The Psychological Impact of Relocation on Homeschooled Teens and Strategies for Adjustment

moving while homeschooling
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By Katie B.

Moving from a fast-paced but exciting city setting to a small town is jarring for everyone, but it can be especially tough for homeschooled kids who know one way of life and enjoy it. However, if parents need to move for work or the promise of more affordable housing, leaving may not be optional, and the teens will need to come along. Before you go, it’s vital that you understand your child’s fears so they can be comfortable moving and continuing their schooling elsewhere. This article will explore the psychological impact of relocation on homeschooled teens and strategies for adjustment.

Understand Their Fears

When the idea of moving while homeschooling comes to your mind, you must sit down with your teens and talk about your relocation plans. Tell them the motivation behind the move. Discuss where you plan to live when you get there and ask them if they have any questions. This is how you can identify the psychological impact and react to each fear individually.

Some teens are simply frightened by change and the unpredictability that can come out of a new environment and a potentially different way of life. Teens are also going through many changes as they grow, so the idea of moving may be a lot to take. Although they’re home-schooled, your kids may also be in clubs or have friends they’ll be leaving behind and may fear they won’t be able to make new acquaintances. Listen to their concerns and try to answer them the best you can. Remind them that you’re there for them and that they’ll always have you as support when they need it most.

There will be some teens who fear that the move will interfere with their studies and they’ll fall behind others in their grade. If they have any worries about schooling, then devise a plan for how you can teach on the road. You can do that by uploading the school assignments to the cloud or Google Docs so you can access them during the trip and use a mobile hotspot in the car. Another idea is waiting until summer or spring break to make the big move.

Talk About the Great Perks

A lot of teens may also be used to the way of life in a city, and they may feel that relocating to a rural or smaller town won’t offer the same excitement or enjoyment. During that conversation, be honest about some cons but also be excited about the pros of moving to a smaller town.

For instance, your destination may not have streets full of commuters and taxis that are driving, honking, and making a commotion, and at first, the teens may get the idea that there are fewer places to go. However, the reality is that less noise pollution is good for our minds. Plus, this may be a chance for your teen to learn that they don’t have to leave and venture into a busy city to have a good time. Instead, it’s a chance to spend time with family and bond like they were unable to in the past.

Also, your kids may feel invincible now, but they should still try to be safe; a small town can provide that safety. There are fewer people around to commit crimes and more neighbors who care about who lives on their street and want to do what’s right to protect everyone.

Plus, with more space to get around, this relocation may also provide the perfect excuse to teach your teens how to drive if they haven’t learned yet. Consider buying a used car, and they can transport themselves to social activities or pick up a gallon of milk from the store.

Do your research before buying a used car, and ask the right questions along the way. Questions like, what’s the history and has the vehicle been in previous accidents, and if so, what kind? Whether you’re buying from a dealer or an individual seller, ask them what problems the car has seen. An occasional mechanical problem doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be in the vehicle, but it’s essential to be informed so you can prepare accordingly.

Get Them Involved

The best way to make your teens feel better about the relocation is to get them involved in the process. If the budget allows, consider taking a trip to your new town before the big move so your kids can acclimate to their future surroundings. Take a vacation there, look at potential homes or apartments, and get your teen’s opinions on what they do and don’t like. You can also take the chance to try out some of the local restaurants, social gatherings, and parks so your kids can start to get excited about where they’re going.

If you’ve already found a new home, then take a tour and allow your teen to look at their new room and tell them to think about how they’ll decorate it. Where will the bed be, and where will they do their studying? They can think about the posters they’ll hang and where they’ll play their games. While you’re there with your kids, think about some of the considerations you’ll need to make when homeschooling your child in a smaller town, including the fact that high-speed internet may not be as readily available, so talk to the internet company about your options.

Finally, you can include your kids and give them some closure by allowing them to pack their rooms or at least help with the process. By being able to declutter and box up the items they like and then unpack them at the new house, they can truly feel at home, and it may make homeschooling in a new place much easier.

Even with these steps, your kids will likely be anxious as they relocate to a small town from their old city life, but you can make things easier. Talk to your teens and understand their fears, and they’ll make it through to the other side.

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