This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: How to Engage Homeschool High Schoolers This post is running concurrently on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.
How to Engage Homeschool High Schoolers, Interview with Teresa Wiedrick
One of the best gifts we can give our homeschool high schoolers is the gift of engagement in their educations. If teens feel interested or connected to their studies, true learning can take place. Vicki is joined this week to discuss ideas on how to engage our homeschool high schoolers with our new friend, Teresa Wiedrick, of Capturing the Charmed Life website and Homeschool Mama Self-care Podcast.
Teresa Wiedrick is a homeschool mom of four. She and her family live in Vancouver, Canada in a lovely wooded countryside. However, they have not been a stay-at-home all the time. With her adventurous physician husband, they have been around the world as far as small villages in the Arctic Circle and the Rift Valley in Africa.
She original found that she wanted to try homeschooling when she picked up the book, The Homeschooling Option by Lisa Rivera. Actually, she wanted to prove to herself that homeschooling was not a good idea- but actually found that it would be the best choice for her adventurous family. Homeschooling gave her high schoolers freedom, which led to curiosity and engaged students.
How do you engage your homeschool high schoolers in education?
Recognize your teens’ vision for their lives. Some teens are born knowing what they want to do with their lives. Those are the easy ones. They are automatically engaged in whatever they learn (as long as they can see how it applies to their vision.
Many teens do not know their vision for their lives yet. Start with helping your teens:
- Identify their skills and interests
- Check out this Homeschool Highschool Podcast interview with Samantha Shank
- Identify their values
- Identify their personalities (try exploring personalities with their links to free personality tests)
- Check out this post on helping teens who feel directionless
- Have them do a Career Exploration course (7Sisters Career Exploration Bundle is one of our most popular courses)
- Check out the ideas in this post
Often their interests change over the high school years. That’s okay- even normal, so do not worry!
For instance, one of Teresa’s daughters wanted to go to medical but somehow shifted her interests to ballet. She is now in professional ballet training). During high school, Teresa helped her daughter explore her medical school interests (easily done by reading her father’s medical books and with whatever activities she could find that were interesting). She also took ballet lessons. Through high school she began to love ballet more and more and could only imaging herself at ballet school.
Help your teens find some independence
Watch out for the tendency to be a heavy equipment mom. (Don’t know what that is? Check out this Homeschool Highschool Podcast Episode.) Watch your teens push or yearn for some independence or develop unique personalities. Allow them to become who they need to be.
Do your own self-care so you can stay healthy and clear thinking
Teresa’s oldest who pushed the hardest for independence is well loved. However, she also is the type child who will exhauster her mom with all the pushing. Teresa found that she was so busy trying to make things work for her oldest that she had no time for self-care.
Teresa realized that she could not go on like that. She needed to have a set of self-care routines that kept her clear-headed. She wrote a book to help other homeschooling moms find time for self-care- each in their own unique way (after all, there’s not ONE right way to do self-care!)
Also, spend time introspecting (What am I feeling? What am I feeling that way? What am I going to do about it?). Spend time relearning your personality (Vicki and Teresa are big fans of the Enneagram. Check out the fun book The Road Back to You by Ian Cron and Suzanne Stabile– a favorite with millennials, btw.
If you are not healthy and taking care of yourself, you cannot feel fully engaged. Teens catch at LOT by your role modeling!
You cannot make your teens’ lives perfect or make them into your image, but when you understand yourself and stay healthy you can let them become themselves. A teen who is allowed to be themselves have a lower bar to entry in engagement!
Join Vicki and Teresa for a pleasant discussion on homeschool moms, high schoolers and how to engage those high schoolers. Check out this interview with Vicki on Teresa’s podcast: Self-care for Homeschool Mamas.
Don’t forget that you need to listen to your own body and soul in order to continue to love homeschooling. Here’s how to take a break.
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