22 April 2018

Teens Need Teens

Multiple times a week, my children and I will have a moment of learning, and I will think: This would make an excellent blog post!  I long to keep updating my blog regularly, but life and learning get in the way.  That really is a good thing.

However, now that I really am in the homestretch of this journey, I do want to remember what it is that I have learned through the years as much as I want to remember all that my children have learned and accomplished.  My hope is that maybe I can bring new life to my blog by sharing some quick and easy tips about how we've made this journey last as long as we have.

Three years ago our son was convinced that he wanted to go back to school.  Now mind you, he hadn't been to school since he was seven, so he really had no idea what school was like.  After helping him unpackage his thoughts and concerns on the subject, my husband and I came to a realization.  He didn't really want to go to school.  He just wanted to be around students his own age more often.  Through some trial and error, we also discovered that he did not want those times to be academic.  He didn't want to gather with peers once a week to discuss Literature (this is often what happens in a homeschool co-op or class setting.)  He wanted to gather with teens regularly yet spontaneously in order to shoot hoops, eat Chick-Fil-A, or wander the mall.

Fortunately, a healthy-sized community has evolved within our YMCA Homeschool Program.  This has made the biggest difference in our personal homeschool.  Teens need other teens in their lives.  

Our son, even more so, needed some friendships that were his own.  It was important to him to initiate relationships without me.  Sometimes, as homeschoolers, this is a bit of a challenge because we are often connected to entire families.  Because I am friends with another homeschooling mother, naturally our children will be friends.  This works well when children are young, but this is not what my son desired.

My son now has contacts all over the South Charlotte area, many of whom I do not know.  (I do not even know all of the people in the picture above, which I lifted off his Instagram.)  Giving him this level of social independence has enabled us to remain on this journey.

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