When you give a child a choice you give them power. From chosing their own clothes while still toddlers, to chosing subjects when they are teens, your child somehow feels more in control. This sense of power is very motivating and positive.
Some advice I wish to give to homeschooling parents of older children is ~
- Visit other homeschoolers and view high school curriculums together. Try to discover the type of work load, assignments and testing/ exam approach the curriculum requires, and match that your teens’ strengths and preferences.
- If your teen prefers studying with others, this may guide you towards a high school course that includes tutors and study partners or groups. Also, if there is tension and stress in your homeschool relationship with your teen, a third-party tutor or group can provide the necessary motivation and encouragement for your teen.
- Do online aptitude tests to discover potentials, strengths and definite “no”s. We thoroughly enjoyed our experience together and had in-depth discussions on the results. (My 16-year-old scored zeros for a career field in 3 different tests! A definite option we could eliminate!)
- Discuss career options and what subjects and graduation requirements are needed to study further. Investigate which university or college your teens has considered when they graduate high school. Gap year maybe … why? where? and what? What are their dreams/ hopes/vision for life after homeschool?
- Collaborate with your teen regarding their study hours, work space and scheduling. My eldest loved to work early in the day and complete her studies before lunch, but when I had to tutor her, she had to wait until I had completed homeschooling my younger children. This led to much frustration for her. My middle teen is a very slow starter. She only seems to find her spark towards lunch time. I become frustrated with her if I don’t allow her the freedom to work at her best times in the day. Let them chose and try facilitate the best options.
- Allow your high schooler to choose and develop their own interests and hobbies. Teach them these skills. Most our birthday gifts are materials and equipment for their hobbies. Teens need creative space and time to themselves.
- Encourage your teen to earn money off their hobbies and activities. This may develop into entrepreneur or job opportunities. My eldest has already had diverse jobs and this has provided her with wonderful life lessons, character training and valuable experience.
Allow your children to make good choices and allow the consequences to teach them those life lessons. Let them try new things, and to change their minds.
Give them the credit when they succeed and give them courage to try again when they fail.
As your children mature, your role is to become less directive and more supportive. This journey is different for each teen, and you will grow and learn from each child’s experience.
Wishing you every blessing and much grace, Nadene