Realistic Expectations for Homeschool High School in the New Year

It’s time for a fresh start with some realistic expectations for homeschool high school in the New Year.

Realistic Expectations for Your Homeschool High School in the New Year

Realistic Expectations for Homeschool High School in the New Year

Every year on January 1, we parents have the opportunity for a fresh start on our homeschools. I have always loved the first day of the new year for that very reason! By January of each year, we have always had something that needed a reboot, refresh, recalibrate or redo academics where we have fallen behind (or just do not like).

How about you? Do you use January as time to fresh start in your homeschool?

Whether you do or carry on as before, we wanted to share some realistic expectations for your homeschool high school. When your expectations for the new year are grounded in what can actually happen and what you can control, life goes better.

We 7Sisters have learned these realistic expectations by living in the homeschool trenches for decades. Not only that but we have seen the need for realistic expectations as we have served as academic advisors to local teens while teaching homeschool high school co-op and umbrella school classes.

So, with that in mind, here is our advice for setting realistic expectations as you start the new year with your homeschool high schoolers.

Realistic expectations you can hold onto as you start your new year

You and your homeschoolers are real people, so you will probably experience the need for one or more of the following bits of advice.

Your teens are human (and so are you)

Even though it is a new year and you all have the opportunity for a homeschool fresh start, you are all still people. People are rarely perfect. No matter how wonderful or how diligently each member of your family works, there will be glitches. Neither you nor your teens are failures if there is a bad day (or a bad attitude) here and there.

Of course, if there are more bad days than good, you might need to do some more revamping of the schedule, chore list, academic rigor or extracurriculars.

Introduction to Psychology from a Christian Perspective Online, self-paced course from 7SistersHomeschool.
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You can always start over if you hate your curriculum or learning format

Winter is a great time to start fresh. The new year is a great time to scrap the schoolbook that is not working. Try a different publisher or change the learning format:

Try asynchronous courses. For instance, 7Sisters offers several online courses that teens can start at any time:

Sometimes you can find one-semester courses that are open at your local homeschool umbrella school or at online homeschool academies like:

Self-Paced Online Course: Shakespeare for One High School Semester is Learning That is FUN!!
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Some homeschool high schoolers are ready to try earning some college credit with a one-semester course at a local or online college.

For more ways to earn credits, check out this post.

Take a breath! You will never, ever cover everything!

Over the years, I have talked to homeschool parents who are worried about covering everything their teens will need for college, career and/or life. They feel pressure to have their homeschool high schoolers perfectly prepared…for everything!

Here’s the truth:

You will never, ever cover everything!

There is simply too much to learn in this big, wide world! So, think about giving your teens the tools and opportunities to make learning a lifelong adventure? They will learn SO much throughout their adulthood- especially if they have learned to continue learning!

Your homeschool high schoolers might need more self-care time in the winter

The new year brings winter for many of us. It is not uncommon for teens to need a little more nurture and self-care during the winter.

Winter blues are fairly common in parts of the country that have cold weather, short days and frequent gray skies. This post has ways to help teens with winter blues.

Career Exploration Textbook 7SistersHomeschool
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Teens might have existential stressors going on that might slow down academics:

  • Social stress
  • Career/future stress
    • It is not unusual for juniors and seniors to stress about the future. Help them in a simple, realistic way with 7Sisters popular Career Exploration program.
  • Meaning of life or spiritual stress
    • Some teens need lots of listening, kindness and support if they are struggling with big questions like:
      • What’s the meaning of life? or
      • How do I really believe my faith?
    • This might be a good time to help them learn some deep-thinking skills with 7Sisters Philosophy in Four Questions curriculum.

      Philosophy in 4 Questions.
      Click image for full description.

Winter is a good time to help teens work on time management (mom, too)

Here’s a realistic expectation: many teens do not magically start managing their time well (same goes for some of us parents). This is a great time to work on time management skills.

7Sisters has a couple of tools that can help:

In a real homeschool world, life is rarely perfect- even in a new year. However, it can be a good year as we hold onto realistic expectations. God bless you and yours in this new year!


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Vicki Tillman

Blogger, curriculum developer at, counselor, life and career coach, SYMBIS guide, speaker, prayer person. 20+year veteran homeschool mom.

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