Who directs your homeschooling?
Who chooses your curriculum? Chances are you said, “Me, of course”. What about when your children grow to be teens? As I was charting this course for my soon to be 11th grader, I realize that it is very important is that she own her education.
How can a teen own her education?
It is important to allow her to share her feelings and opinions, and then take her into consideration when planning for curriculum. This doesn’t mean that if your student hates US History, that you just skip it! No, what it means is that you find a METHOD that appeals to your child. The subject (in this case) is non-negotiable. Some ideas:
- If she hates textbooks, then look for a unit study.
- If she loves projects, then base a lot of her work on lapbooks, or on one major semester project that is for display purposes at a local homeschool or other educational expo.
- If she’s a techie, find an online course which will fulfill the requirements.
- If people are her main interest, let her conduct a series of interviews that tie with the topic.
When I asked my daughter what she wanted to do, she had two requests:
A painting or art class, and a creative writing class. Creative writing?! I honestly hadn’t thought about that. You have to realize that she’d been in a private school out of state for a year, and she was in public school the year before that. I didn’t know about this new interest.
So what did I do? I found a painting instructor at the local art supply store. The lady begins by teaching them how to draw, and then paint what they draw. J is a very talented painter, but she’s been almost entirely self-taught. She is looking forward to the class. I also found a language arts curriculum that is an entire year course in creative writing, I asked her what she is interested in, and then I found things that fit.
One of my sons has an intense interest in culinary arts. He loves to cook! He has taken a bread baking class, Barista training, and a fun “Chopped!” class based on the tv show.
If you have a teenager you already know that they tend to be somewhat opinionated.
They need to feel safe in sharing those opinions about their education with us, without feeling like they are committing treason.
Oh Homeschool Mom, you don’t know everything. (I am talking to myself here, please bear with me.) You have a different learning style than she does. You love to read; she hates to read. You garden; she paints. You work on your laptop; he works in the kitchen.
Give your teens some options and just let them lead.