There is a growing number of homeschooled students in the United States. According to statistics, there were an estimated 1.8 million homeschooled children in 2012, which is an increase from 850,000 in 1999. Some of these homeschoolers are in the 13 to 17 age range, which can present a few changes both for the parent and the teenager.
If your child is about to hit his teenage years, he might find that his curriculum is more challenging than it used to be. It’s also possible that your teen may be thinking about participating in traditional high school activities such as prom.
To keep your teen engaged in learning and happy while homeschooling, try these effective strategies to motivate your homeschooler.
Let your child plan his day
As your child grows into a teenager, you may find that he wants to have control over a few parts of his life, including his homeschooling schedule. Instead of arguing with your teen about it, try letting him plan his day. Doing so actually accomplishes two things—your child gets to learn about planning, prioritizing, time management, and following a set schedule which are some of the lessons he can’t learn in the classroom; and you get to see if your child is ready to take on more responsibility when it comes to his routine.
Encourage your teen and his friends to plan their own social events
Just because your child doesn’t attend traditional school doesn’t mean that he gets to skip out on one of the most important rites of passage for American teenagers—prom. Encourage your teen to talk to his or her other homeschooled friends to see if they can plan their own prom. Let them take the lead on this project, but offer your support and assistance just in case.
Allow your teen to pursue his passions and interests
Homeschooled teens thrive when they are allowed to pursue their passions and interests. Whether it’s interning for a cool company, running a small business, taking on a part-time job, starting a garden, constructing a tree house with friends, learning to play the guitar, or perfecting his hip-hop moves, each experience contributes to your teen’s personal growth. Moreover, letting him pursue whatever he loves to do may even turn into a lifelong career or hobby that will bring him happiness as he grows.
These tips can help to keep your teen happy and engaged and will prepare him for life after homeschooling.