There are many times in our homeschooling journey when we need to tweak our approach. We need to understand the phases our kids are going through, and make adjustments. One of those times is the tween years. As our kids move into this time between being kids and teens, everything in their lives begins to change. The way we homeschool them is no exception.
One of the beautiful things about homeschooling is the ability to adjust to whatever phase of life our children are in and make their education suit their needs. The tween years are a time of increased independence as well as changes in attitude and interests. This is when kids start to really discover what they are interested in. Here are a few things I've learned about homeschooling during the tween years.
Allow for More Independence
As your child gets older they have the ability to be more independent when it comes to their schooling. They may also look for more time by themselves. Allowing them to work independently on school work, or to curl up in their room to read a book can be a great idea. Let them have some choice in what they are reading, which subjects they are studying, and even what schedule they want to keep.
Adjust Your Schedule
Kids moving into the teen years need a lot of sleep. They also may have more energy to do school work later in the day. If you have the flexibility in your home to accommodate it’s a great way to make sure your child has the rest and focus they need. They may need to sleep in and start later in the day. Or, they might work a little less in the morning and more after dinner. Identify what schedule works best for your tween and you'll both be happier and more productive.
The older your child gets, the more important their friends become. As they move into the tween years their social calendar starts to fill up. This is a great time to pursue co-ops, book clubs, field trips, etc. These will keep your kiddo busy while also having fun with their homeschooled peers.
Prepare for a Little Attitude
One of the not-so-fun aspects of tweens is the development of a bit of an attitude. As they search for independence and move into their teens, they have their own opinions and you can end up butting heads. Prepare in advance, stay calm, don't argue, and choose your battles. Trust me. It's easier to ignore the occasional eye roll then it is to argue every time your tween gets an attitude. Being prepared for it and going with the flow will make it much easier.
Let Them Pursue Their Interests
Coding, cooking, astronomy, history… what is your child interested in? As they get older they can become very focused on certain things. As homeschoolers, we can let them pursue their interests wholeheartedly. Don't underestimate how much learning can be done by giving your tween the time to really delve into what is interesting to them. Carve out time in your homeschool day to just let them loose to learn about what they want, to experiment, and to dig deep into whatever their current interest may be.
Enjoy These Years
These tween years have their challenges and can be a little difficult to navigate, but they can also be a lot of fun. Your child is maturing and developing interests that you may share with them, and you can pursue them together. They may learn about things and be excited to teach you what they know. You can start enjoying the same books and movies. So let this time between childhood and the teen years be one of developing a close caring relationship.
So, as you homeschool your tween keep these things in mind, enjoy the cool, fun, interesting, more mature person they are becoming. Make your homeschool journey through these years the best that they can be!
About the Author
Krista is the homeschooling mom of 3 boys. After 13 years she has learned the value of chilling out, going with the flow and keeping homeschooling fun! She is the blogger behind Far From Normal where she hopes to encourage parents and homeschoolers, and inspire a life lived happily outside the box!