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For parents w/ older teens: a question.


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My boys are in 9th grade in Sept.

 

If you have kids that are age 16 and higher, can you look back on their teen years (13 to 15) and share what you wished you'd done differently? More of?

 

Are there things you had your kids do that you're thrilled about?

 

I'm open to curriculum suggestions, workout suggestions, family time suggestions, teaching cleaning the house suggestions -- and so on.

 

I asked this question last year about 8th graders and received the coolest advice. One piece of advice stuck w/ me and I got right on it: the mom said she wished that she'd had her kids learn self-defense. My husband had been talking about Krav Maga for the kids and -- thanks to this advice -- I got right on it.

 

I'd love to hear anything that you're glad you instituted!!

 

TIA!

 

Alley

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I wish I had insisted on a sport or regular exercise.

 

And taught household chores like cooking basic meals and laundry.

agree on both^

 

if they are not doing family chores yet - get them started now

it only gets worse

 

lots of resistance coming your way - the natural progression of teenagers

try to understand their developing personality and work with it

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This is a GREAT topic.  I have four kids.  They came in sets of two.  With my first two, I was shy and didn't seek out many outside classes for them.  This might be for the areas that I was weak in(science/math) or the areas that I didn't want to battle with them anymore(writing essays).  With my younger two, I have not hesitated finding a dual enrollment class, co-op class, or one of dear Jetta's science classes, when needed.  This REALLY helped to challenge them and helped with OUR relationship.

 

I have also not sweated so much about days completed.  We have to do 180 days in the state of TN.  But concentrated more on the quality of class and keeping the bar high.  

 

I don't know that I challenged my older two enough.  The bar has to be set high to give them something to reach for.  A challenge.  That bar is set differently for different students, but you don't want their first academic challenge to come in college.  

 

And my second child tells me from time to time, that we should have done more research papers.  (Which the younger two are getting a chance to do.)

 

Think that is about it.

 

Brenda

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This is a GREAT topic.  I have four kids.  They came in sets of two.  With my first two, I was shy and didn't seek out many outside classes for them.  This might be for the areas that I was weak in(science/math) or the areas that I didn't want to battle with them anymore(writing essays).  With my younger two, I have not hesitated finding a dual enrollment class, co-op class, or one of dear Jetta's science classes, when needed.  This REALLY helped to challenge them and helped with OUR relationship.

 

I have also not sweated so much about days completed.  We have to do 180 days in the state of TN.  But concentrated more on the quality of class and keeping the bar high.  

 

I don't know that I challenged my older two enough.  The bar has to be set high to give them something to reach for.  A challenge.  That bar is set differently for different students, but you don't want their first academic challenge to come in college.  

 

And my second child tells me from time to time, that we should have done more research papers.  (Which the younger two are getting a chance to do.)

 

Think that is about it.

 

Brenda

 

Thanks Brenda! Super helpful. Re: research papers. On what topics?

 

Alley

 

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Hmm, it is hard to generalize. My 17 year old is learning self defense but only because it's a good sport for him rather than a team sport.

 

We seem to be trudging along fine if there is one thing though I would say I wished we would have started doing more community things earlier but our life circumstances were tough for a year or two. We did more when he was little and just survived his middle school years due to family things. I would also have started some kind of outsourced class earlier just to get to get him used to others requirements, perspectives, etc even if I was capable of teaching it. He didn't get an outsourced class until 10th grade.

 

Oh, and I would have stuck with a living language and not Latin. If you have a language lover that can do both great. Latin has benefits but I'm not sure it was worth all those hours in comparison with a living language.

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I wish I had insisted on a sport or regular exercise.

 

And taught household chores like cooking basic meals and laundry.

 

My boys aren't sports oriented either. They do Krav Maga, but the sessions are only twice a week. If your kids were doing regular exercise, what would they do?

 

(I've been thinking of buying a stationary recumbent bike and goaling them to ride 15 mins. a day to start. (Me too of course.)

 

Alley

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Alley,

 

As far as research papers, if the curriculum we might be using didn't dictate a topic, then I would let them choose a topic of their choice, but somehow tied to a history or science topic that we might be studying.  #4 littlest chickie did one on Jonas Salk, the man who discovered the polio vaccine.  She fell in love with the idea of being a virologist through that.  Not sure if she will stay on that path, but that is where she is right now.  #3ds just did some research for a dual class on STEM education.  Very interesting.  He also did some research on social media/screen time among teens for another paper.  

 

Start small and work up to bigger papers.

 

Hope that helps!

 

Brenda

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One other thing we did with our younger two was to do LOTS of community service.  Get them out there.  Can not say enough about this.  These opportunities have opened SO many doors for my kids.  

 

Thanks for all of this good advice, Brenda! Can you say more about community service? All I can think of is to have my boys and me drive for Meals on Wheels (kind of a family tradition).

 

Can you share what your kids did and how it paid off?

 

Thanks again!

 

Alley

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Alley, 

 

The neatest experience we had with Community Service involved my son, who has just graduated high school.  DS #3 was beginning to make plans last summer to build a walking bridge for his Boy Scout Eagle project at our County Veteran's Museum.  He was told by the Museum Director that he would have to contact the city code manager to make sure that his bridge was "up to snuff".  She gave him the email address of the city code manager, but he didn't recognize the name.  But when he sent the e-mail, asking to make an appointment to with the city code manager, her first reply back was, "Do you and your family work at the local food bank?  We know each other."  Come to find out, the city code manager was one of our local food bank directors and we had worked along side of her for years.   She had seen DS#3 and his character.  It really helped to make him at ease when he went for his appointment with her.  It opened that door.  We had been working the food bank for about 3 years at the time, just doing our thing.  Never knowing how that was going to open a door for DS#3.  

 

Other than the food bank, we have worked at our local library, and assisted our American Legion by putting out flags for all national holidays for our city.  Just ask around.  Talk to people in your city and see where the need is.  

 

We have also found that it is FUN to bring other homeschoolers with us when doing community service.  Socialization, you know!

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My teens aren't that old (almost 17, 15 and 13), but they've already done a lot of experiential learning outside of academics that have been wonderful for them in many ways.

 

Some of it is volunteer (wildlife sanctuary, music ministry at church),

some is paid (summer company, summer theatre apprentice, teaching music, summer training for cadets, summer work language exchange program), and

some is for credits through the local school board (unpaid internships in areas of career interest).

 

My youngest teen just started the cadets program, where he can learn physical skills, such as biathlon, marksmanship, orienteering; and other skills, such as band, drill and ground training for flying. He has the opportunity to continue up the program to work towards being a leader and instructor. 

 

When they see themselves becoming an active, contributing member of the community, and already have some experience in areas they are considering pursuing a career in, they have more maturity and focus on the present and the future. The academics also seem to make so much more sense to them; they understand why they need more foundational information.

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OK so we're only finishing 9th grade, but I see in your signature, you're asking for unsolicited homeschooling high school advice. 

 

I didn't start my planning until early 9th grade - and I laugh to see what I was asking just this past Sept - knowing all I have learned from the wonderful Hive since then. So here's what I've learned.

 

  • Begin outsourcing at least 1 class by 8th grade to get used to outsourcing/grades/deadlines/tests with outside providers
  • You may/may not choose to outsource for high school - but having 14 yo boys, you may decide you *want* to. I decided by end of the year, it was better to outsource ALL for my 14 yo son. Outside accountability worked wonders for us. Mom deadlines not so much.
  • Outside providers we've liked: Wilson Hill (WHA) for math, WTMA for Bio (first research paper), Homeschool Spanish Academy, Write@Home for writing, Edhesive for AP Comp Sci (great, great first AP!). PAHomeschoolers has some great AP courses as well (we've decided to go on an AP-heavy course-load).
  • Community service has been great for us too. Opened so many doors and just been such a boon. Opportunities beget opportunities. Currently he's volunteering at the library - and that's already turned into a teen leader council there at the library. So much more than just shelving books... 
  • Get involved in team sports or activities through local high school or homeschool group - great high school socialization opportunities.
  • Begin planning for all 4 years. I've got all 4 years mapped out - and while I'm sure things will change, it's great to have some framework going in.
  • Start looking at sample transcripts, course descriptions, counselor letters, school profiles. Get familiar with what is expected if you are college-bound.

That's all for now!
 

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where is this? i should read this!

 

 

I first heard this in one of her workshops at the Cincy convention.   I looked in the store and think it might be the independent learner session.   It's also the session where she talks about finding lost books :-)     Maybe someone who knows for sure will chime in. 

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