Have you thought about homeschooling your teenagers? If it’s something you’re considering, you’ll need to know a few crucial things before you get started. Homeschooling teens isn’t always easy, but it’s a rewarding job that can help them become more independent while they’re learning new things. It’ll reduce stress and leave your children with higher self-esteem and self-confidence. However, you’ll need to make sure you’re doing it right to have success with it.
1. Let Your Children Have a Voice
Always give your children a voice when they’re homeschooled. While they’re still your kids, they’re teenagers who are becoming more independent. They want to branch out on their own, try different things, and have their own opinions on various topics. It’s not always easy allowing your teens to take the lead, but it’s vital when you’re homeschooling them.
Listen to what they’re telling you, make sure they’re comfortable with what they’re doing, and get their opinions on different things. Your teens will appreciate knowing they can have a voice in your at-home classroom.
2. Create a Flexible Schedule to Eliminate Stress
While you might initially expect your teens to get up as early as they would to go to a traditional school, it’s more challenging than you might think. It’s unnecessary to get your children up too early for school, especially if they’re getting through their work within a few hours. A regular school day at a brick-and-mortar school is different because teens have longer lunch breaks and blocks of time spent in other classes.
When you’re homeschooling your teens, they might finish a lesson a bit sooner. If they’re finishing something a bit sooner, they’ll get to move on to the next lesson, meaning they’ll likely finish their work for the day in a few hours. Consider letting your teen sleep until a reasonable time before getting up, having breakfast, getting ready for the day, and getting started on school work. Each day doesn’t always have to be the same. You can begin at a later time one day and an earlier time on a different day. Do what works best for you and your teens.
3. You Need to Provide Plenty of Independent Opportunities
While you may be home with your teens while they’re learning, you need to provide them with plenty of independent opportunities. Despite being in the classroom with other students, most teens complete assignments by themselves, unless those assignments are group projects. If you encourage your teens to do the same, they’ll get better at each subject. They’ll realize that they can’t depend on you to do everything for them, but they can still rely on you for help as a teacher to them.
4. You Should Be There to Offer Support When Your Teens Need It
Make sure you’re available to offer support when your teens need it the most. If they have questions about something, provide the answers. If they need help because they’re struggling with a particular subject, don’t hesitate to jump in and help them out.
While you want to encourage independent learning, you don’t want your children to feel lost and fall behind. If you’re having difficulty understanding something that your teen needs to do, try to look online to get more information on the subject. You’ll notice there are plenty of forums available for homeschooling parents, including parents of teenagers.
5. Always Motivate Your Teen to Do Their Best
Motivation is vital for teenagers. You’ll have to understand that your teens aren’t always going to get excited about doing school work. There is a good chance they’re going to complain about it more often than not, but it’s perfectly normal. The best thing for you to do when your children aren’t up to doing their work is to motivate them. Let them know you’re proud of them and are happy to see the progress they’re making in different subjects.
You can also use a rewards system with your teenagers. While stickers and fruit snacks won’t work as they would with younger children, you can always reward your teens with something else. For example, you might tell them that you’ll take them out to dinner after a week of getting through their work with no problems. You can offer a special gift to your teens when they get good grades on exams. The goal is to give them something to look forward to each day. If they’re receiving encouragement from you, they’re going to feel more motivated to get their work done.
6. It Helps to Pick a Fun and Educational Curriculum to Follow
Always do some research on the curriculum you’re going to have your teenagers follow. It helps to choose something educational yet fun and engaging. Making learning fun isn’t just for young children. If you want your children to stay engaged in the curriculum, you’ll want to offer them hands-on experience and activities that will make things more enjoyable. Turn different lessons into life experiences.
7. Let Your Teens Have Breaks
While in a traditional school, students get breaks to eat lunch and relax before they head back to the classroom. Instead of pushing your teens to get all their work done without breaks, allow them to take a snack break and a lunch break. Please encourage them to take advantage of the break by going outside to get some fresh air. You might even want to go with them to a local park to ride bicycles or do something fun for a bit. Providing your teen with mental and physical breaks is a necessity!
Now that you’ve learned a lot more about homeschooling teens, you may want to move forward with it. Homeschooling teens does require effort, and it’s not always easy, but it’s worth it. You can expect your teens to excel when you take the proper steps to offer a homeschool education. Don’t forget to arrange different activities for your teens to have time to socialize with other people their age. As long as they’re getting their work done and socializing from time to time, you can expect them to do exceptionally well.