Teaching Homeschool Teens

Has your sweet, little child turned into a hormone-producing, young adult seemingly overnight? Although this transformation to independent thinking and attitudes that question can cause conflict and confrontation, homeschooling a teenager doesn't have to be a handful of headaches. In fact, it can even bring a fresh enthusiasm to learning. Here are a few practical tips to help you handle the challenges of homeschooling teenage children and challenge you to become a better teacher:

Maintain your teacher/student relationship.
Just because your six-foot son now towers above you doesn't mean he is in charge. Any actions or words of disrespect must be dealt with consistently. In addition, whether your child is learning difficult subjects along with you or you need academic support, be sure to reinforce that you are still the leader in the house.

Provide space for independence.
By high school, your child should have the tools and study habits needed to learn independently, and if your child plans to attend college, he will need to know how to study on his own. You should continue to introduce new concepts, review, grade daily work, and monitor assignments, but depending on your child's self-motivation, you can let him establish his own study schedule as much as possible.

Channel energy.
Although teenagers are growing and require more sleep, work responsibilities should be expected from them. Be sure to assign them some good, old-fashioned work to burn off their high-octane energy and instill work ethics that lead to successful employment. Bored teenagers are a threat to themselves and others, so channel their strength into something useful.

Treat them as adults.
Your teenager no longer wants to be treated as a child. Respect his privacy and confidences, but also establish boundaries and guidelines for his conduct and be unified with your spouse when enforcing them. Allow your teenager to suffer the consequences of his decisions, good or bad, and remind him that hormones are no excuse for bad behavior.

What ways have you made teaching your teenager more successful? Please share what has worked for your homeschool in the comment field below.

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NANCY H 09/01/2011 10:26:47

I'm new to the whole homeschooling thing and yes I have a junior. I'm using the switched on Schoolhouse for most of the subjects except Math. We are just getting started and i'm very unfamiliar with the program. I guess as time goes on I will feel more comfortable and confident with what we are doing, once I see the grades. Still waiting for the state approval from the SBESE application and I'm uncertain about the requirements that we need to meet. Just needing to vent,,,pressing on and praying for the best!!

TERI O 09/01/2011 10:41:27

I've homeschooled two teens so far and agree with all of the advice above. One thing I'd like to add is encourage them to write. Writing is a great outlet for expressing feelings, developing creativity, practicing grammar and composition skills, learning how to put one's thoughts in words, and exercising the mind. At this age, instead of writing book reports they can write book reviews. How about keeping an old-fashioned journal or starting a web blog? It's nice if they're able to share their writings with other people besides family members. There is an online magazine called HomeschoolingTeen that gives teens a chance to feel a real sense of accomplishment by being published. Even if they don't submit anything, they can still be inspired by what other homeschool teens are writing about. The e-zine also provides advice on homeschooling teens. Check it out at www.HomeschoolingTeen.com

ALLY I 09/02/2011 14:50:58

Just started homeschooling my first teenager!! She's doing great--but I so needed to hear the advice and experience from above! Thanks for the encouragement!!

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