Best Tips for Teaching Homeschool High School

Are you heading into the high school years, or just looking for tips on how to teach homeschool high school successfully? You’re not alone! It’s a challenging season but full of many blessings, too. 🎉 

The following post was originally written by a fellow homeschool mom, Tatiana, who is more experienced with homeschooling high school and ready to share her wisdom and encouragement! ❤️ I’ve added #5 to the list since it originally published.

Best tips for teaching homeschool high school, including teaching tips as their parent, homeschool high school planning and vision, and more!

Disclosure: *This post may include affiliate links. As an affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read the disclosures and terms for more information.

When my husband and I first explored the idea of homeschooling 13 years ago, we completely dismissed the idea of teaching homeschool high school. My standard response was ‘Teens are no fun, they talk back, they lack motivation, and they have a very poor work ethic’.

Plus, it seemed so far away! We simply did not concern ourselves with the possibility of going that far into their home education. And in our feeble minds, the kids would go back to real school when the time came.

Today, as I look back at my feelings about high schoolers during my early college years, and my lack of interest in teaching through the high school years, I shake my head and laugh. I laugh at my then inability to see the rewards that teaching homeschool high school brings.

Best Tips for Teaching Homeschool High School

This fall, I will have yet another high schooler in our homeschool. This is the 4th high schooler I’ve had the pleasure to teach. I must say that the opinion I formed during my college years could not be further from the truth. Let’s look at that pathetic college-me statement once again:

Teens are no fun, they talk back, they lack motivation, and they have a very poor work ethic.

Instead, teaching homeschool high school is fantastic and has taught me much in these last 5 years. Here are some tips that will help you do the same:

1. Have Big Kid Fun

I’ve taught 4-year-olds in Sundays school for the last 8 years. We play, crawl, climb, make messes and at the end of the day, I get the biggest bear hugs they can give. They are a ton of fun. This is exactly what I had in mind when I was pursuing a career in Early Childhood Development, I just wanted to play.

But I can still have great, educational fun with my homeschool high schoolers! Instead of building with blocks and playing with anything in the toy box, we’ve built catapults and medieval castles out of wood. We mix chemicals that sometimes create loud sounds, minor explosions or smoke. We’ve visited amusement parks and learned about physics while falling 415 feet in 90 seconds.

Fun at this age is a definitely different, but it’s wonderful! Look for ways to build in fun and engaging activities in your homeschool, even (maybe especially) in these high school years. Your relationships and your teen’s education will benefit!

2. Listen to What They Have to Say

The third stage of Classical Education, is the rhetoric stage. This is the stage in which the student bears fruit in wisdom, by writing and speaking. In Classical Education, this stage lines up perfectly with the teen/high school years. High schoolers are learning how to express themselves verbally.

As it turns out, talking back is a natural way of self-expression. Instead of giving in to the urge of saying “it’s my way of the highway” (as I’ve been known to say once or twice), allow them to explain how a decision or situation makes them feel. Coach them on how to do so respectfully and effectively. It’s a life-long tool they’ll benefit from!

Give your high schooler the opportunity to verbalize how they see things. You all might learn something new!

Have anxiety about teaching high school for homeschool? Here are some tips to help!

3. Keep Your High Schooler Motivated

Early in my parenting years, for better or for worse, I relied on bribery, rather than motivation.

If you put away your toys, I’ll let you have another cookie.

This doesn’t work as well with teens. So how do you motivate a teenager?

This was probably the hardest hurdle to jump at first, since I was coming from a place where I always knew what was best (or at least that’s what I thought), and wasn’t very interested in their opinion.

Once I understood tip number 2, and how talking is a part of the rhetoric stage I realized that all I had to do was listen to what they had to say and ask for their opinions. Find out what your homeschool high schooler is interested in learning. What subjects do they love? Which curriculum would they prefer? What tasks do they simply despise? This was a total game changer.

Allowing my high schoolers to be completely involved and in charge of their education motivates them to do well.

Even something like video games can be channeled toward effective learning. For example, Penelope Trunk shared how her boys learned Japanese, learned to ride horses, did massive research on spiders, learned to play instruments, and more. All because of their interest in video games! 

As adults, they’ll pursue learning when it interests and motivates them. Help them start that habit now and learn to succeed in it!

4. Promote A Good Work Ethic Early On

My husband and I come from very hard-working families, both of our mothers worked full-time outside the home, and a great deal of the home-keeping responsibilities fell on us. We’ve always looked back on this as a great advantage, and we’ve promoted household responsibilities in our home since our kids were very young.

Holding kids accountable for chores and other responsibilities early on teaches them that someone other than themselves is reliant on their actions. If no one takes the dog out for a walk you’ll end up with an anxious overactive dog and a mess inside the house. If someone forgets to do the grocery shopping, there won’t be any food for anyone to eat.

Every action has a consequence, whether good or bad is up to them. Find ways to help your kids learn about strong work ethic and start putting it into practice.

5. Have a Good Plan in Place

It’s important to have a compass that helps you and your teen navigate the homeschool years with intentionality while keeping things flexible. Have a good plan in place, and be prepared to adjust it as needed. Here are some things that will help: 

A Calling to Teach High School

Teaching high school doesn’t need to be a scary thing, or something left to the “professionals”. Teaching high school is a calling that is best answered by a loving parent, with their child best interest in mind.

After all who could possibly love them more than you?

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This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. Thanks for the giveaway!

  2. I like the College Prep online science labs.

  3. I love that College Prep Science has virtual labs, pre-med camp, and ACT Prep. I’m for sure checking them out for my 9th and 7th grader this year. My 9th grader is unsure but my 7th grader is going to be premed.

  4. Thank you for sharing all these great resources. I love that there are so many choices and the descriptions make it clear which are for kids not going into those fields and which are more specific.

  5. These resources look amazing!!oh How I would love to win the Biology class! The dissection scare me the most! Thank you for the encouragement!

  6. Just beginning a high school journey and would love to have the help as we have three more to come!

  7. This is very interesting!

  8. We love college prep science! We have taken a few classes and have been impressed with the results. Also love the lab intensives!

  9. This looks great! Thank you

  10. The feature I like the most is virtual labs! They are so cost prohibitive to do in the home.

  11. We’ve been using a full year curriculum for our kids, but there has been much sorrow with the science/math classes. These on-line classes with labs sound wonderful for my kids that do NOT enjoy science at all. The prices are good for what is offered; but when your husband does not have a job due to health issues and caring for older parents as well, the price is just so overwhelming. I love the membership idea but that will have to wait for another time-Lord willing.

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