Record numbers of families are educating their teens at home. Some have been homeschoolers all along, while others are just now leaving the school system. There are many good reasons to homeschool your teenager, such as: fostering independence, limiting peer pressure, strengthening family ties, and reducing the stress all too often associated with adolescence. Some families homeschool so that their child can start college earlier, travel, work during school hours, or participate in other community activities. There are as many reasons to homeschool your teens as their are teens and families!
NHEN has collected articles over the years on the topic of Teens and Homeschooling. Please glance at these tabs here, but go over the NHEN Library and read from the collection. Understanding your options - yours and your child's - will help you make educated choices about how to approach this time in their lives.
Homeschooling through the high school years is not as overwhelming as people think. Many of the "harder" subjects can be learned online, through community colleges - or even parents re-learning the topics side-by-side with their teen. Using tutors, teaming up with other teens, using friends' expertise are all ways that homeschooling families have successfully homeschooled their teens. The freedom that a family has by choosing to homeschool through these years often outweighs unfounded fears or unnecessary expectations.
Learning high school subjects by Lenore Hayes Lenore describes a variety of ways to approach such subjects. The advice is both practical and inspiring.
Weaving a life by Luz Shosie One family's very interesting story of unschooling through their son's teen years.
Exploring Options by Cindie Edmunds Cindie shares her homeschooling journey. "The time seems to pass so quickly, it seems that just the other day I was meticulously recording his first words, first steps, first hair cut. Now, I find myself utterly fascinated by the man he is becoming."
Homeschooling Your Teens by Sandra Hurst A thought provoking article from Sandra addressing basic concerns of most parents of teens worry about, such as the very fundamental concern that our teens "...will not learn enough about the important skills for living a prosperous and fulfilled life."
This subject is included here because it seems to so very often result in conflict between parents and teens and because lack of sleep due to early school schedules is, in fact, a good reason to consider homeschooling teens. According to the National Sleep Foundation, teens need 8.5 - 9.25 hours of sleep per night! And this can vary widely on the teenager and their activity level.
Adolescent sleep "Sometime in late puberty, the body secretes the sleep-related hormone melatonin at a different time than it normally does. This changes the circadian rhythms that guide a person's sleep-wake cycle. For instance, if you told your teen to go to bed at 10 p.m., she may end up staring at the ceiling until 1 or 2 a.m. waiting to fall asleep. At about 7:30 p.m. a teen feels wide awake and fully alert, unlike an adult who is starting to "wind down" and feel sleepier as the evening progresses so that at 10 p.m. the adult is ready to go to bed. The teen-agers "wind down" time takes place much later." Lots of information, some of it directed toward schooled teens, but much of it is applicable to homeschoolers, as well.
Sue Patterson shares how her unschooled children were allowed to create their own sleep schedules, and still make it to their commitments on time.
From Zzzz's to A'sPBS Frontline reports that when making "Inside the Teenage Brain," they discovered explanations for teens' sleep patterns and problems surrounding lack of sleep. Teens and SleepThe National Sleep Foundation explains more why your teen might really need all that sleep! They offer a printable booklet to explain further.
library / NHEN LibrarySo much of high school these days is centered around testing! The truth is, homeschoolers can test as often or as little as they like. If you're interested in finding out more about taking SAT's, PSAT's, etc., homeschoolers are happy to share how they have done this. If, on the the other hand, you are not interested in "teaching to the test" or even testing altogether, this is also a viable option. Did you know that many homeschoolers simply transfer into 4 year universities through community colleges with no SAT whatsoever? To help you really understand this concept, we've included some articles on the topic of testing. Read them in our NHEN Library. .
Sometimes it helps to hear for yourself. Homeschooling your teen is just like doing anything else with them: if they're onboard with the idea, they'll do great. We asked a few teens to tell us about their experience.
Homeschoolers are transitioning well into colleges around the country. Their successful paths to college are as unique as well. Some begin Early College Enrollment classes (these titles vary by institution), wherby students in early and mid-teens begin taking classes on local community college classes. They are frequently dually enrolled, so their class would count as college and high school credits. Some homeschoolers opt straight into community college classes after taking entrance proficiency tests. Counselors on campus are happy to help homeschooled students transition into the college setting and be successful. Some gather credits at the community college and then transfer over to universities of their choice. Many homeschoolers sit for SAT and/or ACT tests and score competitively for entrance into universities and four year colleges. All higher education options are available to homeschoolers. These articles are available in the NHEN Library include:
Not all young people want to go to college, but they can still have a fulfilling and successful career in any of the hundreds of opportunities available in the world. As parents, we want to help our teens open their minds to see all the possibilities. Internships, travel, service opportunities are also available. Look for these articles in the NHEN library.
Uncollege by Wes Beach As Wes says, "There are so many ways to make your way in the world....". Many possibilities are discussed in this article and Wes provides practical ideas for teens and young adults to get started on their own particular paths.
Three excerpts from magazine and email lists about what teens can learn as they are transitioning from childhood to adulthood. But what if I don't want to go to college? By Harlow Giles Unger ISBN: 0816038619 Not all young people want to go to college, but they can still have a fulfilling and successful career in any of the hundreds of opportunities available through alternative education programs. This print guide shows exactly what kinds of alternative education is available, where to get it for every type of career, the minimum education required to land the first entry-level job and much more. Featured careers include detailed, real-world accounts of people who have occupied that position, with starting salaries, estimated increments over the years, and lots of insider's tips. "An excellent guide..." -School Library Journal
8 Alternatives to College by James Altucher A humorous but thought-provoking blog about some of the options teens have instead of going straight to college.
Alternatives to four-year college Thinking about taking a year off before college to find yourself? Wondering what the alternatives are to four years' worth of college tuition? The Vermont Student Assistance Corp.has a giant collection of links to books, articles, websites and organizations that might be able to help you figure this out!
These resources are specifically recommended for homeschooling teens and parents of teens.
And What About College? How Homeschooling Can Lead to Admissions to the Best Colleges & Universities by Cafi Cohen, Patrick Farenga (Editor) Holt Associates; ISBN: 0913677116
Homeschooling: The Teen Years by Cafi Cohen Prima Pub (P); ISBN: 0761520937
Homeschoolers' Success Stories: 15 Adults and 12 Teens Share the Impact That Homeschooling Has Made on Their Lives by Linda Dobson Prima Pub; ISBN: 0761522557
Homeschoolers' College Admissions Handbook: Preparing Your 12- to 18-Year-Old for a Smooth Transition by Cafi Cohen, Linda Dobson Prima Publishing; ISBN: 0761527540
Home-Schooling All the Way Through High School by Renee Mason Tyndale House Pub; ISBN: 0842334491
Home School, High School, & Beyond : A Time Management, Career Exploration, Organizational & Study Skills Course (w/CD-ROM) by Beverly L. Adams-Gordon (March 1999) Castlemoyle Books; ISBN 188882722X
How to Design a Homeschool Curriculum : What Your Child Needs to Know from Preschool Through High School by Rebecca Rupp Three Rivers Pr; ISBN: 0609805851
The Teenage Liberation Handbook : How to Quit School and Get a Real Life and Education by Grace Llewellyn 1998. Lowrey House Pubishers 542/686.2315 or 541/343.3158 (fax) P.O. Box 1014, Eugene, OR 97440-1014 ISBN 0-9629591-7-0
Real Lives : Eleven Teenagers Who Don't Go to School by Grace Llewellyn (Editor) Lowrey House Pubishers 542/686.2315 or 541/343.3158 (fax) P.O. Box 1014, Eugene, OR 97440-1014 ISBN 0-9629591-3-8
A Sense of Self : Listening to Homeschooled Adolescent Girls by Susannah Sheffer Heinemann; ISBN 0867094052