Single Parents Homeschooling Teens: Advice from Single Moms

By request: Single Parents Homeschooling Teens: Advice from Single Moms Homeschooling High School!

Single Parents Homeschooling Teens: Advice from Single Moms

Single Parents Homeschooling Teens: Advice from Single Moms Homeschooling High School

Single parents often ask if it is possible to homeschool high school. Allow us to tell you the truth: You CAN do it!

Homeschooling high school as a single parents is not easy, but it is possible. In fact, some of us 7Sisters have homeschooled our teens as as single moms. Along the way, we have learned some things that help.

Therefore, allow us to help you make homeschooling high school the best years yet!

We asked our 7th Siblings from our 7SistersHomeschool Facebook group joined us in offering the following bits of advice. (BTW- there are six of us 7Sisters: Marilyn, Sabrina, Kym, Vicki, Allison, Sara. So, who is the 7th Sister- or 7th Sibling? YOU are!) If you haven’t joined the 7SistersHomeschool Facebook group, we encourage you to do so. It is place to ask questions and receive encouragement. It is a diverse and loving group.

Start just like anyone else:

Anyone facing homeschooling high school can feel intimidated. As a homeschooling single parent, it can feel even more so. So, allow us to share our free mini-course for parents to get started.

You can follow the mini-course with more get-started information in our Authoritative Guide suite of posts:

Then, follow up with our self-paced online course on How to Homeschool High School.

Your confidence will improve as you work through the basic information! You CAN do this!!

Remember grace: You and your teens are real people, not perfect people.

Next, check out this encouraging advice from 7Sister Sabrina:

Sabrina spent some time as a single mom homeschooling her teens. Here is what she advises.

Frame it correctly:

You are not a homeschooling high school as a single mom; you are a single mom who is homeschooling high school. God has not abandoned you to handle it on your own. Your homeschooling is still under his loving provision for your kids. They are not dependent on YOU for their schooling. You are all looking to God for your homeschooling life.

Talk to your teens before there are blowups:

On a good day, over a meal or a snack or on a walk outdoors, talk to your kids about the realities of your homeschooling life. You are parent, household manager, provider, teacher, and administrator. That’s a lot of different hats to wear, so talk together about ways to work together to share the load.
If teens feel like they are accepting the opportunity to participate in something challenging and good and important, they will be more likely to remember this “team” approach when the day is not a good one, when attitudes are not so great.

Time management:

Schedule backwards toward important goals, academically, practically for your home, socially for extra-busy spots on the calendar. Live intentionally instead of reactively.
Scheduling Backwards
Click image for full description.
Note from 7Sister Vicki: Scheduling backwards revolutionized my life! Time management had never been my strength until Sabrina taught me this way to stay on track.

When there are blowups:

Step away for a moment and discern WHICH hat is the one you need to wear first:
  • mom (relationships, character development)
  • teacher (academics)
  • household manager (money, chores, projects)
  • administrator (big-picture setting of priorities, making decisions that will impact a number of areas of your homeschool, collaboration with co-ops, day schools, the state, etc.)
Once you are decided as to the priority in the moment, communicate to your teen what that priority is, and then proceed from there.
Sometimes schoolwork needs to be set aside altogether while mom gives some energy to relationships that are hurting. Sometimes the comforting mama’s heart needs to sit to the side and wait while a hard task gets completed, and there can be emotional processing and hugs later.

Keep it real, but don’t beat the same drum too often:

You and your teen need to remember that you are flying solo, but that should not be the emotional, angry, or self-pitying phrase that characterizes the hard moments.
Reminders that this is hard for you will best be shared when things are NOT in crisis. Remember these steps:
  • Deep breathe
  • Handle the problem wearing the correct hat,\
  • LATER, when things are back to a more even-keel, gently remind your teen that those moments feel really heavy when you are a single parent.
  • Then, invite them again into partnership in your homeschool. After all, you all actually want the same things on a core level — love, safety, provision, success.

Remember, there’s not ONE single-parent situation. Wisdom from 7Sister Marilyn:

Vicki Tillman

Blogger, curriculum developer at 7SistersHomeschool.com, counselor, life and career coach, SYMBIS guide, speaker, prayer person. 20+year veteran homeschool mom.

2 Replies to “Single Parents Homeschooling Teens: Advice from Single Moms”

  1. Hey, Vicky! You have a heavy load on your shoulders, but it also sounds like you have taken stock of your options, and you are thinking carefully through your next steps. That’s (honestly) a HUGE and important piece of the challenge, so props to you!

    I would suggest factoring in your daughter’s general level of maturity. That’s going to impact how much she can do independently. There are kids who do well academically with homeschooling, but part of their success is because their parent is very involved. A kid with a more independent-learning style personality, or a kid with some maturity will be able to do a lot of work on their own. When that’s the case, the checkins to work on the toughest assignments or to see if concepts are being mastered won’t take all evening or all weekend.

    When you are NOT working from home, are you able to checkin with some ease? Are you reachable? If so, your daughter will be able to call and get some remote support pretty easily. That would be a help.

    When you ARE working from home, are you able to be a bit flexible with your hours? If so, you could “strike while the iron is hot” and press on with some schoolwork that requires your involvement and get to a good stopping point before you had to return to your work. If you work from home is heavily client-appointment controlled, that option won’t work as well.

    Online classes might be a very good resource for you. Access to a teacher via the internet would be really helpful. And finally, consider seriously what your daughter has to say about all of it. She will provide insight you can’t find anywhere else. If her buy-in is genuine and strong, that will have a lot to say about how things will play out over the year.

    I hope that’s helpful! Blessings on your adventures!

  2. Hello,
    Single mom to 3, debating on whether or not to homeschool my oldest for high school. She will be in 10th grade this fall. The local high school options aren’t a great fit (distance, cost, public schools are horrible here). She is a great student and I believe she would do well; we have homeschooled before, prior to the divorce, and she did so well. However, I work outside the home fulltime and have no support (ex lives out of state, parents elderly, family all working/live too far away). I don’t have a supportive church either. I do work from home part of the week but my schedule varies quite a bit week to week. I’m looking for practical advice on just how to do it, what our homeschool could look like. I don’t want all our nights and weekends to be taken up with homeschooling, especially considering there are 2 other siblings who have activities and a full M-F school in person.

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