6 Ways to Roll with Homeschooling Your Teens

Having teens at home for high school can cause anxiety and doubt in even the grandest of home educators. I have noted lately amongst the homeschool community at large, high school has developed a certain stigma ... Panic ensues! 

Alright folks, let's just breathe please. Keep calm.

Now, repeat after me, "Teens are friends, not food." (like that was a Finding Nemo reference, for the less-than-awesome) Umm, that was a joke.

This is our half-way mark for my two older kids who are both still educating at home.  Let's count them, not one, but two teens who will be entering their Junior year of homeschooled high school. I am overjoyed to report that they are both still alive & well!  I have not run away from home, and we are all mostly liking one another!

I have NOT irreversibly messed up their lives. They are not perfect, and they are still working daily to do this high school-thing with excellence. 
I can do this. They can do this. We can do this. 

Why on earth are you so calm Heather?  You are not usually the calm-collected type of gal!
Look, it boils down to a few simple facts based on the truth of Scripture we SHOULD be attempting to live and walk by daily. 
"Faith talk is all well and good, but faith WALK is how God will really see me through these refining fires of discipleship training in my  children during the teen years."
I know I am enough. I know I can, since I am their mom & God called me to this walk. I trust that He hasn't made a mistake and that no matter the age or stage of my children .... God is STILL on the throne, and prayer STILL changes things. 

On top of above stated knowledge, I am pleased to report I have learned a few things about having homeschooled high school students so far. Yes, I still  have many lessons to go, but here are a few that may help you:

Listen to your teen without commenting
Or, inserting your opinion all.the.time., or immediately sizing up the situation, or just nagging them to almost a comatose state.  Distance, cool-off time and prayer make a HUGE difference in outcomes with teen communications.

Validate your teen. 
This is just a difficult time in life.  Don't you remember?  All the self-doubt, confusion, conflicting messages, etc. etc. etc.  Validate their concerns & feelings and let them know that YOU KNOW it is hard growing up, but you believe in God seeing them through it all.  Help them to discover their purpose and calling. (that means letting them explore, not take on YOUR calling for them...ouch!)  Encourage them to pursue new interests.  
Just be kind-of awesome, K?!?

Take any & every opportunity to let them know they are accepted & loved, exactly as God made them.
"I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well." Psalm 139:14 (NKJV)
Reassure your teen that mistakes are expected, and we must try our best to learn from our mistakes.  
Our culture has attempted to shift our children's thinking.  The society we live in, for the most part, tries to communicate to our kids that discipline and consequences are bad.  Reassure your children with scripture that shows people who REALLY MESSED UP (like, almost the entire Old Testament) and God still used those people, shaped those people, saved those people, redeemed those ... loved those people.  Pray that your children will learn quickly from their mistakes ... oh, and yours'.
"But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles' they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." Isaiah 40:31 (NKJV)

Allow them time & space to fail. 
Allow your teen to deal with consequences, then encourage them to dust themselves off & try again.  Please don't do the hovering helicopter mom thing.  Don't argue with me, just let them pick up their OWN mess!

Give them opportunity to be themselves by exploring subjects NOT on your high school to-do list.
I learned this little gem at last year's Homeschool Mom's Winter Summit, and it has changed me.  I must allow God to renew & restore the vision for home education that He gave to my husband and myself.  Stop being so busy in "meeting a requirement" or "prepping for the SAT" that I forget to live life with them.  Be their mother.  Let them discover what path God will take them down.  Draw them nearer to Christ.

I fervently believe that living with and home educating teens is just one more of the magnificent and mysterious ways that the LORD does His sanctifying, humbling, drawing-us-nearer-to-Him kind-of-work.

I say this work is the LORD's and not mine, this ensures He receives the glory.
I say this season is making me search, strive and depend on Christ alone.
I say this moment raising teens is keeping my pride sufficiently swallowed and my hope totally in Jesus. 

I say that, if this is what it takes to abide in you Jesus ...
if this is what will draw me nearer still to Your precious side ...
Then, do with me, and my teens as You will.  Amen.

Joyfully Learning with You,

The Joyful Socks Mom 

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Heather's Highly Recommended Helps: 
  • Homeschool Mom Winter Summer - A weekend for the tired & overwhelmed home educator to fill-up & get refreshed! See you there!
  • Reading Portfolio - If your kids are planning on college, you need to plan on Reading Portfolio.  Easy booklist & online organizing for high school extracurricular reading. 
Linking Up at:
Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years

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