10 Reasons Why You Will LOVE Homeschooling Your Teen

Overview: Wondering whether it will be worth it to homeschool high school? The answer is YES YES YES for these 10 reasons! From a mom who has been there!! 

My husband and I are always the weird ones. It seems like we are always doing things differently than everyone else. Can you relate?

We definitely broke the “rule” that says you should take homeschooling year by year and not make a commitment to homeschool your children beyond the year you are currently doing, reevaluating each year to determine whether or not it is best for your children or your family.

I can see the wisdom behind that way of thinking — but we've never done it that way.  My husband and I have always known, from the very beginning when the eldest was in pre-K, that our goal was to homeschool high school.

Wondering whether it will be worth it to homeschool high school? The answer is YES YES YES for these 10 reasons! From a mom who has been there!!

And you know what?  We've never regretted that long-term outlook.  Homeschooling our kids through the high school years has been one of the highlights of our homeschool journey.  Having graduated three (the fourth this year!) from our homeschool, with one more to go, I am so thankful that we committed to that goal long ago and have not departed from it since.

Aside from the fact that I learned that it's not that hard to homeschool high school (which is a big motto of mine, y'all, so get used to hearing it, lol) I can think of ten reasons why it's been a wonderful thing for us to keep our kids at home through the high school years.

1) Our kids learn to work independently.  I've written before about how I love independent learning, that I think it is one of the most important things to teach our children.  Well, the high school years are when this occurs.  Students that are homeschooled through high school learn to take ownership of their own schooling, doing almost everything for themselves — reading the lesson, answering the questions or working through the problems, checking their work, studying for the test, etc.

This is key, because it prepares them for college, where they must take full responsibility for making sure they understand everything and keep up with the syllabus.  No one will hold their hand there or even really notice if they fall behind.  Even if they don't go to college, the independent learning they practice during the high school years will instill in them a lifelong learning habit.  This is a good thing.

For more information about HOW to teach your teen to learn on their own, check out my post called How to Teach the Most Valuable Skill Your Child Will Ever Need.

2) Character development remains a crucial focus.  For us, one of the biggest reasons we chose to homeschool in the first place was the character and demeanor of the high school kids around us.  We were impressed with those who were being homeschooled — not so much with those who were not.

My own opinion is that too many parents give up working with their child's character too early.  When our kids are home for high school, we are able to see first-hand who they are becoming and help guide them to make wise choices on a daily basis.  They have no opportunity to hide aspects of their character from us.  We are not dependent on their teachers to tell us about their behavior; we see for ourselves and can respond accordingly.  At a time in their lives when character is being solidified, this is key.

3) Our children are not exposed to peer pressure — or at least, not as much. This is directly related to point #2. Our homeschooled teens are able to develop their own individuality without concerns about fitting in or being popular. Their innocence is protected for just a little longer.  I want my kids to feel confident in who they are before they have to stand firm in an often harsh world.  And we all know that the public (and possibly private) high school can be one of the harshest places out there.

4) Our kids have the time and opportunity to really focus on what interests them.  They can try multiple things or specialize in just one or two.  Because they are homeschooled through high school, their schedule is more open for really digging into a hobby or career path.  For instance, my daughter was able to practice her violin for 3+ hours a day — and we could count it as high school credit.

A homeschooled teen can pursue an internship at a local employer (and work during school hours), or spend time concocting culinary masterpieces, or even start a business.  Going to a school would not provide them opportunity for such focused effort.

5) There is time to talk.  The teen years are a wonderful opportunity to talk with our children.  They are thinking through so many issues at this age, and having them at home means we are there to listen and discuss when they are of a mind to share.  This helps cement the relationship between child and parent, so the child knows they have a safe place to come for help.  And it helps us to see their heart.  This is invaluable.

6) Sibling relationships remain important.  Having our kids home through high school meant that they had no opportunity to separate themselves from younger siblings — though they sometimes wanted to, lol.  While it is true that being together all day every day means conflict resolution gets practiced often, lol, it also means there is greater opportunity for doing things together and just having fun with one another.

The high schoolers learn to serve the youngers.  The youngers don't feel left behind, and they have more opportunity to watch their older siblings' example.  There is a sweetness in watching siblings interact that doesn't happen if they get sent off their separate ways every morning.

7) There is time for reading.  If you've read this blog for any length of time, or followed my Facebook page (where I talk about it even more often), you know that I am a reader.  And my kids are readers.  Being home through high school means my kids have more opportunity to read for reading's sake.

Of course they have assigned literature for school, but they also have more time to just pick up a book and enter another world for awhile.  This is still crucial for language development, writing skill, formation of goals and ideals, and just plain entertainment.  I'd rather have my kids reading than participating in gossip or other unhealthy conversation at the local school.  I'd rather have them reading than doing a lot of things, in fact. :-)

8) We can be spontaneous.  I LOVE this aspect of homeschooling through high school.  If we want to postpone school and head to the local theme park for a couple hours, we can do it (and the lines are SHORT!!).  If my husband needs help hauling wood, we can all put our books down and go pitch in.  If someone comes across a hilarious Jimmy Fallon clip on YouTube, we can watch it together for a little break.

Even more important for our family is the fact that we can adapt to my husband's travel for work — when he is gone we can work harder, so that when he is home we are more able to spend time with him.  If my kids went away from home for school, they would not see him nearly as much.

9) Our kids can get the rest their bodies need at this age.  There is a reason teens are known for sleeping in — because their bodies are changing and growing so much and so quickly that they need A LOT of rest.  Our kids don't have to get up super early in the morning to catch the bus or be in class.  If they are caught up in their work, they can even sleep in on a weekday!  If their body needs sleep, they don't have to deny it and run the risk of getting sick — nor of being cranky or emotional, lol.  Teens are predisposed towards drama anyway; no need to exacerbate that due to exhaustion!!

10) Mom gets hugs throughout the day.  Don't underestimate the power of this one!!  My teens are the best at seeing when I am frazzled and giving me encouragement via a hug or rubbing my back or even making lunch.  And there is something about a hug from your teenager — knowing that they are choosing to show you love rather than the disrespect or rebellion that one can tend to expect from that age — it's just wonderful. Give me all the opportunities for those that I can get!! :-)

Need more encouragment to get started or to keep going? My book Save Your Sanity While Homeschooling High School talks about many of these topics, helping you develop reasonable expectations so you don't get overburdened or burnt out. Take a look here: Save Your Sanity While Homeschooling High School: Practical Principles for a Firm Foundation.

Making the choice to homeschool high school can be scary — but it is SO worth it. 
It is to my mind the best opportunity to develop a relationship with our teens that will last into adulthood. If you are at all on the fence about homeschooling your teen, think about these things and be encouraged that it can be WONDERFUL!! Trust me when I say you will LOVE it! :-)

It's Not That Hard to Homeschool

45 thoughts on “10 Reasons Why You Will LOVE Homeschooling Your Teen”

  1. A big YES to all of these reasons! We’ve graduated one and have another homeschooling high school right now, and have seen the benefits firsthand. I would add to the list the lack of hormonal distractions (or at least we see them to a lesser degree) while studying. :)

  2. We’ve had very similar experiences homeschooling high school, and even though I’m done with it for a while (oldest is headed to community college for her Junior and Senior year), having it under my belt gets me excited to continue the journey with my little ones. I really appreciate fostering the sibling relationships because so many public school counterparts act like their siblings are such a nuisance!

    1. Yes, Shannen, that is so true! I love that we are not a set of independent people who happen to live in the same house, but my kids truly care for one another and enjoy spending time together.

  3. Although I am a parent of 4 public school children and feel that is where the Lord wants us to send our kids right now. This article makes me kind of envious in a good way and wish we could of gave homeschooling a shot. Anyway a shout out to the article and all the homeschoolers that are doing it the right way and Gods way!!

    1. My parents tried to homeschool me in fourth and fifth grade with Abeka and Bob Jones curriculum. I hated it. It was too structured and I missed my friends. Now I am in my 30s and I clearly see the opportunity in homeschooling children. What’s the one link you would give people who want to homeschool but need to start from square 1?

    1. Aw, Danielle, don’t beat yourself up. Homeschooling is a process. And your kids are young enough that you have time to figure things out. My first tip is to find out what the laws are in your state. Then find a curriculum to purchase that will cover all of the subjects you need to teach — like Abeka, or Rod & Staff. To me, that is the best way to get started, because it gives you everything planned out, and you can concentrate on getting used to homeschooling and how your kids learn best. Then after you’ve been doing it for awhile, you can begin to find other curricula that might serve you better. Also, find a local homeschool group to get involved in — there you can talk to moms and get encouragement. Hugs! You can do this! :-)

  4. Just stumbled upon this article as I venture into homeschooling for the first time and homeschooling a high school teen … and this gave me the answers I think I needed …. because its scary but exciting at the same time…. so a big thank you

  5. I am starting home schooling but worried it’s the right direction if my high schoolers want to go to a CSU college and play pro sports. Can you give me advice?

    1. You will need to check which college sports organization the college is affiliated with — such as NCAA or NAIA — and be sure to fulfill the requirements for your kids to qualify. It’s usually not a big deal, just a bunch of paperwork hoops to jump through. Homeschooling is still a viable option for those who want to play sports! :-) Thanks for the question, Juanita!

  6. I sure needed to read this article. I have been homeschooling the last three years my oldest daughter thru her middle school years. Now we are looking at “what to do” as we approach high school. I will be doing three years of homeschooling with my youngest daughter who will be entering middle school this fall for sure. Feeling so stressed, incompetent, fearful, and many other emotions trying to figure out what is best for my soon-to-be highschooler. My husband does not want her to go to high school, I’m kind of on the fence but I would like to keep her home if I am capable of teaching what she needs. She is a straight A student and I don’t want to be a hindrance. Any advice?

  7. I appreciate your post….good reminders. I am wondering if you could offer some advice to a home school mom of 2 sons–11 and 14. I have home schooled for 6 years and am concerned about boredom. We are in an area where the home school co-ops and community have been lacking (we live in Chicago), and my 8th grade son has seemed incredibly bored this year. He is very pleasant and funny (I am not dealing with a bad attitude), but his best friend moved away and he now has no incentive to finish school and it drags on all day. He is a bright, likeable, leader-type, but I am really thinking he needs stimulation, structure, the challenge of teachers, and the comraderie and competition of peers. So, we are considering putting him in a Christian school. He is hesitant to go because he says he knows it will be a lot more work (he attended a pretty rigorous school until 2nd grade, so he has had a taste of school). Do you have boys and have you dealt with this issue? I would love feedback!! :) Thank you so much-Ashley

    1. Hi Ashley, I have one boy out of my five children. He is #4 in the lineup. :-) My experience has been that lack of motivation is a common issue among teens, girls and boys alike — but perhaps more so for boys. I’m sure the friend moving away has had an impact, but he might have struggled with getting work done even if the friend had stayed, if he is like my son and what I’ve heard about many boys around this age. Have you looked into Classical Conversations? He would be around the age to go into either Challenge A or Challenge B. It is a one-day per week co-op, but all of the curriculum is assigned and the children work at home on it the other four days of the week. My two youngest (including the boy) have really enjoyed it since we started two years ago. They get the socialization each week and develop some really neat friendships, because in class they are discussing really interesting and deep topics. They are motivated to do their work in order to keep up with the class. But you still have them at home most of the week. So that’s a thought. I still am always going to encourage homeschooling, lol, because we have loved it so much and are glad we stuck it out the whole way. But every family is different. :-) Personally, though, I’m not convinced that a Christian school is much better than a public school as far as what the kids get exposed to: Our Main Reason for Homeschooling — Character Development. Hope this helps! :-)

      1. Hi Ann-
        I just read your response–thank you so much for taking the time! I will look into CC again. I have considered it in the past….right now it is hard to find many high school levels (Challenge A and B) offered in our area for some reason. Maybe because many parents opt to put their kids in school once they hit high school…? This is the pattern I keep seeing! I appreciate your suggestion.

  8. Currently at my wits end with only 1 child left at home who is a very strong willed teen. Kinda feel like a failure if I continue homeschooling or if I decide to send him to regular school.

  9. Building independence and pursuing interests are SUCH huge benefits of homeschooling high school! I was homeschooled in high school and I absolutely loved being able to devote time to my hobbies and interests, which led to me publishing a novel by seventeen! I never would have done that if I’d been public schooled. :)

  10. Thank you.
    I homeschool my 11 year old son, and always thought it was hard to Homeschool in High School. This was very helpful.
    I also love the hugs that I receive every day, and my son has started preparing meals for me spontaneously, as we’ll as starting to do his work on his own sometimes.
    A highlight recently has been that he demanded, or better said, complained that lately I had not read enough novels to him. (We love to read to him, although he reads on his own as well).
    This summer we are preparing to build a small sailing boat with a master boat builder in Maine. We could not do this if he was Homeschooled.
    Recently, we went to a Christmas concert with 4 of his friends that are in a private School. They were laughing during the concert (Christmas Choral a cappella music). My son decided to seat in another row, in front of them. Later, he commented to our doctor that it was very embarrassing that his friends were behaving that way.
    He is more mature , independent and has a character that I do not see on his friends at School yet.

    Hugs constantly are definitely a plus, and I’m looking forward to the High School years…:-)
    Thank you :-)

  11. As a teen who is currently being homeschooled, I have to say that homeschooling teens won’t be hard if you’re dedicated to your kid(s). But problems will inevitably arise if you become busy with so much other stuff that you leave your teen unmotivated and more importantly unguided. That’s where I currently am; kinda stuck. So, for all homeschooling parents: just be aware of when things aren’t working, and be willing to make needed changes to your kid’s homeschooling. This is a nice article. Wish my parents would do these things.

    1. I agree. Parents need to commit to doing good with homeschooling and invest in it. Otherwise the lack of guidance and concern is counterproductive. I guess that’s why this blog is here. :)

  12. I like most of what you had to say, except for the part of sleeping in. My kids are homeschooled and they get up every school day at the same time: 6:00 am. There are days where do sleep in a little later, but only for good reasons, like we got home late Sunday evening from a holiday party with our family. We get our chores done and eat breakfast and start school at 7:30. It actually frustrates me when homeschooling parents regularly let their kids sleep in. If the child needs more sleep, then perhaps they should be going to bed earlier, not getting up later. There is discipline in a routine and our job as parents are to teach them to be productive members of society as adults. One day they will be getting jobs and need to work regular hours. Some many homeschooling families that I see have low expectations for developing a good work ethic, and then its no wonder they struggle in the college years.

    1. In my experience, even when my teens get to bed by 9-10pm, they still will sleep longer in the morning. Their bodies are growing and changing so fast — I think it’s a physical NEED, not an indication of laziness. And all my teens that I have let sleep in during homeschool (four of them so far) have gone on to be very responsible in the workplace, always able to get up on their own and be at work on time. So I’m gonna have to disagree with you on that. :-)

  13. Hi. What advice would you give me about pulling my boys who have been in public school since kindergarten. Their kind and smart boys that have good character traits, but compared to their Public school peers I’m fearful they may get swallowed up in HS. I’m concerned about them haveing to “switch gears” so drastically that they may think they now live an all year summer vacation.

    1. Hi Jade, this is a great question. I have several pieces of advice, actually. The first is to be sure you know what your state’s homeschool law is, and also to find your state’s most well-known homeschool organization — because they can help you understand the law. Then I would advise taking as much time as you need to read books about homeschooling and determine which style(s) you would prefer to use for your family. Ask your boys what they are hoping to learn and do. Then just plan out your first year as best as you can and give it a go! You will find things you need to change, and other things that you love just the way they are. It’s a constant growing process — but it’s WONDERFUL, too! You can do it! HUGS!! :-)

  14. You are absolutely right and on point . Our teenagers can go at their on Pace . Stress free and flexible . My teenage dudv summer classes and she will now begin 7 th grade .

    She wants to go back to traditional school but l struggle to change her mind she needs to get use to it. Homeschooling l would highly recommend it.

  15. AMEN! Thanks for sharing all these sweet, valid reasons. It’s a joy and the support people like you provide for others really means a lot!

  16. What a great article! Thank you for sharing this. I agree whole heartedly, but needed to see this encouragement as I’ve recently found myself doubting homeschooling my newly 9th grade daughter. The bit about sleep…thank you for testifying that more isn’t less! She definitely benefits from extra shut eye which in the end we ALL benefit from lol! God bless you and your family on this beautiful journey.

  17. I agree with all your points; I’ve seen them first hand as we have homeschooled two through high school. One graduated college, the other graduates in the spring. I’m amazed at how well they figured out college life on their own. I feel like we didn’t lose them to the world, even for a short time. The third one is now in ninth grade and has been and remains a struggle, academically and in attitude. Still, I’m glad he’s struggling at home without the peer pressure that he seems so succeptable to.

  18. Thank you so much Ann this was so encouraging. I am thinking of homeschooling for the second time and I have been going back and forth about what the kids (high school age) May miss It they aren’t there, prom, school plays and such. But this was very encouraging thank you for writing It

  19. I homeschool my 3 girls bow and am always looking for validation in my decision to homeschool through high school… I hear how important high school is for socialization..and I worry they don’t have enough friends…

  20. Hello, I need help my 16 yr old boy would like me to homeschool him because he’s not interested in going back to school and dealing with the people there. He used to be such a happy boy and now he’s just not and it breaks my heart. How do I even start to homeschool at this age? Please help I know God has a plan and we will be praying for his direction on this. Please help!

    1. Yes, it is, because I do it myself. It’s not always easy, though. It takes careful planning and kids who are able to work somewhat independently. I don’t actually recommend it until they are in high school; I did it for awhile with youngers and I regret it now.

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