While homeschooling through the years we confront with dogged determination many scenarios which makes us weak at the knees or makes our heart skip a beat. But, nothing comes even close to the enemy in our own midst – our sweet child turned stubborn, unmotivated, and seemingly lazy teen. Homeschooling stubborn teens is not for the faint of heart.
I’ve learned that although it’s easier to blame my teens for everything that went wrong, I too had to learn how to parent differently. As each of my sons reached the teen years, I’ve had to become more resourceful and creative in how I homeschool them.
Avoiding drama in your house is not all together impossible, but you can curb it and cope with it by learning from my mistakes.
3 PARENTING TECHNIQUES FOR HOMESCHOOLING STUBBORN TEENS
Whether your teen has been homeschooled from the beginning, came willing to homeschool after many years in public school or had no choice, he wants choices now.
One/ Focus on the teen, not the school.
However, before you can get to choices, the number one mistake made by many homeschooling families is to focus on homeschool. Yep, wrong focus right now.
The teacher in us is ready to go, but the mom in us should lead right now. Problems, whether academic or developmental, signal something is wrong.
Although a teen can now vocalize that he hates math or writing and is seen as unmotivated, that’s only the result of what is going on inside.
Before assuming it’s a lack of motivation, step back, and deschool. You can’t move forward until you and your teen are both ready.
Coming into adulthood takes a toll daily on your teen and he needs you now more than ever.
Two/ Deschool now before it’s too late.
Look at ways you can step back, deschool, and focus. Move forward by stepping back instead of butting heads:
- If he hates math, ask him which subjects he does like. Use that knowledge to plan a routine. For example, get the worst subjects out of the way at his peak time and in a place he chooses. Explain to him that he can make those choices, however, if he is not doing his math because he decided to lie down on his bed, then it’ll have to change. I had one son that just because he could sit on his bed, he was in the right mindset to do math which was a subject he hated. He did well and eventually later in high school, he moved to the table. Give him some choice. BUT, first take time to not do school while you question him (few questions in the beginning) about subjects he likes and doesn’t like. Help him to make a routine for the day he loves while satisfying your requirements.
- Next, do something he wants to do. For us, it was skateboarding, bicycling and watching movies. I told my teens to not do school for a few days while they played. My teens praised me as the best homeschooling mom ever (ha, but I had a motive). Like all smart moms who want their sons to do well in academics, I knew that they had to see first that I was reasonable. After they played for a few days and I could see it winding down, I discussed with each one how to work in what they liked doing while balancing their academic load. It worked. They knew I was reasonable, but had expectations. Including them in the discussion gave them the control they wanted.
- Focus on when the rebellion occurs. For example, I knew our problem was an over scheduling problem with one of my teens. The rest of the day he was pretty compliant barring a few bad moods. Over all, the sulking and back talking happened only during school. Stepping back and allowing my teen to rest gave me time to understand how many credits I wanted for middle or high school teen. I reworked his schedule. However, if your teen is complaining pretty much the whole day, then it’s a parenting or rebellious issue and homeschooling is getting a bum rap.
Three/ Over ambitious homeschooling can backfire.
It’s easy to say when your child is five or six years old what he will and will not do as a teen, but it’s quite a different thing scheduling for him at 15 or 16 years old.
While it may be true that a teen doesn’t have to love learning because work places or colleges don’t care if he does, it never worked when I told them that.
I’ve never made progress with my sons when I vented and I normally had nothing helpful to say when I lost it.
Pushing my sons to do college courses early while in high school, having them take jobs too early, and do heavier maths because they were hardworking could’ve backfired.
Stepping back to reaffirm that heart schooling was just as important as academics helped me to solidify the fact that homeschooling is a lifestyle. I want my sons to homeschool their sons because I believe it’s the best way to teach a child.
HOMESCHOOLING TEENS WITH THE FUTURE IN MIND
Homeschooling with a future generation in mind helped me realize that I wholeheartedly believe learning is a privilege.
Curbing my desire to sock it to my boys with their academic load while being teens helped us to not only lap up the precious teen years, but love every minute of it.
Sometimes the solution to a problem was to just stop. And remembering each teen is different helped me to see problems from each kid’s perspective. Can you relate?
What kind of problems are you trying to overcome with your teen?
When your teens are grown and look back at how you didn’t give up on them, all of the hard times will be memories. You’ll only see the beautiful man or woman thanking you. Your knees will then be weak for another reason – overwhelming happy emotion.
Also, you’ll find these other articles super helpful. Don’t give up now. You’re almost there.
- 4 Reasons Your Homeschooled Child is Uninspired To Learn (and what to do)
- Homeschooling for the Love of Learning – Does It Really Work?
- Teach Your Homeschooled Teen the Art of Studying (without nagging)
- 9th Grade Homeschool High School – Avoid the Sock It to Them Attitude
Hugs and love ya,