Edding Teens

As mentioned a few times, home educating teens isn’t an easy ride. The education aspect is straightforward – they can research and self-learn what grabs their interest – but the extra-curricular and social elements are complex. Teens tend to know what they don’t like but can’t always agree on what they may like. Most are social and want to be in and with like-minded company, but the harsh truth is that the home ed community doesn’t have enough within that age range to go round.

Parents I know and have met try really hard to create opportunities, and some may recognise the following responses to suggestions of meet-ups: “Who else will be there?”; “Is A going; I like him/her?”; “Will B be there; I don’t like him/her?”; “How many people will be there?”; “How many teens will be there?”; “Do we have to go?”; “What day does it fall on?”; “Will babies be there?”…

Mine normally gave me the look that screamed, “I’m not sure I’m keen on what you’re suggesting, mama, but if you insist…” It wasn’t that they didn’t want to see or meet others, but the risks of getting there and being enveloped in a sea of tweens and toddlers, or worse, finding the place suffocating or the activities tedious were too big to deal with. I’m using the past tense because those fretful days are gone and, hopefully, gone forever.

If you are at crossroads with your teens, there are options. Trying school is one but note that for various reasons, home ed teens don’t seem to adjust well to traditional schools – a topic for another post, perhaps.

You may explore flexi-schooling (almost as non-existent as a dodo) or a dedicated home education 14-19 tuition provider (generally fully-funded and facilitated by a mortar and brick FE college), a specialist college (UTCs for STEM teens, Art schools for arty kids), a normal 16-19 college or an online provision.

Some of these facilities allow limited time off to do ‘home ed’ things, and my boys and I take full advantage of what their college calls ‘flipped learning’ days to visit museums, galleries, trails, anything really to both re-bond and help their studies. Truth is, even doing nothing apart from assignments set by tutors is still very fulfilling. After full-on days at college with boisterous peers, any time off to reconnect is a blessing.

Right! I’ve written more than intended and hope the essence isn’t lost. Time to go get some paid work done. If you have ideas, queries, etc relating to this post, post a comment or two below.

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