I’m sure many homeschool moms feel insecure about homeschooling their child through the high school years like I do? Coping with important subject and career choices, teenagers’ growing need for independence, as well as their raging and extreme emotions can quickly bring a mom to her knees! But let me encourage you to keep homeschooling to the end ~
- Accept the confusion and guilt as part of this phase. You will feel like you didn’t do enough, that you failed in so many ways, but try not to dwell on that, because you have time for relationships which is the cornerstone of your reason to homeschool.
- Feast your eyes on the amazing person that is your high school son/ daughter. Consider the many good things about that person, and recognize that you influenced some of that wonderfulness. Enjoy the person, cherish the moments, treasure the memories you are making.
- You still have an impact on this wants-to-be-autonomous-but-still-needs-mommy child. It’s not too late to help them in preparing for independence by encouraging more and more responsibility and self-reliance.
- Give them the space they need to test their wings while they still have the safety of home. Show trust where you can, and try not to hold the reins too tight. Easier said than done, I know…
- Be physically affectionate. Hug them early and often; when they wake up and hug them before they go into their room for the night. Hug them in the middle of an argument. Hug them “just because” throughout the day. It is impossible to hug too often!
- Talk with them as often as possible, and better yet, let them talk to you about anything and everything. Avoid criticism or correction about what they say — just let them vent, or exclaim, or explain — and then you may nod and say “mm-hmmm.” Give an opinion only when asked. Be available, and willing, to listen.
- Expect their frustrations because they all sigh, fuss or yell, “why should I have to do this stupid school work”. Try not to nag; it may be time to let them experience some natural consequences of not getting things done on time. When in doubt of how to respond, see #3 and #4.
- You need to help and support your senior highschooler through critical transitions like writing final exams, completing applications for college or university, or writing up their CV or resume and preparing for and attending job interviews.
- Plan on celebrating graduation. Make it a big deal and celebrate, even if it is only a special family meal, eating out at a nice restaurant, or holding a small gathering for cake and photographs.
Enjoy your high school senior while you have them with you, and then watch them take on the world. It’s a wonderful thing to be part of. I wish I could say that things get easier now, but I know that you are already aware that parenting is a lifetime endeavor.