Now that the teen years are upon many in my social groups, I thought it wise to take time to address the unique challenges that occur when your child’s brain and body are changing rapidly. Some challenges are social while others are educational. When you homeschool, this can present concerns because parents are often both teacher and, of course, family. This can amplify stressful situations, in some cases. How can we homeschool teens while lowering stress?
Because huge changes occur during adolescence, our children may seem to be in a bad mood or distracted from time to time. While you can try to power through curriculum and lessons, it may be wise to stop and take a break instead. Another option is to provide your teen with a list of activities from which to choose and an adequate time-period in which to complete one or more activities. If possible, give your teen the autonomy to choose topics to explore rather than use a canned curriculum you choose. This is not always possible so check your state homeschool laws before skipping a curriculum.
No Traps Here
Make sure not to back your child into a figurative corner. Instead, leave room for variation and be patient. Demanding things immediately never pans out with toddlers, why would it work with teens nearing adulthood? It doesn’t. Give options within the necessary boundaries for a situation.
Fear of Failure
Also, offer to help if a task seems boring or difficult. Sometimes students will avoid tasks or complete them quickly, but incorrectly in these cases. Stay nearby if you suspect this is the issue. Gove examples. Offer examples other than yours such as those found on YouTube, SchoolTube, and educational websites.
Enlist Community Involvement or a Mentor
Sometimes our personalities do not mesh well with our children’s personalities. Consider attending local co-ops, partial day schools, or extracurricular classes. Many times, you and your teen can receive relief from stress by taking small breaks from each other during programs like this. You can recharge your batteries and your child can work separately from you with the expectations and help of another adult. If this option doesn’t work for your child, then consider looking for a mentor who can check in from time to time to help with school activities, talk about a pathway to your child’s dream job, and be anally to your child’s success.
Team-building for a Cause
Encourage your child to be part of a team along with you. If your child is interested in animal rights, find ways to help support animals together. If your child is interested in art, consider working together to create a mural at a children’s hospital. Together you can help others and strengthen family bonds.
Look for the Good
Remember to focus on the positive when possible. Don’t let things slide, but don’t forget to find the good even if in small choices or behaviors. As your teen is better able to make choices without your assistance, be thankful and mention how wonderful this is to your child.
It may seem difficult one day, then easy the next. Parenting a teenager is not all rainbows and puppies. Then again, they don’t think we parents are always reasonable, either. The key is to be flexible, be patient, try different strategies, and remember that they will become adults who can make wise choices because you are putting in the work now to help them get there.