going to try to persuade him to have it be based on a science topic perhaps showing experiments or demonstrations Mythbusters Style.

Components will include:

1. Storyboarding.

2. Script writing.

3. Camera work- zooming in, using a tripod, lighting.

4. Editing and adding in stills, captions, and voiceovers.

5. Producing a finished product that will be shown to the family.

Beginnings of a Storyboard

Beginnings of a Storyboard
Beginnings of a Storyboard

Additional Links That Have Proved Helpful

It took some digging on the internet but I did find some sources of lesson plans and ideas to use with our videography course.

Great Resource with a Terrible Title

Filmmaking for Teens: Pulling Off Your Shorts
Filmmaking for Teens: Pulling Off Your Shorts

We are using this as a resource for our videography course. So far, I like the concise guidelines outlined in the first few chapters for keeping your first video short and keeping to a deadline. I will write more when we finish this book at the end of the year.


Flip Video Review and Comparison

I would love to hear your comments.

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    • JanieceTobey profile image

      JanieceTobey 6 years ago

      What a fabulous idea for a course this is! Our homeschool co-op already has their classes selected for next year, but maybe we'll do one in Videography in 2012-2013. I bet we can include some videography components this coming year as part of our world geography and biology classes as well! I've already blessed and given a thumbs up to this page, so I can't give it another today, but I did want to say thanks for this wonderful idea! I'm planning to mention this page on my homeschooling resources site as well!

    • jimmielanley profile image

      Jimmie Lanley 7 years ago from Memphis, TN, USA

      I think that if CM were alive now, she would consider videography a modern handicraft. :-)

      Honestly, it is such a relevant skill to be able to manipulate video. I could learn a lot from that type of course, actually!