Homeschooling teens can be hugely rewarding and of course challenging. As a mum currently homeschooling three teens of my own, the close relationship we have is never more evident than when I speak with parents whose children go to school then home, only to spend the rest of the evening in their room. There is no doubt that the teenager stage (like all stages of development) comes with its challenges. With media constantly bombarding us with negative views of teen behaviour and attitude it is important to block that out and focus on the fact that this young person is developing into an adult and can now take on some of the responsibility for their own learning. By embracing this new desire for independence, we can empower our teens in their learning. But what happens after Term 1, when the daily timetable is a little tattered?
Kids seem to hit a “slump” as they inch closer to holidays, longing to have their next break from schoolwork. At this rate, you may wonder if you’ll ever be able to pull them back in for term 2! Here are some tips on getting back in the groove if your kids seem to have checked out during the break:
Skip the full day.
Instead of planning to homeschool at full force, ease back into it by setting up your timetable as half days. It is never a requirement that homeschoolers cover the school hours. We find that if high school students complete a Maths and English lesson each day, and add two other subjects each day, they should be done in half a day. Without the interruptions of regular school, Euka students can find themselves with plenty of time to follow their passions outside of the main school subjects.
Switch it up – literally!
Few things make you feel as rejuvenated as you feel on the first day of a new school Term. Regain that feeling by starting a whole new folder, display notice board or work space. Update your new timetable by asking your children for input. If there is a subject that you start the day with that they never really enjoyed, replace it with something more invigorating and interesting.
Change your location.
While you may have enjoyed your “classroom” area at the beginning of the year, by the time the holiday break rolls around, it might be getting old. If you feel like a change of scenery is in order, consider moving your homeschooling to another room for a time. Better yet, if the weather permits, move everyone outside for some fresh air! Your hands-on learners will especially appreciate new areas to touch as they exert their energy and absorb information.
Add in a read-aloud.
Reading aloud to your children is incredibly important and beneficial. Believe it or not, spending just 10 minutes a day reading to your homeschoolers can be of great benefit to them and to you. You’ll also help improve brain development in your students and set a learning example for years to come. I know it sounds crazy, ready aloud to High schoolers, but make a hot chocolate, grab their novel and find a comfy chair. They will soon ask when you’ll do it again. You may only cover 1 chapter of their novel, but having them continue from there is a natural habit and they are already in the mood.
This is the biggest motivational tip. High school students often want to do it all themselves. They naturally begin to choose less of the hands-on tasks to complete and many prefer to focus on the online lessons. Look ahead at their lessons and choose 1 that looks fun. Ensure you gather the items for the activity. It may be a science experiment or other hands-on task but the key is to have fun and do it together. I am constantly amazed how the mood is raised by some interactive learning fun with older students.
Keep in mind that the next thing you know, you’ll be preparing Graduating Certificates! In the meantime, allow your teens to make choices about their timetable, the lessons they do both theory and practical, share the learning fun regularly and encourage them. Your teens will surprise you as they develop into adults before your eyes. The best part is, you have the opportunity play a significant role in that wonderful transition.