Your homeschooled teen has a lot going on in her life. She may be learning to drive. Maybe has a part-time job. Goes to youth group every Wednesday. And runs back and forth to dance class 3 or 4 times a week.
And did I mention her rigorous high school coursework? Perhaps her classes take place on a college campus or somewhere besides the kitchen table.
When it comes to homeschooling teens, a parent’s job because much more one of coordination and record-keeping than anything else. The kids do the work primarily on their own — but the parents need to be there for direction and support.
Part of this daily support is helping to keep teens on track. Parents may accomplish this in different ways, including posting daily schedules or elaborate monthly lesson plans. These tools, however, do not always include everything that teens need and want to do. For teens specifically, there is a better way.
What works in many families with teens is the “Morning Meeting”.
The Morning Meeting is a once-a-day check-in with your student. Often taking place in the morning, it can also happen in the afternoon, or even evening for the next day, if you prefer. It is a time set aside every day to run through what the teen needs to accomplish that day, and what you expect by the time he hits the pillow at night. Every teen is different, so the meeting will be different for every kid; however, the goals of this meeting typically are:
- school work and projects to be accomplished
- household chores and other activities taking place in the home
- outside commitments (school, social, or service)
- things to follow up on (appointments, letters, phone calls)
- anything else going on in the child’s life (health, physical, emotional, other)
It can take place in the child’s room, over breakfast, or even in the car on the way to a morning activity. Some semesters, I have even used email to “meet” with my kids! But no matter how it happens, both parties should leave the meeting knowing exactly what to do that day. Taking no more than a few minutes, it is time well spent laying out the ground-rules for the day. As a bonus, amidst all of the activity that may be going on in your homeschool household, it can be a great way to stay connected to your teen, too.