Every new year of homeschooling can come with its sense of adventure, excitement, but also fear and concern. Homeschooling those high school years are no exception. If anything these extremes in emotion seem to be magnified during those high school years.
From the Parent Perspective:
Moms and Dads, you may find yourself on your own emotional rollercoaster. There will be those moments of celebration as you realize how far you have come in your journey. Quickly on the heels of this sense of accomplish can be overwhelming fear of “what if what we have done isn’t enough”. There will be moments of frustration over feeling like your child is going backwards in their maturity level rather than becoming more responsible.
The greatest challenge I have found as a homeschooling mom of high schoolers is getting so worried about the future that I forget to really enjoy this time with my teens. It is very easy to get consumed with thoughts of AP and CLEP exams, SAT and ACT preparation, and college visits. In preparing for the future, we fail to seize the day. We fail to celebrate the accomplishments along the way. We get so rushed we lose the opportunity for those great conversations over the last piece of literature read. We forget grace and strive for perfection out of our own fear that we have not been enough in preparing them for their future.
God promises that He has a plan for each of our lives and will equip us for that. Homeschool mom or dad, we serve a big God. He wants to use you in a mighty way in your child’s life, but you are not His whole toolbox. He will use other people, experiences, and opportunities to equip your child. You do not have to do it all! So stop trying, cut yourself a break, and go enjoy the time you have with your child.
From the Student’s Perspective:
It is hard growing up. For some kids it is harder than for others. Our teens desire to mature and take on more responsibility. Sometimes more than they are really able to handle. They wish to be the captain of their ship and determine how to steer the course. The challenge comes in what they do with that freedom when it is given. Some kids soar beyond our wildest dreams. Some show that they just aren’t ready to handle the responsibility or lack the insights yet to make those important decisions. Other children desire to soar, have the ability to do so, but find themselves paralyzed by fear in looking into the future. They become overwhelmed by the glimpse into the reality of what it means to be on your own and it scares them.
Throw Some Hormones in the Mix:
An important point to remember in this period of our lives is that chances are everyone involved is going through a hormonal fluctuation. Teen boys are struggling to manage those bursts of testosterone that bring about extreme states of anger, risk taking, and boisterousness. Teen girls may find themselves particularly emotional and moody. For the large majority of us moms, we will be beginning our own hormonal fluctuations related to peri-menopause. And dads are not exempted even if there is not much said about it. It is important to realize that as bodies change, it can be expressed differently emotionally. This makes a real impact on our school days and how we relate to one another. Acknowledge it, talk about it, and make some conscious decisions on the best way to handle this in your home.
Pushing those buttons:
By the time our children are in their teens, we have had a decade of experience in knowing exactly how to push one another’s buttons. The kids know how to push ours and if we are honest, we know exactly how to push theirs. It is important to keep it clean. Be mindful and respectful with all those extra emotions whirling around and take a few minutes if necessary to gain your perspective before acting or speaking. Scripture commands us to encourage one another rather than tearing one another down. We can spend hours picking out curriculum and can invest greatly financially paving the way for our child’s future. It can all be for naught if our very words tear down their souls!
So, acknowledge the changes you are all experiencing, give each other time to grow into this new phase of your relationship, encourage one another, and use today to celebrate one another rather than making it just a stepping stone into the future.
Maybe you don’t have high school students. Please feel free to check out what the other bloggers from the Schoolhouse Review Crew are sharing as we head Back into Homeschooling. Here are a sample of just some of the blogs that are participating.
Tess @ Circling Through This Life
Lisa Marie @ The Canadian Homeschooler
Lexi @ Lextin Academy
Karen @ My Harbor Lights
Jen @ Happy Little Homemaker
Joanie @ Simple Living Mama
Lisa @ Home to 4 Kiddos
Lori @ At Home: where life happens