The following is a post from contributing writer, Sarah of Sidetracked Sarah
I am the mother of 2 teen aged children, with 4 more trailing closely behind. I remember many years ago being incredibly intimidated by the fact that I will eventually have to homeschool my teenage children. Will I be enough? What if I can’t figure their math problems out? Do I really know enough to homeschool a high schooler?
The truth is, I’m not enough. But, God working through me is. I sometimes can’t figure out their math problems. But, if I can’t, usually their dad can. I actually don’t know everything, but I can learn right alongside of my children. Homeschooling a teen doesn’t mean you have to know everything. It just means that you have to know how to direct them. After all, that’s what we’ve been doing all these years anyway!
I’ve always planned to home educate my children all the way through high school. I know many families who have decided to send their children away during the high school years after many years of homeschooling them. While I don’t believe that homeschooling a high schooler is right for every family, I want to give you some great reasons to stick to the course and continue on with homeschooling in your family.
You Can Cultivate Spiritual Growth
For me, one of the most important reasons that we homeschool is so that my children can have a Godly education. I want them to be able to read the Bible and see how God has been there all throughout history. I want them to grow spiritually. I want to be able to discuss with them on a daily basis why we believe what we believe. I want them to pursue ministries and help out at church.
If they were at school every day, they wouldn’t be able to take part in all of these things throughout the day. Yes, we may be able to cram it into our evenings, but would we really take the time to do it? And is it enough?
You can School at Their Own Pace
I have one teen that is ahead of her normal grade level in math and one that is behind in his normal grade level in math. Is that bad? Absolutely not. One happens to catch on to mathematical concepts rather easily. The other has always struggled with it. I love it, because we can focus on something until they get it.
Alternatively, if they get the concept really fast, they can move on quickly, not waiting around for the rest of the class to catch up. The same goes for school in general. You could choose to have them do an extra year of school, graduating later, if you feel that it would be a benefit for them OR you could choose to start them in online classes at a local college early so that they can get a jump on THAT education.
The best part is that you are in control. You get to make that choice because you know your child better than anyone in the world.
You can Monitor Their Friends
How many teenage children do you know who ended up rebelling because they got mixed up with the wrong crowd? Many teens are easily influenced and friends are very important to them. I remember as a teen, I would seek approval from my friends and do things I knew were wrong just so that I would be liked.
If you’re keeping your child at home, you can monitor the kinds of friends that your children are spending time with. You can invite them into your home and get to know them. Some may think this is living a “sheltered” life, but I think it’s living a protected life.
You’re protecting them until they are mature enough to make better decisions. Think of it as an umbrella. Will they always stay dry not allowing any of that rain to get on them? Of course not. But, the longer you’re able to keep them home and direct their learning, the longer you’ll have an important influence on their lives. It’s a well-known fact that we become the most like those we spend our time with. Be a Godly example for your kids and they will emulate it as they become adults.
You can Nip Behavior Problems in the Bud
If your kids are away from you for a good part of the day, you may not even realize that they have a rude behavioral problem. Alternatively, when you’re with them all day long, you’ll see these character flaws in the light that they should be seen in. You’ll have the opportunity to challenge them, correct them and even punish them if you have to.
I’ve known many teens who were one person while at home with their parents and a completely different person around their friends. I realize that this can still happen with the homeschooled child, but you’re more likely to catch on if they’re around you often enough.
You can Focus on What They Plan to Do as an Adult
This is certainly one of my favorite reasons for homeschooling a teenager. If they decide they want to go into a scientific field, you can easily focus heavily on science related subjects so that they are better prepared for college. Tailoring their education based on their interests is a definite asset to the homeschooled teen!
But what if they don’t know what they want to do? You can set them up with apprenticeship opportunities, allowing them to work alongside a professional whose job that they may be considering. This will give them the opportunity to explore fields they may have never considered, allowing to decide in a hands on sort of way if they would actually enjoy the field or not.
These are just a few of the advantages of homeschooling teen aged children. What would you add to it?
Sarah is in her 11th year of homeschooling her 6 children. Though she already has teens, she has toddlers and preschoolers, too. She loves using her crockpot so that she can focus on her kids and other home responsibilities. She blogs about life as a busy, sidetracked homeschool mom at Sidetracked Sarah.com.
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