The Best Tip for Homeschooling a Teen

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I am homeschooling a teenager.

I’m not quite sure how this happened.

I still remember the days of play-doh and fingerpainting.

Almost overnight these activities have been replaced with algebra and composition.

When I first began homeschooling, I could not even fathom the high school years. They seemed so far-off and overwhelming.

Fast forward and now they’re here as I stand eye-to-eye with a teen who has so far survived all my homeschool efforts.

I’m still new to parenting and homeschooling a teen. But I have learned a few things through trial and error and from the wisdom of homeschool veterans.

And I’ve discovered one quick tip that can make or break our homeschool day.  

Every morning we begin our day with a short meeting time and we end our day the same way.

  • In the morning, we walk through the readings and assignments for the day and review due dates.
  • Then my teen gets out her planner and I help her plan her time.
  • We prioritize assignments and sometimes make lists.
  • We also talk about any other activities happening that day so she can learn to plan ahead and manage time wisely.
  • I give a few tips about how to complete assignments and how to work efficiently.
  • Then I listen to her ideas and concerns about the upcoming day.

After our brief meeting time, she has a plan for her day and is ready to begin working independently.

This short meeting time has been a stepping-stone to teaching self-discipline and time management. It’s a time to do a little teaching and talk through concerns and frustrations.

An equally important part of this daily strategy is the short meeting time at the end of our school day.

  • We sit down together and talk about the day.
  • My daughter shares what she was able to accomplish and what she didn’t have time to complete.
  • Through evaluating what she has completed, we can craft a more realistic plan for the next day.
  • She also shares any concerns or frustrations about her day or the assignments with me.
  • This is also a great time for her to ask questions about assignments.
  • I can also spot check her work to help her stay accountable.

In homeschooling my teen, I’ve learned to bookend our homeschool day with a short meeting time.

This time is how I have helped her learn to manage time and develop time management skills. It’s a time to answer questions and provide help.

But most importantly, it’s simply me making myself available to my teen to listen to her concerns, questions, and frustrations.

We have more productive homeschool days now that she knows she is being heard on a daily basis. And she knows that she’ll have a ready listening ear and advice if she needs it.

My goal is to slowly transfer more independence to her as she learns to manage her time and problem-solve. And this starts with me modeling these skills to her during our daily time together.

So, if you’re homeschooling a teen, schedule time into your homeschool day to sit with them, help them plan, and let them think through their day out loud.

Don’t wait for frustrations and confusion to cause a melt-down. Definitely don’t wait until your overwhelmed teen comes to you.

Be proactive. Go to your teen first and be available as a listening ear.

It’s been amazing how many storms we’ve avoided simply because I was able to talk through the frustrations, emotions, and questions before the melt-down ever happens.

Be a safe space for your teen and model the life skills you hope they develop as they learn to manage their time and their emotions.

Your homeschool will be a calmer and more pleasant place when your teen is heard and has a realistic daily plan.

Find more homeschool tips and encouragement here:

Sticky Note Planning System

The Cons of Independent Learning in Your Homeschool

8th Grade Homeschool Curriculum

A Homeschool Trimester Plan

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