Most people already feel nervous about parenting a teenager, but I felt especially nervous about our decision to homeschool in high school. Curriculum, extra curricular activities, graduation requirements, transcripts, and all the rest.
But at least with those things, I new what I was up against. I knew there were blogs, books, and seminars that could bridge the gap between what I knew, and what I didn’t.
I don’t regret my decision to homeschool for high school, but there are some things I wish people would have warned me about so I saw the big picture.
So, let me let you in on a few things no one may have told you about homeschooling your teen.
The driving. All the driving.
Holy buckets, the driving is no joke. I could not wait until Kira turned 16 and could drive herself to places! Fencing two days a week, homeschool co-op one day, study group another day, friends’ houses from time to time.
Part of the issue is that I have small children in tow as well, but at the end of Kira’s 9th grade year, I was absolutely burned out and everyone in my family could see it. Patience was out the window, and dinner was ordered in far more often than my budget cares for.
If you are looking ahead and see yourself running around more than half the week, consider which items are really crucial before you commit. It’s better to look for things to do because you have extra time, than not have enough time to even keep up on general family maintenance.
Your house is never clean
On that note, let’s talk about cleanliness of your home. This is more about homeschooling in general than specifically during the teen years, but the fact that everyone is home all day means there is never a time where things are not being used. If you’re super busy with activities and driving, maybe you have enough time to make a mess while packing up to go, but not enough time to pick it all up.
If you have small kids also, like me, forget about it. You’ll never see your countertop without a dish on it for a decade.
You are going to learn a LOT
The going joke in our house has become, “I don’t know, I went to public school.” I had never heard of the fertile crescent, and honestly, I don’t even recall taking high school biology other than a vague memory of dissecting a frog and the awful smell that consumed the science wing of the school.
This is my favorite part of homeschooling.
I get to relearn things I never found value in as a teenager. I get to have that excitement with my kids when we discover something new, or find out a new fun fact. As teens, they are not easily excitable by school, but when it happens, it is gold.
Planning becomes your pastime
A friend of mine has a craft day each month, and I usually try to bring a real craft like a knitted item, or a quilt and my sewing machine, but one month I really needed to get some lesson plans done, so I brought that. In the quiet moments I was gifted with throughout the week, I would find curriculum, supplementary resources, and complete lesson plans.
And what’s funny is I enjoyed it!
I enjoy planning out what new information will cross my child’s eyes for the coming weeks and months. Now, if she enjoys it too, then that’s just a bonus.
Boxed curriculum can be cheaper
Boxed curriculum looks expensive by first glance, but when you piece together all the things you use for your high school year, and all the library fees from the books you borrowed (in order to save money, ironically), the savings, if any, becomes pretty nominal.
I still like to pick and choose our own curriculum rather than have it chosen for me by a curriculum publisher, but at least now I know that the extra work isn’t for saving money, and if I have a year where I can’t get a curriculum plan together, using a boxed set won’t be all that different for our budget.
The iHomeschool Network bloggers are sharing all the things that no one told them about homeschooling, too! Make sure to check out what other gems they have to help you on your journey.
Image credit (c) Can Stock Photo