Home­schooling the Teenager

As children start maturing into adults, parents start to feel insecure about home­schooling. Many well-intentioned parents choose to discontinue the home­schooling process and happily hand over the reign to outside authorities as soon as their children reach their critical high-school years. Is this really necessary? Is the strictly compartmentalized education provided in schools a better option? Often, all of the parents hard work in shaping and molding the next generation is erased and replaced by peer-driven behavior -- self-focused and often­times destructive.

The reason why most parents send their children to public high- school is because of uncertainty and intimidation. They are unsure if they can provide them with all of the social experiences, the academic knowledge, classroom etiquette, and the test taking skills required for their future education. In fact, parents are usually convinced that their high schoolers are getting “too smart for them” and that there is no way they will be able to continue providing them with the challenging education that they still require.

A question on most parents minds is: Am I capable of providing a high school education for my home­schooled student that is superior to what he would receive at the local public school? The answer is, YES, you are indeed capable! And there are upper level high-school courses you can take that will raise your confidence level and give you all of the tools that you need to provide an excellent high school education for your teenage child AT HOME, preparing him for college (if desired) and a productive future, without all of the trappings of public high-school.

It is not just parents who need to do all the work when it comes

to home­schooling teenagers: Often the students do too. As home­schooled children become teens and old enough to guide their own learning, they may be left more on their own to find resources and do their own research. (It may be challenging at first, but working independently like this can put home­schooled kids ahead of the game when it comes to preparing for college life!). Home schooling also gives them flexibility to focus on specific subjects needed for a future career.

If social concerns are worrying you, look for interest-oriented associations, clubs and societies. These offer a lot of support for leaders, opportunity for shared experience, and foster a sense of belonging. Make up your own group or share this responsibility with someone else. Home education support groups provide fantastic opportunities to meet your child's needs. This is the best way to develop intelligent, self-motivated, healthy and able young people.

If the growing burden of some of the higher level Math or Science seems to be beyond you, enlist the help of someone who knows more. You can even barter your own services and thus save some money. With home­schooling becoming more and more popular, support groups will have innumerable resources that can help you find the right teacher for your child.

The underlying principle that guides home­schooling is this: any child has the innate capacity to grow, develop and achieve its full potential. All it takes is the right environment and all the right answers. Be there to provide these and think twice before you turn over this responsibility to a third party.

If you are interested in reading more on this topic, please read: How To Home­school Your Child.