Homeschooling your children is a great way to be involved in their education. It might even seem easy to teach your child in the early years. But as they grow, their needs and wants will change. When your children reach the teen years, they might be searching for more independence, have trouble sticking to a schedule or even wish they were in a public school with their friends. As a parent, you can do lots of things to help your child succeed at home. One of the most important is creating the right learning environment. Let’s look at some tactics for building the ideal homeschool environment for teens.
Make a School Space
This doesn’t have to be a completely separate room, but there should be an area in the house just for doing schoolwork. Take a minute to walk around and do a quick home inspection. Are there any places that jump out as the perfect spot? Or do you need to make some adjustments?
The best homeschool environment should have room for a desk or table where your teen can spread out their work and connect their laptop or work at a desktop. It should face away from other distractions such as the television, common areas or high-traffic areas in your home. This will help them stay focused on their work and not be tempted to take frequent breaks.
Remember, this area is just for school. When class isn’t in session, encourage your teen to keep away from that spot so they can relax and recharge.
Have a Flexible Routine
This might sound contradictory, but it really works. You need a routine for the day that helps your teen know when they need to be productive and when they can take breaks. Rigid schedules, however, can be a little overbearing when you’re learning at your own pace in your house. So you want to find that happy medium.
Think about when you search for things like “how long does it take to build a house?” You’ll likely get a rough outline of steps with a range timeline, such as 6-9 months. Your homeschool schedule should be like that. Create a list of items that must get done in the day and plan out 2-3 hour focus periods. Your teen can work on the subjects they choose in those focus times and enjoy breaks in between.
Give Time for Personal Interests
One of the best things about homeschooling is that your child can explore all the subjects they’re truly interested in. So to keep your teen interested in learning from home, make sure you give them some time for independent study.
Have them pick a subject or topic that they’d like to learn more about and allow them to come up with their own project or essay idea. They can spend a chunk of time every day dedicated to something they’re especially interested in while gaining academic skills. It might even turn into a community project or volunteer opportunity!
Get Out of the House
Last but not least, don’t spend all your time in the house! Having a routine is great, but every school takes a field trip now and then. Find places in your area that can support the lessons your teen is working on or just have some educational value. The beauty of it being just you and your children is that you can make a whole day of it! (And you don’t have to fill out permission slips.)
Ask your teen where they’d like to go for a field trip or if there’s anywhere nearby they’d like to learn more about. This is an easy way to make homeschooling more fun and support their interests and education with creative activities.
Homeschooling has lots of benefits, so it’s key for parents to meet their teens’ needs to get them all the way to graduation. Try these few tips in your house to create the ideal homeschool environment!