Help Your High Schooler with Independent Studies

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Help Your High Schooler with Independent Studies from How to Homeschool My I have homeschooled 6 children – 4 are done with their schooling, but I have 2 left. It seems that when my kids turn 14-ish, they hit a plateau and all of a sudden they want mom to sit by their side when they do their studies. I thought they would be more independent in their studies by now.

Is that common or is my family the exception?

I don’t want to have to keep after my last two like I did their older siblings. Any ideas?

I guess I really need the program, Raising Leaders, because it seems that their dependence on me makes me feel like they are followers.

 Thanks, Kerry!  

Thanks for your email.  As much as we want our kids to grow more independent, it can be a little scary for everyone, including your kids.  They won’t admit it, but studies as a teen can be more difficult.

I would encourage you to try & find out why they want you to sit by their side.

  • Are they feeling inadequate to have independent studies?
  • Are there other aspects of their life where they feel inadequate, but possibly taking it out on their homeschooling?
  • Have you possibly been helping them more than you realize and it is hard to transition to independent studies in your homeschool?
  • Are you expecting too much or too little in their academics?
  • Do they feel stressed out?

These are just a few possibilities of why they want you to sit by their side.  Once you determine why they want you next to them, you can begin to solve this situation.  These are all valid concerns, but maybe they are not motivated towards independent studies.

Our High School Story

family devotions From my own perspective, my kids were not 100% independent  in high school.  They didn’t sit at their desk, by themselves all day.  We started the day together (with Steve) as a family having devotions at breakfast.  That’s how Steve’s schedule worked & it was our opportunity to discuss Biblical truths.

It may not be your schedule…just an idea for your to consider. Don’t beat yourself if you aren’t having family devotions at breakfast.

After getting ready for the day, we still spent an hour of group time together.  During most of this group time, we read aloud from a classic, discussing issues from the book.  In the high school years, we also used group time to discuss their journaling and Bible study…and fold laundry. 🙂

In other words, we started the day as a group (3kids – 1 mom).  From there, my kids worked on their studies independently.  I would touch base with each of them throughout the next few hours to see how I might help them.

What I hope you see is that I still spent time with my kids as we learned together.

I read the same classic book they were reading. If you only have two kids at home, I would have them reading the same classic for literature.  You can read it also.  Each of you keeps a journal about that book. Then, discuss it once a week.

If you’re asking yourself, “Do I really need to read the book & keep a journal?”

the iliad by homerYep, I kept a journal during my kids’ high school years. I read the book whatever book they were reading. I have vivid memories of reading The Iliad and expecting it to be difficult.

Have you seen how long The Iliad is?

At the time, it was the longest book I had read. Ever!

But it wasn’t that hard.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Iliad and discussing it with my kids.

That’s the beauty of Raising Leaders.

Moms model education by example.

If your kids see “you” learning on your own, they will be encouraged to follow your example.

Question: What other ideas might you have to help this mom with her teens?  You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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