By request: Single Parents Homeschooling Teens: Advice from Single Moms Homeschooling High School!
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:
- How to Homeschool High School
- Transitioning to Homeschooling High School
- Planning Homeschool High School
- Homeschool High School Transcripts
- Record Keeping for Homeschool High School
- Electives for Homeschool High School
- Writing Requirements for Homeschool High School
- Handling Literature for Homeschool High School
- Life Skills for Homeschool High Schoolers
- Out-of-the-box Credits for Special Needs Homeschoolers
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!!
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:
When there are blowups:
- 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.)
Keep it real, but don’t beat the same drum too often:
- 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:
When the trauma is ongoing or fresh, you and your teens might benefit from support from a therapist to help the healing process. This will help you both have more energy for focusing on work and homeschooling.
The homeschool community nearby for:
- Co-op or umbrella-school classes
- Extracurricular support
The online community for:
- Online courses, asynchronous or live on platforms like:
- FundaFunda Academy
- True North Academy
- Dreaming Spires Home Learning
- And 7Sisters growing listing of self-paced courses such as:
Our 7th Sister Micaela from the Facebook group shares:
Single Mama of two high schoolers here. Some of my advice would be:
- Talk, talk, talk with your teens…a lot.
- Recognize that socially/emotionally, there is a lot of growth/drama/trauma/needs during this time, and sometimes school needs to take a backseat to allowing space to navigate these things.
- Remember that most teens can be pretty self sufficient and clearly discuss what the expectations are in terms of self-managing and self-directed learning vs more parent-directed learning.
- There is already the age appropriate push and pull in the teen/parent relationship during these years, so expect some of that to show up in school.
- And more than anything, remember to make time for fun, communication, and one-to-one time that’s not related to their educational experience. They need time where you can just be mom/dad.
More tips for single parents homeschooling high school:
Here are more ideas that we have learned over time.
Remember that you do not need expensive homeschooling to homeschool well
There are so many shiny, costly curricula out there. Those are fun, but many homeschooling parents have a tight budget. Here are some tips we have found that help:
- Check your local homeschool support group or umbrella school to see if they have a lending library
- Visit your local public library for resources and curriculum
- Watch for curriculum sales (often in the winter and early summer)
- If you are a Homeschool Legal Defense Association member, apply for a compassion grant
- Check local homeschool Facebook groups for end-of-the-school-year curriculum sales
- Barter for extracurricular expenses
There’s no such thing as a perfect homeschool
So, stay off your back if you feel like you are not doing or being enough! In fact, struggling through together helps your homeschool high schoolers learn a growth mindset (for resources to build a growth mindset, check out this post).
Here are some more how-tos from experienced homeschooling single parents:
- Single Parent Homeschooling: Can it Really Work? from HomeEducator.com
- Working While Homeschooling, Interview with Julie Mendez
- Handling High School for Homeschool Working Moms
- Homeschooling High School for Working Parents
- And more resources at National Homeschool Advocacy
Stay in touch in the FB group. Once again, you CAN do this!
7Sisters email subscribers receive periodic practical encouragement, special offers and NO SPAM EVER.
Click the image above to periodically receive real homeschool value in your inbox.
2 Replies to “Single Parents Homeschooling Teens: Advice from Single Moms”
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!
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.