April, from Sweet Life in the Valley, shares some of her favorite “Sweet” things on her blog. As well as being a photographer, she’s also a Mom of 3 and home schools her tweens! Today she’s guest posting with 5 great tips to home schooling older kids.

With home school you have the option to tailor your child’s education to their needs. There is a lot of information available to parents who home school their younger children, but when kids reach the tween/teen years, blog posts, literature and information becomes a bit hard to find. I am a home schooling parent of three tween/teens. I have a few tips for parents who are or are thinking about homeschooling an older child.

1 – Keep your kids engaged with hands on activities. Science, Home Economics, History, Music, Art and more can all be very interactive and fun. Making cookies can incorporate measurements, home economics skills and even cultural education. Now that they are older you can help them with more advanced recipes. Remember we all love to be actively engaged in a project at any age.
2 – Keep them on track with planning. Allow them to create a schedule and goals. Go with them to pick out a planner or make one. Have them create a schedule that fits their educational needs as well as their wants. They will learn life skills as well as feel more in control therefore will own their work and take pride in it.

3 – Celebrate their successes. Just because you home school doesn’t mean you can’t have a Jr High graduation party, end of year party or other school centered party. Create awards for achieving a certain level in their work. Think of how you can celebrate success at every level.

4 – Make it social. These are the social years. Interacting and creating relationships with others helps them prepare for adult relationships. Being social can take place at church actives, or extra curricular events like soccer, dance, boy scouts. Pretty much anywhere else where they spend time with kids their age is a great social environment. Being social can also include people older and younger than them. Being active in your community creates many opportunities for social interactions.

5 – For some things you have to do the book work. Algebra is one of those things. Our favorite books for Algebra is the Key to Work books. They are simple and thoroughly explain each step of Algebra. These two things keep frustration at bay which means good learning experiences. Look for books that make it simple.
Best wishes to each of you as you strive to create a world of active learning for your tween-teens.
Thanks, April. My oldest is 6, so these are some great tips for when he does get to those teen years.