Strategies for Keeping Homeschool High Schoolers on Track

By request: Strategies for keeping homeschool high schoolers on track.

Strategies for Keeping Homeschool High Schoolers on Track

Strategies for Keeping Homeschool High Schoolers on Track

How do you keep teens on track? How do you make sure they are accomplishing their goals? We often get this question! The answer is complicated! Why? Because there’s not ONE kind of homeschool high schooler (which leads to…you know it’s coming: There’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school)!

Nevertheless many teens are learning to manage themselves and their time during the high school years. Staying on track with tasks can be difficult for us as parents. Can you imagine how hard it is for teens who have so little life experience with juggling studies, learning about the future and planning for it, extracurriculars, volunteer work and often, first time jobs?

There are some teens who are naturally organized and naturally know how to create a plan and a schedule. If you have one of those teens, you know the joy of watching them make things happen.

However, most teens are in the process of learning to be self-aware. It can also be a joy helping these teens discover what works for them in staying on track!

Here are some strategies for keeping homeschool high schoolers on track

The most important fact that we homeschooling parents need to face is that many teens will not be able to keep themselves on track without our training and support. That’s not bad, it’s just developmental processes at play.

The good news is: You get to be an influencer and guide in how they view organizing their lives! There are some fun and creative ways to get set the groundwork for staying on task. Here are a few:

Strategies for Keeping Homeschool High Schoolers on Track: Take the Four Tendencies quiz.

This is a fun personality quiz developed by popular author and podcaster, Gretchen Rubin. I recommend that both you and your teen take the quiz and discuss your results.

The Four Tendencies helps you and your teens understand how you both respond to expectation. There are four tendencies for response, according to Gretchen Rubin:

  • Obliger
    • Works to meet others’ expectations but has a difficult time meeting their own expectations
  • Upholder
    • Works to balance meeting the expectations of others with their own inner expectations
  • Questionner
    • Tends to resist or question others’ expectations and works to meet their own inner expectations
  • Rebel
    • Tends to resist expectations

The book, The Four Tendencies would be a good book to read and discuss together.

Strategies for Keeping Homeschool High Schoolers on Track: Discuss together how to handle doing the thing they do not want to do:

It is difficult for many teens to understand the concept of motivation. They (and sometimes the adults around them) believe that motivation is something that drops randomly from the sky. They believe they have to wait for the motivation to hit before they can do something.

The problem with this, of course, is that motivation to do algebra or chemistry rarely drops from the sky onto many teens. (I can relate, motivation to work on my taxes rarely drops on the sky for me.) So how can teens accomplish the things they do not particularly WANT to do?

Here are some tips:

Strategies for Keeping Homeschool High Schoolers on Track: Increase dopamine

Not kidding! Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps give the feeling of motivation and focus. There are some natural ways to increase dopamine:

Strategies for Keeping Homeschool High Schoolers on Track: Examine the self-talk

Teens (and adults) often have a “lie” that they tell themselves that traps them in an unmotivated state:

  • I can’t do anything I feel intimidated by…
  • I can’t do anything I don’t want to do…
  • I am too dumb to…

These lies will keep a teen frozen and unmotivated. However, if they add a TRUTH to their lie, they can shake free from the lie and get started on challenging tasks.

  • I feel intimidated by this, but I can learn to do it.
  • I don’t really want to do this, but I can and I’ll feel better when I’m done.
  • I am not dumb, I can do whatever I put my mind to do.
  • More on this concept in this post.

This is called growth mindset and it will revolutionize your teen’s self-talk and self-concept. Here’s a post with some resources to help.

Now, work on clarifying goals for the year

Here’s a post that gives you what you need to get started with your homeschool high schooler on setting this year’s SMART Goals (along with a freebie downloadable worksheet).

Next, teach some time management skills

Teens need to learn to:

Remember that teens are just learning how to manage themselves and their time

Strategies for Keeping Homeschool High Schoolers on Track: Remember that teens are just learning how to manage themselves and their time

You can help by:

  • Setting up a rhythm (and keeping it) for check-ins. Every teen is busy. They may need a one-on-one:
    • Each morning before starting the day
    • At the end of the day
    • Weekly
    • Treat it like a business appointment. Put it on both your calendars. Stop, make eye contact, talk about the wins and losses of the day, make plans for support where needed.
  • Know when to “teach”, when to farm out to tutor or online course (like our friends a True North, FundaFunda, Dreaming Spires or Outschool). There’s also help at (Did you see their post where they listed 7Sisters as a top homeschool source?)
  • Also, know that there are times where your teen will need you to simply sit with them while they face tough assignments. Your presence will help.
  • More tips for moms of homeschool high schoolers here.

Strategies for Keeping Homeschool High Schoolers on Track: Be flexible with and gracious to you and your teens

As we always say: A mom’s mind plans her way but God directs her path. Things come up (like pandemics…did you see our post with helpful tips?)

  • Take a breath (as we always say: Never underestimate the power of a deep breath).

    How to Create a High School Transcript. Create meaningful transcripts with this editable PDF transcript, course checklist and detailed guide.
    Click image for full description.
  • Say a prayer
  • Make adjustments
  • It’s okay! You CAN do this!

BTW- When you’re ready to start working on transcripts, we’ve got it all here for you in this post and this guide with template.

Homeschooling high school: You can do it! AND you can keep your homeschool high schoolers on track (and train them to keep themselves on track). These can be your best years yet so believe in yourself and your teen!

If you want some coaching, talk to our Sister, Marilyn. She is our 7Sister coach and love to help homeschool moms figure things out.

AND join all your 7th Sisters in our Facebook group. It’s a great place to ask questions and receive encouragement and support.


7Sisters email subscribers receive periodic practical encouragement, special offers and NO SPAM EVER.

Sign up for Emails
Click the image above to periodically receive real homeschool value in your inbox.

Strategies for Keeping Homeschool High Schoolers on Track

Vicki Tillman

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *