Homeschooling Teens: 5 Ways It’s Easier
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While there are challenges when homeschooling teens, there are also many ways that homeschooling becomes easier and more enjoyable as your kids grow and mature. Here are five ways that life is more awesome when you are homeschooling teens.
Call it what you will—independent learning, self-directed studies, or mom finally gets a bit of a break—one of the things that usually changes when homeschooling teens is that you actually spend less time teaching. You become more of a guide than a teacher.
That’s not to say that every subject your kid encounters will be easy for them or that they will plow through it without issue. I mean, algebra is still algebra, right? But what it does mean is that they are generally able to tackle a good chunk of their work without you standing over them. There is no need for constant supervision.
Hey! You can even go do your own thing while your kids are doing theirs.
There are still things that homeschooled teens need from their parents, but you hovering over them the majority of the day isn’t one of them. So catch up the laundry, train for that 5K, finish that knitting project, or sit down to write that book you’ve always wanted to write.
You’ve got a bit more time now, mama. Have at it!
2. Teens are random, smart, and fun.
While you might be bummed out about spending less time on Pinterest searching out just the right project to teach about the Gold Rush, know that constant homeschool projects will be replaced with amazing random and thought-provoking conversations that you’ll share with your teen—sometimes about topics that are completely off the cuff.
When homeschooling teens, life becomes less about dumping their brains full of information, and more about actually getting feedback in the form of amazing discussions. I mean, the fact that we can dive into random spontaneous conversations and debates about anarchy, net neutrality, bitcoin, or liberty is completely refreshing.
And can we be honest? Life while homeschooling teens can be easier because they’re just more fun. My kids and I have a lot of fun, but it’s a different kind of fun than when they were younger. It’s genuine and I don’t have to create a situation to make it happen. We’re all sorta on the same level, if you know what I mean.
Whatever. All of that to say, we spend a lot of time laughing.
The older my sons get, the less I think of them as people I have to look out for and take care of, and more like people I get to hang out with.
Which, by the way, completely changes the feel of your house.
3. The things they teach YOU
Because older kids are generally more autonomous in their learning, and their conversations are free flowing/deeper, you may be pleasantly surprised to discover that when you’re homeschooling teens, you will learn a ton from them.
There’s a little bit of humility required when homeschooling teens because as they grow and mature and explore—sometimes in interests and subjects you don’t have any experience with—you will be slapped upside the head with the realization that you don’t know everything.
You can choose to see this as a bad thing, or you can embrace it and become their student.
Psst. The latter of those options is the better choice
4. Getting to see who they become
One of the coolest things about homeschooling teens is being able to see how they take all the pieces of what they’ve been into—their interests, their passions, and everything they’ve learned—and how they use all that to piece together what their future might look like.
I mean, I don’t know. Maybe we’ve got a rockstar on our hands.
Homeschooling teens is also awesome because you have a front row seat to witness how they mature in things like responsibility and work ethic and what they’re willing and able to take on.
It is very charming and awesome when your 4 year old draws you a picture you can put on your refrigerator or brings you a bouquet of dandelions—those are really great things! But it’s also really charming and awesome when your 14 year old learns to fix your lawnmower. Older kids can dive into those life skills and bigger responsibilities that benefit themselves and those around them, and that’s really amazing to watch happen.
5. People see that it works.
In our many years of homeschooling, I’ve been asked many questions and called many things. Now, it might be selfish, but another reason that homeschooling older kids is awesome is that when you get to the point that you are homeschooling teens, people generally stop asking if homeschooling works. Why?
Because they can see that it does.
Although we did have an influx of questions from people as we entered the high school years—due to the fact that a lot of people assumed the kids would go to public school when they hit 9th grade—after that, the questions we received were few and far between.
The longer you homeschool, the more normal it becomes for everyone around you. They stop worrying about what’s going to happen when you reach the next phase, because every time you reach the next phase, everyone is completely fine.
Look ma, no hands! We’re surviving. And I think we’re going to be okay.
What else do you think is awesome about homeschooling teens? Did I miss anything? Add them in the comments!