Homeschooling Your Teenager
by Patricia R. Chadwick
Parents and Teens
This year has brought a lot of changes for me. One of biggest changes is returning to homeschooling. Many moons ago, I homeschooled all of my children. For five years I taught 4 kids of varying grades in both elementary and Middle School. I really enjoyed it, but the time came when 2 of them wanted to return to school. My husband was injured at work that year, so we decided it was time for all of them to return to the public school. So, for the past 5 years, I've had the freedom to finish my B.A., work on my Master's Degree and develop interests of my own - including setting up this website. I have to admit, I've thoroughly enjoyed having this time alone while the kids were in school. But, as always, things change.
My youngest has always struggled in school. And while he loved elementary school, going to the Middle School in 6th grade was just
more than he could handle. He struggled and wanted to give up. He began to dislike school and spent a good portion of the year being
"sick" in the morning or calling home "sick" from the nurse's office. He developed migraine headaches and nearly every day became a struggle to get (and keep) him in school. He asked to be homeschooled once in a while, then would change his mind.
This past summer I asked him if he wanted to homeschool in 7th grade. He finally decided that he wanted to try 7th grade at the Middle School.
The second day of school he called home sick with the elusive stomach & headache. Yikes. The decision was made to give homeschooling a
Now, I will admit, I wasn't too happy about this. My baby and I tend to butt heads. Maybe we are too much alike, I don't know. Maybe we
are too different. Regardless, he bugs me when we are together too much. Not a good sign. But I really felt that God wanted me to do this. *sigh* Why does He so often call me to do things I don't want to do? I can't say I accepted the challenge too graciously - at first. Though I knew this was the best option for my son, I resented giving up my free time and my personal endeavors. I hope I didn't show it. But I felt it.
Of course, it didn't help matters much when he gave me attitude and sass when he saw that homeschool was STILL school!
Well, it's been two weeks of homeschooling now. His books finally came in and we've settled into a routine. I'm glad to report that he's doing really well and that we are getting along splendidly for the most part. He's becoming more interested in learning and loves being home. I'm finding his behavior much improved. And so is my attitude. I have come, once again, to the conclusion that positively influencing the life of even just one of my children is just as important as reaching out and helping the world. I just needed to be reminded!
Today we took a field trip and then went out to lunch. While we were sitting at the Olive Garden eating our pasta, my son said to me, "You
know Mom, just because you are homeschooling me doesn't mean you have to give up your writing. After lunch I can finish up my school
work on my own and give you a few hours to write." As I sat there I
realized how mature he's getting. And considerate. Maybe this will work out after all!
Patti Chadwick is a SAHM of 3 wonderful teens.
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