When your kids are middle school or high school level, beginning to homeschool can be tough. For many years they have been away from you and have been conditioned to learn one way.
And though homeschool moms who’ve homeschooled their teens from the beginning may find it easier to hand over the teacher’s manual to their teens because they know what standard they have set day to day, they can still find it challenging to teach study skills.
Regardless of whether you’ve homeschooled from the beginning or jumped into homeschooling with teens, there are 3 things a homeschooled teen learns by you handing over the teacher’s manual.
One/ A teen learns that you won’t control them. This may not seem important to you, but to a maturing teen it’s everything.
This is not as paramount as they grow older, but in the early teen years with my boys, it was important for them to see me as a confident, not controlling teacher.
Hear my whisper and feel my gentle nudge, failure is a good teacher for your teens. More on that in a minute.
As my sons grew older and became more confident, we didn’t clash about control. However, when they were entering the teen years, I tried to not it let it get to that point. I simply handed over the teacher’s manual so they could dig in it on their own.
Giving them the teacher’s manual is not about a power struggle, but empowering them to learn.
Two/ Forget independent learning skills, they need to learn how to study first.
I’m not against independent learning skills, but at this time in their life is when a teen learns how to study. In the rush to prepare our teens for adulthood, we expect independent learning skills without teaching them how to to do it.
You can’t expect your teens to be independent until they have practiced how to study or have a few trial runs.
Now, I know you may be thinking that your teens will look straight at the answers and write them down without studying. They may.
Lessons I Learned From My Homeschooled Teen
My teens tried it a few times with some problems they couldn’t solve in math and language arts.
Let them think they are getting away with something if that is how they feel. However, here is the secret!
They have to be able to tell you back what they learned.
If a teen can’t tell you back what he has learned without looking at the book or the material he has studied, he hasn’t mastered his material.
So if my boys chose to look at the answers first and work back from that how to solve it, I didn’t care.
At first, I was apprehensive letting them have that freedom, but too I have never spoon-fed my boys or thought the only way to learn was a question answer format. I’ve always allowed them to learn, even in reverse if necessary.
I learned that if they were to be independent learners, I had to quit being the teacher and be the coach to guide them.
Three/ Problem solving skills are learned in middle school or high school where they should be and not in college or on the job.
Whether your teen chooses a college or career track, the ability to solve problems when an answer isn’t correct is critical to flourishing in the real world.
It can be easy to identify a problem, but solving it is another skill set.
Learning how to attack a problem with a plan or order for determining importance, finding the right and wrong assumptions and then determining a solution is something that even adults struggle with.
Here and now when your child is a teen is when they learn such a valuable skill that will boost their college or career track.
I mentioned before failure is a good teacher. Your mom voice doesn’t have to be brittle or harsh when your teens don’t want to listen to you. I’m not talking about tolerating a disrespectful attitude but allowing your teen to disagree with the way you teach.
You have nothing to prove.
Give your teen the manual and if he can’t explain back what he learns without constantly opening the book, then the material needs to be reviewed. Learning is that simple.
Don’t try to be confrontational. If they don’t get the point that they have to redo the material if they don’t understand it, then encouraging them to do it again with the teacher’s manual teaches them to not give up.
After a few times of doing it that way, my boys would work many times without cracking open the teacher’s manual. After they completed their work, they self-graded and reviewed from the teacher’s manual.
How to Stay Motivated While Homeschooling Teens
They can surprise you too when you gently guide them. My boys, without my prompting, would rework their problems or redo their work to be sure they understood it.
They need to understand that this is their education and they have the right to learn in a way that benefits them the most.
Fast forward many years now, I recently asked Mr. Senior 2013 if that was the right thing to let him have the teacher’s manual. He absolutely agreed and added that if he didn’t get the problem correct after checking the teacher’s manual, it made him rethink how he solved his problem. I loved what he said because that it was what every homeschool parent wants – to equip their child for the real world.
Do you have a teen that you’re butting heads with? Try this and let me know if he or she flourishes.
Also, look at these other helpful articles. Homeschool High School–How to Log Hours for High School, Homeschool High School Readiness and Homeschool High School The Must Cover Subjects Part 2.
Hugs and love ya,
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