Homeschool Life With These Teens

Homeschool Life with Teens - how homeschooling has positively shaped a lifelong relationship between parents & kids. Written by a homeschool mom of teens. hsbapost.com

Homeschool life has a positive impact on family relationships.

Perhaps the greatest blessing we’ve experienced as homeschooling parents is the close relationships that have been forged between us and our children. I hope that our kids recognize that as a blessing as well, and I think that they do. To be honest, when our oldest was barely out of his toddler years and we made the decision to educate at home, we didn’t have a clear idea of how much that might impact us or our kids during their teen years or beyond. Our focus was more on the immediate future and taking it one year at a time; more on teaching the 3 R’s at our dining room table. Sure, we realized that we had a better chance at close family ties since our kids were at home with us, and that we were choosing to take responsibility for bringing them up using the values and morals we wanted to live by; but we had only the vaguest idea of how that might look many years down the road.
Now we’re a lot further along in our parenting journey, with two young adults and two teenagers. I’ll be the first to admit that parenting teens can be a challenge to test the patience of a saint. But I’ve also found that warm, open relationships with teens are possible; and I firmly believe that homeschooling has played a big part in making that happen. (Yes, of course it’s possible to have good family relationships without homeschooling, and No, homeschooling isn’t a cure-all that will guarantee smooth sailing through the teen years.) These things that happened when they were young paved the way for secure relationships, open communication, and mutual trust and respect.
  • We were able to continue parent-child bonding up until they really were too big to sit on my lap any more. When kids are at home during the Kindergarten and early elementary years, they can get the individual attention and natural compassion they still need from their parents. My kids did plenty of their early learning sitting on my lap, or at least close enough to me so that they could share those early victories with me and get an enthusiastic hug or word of praise from mom. And from dad as soon as he got home from work that same day. No waiting until the parent-teacher night to find out how well they were doing, what they needed to work on, or to be told how proud we are of their accomplishments.

 

  • Our intelligence and authority as parents was not undermined by contrary teaching. Sadly, in today’s schools it is a common message to students that their parents are backwards or bigoted or not to be trusted. Whether it’s with their math homework or their moral standards, parents are being shut out of their children’s lives, and often it’s not even subtle any more. As homeschoolers though, we were able to bring up our children following our convictions, and not have to worry that they were part of some social experiment. That didn’t mean they never challenged our authority or accused us in the time-honored way of teens that “parents just don’t understand”. It did mean that they were brought up to honor and obey us, and that they learned first-hand that although we might make mistakes, we could always be trusted to love them and to want the very best for them.

 

  • We really got to know each other deeply as we lived and worked and learned together throughout their entire childhood. We learned to talk to each other and to communicate well. We have a ton of fun together. We have the blessing of time spent together. Even though our kids have played sports and had music lessons and we’ve all got outside commitments, our schedule still has room for us to sit down to dinner as a family almost every night of the week. And I have the privilege of having lunch with at least one kid most days as well.
And for us, it’s paying off, because now that our kids are young adults and teens, we genuinely enjoy their company, and as far as I can tell they usually enjoy ours! We get along well, and they are actually pretty good at talking with us. They are respectful of us and of other adults. We’ve been able to get to know most of their friends, and their friends’ parents too. We’ve learned to trust each other – I don’t usually assume they are up to no good, and they know they can talk to me about pretty much anything. We’ve put in a lot of time teaching them how to make wise decisions, how to know right from wrong, what we believe and why. We’ve tried to live out our faith and make it part of the fabric of our lives.

Now we allow our kids to own faith for themselves, and start making more of their own decisions, while we are still available to do a little coaching. We’ve done our best to bring our children up as we believed God had called us to, which included homeschooling. How exciting it is to enjoy great relationships with these young adults, thanks to the foundations we laid while they were young.

 

Kym (15 Posts)

Kym is in the middle of her 17th year of homeschooling her four kids, two of whom have graduated. She and her husband of 27 years are Canadians transplanted to Maryland. Kym loves coffee, history, and homeschooling, and you can join her for coffee break at her blog, Homeschool Coffee Break.


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Snowman Treats to Try

 

Do you wanna build a snowman? Having a snow day in your homeschool — or just wish you were? You can add some snowy fun to your day with these yummy Snowman Treats to Try. They would be perfect for winter birthday parties or as a “just for fun” winter snack. You can even count the time making them as homeschooling while you’re measuring, cooking, and practicing life skills together.

Fun & creative yummy Snowman Treats to try making with the kids this winter! hsbapost.com

Snowman Treats to Try

  1. Gingerbread Snowman Sugar Cookies
  2. Snowman Breakfast
  3. Snowmen Oreo Pops
  4. Snowman Milk Chugs
  5. Nutter Butter Snowman Cookies
  6. Snowman Pretzels
  7. Snowman Cookie Pops
  8. Snowman Pancakes
  9. Snowman Hot Chocolate
  10. Snowman Popcorn Cups
  11. Snowman Rice
  12. Snowman Cottage Cheese
  13. Snowman Party Poppers
  14. More Snowman Pretzels
  15. Easy Snowman Cookies

Have fun!

 

 

Sara (148 Posts)

I'm a reader, writer, dreamer, wife, and homeschooling mom of 3 girls. We take a relaxed, eclectic, Charlotte Mason-leaning, Montessori-ish, literature-rich, delight-directed, almost unschooling-at-times approach to learning. Lots of unit studies, field trips, and lapbooks, too. I like to blog about our learning adventures (plus faith and encouragement) at Embracing Destiny.


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7 Ways to Include Children in Household Chores

 

Keeping the house clean and organized is a never-ending battle, at least at our house. When you homeschool and work-at-home, home becomes classroom, office, art studio, library, and science lab. We always seem to be in the middle of several projects at once. That’s why it’s important to include life skills like household chores as part of our homeschool days.

Are you struggling trying to get your children involved in household chores? Or perhaps your children WANT to help with chores, and you aren’t sure which tasks are appropriate. If you are looking for ways to make the chore process something everyone can take responsibility in, take a look below at 7 ways to include children in household chores. Getting the whole family involved doesn’t have to be a struggle, and it can in fact be quite rewarding for all.

7 ways to include children in household chores ~ hsbapost.com

7 Ways to Include Children in Household Chores

1.  Create a visual chore chart.

A chore chart can help children see what is expected of them, and they can even track their progress on such a chart. List their jobs (or include photos for younger children) and let them check off jobs as they are done. Stickers or a small treat at the end of the week makes a great reward as well. There are lots of chore chart options, including one like this dry erase board:

 

2. Create a basket of kid friendly supplies.

Create a small bucket or basket of kid friendly and safe cleaning supplies for kids to use. Give them scrubber brushes, sponges, dusting wipes, and other items they are capable of using. They will like having their own little bucket of supplies like mom and dad. You can even put their name on it!

3. Model your expectations.

Simply saying, “sweep the kitchen” isn’t enough instruction for a child. Be sure to model what you expect out of them. Show them how you get the broom from the closet, how you start at one end of the kitchen and go to the other, and how you discard the crumbs you sweep up. Then, show how you return the broom to the closet. By having a visual demonstration, they can better accomplish the job and understand it.

4. Start by assigning children jobs in their own space.

A great place to start giving chores is in their own bedroom. This way they can take ownership of the space and enjoy their hard work when done. Simple jobs such as making the bed, picking up laundry, and picking toys up off the floor are perfect for chore newbies. A cleaning flip chart like Zone Cleaning for Kids or Bedroom Cleaning for Kids might help you with this.

Bedroom Cleaning for Kids flip chart

 

5. Motivate with music.

Music is a great way to motivate children to do chores. Who doesn’t like dancing while they dust? Put on some fun tunes to make the job go quickly. If you have to clean, you might as well have fun while you are doing it.

Veggie Tales Sing-Along and Silly Songs are some of our favorites. Try these for fun:

 

 

6. Explain why we have chores.

Things don’t always make sense to kids, so understanding why we need to have chores and keep a tidy house may be confusing. Explain to kids why chores are so important, and why taking care of our space is so essential. You can even talk about what would happen if no one cleaned up after themselves. If they see a need and reason behind chores, they will be more apt to do them and care for the space they live in.

7. Behold the power of praise.

When you see your child perform chores without being asked, praise them. Praise them for a job well done and for caring about their space and their belongings. Praise is a powerful motivator and a great way to encourage them to keep up the good work.

If you are ready to get your children more active with household chores and tasks, consider this list of suggestions. You might find they are perfect for helping kids not only get involved in the process, but understand it a little better as well.

 

How do you include your kids in household chores?

Sara (148 Posts)

I'm a reader, writer, dreamer, wife, and homeschooling mom of 3 girls. We take a relaxed, eclectic, Charlotte Mason-leaning, Montessori-ish, literature-rich, delight-directed, almost unschooling-at-times approach to learning. Lots of unit studies, field trips, and lapbooks, too. I like to blog about our learning adventures (plus faith and encouragement) at Embracing Destiny.


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